Done with trekking in popular Annapurna and Everest region of Nepal? Searching for a challenging trek in Nepal? Manaslu trek will be perfect for you! Trekking in Nepal once isn’t enough.
Manaslu Circuit Trek is famous as an off-the-beaten trekking route in Nepal. The trek in the wilderness is gaining popularity amongst trekkers seeking challenges. The off-the-beaten-path trek features breathtaking views of mountains, unique ancient culture, and crossing high mountain pass beyond 5100 meters.
Savor the feeling of fresh air touching your face, listen to the music of woods and river, and bask in the joy of walking amidst natural beauty. Get a glimpse of the daily life of people in villages. With the increase in elevation, you will see the difference in culture. As you start the trek from the lower region you will see Hindu culture. Upon trekking to the higher region you will come across Buddhist people akin to Tibetans. Enrich your journey by interacting with locals and know more about the lifestyle and culture of people high in the mountains.
Learn about top 8 reasons to trek to Manaslu along with 8 interesting facts in this Manaslu Circuit Trek Blog. So, without further ado let’s get started!
If you are up for the challenge of trekking in secluded areas of Nepal then Manaslu trek is perfect. You will get to keep trail to yourselves most of the days. However, be prepared to encounter many mule trains as it is the only way of transporting goods in the faraway area. Also, the rugged terrain intensifies the sense of trekking in a faraway land.
Manaslu Round Trek is significantly less crowded than the classic treks of Nepal like Annapurna Circuit Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek. Expect to meet and interact with fellow trekkers in guest houses or lodges where trekkers stop for the meal or night.
During a trek to Manaslu, you will experience diversity in culture on walking from lowlands to a higher altitude. In the lower regions, you will come across Hindu culture. Villages are mostly inhabited by Gurungs, Ghales, Sunars, Damais, and others.
Interact with locals and get an insight into their culture and lifestyle. As you trek higher in altitude you will encounter Buddhist culture and Bon culture that precedes Buddhism. You will come across Mani walls, mud-built chortens, monasteries, colorful Buddhist prayer flags showing the presence of Buddhism. You will come across a large Buddhist monastery called Ribum Gompa in the village of Lho.
Exploring local culture intrigues you then explore Sama Gaon on your acclimatization day. Hike to observe thousands of Mani stones inscribed or painted with Buddhist texts. Visiting an old gompa called Pungyen Gompa is perfect to explore the local culture with an amazing view of the glaciers.
Your Manaslu trek begins from hills of Gorkha which is home to the Shah Rules of Nepal. Nepal was divided into several small kingdoms before its unification by King Prithivi Narayan Shah. The descendant of Shah Rulers reigned over Nepal for more than 200 years until the abolition of monarchy in 2008.
The term Gurkha came from the town of Gorkha which is synonyms to most formidable soldiers. Gurkha soldiers fought on behalf of Britain all over the world and have received many gallantry awards including several Victoria Crosses. Moreover, Gurkha troop is dominated by ethnic groups of Gurung, Magar, Rai, and Limbu.
While trekking in the off-the-beaten trail of Manaslu, you will reach villages inhabited by Bhotias akin to Tibetan Buddhist. Manaslu’s Nubri valley is one of the remote areas of Nepal and remains untouched by modernization. The way of life is not much different than it was in ancient times.
The locals of Nubri valley are mostly engaged in animal husbandry and agriculture. Agricultural produce includes potatoes, barley, maize, apples, and others.
You will find a unique culture and tradition in the mountain valley. People in Nubri valley wear traditional clothes and speak in their own language. Instead of “Namaste”, you will hear locals saying “Tashi Delek.” You will find the predominance of Tibetan Buddhism in this area.
Walk past beautiful chortens, circumambulate Mani walls in a clockwise direction and visit monasteries where monks and nuns reside.
You will be trekking in the foothills of the 8th highest mountain in the world, Manaslu 8163 meters high. The trek which is recently gaining popularity as off-the-beaten-path-trek will reward you with the stunning views of Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, and Buddha Himal among others. Take a thrilling walk past big boulders and rocky cliff which ultimately narrow downs to a valley with steep mountainsides.
Tread past terraced farmland and lush green forest with rhododendron, pine, conifer, and juniper trees. Watch one of the most beautiful sunsets over Manaslu, Himalchuli, and other neighboring mountains from the popular vantage point in Lho village.
The valley opens up from Sama Gaon and from here you can bask in the close-up views of Manaslu. Standing amidst the amphitheater of mountains with peaks like Nadi Chuli and Hiumchuli will be a memory to cherish for a lifetime. A pristine and blue Birendra Tal is one of the highlights of the trek which is filled by Manaslu glacier. Side excursion to Birendra Tal on acclimatization day in Sama Gaon will enrich your experience.
The theatrical views of Sringri Himal will entertain you before the stunning glaciers and ice fall greet you. Breathtaking view of colossal snow capped mountains from Samado leaves you spellbound. Crossing Larkya La Pass is undoubtedly challenging and difficulty will increase in the presence of snow. All the pain endured to reach here is worth the breathtaking scenery. Devour the well-deserved views of Chelo Himal, Annapurna II, and others.
Lonely Planet describes Larkya La Pass or Larke Pass as one of the most dramatic mountain passes. Wake up before dawn to prepare and start your ascend to challenging high mountain pass, Larkya La 5165 meters high. It is one of the longest passes in Nepal with moraines from Larkya Glaciers and steep trails adding difficulty. You might need crampons to walk on some portion of the trail covered with ice around the pass.
Walk steadily and keep pushing and motivating yourself with the stunning views yet to see beyond words. After crossing the challenging pass, you can savor the awesome views of converging glaciers. Also, Larke Pass overlooks the panoramic beauty of snow-capped mountains like Manaslu, Annapurna II, Lamjung Himal, and others.
The restricted area of Tsum Valley opened for trekking only in 2008 which was once an important trade link between Nepal and Tibet. ‘Tsum’ means vivid in Tibetan and lies in the lap of Boudha ranges, Ganesh Himal, and Sringi Himal. Along with striking geography, the Tsum Valley has a distinct culture. You will find people of Tibetan roots with their own art, culture, religion, and dialect.
Before entering Tsum Valley big boulders painted with mantras in Tibetan script will greet you. According to legends the famous Buddhist Yogi, Chyuchin Milarepa meditated in one of the caves in Tsum Valley. The cave where Milarepa meditated is regarded as sacred and is called Piren Phu (Pigeon cave). Further, you will come across ancient scripts written on ceilings and stones. Visit monasteries dating centuries back and one also features statues of Tara, Buddha, and Avalokiteshwara.
Your trek to Manaslu starts from Barpak of Gorkha which was the epicenter of the devastating earthquake that rocked Nepal in 2015. The hillside village was hit hard by the strong earthquake and its recurring aftershocks. Among 1200 houses only a few were left and hundreds of people lost their lives. Before the destruction of the earthquake, the village with a beautiful landscape was dotted with traditional thatched roof houses.
Life moves on but the earthquakes have instilled fear in survivors. People are coping and moving forward with passing time. The villagers are doing their best to rebuild their lives and your stay in the village will directly help in boosting the local economy.
Now, you have known about the Top 8 reasons to trek on the foothills of Manaslu. Let’s read the 8 interesting facts about the off-the-beaten trail of Nepal.