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The Manaslu Circuit Trek circles Mount Manaslu. At 8,163 m (26,781 ft) Manaslu, which literally means the ‘spirit mountain’, is the eighth highest mountain in the world. It is located in the Mansri Himal range halfway between the cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara.
The Manaslu region was only opened for trekking in 1991. Teahouses only began to be built along the route in 2010. Because of this the region still sees far fewer tourists than the Everest and Annapurna trekking regions. Many people compare the Manaslu Circuit of today with the Annapurna Circuit of the 1990s and early 2000s.
The trek begins by following the Budhi Gandaki River, which cuts a deep gorge into the mountains, and gradually ascends into the Nubri Valley. It then crosses Larkya (Larke) La (5,215 m / 17,109 ft), which is one of the longest and most stunning mountain passes in the Nepal Himalaya.
In addition to the spectacular mountain views, the Manaslu Circuit provides the opportunity to experience the rich culture of the people who call the Nubri Valley home. Due to the area’s remoteness, local cultures are relatively unexposed to modernization and commercialization.
The people of the region share much culture and history with neighboring Tibet. You will see many old monasteries and walk past thousands of mani stones inscribed with Buddhist texts. You will also meet local people in their unique houses and wearing traditional clothing.
The Manaslu Conservation Area is a protected area in Nepal. Trekkers must obtain a special entry permit. A registered trekking agency in Nepal, like Bold Adventures, must processed this permit for you.
It is not possible to trek the circuit as a solo or independent trekker. A local registered guide must accompany trekkers who must be in groups of at least two persons. From 2010, the trek can be completed as a full teahouse trek. However, camping is required from mid-December to late-February as the higher altitude teahouses are closed for the winter period.
Starting at 720 m and peaking at 5160 m, the Manaslu Circuit spans a tremendous range of altitudes, temperatures, and micro-climates. Finding the right balance between hot and cold, as well as views and nature is the key.
The best time to trek is from October to the mid-December, which is when many villages will migrate down to lower altitudes for the winter. It will be cold at higher altitudes; however, the air is crystal clear and you will have the best views of the mountains.
It is possible to trek in January and February, however, key lodges at higher altitudes will be
closed; camping is necessary. Changing weather patterns can bring unpredictable storms over Larkya La Pass and ice will make crossing slightly more technical.
March and April are also great times to trek. The trail is much quieter, and you will see beautiful rhododendrons between Deng and Shyala.
May and June are the least ideal times to trek as it is very hot, especially at lower altitudes.
The monsoon rains from mid-June to August bring the temperature down and the trek will be lush, full of greenery and many flowers will be in bloom. However, the haze will cover the mountains from view.
Five reasons to do the Manaslu Circuit
1. Compared to Nepal’s most popular trekking areas, very few tourists visit Manasluarea. This makes the Manaslu Circuit perfect if you want to get away from the crowded teahouses of the main trekking routes.
2. The areas remoteness means that modernisation and commercialisation have yet to significantly alter the region. While trekking the Manaslu Circuit you will be surrounded by the ancient culture and almost medieval lifestyle of the Nubri people.
3. The Nubri Valley is nestled in the middle of the Himalaya. Not only will you take in epic views of Manaslu, you will be see the surrounding peaks of Chamar (7,165 m / 23,507 ft), Himlung (7126 m / 23379 ft), Cheo Peak (6820 m / 22375 ft), Kang Koru
(6981 m / 22903 ft), and Annapurna II (7,937 m / 26,040 ft).
4. The Manaslu Circuit begins its climb into the Nubri Valley on the banks of Budhi Gandaki River, crossing it at numerous occasions over a of suspension bridges—a unique experience indeed. Because the trek follows the course of the river gorge,
the route is not technical and ascends gradually, maximising altitude acclimatisation.
5. Lonely Planet is unequivocal in its praise for Larkya La Pass, describing it as ‘one ofthe most dramatic pass crossings in the Himalaya’. From Larkya La you can see four glaciers converging above amazing views to Lamjung Himal and the Annapurnas.
While the pass is long and will take a number of hours to walk it is not technical and promises to be one of the most rewarding highlights of the trek.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, at the Tribhuvan International Airport, our official representative will greet you and assist you in transferring to your hotel room in Kathmandu. You can take some time by yourself and relax after your journey. You will be spending the night here in Kathmandu.
After devouring a delicious breakfast, we will embark on a half-day tour of Kathmandu City. We will be visiting renowned landmarks like; Swayambhunath, Bouddhanath, Pashupatinath, and Kathmandu Durbar Square. Once we return from the fruitful excursion we will be attending a pre-departure meetup for a briefing regarding the trip. We will spend the night here in Kathmandu.
We will embark upon this astounding adventure, with a scenic 8-9 hours drive from Kathmandu to Macchakhola. You will get a chance to enjoy the glorious landscapes and rural villages along the way. Upon reaching the Machhakhola, you will check into your lodge. You will be spending the night here at Machhakhola.
We will officially begin our trek from Macchikhola. We will be trekking for approximately, 6hours and eventually reach Jagat. Throughout the journey, we will pass through lush green forests and picturesque villages. You will get a chance to explore the surrounding villages and get acquainted with the local culture. You will be spending the night here at Jagat.
An exciting day filled with adventure awaits as we wake up on day 5. We will continue our trek from Jagat to Deng. This trail passes through astounding landscapes, we will be crossing high-suspension bridges and enjoying the natural scenery. Eventually, we reach Deng and spend the rest of the night at Deng.
Today’s trek takes you from Deng to Ghap. You will be passing through the lush forests following the trail along the Budi Gandaki River. This trail passes through several villages and you will get a chance to immerse in the scenic beauty of this region. You will spend the night here at Ghap.
On day 7, the trek starts from Ghao to Lho, You will embark on this journey enjoying the panoramic view of the majestic mountains. This trail passes through astounding landscapes, charming villages, and Buddhist monasteries. Upon reaching Lho, you will witness the rare sighting of Majestic Manaslu and other peaks. You will be spending the night here at Lho.
You will continue your journey from Lho to Samagaon. This trail takes you through lush alpine forests, and awe-inspiring mountain views. You will be crossing the streams and finally reach the village of Samagaon, which is renowned for its Tibetan culture and Hospitality. You will spend the night here in Samagaon.
Day 9, this day is dedicated to acclimatization to the higher altitudes in Samagaon. You can take a hike to Birendra Lake or visit the nearby monasteries. You can utilize this time to explore the village and interact with the locals to learn about their way of life. You will spend the night here in Samagaon.
On day,10 we resume the trek, making our way back from Samagaon to Samdo. Enjoying the flabbergasting views of the nearby surrounding mountains and valleys, we reach Samdo, where we spend the night here in Samdo.
Day 11, From the village of Samdo, you will embark on a challenging 6-hour trek to Dharmasala, also known as Larkya Phedi. The trail will lead you through rocky terrain as you gradually gain altitude, preparing yourself for the upcoming crossing of the Larkya La pass. Once you reach Dharmasala, you will settle in for the night, allowing your body to acclimatize to the higher altitude. Dharmasala offers a rustic charm and a serene atmosphere, providing a perfect place to rest and rejuvenate. You’ll have comfortable accommodations for the night in Dharmasala.
Brace yourself for an exciting and demanding day as you set out to conquer the mighty Larke La pass, which sits at an impressive altitude of 5106 meters. Starting early in the morning, you’ll make your way along the trail, surrounded by breathtaking views of the majestic peaks that encircle the pass.
As you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic spectacle of the surrounding mountains, a sight that will leave you awestruck. Take your time to absorb the beauty of the high Himalayas before descending to Bhimtang. This enchanting location, nestled amidst snow-capped mountains, will serve as your resting place for the night. Prepare to be captivated by the serene ambiance and the awe-inspiring natural surroundings. You’ll have comfortable accommodations for the night in Bhimtang.
Continuing your journey, you’ll descend from Bhimtang towards Tilje. The trail will guide you through lush forests, where the vibrant greenery will create a peaceful and calming atmosphere. Along the way, you’ll cross rivers, their flowing waters providing a soothing soundtrack to your trek. As you venture forth, the landscape will gradually change, offering you an ever-changing and picturesque view.
Eventually, you’ll reach Tilje, a captivating village that seamlessly blends the rich Gurung and Tibetan cultures. The unique cultural fusion and warm hospitality of the locals will make your stay in Tilje a truly memorable experience. You’ll have comfortable accommodations for the night in Tilje.
We will resume the trek from Tilje to Jagat. On our way, we will cross charming villages and terraced fields. You will get a chance to enjoy the natural beauty of this region as you make your way back. You will spend the night here at Jagat.
On day 15, we will continue our trek from Jagat to Ngadi, the final leg of your trek. Descending through the trail, crossing rivers, and enjoying the scenic masterpiece, we reach Ngadi. Celebrate the completion of your trek as it was not the easiest. You will spend the night here in Ngadi.
We will take a local bus or a jeep from Ngadi to Besisahar. From Besi Sahar, you will continue your journey back to Kathmandu Valley. Upon reaching Kathmandu, you can check into your hotel and relax. You will have an overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Day 17, is your day of leisure. You can utilize this day to roam around the magnificent Kathmandu city. This is a perfect opportunity for visiting the market at your own pace and indulge in some souvenir shopping. Alternatively, you can also opt for additional sightseeing tours and cultural experiences. You will be spending the night here in Kathmandu.
Day 18, the day of departure. After devouring your last breakfast in Nepal, our official representative will drop you at the Airport. You will be bidding farewell to Nepal with tons of fond memories of your Manaslu trekking adventure.