Manaslu circuit trek also is known as the New Annapurna Circuit Trek is popular for its virgin trails, untouched natural beauty and relatively primitive trekking experiences. Classified as restricted by the Nepal government, this trek is for those who are just looking pure trekking without much expectations for trekking luxuries that are available on the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Along with unravished trekking route during which you rarely see a human being, this trekking route is focused on circumnavigating around the Mount Manaslu- the 8th highest peak in the world (8,156 m) along with spectacular views of Himchuli (7890m), the Ganesh Himal (7429m) along with other peaks of the Annapurna Himalayan Range.
MANASLU TREKKING CIRCUIT VS OTHER TREKKING CIRCUITS IN NEPAL
The Manaslu circuit trek provides all the elements of trekking in Nepal- Hindu and Buddhist culture, protected wildlife, rhododendrons and wildflowers, raging rivers, precarious bridges and stunning snow-capped mountain scenery and deep and wild gorges. Developed as part of the Greater Himalayan Trail, the Manaslu Trekking Circuit, is probably the best trekking route in the region provided that the trekkers are willing themselves to some hardships – like not expecting better tea hours and European class tea, set aside the continental dishes. And most importantly – it takes a lot of willingness and desire to explore the wild nature of opting this trek.
Day 1: Arrival, getting to the capital of Himalayas.
Day 2: explore Kathmandu city, Preparation for the trek.
Day 3: Roll out wheels for Arughat (720m), 6 hours drive.
Day 4: Trek to Labubensi (930m), 6-7 hours.
Day 5: Trek to Jagat (1440m) 7 hours.
Day 6: Trek to Deng (1845m) 6 hours.
Day 7: Trek to Namrung (2560m) 4 hours.
Day 8: Trek to lo (3500m) 3-4 hours.
Day 9: Trek to Samagaon (3515m) 4 hours.
Day 10: Rest day in Samagaon.
Day 11: Trek Samdo (3800m) 4 hours.
Day 12: Trek to Dharmasala (4460m) 4-5 hours.
Day 13: Cross Clarke pass (5345m) and trek down to Bimtang (4455m) 8 hours.
Day 14: Trek to Dharapani 7 hours.
Day 15: Drive to Kathmandu
Day16: Flight back home.
Nepal is a small country in terms of its area but it’s a huge cauldron of various races, cultures and religions. And Kathmandu valley is one of the best metros of the nation that brings all of these diverse segments together. On reaching Kathmandu- you will realize that this city is seriously cosmopolitan and historic in character. On your way to the hotel – we will try that your curiosity about Nepalese gets a healthy dose of information and prepare your appetite for the next 15 days.
Kathmandu is famous for its decorative display of rich cultural and historical artifacts across its three holy cities: Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan. The essence and aura of these three cities deliver the best of Hinduism and Buddhism. It is a world filled with temples, palaces, and people all around. Religious shrines like the Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath and Boudhanath and architectural masterpieces like the Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar squares reflect the rich architectural and cultural heritage of Nepalese people. Millions of tourists and pilgrims wander through the windings of these cities – some searching for the beauty of life and some the meaning of life. Let’s see if you can find yours.
With plenty of knows how about the Nepalese, today we will head for the main rendezvous. On our way to Aarughat- a small town in Gorkha around 130 Km from Kathmandu, you will see more of the Nepali style. Our highways are full of settlement and the inhabitants change according to geography. After nearly 6 hours of drive, half of which is on off-road – we will be left with some time to stroll the town of Arughat and get to know the town at close quarters.
After completing permission procedures at the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) in Aaurghat Bazaar we will head on our trek by walking along the stone paved stone-paved street toward the north. On our way we pass through hydro-electricity plant in the area, think forests inhabited by monkeys and after crossing Sante Bazaar our trek becomes steeper. After reaching Kyorpani our descent starts and that will take us to Seti Khola. A good place for having some tea and snacks. From then on we continue through Budhi Gandaki river ridge listening to the rapids of the glacial river, terrace farms, waterfalls leading to the Gurung village of Labubesi- our keep for the night.
The journey from Labunensi to Jagat goes along the banks of Budhi Gandaki, ravines and plenty of uphill and downhill trail. Travelling through Machha Khola village, and then through the narrow rail to Tharo Khola, we reach Tatopani on our way passing through some hot water springs. The journey is enticing as we the terrain continues changing sometimes taking through steep uphill and sometimes on the banks of the river and sometimes over it through high suspension bridges. The journey from Tatopani to Doban takes us through a cluster of well-crafted stone staircases and then from Yaru Khola to Tharo Bhanjyang are some experience of local craftsmanship. And at the end of the day, we will reach the beautiful village of Jagat- resting here for the night.
We start today's journey by climbing over a rocky ridge to Salleri, then descend to Setibas. From than till Ghatta Khola, the walk is easy. At the end of it, we cross over a long suspension bridge and then trek up to the famous Gurung village of Filim. From here till the trek is flat till Ekle Bhatti providing ample of opportunity to enjoy the surroundings. From here the trail becomes narrow, steep and crisscrosses the Budhi Gandaki River several times. As we approach near we enter a wide valley that leads into bamboo forests and which leads us to the village of Deng. Here we will stay for the night.
Trek to Namrung (2560m) 6 hours.
The journey from Deng to Namrung will take through the Sringi Valley – a beautiful place that acts as a precursor to the tundra region. While we continue to crisscross Budhi Gandaki today along with encounters with mani walls and suspension bridges, the journey becomes fascinating as we climb up to Rana and then to the Ghap village – a place where you will find some good tea houses to have a hearty bite. From there on we will cross the Kali Gandaki river once again – but this time it will be a wooden bridge and then through the cultivated terraces, and alpine forests full of bamboos, rhododendron we will make our way to the beautiful village of Namrung- overstay for the night.
One of the most famous sites in Manaslu trekking circuit is the Lho Gaon (meaning the village of Lho). To reach it through the day we will climb over 1000 meter altitude and that you can imagine sets us par in the range for Himalayan breeze and dryness. The journey to Lho Gaon will lead us to a new type of vegetation – tall and wind ridden fir and oak trees. On our way, we will pass along the villages of Nupri, Barsam, Lihi, Sho, Shirp and lastly the Lho Gaon.
As we have come up in higher altitude our trek will be slowed down today – so as to acclimatize to the rising altitude. However, the journey from Lho Gaon to Samagaon also known as the Kargyu Chholing gompa is a very steady trek. On our way, we will pass through the Damonan Khola and the large plateau of Shyaula that is decorated with a chorten and a small gompa and finally to Samagaon – which has a large gompa known as the Kargyu Chholing Gompa. We will stay here overnight.
As we have walked at considerable altitude, today we will take a day off in Samagaon. We have selected this as our retreat for the day because the town is home to the Garphuk Kagyu Nanjing Samten Choling Gompa. It is one of the revered Gompas in the Upper Mustang area which provides ancient Buddhist education to children. We will visit the monastery and visit the surrounding to know more about the local lifestyle.
Today we will head for the village of Samdo – a village that is mostly influenced by Tibetan way of life. It is the last village before the village of Larkya La. As the altitude continues we feel the heavy feet and along with that as we head north in the rain shadow the climate becomes more and more dry. Leaving out the way to Manaslu Base Camp we head for the village with the mani walls on the side after crossing juniper and birch forests of Khermo Kharka and then up a hill till we spot the Chorten that denotes the reaching of the small village of Samdo- our stay for the night.
Today we will have a small distance to cover but the considering the rising altitude we will make a very slow journey Dharmasala. For the last time, we will cross over Budi Gandaki River today and a huge Mani wall and head for the pass. Before reaching on top to have a splendid view of the Larkya La Glacier we will pass for the last of the Tundra forest. A short distance from the viewpoint we rest at the small settlement of Dharmashala (4460m).
Today is a big day for us- we will finally reach our final destination: Larkya La pass and from there we will enjoy one of the most natural splendor: An eye to eye view of Lamjung Himal, Kangurru, and Annapurna II as well as the Manaslu Himal. But for that too happen we will head out early in the morning. The trek to Larkya La pass will slow and gradual. After reaching somewhere in the midday we will start our downhill journey back to Dharmsala.
Today our journey will bring back us to Dharapani – from where we will head out to Kathmandu tomorrow. As we come down the altitude our journey becomes easier and easier with the decreasing altitude. And on our return, we pass through the village of Tangbuche, Bimtan, Karche, Gho, Titje, Dudh Khola and finally after crossing over the Marsyangdi river to the small town of Dharapani.
It will take around 8 hours to reach Kathmandu but on our way, plenty of things will make up the day. It’s a long ride but the vista is amazing and the food is really good on the way. In Kathmandu, we will have a small farewell dinner in the evening and share our experiences during the trek.
According to your schedule, we will organize trips for you to reach airport but if you have made any other plans – we will more than glad to provide assistance.
Hotel and Teahouse
Breakfast in Kathmandu and Three Times Meal during the Trek