Manaslu region is one of the most beautiful places on the earth that one should visit in life. The region offers an off-beaten trail experience in the Himalayan Region and is famous for small teahouses. The name of the Manaslu came from the Sanskrit word ‘Manasa’ which means intellectual or soul. The trekking to Manaslu offers the spectacular beauty of a perfect blend of nature, the lifestyle of local people, and stunning views of breathtaking mountain ranges in the Manaslu region. The Manaslu region provides a window into the inhabitants' way of life, largely traders and farmers.
People and culture of the Manaslu region
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Duration:14 DaysStart fromUS$925 US$1250
One of the major highlights of the Manaslu region is the rich culture and welcoming people. The culture and people of the Manaslu region draw thousands of visitors each year. The regions are divided into two basic categories. At the beginning of the trails, you will encounter people mainly of Chettri, Brahmin, and Magar ethnic groups. Following the trails, you will encounter Indo-Aryans from the south, Tibeto-Burmans, and Mongoloids from the north can all be found in the upper regions.
The Manaslu region has a varied population with the Gurung as the majority ethnic group. Apart from the upper part of the region is highly dominated by two major ethnic groups, Nubri and Tsum, inhabiting here. The Tsum and Nubri people settlement is separated by the Chikkur River. Both of these people follow Buddhism, Animism, and the Bonpo faith. Each group has its own rituals and beliefs. These people mainly speak their own native language i.e. Nepali and their mother language Numbri and Tsum language. Some of these people speak Sino-Tibetan languages as well.
Moreover, the person of these regions relies on different occupation. The primary occupation of people in the region is agriculture and animal husbandry. They grow crops such as barley and maize and fruits such as oats and nuts. People are also involved in lodges and tea house businesses. Lodge and small tea houses are great sources of income, especially in the peak tourism season.
Festival of Manaslu region
Festival not only brings the people together but also ensures that the people stay connected and that the centuries-old culture is passed on. The great thing about Nepal is that regardless of one's religion or cultural background, everyone celebrates. Talking about the festival of the Manaslu region, many festivals are celebrated. Loshar and other local festivals are a good opportunity to explore the traditional dance and clothing of Manaslu.
The word Loshar refers to the New Year. Lho means new and sar means year. Thus, Lhosar stands for the beginning of the New Year for Nepal's Tamang, Gurung, and Sherpa people. Each of them celebrates Loshar on a different day, Tamang people celebrate Sonam Lhosar. It falls in January or February according to the Gregorian calendar. The Manaslu region is highly influenced by the Tamang people thus, they celebrate Sonam Loshar. Similarly, Loshar is considered to be one of the major festivals in Nepal. During this time people gather and celebrated this festival by exchanging warm wishes with each other.
Tsum Shagya Centennial Festival
Tsum Shagya Centennial Festival is one of the major festivals that Tamang people celebrate. The 100th anniversary of the nonviolent tradition in the Tsum Valley took place at the Tsum Shagya Centennial Festival. The tradition was transferred from generation to generation. Initially, the tradition was first practiced in upper Tsum Valley in 1920 when the locals vowed to preserve their land as a “non-sacrificing place.” Drukpa Rinpoche Lama Serab Dorje endowed this custom, and it is still practiced today. Furthermore, they strictly adhered to the custom of non-violence by following certain rules, namely:
A complete ban on animal slaughtering
No slaughtering of any animals
No honey hunting
Maintain and promote the Shagya
No forest fire
Not only that the people of the lower part of the Manaslu region celebrate other festivals like Dashain, Tihar, Holi, etc. Thus, the people of these regions celebrate different festivals and it is one of the easiest ways to observe the culture of this region.
Monasteries of the Manaslu region
As we have mentioned before the people of this region mainly practice Buddhist culture. The region has several monasteries. Some of the most significant gompas are as follows:
Mu Gumba (3510m)
To know more about the culture of some regions visiting a monastery is the best option. Thus, to know more about the culture, you have to visit Mu Gumba at first. Mu Gumba was established in 1895 AD and largest monastery in the region. The Gumba was located at an altitude of 3510m and is full of religious books, including Kangyur, a life-sized statue of Avalokiteshwara, and images of Guru Padmasambhava and Tara. According to the locals, the history of the monastery is closely associated with the dawn of Buddhism in the valley. As of now, the monastery is run by Lama Serap of Nile Ladrang from the Kangin sect.
Another significant Gumba in the Manaslu region is Gumba Lungdung. The beautiful Gompa was located at an altitude of 3200m. It displays the art and way of life. Visiting these monasteries will help you to learn more culture and history of the Manaslu region.
Rachen Gumba is another significant Gumba and one of the famous stops for travelers during the Manaslu circuit. The monasteries carry a lot of cultural values and history. Visiting this Gumba will help you to get closer to the culture of the Manaslu region.
Another beautiful Gumba you will visit during the Manaslu circuit is Sarang Gumba. It displays the art and way of life.
Overall, the Manaslu region is perfect for those who want to explore the unique culture, the hidden beauty, and remote trekking. The region offers an unparallel landscape, spectacular sights of mountains, rich culture, unique foods, stone villages, prayer flags, and so on. The warm hospitality and the welcoming people of Manaslu make you visit this place again and again.