This area of Tsum Valley is said to be a sacred Himalayan pilgrimage valley situated in northern Gorkha district of Nepal. Tsum comes from the Tibetan word “Tsombo” which means glowing. The trail heads up the valley of the Budi Gandaki River through wild and uncharted country occupied mainly by members of the Gurung ethnic groups. Good cup of the local cultivated natural coffee and Tatopani hot springs will be a good way to relax on this rigorous trial.
Upper Tsum valleys (part of the Inner Himalaya) open from Chhokangparo, where friendly local people (Tibetan group “Tsombo”) welcome you with traditional Tibetan Chiya (butter tea) and local meal. The Tsum Valley is very rich in cultural resources. The valley is dotted with gompas (Buddhist monasteries), chortens and Mani walls. The longest Mani walls (over 250m) are at Dzong and Phurpe. The valley conserves steps of the great Buddhist Yogi Chyuchin Milarepa and story about Guru Padmasambhava circumbulation. The people here never butcher animals, even as sacrifice to the gods. The Tsum Valley is surrounded by the Buddha Himal and Himal Chuli to the west, Ganesh Himal to the south, and Sringi Himal to the North.
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu
Day 02: From Kathmandu drive to Arughat Bazaar (8 – 9 hrs)
Day 03: Trek Arughat to Soti Khola (6 – 7 hrs)
Day 04: Trek Soti Khola to Machha Khola (6 – 7 Hrs)
Day 05: Trek Machha Khola to Doban (6 – 7 hrs)
Day 06: Trek Doban to Philim (6 hrs)
Day 07: Trek Philim to Chumling (Lower Tsum) (7 hrs)
Day 08: Trek Chumling to Chhokangparo (Upper Tsum) (5 – 6 hrs)
Day 09: Trek Chhokangparo to Nile/Chhule, visit Milarepa Piren Phu Cave on the way (6 – 7 hrs)
Day 10: Trek Nile/Chhule to Mu Gompa (3700 m), visit Dhephyudonma Gompa (4060 m) (4 hrs)
Day 11: Extra day for excursion
Day 12: Trek Mu Gompa to Rachen Gompa, visit Gonhgye Gompa (Nyigma-pa Buddhist sect) (5 hrs)
Day 13: Trek Rachen Gompa to Dumje (6 – 7 hrs)
Day 14: Trek Dumje to Philim (cross Ripchet) (6 – 7 hrs)
Day 15: Trek Philim to Tatopani (6 – 7 hrs)
Day 16: Trek Tatopani to Soti Khola (6 – 7 hrs)
Day 17: Trek Soti Khola to Arughat Bazaar (6 – 7 hrs)
Day 18: From Arughat Bazar drive to Kathmandu (8 – 9 hrs)
Day 19: Depart Kathmandu
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu
It is almost wonderful to fly into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks spread down below you are almost thrilling, beginning a whole series of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long time. And as your plane hits the tarmac, our waiting reps will meet and greet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Welcome drinks will be served and over night at your hotel.
Day 02: From Kathmandu drive to Arughat Bazaar (8 – 9 hours)
We take an 8-9 hrs bus ride to Arughat Bazaar in Gorkha district. The village of Arughat is in two parts, on opposite sides of the Buri Gandaki. Arughat Bazaar is large, clean and prosperous with hotels and shops selling cloth, food and hardware. Overnight camp
Day 03: Arughat to Soti Khola (6 – 7 hours)
From Arughat Bazar we trek to Soti Khola. Along the way we enjoy great views of Shringri Himal. We trek through Gurung and Magar villages, past fields and cascading waterfalls, till we reach Soti Khola. We set up camp on the banks of the Soti Khola (‘khola’ means river in Nepali). Overnight camp
Day 04: Soti Khola to Machha Khola (6 – 7 hours)
We trek from Soti Khola to Machha khola (Fish River). Machha khola is a village situated above a stream with the same name. We camp for the night by a wide campsite.
Day 05: Machha Khola to Doban (6 – 7 hours)
The trail from Macha Khola to Doban involves some steep ascents and descents. We climb a well – crafted staircase over a ridge to Doban. Doban lies at the coming together of the Shiar Khola, which flows from the east, and the Sarpu khola, which flows from the west. Overnight camp
Day 06: Doban to Philim (6 hours)
The route climbs on a rugged rocky trail. We climb up and down ravines and jagged trees. We get good views of Sringri himal as we continue up to the village of Philim at 1550m.This is a large Gurung village with fields of corn and millet. There are several good campsites and we set up camp surrounded by alder, blue pine and poplar trees.
Day 07: Philim to Chumling (Lower Tsum) (7 hours)
We take the trail up through Philim and head up over a ridge that leads to Ganesh Himal Base camp and Chumling (Lower Tsum). We camp for the night at Chumling. There are several good campsites at Chumling.
Day 08: Chumling to Chhokangparo (Upper Tsum) (5 – 6 hours)
From Chumling we trek to Chhokangparo. Upper Tsum valley (part of the Inner Himalaya) open from Chhokangparo.Chhekamparo is a village situated on flat land and made up of two settlements Chhekam and Paro. From the valley, the Ganesh Himal range can be seen directly to the south where it provides superb views of the Baudha and Himal chuli peaks to the south-west. Some households in this village practice polyandry. Overnight camp
Day 09: Chhokangparo to Nile/Chhule, visit Milarepa Piren Phu Cave on the way (6 – 7 hours)
From Chhokangparo we trek to Nile/ Chulle. This is the last village heading north in the upper Tsum Valley. Nile is on the western, sun-side of the Shiar Khola, about 20 minutes walk across from Chhule.
On the way we pass the Piren Phu cave. Piren Phu (pigeon cave) is one of the most sacred caves in the Tsum valley. It is located at the foot of a rugged cliff near the village of Burji. Milarepa, the famous Tibetan saint, was believed to have meditated here. There are two separate gumbas attached to the rocky cave. Richly painted Buddhist murals, excellent artistic scripts carved on stones, long prayer flags and significant Buddhists paper scripts make this cave one of the most important socio-cultural asset in the valley. Fantastic views can be had of the Shiar Khola, Rachen Gumba, the mountains and settlements amidst huge agricultural land. Overnight camp
Day 10: Nile/Chhule to Mu Gompa (3700 m), visit Dhephyudonma Gompa (4060 m) (4 hours)
From Nile the trail gradually ascends to Mu gumba, the largest monastery in the region. Mu Gumba is located at the highest and farthest point in the Tsum valley. Mu Gumba was established in 1895 AD and is situated at an altitude of 3510m.The monastery houses religious books, including Kangyur, a life sized statue of Avalokiteshwara, and images of Guru Padmasambhava and Tara.
Dephyudonma Gumba is one of the oldest monasteries in the Tsum Valley and is situated in the rugged mountains, a 2 hr walk from the village of Chhule and Nile. The history of this monastery is directly associated with the dawn of Buddhism in the valley. The monastery is run by Lama Serap of Nile Ladrang from the Kangin sect. There are a few campsites and drinking water facilities. A good place to camp out for the night.
Day 11: Extra day for outing
We take a hike up Mu Gumba and reach the base of Pika Himal (4865m).We are quite close to Tibet and get a good view of the Tibetan peaks as well as the Ganesh Himal range. After the day’s excursion we return to our camp at Mu gumba.
Day 12: Mu Gompa to Rachen Gompa (5 hours)
From Mu Gumba we take the trail to Rachen Gumba, a nunnery. The nunnery is situated in the Shiar Khola Valley in the foothills of the mountains bordering Nepal and Tibet. Rachen Gumba was established in the year 1905 AD and is one of the largest nunneries in the Tsum valley. It houses nuns belonging to the Ngak-pa sect, which does not allow animal slaughter. The nunnery houses one thousand clay, molded statues of Avalokiteshwara, a brightly colored, carved throne and pillar, and a large prayer wheel. The center is richly painted with murals about Buddhism and its history. Overnight camp
Day 13: Rachen Gompa to Dumje (6 – 7 hours)
From Rachen Gompa we proceed towards Dumje, a small village with about eight houses and adjoining cattle shed.
Day 14: Dumje to Philim (cross Ripchet) (6 – 7 hours)
From Dumje we trek to Philim and cross Ripchet. On the way we pass one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Lower Tsum Valley, Samba Tingding Chhupyang. Overnight camp
Day 15: Philim to Tatopani (6 – 7 hours)
From Phillim we trek to Tatopani. There is a hot spring at Tatopani. You can relieve your weary muscles by drenching yourself in the hot spring. Overnight camp
Day 16: Tatopani to Soti Khola (6 – 7 hours)
From Tatopani we trek to Soti Khola. We pass through terraced fields and tropical waterfalls and finally set up camp at the village.
Day 17: Soti Khola to Arughat Bazar (6 – 7 hours)
As we make our way from Soti Khola to Arughat Bazar, we come to the last leg of our journey. Overnight camp
Day 18: From Arughat Bazar drive to Kathmandu (8 – 9 hours)
We drive to Kathmandu. This day is free for you. In the evening, we visit a well known Nepali kitchen for a good Nepalese dinner. As we enjoy our dinner, we will be entertained to a thrilling cultural dance performed by the local belles. This is a complimentary outing on behalf of Higher Limits Trek & Expeditions for the good welfare of our respected guests. Overnight at your hotel
Day 19: Depart Kathmandu for home
Our office staff will take you to the airport for your flight home. You can also stay longer for short tours such as game drive at National parks, do some wild-water rafting, a Tibet tour or even mountain biking). We sincerely hope you enjoyed your stay in our beautiful country. Sayonara!!