The Manaslu region is in the center-west of Nepal, northwest of the capital city of Kathmandu. It is part of the Gorkha District, and Arughat is its main city. In the past, the Manaslu Circuit Trek began in Arughat. However, as the road has grown in recent years, trekkers can now get a head start at Soti Khola. The trek ends in the village of Dharapani, which is also a stop on the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
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Manaslu Circuit Trek Getting In
Please keep in mind that you can't take a public bus from Kathmandu to Soti Khola without stopping in Arughat. Kathmandu and Arughat are about 136 km apart, so getting there will take at least 6 or 7 hours.
From Kathmandu to Dhading Beshi, the roads are quite smooth and made of asphalt. From Dhading Beshi on, things can get a little rough, especially between Arughat and Soti Khola, where sometimes only a four-by-four is strong enough to get through.
If it rains a lot, the area 30–45 km ahead of Arughat can be very muddy, and in the worst case, landslides can happen. One solution is to walk to Arughat through short cuts, which takes about 7-8 hours. If you don't, cars going in both directions will get stuck in the middle. Instead, talk to people going in the opposite direction and ask them to drive you to Arughat.
Kathmandu to Soti Khola by Local Bus
There are a few different ways to get from Kathmandu to Arughat by bus in the morning. The best route is through Dhading Beshi. It will take about 6-7 hours, including a short break for lunch, on a 35-seat bus.
Once you get to Arughat, you can find a group of small jeeps or minibuses that run often along the Arughat–Soti Khola route.
Kathmandu to Soti Khola by Private Jeep
This option will save you from having to wait and will make your ride much more comfortable. Private jeeps with a green tourist plate can take you straight to Soti Khola without stopping in Arughat, and protests rarely stop them. On the other hand, private jeeps with a red plate have to stop in Arughat. From there, you have to switch to a privately reserved local jeep to get to Soti Khola.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Getting Out
Between Beshi Sahar and Dharapani, walking is not a good idea because the roads are very busy and dusty. Some alternatives are:
Dharapani to Beshi Sahar by Local Jeep
The Nepali Army is building a road that goes all the way from Dharapani to Manang Chame. The part between Dharapani and Beshi Sahar is a part of that project. Please be aware that these roads through the mountains can be very scary at times. But it might be comforting to know that, so far, no one has died in an accident because local drivers are so good at what they do. Local jeeps take about 5 hours to get from one end to the other, and they leave almost every hour or when they are full.
Dharapani to Beshi Sahar by Private Jeep
You should book private jeeps in advance. It is best to find jeeps at local spots with drivers who know the roads well. When it rains a lot, waterfalls can send a lot of water rushing down, which can block roads. We have no choice but to wait until the water goes down. It is not a good idea to try to cross when the water is high.
Beshi Sahar to Pokhara by Tourist Bus
Between Beshi Sahar and Pokhara, it's easy to find buses, and they leave often. They can be anything from small mini-coasters that can fit 16 people to good-quality buses that can fit 40-45 people. The trip will take between 4 and 5 hours. The roads are always in good shape, so the trip will be easy.
Beshi Sahar to Pokhara by Private Jeep
If you'd rather take a private car or jeep, you can call for one to pick you up at Beshi Sahar from Pokhara if there are three of you. It will take about 4 hours to get there.
Beshi Sahar to Kathmandu by Local Bus
Local bus in Prithvi Highway is packed with fun. In the same way, getting from Beshi Sahar to Kathmandu can be just as easy and offer just as many options. Local buses will take about 5–6 hours, and private jeeps will take the same amount of time.
At Mugling, where the road meets the main East-to-West Highway, there is a landslide that is the only possible road hazard along this stretch. Aside from that, the road is in pretty good shape. But it's good to remember that a traffic jam can make you late for a few hours.