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Manaslu Trek with Annapurna Circuit – Pokhara : 20 Days
 

The trek is geographically spectacular and culturally fascinating. The inhabitants of the upper Buri Gandaki, a region known as Nupri (‘the western mountains’), are direct descendants of Tibetan immigrants. Their speech, dress and customs are almost exclusively Tibetan. There is still continuous trade between Nupri and Tibet; Chinese cigarettes, for example, are found more frequently than Nepali cigarettes. The mountain views in Nupri are sensational and the crossing of the Larkya La is one of the most dramatic of any pass in the Himalaya. Because much of this trek is in a region of strong Tibetan influence, most places have Tibetan names in addition to their better know Nepali monikers.

Facts of the Trek

Duration:                     20 Days

Trek type:                    Camping

Max Altitude:              5416 m.

Minimum Pax:             1 +

Mode of travel:           Land/Flight

Grade:                             Strenuous

 Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Kathmandu – Arughat Bazaar (570m.)     [7 hours]

You drive along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway for the first part of the day; you turn towards the hill bazaar of Gorkha. After Gorkha the road gets a bit rough but you will reach your destination Arughat Bazaar in approximately seven hours from Kathmandu.

Day 02: Arughat – Sundi Khola (730m.)                 [6hours]

On Your first day on the trail you head north, following the Buri Gandaki. In the low country, rice paddies and picturesque hamlets surround you. After climbing briefly to Kyoropani, you descend once again to the river and your campsite at the confluence with the tributary of Sundi Khola. It is a nice first day not too long, and perhaps you have time for a refreshing swim sometime during the day for it is hot in the low country.

Day 03: Sundi Khola – Machha Khola (930m.)      [5 hours]

The country changes, the broad valley narrows and at times the trail is cut into the steep valley side, which is densely forested. You pass a number of small villages, tucked into the hillside, until you reach a widening of the valley, opposite the point where a large tributary stream enters the Buri Gandaki. The terraced farmland here belongs to the village of Lapbesi. You descend once again to the wide, sandy riverbed and follow a path, which runs below the steep, craggy valley side. At length, you have to climb up once again on a trail to Machha Khola. You camp outside the village, which has a number of teashops.

Day 04: Machha Khola – Jagat (1370m.)                [6 hours]

You cross the Machha Khola – Fish Stream – and head upstream to the tiny village of Khola Bensi 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 you reach the single teahouse at Doban. Above Doban, the Buri Gandaki descends an impressive series of rapids. Beyond this steep section, the river is much more placid, meandering across a broad gravel bed. At Lauri, you re cross the river on a suspension bridge, and then climb on a high path to the fields of Jagat, where you camp.

Day 05: Jagat – Deng (1860m.)                                 [8 hours]

After descending a long series of stone steps to the river, you climb a terraced hill to Saguleri, from where you can see the impressive Sringi Himal, 7187m. Crossing the river again at Gata Khola, the path splits with the right-hand branch heading off towards the Ganesh Himal. Your route continues upstream, through a gorge section with towering walls. You 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 you camp. Today is a longer day of around seven hours trekking.

Day 06: Deng – Ghap (2380m.)                                [8 hours]

The valley is still steep-sided and most impressive. You cross to the village of Lana, and start to see mani stones (prayers etched onto wayside rocks), a sure sign that you are entering the high country Buddhist regions. After only about four hours you reach your camping place at the village of Ghap, which straddles the river. You have entered the Tibetan areas and the cultural change is obvious, and the climate change is obvious the trekking is pleasantly cool now, as you start to gain the altitude.

Day 07: Ghap – Lho Village (3020m)                       [7 hours]

You gain altitude to take you into alpine territory and increasing mountain views. There are more Mani walls and 3 more crossing of the Buri Gandaki on your route to Namrung, where your special permit is checked. Above this village the valley opens out and there are extensive pastures. Climbing gently now, and cross a large stream flowing down from the Lidanda Glaciers, and reach the Tibetan village of Sho, 3000m. You get your first incredible views of the Manaslu North and then of Manaslu main ahead from Sho. As you continue, you 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. You camp just outside the village.

Day 08: Lho Village – Sama Gaon (3390m)            [7 hours]

Leaving the village, you follow the right bank of the river, with views of Peak 29 ahead. As you continue on the main trail, you soon reach the fields of Sama Gaon, 3500m. You camp at Sama Gompa, 20 minutes beyond the village, or Samdo, near the Tibetan border.

Day 09: Rest Day

Surrounded by mountains in a peaceful forest, you take a rest day to acclimatize and relax. It is a good time to catch up on that book or wash clothes.

Day 10: Sama Gaon – Larkya Lodge (Dharamsala, 4460m) [6 hours]

The once large Buri Gandaki is now merely a stream as you continue to follow its course ever upwards. Everywhere you can see mountains, as spectacular as they get and Manaslu is particularly impressive. After crossing to the East bank of the river, you reach the last permanent settlement in the valley, which is called Sumdu. Above the village, you cross the stream, which runs down from the Gya La (Pass), the pass to Tibet, and there is the ruin 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, you reach a lodge at 4450m, which has been built to serve the travelers crossing the Larkya La.

Day 11: Larkya Lodge – Bimthang (3590m)           [8 hours]

After a short climb above the lodge, you reach the ablation valley on the North side of the Larkya Glaciers. There are views of Cho Danda and then of Larkya Peak. Finally, you 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 Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru and the huge Annapurna II. Initially, there is a steep descent over snow and then screw, to reach the ablation valley trail to Larcia Kharka. A further hour on a moraine ridge path leads to Tanbuche 3900m in pleasant forest.

Day 12: Bimthang – Tilje                              [5 hours]

Below you is Bimthang, a broad and level ablation valley with a number of Mani walls and deserted houses. Crossing this high pasture, you descend the valley of the Burdin Khola to the area of the Base Camp for the West side of Manaslu. From a ridge at 4150 meters, you have excellent views of Manaslu to the South East and Annapurna II to the South West. Beyond a bridge over the headwaters of the Dudh Khola, you descend into a rhododendron forests and follow a trail through a narrow valley until you reach the highest cultivated land in this valley at Karche, 2785 metres.

Day 13: Tilje – Bagarchhap (2164m.)          [5 hours]

You 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 your final restricted area check post. Here you cross the Marsyandi River and join the main Annapurna Circuit, and the hoards of trekkers. You arrive at Bagarchhap, a Bhote village with prayer flags fluttering in the breeze.

Day 14: Bagarchhap – Chame (2713m.)      [6 hours]

Today you continue to climb through forests of pine and oak; you pass through Dhanakyu before coming to a thundering waterfall. Further on, the Marsyangdi Khola enters a gorge and the path consists of steep stone steps. Pausing for breath, you can look back for views of Manaslu. When the steep incline ends, you follow a path amid magnificent rhododendrons to Ratamron and then continue on a gently rising path, crossing a stream before entering a pine forest. You then cut across a loose hillside to the hamlet of Kotho from where you can look straight up at nearby Annapurna II – a sight convincing you that you are deep in the Himalayan Mountains! From here, the trail climbs through a fir and pine forest to Chame where there are government offices, shops, and hotels. Chame is the administrative headquarters for the Manang district. This is only a half days trek; you need a day to wash a bit again or maybe just to rest a bit…

Day 15: Chame – Pisang (3185m.)               [5 hours]

With Lamjung Himal (6893m) sparkling in the morning sun, you set off for Pisang. The mountain disappears as you climb the path up the valley, passing a huge apple orchard. You continue through a fir and pine forest, climbing to a high, rocky area, as the opposite bank becomes an impassable cliff. From this point, the valley becomes extremely steep-sided as you follow the path to Bratang. In the past this was the military station for troops who fought against the Khampa tribal revolution, but the dilapidated buildings are all that remain of that era. A short climb from the village brings us to a rock-strewn area where you cross a wooden bridge and follow a high, winding path, before crossing back to the right bank again. You now walk through a pine forest and as the forest ends, the valley changes from a V-shape to a gentle U-shape, opening up a wonderful vista before us. You can see the east peak of Annapurna II as well as Pisang Peak to the northeast. Continuing on, you come to a long mani wall by a bridge and the lower village of Pisang.

Day 16: Pisang – Manang (3450m.)             [6 hours]

Beyond Pisang, the trail climbs a ridge, which affords good views of the Manang valley and Tilicho peak. Descending past Manang’s airstrip at Hongde, you come to a level area from where the northeast face of Annapurna III rises majestically above you. From the wide plains of the Sabje Khola Valley, Annapurna IV (7525m) also becomes visible. Just beyond this point you cross the considerably reduced flow of the Marsyangdi Khola via a wooden bridge to the tiny village of Mungji. Cultivated fields appear on both sides of the path and off to the right, below a craggy mountain, you can see the village of Bryaga with its splendid monastery. Large chortens and mani walls abound and the tall peaks of the Himalayas spread out before you – Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Gangapurna (7455m) and, to the rear, Tilicho Peak (7134m).

 After a short steep climb you reach Manang, which is a surprisingly large village for this remote mountain region. You camp here for the night, amidst the fluttering prayer flags, which adorn the houses.

Day 17: Manang – Thorung Phedi              [8 hours]

From Manang, you climb to the next village of Tengi, with the magnificent Annapurna Himal in view all the way, while behind of it you can see Peak 29 and Himalchuli in the distance. You are now past the tree line and the vegetation consists of alpine grasses and scrub juniper. Climbing the path past the summer village of Gunsang, you cross the Gundon Khola via a wooden bridge. From here you can see ahead the mountains surrounding the Thorung La, which you will cross tomorrow. The trail is up and down as the elevation gradually increases and you soon enter an alluvial delta where there are yak pastures. An hour beyond this, you come to the small settlement of Letdar. Leaving Letdar, you climb gradually to a ridge before descending to the headwaters of the Marsyangdi and crossing via a covered wooden bridge. After a short ascent up the mountain path on the right bank, you follow a narrow trail across an unstable scree slope and then descend to Thorung Phedi.

Day 18: Thorong Phedi – Muktinath           [9 hours]

You require an early start today for your crossing of Thorung La (5416m). The trail becomes steep immediately on leaving camp but as this trail has been used by local people for hundreds of years the path is well defined. The gradient then eases and after around 4 hours of steady climbing you reaches the chorten and prayer flags of the pass. The views are dramatic to say the least, from the snow covered mountains above, to the head of the Kali Gandaki valley below and the brown and purple hills of Mustang which are spread out before you. The descent to Muktinath is a knee pounding 1600m but it is compensated for with excellent views of Dhaulagiri. Eventually the moraines give way to grassy slopes before a pleasant walk along the Jhong Khola Valley to Muktinath and its shrines and temple.

Day 19: Muktinath – Jomsom                      [7 hours]

You now begin the descent down the dramatic Kali Gandaki valley, initially through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet. After passing through Jharkot and Khingar, villages with typical Tibetan architecture, you follow the valley floor most of the way to Jomsom and are rewarded with tremendous views of both Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri. Jomsom is a large town sprawled along both banks of the Kali Gandaki River, and it is here you will spend the final night of your trek.

Day 20: Jomsom – Pokhara – Kathmandu [Fly]

You take an early morning flight to Pokhara. It is a spectacular flight along the Kali Gandaki Gorge and provides wonderful views of both the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. You then catch a further flight back to Kathmandu.

 Services Included

  • National Park entry permit, Trekking permit,
  • All surface transportation to and fro,
  • A guide and required number of porter(s), cook, kitchen helper, sherpas,
  • All meals three times a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, coffee, fruit, juice, etc.),
  • Necessary camping equipments such as tents, kitchen tent, dining tent,  toilet tent, mattresses, down   sleeping bags, down jackets, cooking utensils, fuel etc. camping charges,
  • Rescue help, insurance
  • Equipment for the Nepali staffs.

  Services Excluded

  • Personal expenses, Insurance, Tips,
  • Emergency evacuation by Helicopter,
  • Alternative transportation in case of heavy rain, landslide, strike, road blockade etc.
  • All the other expenses which are not listed in above services included

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