Admired as one of the best, Manaslu circuit trek is a classic and thrilling trek in Nepal. Opened in 1992 for the visitors, it soon started attracting travellers in no notice. The less traversed route of Manaslu circuit is rich in unmatched Himalayas aesthete. The panoramic view of Mt. Manaslu, Annapurna, Ganesh Himal range, alluring nature, and flawless landscape make it a perfect hub for trekking.
Manaslu circuit trek is an actual trek to explore the great Himalayas. Annapurna mountain on the West and Ganesh Himal on the East adds perfect display to this outlook. Besides, the enriched culture and preserved tradition of locals add beauty to this remote route of West Nepal.
The scenery and diverse climatic zones throughout the Manaslu trek route surely inspire you. The beautiful snow-capped landscape and alpine woods of this trek route are what travellers admire most. The subtropical vegetation of Soti Khola and the alpine landscape of Larkya La Pass entertains you throughout the trekking. The true wonder of Manaslu unfolds as you start your hike from Maccha Khola and Jagat. The ripped rice and millet farms and beautiful settlement of Khorla Besi are the best. The enticing gorges of Budi Gandaki river and twirling waterfalls of highlands are major highlights of 14 days Manaslu Circuit Trek.
Why is Manaslu Circuit Trekking less popular?
Yes, trekking to Annapurna and the Everest region is an adventure. But, in terms of sightseeing and natural aesthetics, the less trekked Manaslu Circuit route is close to these destinations. Among all the hikes and treks in Nepal, the trekking in this circuit is the least preferred destination. Every year, on a peak season, not more than 2,000 trekkers trek to Manaslu.
This figure is only about 2% of total travellers who love to hike in the Himalayas. So, what makes this trek less popular among other destinations in Nepal?
There are many reasons for this. First, the route to Manaslu circuit is in the remote landscape. It makes the Manaslu Trek cumbersome. The rocky and uneven natural walking trail makes the day hike strenuous.
Further, the demanding seven hours long walk in high altitude needs physical fitness. It also required previous high-altitude hike experience. Thus, trekkers with previous hike experience and sound physique can only scale the route of the Manaslu circuit trek for 14 days.
Overview : Manaslu Circuit Trek
The itinerary of the Manaslu circuit trek starts with an eight-hour-long drive from Kathmandu to a village in Soti Khola. En route to Manaslu circuit, you’ll start getting glimpses of Annapurna, Langtang. You’ll trek for almost seven hours from Soti Khola to Machha Khola on the next day. Hiking through Gurung settlements, rice fields, cliff-face ridge, and Gudhi Gandaki river makes the day walk best. Trek to Jagat from Machha Khola would be strenuous as you have to hike almost 22 km before evening. A natural hot spring at Tatopani would be the stopping point for the rest.
You’ll trek Philim, Deng, Ghap, Lho, and Sama Gaon for the following days. On the 9th day, upon reaching Sama Gaon, you’ll stay here for one day for acclimatisation. Trekking over 3,525 metres in Manaslu circuit trek route will cause altitude sickness if you lack proper acclimatisation.
Hike to Pungyen Gompa would be the best choice for a day’s sightseeing. One of the major attractions of this trek, Manaslu base camp, is perfect for sightseeing. North of Sama Gaon, this is an ideal place for sightseeing of Mt. Manaslu, Annapurna, and others. Manaslu glacier and Birendra Tal are best for viewing en route to Manaslu Base Camp.
You’ll trek and acclimatise to Samdo for another day. There are many sightseeing spots around this palace to make the Manaslu trek memorable. Samdo is a popular place for witnessing the Yak caravan. If lucky, you’ll get to see Blue Sheep around while acclimatising.
You’ll hike to the Dharmashala and Larkya La Pass to Bimthang. Larkya La at 5,160 metres is a viewpoint for various peaks like Himlung, Annapurna I, and Kang Guru. The glaciers and icefalls en route often slow the walking pace. Ascending to Larkya La Pass is difficult. The snow deposits make the walk difficult. Include a crampon while backpacking for the Manaslu route trek. It makes decent a lot easier.
From this point onward, the descent to Bimthang marks the end of the Manaslu circuit trek route and the start of the Annapurna Conservation area.
You’ll further trek to Dharapani and take a jeep to BesiSahar. You’ll reach Kathmandu after a seven hour drive from BesiSahar.
A hot shower and luxury stay at a three-star hotel in Kathmandu marks the end of your Manaslu circuit trek.
Short Itinerary for Manaslu Circuit Trek
DAY 01: ARRIVE IN KATHMANDU. (1335 METERS)
DAY 02: KATHMANDU TO ARUGHAT
DAY 03: ARUGHAT-SOTI KHOLA (710M)
DAY 04: SOTI KHOLA- MACCHA KHOLA (900M)
DAY 05: MACCHA KHOLA– JAGAT (1410M)
DAY 06: JAGAT-DENG 1804M
DAY 07: DENG- GHAP 2165M
DAY 08: GHAP- LHO 3180M
DAY 09: LHO- SAMAGAON (3530M)
DAY 10: REST DAY AT SAMAGAON
DAY 11: SAMAGAON- SAMDO (3860M)
DAY 12: SAMDO- DHARAMSALA
DAY 13: DHARAMSALA-LARTKA LA (5213M)-BIMTHANG (3720M)
DAY 14: BIMTHANG-DHARAPANI
DAY 15: DHARAPANI-SYANGE (1080M)
DAY 16: SYANGE- BESI SAHAR (800M) – KATHMANDU
DAY 17: DEPARTURE
Manaslu Circuit Trek : Highlights
- Stunning views of Mt. Annapurna I and II, Ganesh Himal range, and Mt. Manaslu all around the circuit.
- Unmatched joy and thrill of ascending the Larkya La Pass at 5,167 metres.
- The less crowded trekking destination of Manaslu lets you enjoy nature at peace.
- Tea house-based overnights throughout the trek.
- Walking through the deepest gorge of Budi Gandaki and dense rhododendron forests.
- Celebrating the preserved tradition of Buddhist and Hindu communities throughout the Manaslu circuit trek route.
- Vibing enriched culture and alluring scenery of this remote trail of Himalayas.
- Sightseeing on Mt. Manaslu and Pungyen Gompa from the Manaslu Base Camp.
- Witness some rare Himalayan wildlife like Thar, Pika, Agali, and Marmots.
- Horse riding at some places on the Manaslu circuit if you feel tired while walking.