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Manaslu (8156m) close to Annapurna massif is the world’s highest eighth peak. Heading north from Gorkha, along the Budi Gandaki River, the route then turns westwards into a high alpine valley with typical Tibetan villages and some excellent monasteries. The Manaslu area in Central Nepal had been featured for tourism. It has been declared as a restricted area, warning the number of tourists visiting in order to preserve the local culture and prevent the type of commercialization predominant in other popular trekking areas. Many people are amazed at Nepal’s cultural and scenic variety. Not only does it feature the highest mountain range on earth, the bases and plains are equally stunning. Trekking in Manaslu offers all of that. Finding a route that lets you understand both of these worlds without meeting too many aggravating tourists can be tough.

 Short Itinerary

Day 1: Khanchok-Arughat (570m, 5 hrs)

Day 2: Arughat-Soti Khola (730m, 4.5 hrs)

Day 3: Soti Khola-Machha Khola (930m, 5.5 hrs)

Day 4: Machha Khola-Doban (1070m, 5 hrs)

Day 5:  Doban-Phillim (1570m, 6 hrs)

Day 6: Philim-Deng (1860m, 4.5 hrs)

Day 7: Deng-Namrung (2540m, 6.5 hrs)

Day 8: Namrung-Lho (3020m, 5 hrs)

Day 9: Namrung-Lho (3020m, 5 hrs)

Day 10: In Sama Gompa

Day 11: Sama Gompa-Samdo (3690m, 3 hrs)

Day 12: Samdo-Dharamsala (4460m, 3.5 hrs)

Day 13: Dharamsala-Bimtang (3590m, 8 hrs)( Today we have high pass larke La pass 5104meters high )

Day 14: Bimtang-Tilije (2300m, 5 hrs)

Day 15: Tilije-Jagat (1300m, 6 hrs)

Day 16: Jagat-Besisahar (760m, 7 hrs) and drive to Kathmandu (5hrs)

Day 1: Khanchok-Arughat (570m, 5 hrs)

The day’s trek leads to the largest village on this trek. A 45 min descent to start with to get on the dirt road which is to be pursued for the remainder of the day, crossing Maudi Khola just before reaching Arughat. Lunch is better taken on arrival at Arughat.

(Nice and clean guesthouses available with possibility of attached bathroom/ Camping can be done little further ahead of Arughat Bazaar).

Day 2: Arughat-Soti Khola (730m, 4.5 hrs)

A well-defined, moderately rising path through verdant paddy fields embellished with an eclectic exuberance of Gurung villages marks off the day. The very first view of the mountain of some note, Shringi Himal, greets you at Shanti Bazaar so does the tougher trail ahead as the Buri Gandaki valley starts to become steeper. Emerging out on a dirt road, we head to Arkhet (1.5 hrs) following the course of Buri Gandaki all along the way before an undulating climb to Soti Khola (2 hrs) to break for lunch. Post lunch, cross a suspension bridge over Soti Khola to continue with the ascent to a teahouse (1 hr). The valley, more than for anything, has earned its fame from the Honey Hunters of Nepal. You can refresh, taking a dip in a nice, little swimming hole in Khorsane. There is also a small waterfall up the stream; a much larger one is visible across Buri Gandaki River.

(Local teahouses available/ good camping spot available)

Day 3: Soti Khola-Machha Khola (930m, 5.5 hrs)

Initially, take a trail that weaves its way up and down intermittently through dense forest from Leading upwards to a Gurung village of Lapubesi (2.5 hrs). An open walk down to Nauli Khola, cross a suspension bridge and make a steep climb to Khanibesi (1.5 hrs) where we take lunch. The rocky trail continues up and down passing a high cascading waterfall en route to Machhakhola, situated right beside the river bank. (Slightly better lodges than previous days)

Day 4: Machha Khola-Doban (1070m, 5 hrs)

The day is devoted to walking on the river bank throughout. Cross a suspension bridge leaving Machha Khola. The rocky trail makes some minor ups and downs and crosses a stream in a rocky ravine en route to Kholabesi. we find 3 trailside hot springs, where we can enjoy lunch. A 20 min walk after the hot springs, we come across another suspension bridge. Now on the eastern side of the river, the trail climbs over a ridge to Doban.(local lodges.)

Day 5:  Doban-Phillim (1570m, 6 hrs)

The trek is as tough as it can get. Starting off on a rapidly rising rocky trail, crossing under a big landslide, boulder-hopping, climbing up and down ravines- then a respite, comparatively, a gradual uphill to Yara Khola (1.5 hrs)! Cross a long suspension bridge and further 2 hrs of the unrelenting trek will reward you with the inspiring beauty of Jagat which also happens to have a MCAP check-post. And, more importantly, you can get some good Nepali food to replenish your energy stock. After 20 mins walk, views of Shringi Himal get much prominent. The trail eases into a gradual uphill after Salleri with the finale after the bridge again exhausting you with a very steep long climb to Phillim, a large Gurung village and the headquarters of MCAP office. (Fairly good lodges available)

Day 6: Philim-Deng (1860m, 4.5 hrs)

Beyond Philim, you start to get the feeling of being amongst the mighty Himalayas. This day, the trail enters a steep uninhabited yet attractive gorge. An interesting trail soon follows after crossing the Buri Gandaki as the trail hangs on a cliff, climbing over ridges and descending to the river- down below on the opposite bank you can see the confluence of Shar Khola and Buri Gandaki. The trail then eases out going up to the widening valley through a bamboo forest to the Deng Khola and to a small Gurung settlement of Deng. (Very basic teahouses available)

Day 7: Deng-Namrung (2540m, 6.5 hrs)

Past Deng, for about half an hour, follow the Buri Gandaki, ultimately crossing the river and following an uphill trail to Rana (1 hr). Continue on the trail that zigzags through for an hour to meet a trail from Bhi. Further ahead the route climbs on steps past a waterfall and crosses the stream, then drop to another stream. 3 hrs of walking on a trail characterized by numerous ups and downs gets you to the Shringi Khola suspension bridge. Crossing the bridge, a further half an hour on a gradually rising trail and you’re in the mani wall lined village of Ghap where we stop for lunch. Cut across fields and penetrate into deep forest replete with big firs and teeming with bird life and monkeys. The trail climbs alongside the river to a waterfall. Traversing a wooden bridge to get on the south bank, the trail makes a long serious climb through woods, finally entering Namrung (2 hrs). (Basic teahouses/ Very scenic campsites in the forests to the right of the trail)

Day 8: Namrung-Lho (3020m, 5 hrs)

Emerging out of Namrung, you’ll witness the Tibetan influence gaining more prominence as you enter the Nupri region. Climb past a mani wall and numerous fields and houses of Barchham (45 mins), then up through the woods to a headland. The next big village, Lihi, is reached after a steepish ascent (1.5 hrs). A unique feature of this village is the closely packed stone houses which are grouped together like apartments and share a common roof and courtyard. Beyond Lihi, cross a wooden bridge over Hinan Khola, then ascend back up to another cluster of stone houses of Sho village (1 hr). With the increasing altitude, the grandeur of the mountain views also starts to heighten- Manaslu, Manaslu North, Himalchuli, Saula Himal, Dwijen Himal appear on both sides of the trail. Further ahead, the trail crosses a small ravine to Shrip and then climbs past a small stream to Lho (1.5 hrs). Lho is a big clustered village with a monastery that houses a Lama school with 80-90 resident scholars. The spectacular view of Manaslu is another highlight of this village.

(Good teahouses available/ Good campsite above Lho)

Day 9: Namrung-Lho (3020m, 5 hrs)

The day starts on a steep downhill trail, crosses Thusang Khola and climbs up gradually through damp forests, eventually emerging onto the village of Shyala (3330m, 2 hrs) with an impressive landscape adorned by views of Manaslu, Peak 29 and Himalchuli. Further on, cross the glacier-fed Numla Khola and a ridge out of the stream valley that drops down to rock-strewn moraine before scrambling across the boulders to reach a ridge overlooking Samagaon. A pleasant walk through the village following a stream will eventually get you to the many buildings and residences of Gompa (2 hrs). Manaslu Base Camp is at a mere 5 hr distance from the village. Lunch to be take in the village. (Better teahouses with good variety of food/ Good campsite)

Day 10: In Sama Gompa

Rest and acclimatization day. Optional hike to Pung-gyen Gompa can be made or you can spend the day immersing yourself in the daily life of Samagaon.

Day 11: Sama Gompa-Samdo (3690m, 3 hrs)

A short and easy day’s walk starts with the crossing of the Manaslu Glacier, past a trail that forks left towards the Manaslu Base Camp. The trail then enters a small forest replete with birch, juniper, and rhododendron to come out onto a ridge, then drop down to a wooden bridge before making an ascent onto the headland and a final push to Samdo. Samdo is also identified as a Tibetan refugee village with the border just a day’s walk away, it is all the more convenient for Tibetans to sneak through to this village. (Basic teahouses)

Day 12: Samdo-Dharamsala (4460m, 3.5 hrs)

Start of the day on a level-stretched wide trail (20 mins) that leads down to a wooden bridge, crossing Buri Gandaki for the final time. Soon, you’ll come across an old mani wall which marks the start of the assault on Larkya La pass. The trail gently rises through tundra and juniper opposite the enormous Larkya La glacier. An hour of ascending high on the ridge to the right on the trail which is now obscure, you’ll be required to put in more effort as the trail starts to get steeper. In a short while, the trail reaches a viewpoint at the edge of a huge gorge at 4000m. Climb in and out of the gorge and contour to the Larkya Rest House.

(Very basic teahouse/limited space to pitch tents)

Day 13: Dharamsala-Bimtang (3590m, 8 hrs)( to day we have high pass Larke La pass 5104 meters high)

An early morning start to the toughest day of the entire trek. Begin with a long gradual climb beside a moraine, cross a small ridge, then a short descent to a lake and continue with the ascent to the apex of the moraine (4700m). The trail starts to get more rough and tough as it crosses the moraine heading to a ridge. Drop down to four frozen lakes and then a final steep climb to the pass at 5100m (5 hrs). Braving the extremely harsh conditions and perilous trail, the worthiness of which is made evident by the rewarding vista comprising of Himlung Himal, Kangurru, Annapurna II, Gyaji Kung. The descent isn’t any less tough either- so don’t loosen up yet! The knee-jerking descent starts along the top of the moraine dropping steeply on scree slopes- a drop of 650m in less than an hour! The following trail eases out, descending along the grassy moraine to a small meadow and a spring (4080m). Finally, the trail enters a wide valley and heads down to a Tibetan village of Bimtang (3 hrs). (Very basic teahouses/ Good camping sites)

Day 14: Bimtang-Tilije (2300m, 5 hrs)

The going gets relatively easy with hard days behind us. Follow the dropping trail from the meadow, cross a glacial stream, climb over the side of the moraine and descend through pine and rhododendron forest to Hampuk. The trail persists with the descent following the course of Dudh Khola through forests to Karche. Beyond Karche, pass a landslide, then make a steep climb over the ridge and down again to the riverbank to arrive at the village of Gho, where a good Nepali meal greets you. Stay on the north bank of the river and continue through fields interspersed with oak and rhododendron before entering a big Gurung settlement of Tilije.

(Decent teahouses/ Good camping sites along the river embankment)

Day 15: Tilije-Jagat (1300m, 6 hrs)

Leaving the village, in a short while coming across a bridge over Dudh Khola and continue along the river embankment. The trail, then, descends through scrub forests into the Marsyangdi valley, crosses Dudh Khola again and inclines up past a mani wall to Thonje. The next village, Dharapani, where the Annapurna Circuit trail converges, is not too distant and is reached after the bridge over the Marsyangdi River. (Good teahouses/ Camping spots close to teahouses)

Day 16: Jagat-Besisahar (760m, 7 hrs) and drive to Kathmandu (5hrs)

A long but easy day’s walk begins with a gradual uphill (15 mins), then the trail flattens out for 20 mins before a relentless downhill to a suspension bridge over Marsyangdi river. Back again on a level-stretched trail through Marsyangdi valley before a brief climb (20 mins) approaching Bahundanda (3 hrs). After lunch at Bahundanda, the trail goes downhill again for about 1.5 hrs before easing into a flat track for the rest of the way through verdant terraced fields and colorful villages to Besisahar (4 hrs), where we spend the night partying and reveling on our achievement. (Good teahouses available) and drive from Beshi Sahar to Kathmandu

Cost Includes On:
Twin sharing tea-house/lodge accommodation during the Manaslu circuit trek
Manaslu circuit trek experienced trek leader (English speaking, First Aid, and Eco-trained), one Sherpa porter (per two clients) and one assistant guide (in a group) included salary with insurance
Manaslu conservation entry fee, TIMS permit, plus all major permits and entry fees inclusive
Transportation from Kathmandu to trekking point and trekking ending point to Kathmandu
Comprehensive medical kit bag (First Aid bag)

All required government and local taxes etc.

Cost Does Not Include On:
Nepalese visa fees and international airfare
Excess baggage charges (Domestic plane allow only 15 KG maximum)
Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu except mentioned
Travel and rescue insurance (Book your travel insurance in advance)
Personal expenses e.g. phone calls, laundry, bar bills, hot shower, battery recharge & extra porters
Tips for driver, trekking guide and trekking Sherpa and trekking porter
Any extending trips besides 16 days Manaslu circuit trek
Any services don’t include in-service inclusive column