Manaslu Circuit Trip Highlights: Magnificent mountain views of Ganesh Himal, Shringi Himal, Mount Manaslu, Lamjung Himal, Annapurna Range Ancient Buddhist Monasteries, Buddhist engraved Mani Wall, Beautiful Villages, Tibetan-like locals, Budhi Gandaki Vally, Dramatic Larke Pass (5160m, 16,324 ft.), Daily 4-7 Hours Walk. Staying in Trekking Lodges, Interact with Locals are the main feature of these trek.
Manaslu Circuit Trek is believed to be the best alternative hiking trail of Annapurna Circuit Trek as the road construction has threatened its reputation. Manaslu Circuit Trek is 12 – 18 days long depending on your itinerary, tour plan, how fit and experience you are. During the journey the trip pass through dominantly Hindu and with lush green subtropical valleys with villages and terraced farming lands lower elevation. From the begging, we hike along the Budhi Gandaki River. The journey takes you through distinct regional scenery of rivers, flora, fauna and above all - mountains.In Higher elevations, we trek through Buddhist influenced Nup Ri meaning "western mountain" area. The people are direct descendant of Tibetan and are very proud of their unique cultural heritage having trong sense preserving their culture. In the trail, after Jagat we enter to the Tibetan Buddhist influenced villages as we can see people of Shyo, Lho and Samagaun villages are identify them a lot closer with Tibet and have actually been part of Tibet in history.
Manaslu Circuit Trek starts from Arughat, reaches its point in Larke Pass at the elevation of 5160m (16,324 ft.). The route goes following mountains: Ganesh Himal, Siringi Himal, Himalchuli Himal, Manaslu (8163m a eight highest peak in the world), Naike Peak, Larke Peak, Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal and Annapurna Ranges passing through beautiful village of Bimtang among high mountains.The trek also goes through holy sites, most remarkably the oldest ancient Buddhist monasteries, prayers wall, stupas, chortens and in the region. This trekking route connects to Annapurna and Ganesh Himal sections of The Great Himalaya Trail, The eastern portion of the trek follows the Budhi Gandakii River upstream, to its source near the village of Samdo. To get there several days of up-hill hiking are required. Then the route goes over the pass, a grueling day of hiking, and back down the other side, where it meets up with the Marsyangdi River. After the pass, At the end of the trek, several options are available: following Marsyangdi river further trek to the proper road and catching a jeep at comfortable tourist bus at Besisahar, or adding on a trek to the Annapurna Circuit.
Manaslu Circuit is a rapid "teahouse trek," meaning there are lodges in every villages to eat and stay along the entire route. You are expected to eat breakfast and dinner in the same lodge where you are staying for the night.
Day 01: Meet and greet at airport, transfer to hotel.
Day 02: Get permits, preparation or visit ancient old temples.
Day 03: Drive to Arughat (608m)
Day 04: Trek to Lapubesi (884m).
Day 05: Trek to Dovan (1070m)
Day 06: Trek to Nyak Phedi (1900m).
Day 07: Trek to Namrung (2630m).
Day 08: Trek to Samagaun (3520m)
Day 09: Rest and acclimatization day
Day 10: Trek to Samdo (3860m).
Day 11: Trek to Larke Rest home/Dharmasaala (4460m).
Day 12: Trek to Bimtang (3750m) via Larke Pass (5135m)
Day 13: Trek to Tilche (2300m).
Day 14: Trek to Jagat (1300m).
Day 15: Drive to Besi sahar - Kathmandu
Day 16: Fly back home or extend the trip
Note: For modified trek package as per your interest; please kindly provide us details like group size, nationality, mode of hotels in Kathmandu and transportation you would like to use. The Manaslu Circuit Trek Package cost we have offered online includes 3 nights deluxe twin/double room with breakfast in 3 star category boutique hotel in Kathmandu. International Tour Leaders are encouraged to get complimentary or discounted rate.
Day 01: Join Kathmandu (1300m)
Meet and greet upon your arrival at airport. You will be received by Wilderness Excursion representative and transferred to the selected hotel. Welcome drink and a short brief about your trip. Stay overnight in hotel.
Day 02: Get permits, preparation or sightseeing in Kathmandu.
Today we get permits, you can do trip preparation or go visit ancient Hindu and Buddhists old temples such as Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath (known as a monkey temple among westerners).The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops contrast with fantastic centers of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world. We can arrange guided sightseeing on client request. We leave choice on you.
Day 03: Drive to Arughat (525m)
Early morning, drive to Arughat, 7 - 8 hours by bus or jeep through the beautiful landscape. Arughat is the biggest market in the area for local trade, at the bank of Budhi Gandaki River. Explore the surrounding area. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 04: Trek to Lapubesi (882m).
Trek through Gurung and Magar villages on the more scenic upper road where there is a choice, staying on the left bank (true right) of the Budhi Gandaki, which you will be following to its source. It can be hot and humid so wet rice, maize and millet are the main crops and you may see monkeys in the forests. The spotless **Manaslu Lodge and the Market View Lodge at the pretty bazaar town of Arkhet (760m) could easily be your first night if you arrive early enough from Kathmandu. Climb on stairs as the valley becomes wilder, prettier and narrower and descend to Soti Khola (710m) with the ABC Hotel, Satkar, **Samjhana and then Munal through the village over a bridge. There’s a swimming hole in the Soti Khola, popular with locals. Packhorses ply the trail from here on. Trek on through shady sal forests then climb up and down for some time on an exposed track blasted from the cliff and views way below of wild rapids, eventually dropping to the Gurung Labubesi (880m; Lapubeshi). Stay at **Lapo Guest House, Sunita, Manaslu or Lali Gurans lodges. Depending on the season, you may be offered fiddlehead fern dalbhat and the local mint-flavored achar (‘shilong’) to which some trekkers report allergic reactions.
Day 05: Trek to Dovan (1070m).
Continue up-river, climbing sometimes and at other times down on the gravel riverbed, passing through Machhakhola (930m) where there is a good lodge Hotel Chum Valley. Continue on the same side of the Budhi Gandaki, up and down again and across sandy river flats. The monkeys and langurs in the jungle above can knock rocks down, so watch out. Large Gurung villages are way above while the track passes few houses, like lower Khorlabeshi (960m) which was largely destroyed by a huge rock slip 24 years ago. A survivor has built a botanic garden and nice lodge from which he sells his organic coffee. Shangri La and Manaslu lodges. Goat herders passing through this area wear the distinctive smoke-browned capes called bokkhu made famous in the book Honey Hunters of Nepal. Continue up and down over a couple of ridges to Tatopani (930m; ‘hot water’) where there are hot water spouts under the sheer cliffs that provide a delightful evening shower and soft skin due to natural minerals. There are two simple lodges close to the springs, which might be smoky, and further up we continue to Dovan another hour. Overnight in Dovan.
Day 06: Trek to Nyak Phedi (1670m)
Climb over a ridge and cross the Budhi Gandaki on a new suspension bridge, circle under cliffs and climb a little to Doban (1000m) where there is the Himalayan lodge. The Shyaule Bhatti lodge is 40mins later then 20mins to Manaslu Santi and Thulodhunga (‘big rock’) lodges where you can take tea and look at the wild gorges ahead. After a landslip and Yaruphant (1140m) cross the bridge across the Yaru Khola (1363m) and emerge onto riverflats at Yaru (1140m) for lunch at the Sandbar Hotel. Look downstream at the massive rockfall that chokes the river. Just past Yaru, cross to the true right bank and enjoy easy up and down to Jagat (1410m), a neatly flag stoned Gurung village where Jagat (‘tax’) is collected on Tibetan trade. You will need to show your MCAP permit at an office on the left. In this area, potato, maize and climbing beans are all planted at the same time – the potato for food and to suppress weeds, the maize for food and to supply a trellis for the beans, which are an important source of protein. Marijuana is a major weed problem in season. Walk up the riverbed then climb over a rocky ridge to Salleri (1440m) with views of Sringi Himal (7187m), then descend to Sirdibas (1430m; Setibas, Tara). You’ll see your first signs of Buddhist culture here. Look out for rakshi spirit being distilled from millet beer in roadside kettles on this day. Continue up-river on the left bank, up and down before crossing Nepal’s longest suspension bridge to the east bank and a tiring climb up to prosperous Philim (1570m); surrounded by rich fields of maize, potato and millet. After lunch we continue to Nyak Phedi via Eklai Bhatti for overnight stop.
Day 07: Trek to Namrung (2630m)
Continue track from Philim the villages of Ekle Bhatti comes. Turn left cross the Buri Gandaki on a solid bridge after about 1hr and traverse to a welcome bhatti just around the corner for tea and a last look up the Tsum Valley. Trek through bamboo forests to Deng (1860m), inhabited by Gurungs who practice Buddhism. Lodging at Manaslu Trekker Home and Shangri-La. Just beyond Deng re-cross to the east bank and climb to Rana (1980m) and pass Bihi Phedi (1990m, Himal and Manaslu hotels) with the trail up to the stone-carving village of Bihi (2130m; Bhi). The river roars below. Continue in and out of continuous wild canyons, with a village perched in every conceivable cropping situation, cross the Serang Khola coming from the north and climb steeply again before finally circling into Ghap (2340m; Tsak) past Mountain View lodge where the horses stay, Budhi Gandaki Lodge. The mani walls here and onwards as far as Bimthang often display intricate quality carvings of various Buddhas in meditation, incised in the hard local stone by a family of carvers from Bihi. The Manaslu Thakuri lodge and Kyimolung lodge and camping ground are in Ghap itself and building is underway. A side-trip from a bridge below Bihi can take you up to Prok (2380m), and an excursion to Kal Tal (3685m; Kalchhuman Lake), then back down to Ghap. Two lodges are reported in Prok and those who visit really enjoy the experience, including a lake 1200m higher for which a local guide is advised. We still continue to Namrung, a beautiful village nestled at the elevation of 2630m.
Day 08: Trek to Sama Gaun ( 3520m)
Enter a beautiful forest of fir and rhododendron with many birds, staying on the south bank, cross north on a wooden bridge with a roaring narrow canyon below then cross back to the south bank on a new swing bridge with grey langurs watching. The main trail now climbs on well-made stairs, but a highly recommended narrow shortcut to the right just after the bridge and along the riverbank is far quicker and through superb pine forest. After about 1hr, climb a zigzag from the river to the neat village of Namrung (2660m) with shops, restaurants and the Thakali, Thakuri and Namrung lodges about the flagstoned square. While waiting for a meal it is worth wandering around the village, where carvings from Bihi have been painted in colours above a gateway. The architecture characteristic of upper Nupri starts here: several houses gathered together about a common courtyard and livestock shelters on the ground floor, with heavy wooden shingle roofs and log stairs to dark verandahs. Pass mani walls, fields and houses through Banjam (2800m, Banzam) with Nubri Trekkers Inn. Enter the fir, rhododendron and oak forest before climbing to Lihi (2900m; Li, Ligaon) with the Lihi Hotel in 1hr, then onto Sho (2950m, Syogoan) where there is a bhatti but no lodges yet. The platforms in the fields are where people keep overnight watches to chase bears from their crops. Most people from here onwards wear traditional Tibetan dress, with the children in small chubas like dressing gowns, asking for shim shim (Tibetan for candy). Some have impeccable English due to an Australian aid project. There are some particularly fine paintings in the kani (gate arches) that you pass before Sho. Shrip (3000m) boasts the Nupri Eco-hotel. A leisurely walk onwards, in and out of gullies to Lho (3180m; Logoan) with the large Tashi Delek lodge and Majestic Guest House. Pity about the wedding-cake stupa donated from Taiwan which dominates this otherwise picturesque village focused on yak herding. There are excellent views of Manaslu (8163m) and Manaslu North (7157m) from the mani wall at the far end of the village and from the gompa on the hill to the west. The views of Manaslu are stupendous still continue walk to Shyala (3520m, Shyalagaon, up a pine and rhododendron gully with moss and gin-clear stream. Enjoy 360° views from here due to a fire and extensive deforestation and extensive building including the largest lodge on the trek under construction, currently Manaslu Pik 21 Hotel and Gurkha Manaslu Homestay. Another easy hour to the large village of Sama (3520m, Samagaon, Ro), losing the gigantic views of Manaslu but entering a world of yaks, pastures and houses which seem to have grown from the stones. Only potatoes and barley can be grown at this altitude.
Day 09: Rest and acclimatization day at Sama Gaun
Rest days to get physically acclimatized. We can spend the day exploring surroundings such as, Birendra Taal (lake), Buddhist monasteries, Samagaun, a big Tibetan cultured community and a side trip to Pun Gyen Gompa or Manaslu Base Camp but this both side trips requires almost a full day for each. We will see a marvelous view of Manaslu. Stay overnight at same place.
Day 10: Trek to Samdo (3860m).
Another short day because of the altitude, with time to go via the iceberg-covered Birendra Tal (3450m) under the Manaslu Glacier, wade the exit stream depending on the time of year and drop down to pick up the main trail from Sama to Samdo. Easy walking through yak pastures up a broad valley with long mani walls, marmots in April but not November standing on their burrows. Finally leave the tree line behind, although low-lying juniper is all around, climbing to a ridge and drop to cross the Budhi Gandaki on a wooden bridge. It takes some time to reach the white Kani above but immediately behind is Samdo (3860m), a very picturesque village dedicated to yak herding, so much so that there are more animal and fodder shelters than human accommodation. Lodges are Chez Kyrang, Yak Lodge, Tibetan Twins, comfortable although likely to be cold at this altitude. Side valleys and Samdo Peak call out for afternoon wandering but take a jacket as cold wind can come up at any time. The Larkya La trail is ahead up valley and left. You can see the main track for Tibet over the Larjyang La (Lajyung Bhanjyang, 5098m) sloping up to the right from the Larkya La trail and you can make an excellent afternoon acclimatization walk of 4-5hrs return to 4500m up this trail, seeing lots of blue sheep and yaks and entrancing views, but the pass itself is a full day trip. The first village and road in Tibet is about 2hrs beyond the pass with access currently blocked by China even for locals. There is a lot of Chinese and Tibetan alcohol and food for sale in Samdo.
Day 11: Trek to Larke Rest home aka Dharmasaala (4460m).
Descend beyond Samdo on a broad trail, dropping to cross the much-reduced Budhi Gandaki at 3850m. Pass the trail to Tibet to the right and climb left after a mani wall, traversing through juniper with many marmots in April but not November when they hibernate. Cross two ravines on narrow tracks, very icy towards winter. There is no Larke Bazar despite what many maps assert; at one time traders from Namche Bazar came through Tibet to trade in this area and maybe some of the scattered stone shelters you will pass were part of that market. Dharamsala (4460m; Larke Phedi, Larkya Resthouse) is now a seasonal village with dark stone rooms and tents for at least 50 people, and a dirt-floored but efficient dining hut. Even toilets are available. In 2012 this entire place opened 1 October and closed for winter on 24 November, so check in Samdo before counting on staying here. The camping area is filthy with toilet trenches, rubbish and blowing toilet paper so be careful where you get your water and boil it well if camping. The views are marvelous. A large herd of blue sheep call the tussock-covered hills home and we saw snow leopard prints in fresh snow around the toilets.
Day 12: Trek to Bimtang (3750m) via Larke Pass (5135m).
Note that if snow has fallen overnight and there have been high winds, then there may be less snow as you climb making the pass still crossable. Climb steadily over the ridge behind Dharamsala and beside the large lateral moraine of the Larke Glacier. The climb is not difficult but it is long and rocky underfoot, particularly as you top the moraine. Look for cairns and metal snowpoles which assist route finding. Descend past four frozen lakes and make a final tiring climb to the left up to Larkya La (5160m), marked by prayer flags. It takes about 3-5hrs to reach the pass and it can be very cold and windy with a risk of exposure if under-equipped or ill. The peaks to the west are Himlung (7126m) near Tibet and Kang Guru (6981m) and Annapurna II (7937m) in the Annapurna Range. Trek west on a high moraine ridge exposed to wind for some distance, on the right side of a deep gully, then drop steeply on loose scree, eventually traversing left on more steep scree. There are several places where snow or ice would make this treacherous and some groups fix a rope on the steepest piece. Make a long descent on loose gravel to a welcome more level area with grassy moraine, where the angle eases. The track now runs left of the large lateral moraine, rocky at times, in a widening and beautiful valley all the long way to very scenic Bimthang (3720m; ‘plain of sand’), a descent of 1400m in about 3hrs. The views during the descent are huge – icefalls and mountains in all directions, a medial glacial lake (Pongkar Tal) between the Pongkar and Salpudanda Glaciers, and the joining of these two glaciers with a third glacier to form the Bhimdang Glacier whose lateral moraine towers over Bimthang. The new chalet-style Hotel Ponkar Mountain is the first lodge.
Day 13: Trek to Tilche (2300m).
Walk south below Bimthang behind the moraine wall for some time before crossing the Bhimdang Glacier, which can be loose underfoot. Climb up the far moraine wall quickly to avoid stone-fall and enter some of the best forest in Nepal. If you are in rhododendron season, the mauves, reds, pinks and whites are stunning amongst the huge pines and the views of the back of Mt Manaslu are superb. Descend rapidly along the true right bank of the aptly named Dudh (‘milk’) Khola through a bhatti at Hompuk (3420m) in a forest clearing. Gentle riverside walking continues rapidly to Karche (2700m; Karache, Surki Khola, Suti Khola) for lunch after about 3.5hrs. This would be a great place to spend a night, with Saat Kanya Hotel or Himalayan Cottage chalets owned by the same Bimthang man. In the next hour you will see many signs of a glacial flood, with tree trunks smashed and banks undermined, the track becoming quite rough. Climb steeply over a ridge and drop to Gurung Goa (2560m, Gho), the first real village since Samdo. There are many new lodges now, continuing further down one hour to Tilche for overnight stay.
Day 14: Trek to Jagat (1300m)
Here the popular Annapurna Circuit trek meets, Dharapani is the place where we have to check out from our Manaslu circuit trekking and perhaps you will have a lunch and your trekking goes downhill but it is not steep down. Noise from the river and nature makes your trek more pleasant. Trek down through the steepest part of the Marsyangdi Gorge is 5 to 7 hours of walk today. Stay there overnight in lodge at Jagat
Day 15: Drive to Besi Sahar - Kathmandu
After our breakfast we will catch a local jeep or bus get a bus to Beshisahar and connecting local hiace van drive to Kathmandu. This is will be a long day drive. Considering to extend a night and stay overnight in Besi Sahar allows you to travel relaxingly to Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel in Kathmandu
Day 16: Fly back to home or further destination.
Although the months of September – November and March – May are suggested as the best time to trek to Manaslu, you can till trek in December as well. The weather is sunny and warm during the day time with breath stopping views. If you would like to avoid crowds and enjoy less crowded time with nature then you could trek in winter (Dec - Feb) and it is still warm during the daytime and cold in the morning and nights. The temperature is -2 to -7 degree Celsius in Manaslu Circuit during the winter However, the weather condition in Himalaya is associated with Indian Ocean. Trekking in the summer or Monsoon seasons (June to Aug) will be affected by rain but the summer trek could be a boon for a keen botanist. We may have to camp for one night as the Dharmasala hotel remain close during mid-December to January.
About difficulty about Manaslu Circuit Trek, this trek will be challenging for you if you are first time trekkers in Nepal but if you have earlier hiking experiences then this journey is moderate compared to other adventure treks such as Everest Three High Passes, Ganjala Pass, Tashi Lapcha Pass etc.
Local Buses leave to Arughat every morning , sometimes it is overloaded and there are local people with baskets of vegetable and chickens in the bus. Local buses take 7-8 hours to get there. Yet there is no tourist bus to Arughat from Kathmandu. Wilderness Excursion can arrange 4WD private jeep to Arughat on request which cost U$ 200.00 to drop off to Arughat from Kathmandu.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Permits costs USD 70.00 for 7 days per person and after 7 days USD 10.00 per person in the months of September-November. USD 50.00 for 7 days per person and after 7 days USD 7.00 per person in December-August. ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) Entrance Permit. NPR. 2000.00 per person. MCAP (Manaslu Conservation Area Project) Entrance Permit. NPR. 2000.00 per person any season any moths.
Packing List and Equipment for Manaslu Circuit Trek
Personal Trekking Equipment
Pee Bottle (Optional) but very useful.
Pee funnel for women (optional) Lightweight urinary director.
Hand/foot warmers (Optional) Recommended if you easily get cold hands and feet 1-3 pairs.
Personal first aid kit (small and simple) Aspirin, Moleskin, Adhesive tape, Band-Aids. Scissor, Blade,
Drugs/medications/prescriptions Climbers should bring Mupirocin (Bactroban) cream, excellent topical antibiotic for scrapes and cuts. Cirprofloxin (Cipro) 500mg tablets for travelers' diarrhea and for urinary tract infections. Loperamide (Lomotil) or Immodium for diarrhea. Acetazolamide (Diamox) 125 or 250mg tablets for alltitude sickness. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200mg tablets for altitude headaches, sprains, aches, etc. Excedrin for headaches. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 325mg tablets for stomach sensitivity.
This above list is only an advice for you. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands. If you have questions please email at: email@example.com
Manaslu-Trek 2015: From “Namaste“ to “Tashidelek “ - and even beyond! As trekking “rookies” of the Nepal region, equipped with high cultural affinity and staking out eco-friendly claims we intended to trek the Manaslu circuit in October 2015. As known, that region unfortunately got hit very hard by several earthquakes in April and May that year, the peak season for treks in that specific region. Unsure about the latest developments onsite, actual trek conditions, ...
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