Every year, thousands of people from all around the world travel to Nepal for trekking. The most famous trekking destination is the Everest Base Camp. The trail takes you to the base camp of the highest mountain in the world- Mt. Everest.
Manaslu Circuit Trek is among the many famous trekking spots in Nepal. It was recently opened for trekking. However, it remains a restricted area.
Manaslu region is very famous among the trekkers. It gains its popularity from its high altitude glaciers and splendid flora and fauna. It also provides and experience of culturally diverse settlements.
It houses ten peaks of over 6500m, Mt Manaslu (8156m), the 8th highest peak in the world being one of them. Manaslu region sees very few visitors so that the trails are less stamped on. This makes the trip even more peaceful and beautiful. It is known for its solidarity and preservation.
The journey begins from Kathmandu. The route takes you around snow-capped mountains, a rare biodiversity and an incomparable scenic beauty. An exciting aspect of this trek it that the Manaslu Conservation Area covers six climatic zones.
- Fantastic View of some of the highest peaks in the world
- Opportunity to explore the Tibetan culture, lifestyle and tradition
- Pristine Budhi Gandaki River valley
- Larkya la pass (5153m) crossing
- Walking from lush subtropical region to the highest mountains in the world
- Diversified unspoiled ecosystems
- Buddhist temples, architecture and tradition
Overall, the best seasons for Manaslu Circuit trekking are October and November. October happens to be the busiest month for this trek.
For those who want to catch a glimpse of blossoming Rhododendron forests, March and April are the two ideal months to trek this region. May is the last month to catch few blossoming rhododendrons. The July rains cools the region. This makes trekking in July quite comfortable and pleasant. In the monsoon season of August and July, the entire region is dominated by blushful greenery.
The winter season stretches from December to February. In winter you will get some of the best views of snow-capped mountains. There is a high probability of snow storm visiting the pass in January and February. Winter in this region is extremely cold.
Required Permits to Trek
This spot was recently opened for recreation. Hence, a special permission from the Government along with a certified tutor to guide is required to trek in this region.
Restricted Area Permit: US$ 70 per week (was $50 in 2011) + $10 per day extra. The first check is at Jagat and the last check Dharapani.
Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit: NRs. 2,000 (approx 20 Euro or US$30)
Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) per: US$10mit: NRs. 2,000 (approx 20 Euro or US$30)
A registered trekking agent must organize your trip. The TIMS card is not required when you purchase a restricted area permit.
Anyone of reasonable fitness can do Manaslu. It is quite extreme trek but eventually it is getting easier every year. Very little gear is needed. You can easily get pack weight down to 10kg (22lbs).
Almost anyone will thoroughly enjoy the trek.
There will be issues with the high altitude as you trek towards the destination. Hence, acclimatization is critical to avoid any health complications. It is natural to have difficulty in breathing as you climb higher. Even the elementary tasks will require a lot of effort to delegate. Hence, it’s advisable to follow the itinerary provided by your respective guide.
Accommodation and food
Food is surprisingly good and inexpensive in this region. The most commonly available food is Dal-Bhaat; a traditional Nepali food comprising of rice, dal or pulses soup, vegetables and chutney or pickle.
You can camp or spend the night in a teahouse. On a personal note, teahouses are more comfortable and appropriate that camps. The teahouses are not very luxurious but are simple and comfortable. Few villages along the trek offer internet access. Electricity for recharging batteries is available at most lodges. And it’s often free.
If you are looking for an escape from the daily humdrum of a busy life, Manaslu trekking is the best option. The trek is a perfect blend of nature’s and culture’s experience.
It is wrong to believe that only difficult trekking routes and give a full experience. Even the most elementary trekking route can be thrilling. In the end, it is all about the experience you gain from it. And I promise you that Manaslu Circuit trek will not fail to amaze you.