MANASLU CIRCUIT TREK
MANASLU CIRCUIT TREK
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Kicked off in the year of 1992, Manaslu Circuit Trek is one of the most popular trekking routes in Nepal. This trekking route is situated in the Annapurna Region. The prime attraction of this route is it being less crowded compared to other trekking routes of Nepal such as of those in the Khumbu Region. Therefore, choosing Manaslu Circuit Trek will allow the individuals to enjoy the beauty of nature, the magnificence of the pristine Himalayan massifs and the warm hospitality of the local people in pure solitude.
The circular trek route takes you through steep climbs, steep descents, pasture lands, high altitude grasslands, waterfalls, gorges, swift flowing rivers, snow-capped mountains, alpine forests and a lot of exciting things.
The circuit trek begins with a drive from Kathmandu to Arughat from where we change to a four-wheel drive to reach Soti Khola. The trekking begins from Soti Khola. The trail heads northwards through various Gurung villages and Tibetan settlements. On the way, astounding views of Ganesh Himal (7,442m), Mt. Himalchuli (7,893m), and many more. We will also be passing through a high altitude pass Larkya La Pass situated at an altitude of (5,320m), which is also the highest altitude of our trip.
The best seasons to complete this 17 days trekking route are spring and autumn. The difficulty of the trek is quite challenging as we climb quite high. Still, one should not be frightened to go on for this route.
Day 01: Airport pickup and hotel transferOur Representative will be waiting for you at the airport and welcome you in our typical Nepali culture. You will be quickly arriving at the hotel afterward where you can expect luxurious accommodation. There will be a welcome dinner tonight and afterward a proper sleep which is much needed after the long trip from home.
Day 02: Rest and Tour Day at KathmanduToday we will discuss our trekking and make necessary preparations and we take a quick city tour of Kathmandu as well. After all the briefings regarding the trek and acquainting necessary permits, we will arrange a short trip to a few UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city such as Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambunath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa and so on. A quick stroll in the streets of Kathmandu and last-minute gear shopping is a perfect thing to do in the evening.
Day 03: Drive to Soti Khola (730m) – 8 HoursToday we leave Kathmandu to reach our starting point of trekking – Soti Khola. We will take a bus initially from Kathmandu to Arughat, from where we change our ride to a four-wheel-drive until we reach Soti Khola. On the first leg of our drive, we will be escorted by Trishuli River and Marshyangdi River along with high hills and terrain. Following the twisting and turning road, we reach Arughat, which is quite a densely populated town. After a short rest in Arughat, we make a short (2 hours drive) to Soti Khola. In this leg, we will be able to spot Ganesh Himal Range, small villages, high rocky hills as we follow Budhi Gandaki River.
Day 04: Trek from Soti Khola to Machha Khola (890m) – 7 HoursThe real trekking begins on the fourth day of our trip when we walk from Soti Khola to Machha Khola which takes about 7 hours. Our trail will be adequately decorated with waterfalls and tributaries. Walking ahead through the easy trail we reach Khursane. As we move forward, we will be trekking down rice terraces that take us to Lapresi. Lapresi is a popular Gurung village. We walk along the bed of the Budhi Gandaki River and then down to Nauli Khola where we cross a suspension bridge. We make our final sprint to Machha Khola. We stay overnight in Machha Khola.
Day 05: Trek from Machha Khola to Doban (1,070m) – 5 HoursWe can expect some ups and downs in today’s trail which often drops onto the gravel bars alongside the stream. We will be crossing the Tharo Khola which flows in a rocky cavetto reaching Khorla Besi. Views of Manaslu Himal and Kuntung Himal look absolutely stunning. This place (Khorla Besi) is a small beautiful Gurung village that is a part of many trekking routes like the Manaslu Circuit Trek and the Tsum Valley Trek. Then we make a steep climb to reach Tatopani. Then, a final climb will take us to Doban. Doban is a confluence of the Shiar Khola and Sarpu Khola that flows from the eastward.
Day 06: Trek from Doban to Philim (1,570m) – 6 HoursThe first three hours of our trek will take us to Jagat from Dhoan. It is the setback item of the Manaslu Conservation Area. On the way, we encounter a lot of Buddhist monuments. Then we climb down to follow the trail along Dhudh Pokhari Khola. Passing through a ground of Salleri, the fields of rice and millet and climbing along the escarp of the Budhi Gandaki River we arrive Philim. Philim is another huge Gurung village. We stay overnight in Philim.
Day 07: Trek from Philim to Deng (1,860m) – 5 HoursThe trail today will be escorted by astounding views of snow-capped mountain peaks. The waterfalls we see on the way add to the beauty of the trek. We also enter into a steep, deserted gorge and descend to the grassland incline with lofty pine trees. As we move forward, we will see the Shar Khola and the Tsum Valley that connect the Budhi Gandaki on the opposite bank. Tsum Valley is another beautiful place where a lot of trekkers come. We make a final pleasing walk through the bamboo sylvan to Deng. We stay overnight in Deng.
Day 08: Trek from Deng to Namrung (2,660m) – 9 HoursThis section of the trek is very significant culturally. We initiate by crossing the Budhi Gandaki River and climbing up to the bridge. Then we will further climb to join a trail that comes from Bhi. As we join the trail, we head westward up the valley passing through lush forests, alpine vegetation, and fanciful villages housing ethnic groups of the Manaslu region. At this point, major peaks in the Manaslu region will start to appear in the distance. We will be crossing the Budhi Gandaki River several times today and run into several gompas along the way. Passing through a dense forest and a narrow gorge, the forest in our trail becomes less dense. We make a final steep climb to reach the village of Namrung. We stay overnight in Namrung.
Day 09: Trek Namrung to Samagaun (3,530m) – 10 HoursAfter early morning breakfast, we walk around the village for a good viewpoint of Siring, Ganesh Himal and Mount Himal Chuli to the south. Then, we join our trial and start by climbing steadily. We pass through forests to reach Lihi. Lihi is a fine village with many stupas and barely terraces. We continue on our trail as we pass through the villages of Sho, Lho, and Shyala before reaching Sama Village. We can always enjoy pristine views of Manaslu from Lho and explore the famous Ribung Gompa. Our journey of the 9th day halts in Samagaun where we stay overnight.
Day 10: Acclimatization Day in SamagaunAfter continuous walking for long hours, a rest cum acclimatization day is a must. We utilize this day to take proper rest and acclimatize ourselves to the decreasing level of oxygen. We still have not reached the highest altitude of our trip. Therefore, we spend a day exploring Samagaun. For those who want to carry on with the momentum, there is also a short hike route. You can hike this trail for an easy and refreshing day.
Day 11: Trek from Samagaun to Samdo (3,875m) – 4 HoursThe trek from Samagaun to Samdo is comparatively interesting and pleasant. We will cross the pasture areas and ascend to the valley. We will be trailing to forests with juniper and birch where we enjoy the beauty of nature. We will once again reach Budhi Gandaki River, where we will cross the wooden bridge over it and climb up steeply across the river. As we reach Samdo, we can get eye-catching views of Manaslu and other surrounding mountain peaks. Samdo is a Tibetan refugee village. So, this place can be an interesting location to learn about new cultures and traditions. We stay overnight in Samdo.
Day 12: Trek from Samdo to Dharmasala (4,480m) – 4 HoursStarting our trail by walking down the edge through fields and old mani walls is a great thing. After crossing the wooden bridge over the Budhi Gandaki River, we begin walking upward of the valley. The mani walls and the prayer flags hung on the route signify the closeness to Larkya La Pass. We will witness the Larkya Glacier after crossing two streams. We finally reach to Dharmasala. Our trek ends quite early. So, we get plenty of time to relax and explore the place. We stay overnight in Dharmasala.
Day 13: Trek from Dharmasala to Bhimtang (3,720m) – 8 HoursWe will eat a hearty breakfast today because we will be setting out on a longer hike. Although the trail is challenging, we will encounter several rustic villages, clear glacier lakes, beautiful valleys and a wide range of flora and fauna, not to mention some notable snowcapped peaks. We will walk across moraines of the glacier, making a gradual ascent, which becomes steeper in the last section of the pass. From the top of the pass, we can behold heart-warming views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, and the massive Annapurna II. We will finish the latter part of our day with a rewarding walk into misty low pastures in the early evening with Mount Manaslu looming in the distance. We stay overnight in Bhimtang.
Day 14: Trek from Bhimtang to Gho (2,550m) – 5 HoursAfter a few days of challenging hike and gaining altitude, now the descending section of the journey begins. Today we make a very short trek where we climb down to about 2,500 m, from Bhimtang to Gho. A wide range of animals and birdwatch can be seen in the way. Animals such as sheep, horses and jackanapes are common in this area. We stay overnight in Gho.
Day 15: Trek from Gho to Dharapani (1,910m) – 4 HoursThe last day of our trike is downhill. We will be walking through many fields and pastures. Then we arrive at Tilje which is a Gurung settlement. This village is also famous for Brandy. The trial will descend further through picturesque rhododendron and pine forests. Finally, we reach Dharapani where we stay overnight.
Day 16: Drive to PokharaToday we take a four-wheel drive to Pokhara. We reach Pokhara in the early afternoon if we set off early in the morning. This will give of plenty of time to explore lakeside and nearby areas in Pokhara. The night life in Pokhara is quite fascinating. We stay in Pokhara.
Day 17: Fly back to KathmanduWe can either drive back or fly back to Kathmandu. If you choose to take a cheaper option, driving would be preferential. But it takes a lot of time to take a drive. A 30 minutes flight seems to be a good option. We can reach Kathmandu early and take rest. There will be a farewell dinner program in Kathmandu.
- Trek Duration : 17 Days
- Difficulty : Challenging
- Highest Elevation : 5,320m (Larkya La Pass)
- Accommodation : Teahouses(Lodges)/Tented Camps
- Transportation : By land/By Air
- Group Size : 4-16 pax
- Best Season : Spring (March-May) and Autumn (Sept.-Nov.))
- Walk Duration : 5 hours Daily (Average)
- Trek Cost :
- Climb through the high altitude pass Larkya La Pass (5,320m)
- Enjoy the less crowded yet pristine trekking trail.
- Cross many high altitude suspension bridges over swift flowing rivers,
- Enjoy the astounding views of mountain peaks in the Annapurna massif.
- Explore different caves and waterfalls on the way.
- Meet Tibetan refugee settlement and learn about their culture
- Adventurous Drive
- Scenic flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu
WHAT IS INCLUDED
WHAT IS EXCLUDED
Here are some necessary trekking apparatus that can be required for accomplishing your trek effortlessly. They are shortlisted below.