With the overwhelming beauty of the natural landscapes, the treks in Nepal have more to offer than that. Out of several trekking regions in Nepal, Manaslu is one of the popular yet less crowded treks here. Taking you to the circuit trek of the world’s 8th highest peak, Manaslu has been a popular trek in a recent addition. The trek is bounded by the Annapurna’s to the West and Ganesh Himal to the East. Unlike the most crowded trekking areas like Everest and Annapurna, the Manaslu trek usually sees fewer people along its route. The circuit trek to Manaslu is physically demanding yet culturally enhancing and scenically boosting. Similarly, taking you from the suggestive lowlands with terraces of rice and millet, to the mighty gorges of the Budi Gandaki.
Manaslu Circuit Trek
Another attraction of the Manaslu trek is the suspension bridges. However, the yearly monsoon often washes minor bridges away leaving trekkers to use immense rocks. With its pioneering expedition, the Manaslu circuit trek was opened to a maximum of 400 trekkers in 1992. On the other hand, the way to the north lets you witness snowbound Larkya La Pass which is next to the Tibetan border. At 5167m, larky la pass presents the unforgettable jaw-dropping views of Manaslu. The pass is usually snow-covered and icy where micro crampons are used on the descent. Trekking to this pass, you need to start at 3 am before the winds come, usually around mid-morning.
From the epic scenario to the bosom encounters with local people and their ancient culture, this circuit trek has everything. Apart from this, this trek even offers a fantastic view of the Annapurna region. The trek passes through several settlements of Tamang and Sherpa and lets you experience the way of life of the remote area. The trek is in the shadow of Mt. Kanchanjunga is the alternative to the Annapurna Circuit. Therefore, it is a combination of picturesque Himalayan scenery, the prosperity of wildlife, and tea house accommodation.
Trip Highlights of Manaslu Circuit Trek
- Circuit trek to the world’s eighth highest peak at an altitude of 8163m.
- Less crowded than other popular treks such as Everest and Annapurna base camp.
- Witness the nature and natural landscapes along with the beauty of the forests, rivers, and flora in the Manaslu region.
- The wild and remote journey with tea houses at everyday stages, making it more accessible and affordable than similar treks.
- The journey leads to a deep, long river gorge, with many suspension bridge crossings
- Trekking from the subtropical jungle at lower elevations to the high, cold, and challenging Larkya La above 5,100 meters / 17,000 feet.
- Visit Nepalese cultural heritage sites, also explore the traditional Tamang and Sherpa settlements.
- Highly influenced Tibetan culture as well as monasteries.
- Stunning view of the snow-capped peaks such as Manaslu, Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Nemjung, Gyaji Kang, Kang Guru, and Annapurna II.
- Explore the diverse wildlife including Tahr (Mountain Goat), Agali (Blue Sheep), Pika (Highest living Mammal), Himalayan Marmots, and, if you are lucky, Snow Leopard.
Manaslu has been in the heart of every trekker who has been on this wonderful journey. The beautiful landscapes, embracing peaks along the wonderful culture, tradition, and settlement make this place a perfect destination to explore. Besides, there are several other reasons to add this circuit trek to your bucket list.
Reasons to Choose Manaslu Circuit Trek
Unparalleled Natural Escape
Manaslu, standing tall at 6183m, stands out with its astonishing natural harmony exceeding cultural exploration. Nepal represents several trekking trails and regions however, the circuit trek to Manaslu sticks out to be the most peaceful trail with the exceptional natural escape. Taking you through the spectacular lakes and icy masses of the Manaslu district, the paramount beauty offered by this trail is measurable. Throughout the trail, you will pass through a conservation area where you can explore the diverse vegetation as well as rare and endangered species such as Blue sheep, known as Bharal, a greyish-colored Ram, Himalayan Tahr, pika. You can get a glimpse of Danphe, Nepal’s beautiful national bird, which resides at lower altitudes.
On the other hand, the ever-changing view of Mt. Manaslu provides an extreme joy to the journey. The scenario of a snow-capped peak changing to a distinct trilateral summit to panoramic vistas. Similarly, Lho presents you with the dominant peak whereas the Samdo will present you with the mesmerizing single triangular summit. From the Larkya La Pass at 5160m, you can stare at the panoramic vistas during the entire trek. Besides, the majestic Ganesh Himal, Himlung Himal, and Cheo Himal along with a few glimpses of the Annapurna range will be worth the journey. Therefore, trekking at Manaslu presents Manaslu with stunning views of the Himalayas along with the natural diversity, vegetation, and endangered species. Remote villages and tranquil trails.
The circuit trek to Manaslu is a wonderful offbeat trekking Trail suited for all the adventure trekkers. With less crowd and astonishing view, the circuit trek takes you through the homespun and diverse landscapes of the faraway villages in Nepal. To those seeking an extra adventure along with the different cultures and traditions, the people living in the Manaslu area are welcoming. Far away from the capital, from all those busy lifestyles, the circuit trek takes you to the peaceful villages trails untouched by modernization.
Even today people wear traditional Nepalese clothes unlike in the city area, people are engaged in agriculture, animal rearing, and tourism here. The trek lets you wander around the peaceful villages in this region. Walking in the outlying foothills of the Himalayas, this trek bounds to take you back in time. These dispersed villages can immerse you into the culture and lifestyle of several ethnic groups and communities. This isolated trekking trail passes through a narrow cliff of Manaslu. The trails go through the lush forest that offers stunning scenery of subtropical, alpine, temperate deciduous, and moderate coniferous types of forest to capture on a camera.
Similarly, the hike around this region under the dense forest shade is quite satisfying and refreshing. Besides, the tranquil trail, which is peaceful compared to Annapurna and Everest, is what attracts people here. However, the months of autumn can be a bit more of a busy season but not like other popular trekking trails. Therefore, the faraway villages, welcoming people, peaceful trail makes Manaslu a wise destination for trekking in Nepal.
Unique Cultural Experiences
The Manaslu circuit trek has more to offer apart from the stumble scenario of the mountains and natural landscapes. The peaceful villages that come along in this circuit trek are rich in cultural diversity. Therefore, the visitors will get an opportunity to explore the unique culture and tradition in this circuit trek.
The trail passes through numerous prayer wheels, Mani walls, Chortens, and monasteries that have been preserved from ancient times. Besides, walking from lowland to a higher altitude comes across diverse cultures and traditions. The lower regions let you witness the typical Hindu civilization whereas, in the upper region, you will explore the Tibetan-influenced culture and tradition. The lower region is inhabited mostly by Ghale, Gurung, and a few other communities. On the other hand, you will encounter Buddhist and Bon cultures along the way. Likewise, People in both regions still believe in “Atithi Devo Bhava” meaning visitors are considered as gods. With these minor but really attractive customs, anyone surely falls in love with the culture and people in the Manaslu region.
If you are new to the Himalayas of Nepal, you will find many things unrealistic. There is at least one monastery in every village you pass through. The people here wear traditional clothes and savor the dried yak meat. Far away from the capital, you will find that people are living happily preserving what was left to them by their ancestors. There is no doubt that this trek will provide an exceptional opportunity to delve into the rich cultures of the mountains. Also, the chance to explore the famous Ribung Gompa in Lho and Pungyen Gompa in Samagaon will be worth the journey.
Moderately Difficult Yet Safe
The Manaslu Circuit trek falls under one of the most challenging treks in Nepal. The trek can be strenuous and arduous to the body. However, the scenario can be worth all the challenges and hard work. The trails and the routes can often be demanding, taking Lulu to distant parts of the country. The trails and routes are much harder than the regular routes that we have been using in our day-to-day life. The journey consists of several ascend and descend through narrow streams, narrow bridges, and rocky strings.
The trail, the Manaslu Circuit Trek, takes you through an off-the-beaten path that requires moderate levels of fine fitness. That doesn’t mean that one needs to have an athletic body, however, being flexible will certainly help at one point. Likewise, if you are a beginner in the trekking journey then you need to have a moderate level of fitness. Prior training before trek will help to increase stamina and stand out throughout the entire trek. Before starting up your journey to the Manaslu circuit trek, make sure to prepare beforehand. Such can be done by hiking to nearby places, engaging in cardiovascular exercise a few days a week. In the trek, you need to walk an average of 6 hours per day for more than a week which is challenging.
The trek might seem strenuous but it is exquisite and safe. The trek allows proper acclimatization and rest days, which can prevent altitude sickness. For this trek to high altitude with a low level of oxygen, slow and steady wins the race. Don’t rush to complete the trek either, do it slowly and pace. Besides, throughout the trek, you need to take care of your diet. What you eat will define how your body reacts the following day. Similarly, the Manaslu circuit trekking trail is now restored and repaired after the calamitous 2015 earthquake.
Comparatively Affordable Pricing
Trekking and adventure in Nepal differ depending upon the place and season you choose for the trip. Nepal has a trekking region that ranges from comparatively lower prices to higher ones as well. Also, the trek is based on the group size and number of days the trekkers choose to trek. When it is in the Himalayan region, the price for the accommodation and food is almost the same no matter where you choose to trek. However, compared to the popular trekking trails such as Everest Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Manaslu Circuit Trek Cost is less expensive and affordable.
The facilities of accommodation are limited yet optimal. The food choices are similar to finite options on the menu. As you reach a higher altitude, the price for food and accommodation increases. This is because of the difficulty in carrying goods in transportation in the remote Himalayan region. As there are no proper facilities of transportation in the upper region, people have to carry the goods by themselves taking a whole day. Despite the increase in food, it is, however, more affordable than the overall cost incurred in other popular treks. Before there was a camping arrangement due to the fewer number of tea houses but now with the increased number of tea houses, most people don’t opt for camping. Instead, people choose to enjoy and relax at the end of the day with a subtle warm sleep in the beds of the teahouses.
Facts about Manaslu Circuit Trek
- Mt. Manaslu at 8,156m is the eighth highest mountain in the world and was opened for travelers in 1992.
- With the astonishing view of the mountains, a combination of ample culture, diverse vegetation, the circuit trek is geographically picturesque and culturally captivating.
- The circuit trek has a lot to offer including the picturesque Mt. Manaslu, the Manaslu Circuit Trek, the Tsum Valley, Nubri trek, and the Manakamana Temple
- Manaslu Region is less crowded making the visit more exclusive and unspoiled.
- The trek will be more of a combination of countryside walk passing through several small Tibetan-style villages which cluster beneath Manaslu’s sweeping North Face.
- The circuit trek includes a culturally charming homestay experience with the Tamangs, the original horse traders of Nepal.
- The peak Manaslu was first climbed on May 9, 1956, by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, members of a Japanese expedition”.
- The Tsum Valley Trek offers beautiful views of the four 7000m peaks of the Ganesh massif.
- Get to know the people from Nupri, who are direct descendants of Tibetan immigrants. Besides, the mountain views in Nupri are sensational and the Larke pass is a dramatic Himalayan pass to cross.
Best Season for Manaslu Circuit Trek
Spring is one of the spontaneous seasons if you are wondering about trekking to the Nepalese Himalayas including the circuit trek to Manaslu. Likewise, spring starts in March and lasts till May. For trekking and adventure in Nepal, it is one of the peak seasons offering majestic vistas. Spring is generally known for new beginnings, chilly weather, moderate temperature, freshly bloomed generations, where nature is at its best. The weather starts with a little chill and gets warmer as the day begins to start. Similarly, the mountain views are something that will bring out joy and refreshment to the morning.
On the other hand, the clear blue sky with a temperature that ranges from warm to moderate makes springs a perfect time to go trekking. The trail is surrounded by the blooming of different colors of Rhododendron. The spring is neither too hot nor too cold. Because of the cool climate, you can experience your trek to the utmost thrill and adventure. Likewise, if you are into nature, the striking view of the peaks, uncovered off-beat trails awaits you here at this season of the year. With the colorful and outstanding scenario, spring can be the next best season after Autumn to start your trek to the Manaslu circuit trek.
Monsoon is the time around the year when you are traveling in the rain. Some visitors enjoy rain more than they do the regular weather. Those, who want an extra bit of a natural adventure, can consider trekking during the monsoon. The monsoon starts in mid-June and continues till August in Nepal. This time of the year offers the visitors breathtaking views and some great natural phenomena at higher altitudes during monsoon season.
If we look at another side, then the monsoon has some challenges as well. Like, the trekkers may have to face the problems of leeches, landscape risk, slippery trails, and dark clouds blocking the wonderful Himalayan views. However, if you don’t have any issue with this natural process in this season then you can otherwise choose this season. Manaslu itself is a peaceful trekking trail and very few adventurers wander around during the monsoon. So, it is best for the one who wants to avoid crowds and trek peacefully. Besides, some people enjoy the natural view right after the rainfall. So, consider this season suitable for you because the smell of nature after the rainfall is so wild and cool that you’d love it. Likewise, the weather is slightly humid, wet, cool, and fresh.
Autumn is a favorite season as well as the kings of the season when it comes to traveling and trekking. Likewise, Autumn begins right in September and lasts till November. Autumn. The weather, as well as the temperature, is at its best in Autumn. The freshness in nature, the extremely stunning view of the peaks, clear blue sky, and cool warm weather make This season is a choice for many adventures. During this season, even the quietest trail of Manaslu becomes crowded. Crowded in a way that you will encounter people of several backgrounds and countries during your journey. However, it is not as crowded as Annapurna and Everest. The chances of rainfall are very low during autumn, also, the trails are dry making the walk easier.
Autumn is also the festival season in Nepal. So, you can add this to the merit list of your trek. You will be able to explore the festivals and celebrations with the local communities. Dashain and Tihar, the main religion of Hindus fall during this season. During this time of the year, the joy and happiness in the face of the people are different than that of the normal days. Besides, the nights are cool and days are warmer so one needs to carry a good amount of clothes.
As the choices of the people differ in every other thing. So, there may be trekkers who like winter and find winter trekking adventurous. Winter starts in December and lasts till Feb in Nepal. With the broadest view of the mountains and sky, the winter is not much worse in Nepal. However, the case might not be the same in upper altitudes like the Manaslu circuit trek. The days in winter at lower altitudes are cold and it is below freezing at higher altitudes. At 5,106 m / 16,752 ft (Larkya La pass), the highest elevation of this circuit, the temperature is extremely cold during winter. It is not that the trek is impossible but with proper precautions and preparations, it is possible to trek to the Manaslu circuit.
Trekking in winter needs an extra bit of preparation. With proper gears, clothing, and equipment if needed, Trekkers must be well-prepared. Besides, there may be a problem regarding the difficulty in finding accommodation for a night stay as tea houses may get closed due to cold and heavy snow. Pre-booking should be done to avoid such circumstances.
- The circuit trek to Manaslu required permits for the trekkers to enter the restricted area.
- Manaslu Restricted Area Permit (Manaslu RAP): From Jagat, to Sama Gaun you need to get the permit as it is a restricted region in the Manaslu Trek.
- Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP Permit) is essential before passing through conservation areas in Dharapani.
- The Manaslu Conservation area starts in Philim, and you need the Manaslu Conservation Area Project( MCAP) for this trek.
If you want to extend your trip to Tsum Valley, you will need a Tsum Valley to permit as well.
Likewise, you will need a TIMS card if you decide to extend your trip to Muktinath, Jomsom, or Pokhara, as you will trek in the Annapurna region.