Manaslu Circuit Trek – A Trek in remote Mansiri Region of Nepal Himalayas
Manaslu Circuit Trek is among the major treks in Nepal that lies close to Kathmandu Valley. After having said that it is still an eight hours drive or 126Km to Soti Khola which is the starting point of the Manaslu Circuit Trek. A splendid trek that show cases Mount Manaslu in all it’s grandeur. Also known as the Manaslu Base Camp Trek it circumvates the world’s eighth highest mountain, Manaslu.
Manaslu Circuit Trek – what to expect ?
Larkya La Pass at an altitude of 5016m lying between Dharamsala and Bhimthang is the longest pass in Nepal Himalayas and is also the highest point on the Manaslu Circuit Trek. Even after lying close to the Kathmandu valley, Manaslu Circuit Trek ventures into the remote Mansiri Region close to the border with Tibet and in turn makes this trek a little strenuous and Isolated.
Looking down from Larkya Pass one can get a clear view of the terrain that you had come up but the best views are on the west after you cross over the Larkya Pass. A great glacial circle comes into view. A glacial circle created by Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Nemjung Himal, Gyaji Kang and Kang Guru, looking down on the crystal clear streams from the glaciers, while on the horizon the Annapurna II stands tall. This view alone makes the trek worthwhile.
Manaslu Circuit Trek infact used to be the ancient salt trading route to Tibet and this area was closed to foreign Nationals till the year 1991. Manaslu area is now open to trekkers on a limited basis and one needs to have a restricted area permit to trek here and this will cost extra.
Like all classic Treks in Nepal, Manaslu Circuit Trek too provides all the regular features of a classic trek as the route passes through long suspension bridges, small villages with ethnic tribes and their sacred culture, lofty snow covered mountains, protected wildlife park, waterfalls, canyons and high passes covered with snow.
Very few trekkers visit the Manaslu Region as the trek route is a little remote and lonely as compared to the popular Everest Base Camp Trek or the Annapurna Circuit Trek . The lodges are also few and basic as compared to the lodges in Annapurna or Everest Region.
Can this Trek be customized by adding Tsum Valley into the Itinerary ?
By adding a few more days to the regular trek itineray you get the best of Manaslu Circuit with Tsum Valley Trek. It is being said, without a trek into the Tsum Valley the Manaslu Circuit trek will be incomplete. Having said that it is to be remembered that the Manaslu Base Camp with Tsum Valley Trek is a strenuous trek, challenging enough to bring blisters on your toes and leave a mark in your memory.
Which part of Nepal Himalayas does the Manaslu Region fall ?
Manaslu Circuit Trek Route lies to the east of Ganesh Himal, west of Great Annapurna Range, south of the Tibetan plateau in Mansiri Region of Nepal Himalaya.
Manaslu Circuit Trek – Total distance Covered
Starting from Soti Khola and Ending in Besisahar the Manaslu Circuit Trek covers a total distance of 177Km with an average of 18Km walking distance per day.
Manaslu Circuit Trek- is it a Tea House Trek or a Camping Trek ?
Manaslu Circuit Trek is a tea house trek with accommodation in lodges run by local families. Lodges are very basic and few with common washroom and restroom. Local Nepal Food such as Rice, Dal and Curry are available in these lodges and Tea Houses.
Permits required for the Manaslu Circuit Trek
- Manaslu Circuit Trek is a restricted area trek therefore you will need a restricted area permit to trek in this area and which will be issued to a local company.
- Restricted area Permit will be issued to a group of two trekkers and above only.
- Over and above the restricted area permit one will also need Annapurna Conservation Area Permit(ACAP)
- Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP).
When is the best time to proceed on the Manaslu Circuit Trek ?
April to May is the best time for the Manaslu Circuit Trek when the temperature is mild, sky clear and the mountains will be filled with wild flower blooms and colorful Rhododendron flowers.
September to November is also a perfect time to go on the Manaslu Circuit Trek when the skies are crystal clear after the monsoon rain. A perfect time to view the mountain range.
NOTE: One can also reduce a day by driving from Arughat to Seti Khola. Jeep services are available and the track is little bumpy. This way you can reduce the total distance by 13Km and gain a day.
TRIP FACTS :
- Minimum No. Of Participants : 2 Persons.
- Type of Trek : Tea House / Lodge.
- Highest point : 4460m.
- Trail grade : Strenuous.
- Total duration : 14 Days.
- Starting Point : Kathmandu.
- Ending Point : Pokhara.
- Best Season : February to May and September to December.
- Climate: Days are normally warm. Nights can at times be (general) very cold and in winter even below the freezing point. Monsoon showers in summer (heaviest in July, August) and sometimes even in spring and autumn.
- Trek availability: Private treks only for minimum 2 persons on request. No group departures available.
- Customized private Treks can also be arranged for a minimum of two persons on request on a date of your choice.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary:
Day 1: Kathmandu to Soti Khola (700m /8 hrs).
The Manaslu Circuit Trek begins with a drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola an eight hours drive and a local jeep to Sotikhola from Arughat. Overnight Lodge in Soti Khola.
Day 2: Soti Khola to Maccha Khola (900m/23Km/ 6 hrs). Overnight Lodge
Day 3: Maccha Khola to Jagat (1340m/23Km/ 8 hrs). Overnight Lodge.
Trek to Jagat starts with a twisting trail besides the banks of the Buri Ghandaki through Sal forest inhabitaed by Macacs and Langurs.
Day 4: Jagat to Pewa (1600m/20Km/ 6 hrs). Overnight Lodge.
Day 5: Pewa to Namrung (2630m/21Km/ 6 hrs). Overnight Lodge.
Namrung has some of the best teahouses, a restaurant and rest houses with modern cappuccinos and WiFi on the Manaslu Circuit Trek.
Day 6: Namrung to Lho (2957m/10Km/ 4 hrs). Overnight Lodge.
Lho is a big village with Buddhsit Monastery and a sizable population inhabited by Nubri People of Tibetan Orgin. From Lho catch the stunning views of Manaslu (8163m) and Manaslu North (7157m).
Day 7: Lho to Samagaon (3540m / 7Km/4 hrs). Overnight Lodge.
Samagaon is the principal village of the Nubri people which has a Buddhist Monastery, some shops, a health post, a helipad and telephone booths.
Day 8: Acclimatization Day. Side trip to Pungyen Gompa, Manaslu Basecamp or Birendra Tal. Overnight Lodge.
One can trek for two hours to Pungyen Gumpa which lies to the east of Nubri Valley or hike upto Birendra Tal (3450m) a glacial lake and to Manaslu Base Camp(4400m) which lies to the North of Samagaon.
Day 9: Sama Gaon to Samdo (3865m/16Km/ 4 hrs). Overnight Lodge.
Once at Samdo, you can explore the nearby villages or you can hike to Samdo Peak. The Larkya La trail is on the left above the valley. You can also see the main track leading into Tibet over the Larjyang La forming slopes on the Larkya La trail.
Day 10: Samdo to Dharamsala/Larkya Phedi (4460m/12Km/4 hrs). Overnight Lodge.
Trek to Dharamsala also known as Larkya Phedi is short but adventurous. Do take your time while trekking as your body needs to get acclimitized. Enjoy the wonderful Himalayan Vistas while you trek to Dharamsala.
Day 11:Dharamasala – Larkye La Pass(5016m) – Bimthang(3590m /25Km/10 hrs). Overnight Lodge.
Trek to Bhimthang is long and challenging as you need to cross the Larkya La Pass (5016m) highest point on the trek and also trek through scree and moraines. Witness the stunning views of Himlung Himal (7126m) near Tibet, Cheo Himal (6820m), Gyaji Kung (7030m), Kang Guru (6981m) and Annapurna II (7937m). Overnight Lodge.
Day 12: Bimthang to Tilje(2300m/26Km/6 hrs). Overnight Lodge.
Final day of the Manaslu Circuit Trek , trek through lush forests full of flora and fauna including rhododendron bushes till Tal. Overnight Lodge.
Day 13: Trek Tilje to Sirichaur (1150m/6Hrs). Overnight Lodge.
Day 14: Trek Dharapani to Besisahar(8Km/3Hrs)and drive to Kathmandu (1300m/8 hrs). If you feel you are done with trekking than you can take a jeep from Dharapani to Besi Sahar(35Km/3Hrs). From Besisahar you can take a bus ride back to Kathmandu or drive to Pokhara(103Km). You can also take a bus back to Kathmandu from Tal. End of the Manaslu Circuit Trek.
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- Manaslu Circuit Trek Cost : US$1100/person
Restricted Area Permit Fees (Extra as Applicable) :
- September to November – US$70/Pax for 7Days. Thereafter US$10/Day/Pax.
- August to December – US$50/Pax for 7Days. Thereafter US$7/Day/Pax
- Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP) : NRs.2000 or US$30/Pax
- Annapurna Conservation Area Permit : NRs.2000 or US$30/ Pax
- Trekkers Information Monitoring Card : US$10/Person
- Indian Nationals kindly enquire within for quotes in IRupees
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NEPAL TOURIST VISA
- Nepal visa is readily available on arrival at the International Airport in Kathmandu and all other entry points to Nepal.
- 2 passport photos will be required.
- Single Entry visa: US$ 30 per visa (valid for 60 days).
- Multiple Entry visa: US$ 80 per visa (valid for 150 days).
- Nepal Visas are also available in all Nepalese Embassies and Consulates.
- Visa is not required for Indian Nationals to travel inside Nepal
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Note: The above itinerary is a sample, intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. Numerous factors such as weather, road conditions, physical ability of the participants etc. may dictate itinerary changes either before departure or while on the trail. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of the trip participant’s safety, comfort and general well being.
Recommendations: The trek is a relatively difficult requiring good physical fitness. Few weeks training is advised and a physical fitness check-up is a must.
(All relevant Terms & Conditions apply).