Manaslu Circuit Trek

ManasluConsidered as one of the moderately challenging treks in Nepal, the Manaslu Circuit will reward the adventurous with an unparalleled alpine experience. Opened in 1992, this area offers a combination of rich culture heritage, unsurpassed beauty, and biological diversity. We ascend the Gandaki River valley, which is fed by innumerable rivers and waterfalls, offering the chance of a plunge into some bathing pools. From here, the strenuous section begins and yaks begin to out number people in the rocky landscape. In Samagoan (3450m) we visit the glacial green lake of Birendra, before crossing into mystic Samdo, a mere 15km from the Tibetan border.

Here Tibetan monks inhabit sacred monasteries and combined with the views of the Tibetan plateau against stark white Himalayas this is a truly spiritual place. The biggest challenge then awaits - crossing the snow bound Larkya La pass (5213m). Snow-covered peaks over 6500m towers above as we cross. The descent, once off the snow, takes us through alpine then tropical areas,

Manaslubursting with ferns, bamboo, pine trees, waterfalls and aqua-blue green lakes laced with cotton-white beaches. Finally, Manaslu will disappear as we descend to Beshishar (832m.) This 3 week excursion will leave you with a sense of peace and respect for the people of Nepal and its ecological wonders.

Highlights: Views of Tibet and an insight into Tibetan culture through various monasteries and Tibetan settlements. Un-spoilt mountain views, bathing pools, lakes and waterfalls surrounded by alpine and tropical forests.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 01 Arrive Kathmandu;
You will be met on arrival and transferred to hotel

Day 02 Kathmandu;
Half day Sightseeing around Kathmandu. O/N in hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 03 Kathmandu - Gorkha;
Drive towards Pokhara and turn to north from Khaireni Bazar and overnight at an ancient town Gorkha. Or drive to Arughat Bazar via Dhading two days shorter and camp over night.

Day 04 Gorkha - Khanchok 950m;
Start trek up hill along steep stone step via Gorakh Kali temple and walk along the ridge. Down to Alebhanjang and up hill along the ridge and down to Khanchok Bhanjang with good views of Manasalu.

Day 05 Khanchok - Arughat;
This is short day walk along the river all way and camp along side of Budigandaki river beyond the Arughat Bazar.

Day 06 Arughat - Soti 1000m;
Trek head north, following the Buri Gandaki. In the low country path surrounded by rice paddies and picturesque hamlets. After climbing briefly to Kyoropani, path descends once again to the river and our cmpsite at the confluence with the tributary of Soti Khola. It is not a long day, and perhaps we have time for a refreshing swim sometime during the day for it is hot in the low country.

Day 07 Soti - Macha khola 1300m;
The country changes, the broad valley narrows and at times the trail is cut into the steep valley side, which is densely forested. We pass a number of small villages, tucked into the hillside, until we reach a widening of the valley, opposite the point where a large tributary stream enters the Buri Gandaki. The terraced farmland here belongs to the village of Lapu besi. Trek descend once again to the wide, sandy riverbed and follow a path, which runs below the steep, craggy valley side. At length, we have to climb up once again on a trail to Macha Khaola. We camp outside the village, which has a number of teashops.

Day 08 MachaKhola – Jagat 1360m;
We cross the Machha Khola- Fish Stream- and head upstream to the tiny village of Khola Bensi and the hot springs at Tatopani (which you want to investigate). The valley sides steepen until they are impassable and the route then switches to the left bank by way of a suspension bridge. The trail is quite exposed and challenging in places. After a short section of forest path we reach the single tea house at Dovan. Above Dovan, the Buri Gandaki descends an impressive series of rapids. Beyond this steep section, the river is much more placid, meandering across a broad gravel bed. At Lauri, we re-cross the river on a suspension bridge and then climb on a high path to the fields of Jagat, where we camp.

Day 09 Jagat – Deng 1800m;
After descending a long series of stone steps to the river,trek climb a terraced hill to Saguleri, from where we can see the impressive Sringi Himal, 7187m. Crossing the river again, at Gata Khola, the path splits, with the right–hand branch heading off towards the Mustang. Our route continues upstream, through a gorge section with towering walls. We cross the river three more times in the next two hours to avoid difficult valley sides and then climb up over a further steep spur to reach the village of Deng, where we camp.

Day 10 Deng – Bagar 2300m;
The valley is still steep- sided and most impressive. We cross to the village of Lana, and start to see mani stones, a sure signs that we are entering high country Buddhist regions. After only about four hours we reach our camping place at the village of Ghap, which straddles the river. We have entered the Tibetan areas and the cultural change is obvious, and the climate change is also obvious the trekking is pleasantly cool now, as we start to fain the altitude.

Day 11 Bagar – Namrung 2550m;
We gain altitude to take us into alpine territory and increasing mountain views. There are more mani walls and 3 more crossing of the Buri Gandaki on our route to Namrung, where our permit is checked. Above this village the valley opens out and there are extensive pastures. Climbing climb gently now, and cross a large stream flowing down from the Lidanda Glaciers, and reach the Tibetan village of Sho, 3000m. we camp just above the village we get our first incredible views of the Manaslu North and then of Manaslu main ahead.

Day 12 Namrung - Lhogaon 3180m;
Let the exploring start! We will discuss with locals what our best option is to get to the gompa. Our sherpas reckon it could be a very nice walk to take the smaller direct trail…. We pass thru Lho, a large village at 3150m where there is a lovely little monastery and numerous chortens and manis. Looking back Ganesh Himal I is visible. Leaving the village, we follow the right bank of the river, with views of Peak 29 ahead. At a fork in the trail, we take a detour to the left, which leads up to Honsansho Gompa and the Pungen Glaciers, from where there is a stunning view of Peak 29 and Manaslu. We will camp somewhere around here and explore and acclimatize for the next few days.

Day 13 Lhogaon – Samagaon 3360m;
Surrounded by mountains in a peaceful forest, we take a rest day to acclimatize and relax. It is a good time to catch up on that book or wash clothes.
Day 14 Samagaon-Samdu 3780m; Now that we are more used to the altitude we take some time to have a good look around. We may camp higher in the valley.

Day 15 Samdo 3780m;
Descending to the main trail via a direct route, we soon reach the fields of Sama Gaon, 3500m. we camp at Sama Gompa, 20 minutes beyond the village, or Samdo, near the Tibetan border.

Day 16 Samdo - Larkya Bazar 4390m:
The once large Buri Gandaki is now merely a stream as we continue to follow its course ever upwards. Everywhere you look are mountains, as spectacular as they get and Manaslu is particularly impressive.

After crossing to the East bank of the river, we reach the last permanent settlement in the valley which is called Sumdu. Above the village we cross the stream which runs down the Gya La (pass), the pass to Tibet, and there is the ruins of another village here known as Larkya Bazaa. Presumably this village thrived on trade with Tibet over the nearby Gya La, a trade which is now much diminished. Nearing the Larkya Glacier, we reach a lodge at 4450m which has been built to serve the travelers crossing the Larkya La.

Day 17 Larkya Bazar - Rest house 4460m;
Still climbing we take an easy day to admire the mountains. We camp by a lake.

Day 18 Rest House - Bhimthang 3660m;
After a short climb above the lodge, we reach the ablation valley on the North side of the Larkya Glaciers. There are views of Cho Danda and then of Larkya Peak. Finally, we walk across the moraines of the glacier, making a gradual ascent which becomes steeper only in the last section to the pass. From the pass, there are outstanding views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru and the huge Annapurna II. Initially, there is a steep descent over snow and then scree, to reach the ablation valley trail to Larcia Kharka. A further hour on a moraine ridge path leads to Tanbuche 3900m in pleasant forest. (Note that the Larkya La is normally quoted at 5115m or so, I have it from a surveyor that the correct altitude is more lilke 4910m)

Day 19 Bhimtang – Dharapani 1860m;
The valley system here is huge and well worth exploring – or perhaps you want a rest day?

Day 20 Dharapani – Sangye 1060m;
Below us is Bimthang, a broad and level ablation valley with a number of mani walls and deserted houses. Crossing this high pasture, we descend the valley of the Burdin Khola to the area of the Base camp for the West side of Manaslu. From a ridge at 4150m, we have excellent views of Manaslu to the South East and Annapurna II to the South West. Rhododendron forests and follow a trail through a narrow valley until we reach the highest cultivated land in this valley at Karche, 2785 metres.

Day 21 Sangye – Bhulbhule 840m;
We climb through terraced fields to the Karche La, and can see ahead a green and heavily forested valley, dropping down to the distant Marsyandi river. At thonje village is our final restricted area checkpost. Here we cross the Marsyandi River and join the main Annapurna Circuit, and the hoards of trekkers.

Day 22 Bhulbhule - Beshi Shahar – Kathmandu

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