Manaslu circuit is a journey to the wonderland which you have never imagined before. Exploration of the Himalayan rural life, local culture, sacred cave, Ancient and medieval monastery, Mt Manaslu (8156m/26751ft) base camp visit, Birendera and Phunkar lake visit, Crossing Larkya-La Pass 5160m, Samagaun an amazing village are the highlight that this journey offers to its visitor beside this you will have a great chance to meet the local people and their hospitality, Magical Himalayan scenery and observing the flora-fauna. This journey can be started from Kathmandu and Pokhara after sorting out all permit and necessary documents. The first day we drive to Soti Khola and stay overnight there and the next day the journey begins.
Manaslu circuit journey goes through the bottom of the gorge created by the river Budhi Gandaki (One of the tributary river of the Ganges). The trekking starts at 710m which is subtropical climatic zone thus it feels hot in the beginning but the beautiful narrow gorge will always offer you the colorful gift of nature as we can see the lot of beautiful birds, butterfly, lizards & animals. The journey goes ahead following river Budhi Gandaki crossing dozens of the suspension bridge which adds some fun and texture to the journey. You will be welcome by some of the beautiful village in the first part like Jagat, Sirdibas, Phillim where we can see uniquely build village patched with slate roof house. Here we can see the indigenous people Gurung and Tibetan discontent with a beautiful smile on their face.
As we reach the temperate zone at Phillim 1570M the scenery gets more beautiful and we can see some village really high above the valley at the edge of mountain and farming in that terrain at the edge of the mountain seems thrilling and amusing. The trail spilled towards left side before crossing a steel bridge at Nyak phedi goes towards Tsum Valley and Manaslu circuit. We pass through the bottom of narrow gorge crossing the river at several places we reach the place called Deng where we can see Lapuchung, Chachung, and Shringi mountain just in front. The journey continues following Budhigandaki river valley and it gets more colorful and surreal as we climb high into the Shangrila. We pass through several villages called Ranagaun, Bhi Phedi, Prok and we reach the village Namrung which is completely eye-catching. We can see a lot of alpine vegetation in this region consists of pine, juniper, fir, rhododendron etc. The major attraction is the uniquely build houses and the field.
The journey continues following the Shangrila and we reach the next village called Lihi from where we can see close up view of Mt Shimanang & Peak 29 towards the left side. The journey continues crossing the suspension bridge before the village Shogaun. The bridge area is famous for musk deer and wild goat they usually sight there. When we step into the village Shogaun we get blessed by the magnificent view of Mt Manaslu 8156m, Manaslu north, Naike peak and Saula & Samdo peak at the left-hand side. The village looks completely distinct as the houses build by stone having slate or wooden roof and lot of Chorten, Stupa, and monastery welcome the visitor. The next wonderland is Lhogaun which is one of the most picturesque villages of this region. The people walking with spinning wheel and praying with beads (Mala) surprises the visitor and the moving prayer flag purifies your thought and helps to squeezes the negative energy. The night is also magnificent with stars and mountains in this region basically it gets super clear.
Manaslu circuit trek Nepal continues passing the lush green alpine forest playing hide and seek with mountain we reach the village Shyala which is one of the most iconic villages which offers the complete view of Mt Manaslu probably the best view of Mt Manaslu during the journey. There are several Stupa, Chorten, and Monastery along the way. This village is also famous for Phungen monastery which is the most sacred one in the region. The hike to Phungen monastery starts from this village which takes 5hrs back and forth. Then we go to the next and most unique village of this region Shamagaun which is located at the elevation of 3520M. Shamagaun is the biggest village in this region that there are around 300 houses are settled. The people do farming, Yak keeping, collecting herbs and trading. The young guys go to Tibet with their caravan Yak to bring and sell the commodities and daily use things. It takes one day to reach the border.
We can spend few days in this village doing side trips and getting used to with hiking altitude. We have bunch of things to do here visiting Manaslu base camp, Hike up to Milarepa cave, Hike to Phungen gompa, visit around the village and yak pasture land can be done. We should stay two night minimum here. The next day journey goes to Samdo following the flat valley with minimal ascend and descend which takes just few hours. The nature gets totally different here we can see mountains all around and barren landscape without trees. We can hike few hundred meters for acclimatization or if we reach early we can hike towards Tibet border following caravan route. Then the journey goes to Dharmashala 4460M we can see very nice view of Manaslu north and Naike peak as well as Samdo peak. We do some ascending after reaching Dharmashala for the acclimatization. Next day early morning we hike towards Larkya-La pass following the moraine route. Normally it gets chilly cold in the morning but walking uphill helps to warm the body up. It’s good to start early morning for the past because when the sun comes up it gets really windy up there. It takes around 3.5hrs to reach the pass Larkya-La 5160M which is the biggest challenge and secret until we conquer. The views are amazing from the top of Larkya-La that we can see bunch of Mountain and peaks. We can see the beautiful Himlung, Pheri and Jharka Mountain towards North West side. The Phunkar glacier and Phunkar lake seen at the foothill also catches the attention of visitor. The trail descend down through the small ridge over the moraine which gets pleasant after Dangbochey Kharka where there is a tea shop where we can have refreshment. The trail continues downward towards Bhimtang 3590M where we spend overnight. We have the great view from Bhimtang that we can see Mt Manaslu, Phungi him. Next day the journey goes downward following river Dudh khola passing through some very beautiful settlement and the breathtaking scenery. The journey rushes down towards Dharapani where we meet with the trail to Annapurna Circuit and also the road going towards Beshisahar and Chame. From Dharapani we can take jeep to go Beshisahar or we can continue towards Annapurna circuit. The Manaslu trekking can be combined with Tsum Valley and Manaslu Annapurna circuit trek
Manaslu circuit trek Nepal is one of the least explored, less commercialized, less westernized trekking destination though it requires the semi-restricted permit which is bit expensive than the regular one. And its compulsory to take a licensed guide which makes journey secured, convenient and helpful. This journey is not only trekking it’s a voyage into the most remote territory in the Himalaya.