Manaslu Circuit Trek circumambulates the eighth highest peak in the world (Mt. Manaslu, 8163m) providing us an opportunity to explore the colorful cultures having high Tibetan influence and navigate through the dramatic valleys against a fabulous background of classic snow capped mountains, beautiful trails and hospitality of the indigenous community along the trail. In our trek, we pay a visit to and pass through culturally rich and traditionally affluent Buddhist monasteries adorned with invaluable arts and architecture while walking through refreshing forests and settlements, covering six climatic zones and being up close and personal with the Manaslu Peak from larger sections along the way. Crossing Larkya La Pass, witnessing diversity in topography, flora, fauna, landscapes, culture and traditions, savoring unique cuisines, awesome views of Himalayas are highlights, and observation of unique side of Nepal from the spots of this trail are some of the other highlights of this trek.
Our Manaslu Trek begins as we take a drive from Kathmandu to Arughat, the starting point of our trekking activity. Gradually we ascend towards Liding, Machhakhola, crossing beautiful suspension bridges enjoying an overall experience of walking through forested trekking trails with culturally affluent Gurung, Magar villages along the way. We keep pushing ourselves forward through several up and down in this ancient salt trading route for trade Tibet and traverse through the unique villages, natural and cultural diversity past the settlements of Filim, Deng, Ghap, Lho, Samagaon and Samdo before we hike further above nearly 4000 meters. During our Round Manaslu Trek, we leave behind Dharmasala, Bhimtang and cross highest point of our trip, the challenging Larkya La Pass (5140m) for excellent views of Annapurna Himalayan Range, Cheo Himal, Heemlung Himal, Kangaru peak with other neighboring snow capped Himalayas. Furthermore, we trail back along the trail through the villages of Bhimtang, Tiliche, Tal and Bhulbhule before we drive back to Kathmandu. Intermittently, we explore through the lush valleys and green meadows, Buddhist monasteries, prayer flags and Mani walls, serene lakes, rivers and waterfalls along with interaction with the locals for the insight into the rich cultural legacy of the Gurung and Magar community.
This Round Manaslu trek is best recommended during the spring and autumn months of March, April, May, September, October, November and December. If you are the trekker searching solitude in the trekking trail and looking for the wilderness along with the unspoiled cultural ensembles, Manaslu Circuit Trek suits you the best. This is similar to the Annapurna Circuit years back: full of wilderness and authentic villages with well preserved culture and yet untouched by the ills of development. Get inspired from the Himalayan lifestyle, leave nothing behind except good memories and get the best out of the visit to the land of Himalayas. Join this trek with Destination Himalayas Treks, a leading trekking company in Nepal, for expert service and best serving team and you won’t be disappointed. Pack your bags and go for this trek!
Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Aarughat, 600 meters.
After you arrive in Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA), you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to the hotel of your stay. Trekking starts from our drive to hilly market place of Aarughat, the market town located on either sides of the Budhi Gandaki River and linked by a suspension bridge. We drive to Arughat along the Mahesh River and Trishuli River before we continue driving towards the district headquarters of Dhading, Dhading Besi. The drive from Dhading Besi to Aarughat has to be a bit cautious due to the rough and bumpy road from Dhading to Arughat. Aarughat is inhabited mainly by Newar community and serves as the major supply storage area for the trade route north to the border of Tibet. Overnight in Aarughat.
Day 02: Trek from Aarughat to Liding 860 meters, overnight in lodge or tented camp.
The real trekking of this expedition starts from today. We walk past the terraced rice fields, waterfalls and greenery along with the villages in the hills of Nepal. The scenery and landscape gets better as we move further on this trekking trail. We pass through the culturally rich villages with Magar and Gurung settlement. Cultivation in hills of Nepal can be an interesting observation for the trekkers. Crossing some suspension bridges and past the waterfalls we move through the prettier town of Arkhet, Kokhetar and Kuerepani to reach the settlement of Sotikhola climbing along the stone steps. The swimming hole in Soti Khola is popular among the locals. We move further past the settlement of Amala to reach our destination of Liding where we will either be staying in a lodge or a tented camp. Overnight in Liding.
Day 03: Liding trek to Machhekhola 930 meters, overnight in tea house or tented camp.
The further we move along the trail, the better experience we have. Today we shall pass through the villages of Lapubesi, Naulikhola, Khanibesi and finally to the destination of Machhekhola. The trail from Liding to Lapubesi is a slower walk contrary to the short distance seen in the map. The ups and downs in the rocky trail make the walk slower. Caution is needed in some parts of the trail which are prone to landslides, especially when we have the caravan of mules around. The trails are slippery and rocky in case of rain in the region. Waterfalls and tropical vegetation makes the trekking experience in this trail a beautiful one. Overnight in Machhekhola.
Day 04: Machhekhola trek to Yarubagar 1350 meters, overnight in tea house or tented trek.
Machhekhola is a village perched on the hill-slope with comfortable accommodation arrangements; however camping is another option preferred by trekkers. After the view of Ganesh Himal from Machhekhola we further to Khorlabesi after meeting the trail from Barpak before we cross the suspension bridge. Rocky trails continue to accompany us besides the roaring Budhi Gandaki River. Past another viewpoint of Ganesh Himal we reach a tiny point of Tatopani, renowned for the hot water in the village square. Squeezed in between the torrential Budhi Gandaki and tremendous cliff, Tatopani may have you experience the echo of roaring landslides. Ahead this settlement we have some waterfalls, suspension bridges and the villages of Dobhan before we reach to our destination of Yarubagar. Overnight in Yarubagar.
Day 05: Yarubagar walk to Fillim 1570 meters, overnight in local tea house or tented camp.
Further along the trek, we continue along the trail past the long suspension bridge to reach stone paved trials in Jagat. These slate-paved streets of Jagat are impressive. You will also have your MCAP (Manasalu Conservation Area Project) permit checked at the MCAP office in Jagat and you may learn about MCAP activities. From Jagat we descend to the beautiful village of Salleri and quickly to another village of Paimo, affected by landslide few years back. We reach other compact village of Sirdibas with stone houses and slate roofs. Past the village of Ghate Khola and suspension bride we have a steep climb to Philim. Overnight in Fillim.
Day 06: Trek from Fillim to Deng 1860 meters, Overnight in local lodge or tented camp.
Today we shall cross Budhi Gandaki River couple of times before we reach to our destination. We move through the highlighted spot of Ekle Batti, a large Gurung village, and part our ways off the trail to Tsum valley ahead of Lokpa before we reach to village of Nyak. The pines decorating the trail after Ekle Bhatti contrasting with the tropical vegetation down in the lower altitude shows richness of the trail. We ascend the milder climbing past the narrow gorge, through the suspension bridges, bamboo, rhododendron and pine forest have an easier descend along one of the branch of Budhi Gandaki to reach to the destination of Deng. Along the trail we observe mesmerizing waterfalls, beautiful gorges with towering walls alongside and the views of mountains including Ganesh Himal IV. Overnight in Deng.
Day 07: Trek from Deng to Ghap 2165 meters, overnight in tea house or tent camping.
We leave the Gurung village of Deng with the view of Siringi Himal and move ahead past the Bihi Phedi and Bihi to reach the destination of Ghap that may also be reached through the alternative route via Prok village. The short descend after Deng and a steep ascend takes us to Rana Bridge. Through the pine forests and bridge we reach to Buihi Phedi. Beyond this we enter the Buddhism dominated region where we witness the Mani walls and stones portraying gods and goddesses. Further ahead in the trail we cross the Sereng River located high off the main Budhi Gandaki River and experience the unique environment provided by breathtaking gorge, culturally rich chorten and cross another suspension bridge before we reach to Ghap. Overnight in Ghap.
Day 08: Trek from Ghap to Lho 3180 meters, overnight in tea house or tented camp.
Today is another beautiful section of the trekking expedition. We move ahead of Ghap only to find dense and beautiful forests decorated with fir, rhododendron, bamboo and oaks and other alpine vegetation along the way. With occasional steep trails and streams along the way we reach the village of Namrung past couple of suspension bridges and stone stairs. Ahead the village the landscape opens up to extensive barley fields. We navigate through the village with unique architecture, Lihi, cross a large stream with its source in the Lidanda Glacier and reach the Tibetan styed village of Sho along with the view of Simnang Himal (6251m). Couple of hours of trekking leads us to the village of Lho. Lho is a beautiful and culturally rich village adorned with ancient Buddhist monasteries decorated by the prayer flags, chortens, Mani walls and several stupas besides the bigger Nyingma Rimjung gompa. The view of twin-peaked Manasalu and the majestic Ganesh Himal makes this landscape further beautiful. Overnight in Lho.
Day 09: Trek to Samagaun 3525 meters, overnight in local tea house or tented camp.
Decorated with rich Buddhist cultural ensembles, Lho bids us adieu as we move ascend ahead through the quite a beaten forest towards the other settlement of Shyala. With significant agricultural activity, the village of Shyala is also engaged in construction of wooden houses presumably aimed at making it a resting place. We march ahead in the trail crossing the slops that drains the Punggen glacier and reach to the nice flat area that hosts lovely village of Samagaun. With properly aligned houses with beautiful courtyards and fields located on both sides of village, Samagaun is busy during the season of Manasalu climbing expedition as it is closest village to the Manasalu Base camp. Overnight in Samagaun.
Day 10: samagaun to Samdo 3860 meters, overnight in tea house or tent camping.
The trail today to Samdo village turns to the north on the upper region of the Budhi Gandaki River. Following the gradual ascends, we pass through the point of confluence of Larke river and the river formed due to Samdo glacier, also the origin of the torrential Budhi Gandaki and we reach to the settlement at Samdo. Before that we leave the trail to Manasalu Base Camp to our left and ahead the point where we part from the trail to Manasalu Base Camp, we pass through beautiful juniper and birch forests of Kermo Kharka. We march ahead through wooden bridges and steep climb on to the headland from where a large white kani can be viewed. Past the kani we reach to our destination for today. Overnight in Samdo.
Day 11: Acclimatization day.
Today is the acclimatization day. We explore the lovely Samdo village with several points to explore. Samdo is located just under the majestic Samdo peak and Samdo glacier. One side trip from Samdo is to the Tibetan border of Rui La either through the Lajyung pass or through the Rui La pass which is the main route path. We can also hike to the valley at the back of the valley past the seasonal herding settlements, flora and fauna and the views of peaks such as Mt Manasalu, Simrang, Hiuchuli, Larkye peak, Cheo, Ngadi along the way. Another available option is the hike to the longer route to Gya La. Overnight in Samdo.
Day 12: Samdo to Dharamshala 4460 meters, overnight in tea house or tent camping.
The trail from Samdo to Dharmashala is a relatively shorter section of our trekking experience. We move along the trail through the Athahra Saya River and along the Larke River. We pass through the Taka Choeling Gumba, with the view of Naike and Pangbuche Peak and climb gradually along the trail. We cross a bridge, move past the Mani walls and stone huts to reach to the Larkya Bazaar, a settlement that hosts accommodation sites as well. We reach to the highest point before the Larke pass, Dharmashala or Larke Phedi with the place to set up campsites and structures. Along the way we also have the view of Syacha Glacier, grazing land, beautiful forests, lichened stones and keep an eye for the Blue sheep. After reaching Dharmashala we may optionally hike around the ridges of the village. Overnight in Dharmashala.
Day 13: Dharamshala to Bhimtang 3610 meters via crossing over Larkey La pass 5140m.
Get ready for some strenuous activity today as we shall cross over the Larkey La Pass (5140m) to reach to Bhimtang. We set off early in the morning for a long trek today. After a short climb, we reach to the north of the Larkya Glacier, into a valley that provides spectacular views of Cho Danda and Larkya Peak. Further we march across the moraines, make a slow climb initially and more steeper into the last section of the Larkey La pass. The view from the top of the pass includes the Samdo Peak and other peaks bordering Tibet, Larkya peak to the southeast, Annapurna region along with several mountains and bit further down to the west for the view of Annapurna II. We have an steep descend on the slippery path out of the Pass following the trail to the left of Salpudanda glacier moraine. Past the grassy moraine and rock fall area, flatter valley with primulas and azalea bushes we reach to the sandy plain of Bhimtang. Overnight in Bhimtang.
Day 14: Bhimtang to Tilije 2300 meters, overnight in local tea house or tented camp.
Bhimtang is a region used by the Samdo people as the place to keep their yaks and horses in the summer and winter months. We traverse along the magical trail to the south of Bhimtang after we have the views of Lamjung Himal, Himlung Himal, Manasalu, Cheo Himal from a ridge at Bhimtang. After we cross pasture and bridge, we navigate through the rhododendron forest, further through a narrow valley and reach to the valley at Karache. Along the rocky river-bed and on the trails on hillsides we pass through the small and lush villages signifying the lower altitudes. Further ahead we reach the village of Tilije, a culturally vibrant and coexisting village populated by Ghale Gurung, Chhetris and Manangis. Overnight in Tilije.
Day 15: Tilche to Tal 1710 meters, overnight in hotel or tent camping.
Couple of hours ahead of the beautiful Tilije village we cross the long suspension bridge on Dudh Khola and reach Thonche. After Thonche the Manasalu trail comes to an official end. Another suspension bridge over the perennial Marshyangdi river leads us to the settlement of Dharapani where we join the Annapurna tourist highway with increasing hustle and bustle. We reach to the village of Tal, a village sitting on the river flats, past the village of Karte. Past several teahouses, Mani walls, wider plains and waterfalls and encounter with the tourists, locals and caravan of Mules, on the trail packed with visitors and locals in the peak season, we reach to our destination of Tal. Overnigh in Tal.
Day 16: Tal to Bhulbhule 840 meters, overnight in hotel or tented camp.
This is the later section on the trekking trail with real physical trekking along the way. On a relatively longer trekking day, we start with the march on a steep stone trail before crossing the Marshyangdi River at Chamje. Past the atmospheric village of traditional-style teahouses at Chamje we move further ahead, along the Marshyangdi River, for a steep climb before we reach to the settlement at Jagat. We traverse through the settlements of Syange, Ghermu, Bahundanda and Nadi Bazar we reach our destination of Bhulbhule. Along the way we encounter lush villages and forests, changing landscapes and locals full of hospitality. Overnight in Bhulbhule.
Day 17: Bhulbhule drive to Kathmandu.
This ends the exciting, enriched and adventurous trekking experience of past couple of weeks. We drive back from this hilly settlement to Kathmandu enjoying the beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, river gorges, terraced fields and views of mountains, rural lifestyles and many more. We shall have a farewell dinner with the trekkers in our expedition. You may extend the trip to the scenic Pokhara valley and to the other tourist towns of Chitwan, Kathmandu valley and the adjoining cities. On the departure day, our representative shall drop you to the Tribhuwan International Airport.
Hope the trekking experience with us was an amazing experience. This tiny Himalayan nation always has something different to offer to the visitors of all interest. We hope that you visit again for another adventurous exoerience.
All land transportation as required for trip.
Hotel in Kathmandu.
Food and accommodation during the trek.
Manasalu special permit,national park permit and trekking permit.
Guide,Camping special cook and supporting crews.
Allowances for supporting crews and their insurance.
Emergency evacuation service in case needed.
Bar bills and beverages.
Personal trekking gears.
Food in Kathmandu.
Rescue charge if needed
Tips to supporting crews after trip.
Trip Summery : Gorkha-Samdo-Samagaun-Larkey La Pass-Bhimtang-Besisahar.
Mode of Trek : Camping / Tented camp.
Duration : 21 days / 17 days trip
Grade information: Strenuous
Highest Elevation : 5213 meters / larkey La pass
Experiencing solitude in trekking experience along this less visited trail
Breathtaking view of the majestic Mount Manasalu and neighboring peaks from major sections of the route
Enough time to acclimatize
Walking from lush sub-tropic vegetation to the alpine vegetation
Exploring the coexistence of Tibetan influenced Buddhism and strong Hindu faith
Picturesque landscapes and rich architectural, traditional and cultural heritages
Down jacket,Sleeping bag,Trekking poles,Sun glasses,Sun cream,Cold cream,Ice-X,Hand gloves, Daily wearing warm and normal cotton cloths,Trekking boots........and so on.
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