The Manaslu trail is one of the most favored treks where you can witness the 8th tallest peak in the world-Mt. Manaslu and so many Nepal Himalayas. This Manaslu circuit trail is very popular among foreign tourists and Nepali youth because it has well-organized tea houses and can be completed in a few days. The trek starts after reaching the busy market town of Soti Khola, going up and back along a different path, ending in Syange. Manaslu region is located in the Mansiri Himal range of the Himalayas in the Gorkha District.
Today we are not talking about the Manaslu circuit but we are talking about the Manaslu conservation area that was endowed in 1998. It is a protected area of Nepal. That comprises mountains, glaciers, flora, fauna, and water courses. The conservation area covers an area of 7,629 sq. km. and is home to over 100,000 residents of different cultural and linguistic groups. Moreover, it is rich in biodiversity and is a treasure house for 105 mammals, 1,226 species of flowering plants, 40 reptiles 518 birds, and 23 amphibians. The bio-climatic zones of the conservation area vary from sub-tropical to Nival. The altitude rises from a mere 600m to the summit of Mt. Manaslu, the eighth-highest peak in the world. Now let’s learn more facts about the Manaslu conservation area in the below subheadings.
Permits for Manaslu Conservation Area
As we have mentioned above the Manaslu region is a protected area of Nepal. To get access to the place you will need Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (ACAP). They can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board or the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal in Kathmandu. The Manaslu conservation area permit costs you around $25. Without a permit entering a conservation area is illegal and impossible. Thus, obtaining the MCAP is mandatory and essential to enter and trek in the area.
How to get to the Manaslu conservation area?
The Manaslu Conservation Area trek starts from the village of Soti Khola. Then the trails continue along the Budhi Gandaki River to the village of Machha Khola. The trek then proceeds through the lush rhododendron forest, rich Gurung villages, spectacular sights of mountains, and dense bamboo forest, and ends at the conservation area. You can even continue your journey to the Larkya La Pass, which is the highest point on the trek at an elevation of 5,160 meters, before descending to the village of Dharapani.
Why the Manaslu conservation area?
The Manaslu Conservation Area is a beautiful protected mountainous landscape that is located in the Manaslu region of Nepal. The main reason to visit the Manaslu region is its off-the-beaten-path trek and less crowded trails. Compared to the famous Everest base camp trek and Annapurna base camp the Manaslu conservation area is less crowded. While on the trails, you will meet several tea houses and lodges that offer warm food and hospitality to you. So be wise and use them.
The diverse culture and unique lifestyle are other reasons to visit Manaslu. At the lower altitude, you will encounter people who practice Hindu culture while at the higher altitude, you will encounter Gurung, Nubri, and Tsum people who follow Buddhism. So while visiting there, you will get a chance to know to learn more about the diverse culture and day-to-day life of Nepali people.
As we have mentioned above the Manaslu conservation area is located in the Gorkha district, which is home to the Shah rulers of Nepal. Thus, while visiting here you will learn more about the history of Nepal which is plus point right?
The main reason for many trekkers to visit the Manaslu conservation is the breathtaking views. It offers the majestic views of Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Buddha Himal, and many nameless mountains. Not only the sights of peaks one can witness terraced farmland and lush green forest with rhododendron, pine, conifer, and juniper trees. The region is also famous for the perfect viewpoint of the most beautiful sunsets over Manaslu, Himalchuli, and other neighboring mountains from the popular vantage point in Lho village.
The Manaslu conservation area takes you through several villages, chortens, several Mani walls in a clockwise direction, monasteries where monks and nuns reside, and so on. Not only that you will encounter Nubri people wearing their traditional clothes and speaking in their own language. You will hear locals saying “Tashi Delek” instead of “Namaste.” This will help you to learn a new language and some new people from diverse backgrounds. According to previous trekkers, people from other countries come here to see the mountains but return back for the people.
These are only some reasons why someone should visit the gorgeous conservation area. The blend of Buddhist, Hindu, and pre-Buddhist religions along with a mixture of all these are prevalent across the region and are some of the major highlights of the trek.
Best time to do the Manaslu conservation area trek
You can successfully trek the circuit during all four seasons, however, the best time to trek the Manaslu base camp is Fall (September, October, November) and Spring (March, April, May) respectively. During this time the sky remains clear and the sights from the conservation area are jaw-dropping. Similarly, the temperature remains moderate and the weather also remains in your favor.
Furthermore, the spring months of March, April, and May bring out the best of the rhododendron blooms, lush greenery, and magnificent mountain views. On the other hand, during autumn the washed rivers, streams, and waterfalls are at their best, replenished by the summer rain. Thus, seeing the hidden gem of Nepal at the best time will always become a memory that you will never forget in your whole lifetime.
To conclude, scheduling your trek during the fall or spring can ensure one of the best trekking experiences in Nepal. The Manaslu Base Camp trek offers everything that trekkers seek from the majestic sights of mountains to the rich culture and welcoming people. The trek is an experience of a lifetime. We hope this article has helped you!