Manaslu Circuit Trekking, as well titled Around Manaslu by many other trekking companies. A remarkable adventure that involves crossing a high Larke-La Pass at 5, 106 m and 16, 752 feet. Facing boundless views of snow-capped peaks with Mt. Manaslu range, Ganesh Himal in the east, and some peaks of Annapurna Himalaya. The adventure leads you from one district to another, where the Larke-La pass forms a barrier between the two districts of the Gorkha and Manang region.
Manaslu Circuit Trekking takes you towards the remote north of Gorkha around Nepal Mid-West, known as the Mansri Himalaya range. Mt. Manaslu is listed as the world's 8th highest peak at 8, 163 m and 26, 781 feet high, the local name is Kutang. Mt. Manaslu with an array of adjoining peaks that towers high above green rhododendron and pine forest. The main peaks are Boudha and Himal-Chuli that extend to Ganesh Himal in the east, with Lamjung, Annapurna Himal towards the North and South West.
The Manaslu full circuit covers about 177 km or 110 miles, depending upon the starting point of walks. As well the ending place of destinations, where some trekkers take a local jeep from Dharapani to reach Besisar town. From Besi Sahar drive straight to Kathmandu or Pokhara, as well extending the journey walking further onwards towards Lamjung area. The daily walks of 15 to 20 km distance to reach designated overnight stops on route, accommodation, and meals in local lodges. Where best and good lodges are located is at Jagat, Namrung, Lo-Gaon, and Sama-Gaon from the starting point at Soti-Khola onwards. Dharmasala is the only place with limited accommodation space, especially on high peak seasons situated at the base of Larke-la pass.
Most trekkers begin the adventure from Soti-Khola village, after a long overland journey of more than 6 hours. Starting the trek following Buri-Gandaki River upstream heading past farm-land and smaller villages to Machha-Khola. A nice village with the name ‘Fish-Stream or Maccha-Khola’ for a second overnight stop. The next day climb leads above the river entering dense forest and farm with rows of terraces to reach Jagat. A nice lovely village with a much better lodge for overnight stop, a moderate size village with time to observe the local fascinating culture of various hill tribes with Hindu and Buddhism religions.
The next favorable overnight stop after Jagat is walking down with more steep ups past nice farm village Philm to reach Deng. From here onwards the air gets much cooler as altitude slowly gains, during the walks with grand views snow peaks. Deng or Dyang, from this village onward into more Tibetan Buddhism territory as the walk takes you to the next village to Namrung. Walk past Bih a village with nice farm fields that grows buckwheat, wheat, barley, and potatoes as staple crops. As route leads to Ghap village coming across rows of prayer walls or Mani, from here on views of Mt. Manaslu, Pang Phuchin, Saula Himal. Then to the next overnight stop in Namrung also called ShoNamru.
From Namrung heading higher towards the scenic upper valley of Manaslu, where a nice day walk ends at Lho-Gaon, a large village with a much better lodge and food to enjoy your stay overnight. Where one can visit a monastery with long series of Chorten and Mani walls, facing a view of Mt. Manaslu and Ganesh Himal towards the east. After a pleasant stop in Lo-Gaon, the next interesting place is Sama-Gaon, the main village of Upper Manaslu valley. A scenic walk on gradual ups with views of Peak 29, then enter into the pine forest to Shala village. Facing the more exciting scenery of Phungi, Manaslu, and Himal Chuli, the adventure continues to Sama-Gaon village for an overnight stop.
Sama-Gaon at the height of 3, 500 m high, is the largest settlement within the high Manaslu Valley. At this altitude, it is important to spend another extra day for acclimatization, before heading towards high Larke-La Pass. Explore the nice village and catch interesting culture similar to its Tibetan predecessor, Manaslu valley also falls on the route to the Tibet border. Where in early days strong trade and exchange of goods used to take place between the border, the trade still exists but in smaller ways.
Adventure gets closer to the toughest part of the journey, as the walk takes you around the high and dry country to reach Samdo. After a wonderful rest and time in Sama-Gaon, Samdu the last village of Gorkha district situated at the end of Manaslu valley. Spending overnight here which is quite a large village for high altitude and arid terrain landscapes. Head towards the final end of Manaslu valley at Larke Phedi, also called Dharmasala, located at the base of high Larke-La Pass. A small place with few huts serving as guest-house and lodges, in high season trekkers are accommodated in spacious tents. While food is served from the lodge where you stay, Dharmasala is well hidden from the outside world. Enclosed by the high mountain range of Manaslu with close views of Larke Peak above the lodge of Phedi.
From Dharmasala and Larke Phedi, the end of the Gorkha district and scenic Manaslu area, a steep long climb takes you on top Larke-La. Which separates the two great adventure regions of Nepal Mid-West Himalaya, start early morning before breaking of dawn. To reach the pass before the cold chill gets you along with the morning sun, after a tough climb. Then stand atop 5, 106 m and 16, 752 feet high at Larke-La Pass, which offers a grand vista of surrounding giant peaks. Overlooking Manaslu range with Ganesh Himal towards the east, with Annapurna peaks in the south and some peaks of Manang in the northwest.
The pass festooned with thousands of prayer flags that mark the top, enjoying a Super panorama of the mountain range. Where long undulating downhill takes you to Larcia valley, as the final day trek leads to Tambuche at 3, 900 m. From here to the bottom of Larke-La pass, as you enter Manang district within back into a green forest of tall trees. Finally end the tough day at Bhimthang for an overnight stop, a lovely spot within a forest clearing. Bhimthang with many good lodges to stay with a long list of food menus to enjoy and celebrate the hardest walk of the adventure.
From Bhimthang for most trekkers can be the last final walk of the adventure, where some can enjoy having an extra day. To enjoy more of the country, after a tough trek of the previous day, a good suggestion is to walk and stop. Spend the overnight in a small place called Gho, located amidst forest surroundings, having a short day to relax. As well as to ease your muscles after the hard climb and downhill from Larke-La, and make the most of this scenic country. Whatever the choice, the trail finally reaches you at Dharapani village on a road-head, where the famous and popular Annapurna and Manaslu circuit trail meets.
Dharapani a moderate size village within the Manang district with a nice good lodge and excellent food menu. Where trekkers can enjoy the last overnight in great comfort with a hot shower available that you must be longing for. Where the motorable road from Besisar a headquarter town of Lamjung district, has reached to Manang area. From Dharapani, trekkers can take a drive straight to Kathmandu or Pokhara, can break the long drive overnight in Besisar also.
The best and high season is in spring from the middle of March to May, and autumn / Fall from September to mid-November. Spring-time will be living with long hours of sunshine and much warmer days till late afternoon. Can get cold in the morning and night-time with chances of light showers or snowfall around higher areas.
The next best time is from September to mid-November when days are mostly crystal clear for walks and views of the beautiful country, but short sunlight hours due to the autumn season. Much colder in late afternoon and night time till morning, can expect snowfall around higher altitude and on the pass sometimes. But clear starry night to enjoy the night sky, from November onward most lodges will be closed for winter as the villagers migrate to lower warmer areas, to escape the freezing winter months.
Lower warmer areas of Gorkha around Arughat to Jagat, populated with mixed tribes of hill people. Includes Magar, Gurung, and Newar with Hindu Bharamins, Chettries, and some Dalit people, including the high Manaslu tribe of Tibetan origin. A mixture of Hinduism and Buddhism religions, but as you reach beyond Jagat village to Dharapani. Where high Manaslu valley and Manang area populated with a strong race of Tibetan origin tribe known as Manage and Manaslu Bhatia. Follows Tibetan Buddhism religion with a similar culture like their ancestors and predecessor of Tibet, as they have migrated to high valleys of Nepal from across the border past hundreds of years.
To enter the high valley of Manaslu beyond Jagat village, all foreign trekkers require special entry permits. As Upper Manaslu of high Gorkha district a restricted area which was open in 1991. Besides the special permit, one needs Manaslu and Annapurna Area Conservation entry tickets.
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