Manaslu Circuit Trekking-12  Days

 Trip Highlights

  • A scenic drive from Kathmandu to Soti Khola
  • Various views of biodiversity and natural sceneries
  • Cultural exploration between Hindu’s and Buddhists
  • Views of many peaks like Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Annapurna II, Lamjung Himal, Larkay peak etc.
  • Mani walls, Buddhist Stupas, Monasteries along the trail
  • Visiting the Birendra Lake, Punhyen and Larkya Glacier and Mt. Manaslu Base Camp
  • Astonishing trek along the Budi Gandaki river gorge

With beautiful landscapes, rivers, falls and forests,Manaslu trek offers superb views of stunning peaks such as Lamjung Himal (6,983m), Annapurna (8,091), Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Himalchuli (7,893m) and Ganesh Himal range.This trek has all the elements of other treks in Nepal giving an insight of both Hindu and Buddhist cultures, protected wildlife, rhododendrons and wild flowers, raging rivers, precarious bridges and stunning mountain scenery.

A thrilling new route circumnavigating the World’s eighth highest peak, Manaslu (8,163m) was officially opened to trekkers in 1991. In terms of challenging, it is comparable with Annapurna Circuit Trek or Everest Base Camp trek. The highlight is undoubtedly the spectacular unhindered views of Manaslu and the culture variety.

The journey begins with a drive from Kathmandu to Arughat then to Soti Khola which would approximately take about 8 to 9 hours. During the drive, you will enjoy the beautiful scene of nature when coming across pleasant alpine meadows and pouring waterfalls. The trek from Soti Khola to Sama Gaon is an adventurous and a challenging trek, full of surprises from the nature. From walking through the beautiful Sal and bamboo forests to climbing on the ridge above the big rapids of Budi Gandaki river and spotting the national bird or a grey langur monkey is a stirring experience. Tibetan prayer flags, mani stones will be seen along the trial. As a matter of fact, in Sama Gaon, an extra day will be spent to acclimatize or to visit the Manaslu Base camp or the Birendra Lake. Further trekking to Larkya La Pass (5,160m), we get a remarkable view of Mt. Manaslu and also the Larkya glacier. From the Larkya La Pass summit, a stunning panoramic view of many peaks like Himlung Himal, Kang Guna etc are seen. We descend down the trail leading us to a large meadow in Bhimtang then further continuing to Dharapani where we ride the bus back to Kathmandu.

Around the Manaslu circuit trek gives you the lifetime experience of viewing panoramic scenes of mountain ranges, glaciers and mostly the chance to see the unique cultural blend of Buddhists and Hindus. For those who want a more relaxing trek, our 16 days Manaslu Circuit trekking  would be ideal.

Day to Day itinerary

Day 1: Drive to Arughat (5 to 6 hrs) then drive to Soti Khola (730m/2896ft) – about 2 hrs

After an early breakfast, we will start our trip with drive along the Prithivi highway west from Kathmandu through the beautiful river view cross the Trishuli River and reach Dhading Bensi through pitched road. We will stop along the way for breaks and lunch. Four to five hours bus drive from Dhading besi takes us Arkhet, driving along the scenic villages, rivers, follow continually Dorandi Khola northwards to Gorkha and Arukhat with observing the Mount Manaslu and Ganesh Himal range on the footsteps of Manaslu where we change next jeep to Arkhet by following the Budhi Gandaki River. Arughat Bazaar is clustered on both sides of the River Budi-Gandaki linked by a suspension bridge, this is the largest settlement in the valley, also a junction to various important places, two hours drive from Arughat takes us to Soti Khola . Overnight at Lodge.

Included Meals: (B, L, D).

Day 2: Trek to Khorla Bensi(970m/ 3182ft) – 7 to 8hrs

The route continues crossing the Soti Khola, starring a spectacular waterfall, and gentle walk through beautiful sal forests, climbs onto a ridge above the huge rapids on the Buri Gandaki on the way to Liding 750m. Across the Budhi Gandaki on the towering hillside are views with reminiscent of the Annapurna Circuit between Bahundanda and Syange. The trial makes its way down and past a rice terraces, then up and around one and half-hour walk takes to Lapubesi. The path opens and Buri Gandaki meanders among wide gravel bars. Apparently, there is a fleeting glimpse of Shringi Himal. The route heads down again to Nauli Khola over a long suspension bridge, eventually the trial traverses beside three isolated chortens together, heralding the arrival in Machha Khola. The route continues following a serene and pleasant route through lush landscape as we make our way up the picturesque BuddhiGandaki Valley. The trail passes jungle, fertile fields, tributary streams and waterfalls and makes a brief climb to LapuBesi and on to Khorlebesi. Overnight at Lodge. Overnight at Lodge.

Included Meals: (B, L, D).

 Day 3: Trek to Philim (1590m/5217ft) – 7 to 8 hrs

After the Khorlebesi, trail climbs to the ridge above huge rapids in the Buri Gandaki and continues to Korsani. The trial now gets a bit more challenging as it climbs over a large rock and crosses a stream on a single log on bridge then weaves its way up and down again to the banks of the Buri Gandaki. It continues up a steep rocky trial to the Gurung village of Labishe. We trek on up and down path to reach Machha Khola. We trek through narrow valley of Budi Gandaki river and more cultivated than previous day. The view of Ganesh Himal and Shringi Himal is just magnificent. Overnight Lodge at Philim . Included Meals: (B, L, D).

 Day 4: Trek to Ghab (2250m/7382ft) – 6 to 7 hrs

Our journey takes us farther up the river along the valley of the Buddhi Gandaki River. The path climbs much less steeply. Chisapani is less than hour walk from Philim. trial turns north as we traverses terraced fields to Ekle Bhatti, enters a steep George and descends grassy slopes dotted with tall pine trees. Crossing the Budhi Gandaki bridge, we see large Shar Khola and Tsum valley joining the Budhi Gandaki on the opposite bank. The route makes its way up the western side and the valley finally widens, offering a pleasant walk through bamboo forest to Deng. The trial climbs all the way to Bihi Phedi, cross the Sringi Khola, heads west up the Budhi Gandaki valley, climb steeply and traverse with more ups and downs in forests, passing an occasional maniwalls, then contours to Ghap. The mani wall in Ghap has particularly elegant carvings. Culture, lifestyle and Houses are completely is alike Tibetan. Overnight at lodge.

Included Meals: (B, L, D).

 Day 5: Trek to Lho (3180m/10433ft)- 5 to 6 hrs

The trial passes beneath a large overhanging rock , crosses the Budhi Gandaki, pass through tree streams in a forest of big firs alive with birds, including the Danphe or impeyan pheasant – Nepali’s national bird, a tribe of grey langur monkey, continue up through deep forest of fir, rhododendron, and bamboo and enters Namrung through a stone archway. Namrung has a picturesque stretch of buildings. From Namrung, we enter upper Nupri- the dialect changes to a form of Tibetan. We climb past a mani wall, then up through forest of firs, rhododendrons, and oaks, passe through a stone orch and enter Lihi-exihibit the unusual architecture of this region. The views now start to get spectacular Manaslu, Manaslu North (7,157m), and Naike Peak(5,515m), appears at the head of the valley. The trial climbs past a small stream to Lho. Lho is a big village with a Gompa, a rough stone archway at the entrance and Tibetan-style chorten and huge mani wall. Overnight at lodge.

Included Meals: (B, L, D).

Day 6: Trek to Samagaun(3530m/11581ft)- 4 to 5 hrs

A short hiking walks up the valley with a fleeting views of mountains. From Lho, the trial steeply down and around before climbing back up above the streams to the west. Around two hours of walking takes a plateau at Shyaula with a wide vista of Hiunchuli (7,893m), Ngadhi Chuli (7,879m),and Manaslu and a vast new monastery complex is glimpsed. The route climbs slightly from Shyala but soon drops down to river-originates from the glacier of Pungyen. We pass through chorten and gompa with a huge prayer wheel, cross the ridge and trek in and out of the canyon of the Thosang Khola, then descend into a rock-strewn moraine, across the boulders and emerges onto a ridge overlooking the extensive pastures and fields of Samagaun, stands the well-known monastery of Sama Gaon, Tibetan border is very near from here. We stop at Samagaon for the next two nights which will further help with acclimatization. Overnight lodge at Sama Gaon.

Included Meals: (B, L, D).

Day 7: Rest day in Samagaon (3,530m)

We take rest day at Sama Gaon for proper acclimatization but we take a side trip to explore surrounding attractions with sightseeing to Birendra Lake, Pungyen Gompa and Manaslu Base Camp. Sama Gaon ponders at the thousands of mani stones with Buddhist texts and pictures. We see women wearing a nice silver spoon as jewelry at Sama Gaon. Return side trip to Manaslu base camp takes four hours. If you want to just explore surrounding viewpoints and relaxed day, this Tibetan village gives the opportunity to visit the Pung-Gyen monastery which sits beneath the east face of Manaslu. Higher up again is a cave Gompa and hot springs. Overnight lodge at Sama Gaon. Included Meals (B, L, D).

Day 8: Trek to Samdo (3875m/12713ft)– 3 to 4 hrs

The trial from Samagaon to Samdo crosses relatively flat land with grassy grazing areas and climb gradually up the valley. Heading north, the views of Manaslu looks outstadning. The route soon crosses a wooden bridge where the trial is marked by mani walls. We eventually reach Samdo. Overnight at lodge.

Included Meals: (B, L, D).

Day 9: Trek to Dharmasala (Larkyla Phedi(4480m/14698ft)– 3 to 4 hrs

We start our walk down the edge through some fields to some old mani walls and cross the wooden bridge over the Budi Gandaki and climb gradually up the valley. Another mani wall marks the beginning of ascent to the pass and cross two streams and witness the Larkya Glacier. Go around the valley of the Salka Khola and climb up again and come to the stone guest house (4450 m) which is not a lodge but a kind of shelter called Dharmasala, also known as Larkya La Phedi. Today we will be rewarded with the views of Larkya Glacier with the fantastic views of Manaslu looking particularly impressive. We came here today and have a rest to prepare for tomorrows crossing of the famous and most awaited Larkya Pass. Overnight lodge at Larkya La Phedi/Dharmasala. Included Meals (B, L, D).

Day 10 : Trek to Bhimtang(3720m/12205ft) by crossing Larkya la Pass (5,160m/16929ft)– 7 to 8 hrs

We leave Dharmasala very early in the morning as it is the longest and toughest section of trekking around Manaslu crossing the Larkya la pass 5160m before the wind starts blowing strongly and possible storms appear on the pass. The trail starts gentle climb across moraine; it descends a little to a lake and then becomes rough and indistinct as it crosses to the south of steep grassy slopes. The trail stays on the moraine to a ridge marked by two cairns; from here the prayer flags marking the pass are visible. Descend to the four frozen lakes then make the final steep climb to the pass. From the pass of summit, there are outstanding panoramic view on clear day of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru, Menjung and the huge Annapurna II on the horizon. Savor the spectacular views from the top of the pass. Bhimtang is long but beautiful. On the descent from the pass the trail follows the top of the moraine to the west and makes a set of steep, rough switchbacks as it crosses the moraine then descends more gently on loose gravel to another grassy moraine at 4,450m. The trail now becomes easier to follow and reaches a small meadow. The valley becomes wider as the Trails head down to a large meadow, past a mani wall and a small rest house that marks Bimthang at 3,590m.Overnight at lodge.

Included Meals: (B, L, D).

Day 11 : Trek to Dharapani (1910m/6266ft)- 7 to 8 hrs

From Bimtang, the trail starts to cross over the side of the moraine and descend to the headwaters of the Dudh Khola, and crosses a wooden bridge, then into pine and rhododendron forest to Hompuk (3,430m) with a rock shelter. The rhododendrons appear in a wide range of colors, sheep, horses and monkeys fill the forest. The panoramic view of Phungi, Manaslu, Manaslu north peak, Cheo Himal and Himlung Himal, are clearly visible. 30 minute descent in the forested area reach the meadow of Sangore Kharka. Then cross a landslide before making a steep climb to a ridge decorated with prayer flags. It makes a descent to the river bank at Gho(2,575m).The route continues down with a few ups, mostly through fields, but also through some dense forest. Less than an hour walk through fields and intermittent stands of rhododendron and oak to arrive at Tilije, a very mixed of ethnic community settlement. Exit the village through a stone arch, cross the Dudh Khola and follow along its embankment descending through scrub forest. The walls of the Marsyangdi Valley loom larger and finally the houses of Dharapani appear in the distance. Pass through Thonje via a wooden bridge and through a chorten-shaped arch, and Dharapani lies across a long suspension bridge over the Marsyangdi. We arrive at Dharapani. Overnight lodge at Dharapani.

Included Meals (B, L, D).

Day 12 : Drive to Besisahar (4 to 5hrs) then Kathmandu at the same day

In the morning, we leave on local Jeep or Bus, passing the villages, Marshyandi river, town of bhulbhule and khudi then all the way to beshishar. Approximately 4 to 5 hrs driving takes to Besisahar. We have to arrive Besisahar at least before 3p.m to catch up last jeep or local bus at the same day. Then next six to seven hours drive from Besishar along Pokhara highway along Trishuli river take us Kathmandu. If time goes beyond this due to delay by unforeseen or unexpected cause, one day in itinerary is highly recommended. Upon arrival in Besisahara, then after, we make start by bus on a journey back to Kathmandu. The road follows along the scenic Marsyangdi River Valley and then meets the Trishuli River as we head west along the Prithvi Highway. Along the way we will have good views of the lush scenery and terraced farmland and perhaps even some final glimpses of the mountains.Overnight lodge at Dharapani.

Included Meals: (B, L,).

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