Ganesh Himal is a holy mountain located in the central part of Nepali Himalaya. At the East is the Langtang Lirung mountain range, inhabited by the Tamang tribe. The Tamang are native to parts of Nepali Himalaya, and are also met in parts of India, Burma and Bhutan. They have a distinct culture, language and religion and distinctive clothes and hats. In Nepal they live mainly in the northeast of the country and most of them are followers of Nyingma, the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Historically, the Tamang people were followers of Bon, the animistic religion of the central Himalayas that preceded Buddhism.
The land of the Tamang was my first contact with the Himalayan mountains, as the people I met on my first day in Kathmandu advised me to start from the then-newly-carved Tamang Cultural Heritage Trail. I returned to the area eight years later, four years after the great earthquake of 2015.
Tsum Valley is located in the west side of Ganesh Himal and it is home to about 3,000 residents of the Tibetan tribe Tsumba. Tsumbas have local dialect, follow Tibetan Buddhism and the ancient religion of Bon and in cases adopt polyandry. Tsum Valley is considered sacred, the lamas perform rituals to cleanse its soil and killing animals in the area is prohibited by law. Over the centuries hundreds of monks and hermitages choose its lands for spiritual exercises and meditation disputes, most famous of which is the Tibetan yogi Milarepa.
Realising the experience of a sacred valley takes a long time. Even years later processes develop from the contact with a place like Tsum. Probably the most precise memory I have from there is to see people, yaks and even whole villages or huge mountains appear through the fog. I think its the most precise because it appears as a dream. As something I might not actually saw, something that lies on the edge of reality. Just like the feeling one has while being on these mountains. This memory ends up being so blur that turns into a call to go back there and explore what really exists and what is merely a creation of the mind.
– In progress –