Tsum Valley and Manaslu Circuit Trek explore the lesser-visited hidden valleys of Manaslu. This trek also stops at many Buddhist monasteries, Gompas, and stupas in the region.
Manaslu Region Introduction
Adorned by the illustrious Mansiri Himalayan Range, the Manaslu region is one of the best travel destinations enriched in both cultural and natural aspects. As the region was opened for trekking in 1992, it is comparatively less popular than other trek destinations in Nepal. Covering an area of 1663 sq. km, the Manaslu Conservation Area is known for being an excellent host to a plethora of flora and fauna. Mt. Manaslu (8163m) remains as the major attraction of this region which is also the 8th highest snowcapped peak in the world. Tsum Valley is yet another major destination of interest which boasts of traditional Tibetan settlements.
The journeys in the Manaslu region start from Besisahar and head northwards to the company of the Himalayas. As it is recently opened and is new in comparison to other trek destinations, the region offers off-beat experiences. The lower alpine zone is mostly covered by vegetation comprising of pines, fir and wild rhododendron which is home to many exotic species like barking deer, Pika, marmots, pheasants, and raven. The areas at higher altitudes are mostly inhabited by people from Tibetan origin and they follow Tibetan Buddhism. The majority of the people living in lower altitudes belong to Gurung and Tamang ethnic groups. These ethnic groups follow Buddhism and Hinduism.
The region is irrigated by two major rivers: Budhi Gandaki and Marsayangdi. The major mountains in the region include Hiunchuli (6441 m), Ngadi Chuli (7871 m), Buddha Himal (6672 m), and Shringi Himal (7181 m). Larkya La Pass at 5160 meters is one of the highest passes in the region and offers astounding views of the Manaslu, Nubri, and Cheo Himal ranges. The region is also filled with numerous monasteries and religious monuments as well. Kal Chhokang Gompa, Serang Gumba, Namrung Gompa, and Pung Gyen Gompa are the major Tibetan monasteries of the region. The cultural and religious inheritance of the entire Tsum Valley is also pretty intriguing as the region is a replica of the Tibetan settlements to the north. Rachen Gompa and Mu Gompa are the prominent monasteries here. Famous treks in Manaslu regions are Manaslu Circuit trek, Tsum Valley Trek, and Larkya La Pass Trek.
The terrain here is very tough and rugged. As the region is fairly underdeveloped, there is very few numbers of lodges and tea houses so trekking here may require camping as well. During pre-monsoon and autumn season the sky is much clearer and the weather conditions are very dry. Thus trekkers are recommended to visit Manaslu during these seasons.