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Chapter 1: Manaslu Trek Routes and Maps

manaslu trek map

Image Credit: https://excitingnepal.com/manaslu-trek-map/

Getting to the Trail Head

The Manaslu circuit trek of Nepal lies southwest of Kathmandu. Your trek begins from Arughat bazaar, the border of Dhading and Gorkha district, and ends at Besisahar.

You have options to start this trek although the majority of trekkers choose Soti Khola as their beginning trekking point:

1. Kathmandu to Soti Khola

Some people take about 6 hours jeep drive or 8 hours public bus drive (80 miles) from Kathmandu to Soti Khola and trek from there.

2. Kathmandu to Dharapani

Some people start from Dharapani (Gateway to Annapurna circuit) in the opposite direction of Besisahar. 

Trekking in the Manaslu circuit offers you several thrilling trekking routes and mountain adventures. You will venture into the remote trekking site with a thrilling experience during this trekking.

The three popular trekking routes in the Manaslu Circuit region are:

Manaslu Circuit Trek

manaslu circuit trek

Image Credit: https://www.missionecotrek.com/manaslu-circuit-trek-11-days.html

Manaslu Circuit Trek Details

  • Distance: 180 km through-hike from Machha Khola to Dharapani
  • Days required: 18 days
  • Total incline: (with undulation) – 11,000 m
  • Total decline:(with undulation) – 9,800 m
  • The highest point on the trek: 5200m, which is just above the Larke Pass (Larkya La Pass).
  • Difficulty: This trek is much harder compared to Everest Base Camp trek. It is all walking and nothing technical.  This trek is 30% longer, much steeper, and less commercialized than the Everest Base Camp trek. Your longest day around Manaslu trek is 27km in distance with 1600m of incline. If you can handle the altitude of 5,200m and can walk each day for 6-10 hours, you will be fine on this trek. The acclimatization profile is very good as you have to reach the highest point of this trek, so it eases you into it.
  • Permits: Your tour operator will take care of these in each town. It’s impossible to hike independently. You must hike with a guide and there must be at least two in your group, as well as the guide. Hence, you can’t go for a solo Manaslu circuit trek.
  • Guide: A guide is required on this trek and the guide manages all of the logistics, distances, directions, and tea houses. The directions aren’t always very clear like on the Everest Base Camp trek and having the guide manage all of the logistics can be a great deal.
  • Accommodation: Guest Houses, popularly known as Tea Houses in Manaslu trek Nepal, are available along the way where you will sleep in a comfortable bed and have access to showers and restaurant facilities. It will be very comfortable accommodation and great after a long day of hiking. Most of the villages are Tibetan, which gives you a great insight into their unique culture.

This adventurous trek starts at Soti Khola village in Gorkha district after the 8 hours of bus drive from Kathmandu valley. During trail, you get through remote villages, scenery hills, lively farm fields, and valleys.

This experience rolls up as you move up along the Budhi Gandaki River and through the Manaslu Conservation Area.

During the Manaslu trek, you will be amazed by encountering the blends of Nepali Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. Many Chortans, Mani walls, and Stupas on the way give you a glimpse of ancient cultures preserved by ethnic groups.

Your journey gathers the panoramic mountain views of Manaslu, Himanchuli, and Ganesh Himal. It goes up to Larke la pass (5213m) the highest point of trekking region.

A Sample Itinerary of 18-day Manaslu Circuit Trek:

  • Day 1:  Arrival in Kathmandu (1,350m/4,429ft)    
  • Day 2:  Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation (1,350m/4,429ft)      
  • Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Sotikhola (710m/2,330ft)        
  • Day 4: Soti Khola – Maccha Khola (900m/2,953ft, 6-7 hrs)
  • Day 5: Maccha Khola -Jagat (1,410m/4,626ft, 6-7 hrs)
  • Day 6: Jagat – Deng (1,804m/5,919ft, 6-7 hrs)
  • Day 7: Deng – Namrung (2,630m/8,629ft, 6-7 hrs), popular place around Manaslu trek
  • Day 8: Namrung – Samagaon (3,530m/11,582ft, 6-7 hrs)
  • Day 9: Samagaon – Pungyen gompa – Samagaon (3,530m/11,582ft, 6-7 hrs)
  • Day 10: Samagaon – Samdo (3,860m/12,665ft, 4-5 hrs)
  • Day 11: Rest Day in Samdo (3,860m/12,665ft)
  • Day 12: Samdo – Dharamsala/Larkya B. C. (4,460m/14,633ft, 4-5 hrs)
  • Day 13: Dharamsala – Larkya la – Bimthang (5,160m/16,930ft, 8-9 hrs)
  • Day 14: Bimthang – Tilije (2,300m/7,546ft, 5-6 hrs)
  • Day 15: Tilije – Tal (1,700m/5,578ft, 5-6 hrs)
  • Day 16: Tal – Syange (1,080m/3,543ft, 6-7 hrs), the last point in Manaslu trekking Nepal
  • Day 17: Syange – Kathmandu (1,350m/4,429ft      8-9 hrs)
  • Day 18: Final departure

Manaslu Base Camp Trek

manaslu base camp trek

Image Credit: https://overlandtreknepal.com/tour/manaslu-base-camp-trek/

This scenic place is situated at 4850m and lies between Ganesh Himal and the Annapurna region. This adventurous trek begins from Arughat Bazaar or Sotikhola village.

Then it follows through the Budhi Gandaki River taking you to experience the unnoticed traditional Gurungs and Tibetans village culture. After passing the Larke La pass (5106m), you reach to the Manaslu Base Camp in the region.

In the completion of the trek here, you explore nature and culture. It offers scenic beauty, an adventurous trek, rich and rudimental rural culture, blends of Tibetan lifestyle, and an ancient Buddhist monastery.

You make your way through the beautiful Birendra Lake in Sama Gaun Village, then go uphill to Base Camp. The distance between Sama Gaun Village and Base Camp of Manaslu is about 6 hours. There are no lodges around this base camp, so you need to prepare for trekking basic things.

A sample Itinerary of Manaslu Base Camp Trek

  • Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
  • Day 2: Kathmandu valley sightseeing tour and preparation
  • Day 3: Kathmandu to Arughat (670m) to Soti Khola (710m): 8-9 hrs drive | 135km
  • Day 4: Soti Khola to Machha Khola (890m): 6-7 hrs | 14km
  • Day 5: Machha Khola to Dobhan (1,000m): 6-7 hrs | 11km
  • Day 6: Dobhan to Philim (1,590m): 6-7 hrs | 10km
  • Day 7: Philim to Lokpa (2,240m/7,350ft) to Chumling (2,360m): 6-7 hrs | 10km
  • Day 8: Deng to Namrung (2,660m): 6-7 hrs |12km
  • Day 9: Namrung to Lho (3,180m): 3-4hrs | 4km
  • Day 10: Lho to Sama Gaon (3,530m): 5-6 hrs | 8km
  • Day 11: Sama: Rest and exploration day: Birendra Tal / Pungyen Gompa / Manaslu Base Camp
  • Day 12: Sama to Samdo (3,860m): 3-4 hrs | 8km
  • Day 13: Samdo to Larkya Phedi/Dharmsala (4,460m): 3-5 hrs | 7km
  • Day 14: Dharmasala to Larkya La (5,160m) – Bimthang (3,720m): 7-9 hrs | 12km
  • Day 15: Bimthang to Gho (2,515m): 5-6 hrs | 12km
  • Day 16: Gho to Dharapani (1,920m): 3-4 hrs | 8km
  • Day 17: Dharapani to Besisahar (760m) to Kathmandu (1,300m): 7-8hrs | 190km
  • Day 18: Final departure

Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek

Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek

Image Credit: https://www.nepalfairtrekking.com/activities/manaslu-tsum-valley-trek/

Trekking the region in Manaslu Nepal gives you a lifetime experience. Such an adventurous trekking spot was opened in 2008, though trekking in the Manaslu region was already started in 1991.

After seven hours drive from Kathmandu to Arughat, your Tsum Valley trek with Manaslu circuit begins. The first half of the trek ascends the Budhi Gandaki valley through settlements of Tatopani, Jagat, and Philim. From Lokpa, the trek heads east towards Chhokang Paro.

You will ascend to the Budhi Gandaki Valley with great eye-catching scenery of hills, dense forests, terraced fields, and villages. Then you leave the main Manaslu trail and reach Tsum Valley.

In the region, you will see a historical monastery, Mu Gompa which is a holy site for the locals. Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek rewards the trekkers to discover ultimate nature and cultural heritage. They also have a field experience in the mountain lifestyle in Tsum Valley and Manaslu region.

This trek opens the door to exploring old Gompas of this region like Rachen Gompa, Mu Gompa, and Dhephu Doma Gompa. Tibetan origin locals and their unique dialect, religion, art, and culture mesmerize you a lot.

Tsum Valley grooms with an ancient practice of Buddhism like meditation in the caves as done by Buddhist saint Milarepa. After the expedition of the Manaslu Tsum Valley trek, you reach the main circuit trail of the Manaslu region and go across the most challenging trekking site of Larkya La pass when returning back.

A sample Itinerary of 24-day Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek:

  • Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu (1,300m/4,265ft)
  • Day 2: Kathmandu valley sightseeing and trek preparation
  • Day 3: Kathmandu(1,300m/4,265ft) – Arughat (600m/1,970ft) – Soti Khola (700m/2,300ft): 135km, 8-9 hrs drive.
  • Day 4: Soti Khola (700m/2,300ft), starting point of Manaslu circuit trek – Machha Khola (870m/2,854ft): 13km, 5-6 hrs
  • Day 5: Machha Khola(870m/2,854ft) – Dobhan (1,070m/3,510ft): 10km, 5-6hrs
  • Day 6: Dobhan (1070m/3,510ft)– Philim (1,570m/5,150ft): 13km, 7-8 hrs
  • Day 7: Philim (1,570m/5,150ft) – Lokpa (2,240m/7,350ft) – Chumling (2,886m/9,470ft):14km, 7-8hrs
  • Day 8: Chumling (2,886m/9,470ft)– Chhekampar (3,030m/9,940ft): 10km, 5-6 hrs
  • Day 9: Chhekampar (3,030m/9,940ft) – Nile (3,360m/11,020ft): 9km, 5-6hrs
  • Day 10: Exploration day around Manaslu trek: Nile (3,360m/11,020ft) – Mu Gompa       (3,700m/12,140ft) – Chhekampar (3,030m/9,940ft): 14km, 8-9hrs
  • Day 11: Chhekampar (3,030m/9,940ft) – Gumba Lungdang (3,200m/10,500ft):   11km, 6-7hrs
  • Day 12: Gumba Lungdang (3,200m/10,500ft) – Ripchet (2,470m/8,100ft) – Lokpa    (2,240m/7,350ft): 13km, 7-8 hrs
  • Day 13: Lokpa (2,240m/7,350ft) – ‘New Bridge’ (1,675m/5,500ft) – Bihi Phedi     (1,990m/6,530ft): 12km, 7-8hrs
  • Day 14: Bihi Phedi (1,990m/6,530ft) – Namrung (2,630m/8,630ft), a significant    place: 12km, 6-7hrs
  • Day 15: Namrung (2,630m/8,630ft) – Lho (3,180m/10,430ft): 7km, 4-5hrs
  • Day 16: Lho (3,180m/10,432ft) – Sama Gaon (3,520m/11,550ft): 9km, 5-6 hrs
  • Day 17: Sama: Rest and exploration day of Manaslu Nepal trek: Birendra Tal / Pungyen Gompa / Manaslu Base Cam
  • Day 18: Sama (3,520m/11,550ft) – Samdo (3,860m/12,663ft): 8km, 4-5hrs
  • Day 19: Samdo(3,860m/12,663ft) – Larkya Phedi/Dharamsala (4,460m/14,630ft):   7km, 4-5hrs
  • Day 20: Dharamsala (4,460m/14,630ft) – Larkya La (5,160m/16,928ft) – Bimthang (3,590m/11,777ft): 13km, 8-9 hrs
  • Day 21: Bimthang (3,590m/11,777ft) – Gho (2,515m/8,250ft): 13km, 6-7 hrs
  • Day 22: Gho (2,515m/78,250ft) – Dharapani (1,920m/6,300ft): 8km, 3-4 hrs, end point of Manaslu circuit
  • Day 23: Dharapani (1,920m/6,300ft)- Besi Sahar (760m/2,495ft) – Kathmandu (1,300m/4,265ft): 190km 7-8hrs drive
  • Day 24: Final departure

FAQs

How long is the Manaslu trek?

Ans: Real trekking begins from Soti Khola. It measures 177 km (110 miles) in distance, however, it differs as there are different starting and ending points of the trek.

Some trekking companies offer you to begin your trek from Arughat Bazaar whereas others like to begin from Soti Khola. You can cover this trek between 13 to 17 days.

Your trekking itinerary and the side trip hugely determine the distance you cover during the trek. For example, a side trip to Tsum Valley trekking region requires one week more.

How can I go to Manaslu?

Ans: Trekking in Manaslu Nepal is a 126 km (80 miles) drive away from Kathmandu valley. You need to take 6 hours jeep drive or 8 hours public bus from Kathmandu to Soti Khola. If you plan to trek in September, road conditions can be challenging, so you need one extra day to start your trek at Arughat bazaar.

For this trek, you require a trekking permit to access the route. Before taking this adventurous remote trek, you are suggested to do online research regarding the local trekking companies. Look for the authentic companies which deliver you all necessities to complete this Manaslu circuit trek.

Where is Manaslu base camp?

Ans: Manaslu Base Camp is situated at the altitude of 4800m in the western central part of Nepal, Mansiri Himal. You need a special trekking permit to explore the region as there are some restricted areas. There you can watch the glory of Mt. Manaslu (8153 m).

How long is the Manaslu circuit trek?

It is 177 km (110 miles) in distance, however, it differs as there are different starting and ending points of the trek. Some trekking companies offer you to begin your trek from Arughat Bazaar whereas others like to begin from Soti Khola.

You can cover this trek between 13 to 17 days. Your trekking itinerary and the side trip hugely determine the distance you cover during the trek. For example, a side trip to Tsum Valley Manaslu trek requires one week more.

How long is the Tsum valley trek?

Ans: Tsum Valley trek begins from Macha Khola after the 8 hours of bus drive from Kathmandu to Macha Khola. This trek can be combined with the whole trek in Manaslu where it starts at Macha Khola and ends at Besisahar.

Tsum Valley trek lies in the east of Manaslu bordering Tibet, in the northern Gorkha, Nepal where you can watch the majestic backdrop of the Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal. This serene Himalayan valley has a long history of Buddhism where Buddhist saint Milarepa is believed to be used to meditate in the caves of these mountains.

The high point of the trek is 4 000m above the largest of the monasteries in the valley, Mu Gompa. You will be welcomed by the unique culture and the most hospitable people where you can have lodges or homestays as your accommodation with local foods in the region.

Manaslu Trek Map

The trekking site of Manaslu situates in an unexplored part of the Gorkha district of Nepal bordering Tibet. This trek enriches your life experience of scenic natural flora and fauna. It will be a fantastic opportunity to closely view the snow-capped mountains and ethnic communities.

Trekking route in this region ranges the altitude of 700m to as high as 5,113m.  This Manaslu circuit trek map mentioned below visually locates the journey trail:

The first step of your Manaslu trek to Nepal is your arrival in Kathmandu.  You then drive to Arughat for 8-9 hours from the valley. You shall be trekking through the terraced fields full of growing paddies, and villages inhabited by Gurungs. Then you will reach Soti Khola through the gorge of the Budhi Gandaki River.

The above map shows that you make several ascends and descends on the rock trail. Then you arrive at the bank of the Budhi Gandaki River. A few further ups and downs take you to the Labu Besi, the village inhabited by Gurung communities.

 Manaslu circuit trail’s gradual uphill to Jagat where you shall reach after leaving the Doban. For the first hour, you trek to the river bank of Ghata Khola passing Philim, then you reach at Ngyak.

Walking through the dense forest area up to Dang Village, you shall cross the Budhi Gandaki River to reach Rana Village. Witnessing Mt. Manaslu, you shall descend down to Ghap.

With a slow and continuous walk, you shall uphill into the areas offering you breathtaking mountain views. Passing beside the Mani Walls, crossing the Budhi Gandaki River, you shall arrive at Lho.

Before making it through the Thusang Khola, you shall descend downhill. Samagaon boasts the location of several Mani Walls and a monastery around the Manaslu trek. As you explore this village, you shall find the culture here is highly influenced by the Tibetan culture.

Witnessing the Larkya La Glacier, you shall make it to the Spartan Larkya Rest House, i.e., the Dharmashala. After spending a day at Dharmashala for acclimatization, you shall head off to Bhimtang.

On the way, you have to cross the Larkya La Pass (5,113m). This is the highest point you shall be making in the Manaslu circuit trek, and one of the most memorable moments. As you trek on, you come to Beshisahar via Tilije, Tal, and Jagat.

End point of your trek here is Besisahar which makes a circle to Mount Manaslu. Then you catch a bus to Kathmandu from Besisahar.

If you are looking for information regarding the best time to trek in Manaslu read this Best Manaslu Trek Time chapter. If you are wondering how to choose the best trek operator, find detailed information from this How to Choose the best Manaslu Trek Operator chapter.

The cost chapter Cost of Manaslu Trek explains all types of costs and fees of Manaslu trek. If you need information regarding the visa and permit for the Manaslu trek read Visa and Permit for Manaslu Trek chapter. The packing list chapter explains the main items to Packing for Manaslu trekking.  Learn in detail about the food and lodging during trekking Manaslu in the Accommodation and Food chapter.

If you want information about Manaslu trek ground transportation read the chapter Ground Transportation during. In other chapters of this Manaslu Trekking guide, we have explained in detail of  Internet and Telephone Facility in the Manaslu region, how and where to find the Trek Guides and Porters and how much dangerous and safe is Manaslu Trek.

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