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Tsum Valley: The Garden of Eden

Tsum Valley
Tsum Valley

One of the hidden gems of Nepal, the remote and untouched Tsum Valley is set against the majestic backdrop of the Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal, Boudha Himal ranges. ‘Tsum’ comes from the Tibetan word ‘Tsombo’, which means vivid. Home to some of the ancient Tibetan art, culture and religion, this serene valley is a sacred Himalayan pilgrimage situated in northern Gorkha. The valley is drained by the Shear Khola, which originates from the western glacier of Ganesh Himal and east and southern glaciers of Sringi Himal and meets the Budhi Gandaki at Nyak. Tsum Valley is also known as the Beyul Kyimolung, the holy hidden valley of happiness, first described by Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava) in the eighth century. History has it that the valley was blessed by Padmasambhava as refuge to be discovered when the earth is approaching destruction and the world becomes too corrupt for spiritual practice. Hence the valley is said to be the reminiscent of paradise, within the reach of fortunate few.

The Tibetan Buddhist culture is still very much prevalent in Tsum and the scenery is just stunning, with beautiful forests and countryside coupled with Ganesh Himal towering above the valley. The warm and hospitable people of Tsum are mostly of Tibetan origin and speak their own dialect. Trek through the Tsum valley takes you through green countryside and small Hindu villages with lush alpine forests, pines, rhododendrons and glacial rivers accompanying your way. The valley later opens up to reveal a beautiful countryside and small Tibetan-style villages. Trails are strewn with artistic chortens and lined with mani walls made of thousands of stone slabs carved with drawings of deities and inscribed with prayers. The famous Kyimu Lung, a pilgrimage circuit in the central Trans-Himalaya, is well known for its center of learning and meditation. This circuit traverses the Tsum Valley the Manaslu area in Nepal, and southern parts of Tibet. Still considered a virgin land, up until 2008, Tsum Valley was secluded from tourists.

Apart from its majestic natural marvels, Tsum is rich when it comes to cultural heritages and is dotted with Buddhist monasteries, chortens, mani walls and century old nunneries. The valley preserves steps of the great Buddhist Yogi Chyuchin Milarepa who meditated in the caves of Piren Phu. It also boasts some unique and historic monasteries, including Rachen Gumba and Mu Gumba, which lie on a pretty plateau nestled in the lap of the valley, and Gumba Lungdang, situated at the base of a conical hill against the main slope of Ganesh Himal. The varied landscape, wide assortment of flora and fauna, rich Himalayan wildlife and the pristine eco-system further accentuates the splendor of this secluded valley which has also earned the name ‘Garden of Eden’. Unfold the mysteries surrounding Tsum valley with us and experience the majestic blend of Tibeto-Nepalese culture, untouched wildlife habitat and pristine nature.

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