In the list of the offbeat trekking in Nepal, Manaslu Circuit trek comes on the top! It is a restricted area trekking opened only in 1992 for the international trekkers. It got the fullest attention of the intrepid trekkers in a short time due to its unexplored nature and unspoiled culture.
The travelers, who love to have a little challenge over trekking in the Himalayas, choose this route for lifelong experiences. Its connection with Annapurna Circuit trek is a reason for its popularity growing day by day. Larkya La Pass (5,106m) is the highest pass of Manaslu region connecting the Budhi Gandaki River Valley with the Marsuangdi River Valley.
Manaslu Circuit trek is best known for its natural beauty and cultural diversity including adventurous journey. The green forests, cultivated farmlands, Himalayan wildlife and vegetation are really incredible. As it covers Manaslu Conservation Area and Annapurna Conservation Area, you can have glimpses of birds and animals in the dense forests.
The glowing snowcapped peaks of Ganesh Himal (7,422m), Manaslu (8,163m) and Annapurna (8,091m) welcome you to their region. Tens of named peaks above 6,000m and countless unnamed peaks of these regions are really awful!
The socio-cultural aspects of Gurung, Bhotia and other ethnic communities make your trip more meaningful. Ancient monasteries, chortens and mani walls having Buddhist art and scriptures are equally praiseworthy. Almost every settlement area has an ancient monastery dating back hundreds of years. The colourful prayer flags hoisted of top of the passes and houses help you feel the peace of mind!
Best remote trek around the 8th highest peak of the world
Least crowded/peaceful trails
Cultural villages of Gurung and Sherpa reflecting Tibetan Buddhist community
Flora and fauna of Manaslu Conservation Area and Annapurna Conservation Area Project
Exploration of the Budhi Gandaki River Valley and the Marsyangdi River Valley
Incredible views of Mt. Manaslu (8.163m), Ganesh Himal (7,422m), Himalchuli (7,893m), Ngadi Chuli (7,871m), Shiringi (7,187m), Langpo (6,668m) and Saula (6,235m)
Larkya La Pass (5,106m)
Side trips to Manaslu Base Camp via Birendra Lake
Pungyen Gompa, Mu Gompa, Piren Phu/Milarepa Cave and many more monasteries and chortens
Manaslu Circuit Trek Itinerary 20 Days
Day 01: Landing in Kathmandu (1,350m/4,429ft)
Reception at the Tribhuvan International Airport by Agency and hotel transfer.
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu and preparation of Trekking
Kathmandu Sightseeing tour with the tour guide of our agency. Go around the UNESCO World Heritage Sites to observe their art and architecture. The Monkey Temple, Patan Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple and Bouddhanath Stupa can be visited in a day.
If the time and itinerary supports, you can also visit other three such cultural sites. They are Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Changunarayan Temple.
In the evening, the team leader gives you detailed information about Manaslu Circuit Trek itinerary.
Day 03: Drive to Soti Khola (710m/2,329ft) – 9 Hours
After breakfast, begin driving towards Soti Khola, the gateway to Manaslu Circuit trek via Dhading Besi, the district headquarters of Dhading.You have a magnificent panorama of Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal and Langtang Himal
Day 04: Trek to Machha Khola (900m/2,953ft) – 6 Hours
By crossing beautiful forests, paddy fields, cliffs and captivating natural waterfalls, you continue the trekking formally. You also walk past two villages: Khursane and Lapubeshi situated on the Budhi Gandaki River bed.
Lapubeshi is a Gurung village where you can find traditional houses and typical cultural settings of Gurung community. By crossing a suspension bridge over the Budhi Gandaki River, you finally get to Machha Khola.
Day 05: Trek to Dobhan (1,070m) – 6 Hours
On the way, you go across a natural hot spring (Tatopani) where you can take a short break to get rid of fatigue. Then, you cross a suspension bridge and stone steps to reach Dobhan at the end of the day.
Day 06: Trek to Jagat (1,410m/4,626ft)- 6 Hours
Walking along the Yaru Khola banks, you cross the stone staircases of the Thado Bharyang. You will see the Gurung villages close to the green forests inhabited by langur monkeys. By crossing the Budhi Gandaki River, you ascend to Jagat.
Day 07: Trek to Deng (1,804m/5,919ft) – 6 Hours
Following the snaky track, you cross a few suspension bridges over the rivulets. On the way, you will see some Gurung villages and green meadows surrounded by the dense forests. By crossing Philim and Ekle Bhatti, you reach Deng located at the edge of the Budhi Gandaki River.
Day 08: Trek to Namrung (2,630m/8,629ft)- 6 Hours
Enjoying the enthralling view of the silvery Sringi Himal and several gompas, you move along the alpine forests. From Prok Village, you enter into Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP). Witnessing the alluring peaks of Manaslu region, you finally reach Namrung after covering steep path.
Day 09: Trek to Lho ((3,180m/10,433ft)-4 Hrs
Enjoying the typical lifestyle and Tibetan Buddhist influence in the Nubri Valley, you continue the trip. Walking past the lush forests of rhododendron and oak, deep valley and terraced land with variety of crops, you reach Lho Village at the end of the day. While moving ahead, you see the enthralling view of the Pungen Glacier that originates from Peak 29 of Manaslu area. The stunning view of the snow-capped peaks of Manaslu region also encourages you to reach the destination. At Lho Village, you can visit Ribung Gompa, which is one of the famous shrines of this region.
Day 10: Trek to Samagaun (3,530m/11,581ft) – 6 Hours
Today’s destination is Samagaun, which is the most beautiful village of Manaslu Tsum Valley. Following the steep windy trails, you move ahead by enjoying the enchanting view of Sringi Himal, Ganesh Himal and Mt. Himalchuli (7,893m).
Day 11: Acclimatization in Samagaun
During Samagaun acclimatization, you have a few alternatives to do for lifelong memories. You can visit Pungyen Gompa, which is one of the ancient cultural sites of Manaslu Tsum Valley. Similarly, you can hike to Birendra Lake made of the deposit of the Manaslu Glacier. Hiking to Manaslu Base Camp (4,800m) is another activity you mustn’t miss while in Samagaun.
Similarly, talking with the Sherpa people of the village gives you knowledge about their lifestyle, culture and tradition. Here, you find the Sherpa women dressed in their traditional attire and jewels.
Day 12: Trek to Samdo (3,860m/12,664ft)- 4 Hours
Walking past the juniper and birch forests, you go across Kermo Kharka. Following the banks of the Budhi Gandaki River, you reach Samdo by traversing through the steep archway stone staircases. Samdo is a beautiful village close to Tibetan Plateau.
Day 13: Trek to Dharmasala (4,460m/14,633ft) – 4 Hours
You begin the trek after breakfast. Then, you will walk past Larke Bazaar, a seasonal Tibetan market place. Observing the majestic looks of the Larkya Glacier and mesmerizing view of the landscapes and snow capped peaks, you keep going further. By crossing the Salka Khola valley, you finally reach Dharmasala.
Dharmasala is the highest human settlement area of Tsum Valley Manaslu Circuit trek. It is also called ‘Larke Phedi’ as it is located just below Larkya La Pass (5,106m). Visit the traditional monasteries found in the villages in the leisure time.
Day 14: Trek to Bhimtang (3,720m/12,205m) via Larkya La (5,160m/16,929ft) – 8 Hours
Today is the most thrilling day of the entire Manaslu Circuit trek as you are going to cross the highest pass of this region. Relishing the lovely pastoral villages, glacial lakes, lush valleys, wide variety of wildlife and vegetation including snowy mountains, you move further. You will enjoy the astounding vista Larkya Glacier, Cho Danda and Larkya Peak (6,249m).
This section of the trail is quite tricky, so you must be careful while ascending. From the top of Larkya La, you can see the 360-degree view of Annapurna II, Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal and Mount Manaslu itself. Storing the heavenly beauty of the Manaslu region, you will descend to Bimthang to wrap up the trek today.
Day 15: Trek to Gho (2,560m/8,399m) – 5 Hours
Crossing the Bimthang Glacier, you trek down along the fir forests enjoying the appealing view of the Himalayas. Walking along the fir forests, you continue the trip. Crossing Yak Kharka and Sotikhola, you reach Gho Village at the end of the day.
Day 16: Trek to Tal (1,700m/5,577ft) – 4 Hours
By following the track that goes past dense forests and cultivated lands, you cross Thonje. It is a beautiful village where you can see Mani walls and Chortens beautified by the colourful prayer flags. Moving ahead, you reach Dharapani where Manaslu Circuit trek ends and Annapurna Circuit trek begins. Finally, you reach Tal for the night station. Here, you can visit an old lake having a large waterfall.
Day 17: Trek to Jagat (1,340m/4,396m)) – 4 Hours then drive Pokhara Via Beshisahar
Walking along the Marsyangdi River bed, you cross Chamje, a popular stop during Annapurna Circuit trek. Finally, you reach Jagat within 4 hours.
You begin the journey right after having lunch. Driving along the off-road and pitched road, you reach Pokhara via Damauli in about 5 hours. The road upto Damauli moves above the Madi River and then the Prithvi Highway.
Day 18: After arriving in Pokhara, you have many things to do. Boating on the Phewa Lake, Begnas Lake, visiting Devi’s Fall and Talbarahi Temple are some of the top activities to do here.
Day 19: Pokhara to Kathmandu – 25 Minutes Flight/7 Hours Drive
You can drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu by a private jeep or a tourist bus or even a local bus. It takes nearly 7 hours to arrive in Kathmandu by bus while flight takes only 25 minutes. After arriving in Kathmandu, hotel transfer. In the leisure time, handcrafted items (art and craft) shopping. In the evening, farewell dinner at a cultural restaurant.
Day 20: Final Departure
The representative of A1 Excursion Adventure takes you to the Kathmandu Airport as per your flight schedule.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Food
Manaslu Circuit trek is completely a teahouse trekking in Nepal. Although it is an off-the-beaten path trekking, you can find teahouses on all the stops. The teahouses provide the basic facilities of food and accommodation to the travelers visiting this region.
Due to the lack of infrastructures of development, you do not find all varieties of food that you find in the urban restaurants. The cooks of these teahouses are local people who are not well familiar and trained in preparing continental cuisines. They are good at preparing the typical Nepali cuisines, especially, the ones according to their culture and tradition.
The food item found commonly in all parts of Nepal is the typical Nepali food, Dal Bhat (lentil soup, steamed rice, veg & non-veg curry including pickle). It is the all-time hit recipe of the Nepalese people living in all three regions. There is a famous saying “Dal Bhat Power 24 Hour!” This typical food item is high in carbohydrates, minerals and proteins, they help you walk along the uphill and downhill.
Another food item found in almost all the Himalayan region is Gundruk Dhindo (fermented green vegetables and porridge made of corn, millet, barley, wheat and buckwheat). Actually, the benefit of Gundruk Dhindo is that its energy is long lasting. This food is also popular for its diet that keeps the people healthy physically and emotionally. The people of the highland live longer and are more energetic as it is totally organic.
In addition, in the peak season, many teahouses hire professional cooks. It is so because Manaslu Tsum Valley region finds comparatively large number of trekkers. On one hand, they can serve the large number of trekkers with the food items as per their appetite and desire. On the other, they can earn a good sum of amount that covers up the expenses of off-season as well. However, you don’t generally find a large list of foods in the menu while doing Manaslu Circuit trek in off-season.
The teahouses, hotels and lodges of Manaslu region provide basic meals in breakfast, lunch and dinner to the trekkers. The cost of the food is low at the lower altitude while it increases when you travel to higher land. In absence of transportation facilities, the foodstuffs should be carried by porters or animals. The men and animals cannot carry as heavy load as a truck or train can do on one side. On the other hand, the cost of the food items goes to be comparatively higher.
Let’s take a quick look at the varieties of food items and their estimated cost. The cost given here may be different in different stops but not very much.
Tentative food cost detaila of the Manaslu Circuit Trek:
Nowadays as the flow of the international travelers is growing, some good restaurants are also opened in many stopovers. These restaurants serve a large variety of foods items mostly Tibetan, Indian and some continental as well. Such restaurants hire highly skillful cooks who can prepare food items of all kinds together with the typical Nepalese cuisines.
The cuisines in Manaslu Circuit trek are highly influenced by the Tibetan culture. Dumplings, chow mein, noodles and hot veg and non-veg soup are commonly found. Occasionally, yak meat, yak butter, yak milk and food made of barley accompanied by stews and curries of seasonal vegetables are some other food to eat. The most famous drink is butter tea, which has been synonymous to the Himalayan region of Nepal. Butter tea keeps you safe from the extreme cold temperature and also saves from altitude sickness.
Why Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Manaslu Circuit trek rewards you the trekkers with an amazing combination of culture, adventure as well as flora and fauna. Manaslu region comprises of three major valleys of the historical Gorkha district. Tsum Valley, Kutang Valley and Nubri Valley are the geographical and administrative divisions of this Himalayan belt. However, Manaslu Circuit trek guides you through the two valleys except Tsum Valley. To explore the hidden gem of Manaslu Tsum Valley section, Manaslu Tsum Valley trek is organized.
Before planning for trekking to Manaslu Circuit region, you may ask “Why Manaslu Circuit trek?” The simple answer to this question is “obviously the biodiversity, thrilling traverse and wonderful socio-cultural practices that are quite unique from rest of the parts of Nepal.
As it lies in Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) and partly in Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), a large variety of the flora and fauna are preserved for environmental balance. This region extends from tropical to trans-Himalayan topography having many snowcapped peaks above 6,000m including an eight-thousander, Mt. Manaslu (8,163m). MCAP is the abode of around 2,000 flowering plants with 25 of Nepal’s 30 rhododendron species. If you make Manalsu Circuit trek in spring, the entire forested section looks like a bride on her wedding day.
The dense forests of primroses, orchids, bamboos and rhododendrons are inhabited by different species of birds and animals. While traversing along the quiet rugged trails, you occasionally encounter with the various birds including Lophophoprus, Nepal’s national flower. Talking about the animals, you come to see endangered species like red panda, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, musk deer, etc.
In addition, Manaslu Circuit region showcases a large type of culture. The lower region is populated by the multi-ethnic communities like Brahmins, Chhetris, Dalits and others. As long as you enter into Manaslu Circuit area, you come to see the ethnic villages occupied by the Gurung and Tamang communities. And moving higher, you find the Bhotia people having root to the Tibetan Buddhist sect. These people follow the Tibetan Buddhism that the monasteries, chortens and mani walls highly embroidered with the colourful prayer flags and wheels are very common. Even the accent and language of this region resembles with that of Tibetan dialect.
Last but not the least, we recommend Manaslu Circuit trek to our valued customers for its unforgettable adventure. The rugged and least walked trails are above 2,500m that means there begins the chance of altitude sickness. Likewise, most of the stopovers of this trek lie above the given altitude. Traversing along such high-altitude trails is an adventure in itself. It is because this trek challenges the principle of trekking “trek higher but sleep lower!” The most adventurous part of Manaslu Circuit trek is crossing Larkya La Pass (5,106m). In winter season, this high Himalayan pass remains closed if the snowfall frequency is quite higher. Or else, except its elevation, it is not much hard to cross this pass for the avid trekkers. If you have previous trekking or climbing experiences, it is even easier. However, the professional guide of our agency helps you win over Manaslu Circuit trek difficulty.
After All, Manaslu Circuit trek is an amazing blend of nature, culture and adventure that anyone can hardly get in their lifetime. The flora and fauna of MCAP and ACAP, Tibetan Buddhist and mixed culture and high altitude trails including Larkya La Pass (5,106m) make this trip more memorable. Although it was opened for the international trekkers only after 1992, there are teahouses, hotels and lodges on almost all the sections.
The teahouses, hotels and lodges provide basic to quality services of food and accommodation. Doing Manaslu Circuit trek is a rare opportunity to taste different cuisines ranging from the typical Nepali to continental as per your appetite and choice.
A1 Excursion Adventure is a reliable travel partner for the national and international tourists and trekkers in all times of the year. In other words, we are the tourism agency that provides you the local trekking guides to make your trip more entertaining and memorable. We have been continuously conducting organized trek and tour to Manaslu Circuit trek for more than 15 years. The experience and professionalism of our agency and its crewmembers will definitely be of great use for you to accomplish this trek. To book, reach out to us via www.a1excursion.com.