Tamang Heritage Trek is a sparsely touched trail in the Langtang area that lies in the vicinity of Langtang Valley and Gosaikunda.
The trek passes through whole villages and settlements of the Tamang people, who have lived in these mountains for hundreds of years.
The main highlights of the Tamang heritage trek are Tibetan culture, traditions, and lifestyle.
Suppose you want to explore atavistic buildings, arts and craftsmanship, traditional dresses, dances and rituals, and monasteries with significant religious antiquity. In that case, Tamang Heritage Trek is what will quench your thirst for immemorial customs, traditions, and lifestyle.
The Tamang Heritage Trek was set up in 2004 as a community-based project. The main goal of opening the trekking route was to improve local people’s agricultural life and economic standards through tourism.
How did the Tamangs settle in the Langtang Region
Most Tamang people in the Tamang heritage trek follow Tibetan culture and traditions. The Tamang living in the Langtang area are descendants of Tibet.
They are mostly of Mongoloid background, and their ancestry dates back hundreds of years. The people that settled in the Langtang region did so to be near Kathmandu.
The Langtang region is famous as a trade route between Nepal and Tibet. Tibetans settled near the trading route in ancient times and made this region their second home.
Later, these Tibetans changed their ethnicity to Tamang to be eligible to get Nepalese citizenship. Tibetans didn’t receive citizenship in Nepal.
The Tamangs of the Langtang area follow Buddhism and depend on agriculture and tourism as the primary source of income.
The local culture of Tibetan descendants and their history carved in the windows and doors of houses and passed on relics in monasteries are some of the major attractions of the Tamang heritage trek.
Highlights of Tamang Heritage Trek
Tamang Heritage Trek is one of the proximity trips from Kathmandu Valley. This trekking route is new in the Langtang area, where popular trails like Langtang Valley and Gosaikunda lie.
The Tamang Heritage Trek was introduced in 2004, and the settlements in the region see fewer tourists than those on other trekking routes.
Thus, the lifestyle, culture, and traditions of people in the Tamang heritage trail are still indigenous to their ancestors.
Some Notable Highlights of the Tamang Heritage Trek are
- Undefiled Tamang Culture, Traditions, and Lifestyle: The Tamang heritage trek location was restricted for visitors till the late 1990s, and the trekking route to these local Tamang villages started in 2004. People here don’t see many visitors, which has preserved the Tamang culture, customs, and traditions as it was in ancient times. Tamangs of the region are mainly Buddhists, follow Tibetan customs and festivals, and speak the Tibetan language.
- Arts, Craftsmanship, and Cultural Dresses: The villages in the Tamang heritage trek are enriched with skills and craftsmanship in the homes of Tamang people, walls of monasteries, and stones. The wood crafts in windows and doors show the history of Tamangs living in the area: some household practice wood and stone craftsmanship as a profession for earning income. You can buy these crafts in local shops in the Tamang villages.
You will also witness the local Tamang dress people wear which is also a reflection of their lifestyle.
People wear contrasting colors, which look even more gleaming in the day. Both men and women majorly wear Bakkhu, Jewelries, and Tamang Caps.
You can also wear these local dresses and have a picture taken as a souvenir during the Tamang heritage trek.
- Fascinating sights of Mountain Peaks: The Tamang heritage trek falls in the region of Langtang and Ganesh Himal. High spots in the tour, like the Nagthali viewpoint, give a discreet view of the Langtang mountain range and the Ganesh Himal range. The highest snow peak mountains seen from the trek route are Langtang Lirung(7,245m) and Ganesh Himal(7,422m). You will also see other peaks in proximity, like Dorje Lakpa, Jugal Himal, Shringi Himal, Paldor peak, and Sanjen Himal ranges.
- Traditional dances and welcoming hospitality: The Tamangs of the Tamang heritage trek region are famous for their hospitality and friendliness. The Tamangs don’t see many visitors in their area, so they treat you with the utmost respect and give you a warm welcome performance. The dance of Tamangs showcases their long-followed customs and traditions. The dance is performed by wearing traditional dresses like Bakkhu, Peti, and neck and ear ornaments. Tamang people also dance in festivals like Sonam Losar, the main festival of the Tamang ethnic group. People celebrate Sonam Loshar by visiting monasteries where spiritual rituals with mask dance are performed. The dance is performed to drive evil spirits away from their lives and their villages. The Tamang people keep their houses and surroundings clean to greet and welcome gods and goddesses.
- Rhododendron Bloom and Endangered Animals: The Tamang heritage trek falls inside the Langtang National Park north of Kathmandu. Trekking inside a protected park has the perks of sighting endangered and elusive animals and birds. Tourists visiting Langtang National park share their experience of an encounter with the Red Panda, sightings of the shy Snow Leopard, and the infamous Grey Monkey. In the Tamang heritage trek, you will come across beautiful Rhododendron blooms in Spring. The sight of entire hills covered with different colored flowers is a soothing sight that calms your mind and soul.
- Tatopani, Hot Water Spring: Tatopani is a mid-trek spot in the Tamang Valley trek. As the name suggests, Tatopani is famous for its natural hot spring, where tourist bathes and relax to wash away their trip fatigue. Tatopani was a major hub of tourists who went trekking in the Langtang region as a spot to relax and tend to their body through Spa and other massages.
The recent earthquake of 2015 had a significant impact on the hot springs of Tatopani. After the earthquake, the water source was blocked underground, and there is no longer a natural hot spring.
Tamang Heritage Trek after Earthquake
The Tamang Heritage Trek route falls in one of the most affected regions by the earthquake of 2015.
Many tourists rescinded from trekking in the Tamang heritage trek after the earthquake because of the sights of villages like Langtang, where more than 90% of the houses were destroyed either by the quake or by a landslide.
However, the Tamang heritage trek route has sustained very minimal damage. A survey conducted three months after the earthquake reported that the way is undamaged and suitable for future treks.
The Tamang villages haven’t sustained damages and remain intact in their pristine. The trek route is perfectly safe, and tourists have already started to take the Tamang heritage trek in recent years.
You can also take this amazing cultural and heritage tour in the villages of the ethnic Tibet community through us here.
Some Villages and Sights in the Tamang Heritage Trek
Tamang heritage trek is about experiencing the distinctive Tamang and Tibetan heritages of people living in the Langtang region of Nepal. Some of the Tamang villages you visit during the trek are Gotlang, Thuman and Briddim. Viewpoints in the trek also give you glimpses of sacred lake Gosaikunda and the Langtang Village. You will pass through old monasteries, pastures, meadows and mustard and buckwheat fields during the trek.
The atmosphere around the Tamang villages is very spiritual. Elder people recite mantras in beads, and almost entire communities are covered with Buddhist flags. Suspension bridges and monasteries in the trek are covered with such flags and look exciting with the wind blowing the flags creating a soothing sound.
Tamang Heritage Trek Location and Altitude
Tamang heritage trek route lies in the foothills of Langtang and Ganesh Himal. The Tamang villages of the trip lie north of Kathmandu and are in one of the most prominent trekking areas of tourists, the Langtang area.
The trek starts from Syabrubesi, a gateway to Langtang National Park six hours drive far from Kathmandu Valley. The entire trek falls inside Langtang National Park, the home of Red Panda and Snow Leopards.
The Tamang Heritage trek is an intermediate trek regarding difficulty. The highest altitude you conquer in the trek is the Nagthali Ghyang at 3,165 meters from where you sightsee the Langtang Lirung and the Ganesh Himal.
All other villages sit at an altitude of below 3,000 meters. No prior trekking experience is needed for the Tamang heritage trek but you can start jogging and muscle stretching about two weeks prior the trek to avoid muscle cramps and strains.
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