The Manaslu circuit trek is an underappreciated trek located in the remote western region of Nepal. The trek revolves around the Manaslu Mountain (8163m) which means “Spirit Mountain.” Like its name, the trek provides the opportunity to trekkers for a spiritual awakening by witnessing the cultural heritage, unrivaled beauty, and extreme wilderness.
Unlike its sister treks Annapurna and Everest, the Manaslu Circuit trek is less crowded which makes the visit more appealing. This trek offers the experience similar to Annapurna a decade ago. The trail takes you through the roaring turquoise Budi Gandaki River, from Arughat to the apex point of the trek Larkya Pass.
En route, you’ll witness precarious bridges and stunning mountain views. As you ascent upwards, the landscape quickly transforms from the green countryside and lush green forests to unusual rocky terrains and crystalline glaciers.
The trek provides you a glimpse into the Tibetan influenced culture, terrific sceneries of ice peaks like Manaslu, Himchuli, Himlung and Larke peak. Trekkers get to enjoy the fantastic local food and culture which gives them an insight into village life.
A tranquil environment, adventure, romance and value for money makes the Manaslu circuit trek one of the best.
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.
After a delicious breakfast, we head for sightseeing in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley. They are:
• 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 Swoyambhunath 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. Prayer flags tied to the stupa flutter in the wind carrying the hopes of people to heaven.
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 BhupatindraMalla 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 shall also be conducted in which you can ask any queries to the guide regarding the trek. Overnight in hotel.
Drive from Kathmandu to Arughat Bazar and further to SotiKhola 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. The cost of a private vehicle is USD 67 extra for each person. You stay in a simple tea house. 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 rise 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 MachhaKhola. 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 TharoBharyang. 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.
The village of Dyang is home to stunning views of the Himalayas and provides a serene atmosphere for anyone willing to get lost in nature. To reach Dyang, we initially climb to Salleri and then descend to Sirdibas.
We follow the upstream trail, and en route we cross villages like Philim, Ekle Bhatti, and we traverse through millet fields as well. As you trek further, the landscape changes from rugged to grassy land slopes.
After crossing the bamboo forests and DyangKhola, we reach Dyang. Stay in a simple tea house. B, L, D
After walking beyond Deng, we need to cross the BudhiGandaki and climb Rana. From the bridge, we do a bit of climbing and join a trail from Bhi then head west.
The trail passes through forests and from there we turn towards a corner that leads to Ghap. Ghap is famous for its Mani stones, and it provides a surreal view of the mountains that lie ahead. Stay in a simple tea house. B, L, D
Lho comprises of a large Gompa which serves as a basis of education for many children there. It is a beautiful village with well-carved chorten.The trail crosses the side valley of SimnangHimal. In Lho village, we can enjoy amazing views of Mount Manaslu
From Lho village, we trek via Shala through the rugged trails while being surrounded by huge mountains like HimalChuli, Manaslu, and other large glaciers. The Ganesh Himal stands at the far end.
Acquaint yourself with the unique traditions of the Sherpa culture and try to decipher the mani stones written in Buddhist texts. Visit the PungyenGompa which is famous for its religious as well a natural significance. Stay in a simple tea house. B, L, D
We descend to the BudhiGandaki River and then follow it to a bridge over a side stream. It is a relatively easy trail on a shelf above the river and passes through the birch forests of KermoKharka.
We cross the BudhiGandaki on a wooden bridge. Somdu is a small village inhabited by Tibetan origin populations. The place is quaint, cold and dry. Stay in a simple tea house. B, L, D
To prepare for further trekking, we take a day off to acclimatize at Somdu. Take advantage of your day off by hiking at the back of the Samdo village.
The hike shows the ancient trade passes to Tibet and provides excellent views of the snow laden mountains like Manaslu, Simrang, and Ngadi. The hike provides ample time to witness settlements and flora and fauna.Stay in a simple tea house. B, L, D
Our day starts by walking on the edge, crossing a wooden bridge and descending upwards. On the trail we see the Larkya Glacier, cross two streams and go around the valley of SalkaKhola.
After an upward climb, there is a stone guesthouse which is not exactly a lodge but a shelter house called Dharmashala. This place is popularly known as LarkyaPhedi which translates to ‘foot of Larkya.' Stay in a simple tea house. B, L, D
Today is the longest day of the trip as you’ll wake early to conquer the challenges in front of you. A short climb above the lodge will lead you to the northern side of Larkya Glacier. We cross through frozen lakes and admire the beauty of Larkya Peak.
By crossing boulder fields and ridgelines, we come across a spectacular panorama of the Himalayan peaks like HimlungHimal, CheoHimal, and Kang Guru. There is a steep descent to reach the trail leading to DangbocheKharka. It is a good place to stop and rest before continuing the descent to Bimthang. Stay in a simple tea house. B, L, D
We descend further and cross a high pasture (SangureKharka) and cross a bridge over DudhKhola. The trail crosses through rhododendron forests and a narrow valley.
We reach the highest cultivated land at Karche. We pass across fields before doing a climb over a ridge. We reach Tilje village.Stay in a simple tea house. B, L, D
We cross the stream beyond Tilije and walk on a dirt road with Dharapani in the Marsyangdi valley. We cross the MarsyangdiRiver and then climb stone steps to reach the town of Dharapani.
We head towards the north of Dharapani that join the Annapurna Circuit Trek if you wish we can continue the Annapurna circuit trek. But today we take a local Jeep/bus to Kathmandu. (Private Jeep can be hired at USD 117 per person extra).
You can check into a hotel and at evening join Nepalese cultural show and dinner. B, D.
You have the option of ending your trip or extending it. If you wish to conclude, our representative will drop you off at the Tribhuvan International Airport.