Mardi Himal trek lies on the shadows of the Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) trek, and it is one of the best trekking routes with stunning points of Nepal. The trek focuses on Mardi Himal (5587 meters) which is located at the east of ABC. In recent years Mardi Himal trek has gained popularity for its panoramic sceneries and thrill.
The commencing point of the trek is Kande. The trek takes you through quiet villages with stone houses reminiscent of the older times and enforcing the thought that it’s a land untouched by the modern era. Hike through the forests filled with shades of red as you enter woods filled with red rhododendrons ( flowering time March-May). The forests and greenery end abruptly and it exposes the rugged mountainous setting.
“Dazzling” and “Mind-boggling” are some of the words that can be used to describe the sceneries of Mardi Himal, Macchapuchre, Annapurna South, Mount Hiunchuli as witnessed from Mardi Base Camp. Further attractions of the trek are the culture of residents of Siding village and Lwang.
The Mardi Himal trek is relatively moderate for expert hikers and novice alike. The trails are not paved and are rough, rocky and gravel-strewn so walk carefully! The hardest part of the trek is going from High Camp to Base Camp which is quite steep and rocky, and besides, the forested part of the trek tends to get slippery when it rains.
The Mardi trek is guaranteed to provide a memory that lasts for eternity and adds another story to your book of life.
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. Breakfast included. Overnight at hotel.
After a delicious breakfast, we head for sightseeing in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley. They are:
• Swoyambhunath: 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.
After a hectic day, enjoy a cultural show.
We head to Pokhara early in the morning which is 200 km west of Kathmandu and takes 6-7 hours in a tourist bus. The drive takes you through the serpentine roads with a dazzling view of the rivers and a Himalayan background. At Pokhara, you\'ll witness the natural beauty of Pokhara as you boat in the famous Fewa Lake while looking at the snowcapped Macchapuchre. Visit the temple of Tal Barahi and discover the secrets of the majestic Davis Falls.
After a delicious breakfast, head towards Kande via the Pokhara Baglung Highway, and it takes about 40 minutes. The trail climbs for about 1.5 hours, and you\'ll r each a place in the forest with lodge settlements which are called ‘Australian Camp.\' Relax in the serene landscape while enjoying the panoramic view of the Annapurna range and Pokhara valley. The trail takes you through the lush forests of rhododendrons which ultimately lead to a mountain pass called ‘Deurali.\' This grand place overlooks the pristine ModiKhola which is wedged between Annapurna South and Mardi Himal and Macchapuchre.
After enjoying a beautiful day in the ridge village of Deurali, we head towards the significant Annapurna trekking trail and follow the forested ridge towards Forest Camp. As this is a new trekking destination, this route does not have any tea houses, so we need to carry our lunch and pack sufficient water . As the elevation rises, the display of rhododendron gets more immaculate.
After a filling breakfast, prepare yourself for the task that lies ahead as you climb the forests. Low Camp consists of a couple of tea houses which are made in the clearing of the forest. As you move forward, the Macchapuchre and Mardi Himal get closer and more significant. On a bright day, you can see the blue sapphire sky along with the snowy Himalayas and the valley toward the south. The trek lasts for 3 hours, but if you trek an additional 1 hour, you reach BadalDanda. The main attraction is the view from there.
The trail follows the ridge and heads toward the Mardi Himal and Macchapuchre. You will witness the landscape change into the shrubby alpine. High Camp is a small pasture after the climb with three lodges. On High Camp, you\'ll find yourself above the clouds, and the snow-capped peaks like Annapurna South and Macchapuchre loom in the distance and the deep valley on the other side.
Brace yourself as the day trip is rigorous and lengthy. You\'ll have to trek for 7 hours, and the trail is very steep so take each step with care. The path is pretty uneven with some places being more rocky and complicated than other. The first steep climb will take approximately 2 hours, and it will lead to the top of the ridge which is marked as the Mardi Base Camp (MBC) although the real base camp will take an additional 2 hours along the ridge. Along the hill, you will see the scenery of the picturesque landscape. The snow laden mountains like Mardi Himal and Macchapuchre are virtually in front of you whereas the mountains like Annapurna I, Annapurna III also appears at a distance.
The return trip to Forest Camp is a familiar landscape but the game played by the season and sunlight makes it interesting. Enjoy this beautiful landscape and after breakfast trek back to forest camp which lasts about 4 hours.
The trail to Lwang village is a steep one which crosses through forests of rhododendrons and Maple. The Lwang village is mainly a Gurung village which provides ample opportunity to witness the Nepalese countryside and delicious food. The farmers offer homestay accommodation, and there is a waterfall nearby the town which offers exciting canoeing experience
The ride back to Pokhara is through the Mardi river basin which is indeed an exhilarating experience. It takes about 1.5 hours to get to Pokhara in a 4WD. The first 1 hour is a drive on the dirt road.
Head back to Kathmandu on a bus or an airplane.
You can extend the trip as you like or even make the trip shorter by modifying the itinerary.