Manaslu circuit trek along with Lake Pass is one of the moderate treks on an off-beaten path that is located in the Manaslu region. The mountain is situated around 50 miles from the capital city of Kathmandu in the Gorkha district. Manaslu Himal, the eighth tallest mountain peak in the world, is part of the Mansiri Himalayan sub-range.
The trek takes you on an incredible journey through the adventurous Himalayan terrains of Nepal. There you can also explore the Himalayan beauty of Gorkha, its hidden nature, and its culture. From the trails, you will able to witness Mt. Manaslu (8163m), Bimthang (3700m), Larke pass (5160m), flowing rivers and rivulets, and the White Mountains as hanging ice in the sky.
The beautiful Buddhist landmarks and local area settlements will enchant travelers during this trek. Not only that there are majestic mountains peaks, frozen lakes, glaciers, and high mountain passes that will make this exciting trek an adventure of a lifetime. To reach such a holy place there are several routes that we have mentioned below.
Manaslu circuit via Soti Khola
The classic trek starts from the bumpy town of Sotikhola, a few kilometers far from Arughat. It takes almost 7-8 hours to drive from Kathmandu. Following Sotikhola you will travel uphill along the powerful waterway- the Budigandaki and reach Machhakhola. The trail continues up to the spectacular snow-capped vegetation and the wonderful scene of a village named Jagat. Jagat is highly influenced by Buddhism affected Gurung culture. From Jagat, you will continue your trails to Deng which is at an elevation of 1860m. Deng is a gorgeous settlement in the area and offers incredible views of snow-capped mountains and unique landscapes.
After that, we will travel to another scenic settlement known as Namrung which is at an elevation of 2630m. Talking about Namrung is a cultural settlement with many monasteries and chortens in the area. After exploring and staying for the day, you will trek to Lho (3180m), another beautiful settlement in the region. Furthermore, your journey will take you ahead to the beautiful other stone villages of Samagaon. While passing through these villages you will able to witness the essence of the Gurung culture and smiling Gurung people. Not only that while passing through these villages you will also witness monasteries, waterfalls, temples, sparkling lakes, caves, and jaw-dropping natural scenery.
Following beautiful Samagaon you will be ready for the Larkya pass which is at an elevation of 16,952 feet. The pass is usually snow-covered and icy. The pass also connects Budhi Gandaki valley and Marshyangdi valley. Micro crampons are often used on the descent. Trekking to the pass requires a 3 am start to make the highest point before the winds come, usually around mid-morning. From the pass, you will able to see the magnificent view of Himlung, Mt. Annapurna II (7,937m), Kang Garu, Cheo Himal, Gyaji Kung, etc. After climbing the pass you can return to Samagaon, Lho, Namrung, and Soti Khola respectively. The trail passes through the Budhi Gandaki River to arrive at Bimtang and then trek to Tilije (2300m). Finally, you will hike to Dharapani from Bhimtang. Dharapani is an additional beautiful settlement where you can rest and relax as our trek comes to an end. Dharapani is the Annapurna circuit trek starting point. From there, you will then drive to Besisahar (760m), a small-town market with many buses that take you to various parts of the country. The beautiful places have their own importance and the people of that region add more flavor to the journey. Many people also claimed that they came to Nepal for the mountains but they return for the people one can easily assume that the people, mountains, and the place are something that you will never meet in any part of the world.
You will take a scenic drive back to Kathmandu from Besisahar, observing green hills, serene waterfalls, and rivers across the region. After arriving in Kathmandu, you can explore the relaxing atmosphere and celebrate the successful completion of your journey.
Alternate routes of the Manaslu circuit
These 16 days Manaslu circuit is an alternate route for those who want to avoid the popular Soti Khola route. The starting point of this route is Baluwa. To reach Baluwa one can take a public bus and it takes around 9-10 hours. Following Baluwa, we will travel to Barpak, Laprak, and Singla respectively. Like other villages of Nepal, these villages has also their own culture, and own language. After that, we will continue our journey until we reach the Tatopani/hot spring. Many Nepali people believe that taking bath there will wash away your bone injury of the body. Thus, you can take a bath there.
Following that, you will reach Philim, Ghap, and Lho respectively after trekking for around 18 hours. From Lho you will head out to another scenic village named Sama gaon, the teahouses of that village are quite famous. From Sama gaon, you will travel towards a beautiful village name Samdo. And then you will be ready for the cold and challenging Larkya pass, as you climbed successfully the pass and you will have to descend the pass to reach Bhimtang (3590m). Similarly, you will head towards the Tilje (2300m) – 6 to 7 hours stay overnight at Teahouse. From there you will trek at Dharapani which takes around 1 ½ to 2 hours and then you can drive back to Kathmandu where you started your journey.
Tsum Valley from Manaslu
This route is especially for those who want to continue their journey from Manaslu to another beautiful hidden valley named Tsum. To complete this whole trek, it takes around 18 days. Similar to other routes the starting point of the Manaslu circuit is Soti Khola which is near Arughat Bazaar. Then we will drive to Machhakhola and after that, we will trek around 6-7 hours to Doban. And the trails continue until you reach Philim, Chumling, Chhekampar, and Chhule-Nile respectively.
Besides that, you will able to visit Milarepa Piren Phu Cave, which has its values and importance. After that, you will trek towards Chhule-Nile to Mu Gompa and then visit Dhephyudonma Gompa and Mu Gompa. Moreover, you will be welcome by beautiful Dumje and Rimchet. Following that you will walk towards Dumje, Pewa, and Ghap.
Furthermore, the trails take you to Lho and Sama Gaon respectively. Next, we proceed onward to the impressive Larkya La Pass that joins Budhi Gandaki valley and Marshyangdi valley. Presently the little settlements of Bimtang, Tilije, and Thonje villages will keep us occupied for an upcoming couple of days. Furthermore, from Dharapani we pursue the trail of the Annapurna conservation area and consider it daily at Besisahar, then to Kathmandu.
Overall, in this whole trek, you will walk on the bank of a deep and long river George named Budi Gandaki. It is a sub-tropical and alpine forest with the tallest pine, cedar birch, blooming rhododendron, and juniper. The journey starts with the Raising landscape from a lower elevation to the high, cold, and challenging route of Larkya La at 5152m (17000ft), and from the top of the pass, you will be blessed with so many mountains. A great glacial cirque bursts into view. An astounding wall shaped by Nemjung, Gyaji Kang, Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, and Kang Guru casts down a stream of glaciers while Annapurna II rises ahead. These sights alone make the trek meaningful.