Manaslu circuit is a stunning trek with spectacular views of Mount Manaslu (8163 m) and the Ganesh Himal Range, among others. Along the trail you encounter an interesting mix of authentic Hindu and Tibetan-style Buddhist villages. The trail follows the spectacular Budhi Gandaki River all the way from Arugath to its source just below the Larkya Pass (5125 m). As you start low, at around 700 m, the landscapes are incredibly varied ranging from green countryside and lush forests to spectacular high altitude landscapes skirting. The Manaslu Circuit is getting more and more popular as a new trekking destination but it still sees fewer trekkers compared to the established trekking routes in the Annapurna region. You can also see the landscape of the Tibetan region from the Samdo Village. Being one of the challenging treks of the country, making through the Larkya La Pass can be quite strenuous to you.
It is also the best trek to increase your cultural thirst; the Highlanders are much more influenced by Tibetan culture, and the low areas represent common Nepalese local culture. The Nubri people still sustain their livelihood from their trade with Tibetan, and their languages, costumes are similar to the Tibetans. Within a single trek, you shall be trekking through six different climatic zones. March to May and September to November are considered an ideal time to do the Manaslu Trek. Extreme cold and icy landscape might not attract you to this trek during December to February. By the end of February, the weather starts to get warm slowly and the forest starts to bloom with red rhododendrons. Trekking during the monsoon season might not be good in these remote areas either. October experiences the maximum number of trekkers in this trek.
However, if you wish to get the clearest view of the mountains, the winter season can be the best. The descent passes through beautiful alpine meadows at Bhimatangi before joining the main Annapurna Circuit route heading to the trailhead at Besisahar. The Manaslu trek is easily accessible from Kathmandu. It originally started in the town of Arughat or Gorkha; however, with roads being built many trekkers start at either Barpak or Soti Khola a bit further up the trail.
Few trekking experiences can be advantageous to you, as you shall be familiar to adapt in the high altitude areas. Otherwise, you can do some exercises a few weeks before the trek. This brings your body to proper condition and size; you might not face many difficulties to do this trek. Don’t get to think that you would require having extraordinary body fitness to make this trek, moderate level of fitness capable enough to endure long days of walking on hills and mountains for a few days in a row is enough.
Samagaun is located at the bottom of Mt. Manaslu. From the village, you get to see the soaring mountains above, and moraines down below. Despite the inflow of trekkers, the village is still less influenced and sustains a relatively low level of lifestyle. You shall see that the villages have pens underneath their houses. Agriculture is still the main occupation in this region; people grow potatoes and barleys during summer for three months and trade them with lower villages and Tibet for the rest of the year. Samagaun also has Pung Gyen Monastery. You shall find a temple there and meditation caves on the rocks. Most of the trekking package include acclimatization at Samagaun.
This is a great opportunity to explore the village. Thus, you can know about the lifestyle and livelihood of villages of this village, view staggering views of mountains, and meditate at the caves breathing the Himalayan air. You might wonder when you see the pens under the same roof where people live. It seems like the crops that they grow during the summer is only the resource that they sell for the rest of the months in the year to earn their livelihood.
Not only adventure, this trek offers you amazing cultural exploration of the Nubri culture. You might not get to know about Nubris in any other part of Nepal. The region between the Manaslu and Upper Dolpo is popular as Nubri region. You might find similarity between the people living here and Tibet; even, people in this region have the same culture as the people of Tibet. The even more astounding part is that even the language is the same. People from this region and Tibetan, worship Dalai Lama. If you explore the village, you shall find at least a poster of the Dalai Lama in each house. The Dalai Lama is worshipped as a god, and also offers butter lamps and other things in his name.
After your return from the trek, you can find the Nubri Culture and Youth Promotion Committee at Kathmandu. You can also get to know more about this culture from this organization. Exploring the villages in the Nubri region is one of the most interesting things to do during this trek. You can boast about it even among Nepalese people.
Manaslu region shall amaze you with several breath-taking views and places, and won’t stop doing so throughout the trek. At every step you make, you shall find new inspiration and a new reason to think few words of praise and admiration. Biendra Lake is situated at the bottom of a glacier. You shall find plenty of glaciers around the Manaslu Base Camp area. At the base camp, you shall see lots of climbers resting and looking forward to summit the mountain. Nothing is as inspiring as to witness the sheer beauty of blue lakes at such a high altitude area. You can reach Biendra Lake via a two hours excursion from the Sama Village. As you reach near the lake, you shall be engulfed by the sheer joy and excitement and plea to belong to the mountains, and grow with them.
The natural beauty of this lake is incomparable and so stunning that you would go breathless. Long exhaustion during the trekking gets washed away as you witness and visit these staggering places. They can be important memories that you might want to lament upon for the rest of your life. Thus, visiting Biendra is another lesser known thing to do during your trek to Manaslu.
Again, climbing to the Stone Marker is a lesser-known act that very few people do during this trek. Making it is also an adventurous journey; you shall have to pass through snow-covered trails. Sometimes, people also follow the tracks left by wolves and snow leopards to reach the Marker. For this region, you should be wearing sufficient clothes and carry water and tea in a thermos; also, don’t forget to carry plenty of food. You need to carry trekking poles. When you make it to the Marker, you shall feel like you are in Tibet. The pass has the stone marker which is engraved with Tibetan scripts.
You can find the Marker if you dug out the snow. Snow and lots of prayer flags might be covering it. You shall also find lots of prayer flags blowing in the Himalayan air; as if the scripts were written there are dissolving into the air, and in return, the air is whispering those back to you. Adventure in the Manaslu trekking is unbeatable and most memorable. Some part of this region is restricted by the government, thus, you must be accompanied by a guide, and must be traveling in a group of two members.
Larke Peak is one of the small peaks in the Manaslu region. It is perfect for anybody who wishes to do climbing. However, it is to be noted that it might extend your trekking itinerary. Before you make it to Larkya, you are required to have permits from NMA. Manaslu trekking, thus, isn’t just about trekking in the Manaslu region, all the way to the base of the world’s eight highest peaks, it is also about several other adventures like peak climbing. The climbing adds adventure to this trek. However, not everybody is climbing enthusiasts. For all the climbing enthusiasts, this can be an exciting opportunity.
Manaslu region offers you the unique blend of nature with the extraordinary cultural and tradition of the people.
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