Begin Manaslu Circuit Trek from the historic centre of Gorkha after a 6-7 hrs drive from Kathmandu. The trail heads up the valley of the Buri Gandaki River through wild and unexplored country inhabited mainly by members of the Gurung ethnic group.
The trail circumvents interesting Manaslu peak [8156m.] crossing Larkya pass at 5100 meter and finally emerges onto the Marshyangdi river valley along the main trail of Annapurna circuit. You will have two options as where to conclude your trek.
OPTION 1: trek further to Jomsom at Kali Gandaki river valley crossing which is another high and arduous hike through Thorung la pass at 5416 meter and conclude the trek by flying down to Kathmandu via Pokhara, or you can also avoid a flight by walking down to Pokhara from Jomsom following the Annapurna trail in 4-5 Days. Along the way you will be rewarded with magnificent views of the Annapurna Massifs and Dhaulagiri peaks.
OPTION 2: continue descending along the Marshyangdi river valley through the rhododendron & oak forests and finally conclude the trek at Besi Sahar and Drive to Kathmandu.
Any physically fit person can enjoy Manaslu Circuit Trek anytime from Mar to May [spring season] and Sept to Nov [autumn season].
It is a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel, you will be briefed about your daily activities..
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal Boudhanath and after that to the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva- Pashupatinath. We take a tour to Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. We walk through Patan Durbar Square, and delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square..
We drive along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway for the first part of the day; we then head towards the hill bazaar of Gorkha. The road gets a bit rough after Gorkha. We will reach our destination, Arughat Bazaar, after seven hours from Kathmandu. .
On our first day on the trail we head north, following the Buri Gandaki. In the low country rice paddies and picturesque hamlets surround us. After climbing briefly to Kyoropani, we descend once again to the river and at the confluence with the tributary of Sundi Khola. It is a nice first day not too long, and perhaps we have time for a refreshing swim sometime during the day for it is hot in the low country. .
The country changes, the broad valley narrows and at times the trail is cut into the steep valley side, which is densely forested. We pass a number of small villages, tucked into the hillside, until we reach a widening of the valley, opposite the point where a large tributary stream enters the Buri Gandaki. The terraced farmland here belongs to the village of Lapbesi. We descend once again to the wide, sandy riverbed and follow a path, which runs below the steep, craggy valley side. At length, we have to climb up once again on a trail to Machha Khola, which has a number of teashops..
We cross the Machha Khola - Fish Stream - and head upstream to the tiny village of Khola Bensi and the hot springs at Tatopani. The valley sides remain steep until they are impassable and the route then switches to the left bank by way of a suspension bridge. The trail is quite exposed and challenging in places. After a short section of forest path we reach the single teahouse at Doban. Above Doban, the Buri Gandaki descends an impressive series of rapids. Beyond this steep section, the river is much more placid, meandering across a broad gravel bed. At Lauri, we will cross the river on a suspension bridge, and then climb on a high path to the fields of Jagat..
After descending a long series of stone steps to the river, we climb a terraced hill to Saguleri, from where we can see the impressive Sringi Himal (7187m). The path splits, with the right-hand branch heading off towards the Ganesh Himal while crossing the river at Gata Khola. Our route continues upstream, through a gorge with towering walls. We cross the river thrice in the next two hours to avoid difficult valley sides and then climb up over a further steep spur to reach the village of Deng..
The valley is still steep-sided and most impressive. We cross the village of Lama, and start to see mani stones (prayers etched onto wayside rocks), a sure sign that we are entering a high country Buddhist region. After only about four hours we reach the village of Ghap, which straddles the river. We have entered the Tibetan area. There's a perceptible change in the climate and culture. It gets pleasantly cool, as we start to gain the altitude. .
The higher altitude takes us into alpine territory and increasing mountain views. There are more Mani walls and 3 more crossing of the Buri Gandaki on our route to Namrung, where our special permit is checked. Above this village the valley opens out and there are extensive pastures. Climbing gently now, and crossing a large stream flowing down from the Lidanda Glaciers, we reach the Tibetan village of Sho, 3000m. We will get our first incredible views of the Manaslu North and then of Manaslu main ahead from Sho. As we continue we come to Lho, a large village at 3150 metres where there is a lovely little monastery and numerous chortens and Manis. Looking back Ganesh I is visible. .
Leaving the village, we follow the right bank of the river, with views of Peak 29 ahead. As we continue on the main trail, we soon reach the fields of Sama Gaon, 3500m. We reach Sama Gompa, 20 minutes beyond the village and Samdo, near the Tibetan border. .
Surrounded by mountains in a peaceful forest, today we take a rest to acclimatize and relax. It is a good time to catch up on that book or wash clothes..
The thundering Buri Gandaki trickles to a stream as we continue to follow its course ever upwards. We are surrounded by spectacular mountains from all sides. Manaslu is particularly impressive. After crossing to the east bank of the river, we reach the last permanent settlement in the valley, which is called Sumdu. Above the village we cross the stream, which runs down from the Gya La (Pass), the pass to Tibet. We come to the ruins of an abandoned village, known as Larkya Bazaar. Presumably this village thrived as a trading point, with Tibet lying over the Gya La. The commerce seems to have dried up leading to the migration of the settlers. Nearing the Larkya Glacier, we reach a lodge at 4450m, which has been built to serve the travelers crossing the Larkya La..
After a short climb above the lodge, we reach the ablation valley on the north side of the Larkya Glaciers. There are views of Cho Danda and Larkya Peak. We walk across the moraines of the glacier, making a gradual ascent, which becomes steeper only in the last section of the pass. From the pass, there are outstanding views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru and the huge Annapurna II. Initially, there is a steep descent over snow and then scree, to reach the ablation valley trail to Larcia Kharka. A further on, a moraine ridge path leads to Tanbuche 3900m. .
The valley system here is huge and well worth exploring. But if you wish you can rest the whole day. .
Below us is Bimthang, a broad and level ablation valley with a number of mani stone walls and deserted houses. Crossing this high pasture, we descend the valley of the Burdin Khola to the area of the Base Camp to reach the west side of Manaslu. From a ridge at 4150 metres, we have excellent views of Manaslu to the south-east and Annapurna II to the south-west. Beyond a bridge, over the headwaters of the Dudh Khola, we descend into the rhododendron forests and follow a trail through a narrow valley, until we reach the highest cultivated land in this valley at Karche (2785 metres)..
We climb through terraced fields to the Karche La pass. A green and densely forested valley lies ahead, sloping down to the distant Marshyangdi river. At Thonje village is our final restricted area check post. Here we cross the Marshyangdi river and join the main Annapurna Circuit with the hoardes of trekkers and soon reach Dharapani..
An initially tight gorge briefly opens to Tal. The area here was formed when the valley was blocked by a landslide and a dam formed behind the lake. The lake has long dried up and now the village of Tal sits on the flat land. Over the next day and a half, we pass through the main Himalayan range, between Manaslu and the Annapurna range..
Making our way down from Jagat we reach Syange, where we cross a suspension bridge to the east side of the Marshyangdi Khola and onto easier terrain. We have a short but stiff climb upto Bahundanda, followed by a descent to Ngadi and Bhulebhule. .
Today we descend to Ngadi and Bhulebhule. Rice and paddy fields carpets the landscape again..
With barely a hill on the way, this is an easy day’s walk. We might take the little-known east bank route from Bhulebhule to Besi Sahar. .
It is approximately seven hours drive to Kathmandu. We will have lunch at a good roadside restaurant. .
Our Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. On the other hand, if you prefer to stay longer, you can go for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking etc. .
This is a long trek that goes right into remotest corner of high mountain country and over high pass. Physically quite tiring, it involves approx 6-8 hours trekking along rocky ridges. No previous experience is required, you should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercise and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions.
Camping trek means sleeping in tents. On a camping trek, the tents provided are ‘Two men dome’ or ‘A’ shaped. Foam mattress with insulation underneath is provided for sleeping. Clients need to have their own sleeping bag. Bags or cloth packs are used as pillows. If you wish, you can bring your own ‘Air pillow’.
We have a pool of hotels in Kathmandu under 3 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection to this itinerary, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice. You can check on the description of such hotels through our website.
On camping trek, our staff will boil water and cook meals treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. On GAP trek and Lodge trek, you will be able to buy safe hot drinks in the tea house.
During trek your main luggage will be carried by porters. You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket, etc. - a small load that allows full enjoyment of the trek. A trek bag is ideal for your main luggage, plus a small lockable bag for travel clothes or anything that you do not need during trek which you can leave at hotel’s locker room/safe deposit box in Kathmandu for free of charge. Weight allowance at Nepal’s domestic airlines is 15 Kgs, excess weight is chargeable at USD 1 or more per Kilo depending on sectors.
We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements: 1) Western leader 2) Trained Nepali Trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable) 3) Sherpa Guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)
The Sherpa guide (commonly called Sirdar) will be accompanied by a crew of porters. On camping trek, there will be 2/3 porters for each members.
Our trips are available on both fixed departure and private basis. If you are looking for a group to join this trip please check our ‘2015/16 departures’ link for availability, dates and price. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 1 & maximum 100 at a time).
If you want to do something that is not included in our trip list we are ready to tailor a trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to get you on the trip you want, when you want.
If you opt to join our ‘fixed departure trip’, you are likely to be joining people from different countries of any age group except minors. The size of group varies, minimum no of persons required to operate a trip is 3 and the maximum is 12 people.
On this trek all meals will be provided. You only need money for table drinks (alcoholic/non alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking (a few smaller shops are available along the trail in some areas) tips, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some places).
Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise you to allocate 5 - 10% of the total tour cost as tips.
While trekking you may not have an access to telephone facility for some days or weeks. However, en route there may be few places where telephone facilities may be available and likely to be working. If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, EXPLORE HIMALAYA can provide you a mobile satellite phone (rental charge on request).
Trekking: You will need walking boots, sleeping bag (4 seasons/ -20C rated), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack.
Comprehensive list of equipments will be provided once you book your trip or check CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT LIST LINK.
It's not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu. Explore Himalaya will thoroughly help you to buy or rent trekking gears in the outlets of Thamel, which sell or rent both international and local gears.
Each day begins with a hot cup of tea brought to the tent at about 6 am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. After packing all your bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the morning’s walk. All you need to carry is a small day pack containing water bottle, camera, sun cream, hat, rain jacket and a warm jumper, just in case. The porters will carry the rest of your gear for you. After walking for 3-4 hours, we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we arrive at camp in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the nearby villages, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days, we will arrive at camp by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. Dinner is usually served between 6 and 7 pm. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and talking with the crew, or perhaps even joining in some singing and dancing, before heading off to the tent for a well-earned sleep.
You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a “meeting and greeting” service at airport. You just pass on the Customs and come out of the Terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard with either ‘Explore Himalaya’ or your name written on it. Our airport representative or tour officer will greet you and welcome you with a garland.
The best seasons to trek in the Manaslu region are Autumn (from mid-September till November end) and Spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher everyday. The nights are cold (between -10 C to 5C) but the days are sunny and hot (between 10C to 20C). The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon, disappearing at night. Trekking during the monsoon is not recommended, as the visibility during monsoon is limited. Trekking during the winter is possible; however, it is much colder than Autumn and Spring.
March, April, October and November are the most popular and favored months for traveling. Please choose the time that is convenient for you.
Option 1- The starting point of the trek is Gorkha, which is connected by a 6/7 hours drive from Kathmandu. On your return, you shall fly from Jomsom to Pokhara. You can choose between flying or driving back from Pokhara to Kathmandu. We will arrange the transportation from your hotel to the airport (Kathmandu).
The most prominent ethnic groups in this region are the Gurungs, Brahmins, Chhettris, Manangas, Tamangs and Tibetans. The subtropical lowlands are inhabited by people whose dressing and appearance are more typically 'Nepali'. The inhabitants of the upper Buri Gandaki, a region known as Nupri ('the western mountains'), are direct descendants of Tibetan immigrants. Their speech, dress and customs are quite similar to the neighboring Tibetans.
Both Hinduism and Buddhism are practiced in the Manaslu region, however, Buddhism is the predominant religion.
Apart from cultivating rice, millet, corn, tobacco and wheat, the local people also earn their living through trade with Tibet.
All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. Visa is also issued at the entry points. It can be extended at the Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee. People willing to get entry Visa at the air port or any of the land entry points are required to fill a visa form with passport photograph. So, please download form from the link below (visa form) and get ready while you are passing through the immigration Point.
Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SAARC countries
Multiple entry 15 days - US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days - US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days - US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
Tourist Visa Extension
* Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day
* Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January – December).
As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio. The main health consideration in high altitude is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days. To avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), people take pills called ‘Diamox’. You can also use these pills after consulting with your doctor and purchase them in Kathmandu. For your safety, we also carry the ‘hyperbaric Altitude Chamber’ or ‘Gamow Bag’. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and to handle the low oxygen rate. For your service, we carry a medical kit with standard prescribed medicines along with a users’ manual which you can use upon your own risk. We do not take any medical liability since our staffs are not qualified to prescribe medicines. If you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint, we highly recommend you consult your doctor about your suitability for trekking in high altitude area before booking. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly be of help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions.
In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we believe will not happen; we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu.
Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation.
Wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of Nepal. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize our impact as much as possible.
As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have camp fires and use kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative.
Garbage disposal is another major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear strew with litter. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. We carry out all our garbage, apart from that which can be safely and easily burnt at the campsite. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.
In addition to your trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal and other neighboring countries. You may want to try water rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tour. You may as well take a trip to Tibet, India or Bhutan, whichever appeals more to you.
Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) was conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal.
Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agriculture, culture preservation and fund raising. Explore Himalaya encourages its clients to contribute for the development of Nepal.
We ensure that all the porters and other staffs going into high altitude conditions are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. We are the first ever company to supply high-altitude porters with crampons.
We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG - www.ippg.net).
1) It is a fundamental condition that you acknowledge that this is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken as a guideline only. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall be responsible for providing suitable alternatives which could be decided upon mutual agreement. If an agreement cannot be made, Explore Himalaya shall be only responsible for refund after deducting expenses already incurred.
2) Your booking will be confirmed by email once we have received the deposit of USD 500 and the signed copy of booking form and contract.
The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 month prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.
3) If you cancel, the following scale of charges will apply:
2 months before departure - loss of deposit (US$ 500)
29 days to 2 months before departure - 30% of total trip cost
10 to 28 days before departure - 60% of total trip cost
less than 10 days before departure - 100% of total trip cost
If you still have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours. If you want to book a trip, you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us directly by phone: 977-1-4418100.
Excellent, everything went according to plan. The guide and support staff were very professional, friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.