Inhabited by two ethnic groups, Nubri and Tsum, the Manaslu region is a part of the Great Himalayan Trail. It wasn’t until 1991, most of the part of this region was open for trekking. Since you will pass through Samdo village where you are pretty close to the Tibetan border, Manaslu Circuit Trek demands a special permit to trek this region.
In addition, because the socio-cultural life of this region was uninfluenced by development, touring in this region was considered difficult, until the recent times.
Mount Manaslu (8163 m), the eighth highest mountain in the world was first summitted on May 9, 1956, by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu. It is the highest peak in the Gorkha district, 64 km east of Annapurna. Apart from climbing the mountain, the popularity of trekking in the Manaslu region increasing.
Manaslu Circuit Trek is infact one of the most beautiful trekking expedition you can take in Nepal. Because it hasn’t yet gotten as popular as the Everest Base Camp Trek or the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, trekking along this glorious mountain is quite peaceful. And since the pseudo-culture is at its minimum and you will enjoy the true essence of this place. The housing, lifestyle, culture and the social life of the people will make you feel welcomed and involved.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek starts from Arughat, after a short ride from Kathmandu. Arughat is a bazaar area, here will you will be introduced to the country life. From here you will then walk to Soti Khola then to Larupbeshi and then to Machha Khola. After Tatopani from Machakhola, you will then start to ascend above 1000 meters above sea level.
The villages that are on the way are equally unique and inviting. No wonder, tourism supports the people in this region. And the social lifestyle here is gradually adapting to the demands of the trekkers visiting every year.
From Lho( 3180m) the view of Manaslu is spectacular. Lho is highly dominated by a large Gompa where children are educated. Further, at 3530m you will reach Samagaon, this village is the closest to the Manaslu Base Camp. Here, you can stay to enjoy the culture and beauty of the place as well as to acclimatize.
From Dharamshala to Larke Pass, is a breathtaking journey, you will come across the turquoise lake that reflects the tall and spectacular mountains beautifully. The views are breathtaking. Gradually you will be heading on a rocky moraine at 5106m, the Larke Pass, a unique pass.
You can find the detailed Manaslu circuit trek itinerary, here.
The manaslu region is popular not only for being serene and peaceful, it also boasts a rich cultural ambience. The socio-cultural lifestyle of the people living here, the biodiversity of this region give you ample of reasons to love this place to its bits.
Yes, because it has just recently opened itself to the outer world, the progress and the development of this place is behind other popular trekking trails. This definitely makes it challenging yet a desirable place to trek. However, you can check examine the Manaslu trek difficulty in order to prepare yourself better.
Indeed, Manaslu trek without guide sounds fun, especially when you imagine the adventure and the thrill of being on your own. But, as per the permit rules at Manaslu Region, it is not possible to trek without a guide.
Because a minimum of 2 trekkers and a guide is mandatory, solo trek at the Manaslu Region is not possible. If this is something on your bucket list then there are a lot of other ways. Well, there are numerous places in Nepal where solo trek is possible.
The region is completely safe for female travelers or small group trekkers but none of these packages are suggested in your first trek. On the contrary, as per rule, you will have to pay for a min of 3 people either way.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Nepal Highlights
Trekking to a peaceful region is in itself a plus point, Manaslu Circuit Trek offers a lot more. The friendly people add into the beauty of the place, not to mention the gorgeous backdrop of the Himalayas.
Manaslu Conservation Area was declared in 1998 works under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act. This has boosted this region rich natural heritage and helped in promoting eco-tourism.
Well, there are a lot of things that one notices in this region, listed below are the major highlights of the trek.
- The breathtaking Himalayas, 10 peaks that are over 6500 meters are visible and a few over 7000 meters.
- Larkya La, a rocky moraine which is at the highest altitude during the trek. It is a beautiful pass at an elevation of 5160m above sea level.
- Reaching the border of Tibet, the Samdo Village. It also follows the trail of the ancient salt trading route that is along the Budhi Gandaki River.
- The region is highly influenced by the Japanese and is also a favorite trekking destination. This could be because of the first summitters who were Japanese.
- From Arughat to the Larkya La pass, you will pass through six climatic zones. And the elevation varies from 1000 meters to 5000 meters.
- The Himalchuli(7893 m), Ngadi Chuli(7871 m), Shringi (7187 m, Langpo (6668 m) and Saula (6235) are some of the other high peaked mountain vistas in this region.
- Wildlife like snow leopards, red pandas, Lynx, Asian Black bear, Himalayan goral, Himalayan mouse hare, back lipped pika can be seen in this region. About 33 mammals and 3 reptiles have been recorded here.
- If you are a bird watcher, 110 species of birds have been recorded in this region. Golden eagle, koklass pheasants, crimson horned pheasant, Himalayan griffon, kalij, Eurasian griffon are some examples of the birds here.
- Mani walls, five colored prayer flags, monasteries, chortens and the Buddhist landmarks are some of the key aspects that makes this region picturesque. The influence of Tibetan culture and northern Buddhism can be seen in this region.
Manaslu Region weather and Temperature
Trekking from Arughat to finally reaching the Larkya La pass( 5160m) will take you through six climatic zones. The tropical and sub-tropical zone, the temperate zone, the subalpine zone, alpine zone and finally the arctic zone. The altitude varying from 1000 meters to above 5000 meters.
When there are a varying altitude, the temperature, and the weather is definitely influenced. It is obvious to expect unpredictable weather while trekking in the mountains.
A snow line is reckoned above 5000 meters above altitude. Occasional snow and rainfall are normal at this altitude. An annual rain is about 1900mm, monsoon included.
You can expect the temperature of the subtropical region to be in between 31–34 °C in summer and 8–13 °C in winters. In the temperate zones, it is 22–25 °C in summer and −2–6 °C in winters. And about -6 to -10 °C in winters in the subalpine zone. Manaslu trek temperature and weather is a key factor that determines its best season and the least appropriate season to trek.
However, every trekker may have a trekking favorite with regard to the season and the temperature they are comfortable in. This is the driving factor that makes one season favorable and the other a least favorable one. Because with proper gear and a guide no season could be a hurdle. Prepare a proper Manaslu trek packing list and you will be good to go.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Accommodations
When it comes to Manaslu circuit trek cost or trekking expenses, it has a lot to do with where you choose to stay or what you choose to eat. Obviously, the prices in the mountains are a lot more than the amount you usually spend. This is because of the additional transportation and labor costs.
Accommodation in the Manaslu region is should be your least concern. The region has a lot of tea houses that offer proper accommodation and hygienic meals. You can also check Manaslu tea house trek options that suit your personal/ groups need.
With the increasing number of trekkers and tourists every year, the facilities have only gone better with time. This includes internet services, proper lavatory, hygienic and organic crops and clean water. When you are in a different country and in the remotest parts of a country, these basic need will add into making your trip a comfortable one.
However, pre-booking trips and consulting with your agent and guide will probably get you the best deals during peak seasons.
Trekking isn’t for everyone, and for those who trek it is a big part of their life. The Manaslu Circuit Trek isn’t just about the trekking trails, the environment that encompasses the area is impressive. The socio-cultural lifestyle, the jaw-dropping landscape, the serenity and the thrill is unmatched.
In addition to the Manaslu Base Camp trek, this trek takes you to the Larkya La Pass which is the highlight of this package. It is a place you should not miss. The moraine terrain and the spectacular view from there will multiply the beauty of your Manaslu trek photos.
In the 20 plus days that you will be spending in the Manaslu Region, you will not only take back memories, but experiences of a lifetime and hundreds of stories to tell.
This is no doubt one of the best trekking destinations in Nepal.
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