This Challenging Trek Goes Around the 8th Highest Mountain of the World

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Manaslu Circuit Trek

Photo of This Challenging Trek Goes Around the 8th Highest Mountain of the World by Amrita

Nepal is a paradise for trekking enthusiasts. This little Himalayan country has some of the best Himalayan trekking routes. Manaslu Trek is one such trek in Nepal that is far less crowded than other classic treks that the country offers. The trekking trail has epic scenery on offer, a spectacular suspension bridge, a subtropical forest, river gorges and most importantly, bleak, yet striking snowfields.

About Manalsu Peak

The Manaslu Peak is the world’s eighth highest peak, standing tall at 8163 m. The trek takes you around Mt. Manaslu through the Larkya Pass which towers at over 5100 m. Just imagine the feeling of accomplishment when you look at the mighty Manaslu peak standing before you.

Compared to the other treks in Nepal like the Everest Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Circuit Trek, Manaslu trek is less crowded, yet the beauty is similar. This challenging trek has a wild beauty to it that can only be understood if you embark on the trail.

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Photo of Manaslu Circuit Trek in Nepal, Tridevi Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal by Amrita

Why should you go for Manaslu Trek

• The beauty of the Manaslu region with its exotic flora and fauna is simply jaw dropping.

• Summiting the Larkya Pass at an altitude of 5167 m is considered quite challenging.

• You will get stunning views of Manaslu, Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Nemjung, Gyaji Kang and Kang Guru and Annapurna II.

• Wildlife is abundant in the region. If lucky, you will spot tahr, pika, agali (blue sheep) and marmots in abundance.

• You will get an immersive cultural experience on this trek route.

Detailed Itinerary of the trek

Most of the itineraries of Manaslu Trek are around 14-18 days. There are many points in the trek where you will find tree houses and you can decide your stop for the day accordingly. Here, I will give you an ideal trekking route of the Manaslu trek. You can obviously tweak it around a bit.

Day 1

Kathmandu – Soti Khola (8 hours)

Take a bus from Kathmandu Gongabu Bus Park towards Arughat. The road is quite dusty and bumpy, but definitely scenic. From Arughat, a major town, take a car towards Sotikhola. You have to stay overnight at Sotikhola in one of the tree houses.

Photo of Soti Khola, Nepal by Amrita
Day 2

Sotikhola – Maccha Khola (9 hours)

Trekking starts from this day. After having your breakfast at the tree house, start your trek. The trail from Soti Khola to Machha Khola is quite narrow and rocky. On the way, you will pass through forests where you can stop for sometime for a quick rest. You will also encounter waterfalls, rivers on the way and some towering cliffs. The trail is uneven with uphills and downhills. Finally you will reach Maccha Khola after crossing a suspension bridge. Stay at the tree house for the night.

Day 3

Maccha Khola – Jagat (8 hours)

Start your trek following the twisting road on the banks of Buri Gandaki River. After that, you will enter the forest area where you will encounter a number of monkeys and langurs. After the forest area, you will cross a few Gurung villages on the way till you arrive at Tatopani, a small hot spring. This is a good place to take a break.

After this, you have to cross another suspension bridge over the Budi Gandaki River. After that, there are a series of staircases and suspension bridges until you cross to the west bank of the river. Climb up to a ridge, trek along the river and finally reach Jagat, the stop for the day.

Day 4

Jagat – Pewa (6 hours)

The trail starts with a descending path towards Sirdibas village. The village is a beautiful one with a few small gompas. Walk till you reach Philim where your permits will be checked. The trail from Philim is quite beautiful with different sculptures made on the river bank. Next, you will enter a rhododendron and pine forest till you cross the Siyar Khola bridge. Finally you will reach Pewa, the destination for the day. Here there are only two tree houses serving basic food and amenities. Rest for the day here.

Photo of This Challenging Trek Goes Around the 8th Highest Mountain of the World by Amrita
Day 5

Pewa – Namrung (7 hours)

After breakfast, start trekking through an ascending winding trail. Today also, you have to cross a suspension bridge. The trail passes through Ghap which is a landslide prone zone. So please be careful and pay heed to the instructions of your guide. After about one hour into the uneven trail, there is an uphill way to Namrung. This is a beautiful village with some of the best teashops, restaurants and rest houses on the trek.

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Photo of Namrung, Prok, Nepal by Amrita
Day 6

Namrung - Lho (5 hours)

Namrung has Tibetan influence. You will encounter a number of prayer flags and Mani walls on the way. You will also see most of the locals dressed in Tibetan attires. It is a different world altogether. Walking across the rocky hillside routes, you will finally reach Lho. From here, you will get stunning views of Manaslu (8163 m) and Manaslu North (7157 m). This day, you will gain a lot of height. So be careful and take things slow.

Day 7

Lho - Sama Gong (4 hours)

This day, the trek route is short. This is so because time is needed for acclimatisation. The trail is an easy one through pine and rhododendron forests to Shyapla. The picturesque view of Mt. Manaslu will accompany you in some parts of the trail. After Shyapla, another hour of trekking will take you to Sama Gaon, the stop for the day.

Day 8

Acclimatisation Day

This is the much needed acclimatisation day, so do take some rest this day. For those who want to explore, you can hike to the Pungyen Gompa, a beautiful monastery with majestic views of the glacier. You can also hike to Birendra Tal, a short distance from Sama Gaon. You can explore the village and get an insight into the culture and life of the Sherpa people.

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Photo of This Challenging Trek Goes Around the 8th Highest Mountain of the World by Amrita
Day 9

Sama Gong – Samdo (4 hours)

This day is also a short trek, but remember you will be in higher altitude. First you descend to the Buri Gandaki River and follow it to a bridge. Next you have to cross a wooden bridge and then climb up a steep path till the Samdo village. The mountain views along this route are quite amazing.

Day 10

Acclimatisation Day

Another day of rest, but you can take a trip to the Tibetan border.

Day 11

Samdo – Dharamshala (4 hours)

Start your hike and cross the Larke Bazar, a local Tibetan market and then descend towards the Buri Gandaki River. You have to cross the wooden bridge and then hike uphill, crossing two streams. You will see the Larkya Glacier from here. The uphill trail will gradually take you to Dharamshala.

Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amrita
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amrita
Day 12

Dharamshala – Bimthang via Larkya Pass (10 hours)

This is the most important day of the trek as you are going to cross the highest point of the trek, the Larkya Pass. Start early this day as it is going to be a challenging day. You will encounter a number of rustic villages, clear lakes, beautiful valleys and a number of flora and fauna on the way.

After a short climb, you will reach a valley from where you will get great views of the Cho Danda and Larkya Peak. Following the glacial moraine, there is a steep ascent to the Larkya Pass. After a few hours of trek, you will get the spectacular sights of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kang Guru and Annapurna II. The descent to Bimthang from the pass is quite steep and slippery, but the hike through the low pastures is quite rewarding.

(C) Pixabay

Photo of Bhimtang Lake viewpoint, Thoche, Nepal by Amrita

(C) Pixabay

Photo of Bhimtang Lake viewpoint, Thoche, Nepal by Amrita
Day 13

Bimthang – Tal (9 hours)

This is the final day of trekking in the Manaslu region. The downhill trail follows through the beautiful forest trail full of rhododendron, pine and oak. The final stretches of the trail goes through agricultural land and fields until you reach Tal.

Day 14

Tal – Syange (8 hours)

Start from Tal, follow the trail downhill to the village of Chyamje crossing the beautiful Marsyangdi Khola via a suspension bridge. The trail then descends further through picturesque rhododendron and pine forests to the village of Syange where you'll stay the night.

Day 15

Syange – Kathmandu

Take a car from Syange to Kathmandu through the winding roads passing through picturesque villages.

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Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Amrita

Best time to undertake the Manaslu Circuit Trek

The best time for the trek is between March to May which is also the rhododendron blooming season. October to December is also a great time as you will get clear skies and spectacular views.

Permits required for the trek

The Manaslu trail is through a restricted region. You will need special restricted area permit. You will also need ACAP and MCAP permit for the trek. Two trekkers are compulsory for the trek.

So are you ready to take the challenge? Tell us about your challenging stories. Write all about it here on Tripoto!

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