Introduction: Manaslu Circuit with Larke La Pass
The Manaslu Circuit with Larke La pass is a mesmerizing journey through the world’s eighth-highest peak, Manaslu. Manaslu, which means “The spirit mountain” in Sanskrit, is a pristine mountain peak. It grabs the attention of fellow visitors due to its commanding stature and challenging terrain. The Manaslu Circuit with Larke Pass is a 15-day trip offered by Holiday Planner Nepal takes visitors to the Manaslu region, situated in the western part of Nepal within the lap of the Himalayan region. As trekkers leave the bustling city of Kathmandu, the trek welcomes high-altitude terrains, rugged trails, and a remote atmosphere. Manaslu Circuit trek enables trekkers to pass through charming villages, lush alpine, and rhododendron forests.
Manaslu Circuit Trekking is a tough yet adventurous journey. It offers an opportunity to stay close to gigantic mountain peaks like Manaslu, the world’s eighth-highest peak. Other surrounding peaks in the Manaslu region are Baudha Himal (6,672 m / 21,889 ft), Ganesh Himal (7,422 m/24,350 ft), Annapurna II (7,937 m / 26,040 ft), Kang Guru (6,981 m /22,904 ft), Larkya Peak (6416 m / 21,050 ft), Himlung Himal (7,126 m / 23,379 ft), and many more.
Similarly, the Manaslu region and Larke Pass are known to be under the Manaslu Conservation Area. The conservation area protects various flora and fauna, grey wolves, Himalayan gorals, Black-lipped pikas, Woolly hares, and Asian black bears. Many endangered animals, like snow leopards and red pandas, are also conserved here.
On the other hand, visitors can encounter protected birds known as the Impeyan Pheasant, Crimson Horned Pheasant, and other species. The Manaslu Conservation Area is also a widely favored bird and butterfly-watching destination.
Another significant trip highlight is the Larke La pass (5,106 m/16,752 feet), one of the world’s longest passes in the Manaslu region. It is considered a challenging pass; however, many spectacular features can be seen from the top of the Larke Pass, with views of the Manaslu range filled with snow-capped mountains. Trekkers can also see the Annapurna range in the south, so the Larke la pass promises a transition from the Manaslu region to the Annapurna region.
How does Manaslu circuit with Larke pass start and end?
Manaslu circuit with Larke pass Trekking route starts from the bustling city of Kathmandu and moves towards Maccha Khola through a scenic drive. Machha Khola is a small settlement where the roads are normal but bumpy in some sections. Visitors can pass through waterfalls and drive along the Budi Gandaki River. Various prominent villages like Khursanibari and Labu Besi can also aid the experience.
After Maccha Khola, the trek moves towards Jagat, a checking point in the journey. All the documents and permits are thoroughly checked before entering the Manaslu conservation area. After Jagat, the prominent destination in the Manaslu circuit with the Larke Pass Itinerary is Dyang. Dyang is also considered a windy region valley as wind velocity is higher. After Dyang, the trek moves towards Ghap. In this section, visitors will cross a suspension bridge to see Mani walls and prayer flags, which gives an idea of Buddhist settlements.
After exploring Ghap, the journey continues to Lho-Gaon. Lho is a famous destination where potato cultivation and maize fields can be seen. The first view of Manaslu is seen from here. Additionally, visitors can visit Lho Monastery to get insights into the Buddhist culture of the region. Afterward, we moved towards Samagoan, a comparatively bigger village than Lho-Gaon.
Samagaon is famous for its monastery and Birendra Lake. This place is also the gateway to Manaslu Base Camp. Visitors here are welcomed by dance and cultural events. Similarly, after Samagaon moves towards Samdo, the roads are mostly flat and comfortable. The villagers also go for Yarshagumba, which is noted as the last village before crossing Larke Pass.
After Samdo, the next destination is Dharmashala, where the only possible accommodation is a tent. This place is a good spot for photography. It is marked by super cold weather. After camping in Dharmasala, we cross the Larke la. The path is steep, and trekkers must walk carefully on the snow trails. It is the most challenging section of the whole journey. Upon reaching the top, the views are mesmerizing, like standing in the middle of base camp.
As the Larke pass is crossed, move downhill towards Bhimthang to get a good view of the North of Manaslu, Ponkar Himal, Annapurna III, and Ponkar Lake. This is a warm and cozy place to relax and sleep. After Bhimthang, head downward towards Gho. The trail is decent, with a walk into the rhododendron forest and along the Marshyangdi River. Trekkers can see the last view of Manaslu from here.
After the Gho trek, visitors move towards the Dharapani village. Dharapani is an ending point of the Manaslu Conservation Area and the way to the Annapurna circuit. Visitors can also visit the monastery here as the exploration of Dharapani drives back towards Kathmandu via Besisahar Lamjung. This marks the end of the 15-day Manaslu Circuit Larke La Pass Trekking.
What is the best time or season for Manaslu circuit and Larke Pass?
Nepal mainly faces four seasons in a year: Spring, Autumn, Summer, and Winter. During these seasons, in spring and autumn, trekkers can have the best trekking experience of the Manaslu circuit.
Spring, from March to May, is one of the best seasons to embark on the Manaslu short-circuit trek. During spring, the weather is usually pleasant, and clear skies provide beautiful views of the mountains. The daytime temperatures are pleasant, while the nights are cool and dry. The trails are also dry, making it more accessible to walk. The weather favors a comfortable walk, making it an ideal condition for trekking.
Similarly, Autumn lasts from September to November in Nepal. This is another recommended season for the Manaslu circuit with the Larke pass map. The sky is colorful, and the views are breathtaking. The trails are somewhat busy due to a large number of trekkers. This means the season has the highest number of trekkers going on the trip. Morning temperatures are good, although the days are often comfortable and suitable for trekking.
During the summer/ monsoon, trekking in the region is not recommended. The paths are slippery, which causes difficulty in moving up the steep trails. Similarly, the sky is cloudy, obstructing the mountain views and landscapes, which should be the trip's main highlight.
In winter, trekking in the Manaslu Area is not suitable. The region becomes extremely cold, causing difficulty. There are also fewer settlements in high altitudes as they descend due to extreme weather. This season is only recommended for hardcore trekkers who want to experience an adrenaline rush. Trekking in the Winter season can be made possible with Holiday Tours Nepal, but prior preparation and logistics need to be handled.
How to prepare for Larke Pass and Manaslu Circuit?
Manaslu circuit and Larke pass trekking are challenging treks. It is considered an intermediate trek for individuals with prior trekking experience. However, it can be difficult for those who do not have any prior trekking experience. Therefore, proper preparation and planning must be done to complete this trek efficiently.
Manaslu trek requires a good fitness level. So, to complete this trek, one must have mental and physical endurance. Holiday planner Nepal suggests fellow trekkers build their fitness level by engaging in cardiovascular exercises to build endurance. This must be done at least one month before the trek. Activities like running, jogging, walking for at least 4-5 hours, cycling, and swimming can help build endurance. Other exercises to build leg muscles, like squats, lunges, and calf raises, can also help with trekking quickly.
Similarly, get proper knowledge of the region, the trail, accommodation place, food, electricity, bathroom facilities, weather, and climate. This research can help compensate for any unusual thing during the trip; once visitors know all these things, familiarity with the region increases, ultimately building the mentality.
Climate and weather around Manaslu Region
The time of the Manaslu Circuit Trek depends on climate and weather, so it is necessary to understand the variation of climate and temperature in the region.
March to May: The spring season lasts from March to May. This is one of the best months to trek in the Manaslu region. The temperature ranges from 10-25 degrees Celsius (50-77 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day. The temperature in the evening can be about 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit).
June to August: This is Nepal's monsoon season. The temperature can be up to 25 degrees Celsius, while the night temperature can be between 10-15 degrees Celsius (50-59 degrees Fahrenheit).
September to November: This is Nepal’s Autumn season. The temperature can be 10-20 degrees Celsius in the day, while the night temperature can be around 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) in higher elevations.
December to February: Nepal faces the winter season in these months. Trekking in winter is tricky as the day temperature can range from 5 to 15 degrees Celsius (41 to 59 Fahrenheit). The night temperature is below freezing with extreme weather conditions. The trails are slippery and filled with snow, making the trek challenging.
Local Culture and religion around Larke Pass Manaslu
Various cultures and traditions associated with different ethnic groups and tribes are found in the Manaslu area. Some of them are described below:
Ethnic groups: The Larke Pass Manaslu region is inhabited by ethnic groups like Bhote (Tibetans), Gurungs, Tamang, and Magar. Similarly, Brahmins and Chettri are found in the lower altitude region. They are identified by their distinct clothing style, language, and tradition.
Religion: All the ethnic groups in the Manaslu area are associated with some religion. However, the Manaslu region is mainly dominated by Buddhism, followed by Hinduism. Various Monasteries, Gumbas and Chortens are found all along the trekking trail. They are surrounded by Buddhist prayer flags, prayer wheels, and khata (Tibetan Buddhism scarf).
Festivals: Various celebrations and festivals are done based on the lunar calendar. The Tibetan New Year (Losar) and Dashain are the grandest festivals for Buddhism and Hinduism, respectively. Losar mainly falls between February and March, while Dashain occurs between September and October.
Music and Dance: Ghatu dance, the most popular in Gurung culture, and Syabru dance, which is most prevalent in Tamang culture, are seen in this area. On the other hand, traditional music can be listened to along the tour, while young individuals are also influenced by Western music, including rock, blues, and classical.
As there are diverse ethnic groups with varied cultures, learn about the cultural practices. Check out the dos and don’ts before embarking on the trekking journey. Holiday Tours Nepal encourages you to connect with people and learn about their customs and traditions to get better insights into their way of life.
Is travel insurance required for Manaslu Circuit and Larke La pass?
Travel insurance for the Manaslu circuit with Larke La Pass trekking is mandatory. The Manaslu region falls under the Manaslu Conservation Area, which requires permits, and travel insurance is a must to get that permit.
Travel insurance has many policies, so be sure to buy one that covers the following:
- Emergency evacuation and evacuation expenses
- Trip cancellation and interruption
- Baggage, equipment, gear, and belongings loss and delay
- Injuries and risks during the trek
- Medical and legal expenses
What type of accommodations are available during Manaslu Circuit?
Various accommodation facilities can be seen on the Manaslu trekking route. This can vary from teahouses, guesthouses and lodges.
Teahouses, often owned by local families, are the region's fundamental and cheapest accommodation option. Teahouses have adequate facilities, including beds and blankets. Similarly, bathrooms are primarily shared in teahouses. However, they provide an opportunity to experience the local culture of the Nepalese.
Guesthouses and lodges are another option for accommodation. These places are also called mountain guests, the best accommodation option available during the trek. They provide comfortable amenities like good bed and blanket facilities, a traditional heating system, indoor shared bathrooms, and cozy lounge areas to rest and sleep for the night.
What types of food are available during the Manaslu trek?
Dhindo (Millet Porridge), Champa porridge (mixture of cereals in warm water), Dal Bhat (rice with lentil soup), Potato bread, Tibetan bread, Thukpa (Tibetan Noodle Soup), Thenthuk (Hand pulled noodle soup), Mo-Thuk (Dumplings in Thukpa), Mo: Mo (Dumplings), Shyakpa (Sherpa stew) are some of the local cuisines found in the region. Other Western foods like sandwiches, French fries, pizza, burgers, spaghetti, pasta, sizzler, steak, and many more are also found.
Non-alcoholic beverages like Tea (Black, Milk, Green, Jasmine, Masala, Mint, Rhododendron) and coffee (Black and Milk) can be found on the menus. At the same time, alcoholic beverages like local wine (millet and grapes), beer, whiskey, rum, vodka, and margaritas can be found.
Although alcohol is a method of relaxation, Holiday Tours Nepal doesn't recommend drinking alcohol during the trek as it causes dehydration and health troubles at high altitudes. The condition is the same for smoking.