One of the budding names among the trekking destinations in Nepal, the Manaslu Circuit trek is a place worthy of travel. Characterized by the mosaic of landscapes and scenery, this trek is a quieter take on the Himalayan adventures.
For the intrepid trekkers, Manaslu Circuit trek is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Himalayas that takes you to the untamed corners of the country. With the promise of a unique and memorable experience, this trek takes you on a less-traveled journey with stunning landscapes.
Although, a popular question in the trekkers crowd is why trek the Manaslu Circuit? Therefore, in this blog we highlight the outstanding features of this trekking route that make it a compelling trekking destination.
Unique Features of the Manaslu Circuit
One of the factors that sets the Manaslu circuit apart from other trekking routes is that the Manaslu region is an area restricted by the Government of Nepal. As a result of this, trekkers are not allowed to trek in the region without the Restricted Area Permit (RAP).
What might sound like bureaucracy is in fact a commitment to preserve the beauty, authenticity, and the richness of the Manaslu region. Trekkers embarking on this trek get to experience mother nature in all her might as responsible trekking is regulated in this region.
Along with preserving the environment, the RAP provides additional security benefits to the trekkers as well, making it a win win for the trekkers as well as the trail.
Breathtaking Panorama of Manaslu
A perfect blend of landscapes, this aesthetically pleasing journey unfolds an ever-changing backdrop of landscapes amidst you. You name it- you see it. It features several landscapes like sub-tropical, high-altitude deserts, terraced fields, etc.
From lush forests of rhododendron to blooming alpine flowers, from rugged terrains to winding trails, from free-flowing river to the towering mountains, this trek will paint your canvas with the hues of every color.
The breathtaking views of Mt. Manaslu along with the intimate experience of surrounding peaks- Himlung, Cheo, Shringi Himal, Naike Peak, Ganesh Himal, Annapurna II, and many more justifies all the challenges you come across during this awe-inspiring journey.
Larke Pass: The Defining Moment
Fueling the adventurer’s spirit, the trek provides a high-altitude challenge to the trekkers in the form of the Larke Pass at 5,160 m (about 16,929 ft). Going through steep ascents and descents, the journey to the exhilarating pass stands out as the defining moment of the trek.
Meeting these challenges with equal rewards, phenomenal views stretching across the Himalayan belt unfold amidst the trekkers as they conquer the pass etching the trek into their memories for a lifetime.
Another factor that stands out in this trek is that you need not retrace your steps along the same route once you have conquered the pass unlike other treks.
During the Manaslu Circuit trek, the trekkers continue the journey ahead to a completely different route taking them to a part of the Annapurna Conservational Area. Therefore, this trek gives you a wider exposure amidst the Himalayas.
Along with being a physical journey, the trek is a haven for authentic culture and traditional charm. Completely untouched by modernization, the Manaslu Circuit trail is dotted by monasteries, each radiating spirituality and positivity.
Lho Ribang Gompa and Pungyen Gompa are the monasteries that stand out and provide you with an experience full of tranquility. However, the presence of other small monasteries, prayer flags, and mani walls gives you a cultural experience of its own.
The diverse trek provides you exposure to different cultures, starting from Brahmin culture at Machha Khola. As you make your way deeper into the trek, Gurung culture welcomes you up to Deng. Beyond Deng, you will encounter Tibetan and Lama culture.
Be prepared to take a cursory glance at the cultural insights of some of the cultures out of the medley that Nepal features. Each step of yours along the trek is a cultural revelation as you get a chance to indulge with the locals and experience their warm hospitality and traditional practices.
Treat your taste buds to the local cuisine full of cultural and staple food items like potato, buckwheat, nettle soup, apple, carrots, and other vegetables. Experience tranquility in its purest form as you connect with the spiritual essence of the Himalayas.
Wildlife and Biodiversity
Embarking on the Manaslu Circuit is going to be a flattering experience for you in terms of flora and fauna as you will come across uncountable varieties of biodiversity throughout the distance of the Manaslu trek.
Harboring a mosaic of habitats, the Manaslu Conservational Area is home to 33 species of mammals, 3 species of reptiles, 11 species of butterflies, and 110 species of birds. In the area spanning over 1663 kms, the trek covers 177 km distance taking you through the conservational area.
Featuring over six climactic zones ranging from sub-tropical to Nival, the area nurtures approximately 2000 species of plants, 11 types of forests, and over 50 species of useful plants.
Be prepared to encounter Himalayan marmots, langurs, blue sheep, and an array of other fauna as you become the witness to the local conservation efforts. You are highly advised to follow the leave no trace policy and adhere to responsible trekking practices while in this fragile ecosystem.
Authentic and Raw Exposure
Completely untouched by the rush of tourism industry as well as modernization, the Manaslu Circuit trek provides you with an authentic and raw experience as compared to the other popular trekking routes.
While in other treks in the Himalayas, the abundance or rather crowd of hotels make up a village, this is one of the only routes where teahouses exist inside of the villages preserving the true essence of trekking.
Without being involved in the hospitality business, the people here live their regular lives which allows you to witness the rural village life with complete rawness. Carrying a smile on their faces, the friendly people will provide you with a unique take on life in the Himalayas.
Less Crowded Trails
Featuring limited footfall, the Manaslu Circuit trek gives you a quiet and intimate experience standing out from some other trekking routes which have become like highways.
During this trek, you will face more of nature than that of the back of someone’s rucksack, unlike other bustling thoroughfares. Although the trek is gaining popularity now, the difficulty of the trek and the necessity of a restricted area permit makes it less crowded.
Due to this, you get to experience an intimate perspective of nature along with a much more intimate teahouse experience. The personal connection that you form with the local hosts during the warm accommodation at the teahouses becomes an integral part of your journey.
Therefore, if you are seeking serenity away from the hustle and bustle of the frequented routes, this trek is the perfect choice for you.
Varied Terrain and Side Trips
An odyssey featuring numerous stunning landscapes, the Manaslu Circuit takes you on a journey full of variety of terrains along the six climatic zones that it features. You will start your trek while being surrounded by big rocks, which will eventually be replaced by more flat and deserted geography.
You will experience everything from rivers, lowland villages, suspension bridges, verdant forests, alpine meadows, glacial lakes, to hills, towering mountains, rugged trails, terraced villages, as well as desert-like terrains.
A playground for adventure seekers, the experience along the steep ascents and descents along the cantilever bridge will always keep you on your toes as you aspire to conquer the Larke Pass.
Adding a different dimension to your journey, your side trip to Manaslu Base Camp takes you closer to the foot of the eighth highest peak and gives you a more intimate perspective.
Additionally, the adventure doesn’t end with the main trail as your acclimatization trips to Birendra Lake gives you one more adventure. If you are seeking more, you can always extend your trip to Tsum valley and get an experience as diverse as the Himalayas.
A Journey Along Varied Temperatures
Featuring variety in every aspect, the Manaslu Circuit trek allows you to experience different kinds of temperatures in the same trek.
Starting from warm temperatures at lower elevation like Machha Khola, the trek possibly unfolds temperatures going below 0 degrees as you reach Samagaon and beyond.
A journey full of possibilities, chances are you might encounter anything from heavy rain, snowfall, as well as extremely warm rays of the sun.
Depending on the time of your trek, you will come across warm, cold, and extremely cold temperatures, all during your 177 km journey.
For trekkers looking for a tandem of cultural richness, natural splendor, along with a tranquil experience, the Manaslu Circuit trek is an adventure worth experiencing. Despite its challenges, tackling these difficulties is what introduces you to the true essence of the Himalayan adventures.
The unique blend of remote and unspoiled trails along with the warm hospitality and rich cultures is what makes this trek irresistible. With Mount Manaslu presiding over the journey, you will experience unique vista on each turn that you take.
We have listed our reasons why you should embark on this adventurous trek. It is time that you embrace the thrill of the journey and find out your own reasons why this trek is an unmissable adventure.
Pack your bags, prepare for the challenges, choose a sustainable tour operator and set about!