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Manaslu circuit Trek

Overview

21 DAYS

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Activity Trekking in Nepal
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If the Annapurna Circuit is the king of treks in the Annapurna region, then the Manaslu Circuit trek is ‘The Lord of the Wild’’, a super option for an odyssey into the pure wilderness of a supernatural kind…pure adventure into a raw region across a high pass above 5000m where the beauty leaves you speechless…for this is what ‘Trekking the Manaslu Circuit’’is all about…you don’t need to be a veteran climber to do this circuit…

The Manaslu trail is arguably an epic for an adventure where few dare to tread and could be deemed to be an ideal substitute for the more well known trails of Everest B. Camp or any of the top treks in the Annapurna region. This particular area shows you more of a virgin territory less known and not many go to, but the popularity of this region is growing by the day, despite it being a restricted zone. Home to the 8th highest mountain in the world, the Manaslu region seems to have been recklessly ignored by different governments in the country and is not as developed as trekkers would find in the Khumbu and Annapurna areas; needless to say, some bold trekkers with an eye for an off-the-beaten-trek of the kind like the Manaslu circuit are happy enough to prefer it the way it is, however, the locals suffer most because of the hapless ignoring of this lovely region. Mountain Sherpa Trekking and Expeditions has been escorting expeditions to this zone for over a decade, and has hiked the length and breadth of this region in such a way that even the locals treat Mountain Sherpa crew like family. It’s been over ten years now, and we haven’t looked back, wading across the high pass of Larkya La in blood, sweat and tears. The Larkya La is the focal point of our trips  and due to its elevation, at most times this is pass is steeped in snow but since it’s not too steep, we take our expedition members across the pass without using crampons, this is because of our experience over the years, [but we bring the crampons anyways, one never knows because this is climbing above the tree-lines, and this equipment could be needed at any time]. Consequently, anyone fit can attempt this pass, even greenhorn trekkers who do it for the first time, but a little experience of having done treks before in Nepal’s Himalayas goes a long way, it’s less strain on the body, especially the limbs.

Our trailblazing venture commences with a thrilling drive to the bustling town of Arughat, a pretty happening market in central Nepal. And we hit the trail into bamboo forests and inner villages occupied by the ethnic Gurungs, who follow Buddhism. We slowly hike up the higher altitudes of the Nupri Region, an absorbing zone slotted by descendents of Tibetan immigrants who lived hereabouts for generations.

Samagoan at (3,541m) is a developing village and an ideal haul up joint to stop over for two nights acclimatising, after checking out of Lho. We go on to Larkya Phedi via Samdo at the foothills of the Larkya pass where we get so close-up to the gigantic peaks we feel like as if we could just touch it and climb right up. We wouldn’t be surprised if we come across avalanches that we see piled up on the flanks. We then descend down to Bhimthang, Tilje, Tal and finally Jagat where our jeeps will be waiting to take us down to Besisahar, and this is where the curtains drop on a rare trip of an unknown wilderness that could become a story of what it was like Manaslu Circuit Trekking’’…a story to remember for the years to come…after we drive back to Kathmandu and a warm soft bed…


At a Glance

  • A demanding venture…high elevations that bring us close to Mt. Manaslu…it’s like as if we could touch it…
  • 15 days in open high altitude territory above the tree-lines…and this is where the adrenaline pumps…
  • Accommodation: Hotel and teahouse lodges with Healthy meals provided on the trails
  • Maximum altitude of 5215m…at Larkya La Pass…where the views are mesmerizing

What's Included?

  • Healthy meals during whole trek[ breakfast
  • Lodge Accommodation during whole trek
  • Kathmandu- Arughat private 4W Jeep 
  • Beshisahar – Kathmandu by Private Vehicle
  • Expert Local Sherpa guide 
  • Porters t [ 1 Porter for 2 Person basis]
  • quality accommodation in Kathmandu 
  • MSTE kit bag and Group medical kit
  • Company T-shirt and Trek Map
  • Private vehicle for ground transportation
  • trekking permits and site entry fees
  • Guide and porter pay, meals, insurance
  • Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu on day 2

What's Not Included?

  • International Airfare and Nepal Visa fee
  • Travel & Health Insurance
  • Lunch & Dinner in Kathmandu 
  •  Cold Drinks, Mineral Water 
  • Tips for Guide & Porter
  • Hot Shower, Battery Charges
  • Unforeseen Cost such as Flight Cancellation 
  •  Cost, which is not mentioned in Cost Includes 

Itinerary

If it’s a clear day when you are flying into Kathmandu, then your tour begins right from the skies itself. The sights from the windows of our jet shows us glimmering snow-capped mountain peaks spread out down below us, giving us the first thrills of our just begun vacation, sparking off a whole reaction of unforgettable experiences that stay with us for some time to come. As soon as your plane hits the tarmac of Tribhuwan International Airport, Mountain Sherpa Trekking and Expeditions office representative and driver will be on standby to meet and greet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The rep will help you check into your designated hotel, and after going to our rooms and refreshing ourselves we will be briefed about our daily activities. The rest of your time is free to move around the neighborhood and get familiar with your surroundings. In the evening we will meet our senior trek guide who will brief the group about details related to our trek. Your first overnight in the ancient city of temples, probably the most in the world. Breakfast

After a good night’s sleep and enjoying a hearty b/fast, we proceed for our tour of Basantapur Durbar Square.

Recorded by UNESCO as a cultural World Heritage site, Kathmandu Durbar Square is a bunch of medieval temples, palaces, courtyards and streets that date back to the 12th and 18th centuries. within this square we will find Hanumandhoka Palace Museum, Taleju Temple, Kumari Ghar (House of the Living Goddess), Kasthamandap and other temples and buildings as old as the city itself; from here we head for a tour of the famous Boudhanath Stupa {said to be the largest in the world) and a major centre of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu. The stupa is designed to be like a giant mandala (a representation of the Buddhist cosmos).

We next drive down to Swayambhunath [popularly known as Monkey Temple] “Swayambhu” means “self-created” and refers to the myth that the hill sprung up suddenly from a great lake that once covered Kathmandu Valley. Our next destination is Pashupatinath Temple. This temple is dedicated to Hindu deity Lord Shiva and is said to be the most holy Hindu shrine in Nepal. Hereabouts we see a cremation ritual of Hindus at ‘Aryaghat’, the cremation area of the temple. This cremation site is used for the once royal family of Nepal and also for the simple Nepalese people who live within the country. We then wrap up our Heritage tour with a trip to Patan which is one of the three medieval cities in Kathmandu and a destination for connoisseurs of great arts. We take a tour of the Patan Durbar Square - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the square is the Patan Museum (originally a Malla palace), Krishna Mandir- a stone temple of Lord Krishna with its 21 spires and art that  displays scenes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana epics, this includes the Royal Bath or 'Tushahity' and the nearby Hindu and Buddhist temples. We return back to our hotel, refresh, do some shopping for our trek the next day, have an early supper and retire to bed, most probably. Breakfast

After an early b/fast, we drive along the scenic Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway for the first part of the day, as we view some of Nepal’s delightful rural landscapes right from the windows of our vehicle; we then cruise further towards the hill bazaar of Gorkha, an ancient historical town from where Nepal got its shape for what it is today. The road gets a bit roughshod after Gorkha. We will reach our destination, Arughat Bazaar, after seven hours from Kathmandu. We then set up camp for the night. B. L. D

At the crossing of the bridge, we trek through the beautiful Sal forests, then climb onto a ridge above huge rapids on the Budhi Gandaki. We then reach Khursane upon which the rocky trail weaves its way up and down, past two tropical waterfalls on a steep, rocky trail clinging to the side of a cliff. It eventually makes its way down and past a few rice terraces, then up and around to the Gurung village of Labubesi. We further climb behind a rocky outcrop, where the valley opens up and the Budhi Gandaki meanders among wide gravel bars. Dropping to the sandy river bed, we walk along rounded stones before climbing over a side ridge. We head down again to the river and cross another suspension bridge to reach Soti Khola village. Overnight in Machha Khola - B, L, D

As we set out on our way today, we soon realize the country changes as we go higher, the broad valley narrows and at times the trail is cut into the steep valley side, which is densely forested. We pass a number of small villages, tucked into the hillside, until we reach a widening of the valley, opposite the point where a large tributary stream enters the Buri Gandaki. The terraced farmland here belongs to the village of Lapbesi. We descend once again to the wide, sandy riverbed and follow a route, which runs below the steep, craggy valley side. At length, we have to climb up once again on a trail to Machha Khola, which has a number of teashops. We get set for our overnight hereabouts. B. L. D

We hike for several hours across tobacco and buckwheat fields, past rocks washed smooth by the river, we reach the hot springs in the centre of the small, terraced village of Tatopani, where we have plenty of time to soak our scruffy bodies in the gushing hot water, and then perhaps go for a swim in the icy river below, drying off on the wonderful river-side beach. A gentle climb through the woods past some spectacular waterfalls, across another suspension bridge and through a short section of forest path and we reach Dobhan, where we stop for lunch. Above Dobhan, the Buri Gandaki descends in an impressive series of steep rapids. Hereabouts, our trail climbs high above the river to descend through what appears to be a huge gateway into some secret place; in front the valley widens, the river calms, and we splash through streams before Jagat, the entrance to the Manaslu Park.

It is worth wandering around this beautiful, paved village, where proud villagers have recorded how much they contributed to these paving schemes. We check into our impressively clean lodge, and enjoy some cold beers available at the shop next door, before retiring to our beds for the night. B. L. D

Today we hike up for about 5-6 hours descending to the riverbed again. After crossing the river, we ascend to a terraced hill of Saguleri. Sringi Himal 7177m, one of the highest mountains in Nepal, which can be seen clearly from this point. At Ghatte River, we cross the river Budhi Gandaki to continue toward Sirish Gaon before ascending the village of Ngyak. We spend our overnight here in Ngyak. B. L. D

From Ngyak, we head down to Ghap where the valley is still steep-sided and most inspiring. We cross the village of Lama, and start to see mani stones (prayers etched onto wayside rocks), a sure sign that we are entering a high country Buddhist zone. After only about four hours we reach the village of Ghap, which straddles the river. We have now entered a typical Tibetan area. There's a detectable change in the climate and culture. It gets pleasantly cool, as we start to gain altitude. We bunk out for the night in our cosy lodge. B. L. D

After a hot b/fast, we set out today for the higher altitude that takes us into alpine territory with superb mountain views. There are more Mani walls and 3 more crossings of the Buri Gandaki on our route to Samagaon. Above this village the valley opens out and there are extensive pastures. Climbing gently now, and crossing a large stream flowing down from the Lidanda Glaciers, we reach the Tibetan village of Sho, 3000m. We will get our first incredible views of the Manaslu North and then of Manaslu main ahead from Sho. As we continue we come to Lho, a large village at 3180 metres where there is a pretty little monastery and numerous chortens and Manis. If we care to Look back, we catch sight of Ganesh I is clearly visible. Overnight at our lodge – B. L. D

Today we rest our weary bodies which are good for our bodies because we will go to higher altitudes in the days ahead. But we should not remain idle. Exploring the monastery of Lho and striking up a chat with the monks will be a good option. We can explore the village and even do some washing and cleaning which is not a bad idea. Overnight at our lodge – B. L. D

After a good rest and some acclimatization, we begin our day with a hike to the upper reaches of Lho, with the snowy peaks of Manaslu ahead of us in the distance, we pass the new gompa and then ascend through light forests next to a small river to reach the Tibetan settlement of Shyla, where the villagers are generally busy on their fields. Another few hours of trekking through classic alpine scenery leads us past Tibet grazing settlements, the trains to Pung Gyan Gompa, and then Sama Gaon, or Ro, as the locals call it. Sama Gaon seems to be perched in a bowl at the foot of the pastures leading to the high peaks, with mani walls, a small gompa and tightly packed rows of houses at the lower reaches of village, and the large gompa at the upper reaches. From what we hear, the people settled here from Tibet over 500 years ago, and the two gompas date from this time, both having unique architecture and built of wood. The Tibetan villages here have entrance gates which are very distinctive from the Tibetan ones, and they maintain an active trade with their co-religionists in Tibet (notice the Chinese brandy and beer on sale). If the weather is good, you will see the village women weaving wool (baal) from Tibet into gowns - which are then traded back to Tibet. Taxes were actually paid to the Dzongka Dzong (fortress) at the border of Tibet, a few days walk from Sama Gaon, as late as the 1940's until it was taken over by the Gorkhas in the late 19th century. Later, after 1959, the region was home to Tibetan khampa guerillas, and thus closed to trekking until 1992. We take the afternoon to hike up to the gompa above town, and wander the streets of the interesting Sama Gaon village. This is a good place to crash out for the night in our lodge. B. L. D

Today, we descend to the Budhi Gandaki River, that has turned north and follow it to a bridge over a side stream. The trail to the left leads to the Manaslu Base camp. The Larkya la Trail passes several mani walls as the valley begins to widen. It is an easy trail on a shelf above the river passing the juniper and birch forests of Kermo Kharka. We drop off the shelf, cross the Budhi Gandaki on a wooden bridge and climb steeply onto a headland between two forks of the river. From a stone arch we can view a large white kani. Finally passing through the kani we find Samdo. Overnight in Samdo – B. L. D

After a piping hot b/fast, we prepare to leave on the trade route to Tibet and climb through the ruins of Larkya bazaar, one of the trade markets that flourished in the yester years.

After two hours of climbing past glaciers, with increasingly awe-inspiring vistas, we come to the campsite at Dharamsala, where we have lunch and gaze out at the lovely views. You'll really feel the altitude and the cold here, so enjoy a more leisurely afternoon with some tea/coffee and keep warm. We'll have an early supper in preparation for our crossing the coming high pass tomorrow... B. L. D

Today, after a short climb, we reach a valley on the north side of the Larkya Glaciers from where we can enjoy sublime views of Cho Danda and Larkya Peak. Finally, we walk across moraines of the glacier, making a gradual ascent which becomes steeper only in the last section of the pass. From the pass, there are great views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru and the massive face of Annapurna II. It is a longer day than usual to Bimtang, but to walk into these low pastures with the evening fog setting in with Mt. Manaslu looming close by is an overpowering experience for us to remember. Overnight in Bimthang – B. L. D

We need a break for some good rest, and reckon this is the day. From a ridge in Bimthang we can savor the gorgeous views of Manaslu, Lamjung himal and Cheo himal. We can explore the nearby villages or simply just chill out by doing some reading or interacting with the local folks, you’ll love it. Overnight at our lodge – B. L. D

The lodge at Bimtang is chilly in the morning, so get to the dining room quickly for a cup of fresh coffee! the options are limited if you want to get warm, but one of them is on the way as we move down valley into the sun, through forested hillsides to Tilche, at the end of our lost world. Hereabouts, the inhabitants are a mix of Manangis (of Tibetan descent) and Chettris (Hindus), so eat a mix of dal bhaat, buckwheat dhiro, tsampa and drink some salted Tibetan butter tea. You’ll enjoy these healthy dishes. The gorge ahead marks the land of apple pie, cold beers and hot showers - the Annapurna Circuit. Overnight at our lodge in cosy Tilche village - B. L. D

After a hale and hearty b/fast, we follow the trail downstream by the banks of the Marshyangdi River, passing through the scattered villages to reach Tal village for our overnight stay. This is a nice place to pass the night and we can interact with the local folks which gives us some insights into how they pass their time in this part of the world.

Overnight at our lodge – B. L. D

Today our trail runs gently downstream of the river passing the village of Chamje and Himal pani. We will retrace our path back to Jagat for our overnight stay.  B. L. D

The trail runs gently downstream of the river passing the village of Naadi. From here the trail takes you to the bank of Marshyangdi River and the town of Bhulbhule, Khudi where local jeeps take us all the way to Besisahar. We check into our hotel for the night. B. L. D

This is a 6 to 7 hours' pictorial drive on the way back to Kathmandu along the banks of the Marsyangdi and Trishuli rivers with chocolate box views of green hills, mountains, farming terraces and villages on both sides of the road right from the windows of your vehicle. In Kathmandu, transfer to your hotel, and the day is free and at leisure to rest, perhaps catch up on some last minute shopping or explore any sights you missed during your first day in Kathmandu. At eventide, we host a dinner to celebrate our successful completion of ‘Trekking the Manaslu Circuit’’.

After b/fast, our rep and office vehicle will be on standby at our hotel to transfer us to the airport for our connecting flight home. Serving you was a wonderful joy and pleasure, we at Mountain Sherpa trekking and expeditions will cherish the bonds of our relationship created over the timeyou spent with us and we thank you for choosing us as your travel partner and for visiting this amazing country Nepal. We are sure that trekking in this lovely region of Manaslu will give you whole lifetime of memories for the generations to come. Adios friends! Till we meet again someday. Breakfast

Accommodation

In Kathmandu you will be accommodated in best Hotel based on availability at the time, we use various hotels but all are within a couple of minutes walk from the bustling Thamel (restaurants and shops).

Lodge during Manaslu Circuit Trekking: it is most often decorated houses with private rooms. Comfort often decrease with altitude and insulation, sound and thermal as sometimes poor ... shower is possible in lodges, but we suggest to do take a hot shower if water is solar heated and not wood fire.

Food : The national dish is the "dal bat": literally rice lentils. Almost always decorated with spiced vegetables and sometimes a little meat.A typical day trekking in Nepal starts with the "morning tea" (tea) around 6:30-700. You can select the breakfast from the Lodge Menu that consist Porridge, Toast, Bread, Eggs, Pancakes etc...

Then, having put away your things, you take breakfast while Porters are distributed loads and arrange everything.
Around noon, you pause for an hour or two for lunch: simple meal or picnic.You arrive mostly to 16 / 17h to step where you generally expect local biscuits and tea (light not to alter your sleep).

The menus in the lodges are varied, ranging from traditional Nepalese food to pizza and apple pie.Dinner is usually served early (around 18h30 / 19h) curry and rice, pasta, noodles and fried/ mash potatoes etc.........
If you have "energy bars" favorite, you can bring.

Climate and Seasonality:

Nepal is subject to monsoon which determines the choice of trekking areas depending on the season: Spring, from March to May is ideal to watch the explosion of vegetation, including rhododendrons, and from around the Annapurna base camp to Everest. The generally clear skies in the morning, marked cloudiness in the afternoon. The more we advance towards the month of May (monsoon), the more clouds rise early.

Mid September to November. This is the main trekking season in Nepal. Day temperatures in Kathmandu are approx. above 20degC. Skies are usually clear and days on trek are sunny and mild with clear mountain views. Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as to -5degC at the higher altitudes.

Summer Season Starts from June to September. The regions of regions of Dolpo and Mustang of Nepal, and Tibet treks can be done in the monsoon.

Winter, from Mid December to late February, the cold is dry, the clear sky, the sunshine ... Many benefits without the tourist season. For example, Short trek around Kathamndu Valley, Ghorepani Poonhill, Ghandruk Village trek would ideal for Winter Treks.

Vital information

While every effort is made to go the extra mile and keep to the above itinerary, it is imperative for us to realize that this is adventure travel in a remote mountain region; we cannot guarantee it for whatsoever reasons! Weather conditions, availability of porters and the health of team members can all contribute to unavoidable unseen circumstances. The guides and their Sherpa assistants will try to make sure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if necessary. This is to ensure your safety…and life.

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