Manaslu trek is one of the best treks in the Himalayas often passing under the radar of trekkers in Nepal. It lies between the Annapurna and Langtang region in the central Himalayas. Unlike many other trekking trails of Nepal, Manaslu trek takes you closer to the Tibetan border and culture in a short period. Beautiful Landscapes and friendly locals lead you to the base and beyond of the breathtaking Mount Manaslu.
Manaslu, ‘the mountain of the spirit’ is a special place to be. It is a more recent region opened for trekkers around the world. Hence, for those seeking the raw side of the mountains, Manaslu is ideal for you. What makes a trek special is a journey leading to the primary destination. The stories and memories that you recollect after completion are what formulates your next visit here.
The Nepalese Himalayas provide so many fantastic trails for trekkers to choose from. But in one way or another each have their unique qualities to applaud. Manaslu Trek is the same. From the hills, forest to alpine heaven and snow-covered passes, it represents the best of extreme trekking out there. Manaslu answers your tickle to experience the majestic Himalayas elegantly.
Table of Contents
- 1 7 Reasons to Trek Manaslu
- 1.1 It is a complete trekking trail
- 1.2 Less touristic region best for teahouse trekking
- 1.3 Mount Manaslu and other majestic peaks of the Himalayas
- 1.4 Cultural abundance with diverse experiences
- 1.5 Challenging and spectacular Larke La Pass (5213 m)
- 1.6 Diverse landscape and vegetation
- 1.7 Plenty of exceptional side trips
- 2 Manaslu Circuit Trek Map
7 Reasons to Trek Manaslu
Here are 7 reasons proving the Manaslu trek better than different other treks in Nepal.
It is a complete trekking trail
Many trekking trails in Nepal do something better and miss a few too. When it comes to completeness there is no better trek than the Manaslu trek. The scenery is epic. You will also trek through a diverse landscape. The encounters with beautiful flora and fauna are refreshing. From deep gorges to the high mountains, you get what you want here. The trek is neither too long nor short. Similarly, you can pretty much do any type of trek here. With a local guide, an adventure awaits here that fulfills you.
One other factor acting as an advantage here is that you will reach the trailhead by land. Unlike Everest or other treks, you don’t have to take a domestic flight. It makes your trip reasonably assuring. Similarly, the hill highway experience of Nepal is one to enjoy as well. The trek commences from the rural hillocks of Gorkha. As a circuit, you will end you at Besisahar. Hence, you will not have a walk on the same trail twice here. With the best of the cultural, natural, and adventurous components in a single trek, the Manaslu trek is a gem to complete.
Main components of the Manaslu Trek trail
- Balanced walking days with longer days involving the high passes.
- Acclimatization stops in strategic altitude. It is needed and the trail provides with few options as well.
- Monuments and interesting destinations in the side trails.
- Wildlife and vegetation reflecting the mountain ecosystem.
- Cultural stops as the trail lead through some major villages and settlements of the Manaslu region.
- Challenging sections for you to know the reality of trekking in the Himalayas.
- Magnificent views especially at the time of sunrise and sunset.
- Himalayan streams, waterfalls, and rivers adding to the beauty of the Manaslu trek.
- Different trial to begin and end the trek. Therefore, there are some diverse cultures and landscapes to witness throughout the trek.
- Well-managed portions with different variations of the itinerary that you can formulate here.
Less touristic region best for teahouse trekking
In comparison to the popular trekking regions, Manaslu sees significantly fewer tourists. Numbers show that for every trekker in Manaslu, there are five more in Annapurna and Everest. During the trekking season, one might miss the peaceful nature and seclusion. This makes Manaslu trek a perfect alternative to them. Even during the season, you can go hours on the trail without other tourists. This gives you more opportunities to interact with the locals and create special memories.
Fewer trekkers in Manaslu doesn’t mean any problem with the trail whatsoever. It represents other factors like popularity, flight options, and lack of luxury options. However, these make the trek better. Less popularity helps in maintaining Manaslu as the best off-the-beaten-track trail. Fewer flight options mean a scenic ride through Nepalese hill-highway to reach the trailhead. You can also enjoy a longer cultural experience traveling through much more of Nepal. Lack of luxury options leads you to experience the real Himalayas.
Teahouses are the perfect way of getting close to the local culture and lifestyle. Manaslu trek allows you just that. In the Himalayas, teahouses provide food and Accommodation. Although, it is only basic services one can feel at home here. Apart from the lower regions, you will trek and stay at tea houses for most of the trek. Even for solo travelers, a teahouse is a perfect way to end the day walk. Sharing stories with locals as well as fellow travelers you can feel alive.
Advantages of Teahouse trekking
- A cultural experience with everything locally managed and operated.
- Experience the hospitality and love of the teahouse owners during your stay.
- You can also aid the local economy with teahouse trekking.
- Chance to taste local cuisine and organic products.
- Teahouses are more than just business in the Himalayas.
- Budget-friendly option to other alternatives
- Communal dining rooms help you to socialize better with fellow trekkers.
Mount Manaslu and other majestic peaks of the Himalayas
Mount Manaslu(8163 m) is the major attraction for anyone doing the Manaslu trek. It is the eighth highest peak in the world. ‘The mountain of spirit’, Manaslu is also one of the most picturesque mountains of the Himalayas. Although for mountaineers the peak was well-known for the most part of the past century, trekking is an only recent activity in the limelight. Trekking is the best way to view this magical mountain in its full glory.
Alongside the magical Manaslu, there are few more majestic peaks throughout your trek. During the Manaslu trek, you will trek about 110 miles in the mountains. Each section of the trail offers you a different side of the snow-capped peaks. Trekkers often love to pick their favorite mountain of this trek. Once you are in higher elevation each peak offers you with their own wonderful stories. These peaks make your journey easier each day.
Other Beautiful peaks in the Manaslu trek
Himal Chuli (7863 m): – Just under the 8000 meters mark Himal Chuli is a beautiful mountain. At 7863 meters over sea level, Himalchuli is also the 18th highest peak in the world. It lies south of Manaslu. It has three peaks all over 7000 meters.
Ngadi Chuli (7858 m): Also known as Peak 29 or Dakura, Ngadi Chuli is breathtaking. Standing aside Mount Manaslu is the third highest peak of the Mansri range. Ngadi Chuli is the twentieth highest mountain in the world. It has made its name among extreme mountaineers. Peak 29 has only climbed twice successfully.
Siringi Himal (7165 m): – Siringi Himal is a sub-range in the remote sections of the Manaslu. It is a beautiful massif best viewed from Samdo village of the Manaslu Trek.
Apart from these, there are over a dozen peaks over 6500 meters in elevation here. Also, the Ganesh Himal range and Annapurna massif can be clearly viewed from different segments of the Manaslu trek. Mountains define the Himalayas and the Manaslu region is just packed with these.
Cultural abundance with diverse experiences
Starting from the Gorkha district, Manaslu trek is a paradise for culture aiming trekkers. For those treasuring the people and experience more than anything, look no further than here.
Beginning your journey you will meet the general Nepalese people of all ethnicities. As you walk higher, the village/settlements get less frequent. You will enter the Gurung villages first. The Nubri and Tsum people follow those who are the original settlers of the region. Nearing the Tibetan border you will encounter the Bhotias. The return is also exciting with pockets of different ethnic groups here. We suggest you plan your trek during the festivals at Manaslu. These times are the best to experience the culture and lifestyle clearly in the mountains
Major festivals of the Manaslu region
It is celebrated for over a week in the region marking the Tibetan New Year. Lhosar is the major festival of the Himalayas. It showcases unity and happiness with different rituals and celebrations all around. It might fall between January and February depending on the Lunar Calendar.
Saka Dawa is a religious festival celebrating the major events in the life of Lord Buddha. It remembers the birth, enlightenment, and Parinirvana. Locals of Manaslu celebrate Saka Dawa with different rites gathering in the Monasteries and holy sites. One can get insights into different aspects of Tibetan Buddhism during this festival.
Dhaching (Tsum Valley)
Dhaching is an important festival celebrated in selected few settlements of Manaslu. It is popular for different dances and horse-sports conducted during the festival. Dhaching is organized for the welfare and happiness of the people here.
Dashain and Tihar (In lower region)
The national festival of Nepal is celebrated in the lower region of Manaslu. Although not the specific festival of Manaslu, you can plan to end your trek during the festival.
Nara and Fanning are the other festivals celebrated with joy in the Manaslu region. For a cultural Himalayan experience, the Manaslu trek is ideal.
Challenging and spectacular Larke La Pass (5213 m)
Manaslu trek is not your easy trek. The circuit is located in the remote part of the Nepalese Himalayas. It is the main reason adventure lovers love to revisit this region. However, it is not too difficult. With a proper team, every beginner can do it safely. The key is to plan it early and trek in the trekking season.
High altitude and steep segments will give you a proper taste of trekking in the Himalayas. Trekkers can plan a long itinerary here. Some might even last a month. Similarly, for advanced trekkers, the trek is doable in fewer than two weeks. With all these exciting factors, Manaslu entices adventure lovers all over the world.
Larke or Larkya La is the highest point of the Manaslu trek. It is the longest mountain pass of the Himalayas. With such a reputation, it stays the ultimate challenge for the trek. Starting very early in the morning is important for trekkers. This will avoid change in weather past noon in the High Himalayas. Gradual uphill towards the top and quick descent to Bumthang is the popular formula for the pass. From the top, however, you can enjoy a sublime view of mountains all around you.
Diverse landscape and vegetation
The Himalayas is a place to delve into your soul and view the beauty of nature. Manaslu is a place to stop for a while from your everyday hustle. It would be boring to walk miles in a single surrounding. Well, every day presents you with a different view and landscape here. Manaslu has been unsoiled throughout all these years. One can stray in the beauty here unlike any other place in the Himalayas.
Manaslu trek starts from the tropical and subtropical hills. The trail then eases through the temperate zone. You will take an acclimatization stop in the subalpine region. The landscape starts to get completely different from here. This transition leaves you with beautiful wildflowers. Similarly, the wildlife encounters are often with beautiful birds of the Himalayas. You can spot Danphe, the national bird of Nepal if you’re lucky. The alpine zone offers magical sunrise views next. By the time you are the Larke La, you will be trekking in the arctic region. With all these and more, there is no doubt about Manaslu being a complete Himalayan trek.
Plenty of exceptional side trips
All side trips in Manaslu are of great quality. There are a few fantastic ones as well. Photography lovers will love to do each one of these. Side trips are also great for Acclimatization. Here are few beautiful side trips in the Manaslu trek.
Phungen Gompa is the most significant monastery around the Manaslu region. It is located around 4050 m altitude. You can do an acclimatization hike here from Samagaun. The views are fantastic from yak pastures around the Gompa.
Manaslu Base Camp (4900 m)
It might come as a surprise but Manaslu BC is not the primary destination of the Manaslu trek. It might be because the views are well visible from many other places before. But a day side trip from Samagaon will lead you here. The views are unobstructed over the sea of clouds from the Manaslu BC.
Hinang Gompa with Himalchuli Base Camp
The side trip to Hinang Gompa is an early one from Lihi village. The Gompa is a popular one for holding festivals and religious occasions. From here it is a steep hike to the Himalchuli base Camp. The views of Hinang glacier and Himalchuli are outstanding from this section.
Birendra Tal is a beautiful natural destination within a short hike from Samagaon. Trekkers love to be here for sunset views. It is easy as it takes only 45 minutes to walk. Birendra Tal is also popular for the ice-water-dip challenge now.
Kal Tal is one of our top suggested side trips accessible from the village of Pork. It sits at an elevation of 3600 meters. One can do a good 5 hour round trip best for sightseeing. The landscape view is picturesque with the Manaslu summit visible on the near horizon.
Manaslu is best experienced when you are there. These are some of the reasons you have to choose Manaslu over any other treks in Nepal. Be here and agree with us yourself.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Map