( 20 N / 21 D )
Manaslu base camp trekking is enthralling and full of adventures. The untouched natural resources in some of the villages are yet to be explored by interested expeditions. As Manaslu trekking in Nepal is one of the restricted areas for trekking, there are a number of virgin trails to the base camp that need to be found and established as leading routes. The locals are still unaware of how technology is changing the world. They are true believers of Buddhism and dedicate their lives to protect their villages and contribute to the conservation of the Manaslu region.
The Manaslu Base Camp Trek begins at Arughat Bazaar and ends at Besisahar. Before the trek even begins you will be seeing a lot of Kathmandu, and the tremendously beautiful outskirts of the city. Manaslu trekking trails offer steep-sided valleys, rhododendron forests, widespread cultivated lands and unimaginably beautiful views of the peaks in the Himlung Himal, Kangguru, Annapurna Massif and more. The are various ethnic groups residing in the region and you will meet the most interesting people on this ancient route of Budi Gandaki river. Visit the Gompas and temples and rest at teahouses for acclimatization during your Manaslu trekking trip. Virgin Trails helps you enjoy your treks to the fullest.
ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU
Flying to Kathmandu along the northern border of Nepal on a clear day is in itself an exciting and memorable experience as exotic panoramic view of snow-capped Annapurna mountain range peaks sprawls before you. The Nepali support team will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel.
SIGHTSEEING OF KATHMANDU VALLEY
Kathmandu People Kathmandu, being a historical and cultural heart of Nepal, is a popular destination for tourists, trekkers and adventure seekers. The city presents a wonderful mixture of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. Patan and Bhaktapur are its two major neighboring cities which bear immense historical, cultural and religious significance. There will be a half day guided tour to the famous & biggest Hindu shrine PASUPATHINATH, the largest Buddhist stupa in town BOUDHANATH, the 15th century palace of 55 windows and SOYAMBHUNATH. In the evening, a trip orientation meeting will be organized.
DRIVES TO ARUGHAT BAZAAR
We drive along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway for the first part of the day; we turn of towards to the hill bazaar of Gorkha. After Gorkha the road gets a bit rough but we will reach our destination Arughat Bazaar in approximately seven hours from Kathmandu
TREKS TO SUNDI KHOLA
On our first day on the trail we head north, following the BuriGandaki. In the low country rice paddies and picturesque hamlets surround us. After climbing briefly to Kyoropani, we descend once again to the river and our campsite at the confluence with the tributary of SundiKhola. 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 BuriGandaki. 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 MachhaKhola. We camp outside the village, which has a number of teashops.
Trekkingwe cross the MachhaKhola – Fish Stream – and head upstream to the tiny village of KholaBensi and the hot springs at Tatopani. The valley sides are steeping 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 BuriGandaki 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 recross the river on a suspension bridge, and then climb on a high path to the fields of Jagat, where we camp.
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 SringiHimal, 7187m. Crossing the river again, at GataKhola, the path splits, with the right – hand branch heading off towards the Ganesh Himal. Our route continues upstream, through a gorge section with towering walls. We cross the river three more times 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 (four houses), where we camp. Today is a longer day of around 7 hours trekking.
The valley is still steep-sided and most impressive. We cross to the village of Lana, and start to see mani stones (prayers etched onto wayside rocks), a sure sign that we are entering a the high country Buddhist regions. After only about four hours we reach our camping place at the village of Ghap, which straddles the river. We have entered the Tibetan areas and the cultural change is obvious, and the climate change is also obvious the trekking is pleasantly cool now, as we start to gain the altitude.
NepalWe gain altitude to take us into alpine territory and increasing mountain views. There are more Mani walls and 3 more crossing of the BuriGandaki on our route to Namrung, where our special permit is checked. Above this village the valley opens out and there are extensive pastures. Climbing climb gently now, and cross a large stream flowing down from the Lidanda Glaciers, and reach the Tibetan village of Sho, 3000m. We 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. We camp just outside the village.
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 SamaGaon, 3500m. We camp at SamaGompa, 20 minutes beyond the village, or Samdo, near the Tibetan border.
Surrounded by mountains in a peaceful forest, we take a rest day to acclimatise and relax. It is a good time to catch up on that book or wash clothes.
LARKYA LODGE (DHARAMSALA)
The once large BuriGandaki is now merely a stream as we continue to follow its course ever upwards. Everywhere you look is mountains, as spectacular as they get and 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, and there are the ruins of another village here known as Larkya Bazaar. Presumably this village thrived on trade with Tibet over the nearby Gya La, a trade that is now much diminished. Nearing the Larkya Glacier, we reach a lodge at 4450m, which has been built to serve the travellers 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 then of Larkya Peak. Finally, we walk across the moraines of the glacier, making a gradual ascent, which becomes steeper only in the last section to the pass. From the pass, there are outstanding views of HimlungHimal, CheoHimal, Kangguru and the huge Annapurna II. Initially, there is a steep descent over snow and then scree, to reach the ablation valley trail to LarciaKharka. A further hour on a moraine ridge path leads to Tanbuche 3900m in pleasant forest.
EXPLORING FROM TANGBUCHE
The valley system here is huge and well worth exploring – or perhaps you want a rest day?
Nepal trekking VillageBelow us is Bimthang, a broad and level ablation valley with a number of Mani walls and deserted houses. Crossing this high pasture, we descend the valley of the BurdinKhola to the area of the Base Camp for 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 DudhKhola, we descend into a rhododendron forests and follow a trail through a narrow valley until we reach the highest cultivated land in this valley at Karche, 2785 meters.
We climb through terraced fields to the Karche La (Pass), and can see ahead a green and heavily forested valley, dropping down to the distant Marshyangdi river. At Thonje village is our final restricted area check post. Here we cross the Marsyandi River and join the main Annapurna Circuit, and the hoards of trekkers. We stay at or near Dharapani.
An initially tight gorge briefly opens to Tal, which means lake. The area here as formed when the valley was blocked by a landslide and a dam formed behind. The lake has long gone and now the village of Tal sits on the river flats. Over the next day and a half we are passing through the main Himalayan range, between Manaslu and the Annapurna range, no wonder it is a steep-sided valley.
Down from Jagat is Syange, where we cross a suspension bridge to the east side of the MarsyandiKhola and onto easier terrain. We have a short but stiff climb to Bahundanda. Then a beautiful descent to Ngadi and Bhulebhule. We are back into rice paddy country again.
Today we have a beautiful descent to Ngadi and Bhulebhule. We are back into rice paddy country again.
TREK TO BESISHAHAR
With barely a hill in the way, this is an easy day’s walk. We might take the little-known east bank route from Bhulebhule to BesiSahar.
DRIVE TO KATHMANDU
It is approximately seven hours drive to Kathmandu and to a wonderful hot shower. We will have lunch at a good roadside restaurant
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Scenic Nepal Tour (06 D/05 N)- KTM-Chitwan Park / Pokhara
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