The Cultural Attraction of Northern Manaslu Area
The Manaslu is considered an important place due to the availability of unique Tibetan culture, holy pilgrim spots, unique dresses, food and rituals, and Gumbas and Chhorten Mains of historical and archeological importance. The cultural similarity to that of Tibet has also added to the importance of this region. 79 Monasteries, 141 Mains, 237 Tsupas and 304 Kanis have been recorded only within Manaslu area. From the zonal and cultural point of view, the cultural practices of seven VDC’s of Manaslu area have been divided into three parts – Nurbi area, Kutand area and Tsum area.
Culture Around Nubri Area
This area covers two VDC’s – Lho and Samagaun, inhibited by Bhotiya culture community which is known as Nubri Culture. Along with Tibetan cultural practice, their language is the one spoken in the western Tibet. Known as Bhotia Lama, their cultural dresses, food, festivals and monasteries are very rich in cultural practices and have been the attraction for tourists. Belonging to Nyingmapa Sect, they highly respect and worship their religious Guru, the Lama. Though this community celebrated polyandry culture in the beginning, it is seen in the ebbing trend these days. This area is also popular for Amchi Upachar (traditional healing).
The major mementos that tourists love to carry from these places are woolen handicraft products such as Bakhkhu (a type of heavy jacket), Radi (woolen mat-blanket), Jhola (bags), etc. made from the fur of Yak, Sheep, etc. The additional tourist attractions of this place are the activities of animal husbandry, milk-based industries and collection of medicinal herbs.
Culture Around Kutand Area
The cultural practices of the community covered by Bihi and Prok VDC’s in the middle part of Manaslu area in the Budhigandaki valley between Namarung and Dyang is included in this area. Despite belonging to Nyingmapa sect, its culture is different from that of Nubri and Tsum due to the language they use. A unique hybrid culture of the Tibetan and Gurung can be experienced here. The inhabitants of this areas use Kukay Language. Since it falls within Kyingmapa area, people here are equally committed to non-violence.
Culture Around Tsum Area
This area, covering the Shyar Khola Valley in the eastern part of Manaslu area, remains detached from the modern facilities and still enjoys the traditional relics. Mainly inhabited by the people of Tibetan origin, the culture, tradition, historical heritages and monasteries found in this area make it the richest place from cultural point of view. Spread in two remote VDC’s – Chumchet and Chhekampar, this place is considered very important as non-violence zone and the land for Buddhist philosophy. The people believe in the reincarnation and the Lamas and Astrologers play a major role in all aspects of their life. They pray Buddha Guru, Rinpoche and some bodhisattvas. Numerous festivals, several mask dances and rituals are celebrated throughout the year in this area. The major festivals celebrated here are Loshar (Tibetan New Year) and Faning.