The entire range of Himalaya, the longest and the most beautiful mountain range contains many V-shaped valleys owing to the steep slopes. These valleys add to the beauty of this mountain range. There are many valleys, but we will discuss only the top five mountain valleys that should definitely be visited at least once in a lifetime.
These top five valleys are Yadong valley, Chentang valley, Gama valley, Zhangmu valley and Gyirong valley. These valleys mostly occur in the region of Tibet, enhancing the beauty and cultivation of the place all the more. We will discuss each of these valleys in details, so that it becomes easier for the tourists to Visit Tibet and experience the exuberant charm of the mesmeric beauty.
- Yadong Valley
This famous valley in the Himalayan range is located in the southern part of Tibet, jammed between Sikkim, an Indian state and Bhutan. The Yadong valley was very famous because of its tea cultivation and tea production. Now it holds the largest granary of Tibet. The air currents from the south along with the moist air from the Indian Ocean make the region full of warm air that facilitates the growth of agriculture in this region. The place has witnessed many wars and historical incidents.
As a result the bounty nature is envisioned here while getting soaked in the historical charm of the place. In the journey to the Yadong valley, the monasteries and fortresses along with some mesmeric lake view point and others. It is through this valley that the English people invaded Tibet.
The main viewpoints in this area are the Dong Ga monastery, the natural stone Buddha, a Grotto monastery, Garju Monastery, amazing sculptures and snow clad mountain peaks and the Kangbu hotspring. There is a huge stone in front of the sacred Dong Ga monastery which is accepted as an embodiment of Buddha and is worshipped.
Around the monasteries you will get to see many prayer flags around them. The sculptures are also there. Moreover the Zongshan fort and the lonely fortress on the cliff are also places to visit. Inside the Grotto monastery, besides the amazing sculptures, you can also see the highest statue of Buddha carved on the wall of the monastery. The famous Nathu La pass where the border area is located is also visited from this area.
The best time to visit the place is from April to September. In July, a soothing wind blows and the climate also remains very comfortable. In winter however, snowfall occurs heavily. For visiting the Yadong Valley, take ample of warm clothes, sunscreens and medicines. Positively keep your Tibet Travel permit and the Alien Travel permit along with the Chinese tourism Visa. You will also require the Military Travel permit to visit the border area in Nathu La pass.
- Chentang Valley
Chentang Valley in Tibet, is considered to be that specific and imaginary Utopia for the shepherds or the Sherpas. This valley is located in the Dinggye County of Shigatse prefecture and is very beautiful. However it is characterized by a unique climatic condition. This climatic condition is regulated by the warm and humid air that flows from Indian Ocean. This climate becomes extremely suitable for growing a particular type of millet that is both their cereal and commercial crop.
Moreover, the valley remains veiled in mists and clouds under the sparkling sunshine. The main attraction of this place is its rich ecosystem, the authentic glimpse of the Tibetan life of the sherpas and some handicrafts and the local food made by the sherpas. There are also nine hot springs and each of them is located at a depth of about half a meter.
You can also visit the local habitation of the Sherpas and observe their lifestyles closely. There are nine small villages, inhibited by the sherpas. They make Tongba, a local alcoholic drink, from the seed of the chicken foot millet. Also they engage their lives in making many crafts and art work. You can see the vales with rivers and yak grazing, a scene which indeed provides comfort to the eyes.
The best time to visit the place is between May to September as because winter causes heavy snowfall. Other than this, you have to keep enough warm clothes with you. Make sure you have your documents along with you like the Tibet Travel Permit and the Alien Travel permit. Also, sometimes to view the Sherpa lives in these areas, you need the permission of Tibet government to ensure that you do not exploit them. Try to obtain that also.
- Gama Valley
Gama valley is considered to be the most beautiful valley of the world. It has a length of about 55km from east to west and 8km from north to south. It is located in the downstream of PumQuin Tingri County and Dinggye County. The Gama Valley, despite its beauty is deceiving as it cannot be reached very easily. The only modes of transportation are the yaks and horses.
The main attraction of the Gama valley is its ecological richness comprising of primeval forests, evergreen and half evergreen forests. There are innumerable wild mountainous flowers and animals that enhance the original charm of the place all the more. Moreover you can also trek in this valley which has a heavenly experience.
However greenery is not the only attraction of Gama valley. You can also behold numerous icy cliffs, glaciers and snow clad mountains around it. The main attractions near Gama Valley are the Rongbuk Monastery, Everest Base Camp, Milarepa meditation cave and Mount Cho Oyu. The climate in this valley remains quite soothing except for the winter season. The winter is characterized by strong winds and excessive snowfall.
The best time of the year to visit the place is from April to June and from September to October. During this time, the climate remains excellent and clear. You can clearly visualize the Mount Everest and other mountainous peaks. Also the valley gets covered with orchids that are in full blossom from May to June.
For visiting Gama valley, you will need many yaks or horses and efficient porters. You will also need cook for cooking while camping there. Other than these, make sure you contain your own collection of dry foods and water. Bring enough sunscreens and sunglasses and medicines of all types.
Keep the documents like Tibet Travel Permit with you. Also keep tents and other necessary personal items with you. Have enough of warm clothes, inners, caps and socks with you. In order to visit Gama Valley, you need enough stamina and strength. Therefore avoid going there if you have heart problems or any other serious illness.
- Zhangmu Valley
Zhangmu valley had been the former Sino-Nepal border, offering a direct pathway from Nepal to Tibet or vice-versa. However due to the deadly earthquake of 2015, it has been closed owing to its total destruction. Though there are talks of reopening the road through Zhangmu valley, there is no surety when the road will be opened after rejuvenation and whether at all it will be safe or not. Originally the valley offers a road that is extremely precarious.
The National Highway 318 goes through Zhangmu valley. The road through the Zhangmu Valley zigzags in a very dangerous way. The valley itself was very beautiful as a result of which it was a tourist attraction itself. The journey through this valley was a life time experience. Except for these attractions, there is a pass known as Tonga La pass, a wide open slope at the top of Zhangmu valley.
When you visit this pass, you can visualize the famous Cho Oyu Mountain and Mount Shisha Pangma. There is also Mount Chajiong located at the entrance of Zangmu valley. Also you can behold lushful greeneries and a colourful field full of rape flowers and Barley highlands. There are numerous waterfalls also and the bustling town of Zhangmu. The best time to visit the place is during summer where the greeneries of the fields are totally in full blossom. Though the climate of Zhangmu remains soothing, winters are quite harsh. Visit of Zhangmu valley now is completely prohibited. However in the previous times, besides the Tibet Travel Permit, you also had to have the Alien Travel Permit.
- Gyirong Valley
From the city of Xigaze, the Gyirong is located at a distance of 500 kilometers. The Gyirong port is the new Sino- Nepal border after the fatal earthquake. However, quite ironically, the name of Gyirong has not been heard by many people. The valley is situated within the border of Gyirong County, under the administration of Xigaze district of Tibet Autonomous Region. From Gyirong valley, you can take a road to the Shisha Pangma base camp for camping. Or you also have the option to visit the mysterious lake of Peiku Tso.
The journey through the Gyirong valley, however is the most attractive part of the valley. Also you can visualize the green carpet alongside the roads. Relics of ancient aspects are also found along the road. To add a flavor of adventurousness, you can witness the mountains carved naturally by nature. Throughout the year, the weather remains soothing except for the winters. Also during rainy seasons, the precipitations are quite high. The best time to visit the place is around April to October, so that the greenery can be fully witnessed. Take a well-knowledgeable guide with you. Positively keep your visa, Tibet Travel permit and alien Travel permit, along with you. Keep enough of warm clothes and also a rain coat for safety.