Tsum Valley Pilgrimage and Cultural Trekking - 16-24 days

“Tsum Valley”, a sacred Himalayan Valley lies in the northern most part of Gorkha district. The valley stretches till Tibetan border and heavily practices Tibetan culture. ‘Tsum’ comes from the Tibetan word ‘Tsombo’, which means vivid. Situated against the majestic backdrop of Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal and Boudha Himal ranges, this serene valley is rich in both nature; and ancient art and culture. The altitude of Tsum Valley Trekking varies from 1905m in Lhokpa to over 5093m at Ngula Dhojhyang pass on the Tibetan border. Since, the valley has remained in seclusion for long, it still carries its glorious culture till date. Countless mani walls, chortens, prayers’ wheels, wider pasturelands, herds of Himalayan Thar and Blue Sheep; and enchanting monasteries perched at the hilltops will leave you with an awe of a mystical journey. The region is particularly famous for wonderful Tibetan passes, ancient monasteries like Mu Gompa, Rachen Gompa and the cave of the legendary Buddhist saint Milarepa. For those who want to explore the Himalayan region more can extend their trek to Manaslu region as well, which is yet another equally tempting region that will take you to another world of Himalayan civilization.

 

Please choose one of the following itinerariers for the Tsum Valley trekking.

Itinerary I (Trek to Tsum valley and return to Kathmandu via same route-17 days):

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

Day 02: Kathmandu – Arughat Bazar – Shoti Khola

Day 03: Shoti Khola – Macha khola

Day 04: Macha khola – to Jagat

Day 05: Jagat to Lokpa

Day 06: Lokpa to Chumling

Day 07: Chumling to Chhokangparo

Day 08: Chhokangparo to Chhule-Nile, Visit Milarepa Cave

Day 09: Chhule to Mu Gompa

Day 10: Mu Gompa to Rachen Gompa

Day 11: Rachen Gompa to Gompa Lungdang

Day 12: Gompa Lungdang to Lokpa

Day 13: Lokpa to Jagat

Day 14: Jagat to Lapu Bensi

Day 15: Lapu Bensi to Arughat

Day 16: Drive to Kathmandu

Day 17: Departure from Kathmandu

Itinerary II (Tsum Valley trek with exploration to the border line of Nepal & Tibet – 25 days):

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

Day 02: Kathmandu – Arughat Bazar – Shoti Khola

Day 03: Shoti Khola to Macha khola

Day 04: Macha khola to Jagat

Day 05: Jagat to Lokpa

Day 06: Lokpa to Chumling

Day 07: Chumling to Chhokangparo

Day 08: Chhokangparo to Chhule-Nile, visit Milarepa Cave

Day 09: Chhule-Nile to Chho Syong

Day 10: Chho Syong to Dupchet

Day 11: Dupchet to Chhemdo

Day 12: Chhendo to Chhekya

Day 13: Chhekya to Sangti

Day 14: Sangti to Yamdro

Day 15: Yamdro to Bhajyo

Day 16: Bhajyo to Thongbu

Day 17: Thongbu to Lungdang

Day 18: Lungdang to Rachen Gompa

Day 19: Rachen Gompa to Gompa Lungdang

Day 20: Gompa Lungdang  to Lokpa

Day 21: Lokpa to Jagat

Day 22: Jagat to Lapu Bensi

Day 23: Lapu Bensi to Arughat

Day 24: Drive to Kathmandu

Day 25: Departure from Kathmandu

Details Itinerary III  (Tsum Valley trek With Manaslu circuit trekking – 25 days):

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

Day 02: Kathmandu – Arughat Bazar – Shoti Khola

Day 03: Trek Shoti to Macha khola

Day 04: Macha khola to Jagat

Day 05: Jagat to Lokpa

Day 06: Lokpa to Chumling

Day 07: Chumling to Choking Paro

Day 08: Choking Paro to Chhule-Nile, visit Milarepa Cave

Day 09: Chhule-Nile to Mu Gompa

Day 10: Mu Gompa to Rachen Gompa

Day 11: Rachen Gompa to Gompa Lungdang

Day 12: Gompa Lungdung to Lokpa

Day 13: Lokpa to Deng

Day 14: Deng to Namrung

Day 15: Namrung to Lho

Day 16: Lho to Sama Gaun

Day 17: Rest day (Manasalu BC), visit Birendra Lake

Day 18: Sama Gaun to Samdo

Day 19: Samdo to Dharmasala

Day 20: Dharmasala to Bimthing via Larkya La 5213m

Day 21: Bimthing to Goa

Day 22: Goa to Dharapani

Day 23: Jeep to Besisahar

Day 24: Drive to Kathmandu

Day 25: Departure from Kathmandu

Important note on Itinerary:

Although we do our best to follow the schedule above, this itinerary is subject to change due to weather, route conditions, and other factors beyond our control.

Itinerary I:

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1400m)

On a bright sunny day as the wide range of shiny Himalayas is visible from the window pane of your plane, you are flying above Nepal. Nepal opens up in air before your real arrival to Nepal. After few minutes of hide and seek with Himalayas you will land at Kathmandu. You will be cordially welcomed as per Nepali culture with colorful garlands at the airport terminal by a company representative and a driver. A private vehicle will escort you through the boisterous streets of Kathmandu to your designated hotel. Our representative will help you in your check-in procedure and will thoroughly brief you about the trip beginning the next day.

Day 02: Kathmandu – Arughat Bazar – Shoti Khola (7 hour bus from Kathmandu, 30 minutes jeep from Arughat to Soti 600m)

The journey to Arughat Bazaar (600m) in Gorkha district will take about 7 hrs. You will travel through Prithivi Highway till half way and then leave the way and head towards Arughat. The place which is a small market full of shops and lodges is next to Budhi Gandaki. Once you reach there, you will head towards Shoti Khola in a jeep which will take about half an hour. You will stay overnight in one of the local lodges.

Day 03: Shoti to Machha khola (1300m) – 6 hours walk

From Shoti Khola, you will trek through beautiful Gurung and Magar villages enjoying the views of Sringri Himal. Along with the beautiful panorama, you will also pass through lush vegetation and small waterfalls. As the place is hot and humid, you can see fields of paddy, maize and millet during the cultivation season. After a day’s trek, you will finally reach Machha Khola, which literally means “Fish River”. The village has got its name from the river that flows below it.

Day 04: Trek Machha Khola to Jagat (1410m) 11km – 6 hours walk

The trail from Macha Khola to Jagat passes through Khorlebeshi. Traversing through jungle, villages, streams and terraced fields, you can also see larger Gurung settlements up above the trail. You will also come across a place called “Tato Pani” where there are hot water spouts under the cliffs. One can enjoy the hot water shower there. From here, you pass through Dobhan and Yaruphant. Doban which means “a confluence” is a junction between Shiar Khola and Sarpu Khola. After you pass Yaruphant across Budhi Gandaki river, you will come to Jagat (1410m). You have to show your Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit here.

Day 05: Jagat to Lokpa (2040m) 10km- 6 hours walk

Today’s trek includes some steep uphill and downhill walk, however, the trek is not very strenuous. You have to climb up to Salleri (1440m) then descend to Sirdibas (1430m). You don’t have to trek for sustained period of time and you will be refreshed by the wonderful views of Sringri Himal (7187m). After walking across a suspension bridge, Nepal’s largest suspension bridge over Budhi Gandaki, you will reach Philim (1590m), a heavily settled village of Gurung community surrounded by rich fields. As you continue, you will pass through “Ekle Bhatti” (1600m) which literally means a lone teashop. But you can see few more shops there. Before reaching Lokpa, you will come to a trail junction; the left one leading to Manaslu circuit and the right one leading to Tsum Valley. You will continue  towards Tsum Valley through pine and rhododendron forests to reach Lokpa, which is the first village before entering Tsum valley.

Day 06: Lokpa to Chumling (2363m) 7 km – 6 hours walk

Once again you will start gaining altitude. After, you cross two bridges, the trail will start becoming increasingly steep through pine and rhododendron forests. But as you walk ahead, the tantalizing valley of Tsum will start stretching ahead of you. The trail continues through Ghumlong and Ripchet to reach Chumling, a beautiful village situated at the south face of Sringi Himal. The village falls in the lower Tsum valley which has beautiful Tibetan style settlement with quiet monasteries, mani walls, chortens etc.

Day 07: Chumling to Chhokangparo (3010m) 13 km – 7 hours walk

Today you will walk a bit longer but you will be welcomed by the wonders of nature at its best. You have to cross a suspension bridge, meander through fields, traditional and Tibetan style houses. Once you reach Serpu Khola, you have to cross it, and join the track to Chhokangparo, a truly Tibetan Buddhist village, which is made up of two settlements Chhokang and Paro. The villages serve as a nice vantage point to see a great Himalayan panorama including Ganesh Himal, Buddha Himal, Himal Chuli etc. It also has fields of barley, buckwheat, potato and maize.

Day 08: Chhoking Paro to Chhule-Nile (3361m) 7 km-4 hours walk, Visit Milarepa Cave.

You will trek even higher today to reach Nile situated on the banks of the Shiar Khola. Chhule and Nile are near to each other; just about 20 minutes walk from Chhule to Nile. After you go past Lamagaon, you can see Rachen Gompa (3240m) and its huge courtyard across Shiar Khola. As you go ahead, you will come to a cave named Piren Phu cave (Milarepa’s Cave), one of the most sacred caves in the region. According to the myth, Milarepa, a famous Tibetan saint who brought Buddhism in Tibet, meditated here. The cave’s surrounding is full of prayer flags, mani walls, sacred scripts along with monasteries. You can also have a beautiful view of Shiar Khola, Rachen Gompa and village settlements from this point. Now, you will cross Shiar Khola, and pass through Phurbe (3251m) and Pangdun (3258m) before reaching Chhule (3347m). Across the river is the village of Nile (3361m).

Day 09: Chhule-Nile to Mu Gompa (3700m) 5 km – 3 hours walk

After a 3-hour trek of climbing through Tibetan dry landscape, you will arrive at Mu Gompa. It is located in an isolated area away from settlements. The monastery treasures some of the oldest and finest pieces of art. The trail is used for ferrying goods to and from Tibet. If you are lucky enough, you may get an opportunity to encounter a yak caravan. The sight of a secluded monastery amongst tranquilizing nature is a rewarding sight for any trekker. You can also pay a visit to a 600 year-old Dhephu Doma Gompa (3900m) towards the west.

Day 10: Mu Gompa to Rachen Gompa (3240m) 6 km – 4.5 hours walk

Now you will retrace back through the previous trail. Today, you will trek to Rachen Gompa, a famous nunnery of Ngak-pa sect known for one thousand statues of Avalokiteshwara and a large prayer wheel. Nestled at the foothills of bordering mountains between Nepal and Tibet, it houses colorful murals and impressive architecture. The nunnery was established in 1905 AD.

Day 11: Rachen Gompa to Gompa Lungdang (3200m) 9 km – 8 hours walk

From Rachen Gompa, the trail descends and passes through Chhokang Paro and Chumling. After sometime the trail comes across another wooden bridge above Shiar Khola. After passing uphill through pine and rhododendron forest, you will arrive Gompa Lungdang (3200m), which is a collection of small quarters for nuns. Your day will end with the wonderful view of majestic mountains around.

Day 12: Gompa Lungdang to Lokpa (2240m) 10 km – 7 hours walk

To reach Lokpa, you need to descend to Domje, cross Laudang Khola and some very deep gorges till you reach Ripchet (2470m). Ripchet is a picturesque village settled in a fertile valley with fields of barley and buckwheat. Still the trail descends further through Ghumlong (2130m) until you reach Lokpa (2240m). You will enjoy the surrounding forests and some comfort at the local lodges at the end of the day.

Day 13: Lokpa to Jagat (1340) 11 km – 6 hours walk

While retracing back, you will have the last look at Tsum valley behind. As you descend, you will pass through Ekle Bhatti and Philim, two major stopovers of the whole trek. However, you will continue till Jagat. Throughout the trail, you will be followed by the majestic view of Sringi Himal and encounter beautiful Gurung villages. Finally after around 6 hours walk, you will arrive at Jagat.

Day 14: Jagat to Lapu Bensi (900m) 18 km – 7 hours walk

To reach Lapu Bensi, you have to trek past Tatopani (a natural hot spring spot you passed earlier), Khorlebeshi and Machhakhola. Several suspension bridges and the beautiful views of Ganesh Himal towards north will add excitement to your trek. Savoring these beauties, you will reach Lapu Bensi after about 8 hours walk.

Day 15: Lapu Bensi to Arughat (535m) 7 km – 3hours walk, 1 hour bus

You pass through terraced fields, cool cascades while trekking to Arughat. After walking for around 3 hours through Soti Khola and Arkhet Bazar; and riding bus for an hour, you will reach Arughat, the last leg of the whole trek.

Day 16: Drive to Kathmandu (7 hours by bus)

A 7 hour bus ride will take you to Kathmandu, where you will be welcomed at your hotel. The rest of the day, you can just relax to let go off your exhaustion or engage in strolling down the streets and doing some shopping.

Day 17: Departure from Kathmandu

Your tour officer and a driver will be at your hotel reception to pick you up three and half hours prior to your departure. You will be transferred to the airport for international departure. Have a safe flight back home!

Itinerary II:

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1400m)

On a bright sunny day as the wide range of shiny Himalayas is visible from the window pane of your plane, you are flying above Nepal. Nepal opens up in air before your real arrival to Nepal. After few minutes of hide and seek with Himalayas you will land at Kathmandu. You will be cordially welcomed as per Nepali culture with colorful garlands at the airport terminal by a company representative and a driver. A private vehicle will escort you through the boisterous streets of Kathmandu to your designated hotel. Our representative will help you in your check-in procedure and will thoroughly brief you about the trip beginning the next day.

Day 02: Kathmandu – Arughat Bazar – Shoti Khola (7 hour bus from Kathmandu, 30 minutes jeep from Arughat to Soti 600m)

The journey to Arughat Bazaar (600m) in Gorkha district will take about 7 hrs. You will travel through Prithivi Highway till half way and then leave the way and head towards Arughat. The place which is a small market full of shops and lodges is next to Budhi Gandaki. Once you reach there, you will head towards to Shoti Khola in a jeep which will take about half an hour. You will stay overnight in one of the local lodges.

Day 03: Shoti to Machha khola (1300m) 6 hours walk

From Shoti Khola, you will trek through beautiful Gurung and Magar villages enjoying the views of Sringri Himal. Along with the beautiful panorama, you will also pass through lush vegetation and small waterfalls. As the place is hot and humid, you can see fields of paddy, maize and millet during the cultivation season. After a day’s trek, you will finally reach Machha Khola, which literally means “Fish River”. The village has got its name from the river that flows below it.

Day 04: Trek Machha Khola to Jagat (1410m) 11km – 6 hours walk

The trail from Macha Khola to Jagat passes through Khorlebeshi. Traversing through jungle, villages, streams and terraced fields, you can also see larger Gurung settlements up above the trail. You will also come across a place called “Tato Pani” where there are hot water spouts under the cliffs. One can enjoy the hot water shower there. From here, you pass through Dobhan and Yaruphant. Doban which means “a confluence” is a junction between Shiar Khola and Sarpu Khola. After you pass Yaruphant across Budhi Gandaki river, you will come to Jagat (1410m). You have to show your Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit here.

Day 05: Jagat to Lokpa (2040m) 10 km – 6 hours walk

Today’s trek includes some steep uphill and downhill walk, however, the trek is not very strenuous. You have to climb up to Salleri (1440m) then descend to Sirdibas (1430m). You don’t have to trek for sustained period of time and you will be refreshed by the wonderful views of Sringri Himal (7187m). After walking across a suspension bridge, Nepal’s largest suspension bridge over Budhi Gandaki, you will reach Philim (1590m), a heavily settled village of Gurung community surrounded by rich fields. As you continue, you will pass through “Ekle Bhatti” (1600m) which literally means a lone teashop. But you can see few more shops there. Before reaching Lokpa, you will come to a trail junction; the left one leading to Manaslu circuit and the right one leading to Tsum Valley. You will continue towards Tsum Valley through pine and rhododendron forests to reach Lokpa, which is the first village before entering Tsum valley.

Day 06: Lokpa to Chumling (2363m) 7 km – 6 hours walk

Once again you will start gaining altitude. After, you cross two bridges, the trail will start becoming increasingly steep through pine and rhododendron forests. But as you walk ahead, the tantalizing valley of Tsum will start stretching ahead of you. The trail continues through Ghumlong and Ripchet to reach Chumling, a beautiful village situated at the south face of Sringi Himal. The village falls in the lower Tsum valley which has beautiful Tibetan style settlement with quiet monasteries, mani walls, chortens etc.

Day 07: Chumling to Chhokangparo (3010m) 13 km – 7 hours walk

Today you will walk a bit longer but you will be welcomed by the wonders of nature at its best. You have to cross a suspension bridge, meander through fields, traditional and Tibetan style houses. Once you reach Serpu Khola, you have to cross it, and join the track to Chhokangparo, a truly Tibetan Buddhist village, which is made up of two settlements Chhokang and Paro. The villages serve as a nice vantage point to see a great Himalayan panorama including Ganesh Himal, Buddha Himal, Himal Chuli etc. It also has fields of barley, buckwheat, potato and maize.

Day 08: Chhoking Paro to Chhule-Nile (3361m) 7km-4 hours walk, Visit Milarepa Cave.

You will trek even higher today to reach Nile situated on the banks of the Shiar Khola. Chhule and Nile are near to each other; just about 20 minutes walk from Chhule to Nile. After you go past Lamagaon, you can see Rachen Gompa (3240m) and its huge courtyard across Shiar Khola. As you go ahead, you will come to a cave named Piren Phu cave (Milarepa’s Cave), one of the most sacred caves in the region. According to the myth, Milarepa, a famous Tibetan saint who brought Buddhism in Tibet, meditated here. The cave’s surrounding is full of prayer flags, mani walls, sacred scripts along with monasteries. You can also have a beautiful view of Shiar Khola, Rachen Gompa and village settlements from this point. Now, you will cross Shiar Khola, and pass through Phurbe (3251m) and Pangdun (3258m) before reaching Chhule (3347m). Across the river is the village of Nile (3361m).

Day 09: Chhule-Nile to Chho Syong (4000m) -4 hours walk

Today, you will have to walk for 8 hours to arrive at Chho Syong. The trail goes through arid lunar landscape with mani walls and ever revealing mountainous vistas. The trail is used for ferrying goods to and from Tibet. If you are lucky enough, you may get an opportunity to encounter a yak caravan. Once you reach Chho Syong, you can visit Mu Gompa (3709m), the biggest monastery in the region and Dephyudonma Gompa, a 600 old nunnery. Both of them are located in an isolated area away from settlements and treasure some of the oldest and finest pieces of paintings and religious books. Mu Gompa also has a life-sized statue of Avalokiteshwara, and images of Guru Padmasambhava and Tara. The sight of secluded monasteries amongst tranquilizing yak pastures is a rewarding sight for any trekker.

Day 10: Chho Syong to Dupchet (4180m) – 5 hours walk

Trek to Dupchet will take about 5 hours. Dupchet is a great vantage point for sighting all three passes to Tibet; Ngula Dhojyang or Mailatasachin Pass, 5093m towards the east, Thapla Bhanjyang, 5104m towards the west and Yangdol pass towards the north.

Day 11: Dupchet to Chhemdo (4110m) – 4 hours walk

Today, you will take the trail towards Thaple Bhanjyang, the western pass to Tibet. With Chhosing Glacier on your left, you walk steadily. The trek is not strenuous, just some easy ups and downs. Along the seasonal pastureland, relishing the beauty of tantalizing nature, you will reach Chhemdo in about 4 hours.

Day 12: Chhemdo to Chhekya (4240m) – 4 hours walk

From Chhemdo, you head towards north and reach even closer to Tibetan border. After about 4 hours’ walk, you will reach Chhekya, the last village of the trail. All along the trail, you can see the panoramic view of Thaple Himal, Yangdol Himal and Puchen Himal.

Day 13: Chhekya to Sangti (5066m) – 8 hours walk

As you trek today, you will continue further north along the side of Dhaldang Khola. You won’t find any local villages now onwards. You will be moving through pasturelands and yak farmhouses. Once you reach Dhaldang, your trail will move gradually towards east. Enjoying some of the rarest close up views of mountains, you will reach Sangti (5066m), which is the highest point of the whole trek.

Day 14: Sangti to Yamdro ( 4510m) – 7 hours walk

Today you will head to Yamdro, which connects the way to Yangdol Pass. However, because of the difficulty, the trail is less frequented by the locals. After some typical up hill and down hill walk, you will reach Yamdro (4510m).

Day 15: Yamdro to Bhajyo (4030m) – 7 hours walk

You will start to retrace down to Bhajyo. The trail is most of the time downhill along Yangdol Khola. After reaching closer to the two passes Thapla Bhanjyang and Yangdol pass, now you will be heading towards the eastern pass Nyula Dhojyang Bhanjyang. After 7 hours walk, you will arrive at Bhajyo (4030m).

Day 16: Bhajyo to Thongbu (4560m) – 2 hours walk

Today, you will walk just for about 2 hours to reach Thongbu. The trail will head you right towards the eastern border of Tibet. However, you will stop at Thongbu (4560m), about halfway between Bhajyo and Nyula Dhojyang Bhanjyang. The rest of the day, you can have excursion in the neighboring areas.

Day 17: Thongbu to Lungdang (4240m) – 7 hours walk

Today, you will retrace down to Lungdang, which is the last stopover before you reach the villages. After walking for about 7 hours through pasturelands and some glaciers, you will finally reach Lungdang. You can have the wonderful view of Longnang Glacier and Taya Himal towards the east.

Day 18: Lungdang to Rachen Gompa (3240m) – 6.5 hours walk

As you continue today, the first half of your trek covers the walk through pasturelands towards the north and Phuchyun Khola towards the south. Once you reach Chho Syong, you will join the main trail that you passed through few days ago. At this point, you have completed a circuit of the upper most part of the Tsum Valley. Now you will retrace back through Nile and finally reach Rachen Gompa.

Day 19: Rachen Gompa to Gompa Lungdang (3200m) – 8 hours walk

Today, you will continue towards south through Chhokang Paro till you come to a bifurcation near Domje; one continuing the previous trail and the other leading to Ganesh Himal Base Camp. After crossing a bridge to Domje (2460m), the track will lead through pines and rhododendrons forests, mani wall and prayer flags. The walk can be strenuous as the trail to Gompa Lungdung (3200m) is uphill and narrow. You can see small quarters scattered for nuns which adds serenity to the beautiful rhododendron forests.

Day 20: Gompa Lungdang to Lokpa (2240m) 10 km – 7 hours walk

To reach Lokpa, you need to descend to Domje, cross Laudang Khola, some very deep gorges till you reach Ripchet (2470m). Ripchet is a picturesque village settled in a fertile valley with fields of barley and buckwheat. Still the trail descends further through Ghumlong (2130m) till you reach Lokpa (2240m). You can enjoy the surrounding forests and some comfort at the local lodges at the end of the day.

Day 21: Lokpa to Jagat (1340) 11 km – 6 hours walk

While retracing back, you will have the last look at Tsum valley behind. As you descend, you will pass through Ekle Bhatti and Philim, two major stopovers of the whole trek. However, you will continue till Jagat. Throughout the trail, you will be followed by the majestic views of Shringi Himal and encounter beautiful Gurung villages. Finally after around 6 hours’ walk, you will arrive at Jagat.

Day 22: Jagat to Lapu Bensi (900m) 18 km – 7hours walk

To reach Lapu Bensi, you have to trek past Tatopani (a natural hot spring spot), Khorlebeshi and Machhakhola. Several suspension bridges and the beautiful views of Ganesh Himal towards north will add excitement to you trek. Savoring these beauties, you will reach Lapu Bensi after about 8 hours walk.

Day 23: Lapu Bensi to Arughat (535m) 7 km – 3 hours walk, 1 hour bus

You will pass through terraced fields, cool cascades while trekking to Arughat. After walking for around 3 hours through Soti Khola and Arkhet bazar; and riding bus for an hour, you will reach Arughat, the last leg of the whole trek.

Day 24: Drive to Kathmandu (7 hours by bus)

A 7 hour bus ride will take you to Kathmandu, where you will be welcomed at your hotel. The rest of the day, you can just relax to let go off your exhaustion or engage in strolling down the streets and doing some shopping.

Day 25: Departure from Kathmandu

Your tour officer and a driver will be at your hotel reception to pick you up three and half hours prior to your departure. You will be transferred to the airport for international departure. Have a safe flight back home!

Itinerary III:

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1400m)

On a bright sunny day as the wide range of shiny Himalayas is visible from the window pane of your plane, you are flying above Nepal. Nepal opens up in air before your real arrival to Nepal. After few minutes of hide and seek with Himalayas you will land at Kathmandu. You will be cordially welcomed as per Nepali culture with colorful garlands at the airport terminal by a company representative and a driver. A private vehicle will escort you through the boisterous streets of Kathmandu to your designated hotel. Our representative will help you in your check-in procedure and will thoroughly brief you about the trip beginning the next day.

Day 02: Kathmandu – Arughat Bazar – Shoti Khola (7 hour bus from Kathmandu, 30 minutes jeep from Arughat to Soti 600m)

The journey to Arughat Bazaar (600m) in Gorkha district will take about 7 hrs. You will travel through Prithivi Highway till half way and then leave the way and head towards Arughat. The place which is a small market full of shops and lodges is next to Budhi Gandhi river. Once you reach there, you will head towards to Shoti Khola in a jeep which will take about half an hour. You will stay overnight in one of the local lodges.

Day 03: Shoti to Machha khola (1300m) – 6 hours walk

From Shoti Khola, you will trek through beautiful Gurung and Magar villages enjoying the views of Sringri Himal. Along with the beautiful panorama, you will also pass through lush vegetation and small waterfalls. As the place is hot and humid, you can see fields of paddy, maize and millet during the cultivation season. After a day’s trek, you will finally reach Machha Khola, which literally means “Fish River”. The village has got its name from the river that flows below it.

Day 04: Trek Machha Khola to Jagat (1410m) 11 km – 6 hours walk

The trail from Macha Khola to Jagat passes through Khorlebeshi. Traversing through jungle, villages, streams and terraced fields, you can also see larger Gurung settlements up above the trail. You will also come across a place called “Tato Pani” where there are hot water spouts under the cliffs. One can enjoy the hot water shower there. From here, you will pass through Dobhan and Yaruphant. Doban which means “a confluence” is a junction between Shiar Khola and Sarpu Khola. After you pass Yaruphant across Budhi Gandaki River, you will come to Jagat (1410m). You have to show your Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit here.

Day 05: Jagat to Lokpa (2040m) 10 km – 6 hours walk

Today’s trek includes some steep uphill and downhill walk, however, the trek is not very strenuous. You have to climb up to Salleri (1440m) then descend to Sirdibas (1430m). You don’t have to trek for sustained period of time and you will be refreshed by the wonderful views of Sringri Himal (7187m). After walking across a suspension bridge, Nepal’s largest suspension bridge over Budhi Gandaki, you will reach Philim (1590m), a heavily settled village of Gurung community surrounded by rich fields. As you continue, you will pass through “Ekle Bhatti” (1600m) which literally means a lone teashop. But you can see few more shops there. Before reaching Lokpa, you will come to a trail junction; the left one leading to Manaslu circuit and the right one leading to Tsum Valley. You will continue towards Tsum Valley through pine and rhododendron forests to reach Lokpa, which is the first village before entering Tsum valley.

Day 06: Lokpa to Chumling (2363m) 7 km – 6 hours walk

Once again you will start gaining altitude. After, you cross two bridges, the trail will start becoming increasingly steep through pine and rhododendron forests. But as you walk ahead, the tantalizing valley of Tsum will start stretching ahead of you. The trail continues through Ghumlong and Ripchet to reach Chumling, a beautiful village situated at the south face of Sringi Himal. The village falls in the lower Tsum valley which has beautiful Tibetan style settlement with quiet monasteries, mani walls, chortens etc.

Day 07: Chumling to Chhokangparo (3010m) 13 km – 7 hours walk

Today you will walk a bit longer but you will be welcomed by the wonders of nature at its best. You have to cross a suspension bridge, meander through fields, traditional and Tibetan style houses. Once you reach Serpu Khola, you have to cross it, and join the track to Chhokangparo, a truly Tibetan Buddhist village, which is made up of two settlements Chhokang and Paro. The villages serve as a nice vantage point to see a great Himalayan panorama including Ganesh Himal, Buddha Himal, Himal Chuli etc. It also has fields of barley, buckwheat, potato and maize.

Day 08: Chhoking Paro to Chhule – Nile (3361m) 7 km – 4 hours walk, Visit Milarepa Cave.

You will trek even higher today to reach Nile situated on the banks of the Shiar Khola. Chhule and Nile are near to each other; just about 20 minutes’ walk from Chhule to Nile. After you go past Lamagaon, you can see Rachen Gompa (3240m) and its huge courtyard across Shiar Khola. As you go ahead, you will come to a cave named Piren Phu cave (Milarepa’s Cave), one of the most sacred caves in the region. According to the myth, Milarepa, a famous Tibetan saint who brought Buddhism in Tibet, meditated here. The cave’s surrounding is full of prayer flags, mani walls, sacred scripts along with monasteries. You can also have a beautiful view of Shiar Khola, Rachen Gompa and village settlements from this point. Now, you will cross Shiar Khola, and pass through Phurbe (3251m) and Pangdun (3258m) before reaching Chhule (3347m). Across the river is the village of Nile (3361m).

Day 09: Chhule-Nile to Mu Gompa (3700m) 5 km – 3 hours walk

After a 3-hour trek of climbing through Tibetan dry landscape, you will arrive at Mu Gompa. It is located in an isolated area away from settlements. The monastery treasures some of the oldest and finest pieces of art. The trail is used for ferrying goods to and from Tibet. If you are lucky enough, you may get an opportunity to encounter a yak caravan. The sight of a secluded monastery amongst tranquilizing nature is a rewarding sight for any trekker. You can also pay a visit to a 600 year-old Dhephu Doma Gompa (3900m) towards the west.

Day 10: Mu Gompa to Rachen Gompa (3240m) 6 km – 4.5 hours walk

Now you will retrace back through the previous trail. Today, you will trek to Rachen Gompa, a famous nunnery of Ngak-pa sect known for one thousand statues of Avalokiteshwara and a large prayer wheel. Nestled at the foothills of bordering mountains between Nepal and Tibet, it houses colorful murals and impressive architecture. The nunnery was established in 1905 AD.

Day 11: Rachen Gompa to Gompa Lungdang (3200m) 9 km – 8 hours walk

From Rachen Gompa, the trail descends and passes through Chhokang Paro and Chumling. After sometime the trail comes across another wooden bridge above Shiar Khola. After passing uphill through pine and rhododendron forest, you will arrive Gompa Lungdang (3200m), which is a collection of small quarters for nuns. Your day will end with the wonderful view of majestic mountains around.

Day 12: Gompa Lungdang to Lokpa (2240m) 10 km – 7 hours walk

To reach Lokpa, you need to descend to Domje, cross Laudang Khola and some very deep gorges till you reach Ripchet (2470m). Ripchet is a picturesque village settled in a fertile valley with fields of barley and buckwheat. Still the trail descends further through Ghumlong (2130m) until you reach Lokpa (2240m). You will enjoy the surrounding forests and some comfort at the local lodges at the end of the day.

Day 13: Lokpa to Deng (5 hours walk)

Once you continue from Lokpa, you will walk back the same route you came earlier till a bifurcation. The right one will lead you to Philim whereas the left one will lead to Deng. You will come across a concrete bridge above Budhi Gandaki. While walking for about 1 hour through some local teashops, you can have the last view of Tsum Valley. After going some uphill and down hill walks along Lalung Khola, you will arrive at Deng, a picturesque village inhabited by Gurungs. The village is also a nice view point for Sringi Himal.

Day 14: Deng to Namrung (2630m) – 7 hours walk

You will resume your trek today towards Namrung. Beyond Deng, you will cross a bridge and trek past Rana (1980m) and pass Bihi (2130m), a village popularly known for stone carving. The mani walls that come afterwards reflect the richness of their craftsmanship. The trail follows Budhi Gandaki on its left, with some canyons and villages perched till you reach Ghap (2160m). Continue our journey through fir, rhododendron and pine forest, and meandering trail; you will come to Namrung (2660m), a small village with shops, restaurants and lodges. You can also observe the craftsmanship of Bihi and worth watching architecture of houses with common courtyard.

Day 15: Namrung to Lho (3200m) – 3hours walk

The trail will pass through mani walls, fields, alpine forest and houses. After passing through Banjam (2800m), Lihi and Sho villages, you will come to Lho village (3180m). It is a small settlement with people still practicing old age Tibetan tradition. You will even see people in their traditional costumes. The combination of long array of mani walls, monastery and the magnificient views of Manaslu (8163m) and Manaslu North (7157m) from the village will mesmerize you.

Day 16: Lho to Sama Gaun (3520m) – 3 hours walk

Today you have just a short of about 3 hours. The trek will pass through pine and rhododendron forests, crystal clear brooks, and Shyala village (3500m). While you enjoy the amazing views of Manaslu towards the south, you will reach Sama Gaun (3520m). As you enter the village, the untouched beauty of the village including the pasturelands, herds of yaks, sparse fields of potatoes and barley, and the houses made out of rock niche will overwhelm you. As you have some spare time, you can explore the neighboring areas like Pungyen Gompa or nearby Pema Chyoling Gompa.

Day 17: Rest day (Manasalu BC), visit Birendra Lake

Today is the rest day as a part of acclimatization. To make the best use of the day, you can visit Birendra Tal (3450m), named after Late King Birendra. The  turquoise Himalayan lake is just a short diversion from the main trekking trail. Likewise, you can also trek to Manaslu Base Camp (4800), which continues past Birendra Lake. The Camp lies at the north of Manaslu glacier. As you climb up through the moraine, the views become more stupendous with surrounding ever welcoming mountains above and glacial view below. After aroind 3-4 hours trek up the steep trail, you will reach the Base Camp. The Camp will be even more exciting if you reach there during climbing season.

Day 18: Sama Gaun to Samdo (3875m) – 3 hours walk

The trail from Sama to Samdo is full of wider pasturelands, juniper trees and long mani walls. As you are near to the village, you have to cross a wooden bridge above Budhi Gandaki. Samdo (3860m) is a big village of yak herding community. After you reach there, you can wander through the surrounding area as a day excursion. One of the best places could be the Samdo peak.

Day 19: Samdo to Dharmasala (4469m) – 5 hours walk

As you move ahead, you will leave a bifurcation and continue walking through entailing mani walls, wandering blue sheep, grazing yaks and entrancing views. As you come closer to Larkya bazar, which is just a ruin of once flourished marketplace, you will have to cross Budhi Gandaki again. After crossing Larkya Bazar you have to walk through glacier to reach Dharmasala (4469m) finally. Throughout the way, the views will get even more revealing and awe-inspiring.

Day 20: Dharmasala to Bimthang (Larkya La 5213m) – 9 hours walk

Today is the longest trek day and you have to start early as you have to pass Larkya La (5213 m) before it gets windy in the late morning. As you leave Dharmashala, you have to climb steadily over the ridge next to moraine of Larke glacier. After passing some glaciers with gradual ascent, you will come to a steep section which will lead to the top of Larkya La (5160m) marked by prayers’ flags, the highest point of the whole trip. You need to be properly dressed as it can be biting cold with lots of wind. The surrounding views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru and the huge Annapurna II, are wonderful from this point. After some time spending the sighting, you will descend down the treacherous slope and continue past Ponkar Lake (4500m). After a day long strenuous walk you will arrive Bhimthang (3720m), a beautiful village with awesome views of Manaslu, Himlung and Cheo Himal.

Day 21: Bimthang to Goa (2515m) – 5 hours walk

After Bhimthang, the trail will lead you pass moraine, rhododendron forests and the magnificient view of Manaslu. As you descend rapidly, you will pass Hompuk (3420m) and Karche (2700m) along the riverside and reach Goa (2560m), a Gurung village with some lodges and facilities. You can still have the superb view of Manaslu from here.

Day 22: Goa to Dharapani (1963m) – 5 hours walk

As you trek down, the valley starts getting more inhabited with arable land patches. However, you wont still lose sight of oak and rhododendron forest. Walking along Dudh Khola “literally meaning milk river for its color”, you will trek past Tilije (2300m) and Thonje (1900m). After this point, you will join the main Round Annapurna Circuit. As you cross a long suspension bridge over Marshyandi, you will take left turn to Dharapani (1963m). The place is one of the major stopovers of Annapurna trail and offers many choices for accommodation and other facilities.

Day 23: Jeep to Besisahar (670m) – 4 hour Jeep, Over night hotel

After a four hour jeep drive, you will arrive at Besisahar (670m). As you drive along Marshyangdi river, you will pass several villages that give you a widening insight of Nepali rural life.

Day 24: Drive to Kathmandu (1350m) – 6 hours by bus

A 7 hour bus ride will take you to Kathmandu, where you will be welcomed at your hotel. The rest of the day, you can just relax to let go off your exhaustion or engage in strolling down the streets and doing some shopping.

Day 25: Departure from Kathmandu

Your tour officer and a driver will be at your hotel reception to pick you up three and half hours prior to your departure. You will be transferred to the airport for international departure. Have a safe flight back home!