Trekking around Mount Manaslu, Eighth highest mountain in the world with the elevation of 8163 m/26781 ft above sea level, offers a unique opportunity to experience a reasonably “untouched” region of Nepal which is getting well-liked in recent years, through its circular trek going over the Larkya La at 5135 m/16847 ft. Manaslu and Tsum valley trek has been newly developed as a tea house trek ( lodge to lodge trek) and many people consider this as an alternative trek to fabled Annapurna circuit trek.
Mount Manaslu was attempted by Japanese mountaineers every year from 1950 until 1956. The first ascent of Manaslu was scaled by Japanese mountaineers in 1956. However, this area has been opened to trekkers only since 1991.
The trekking in Manaslu and Tsum valley region provides spectacular beauty along the border of Nepal and Tibet and is now a controlled trekking route, allowing organized trekking groups with special permits to gain entry into Manaslu region to venture round its spectacular circuit. As much of the information about the Manaslu area is available only with the Japanese people, so people also call Manaslu, the Japanese Mountain.
Manaslu trek route is remote and rescue facilities are limited. In many places the walls of Budi Gandaki valley are steep, so we can walk along the bottom of the valley. The trek trail in Manaslu is rough and it often literally hangs on a bluff high above the river. The Manaslu and Tsum valley trek is geographically spectacular, culturally fascinating and traverses a strong living Tibetan cultural environment and spectacular wilderness. Moreover, Larke La at 5135 meters is certainly an unforgettable pass crossing within the Himalayas of Nepal. This trek starts either from Trishuli, Arughat or Gorkha and ends at Besisahar.
Manaslu has a unique environment, which is exceptionally rich in biodiversity that has made this region one of the finest tourist destinations of Nepal for many years. The majestic Himalayan ranges in this area consist of cultural diversities and natural scenery with high altitude romantic glacial lakes and fascinating flora and fauna. All these features have made it one of the most well-liked places in Nepal.
The inhabitants of the upper Budhi Gandaki are direct descendants of the Tibetan immigrants. Their speech, dress, and customs are almost similar to the Tibetan people. There is still continuous trade between Nupri in Tibet and the inhabitants living in the upper Budi Gandaki region. In lower regions, there are many other castes of peoples like Brahmans, Chhetries, Newars, Ghales, Gurungs, and Tamangs. The area is diverse and there are other so-called untouchable groups in large number who are called (Kami: – Blacksmiths, Sarki: – Cobblers and Damai: – tailors.). But Nepal law does no discriminations now.
Because of the Tibetan influence, most of the places in these regions have Tibetan names and the ranges are even closer in the borderline in these regions.
Our friend and Lonely planet guide book writer Bradley explored the Manaslu region with us long ago and wrote a wonderful article about Trekking in Manaslu Circuit region. You Can read his article in the link below. http://bradleymayhew.blogspot.com/search/label/Manaslu
Our representative of Earthbound Expeditions will receive you at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu and he will be displaying an Earthbound Expeditions signboard.
You will then be transferred to your hotel and the remaining day shall be a rest day. Overnight at hotel
After a delicious breakfast, we head for sightseeing in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley. The excursion starts at 9 am, and we will provide a private vehicle and professional guide.
• Swayambhunath Stupa : A journey up to this monumental stupa with glittering golden spires provides the travelers with a picturesque view of the Kathmandu Valley and it is a must visit for those who wish to dive in the knowledge of Buddhism.
The word Swayambhunath means self-existent one and history dictates that it was made in the 13th century. At Swoyambhu, immerse yourself in the devotion of God by spinning the prayer wheels, with a backdrop of religious prayer ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ and the beautiful fragrance of incense.
• Boudhanath: The Boudhanath Stupa takes its place among the largest stupas in South Asia. The gigantic white mound spreads 36 meters, and on top of it, there's a square tower consisting of the holy Buddha eyes facing all four directions.
As Tibetans inhabited the area in the 1950s, you can see the remains of Tibetan culture to this day too and enquire with them to get in-depth knowledge about their culture. Turn the prayer wheels and circle the stupa as you say your prayers amidst the crowd and pleasant yet strong fragrance of incense.
• Pashupatinath: One of the most revered Hindu pilgrimages in the world is ‘Pashupatinath.’ A small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was built here in 879 AD, but the temple stood in its current format 1697 AD when King Bhupatindra Malla made it.
This temple is an example of architectural magnificence as the gold-plated roof, silver roofs and woodcarvings of the highest caliber soothe and simultaneously amaze you. The temple comprises of Linga images of Lord Shiva along with numerous statues and shrines.
A walk in this temple shows you the true meaning of life as in the yards you’ll see young boys doing ‘Bratabandha’ which starts their journey to adulthood and on the other hand you’ll witness the deceased being cremated in the banks of the holy river Bagmati, indicating that life is short. Talk with the sages residing there and expand your knowledge on Hinduism.
A pre-trek briefing will let you know more about the trek. Overnight in hotel. B , L, D
After a delicious breakfast, we drive towards the rural village of Arughat. The journey takes about 5 hours, and the road is home to the wilderness of Nepal which takes place in the form of rugged terrain, clear rivers, and high suspension bridges.
The route is rough but provides an exhilarating experience. Aarughat is a town located on the banks of the majestic Budi Gandaki River. From there, we head towards the trekking trail of Solti Khola. To reach Solti Khola, you can use a bus or jeep. B, L, D
We ascent through the trail of the Budi Gandaki and cross beautiful Sal forests then climb onto a ridge. Our journey takes us past tropical waterfalls, some rice terraces and then leads to the Gurung Village Labubesi.
We walk behind a rocky outcrop that provides a beautiful view of the valley and the Budi Gandaki. Walking across sandy river beds, ridges and crossing a suspension bridge leads us to the village of Machha Khola.
Stay in a simple tea house. B, L, D
The trail shows you its uniqueness as it heads up and down, testing your strength and determination. The trail descends on a hot spring in Tatopani, and from there it is another ridge climbing and bridge crossing.
Traversing the gorge and lush greenery leads you to the stone stairs which head to Tharo Bharyang. By crossing the west bank of Budi Gandaki and trekking along the river, we reach the primitive village of Jagat which still upholds its traditional lifestyles and ways. B, L, D.
We’ll make an entry into the restricted region of Manaslu and Tsum Valley. The guide will register your permit in the checkpoint at Jagat. We will trek alongside the riverbank, go up and down the trail and cross the suspension bridge above the Budhi Gandaki River to reach Philim village.
Trek towards Gumbal and climb a steep path for 45 minutes to reach Lokpa. At Lokpa, you’ll feel isolated as there is nothing but wilderness. B, L, D.
The Chumling village is a small Buddhist village and comprises of maximum 50 houses. The village is famous as there is a monastery and it provides a picturesque view of the majestic Ganesh Himal. To reach Chumling, we descend through green forests, cross bridges and climb strong but scary stairs.
We ascend north through pine forests and steep slopes. With each step, the Tsum valley reveals itself. Be careful while crossing the wooden bridge of Shiar Khola as the bridge has killed many people. B, L, D
Chhokangparo is the place where the famous Lama Kongchog dies after 26 years of meditation. A documentary was made based on his life. To reach this divine place, you need to cross suspension bridges and farmlands of potatoes. You'll pass through primitive Tibetan settlements whose houses do not contain flat roofs.
You need to be careful as there may be small landslides on the route which makes the track slippery. The route provides a superb view of the icy Ganesh Himal, and after crossing the Serpu Khola and climbing for 2.5 hours, you’ll reach the village of Chhokangparo. As you head further, Lama gaun looms in the horizon. As the elevation rises, you'll feel that the air is getting thinner .B, L, D
The trek from Lamagaun to Nile is relatively easy. You’ll travel east through small villages and then cross a bridge to get to Nile. The Nile is an ancient Tibetan village which comprises of houses made of stone.
The final destination is the huge Mu Gompa and to reach it. You need to go through wide mountain vistas and numerous chortens. The Gompa lies on the highest and at the most remote part of the Tsum Valley. At the monastery, you can see monks busy in their daily routine and the breath-taking view of the border of Tibet. B, L, D
After witnessing the grandeur of Mu Gompa, we trek back to Chhokangparo. En route, we visit the pristine Rachen Gompa. You'll meet the locals there, but it would be quite difficult to communicate with them as they speak Tibetan and little to no Nepali.
Pass over ridges, and you'll reach the huge courtyard of the Rachen Gompa. You can visit the Milarepa’s Cave where it is believed that the bringer of Buddhism to Tibet had meditated. After visiting the Gompa, head south and cross a bridge to descend to Chhokangparo. B, L, D.
Descend below to the previous trial for approximately 2 hours, until a Gompa is at sight. Walk on the narrow trail to the left through the village and walk on the wooden bridge to cross the Shiar Khola. The bridge connects to Dhumje and is famed for its Herbal medicines.
Climb on a steep track through pines, rhododendrons and prayer flags. Make a steep zigzag climb to reach the Gumba Lungdang which sits on a ridge. The Gumba provides a stunning view of the surrounding landscape. B, L, D.
You need to be extra careful in this trip as there is a high chance that you might lose yourself in this trip. Walk through dusty tracks and head up the valley on rocky trails.
Cross rivers and climb steeply through pines and rhododendrons. Climb past seasonal huts and find a path that gives a dramatic view of the mountains. It takes about 4 hrs to reach the Ganesh Himal Base Camp. B, L, D.
The route back to Dumje takes you across forests of pine, rhododendrons, and oak. The trail is rugged and rough and crosses suspension as well as wooden bridges.
The trek climbs some deep gorges and shaky bridges to the quaint Ripchet village. Enjoy the picturesque scenery to admire the fertile land blooming with potatoes, barley with a backdrop of pine forests. Head further and climb up and down on the hill through forests of pine and rhododendron to reach the Lokpa village.
To reach Ghap, we follow the trail upstream of Deng River. Ghap is a tiny village comprising of only four houses. We walk through a newly built rock tunnel and avoid the problematic steep climb. At Ghap, you’ll witness the traditional culture and the trademark Mani stones and chortens. B, L, D.
Cross the wooden bridge over Budhu Gandaki and follow the path that consists of houses with cultivated fields in their front. Namru consists of a police check post, and across it, the Hinan
River originates from the Linda Glacier and continues to Sho. You can get a view of the snow-laden giants like Manaslu north and Manaslu. We camp near a spring at Lho Gaon. B, L, D.
You will pass the stone gates and the long Mani stone wall of the village after Lho, and it provides a dramatic view of the Peak 29 that lies ahead. You can make a side excursion to Pungen Glacier to get a close view of Manaslu.
To reach Sama, you follow the lateral moraine of Pungen glacier. From Sama, it takes an additional 20 minutes to reach Sama Gompa. B, L, D.
Today we climb a terraced hill on the opposite bank of the Budhi Gandaki river. From there we head towards the most permanent settlement in that area- Samdo. Even among the most severe conditions, you can find people living there, and it consists of about 200 villagers. B, L, D
Today we won\'t head any further but instead focus on adapting to the changing landscape and the thin air. Enjoy the rest day as you witness the majestic Himalayas, rough terrain, and the sapphire sky. B, L, D.
We first climb towards the Cho Danda and slowly head forwards through the steep track towards the snowy Larkya La Pass. The Larkya La Pass offers the dazzling view of the enormous ice mountains like Mt. Manaslu and the peaks likeHimlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Gyagi Kung, Kang Kuru and the Annapurna II.
The trail provides an opportunity to witness amazing biological diversity like birds, reptiles, and mammals. We descend through steep trails, moraines and head towards Bhimtang. B, L, D
The trekking route towards Tilje is a comparatively easy one. We walk across paddy fields towards the miniature Karcha La Pass and descend downwards through the fig forests and red rhododendron forests towards Tilje. B, L, D.
We follow the trail downstream of the Marshyangdi River and cross through the scattered villages to reach the Tal village for an overnight stay. B, L, D.
The long journey is finally coming to an end as you get on a jeep and head towards Kathmandu. After reaching Kathmandu, enjoy a cultural show and enjoy the delicious Nepali cuisine. B, D.
The trip ends, and our airport representative will drop you at the Tribhuvan International Airport for your final departure from Nepal.