Manaslu Circuit trek is often regarded as one of the best treks in Nepal and is now a great alternative to the Annapurna circuit trek. Less than two percent of trekkers go to Manaslu and because of this Manaslu trek is remote and physically demanding, yet at the same time, it is also culturally enriching and uplifting.
Manaslu trekking trail takes you from the steam-filled lowlands with their terraces of rice and millet, through the grand gorges of the Budi Gandaki with its turquoise waters and amazing waterfalls. You will also come across cultural diversities and natural scenery with high altitude dreamy glacier lakes.
Larkya La Pass (5160m)
Up north, is the snowbound Larkya La Pass next to the Tibetan border. At an altitude of 5167 meters, the mostly snow covered and icy Larkya La Pass is also widely believed to be one of the most dramatic passes crossing the Himalayas. As you make you ascent, suddenly a great glacial cirque bursts into view. A stupendous wall created by Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Gyaji Kang and Kang Guru, casts down a stream of glaciers, while Annapurna II rises ahead. In every sense, the 5,200m pass is the high point of the Manaslu circuit.
Looking back the way you have come gives a clear view. But by far the most amazing view comes after you have left the pass and walk along a corridor to the west because this is where you will encounter Mani Walls, Prayer Wheels, monasteries, Chortens and other Buddhist monuments.
The isolated villages that you encounter upon in this trail serve as a perfect definition of Nirvana. The inhabitants in the highlands of this trek are influenced by Tibetan culture. You will encounter few trekkers because of the trail’s remoteness and moderate fitness required to hike it. Thus some prior trekking experiences will be beneficial to the travelers. However, those who don’t have any such experiences can try exercising few weeks prior to the trekking.
Manaslu circuit trek is a government regulated because it’s a restricted area as well. You must take permission prior to organizing treks for Manaslu region. And this is part of the appeal of Manaslu, as this trail receives far less travellers than your usual Everest Base camp trek or the very famous Annapurna Base Camp trail.
Even though the trail is relatively wild and remote compared to other treks, these regions are well equipped and have moderately fair trekking facilities. There are numerous tea houses at every stage of your journey, so you don’t have to bring tent or camping materials.
And if you are worried about the scenery, fear not as Manaslu Trekking provides you all Nepal has to offer. You’ll trek from the subtropical jungle at lower elevations, through the Himalayan foothills to the high, cold and challenging crossing of the Larkya La above 5,100 out of the major Nepalese treks. Nevertheless, it is still an adventurous 126 km (80 miles) drive from Kathmandu to Soti
Manaslu Circuit Trek is definitely a first choice for those who are looking to avoid the beaten path and prefer to become truly one with nature.