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MANASLU CIRCUIT TREKKING
‘from low warm to cooler hills and scenic valley around world’s 8th highest peaks’

Manaslu Circuit Trekking, an adventure around the world’s 8th highest 

Mt. Manaslu soars high at 8,163 m and 26,781 feet. Mt. Manaslu with adjoining peaks of Himal Chuli 7,893 m, Ngadi Chuli 7,871 m, and Sringi Himal 7,187 m. 

Includes Langpo 6,668 m, Saula 6,235 m, and Bauddha Himal 6, 692 m, which makes the Manaslu massif range. Located in between Lamjung and Annapurna Himalaya in the west with Ganesh Himal towards east direction.

The Manaslu Himalaya is situated Mansiri Himal range that captures all Manaslu group of peaks, as far as Ganesh Himal.  

Manaslu Circuit Trekking leads you within Central or Mid-West Nepal around the district of Gorkha of Gandaki Zone. Mt. Manaslu was first summited by the Japanese Expedition with the guidance of Nepali climber Gyalzen Norbu on May 9th, 1956.Since then the country was closed and forbidden for outside visitors and trekkers or adventurers. Due to its close border with Tibet / China, it falls on the main Trans Himalaya Salt Trade Route. Where trade still exists between Nepal and Tibet through the high Manaslu valley route, but in a smaller number. 

Then it was in the early good old glorious time before Tibet was annexed to mainland China.

Manaslu Circuit Trekking slowly began opening its doors for foreign travelers and mountaineers from 1992 onwards. But remains a restricted area, limiting the mass flow of trekkers and adventurers. A special permit is required to enter the high Manaslu valley from the lower village of Jagat.

In the beginning, after it was opened for outside visitors the flow of trekkers was quite small. In the last few decades, the area is gaining more popularity among trekkers and mountaineers, and explorers. 

As the Manaslu region is quite raw and new for trekkers, has become a new adventure destination around Nepal Himalayas. 

The charm and beauty of Manaslu Circuit is its immense colorful culture in the close shadow of towering snow peaks. Which makes the trek more exciting and interesting facing views of high snowy mountains almost throughout the walk.

Manaslu Circuit takes you from the scenic valley towards Manang, where the trek completes at Dharapani village or further on. The walk involves crossing over a high Larke-La Pass at 5,106 m / 16, 752 feet. The high Larke-La pass forms the boundary of Manaslu valley and Gorkha district with Manang areas.  

The history, Religion & Cultures of high Manaslu Valley:

Religion and cultures of high Manaslu valley, are interwoven with Buddhism religion, the heritage and culture similar to its Tibetan predecessors. In the higher areas of remote north Gorkha district of Manaslu including Tsum valley, the people are known as Bhot. 

The natives of Manaslu and Tsum Valley migrated from southwest Tibet to Nepal, more than 500 years ago. The region in its early days was an important and main trade route to Tibet where a caravan of yaks laden with goods.Passed through Samdu, Sama, and Lo-Gaon the main villages of high Manaslu valley, the locals still cross the border. For trade, barter and exchanging crops, wools with other Chinese and Tibetan merchandises, where the base of Larke-La Pass. 

At one time was it was called Larke Bazaar, as it was the main hub for all the local people. Traders and merchants from Manang, Tibet, and all parts of the Gorkha district used this place. Which is known at present as Dharmasala or Larke Phedi, the bottom of a hill or a pass.  

From the mid-hills of Jagat village onwards, reaching the restricted areas of Manaslu Valley come across villages with strong Tibetan culture. The houses are adorned with colorful religious flags, and trails lined with prayer stone walls and spinning wheels. When encountering Buddhism religious monuments walking clockwise is a sign of respect for local heritage and custom.

On reaching the big villages of Lo Gaon, Sama Gaon, and Samdu an opportunity to visit its old impressive monasteries. The lower mid-hills and warmer regions of the Gorkha district are villages with mixed tribes of hill people. Includes both Hindu and Buddhist religions with various interesting traditions and cultures, which make the Manaslu Circuit even more interesting.

The Buddhist religion and cultures extend the all-around high Himalayan region of Nepal, including upper Manaslu, Tsum valley, and Manang. 

Manaslu, the name comes from an old Sanskrit word that means the mind, soul of a god, or holy spirits. For local natives is ‘Kutang’ for Manaslu, which means a paradise or a promising land of Tibetan origin language. 

The villages on route Manaslu Circuit Trekking:

Depending upon the end of the drive from Kathmandu or Pokhara to reaching the low warm farm areas of Gorkha district. Where drive leads through the town of Arughat, and then on a rough country road to Soti-Khola or Machha-Khola villages.

The walk begins on a gradual path past several rural villages and farmland to reach Tatopani. A place with a natural hot spring, where one can have refreshing bathing, as a walk leads to Dovan. Then heading uphill to Jagat, a nice lovely hill village with many good lodges and shops. From Jagat onwards within restricted areas till Dharapani village on the other sides of Larke-La Pass. The air gets cooler after Jagat village, as the walk leads to a large spread out Philim a nice farm village.

Trek continues with a climb to Deng and then to Namrung villages, noticing the change in landscapes, cooler temperatures, and vegetation. Including the culture of strong Tibetan Buddhism heritage and custom, entering into a dense forest of pines and rhododendron trees. 

The walk continues to the lovely village of Lo-Gaon at the height of 3,180 m, the village provides simple nice lodges. As well as good food menus, located within beautiful pines and rhododendron forest, beneath towering Mt. Manaslu. Lo-Gaon is a lovely village with an old monastery, one can visit the monastery interior of great cultural interest.

From Lo-Gaon, entering the scenic high Manaslu valley enclosed by a high snow mountain range, as walk leads to Sama-Gaon. The main and largest village around Manaslu valley, as well the gateway to Manaslu base camp and towards Larke-La Pass. Normally most trekkers have extra days at Sama-Gaon and a short hike to viewpoints and explore the village. Sama-Gaon is a perfect altitude for rest day and acclimatization at 3,525 m high, before heading towards high Larke-La Pass.   

Spending a pleasant time at the Sama-Gaon walk leads to high and dry terrain towards Larke-La Pass Phedi or Dharmasala. After an overnight stop at Samdu village, a walk leads to the end of Manaslu valley at Dharmasala.

The end of Manaslu Circuit Trekking crossing high Larke-La Pass:

From the base of Larke Phedi or Dharmasala, at the end of Manaslu valley start the adventure. Early morning with a steep climb over the ridge and moraine of ice and boulders of rocks, a long haul up. Then finally reach on top of Larke-La Pass the highest spot of the journey. The pass is marked with thousands of colorful Buddhist prayer flags stands a board with the name of the pass and altitude.

Enjoy the wide unparalleled panorama of the snow mountain range of all Manaslu peaks with Damodar Himal towards the North-West. Includes close views of Larke peak and Annapurna Himalayas, as far as Ganesh Himal on the far eastern horizon. The Larke-La pass at 5,106 m, separates the districts of Gorkha and Manang, as walk heads to a long descent. Heading back within forested areas of tall pine, firs, and rhododendron trees, then reaching Bhimthang for an overnight stop. 

After the pass within Manang areas, where walk leads on pleasant downhill through a serene forested path to Dharapani village. Located on the popular and famous Annapurna Circuit route, a lovely village to end the wonderful Manaslu Circuit trek. 

On spending the last final overnight at Dharapani village, on the high hills of Manaslu Himalaya. An exciting long drive brings you back to the hustle and bustle of city life in Kathmandu. After a mesmerizing adventure and great experience on Manaslu Circuit Trek. 

Various Options to start and end the Manaslu Circuit Trek:

Interest trekkers can have various options to start the Manaslu Circuit trek of two weeks duration or more. Starting from Soti or Maccha Khola, the other options are from Barphak and Laprak, the high hill villages of Gorkha. Interested people can combine the Manaslu Circuit Trek with Tsum Valley, taking more than two weeks. 

The best seasons for Manaslu Circuit Trek:

Manaslu Circuit Trek the best season is in mid-spring from the end of March to May. During this time most days are fine and clear for views and walks, and warmer even at high altitudes. Can be windy in the afternoon with cooler temperatures, the morning and late afternoon till night time will be cold. 


Spring times are lively with wildflowers in seasonal bloom around mid-hill covered in a forest of rhododendron and magnolia trees. Expect snowfalls sometimes around higher terrain above 3,000 m high. 

The next best season is autumn, which starts from September to November, where days are crystal clear with blue sky. As well the high season where all can join for this wonderful adventure no later than the first week of November. 

From November onwards most lodges around the villages remain closed for winter when all locals migrate to low warm areas. Escaping from the freezing winter cold months of November till February, where few lodges might be available for overnight stops. 

Autumn times most days are fine and clear for the views and pleasant walks, but cold morning and night times. But with a clear starry night sky, one can enjoy the trek during the autumn seasons as well the peak times for trekking.

Other important information related to Manaslu Circuit Trekking:

01: Reliable local Trekking Agency to book for Manaslu Circuit Trek:

Before planning and choosing for great adventure Manaslu Circuit trek, one should be aware on booking with reliable company. Where Nepal Holidays Treks and Travel, a fully Government Registered and authorized treks and travel agency of Nepal. One of the most reliable local trekking agents who have organized countless of successful trips in Nepal and all around Himalayan countries. 

Booking with Nepal Holidays Trek and Tours, means having the best and enjoyable trips with money worth of safe holidays.   

02: Why choose Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley:

Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley, leads you to a raw and new adventure destinations. Some of the areas like Tsum Valley falls within off the beaten tracks, seldom ventured by few group of trekkers. The areas are with fascinating culture of ancient heritage, includes spectacular views of landscapes with giant snow-capped peaks. In short an adventure to exotic Himalayan destinations on less crowded trails than other main popular trekking areas. 

03: Manaslu Circuit Trek with Tsum Valley trail routes:

The walking trails on Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley, are well defined path and straightforward routes. After Jagat and Lokpa village, the walk to Tsum Valley leads to some narrow path above raging river. But most areas around villages are good and maintained for travelers to enjoy the pleasant walk. After Tsum Valley towards Manaslu Circuit route the trail is well established and good, only in deep snow condition the path could be misleading. Following the guide and walking slow makes the adventure enjoyable and safe trekking.

04: The best time for Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek:


The best time is from late spring end of March to May, where days are much longer with enough sunlight hours. The next best season is in autumn from September to early November, where days are crystal clear with blue sky.
Much cold morning, and in late afternoon till night time around higher altitude, but sunlight hours are shorter in autumn times. But one of the most wonderful time for trekking, can expect snow sometime, especially on Larke-La Pass. 

05: Accommodation and foods available on Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek:


Accommodation and foods depends upon the standard of villages lodges and facilities. Larger village located on main trekking trails provides nice simple lodge with clean small rooms and large warm dining hall. Most rooms in lodge on route Manaslu and Tsum Valley are with basic facilities having common bathrooms and toilets. The food on treks are simple and good as per the menu provided, serving Continental, Indian, Chinese and Nepali. As well Tibetan items depending upon the standard of lodge and its location, all meals are served clean and hygienic.

The vegetable product as per the season, fresh meat items are scarce as the area located within strong Buddhist religion. Meats are available sometimes, but the local enjoys dry meat products, for fresh meats it is quite rare. 
Some lodges around Lo and Sama-Gaon serves fresh bakery products and serving comprehensive food menu. But at Tsum Valley areas some lodges are very simple with basic meals due to its harsh and remote location. At Dharmasala in high season the place can get crowded, where some travelers have to spend nights in tents. But meals in a large warm dining hall, needs to order an hour before.


06: Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty:
The trail are well established, where some areas do have narrow and high path above the raging Buri-Gandaki River. A slow gradual ups to Jagat and Philim villages, but as walk leads higher areas from Deng and Namrung villages.
One needs to take it slowly due to gain in high altitude, stopping for rest and continue walk slowly to designated overnight stops. The walk from Lo-Gaon to Sama-Gaon is gradual with gentle ups and short down. From Dharmasala to Larke-La pass is the toughest walk and climb on steep ups all the way to the top.
From the pass, a long descent to Bhimthang, one of hardest and longest day walk of the adventure. Spending overnight at Bhimthang rest of the walks is pleasant with easy downhill to Dharapani village, the end of trekking adventure. 


07: Trekking Guide Insurance and food / accommodation:
Trekking Guide and porters are well insured on medical ground, as well providing allowance of daily wages, transportation. Including all meals and accommodation throughout the trek, as well getting bonus for providing a good and excellent services to the clients.

08: Things to pack for Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek:

Waterproofs items: Down Jacket (windproof) and trousers, Sun Hats or Cap Scarf to protect from the dust and wind, Sunglass or Goggles.
Essential itemslike Lip Slave/ Labisan a protection for the lips with a sunscreen.Strong and good water bottle of a liter or more. Personal toiletry items: Camera Gear: batteries, memory card. Sunscreen creams for 100% UV rays: 
High protection factor [20 or higher] or high altitude glacier cream due to thin air the U/V is stronger in the sun. 
Comfortable strong trekking boots, slippers for indoors, sport shoes, warm socks,
full trousers and long sleeve shirts. Money belts, copy of passport with visa, the passport will be stored in safe deposit at the hotel. 

Walking poles, supports on up and downhill as well on snow and wading streams, 
the most important is to carry Medical and Travel Insurance. Warm Sleeping Bags that can withstand -20 degree Celsius. Snow Gaiters will be good to carry, can expect snow on pass sometimes.

Most of the trekking gear can be bought or hired in Kathmandu, if it’s too much carry from home or due to flight weight limit. 

09: Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley trekking permits:

Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley Trekking Permits, one must obtain from Kathmandu before the trek departure. Nepal Holidays will get all necessary permits required for Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trekking.

A special permits required for both Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley Trekking, as it is located on Restricted Areas. Including Manaslu Conservation fees for both areas of trekking. For Manaslu Circuit requires another permits to obtain ACAP 
(Annapurna Conservation Area Project).


FAQ’S (Frequently Asked Question):

01: How long is Manaslu Circuit Trekking?

Manaslu Circuit trekking including drives both ways from Kathmandu to Kathmandu, from Soti or Machha-Khola to Dharapani village. 
Average of 14 to 15 days walks, if one includes Tsum Valley it will be more than two weeks trekking for the whole journey.


02: What to expect on Manaslu Circuit Trekking?

The change of landscapes, climate and local hill people, starting from low warm paddy fields to high cooler hills. As walk proceeds from Jagat onwards entering into strong Buddhism religion and cultures. Along the walk one can enjoy grand vista of snow peaks of Ganesh and Manaslu Himalaya Mountain range.


03: Is it worth combining Tsum Valley with Manaslu Circuit Trek?


Depending upon one interest and having longer holidays in Nepal, which takes more than 2 weeks to include Tsum Valley with Manaslu Circuit Trek.
It is well worth exploring and visiting the remote and isolate country of Tsum known as the valley of happiness. A true Shangri-La well hidden from outside world, where you will be an incomplete wilderness of high snow mountains.

Explore the unexplored areas of Upper and remote region of Gorkha district on least visited by main flow of trekkers.

04: Are there Tea-House or Lodge on route Manaslu and Tsum Valley?


There are tea-houses and lodges on every designated overnight stops in each villages or settlement. But on route Tsum Valley some isolated village and settlement lacks facilities for trekkers like tea-house and lodges. 
Especially at Mu Gompa, staying in the comfort of Home-Stay which will be a great experience with different environment and immersing into local culture and interacting with the locals.

05: Why Manaslu and Tsum Valley is Restricted areas?


Manaslu and Tsum Valley falls within Restricted Area, as the region is raw and new the main reason is to protect its fragile environment. Limiting the flow of trekkers, the other reason is the upper Manaslu and Tsum Valley located close on route to Tibet border. Where some trekkers might sneak to Tibet border just for curiosity and to experience. For these areas minimum 2-3 pax are allowed to enter the restricted areas of Nepal. Solo or individual trekkers are not allowed, and all trekkers must join with local reliable company. Like Nepal Holidays Treks & Tours, accompanied by Government Licensed guides along with porters. 

06: Is drinking water safe in every place and lodge?


All drinking water provided from the lodge is safe and drinkable, our guide will make sure and supervise. Making sure it is 100 % boiled and filtered to drink or add in your water bottle for the day walk. Around lodges bottled mineral water is also available, but the cost will be higher. We do not recommend bottled water as it creates waste and garbage with plastic bottles. As Nepal Holidays are committed with Eco-Trekking and Responsible Tourism, best to buy safe drinking water and store in your water bottle.


07: Are there electric power in every lodge to charge our gadgets?

Most lodges on route villages and lodges do have electricity power, where one can charge electronic items and gadgets. But one must pay for every items charged as per hour. Some remote villages have solar power for private use, where one can charge also on paying for re-charging your items.

08: What type of vehicles do we use to start and at the end of trek?

Depending upon the size of a group, for larger group of more than 4-6 using coach or comfortable bus up to Arughat town. From Arughat to Soti or Machha-Khola the motorable road is rough with dirt tracks. The best way is using local jeep or any similar types of four-wheel drives. It will be the same on ending the trek at Dharapani taking a jeep or four wheel drive all the way to Kathmandu.
As well changing the vehicle at Besisar town and then drive on coach, car or in a bus as per the size of a group.


09: What are the religion and culture to expect on this trek?


The lower areas on first part of the journey for few days encountering villages of both religions Hindu and Buddhist. From Jagat onwards, especially from Deng onwards into Buddhist country, similar culture and heritage of Tibet and the Tibetans. 


10: How tough is climb to Larke-La Pass? 


It is quite tough as the climb involves high altitude walks, where one needs to take a slow pace. Having short rest and with steady slow walk can overcome the toughness and difficulty. The tough and difficulty part of the day will be rewarded with mind-blowing views of high snow mountain range.

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