This route of trekking was forbidden to the tourists upto 1991, later on when the Japanese Expedition team ascend the Manaslu Peak (8157 m.), it became known as “Japanese Mountain” after the Japanese Expedition Team made first ascent. This trek can begin from Gorkha, Trishuli Bazar or Dhading.
Gorkha – The place is served by buses from Kathmandu Pokhara and Narayan Ghat.
Trishuli Bazar – Trishuli Bazar or Dhunche will be an alternative starting point to trek to around Manaslu. Buses to Trishuli or Dhunche will available from Kathmandu at the early in the morning
Dhading – Dhading is the excellent starting point to start the Trekking to Manaslu.
Rules – After paying US $ 90.00 per person per week during October to November & US $ 75.00 per person per week for the rest of the year.
A Liaison Officer from the Government is needed to trek in this region.
The route – The trail is rough & steep and often hangs on a bluff high above the river. Though the Larkya La is not a difficult Pass, the trek is harder then most in Nepal. The trek is remote and no rescue facilities or opportunities to bail out if tired.
This trek is culturally, geographically spectacular and fascinating to all the trekkers. The Tibetans of the upper Budhi Gandaki, the region known as Nupri (the western mountains), are direct descendants of Tibetan immigrants. Their speech; dress and customs are exclusively Tibetan. There is still continuous the trade between Nupri and Tibet. The mountain views at Nupri are sensational, and the Larkya La is one to the most dramatic Himalayan Pass. This trek is in a region of strong Tibetan influence, most places have Tibetan names instead of Nepalese.
Drive from Kathmandu to Dhading Besi and cross the dense sal forest along the way to Bunchung village in a steep valley; then enter to Dhading village from where the Peaks of Ganesh Himal are visible to the north. The trail goes ahead to Nigalapani, from where the views of Annapurna II, Manaslu can be seen. Afterwards, the trail crests the ridge at Kafalpani (1350 m.). The beautiful sight of Annapurnas, Manaslu (8156 m.), Shringi Himal (7187 m.) and Ganesh Himal (7406 m.) are visible from here.
On this day, the trek descends to Chainpur and again descends steeply to a stream, then crosses a long suspension bridge over Ankhu Khola and climbs to Salyan Taar, after walking a few km. the trail enters the valley of Budhi Gandaki. The flat trail through the forest reaches to Doren and then Aarughat. There is a trail junction here so, turn west across the bridge over Budhi Gandaki and continue the trek; the eastern route is joining form Trishuli Bazar. On the west side of the bridge through the Bazar there is a Check Post. Then, pass the hydroelectric power plant through rice and millet fields and reach to Aarughat for rest overnight.
The trek starts to go ahead to Sati Khola via Sante Bazar and Budhi Gandaki valley and reaches to Koir Pani, a small village of Magar & Gurung. The trail descends to Shati Khola. There is a small water fall just above the trail, a larger water fall with a 60 meter drop is visible by climbing upstream. This valley is famous for honey which is harvested in a manner to that described in the book “Honey Hunters of Nepal.”
After crossing the bridge, the trek climbs up onto a ridge above the huge rapids of Budhi Gandaki and reaches to Khorsaani. Then it, the trail, gets a bit precarious as it passes over a big rock and crosses a stream. The rocky trail then goes up and down through large stand of nettles, passes tropical water falls and again backs down to the bank of Budhi Gandaki. The trek goes up again on a steep rocky trail and down then up around to the Gurung village of Labu Besi and rest overnight.
The trek forwards to Machha Khola after crossing several streams on the way and reaches to the place where a cable ropeway is hanging over Budhi Gandaki; it should be crossed in a small cable Car called ” Ghirling”. The trail again forwards to Doban Khola via Khorlabesi, Tatopani etc.
The route climbs on a rugged Rocky trail to Duman. Then passes the villages of Yaru Khola, Thado Bharyang and crosses Budhi Gandaki again and climbs over a ridge; trek along the river for a while and reach to the compact village of Jagat at 1410 meters.
The trek climbs over a rocky ridge upto Salleri. Shringi Himal offers good
views from this village. The trail descends to Setibas (Tara) a Gurung village influenced by Tibetan culture. Continuing upstream, the trail follows the best and new route to Manaslu via Ngyak (Nyak, climbs upto Philim (Dodang) at 1550 meters. The trail then lead to Ganesh Himal Base Camp and the valley behind Ganesh Himal is called Tsum. It is still off limits to foreigners. This village onTsum is inhabitated by Tibetans and is towards Tibet across two passes at the head of the Shar Khola (east river) valley. Later on the trail reaches to Serson.
After Serson, the trail enters a steep uninhabited gorge and descends t hrough grassy slopes dotted with tall Pine trees then, the trail hangs on a cliff after
crossing the Budhi Gandaki. The tiny village Deng comes after crossing a bamboo forest and Deng Khola (river).
Today, the trail recrosses Budhi Gandaki and climbs up then passes a
waterfall; after crossing a stream, it continues to climb ahead before to drop to Shringi Khola; crosses it and climbs steeply to reach to Ghap (Tsak). Many of the carvings of Buddha in various meditative poses and others are of the Tibetan saint Milarepa who is said to have travelled and meditated in this valley.
The trail then crosses a 26 meters long bridge over Budhi Gandaki at 2100 meters and passes more Mani stones to enter into the woods then, the trail climbs, two long Mani walls and a water fall will be on the way to village at Budhi Gandaki valley which is a trading route to Tibet. The trek climbs over a big rock and continues up through deep fir and rhododendron forest. Entering Namrung (Namdru) through a stone archway at 2600 meters, there are excellent camps in the forests, the another part of Namrung remains across the bridge.
After Namrung the trail follows to Nupri region, a region of Tibetan immigrants. On the way to village Li at 2900 meters, the trail passes village Barcham (Bartsam), and the forest of fir & rhododendron. The trail leaves the village and crosses Hinan Khola and reaches to Sho, where children demand for “Shim Shim” a Tibetan words for Sweets or Candy. After leaving Budhi Gandaki valley, the spectacular views of Mt. Manaslu, Manaslu North (7154 m.) and Naike Peak come into sight. The trail then follows to Lho (Lo) at 3100 meters Passi Shrip, a small settlement. Lho is a big village with Gompa (Monastery), a stone Archway at the entrance a Tibetan style chorten and a huge Mani wall. The trail drops down to cross Damonan Khola, starts to ascend again and finally emerges onto a platue at Shya (3520 m.) with a wide views of Himal Chuli, Ngadi Chuli and Manaslu.
The trail crosses a ridge and descends onto a rock-strewn moraine then emerges onto a ridge over looking pastures and fields of Samagaon (Rö); the Sama Gompa is nestled against a wooded moraine at the far end of the valley.
Spare a day to climb the ridge to the south of Samagaon to the Pung-gyen Gompa, hidden behind the ridge infront of Manaslu. The Japanese call this Honsanso Gompa. It was destroyed by an avalanche in the winter of 1953, killing 18 inhabitants mostly nuns.
The trail descends to Budhi Gandaki and leads to Manaslu Base Camp. The Larkya La trail passes several Mani walls and reaches to Kermo Kharka after crossing the Juniper, Birch forest. The trail then climbs steeply to find Samdo nestled behind a ridge at 3860 meters. Some where in the village a Police Cheakpost lurks; a major trade route to Tibet heads ahead east through the village over Lajyang La at 5098 meters, a day’s walk from here.
The trek descends to the river and crosses it then proceed on to climb to Larkya La. Again climb gently through Juniper and Tundra opposite to Larkya La Glacier. The trail gets steeper and climbs the side of the ridge to about 4000 meters where there is a view point at the edge of a hug gorge. The trail climbs in and out of the gorge and reaches to the only shelter on the route to the pass, a rest house at 4480 meters.
Starting up the ridge infornt of the rest house the trail reaches at the top of the moraine at 4700 meters and climbs steeply to the pass at 5100 meters. It takes about 3/4 hours to reach to the pass so, it is best to start earlier. The tremendous views of Himlung Himal (7126 m.), Cheo Himal (6820 m.), Gyaji Kung, Kang Guru (6981 m.) and Annapurna II (7937 m.) can be seen on the west from here. Then the trail descends to Bimtang (3720 m.) which means “Plain of Sand” in Tibetan language. This is a huge valley surrounded by high peaks.
The trek descends to Dudh Khola and reaches to Gho at 2560 metre crossing Pine and Rhododendron forests via Hompuk, Karchep village. At foot of the valley, part of Lamjung Peak above the Marsyangdi valley comes into sight.
The trail continues through the fields with rhododendron, oak forests to Dharapani via Tilje (Tiljet), Thonje (Thangjet) villages. I Thonje, the Sirdar or Liaison Officer will contact to the Police to show off the collected garbage to obtain a clearance certificate. Afterwards the trek follows the trail to Dharapani (1920 m.) for rest overnight.
On this day, the trek goes to south through steepest part of the Marsyangdi Gorge.
The trek again follows Marsyangdi south and enters into terraced rice field country.
Today, the trek goes ahead to Besi Shahar and rest overnight.
From Besi Shahar vehicles are available to take to Kathmandu.