Important Information on Manaslu Circuit Trek
Three are several popular treks in Nepal. Manaslu Circuit Trek is one of them. Manaslu Circuit Trek lies to the north of Kathmandu, between the popular trekking regions of Annapurna and Langtang.The region is rich in picturesquescenes and flora and fauna. It houses various ethnic groups.
If you too are planning to witnessthe beautifulwaterfalls, pristine lakes, green valleys, White Mountains and the ever-changing landscape of Manaslu Circuit Trek,here are some information on it.
Best time to do Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu Circuit sees highest number of trekkers in October and March.
Peak seasonsareSpring (September to November) and Autumn(March to May). The clear sky during these months offers clear view of mountains. The temperature is just right too.
If you want to see lesser tourists, you could go during May or November. However, late May air can be a little hazy and that of November can be chilly.
Larkya La Pass or the Dharmashala (the only lodge) at LakyePhede may not have opened until mid March. Both of these and few villages close down on winter.
Permits required for Manaslu Circuit Trek
National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) has labeled Manaslu region as ‘restricted’. Therefore, you need a Restricted Area Permit to enter this region. It costs $70 and lasts for one week. Extra days cost $10 per day. The price may go down in the off season.
Most of the trail falls under Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP). So you need a MCAP permit that costs Nrs.2000 to enter.
When you cross Dharapani, youenter area under Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and are required to purchase ACAP permit. It costs Nrs.2000.
You need passport sizephotos for these permits.
Things to Pack
Other than the usual trekking gear, pack a strong sunscreen, shades, trekking poles, hand sanitizer, toilet papers, water purifier and a torch light. Head touch light means free hands.
From 2010, teahouse trekking Manaslu became possible. Therefore, camping gears like tents are unnecessary. Do bring a light sleeping bag though. It can help you keep warm.
Full trek is about 20-22 days long.You could opt for jeep to cut a day or two. It is somewhat flexible.
Trek route/ itinerary
The itinerary given below is the general path taken.
Day1:Arughat to SotiKhola or Arughatto Lapubesi.It takes around 5 to 5.5 hours. Lapubesi is a little ways ahead of SotiKhola.
Day 2:SotiKhola to MachhaKhola or Lapubesi to Tatopani. This too takes 5 to 5.5 hours. You could save a day by taking a jeep to SotiKhola and trekking to MachhaKhola on the first day.
Day 3:MachhaKhola/ Tatopani to Jagat. It is a 5-6hrs trek, depending on your last stop. Jagat is the check in point to Manaslu region.
Day 4:Jagat to Deng (approximately 6hrs)
Day 5: Deng to Namrung (approximately 6hrs)
Day 6: Namrung to Lho (about 4hrs)
Day 7: Lho to Samagaon (about 2hrs)
Day 8: Acclimatization day in Samagaon.
Day 9: Samagaon to Samdo (around 4hrs)
Day 10:Samdo to LarkeyPhedi (stay at Dharmasala)
Day 11:Cross Lakya La Pass and descent to Bimtang (approximately 8hrs)
Day 12: Bimtang to Tilje (around 6hrs)
Day 13:Tilje to Jagat (around 6hrs) This Jagat is a different place and not the Jagat of Day 3.
Day 14:To Besisahar and then to Kathmandu on a bus, micro or a private vehicle
Rules and Regulation
- Only a group of at least two trekkers are allowed in the Manaslu region.
- It is compulsory to be accompanied by a licensed guide. You could hire a porter who can double as a guide. S/he must be registeredin some registered trekking agency.
- Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS) card is not required. Even if you wish to continue to Annapurna region, TIMS card is not necessary as long as you have the Restricted Area Permit.
Food, Water and Accommodation
You are expected to eat at your lodge. The food and lodging together can cost from Nrs.1000 at lower altitude to 2000 at higher altitude.
Dal Bhaat is the staple food. It is also the cheapest. At higher altitude, out of rice growing region, potato and Tsampaare the basics. There are other options as well. These arecomparatively very expensive though.
You can get boiled water at lodges. If you do not trust this, add water purifiers to double purify it.
A guide is compulsory. They take $15 or more per day. This includes their food. You do not need to pay for it.
If you are taking a porter, they take $10 or more per day.
Long journey buses, like bus to Gorkha or Arughat from Kathmandu, cost something around Nrs.500.
You could divide the cost of a guide and porter between you and your trekking partner.
Manaslu Circuit Trek itself is no less popular.However, being a restricted area, the required permits and restrictions are keeping it from being Annapurna or Everest. This may not be a bad thing.