The Ultimate Manaslu Trek

6 years ago

‘adventure around world 8th highest peaks of Nepal far north mid-west Himalaya’

Manaslu Trekking, an adventure around world eight highest Mt. Manaslu at the height of 8,163 m and 26, 781 ft high first ascent by Japanese Expeditions in May 9th 1956.

Since then the high areas of upper Manaslu valley was closed for outside visitors and then flung its door wide open for interested trekkers and adventurer to visit in its beautiful country enriched with natural beauty of mountains and deep valleys and enchanting woodland.

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Manaslu Trekking since it was opened past two decades ago, where trekkers were in less number but at present slowly gaining much attention due to its lovely location of complete wilderness with nice and impressive villages interwoven with various interesting culture of Buddhism religion.

Manaslu Trekking where trekker requires special permits within this restricted areas limiting the flow of trekkers and visitors and to maintain its pure pristine country as it were for many centuries. One of other reason that Manaslu Trekking as restricted area as it is close to Tibetan border beyond some distance from high Manaslu valley villages of Sama-Gaon and Samdu.

Manaslu valley located on old Trans Himalaya Salt and Caravan Trade Route to Tibet from Nepal, where strong trade and barter use to take place in early days till China came into Tibet. However trade still exists in smaller number in those glory days at the foot of Larke-la pass around Larke Phedi also called Dharmasala or Larke Bazaar where busy colorful bazaar use to take place between villages of Gorkha, as far from Manang and with Tibetan people.

Manaslu Trekking an enjoyable adventure where drive takes you to Nepal Mid-West region around the district of Gorkha within low warm farm areas at Arughat town and villages.From the town of Arughat where adventure follows raging Burigandaki River right up to its glacial source around high Manaslu valley, where the walk begins walking from low warm paddy fields to reach cooler high hills.

As walk progress that leads past nice lovely villages of Machhakhola, Jagat, Philm and Dyang to enter the valley of Manaslu at interesting mountain village of Lho-Gaon. A nice village with grand views of main Manaslu Himal an interesting place to visit its traditional farm areas and village including its old and impressive monastery, Lho-Gaon houses many good lodges for trekkers with excellent food to offer. Jagat is a gate way to Tsum valley trek which can be done in a week time.

From Lho-Gaon heading towards much higher as walk leads within high Manaslu valley with perfect views of mountains that enclose on both sides of the trail to reach at large village of Sama-Gaon, the main settlement of higher Manaslu valley. Most trekkers do have rest day at Sama-Gaon to support with acclimatization as well to explore around the village of Sama-Gaon of great interest, besides farming and cattle herding of Yaks and domestic animals.

Since early days till today, trade with Tibet still continues which is a mere distance from Sama-Gaon and Samdu village where trekkers can notice Chinese goods on shops and stores around high Manaslu villages.

After a nice pleasant time at Sama-Gaon next morning walk takes you to the last village of the area at Samdu village a moderate size settlement within dry and arid landscape similar to Tibetan terrain.

With overnight at Samdu where walk lead at the end of Manaslu valley as well of Gorkha district area at Larke Phedi or Dharmasala also known as Larke Bazaar (at one time a thriving market where Tibetans, Manaslu and Manang people with people of lower Gorkha region trade use to take place).

Next early morning climb over moraine of rocks and boulders (in snow conditions

tough to find the right trail).

Where walk leads over ablation of Larke north section glacier, with views of Cho Danda (Hill) with Larke Peak, as climb becomes steeper to reach at the top of Larke-la, marked with thousands of Buddhist colorful prayer flags at the height of 5,160 m and 16,929 ft high.

From the highest spot of the adventure marvel great views of Himlung, Cheo Himal, Kang Guru and Annapurna II includes series of Manaslu peaks.

After mind-blowing panorama of peaks and dramatic landscapes head downhill back into lush green vegetation and tree lines on reaching a small place of Larcia, where walks leads on moraine ridge to Tambuche at 3,900m, at the base of Larke pass, where further walk takes to nice settlement at Bhimthang.

A beautiful place in the midst of alpine woodland within a wide green grassy field with number of lodges decorated with interesting prayer Mani walls.

After overnight stop at Bhimthang located within Manang district as walk continues to reach on the road-head at large and nice lovely village of Dharapani situated on main trail of popular Annapurna Circuit route, here Manaslu Trekking completes.

Dharapani located on a river gorge with lovely tree lines where motorable has been constructed since past few years, the village provides excellent lodges.

After a fabulous adventure on Manaslu Trekking where one can take a drive back to Kathmandu or to Pokhara from Dharapani where drive follows Marysangdi River downstream for some time past Tal Besi-Chamje and Jagat villages, and then downhill to low warm country and back into paddy fields to reach at large town of Besisar, headquarter of Lamjung district.

Best Time for Manaslu Trekking:

As Manaslu trekking involves high Larke-La pass where trekkers should pick the Right time to join on the wonderful walks, where March to May would be the best Time, during the springtime when most of the days are clear for views and walks with longer sunlight hours.

March to May where hills and valley are alive with wildflowers in full bloom with various species of rhododendron (national flower of the country) where days are pleasant on high hills for walks. Morning and night time as well in shade can be cold with some chances of snow sometimes at 2,800 m high or above where crossing pass should be taken care with pre-caution measures, always following your lead and expert guides. September to November another good month with fine clear views of surrounding peaks as well for pleasant walks, where days will be shorter with sunlight as this month falls within autumn/fall seasons. Can be freezing cold above 3,000 m high with much chances of snow sometime even during this nice time of the year for the trek.

From November onward due to cold where local villagers of high Manaslu closed their business including lodge and Tea-House to migrate within a low warm area to escape the winter chill.

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Manaslu Restricted Area:   

Manaslu falls within Restricted Area of Nepal Himalaya due to its closeness to Tibet border, and to control the main flow of trekkers with limited numbers, where extra fees are added to obtain a special permit to enter high Manaslu Valley, other fees include for Manaslu and Annapurna Conservation permits as extra.

How to reach and end the trek around Manaslu:

Jeep and Buses run from Kathmandu to the town of Arughat located within the District of Gorkha, from here taking another vehicle on a rough dirt road to reach the start of the trek either from Soti or Machha Khola. On ending the walk at Dharapani either walk as far toward the lower warm country of Lamjung at Besisar, headquarter town of Lamjung where normal daily Bus and Mini coaches are available to reach Kathmandu-Pokhara or Chitwan. For trekkers with limited time can take a drive straight to Kathmandu from Dharapani village on the chartered vehicle or drive to Besisar and change the Transport as per own choice.

Standard Outline Itinerary of Manaslu Trekking:  

Day 01:          Drive to Soti Khola via Arughat 710 m from Kathmandu 07 hrs, Pokhara -05 hrs and from Chitwan 06 hrs.

Day 02:          Trek to Maccha Khola 900m -06 hrs.

Day 03:          Trek to Jagat 1,340 m-06 hrs.

Day 04:          Trek to Deng 1,804m – 06 hrs.

Day 05:          Trek to Namrung 2,630 m-06 hrs.

Day 06:          Trek to Lho-Gaon 3,180 m – 06 hrs.

Day 07:          Trek to Sama-Gaon 3,530 m/11,578 ft – 06 hrs.

Day 08:          Rest day for acclimatization day at Sama-Gaon with short hike.

Day 09:          Trek to Samdo 3,860 m/12,660 ft – 04 hrs

Day 10:          Trek to Dharamsala /Larke Base 4,460m /14, 628 ft-04 hrs.

Day 11:          Trek to Bimthang 3,720 m/12, 201 ft via Larke-La pass                        5,160 m /16, 924 ft -08 hrs.

Day 12:          Trek to Gho 2,760 m – 05 hrs.

Day 13:          Trek Dharapani 1,963 m/ 6,440 ft
Day 14:          Drive to Besisar by jeep or straight to Kathmandu / Pokhara   

Above itinerary are just guidelines one can change as per your requirement and duration of time in Nepal.

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