• May 28, 2024
  • Rupak Parajuli

One of the greatest places to trek and vacation in Nepal is the Manaslu trekking region. This location receives a large number of annual visitors from all around the world. With its stunning scenery, affluent society, and tranquil mountain views, the Manaslu Circuit Trek, which is tucked away inside Nepal's magnificent Himalayas, provides travelers the experience of a lifetime. With its stunning scenery, affluent society, and tranquil mountain views, the Manaslu Circuit Trek, which is tucked away inside Nepal's magnificent Himalayas, provides travelers the experience of a lifetime. These are some of the top side treks you may find while doing the Manaslu Trek.

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Rui La, Nepal –Tibet border (4998m, 16593ft.)

rui la nepal tibet border manaslu trek

Image Source: Guyshachar.com

There are essentially two ways to reach the Tibetan border assuming Samdo serves as the base point. First choice: taking in the scenery from 5098 meters east of Samdo on Lajyung Bhanjyang Pass. Because it is not well-traveled and the trail is unclear—Yaks are the dominant people in these hills and have marked many trails there—the locals do not advise taking this route. The second option is known as the "main way to Tibet," and it leads to the trade route to Tibet via the Rui La pass, which is located 4998 meters north of Samdo. Via this path, the closest Tibetan village is just a day's walk away, while a motorized road on the Tibetan side requires two days of walking. One may accomplish it during an extended day of sightseeing.

The hike begins by heading north from Samdo in the direction of Dharamshala, crossing the Athahra Saya Khola, and ascending from the other side. That being said, you proceed north along the western flank of the Athahra Saya Khola rather than west towards Dharamshala. After gently descending towards the riverbed and crossing a side river on a wooden bridge, the trail climbs steadily alongside the Athahra Saya Khola. After that, it climbs once more and follows the western bank of the river. The Athahra Saya Khola becomes westward after a three-hour walk from Samdo. A little wooden bridge crosses this spot, and beyond it is a steep slope that leads to far-off mountain passes. Once you've crossed the bridge, start uphill. Since multiple Yak routes are ascending from its base, the trail may appear confusing at first, but as you ascend, it becomes obvious that the way you want to travel is up. Two more hours are needed to reach the top of the Rui La pass, which is located at 4998 feet. Beautiful views of the Hindu and Fukang glaciers directly behind you as you climb, as well as distant views of Manaslu, may be seen along the way. A "classic" mountain pass with a "U" form is the Rui La pass. The border between China's "Dzong Who" and Nepal is denoted by a border stone and prayer flags. The Tibetan side offers views of numerous mountain ranges, and if you are lucky, you may get a glimpse of a Yak caravan making its way over the pass to deliver goods into Nepal. Retracing the journey to Samdo takes approximately 4 hours, so if you intend to undertake this journey, be ready for a demanding day. Set out early, pack a lunch, and bring plenty of water.

Serang Gompa (3100m, 10170ft.)

Best Side Trips of Manaslu Circuit Trek | HoneyGuide

Image Source: Honeyguideapps

Tucked up in a little meadow amidst towering Himalayan hills lies Serang Gompa, also known as Nubri Monastery, a singular Tibetan Buddhist retreat. It's difficult to believe that this small haven has endured for five centuries high on these untamed southern Himalayan slopes, straddling the borders of Tibet and Nepal. The monastery is on the Manaslu Trek route, above Bhi Village. The nearest populated area for lodging, unless you choose to camp, is Bhi village. With over thirty mountain children studying Buddhism, the monastery holds enormous spiritual significance for the surrounding community. The starting point of this detour is Bhi village. With enough food and drink in your backpack, depart the lodge. Take a sharply upward-facing trail through the pine forest to reach one of the area's hidden gems, which is rarely visited by hikers. A day excursion offers breathtaking views of Siringi Himal, Ganesh Himal, and Mount Manaslu's peak as well as its verdant valley. You will be rewarded with a close-up look at Himalayan peasants and rare musk deer. Proceed to Tsum Valley on the trip if you have camping equipment.  Both the neighborhood and the Kopan monastery in Kathmandu provide support for the monastery.

Kal Tal ‘Death Lake’ (3600m, 11808ft.)

kal tal death lake side trips in manaslu trek

Image Source: Sherpana

Kal Tal, also known as "Death Lake," stands as a remarkable yet ominous marvel of nature situated at an elevation of 3,600 meters (11,808 feet). Nestled amidst rugged mountains, this lake is enveloped in legend and enigma, its very name sparking curiosity and caution.

The origins of the ominous title "Kal Tal" remain as enigmatic as the lake itself. Local lore whispers stories of spirits lingering along its shores and intrepid explorers disappearing without a trace. Some speculate about a curse befalling the lake, while others ponder whether its depths safeguard the secrets of a bygone civilization.

Despite its unsettling reputation, Kal Tal boasts unparalleled natural splendor. Encircled by towering peaks reflecting on its pristine surface, the lake exudes a captivating deep blue hue, with water so crystal clear that the lake bed is visible. In the early hours, as mist ascends from the water's surface, an otherworldly ambiance emerges, suggesting a delicate boundary between the mortal realm and the spirit world.

Few venture to Kal Tal, for reaching it demands a taxing journey through rugged landscapes. Yet, those who undertake the pilgrimage are rewarded with a profound sense of awe and marvel rarely found elsewhere. Kal Tal's stark magnificence serves as a testament to the grandeur and mystique of the natural realm, where the allure of the unknown is ever-present.

Hinang Gompa and Himalchuli Base Camp (4020m, 13186ft.)

Newly renovated Old Buddhist Stupa called Hinang-Gompa in Manaslu Circuit, Nepal : r/pokhara

Image Source: Doug Beecroft

The Himalchuli Base Camp and Hinang Gompa are two amazing retreats where spiritual and ecological wonders can be found nestled within Nepal's breathtaking Himalayan vistas.

Known by its amiable nickname, Hinang Monastery, Hinang Gompa is a highly esteemed Buddhist monastery that is tucked away in the Manaslu region of Nepal, at an altitude of approximately 3,100 meters (10,170 ft). Significant religious significance is attached to this medieval monastery, which is a haven for study, prayer, and meditation. It provides a serene sanctuary for those seeking spiritual fulfillment as well as those who love the outdoors, surrounded by majestic peaks and verdant surroundings.

The hike to Hinang Gompa is an adventure in and of itself, frequently requiring traversing pristine mountain streams and hard terrain. Glamorous vistas of snow-capped peaks, gushing waterfalls, and quaint Nepalese towns tucked into picturesque valleys await visitors along the route. Visitors may fully immerse themselves in the unspoiled splendor of the Himalayas through the journey, which offers a profound sense of peace and connection with nature.

Adventurers can take a magical trip from Hinang Gompa to 4,020 meters (13,186 feet) above sea level, where the Himalchuli Base Camp is located. Towering at an astonishing height of 7,893 meters (25,896 feet), Himalchuli is one of Nepal's most notable peaks. The base camp provides a captivating vantage position to take in the breathtaking Himalayan landscape, which includes Himalchuli, Ngadi Chuli, and Manaslu.

With steep climbs, rough trails, and high-altitude conditions to deal with, trekking to the Himalchuli Base Camp has its own set of rewards and challenges. It is, nevertheless, a very remarkable experience because of the breathtaking surroundings and the feeling of achievement upon arriving at the base camp. While there, guests can explore the surrounding area, take in the breathtaking views, and experience the peace of the Himalayan environment.

Discovering Nepal's rich cultural legacy and breathtaking scenery is made possible by visits to Hinang Gompa and the Himalchuli Base Camp. These locations guarantee an amazing experience full of amazement and wonder, whether you're looking for adventure, spiritual enlightenment, or just a quiet getaway into the embrace of nature.

Phungen Gompa (Around 4050m, 11316ft.)

Explore the Beauty of Pungyen Gompa

At an elevation of about 4050 meters (about 11,316 feet), Phungen Gompa is a holy Buddhist monastery tucked away amid the magnificent Himalayan scenery. This historic retreat, perched majestically on a mountainside, provides visitors with both spiritual peace and breathtaking views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks and lush valleys.

Phungen Gompa, a monument of the persistent spiritual legacy of Tibetan Buddhism in the area, is situated in a secluded area of the Himalayas. For the locals as well as pilgrims and visitors who come to this far-off region of the world in search of peace and enlightenment, the monastery acts as a spiritual hub and a center for religious instruction, meditation, and social meetings.

The seamless fusion of regional workmanship and traditional Tibetan aesthetics is evident in the construction of Phungen Gompa. A calm and ethereal ambiance that captivates both tourists and followers is created by the whitewashed walls covered with elaborate murals that depict scenes from Buddhist texts and the vibrant prayer flags waving in the mountain breeze.

Visitors to the monastery complex can explore meditation chambers where monks engage in spiritual activities and deep contemplation, prayer halls decorated with antique statues of Buddhist deities, and libraries featuring sacred writings. One can feel the air thick with holiness and devotion, especially when one hears the sound of monks chanting through the halls.

There are many chances for exploration and adventure in the untamed area beyond the monastery walls. Trekking routes provide hikers an ideal way to get in touch with nature and take in the unadulterated beauty of the Himalayan terrain as they meander through virgin forests, tumbling streams and alpine meadows blanketed in wildflowers.

Phungen Gompa offers opportunities to partake in religious rites, meditation retreats, and traditional festivals that are enthusiastically and fervently observed by the local population, catering to people who have a preference for spiritual retreats and cultural immersion.

A trip to Phungen Gompa is more than just seeing a secluded monastery; it's a pilgrimage to a hallowed place where the Himalayas' majesty surrounds the soul and time appears to stand still. Here, the beauty of the natural world blends with age-old knowledge, and the mountains' embrace provides solace for the spirit.

Birenda Tal (3450m, 11316ft.)

birendra tal lake manaslu side trips

Situated in Nepal's magnificent Himalayan area, Birenda Tal is a pure alpine lake rising to a height of 3450 meters (about 11,316 ft). Cradled by magnificent mountain views, this serene pond has a particular place in the hearts of hikers and wildlife enthusiasts who visit the Manaslu region.

Nestled on the well-known Manaslu Circuit trekking path, Birenda Tal provides a tranquil haven amidst the untamed landscape. The lake has the name of King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah, who governed Nepal from 1972 until his untimely death in 2001. As they traverse the demanding Himalayan terrain, hikers may relax and refresh at this idyllic location thanks to its serene atmosphere and breathtaking natural beauty.

Visitors are in awe of the stunning scene that is created when the glistening waters of Birenda Tal mirror the snow-capped peaks all around them. This picturesque lake is made more alluring by the dramatic backdrop created by towering giants like Mt. Manaslu, Manaslu North, and Naike Peak.

Overcoming Birenda Tal provides a sense of satisfaction and achievement for a great number of hikers, especially after navigating the challenging Himalayan landscape. There is always an air of adventure to the hike because getting to the lake frequently means forging through verdant forests, hopping over streams, and negotiating rocky terrain.

Trekkers who want to fully experience the natural splendor of the Himalayas can camp at Birenda Tal throughout the trekking season, which usually runs from March to May and September to November. The serene lake waters are magically bathed in a wonderful light as the sun sets behind the majestic peaks and the sky becomes a canvas of brilliant hues.

Birenda Tal is not only aesthetically pleasing in terms of nature, but it also has cultural value for the people who live in the nearby villages. It supplies freshwater to people and animals alike, and the vibrant prayer flags that are frequently flown along its edges signify the spiritual ties that bind the people to the land.

For those seeking adventure, peace, and the unmatched beauty of Nepal's mountainous scenery, Birenda Tal offers an amazing experience, whether it's a tranquil retreat amidst nature or a strenuous journey into the Himalayan mountains.

Manaslu Base Camp (4900m, 16072ft.)

manaslu base camp side trips

Situated at an elevation of 4900 meters, or around 16,072 feet, Manaslu Base Camp serves as the starting point for one of the world's most breathtaking and demanding mountain climbing adventures. This base camp, which is situated at the base of 8,163-meter (26,781-foot) Mount Manaslu, the eighth-highest mountain in the world, is home to magnificent views, untamed terrain, and an intense sense of adventure. Adventurers will find this base camp to be aesthetically pleasing.

Climbers who wish to reach the summit of Mount Manaslu begin their journey from the base camp, which is located within the Manaslu Conservation Area. Trekking through a variety of environments, from verdant woods and gushing waterfalls to stony, desolate terrain crowned with towering peaks, is required to get to this secluded camp, so it's not for the faint of heart.

As hikers pass through charming villages home to indigenous cultures like the Gurungs and Sherpas, the climb to Manaslu Base Camp presents a singular opportunity for them to fully immerse themselves in the region's rich cultural tapestry. Trekkers are welcomed with kind hospitality, authentic Nepalese food, and the opportunity to discover the long-standing customs and traditions of the local people along the journey.

As hikers move deeper into the Himalayas, the surrounding terrain changes, providing sweeping vistas of snow-capped peaks, among them the magnificent Manaslu. The attraction of reaching base camp keeps adventurers motivated even though the air gets thinner and every step demands more work.

Trekkers are rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains—including the imposing massif of Manaslu dominating the skyline—when they arrive at Manaslu Base Camp. The camp itself is a modest set of tents set up on rugged ground, providing hikers and climbers with the bare necessities. The feeling of achievement and companionship among fellow explorers, despite the experience's simplicity, make it quite remarkable.

The base camp provides mountaineers hoping to summit Manaslu with a prime location for acclimatization and last-minute preparations before the strenuous ascent. Climbers dedicate several days to perfecting their technical abilities, adjusting to the elevated altitude, and planning their ascent path.

Absorbing the spirit of adventure and discovery, Manaslu Base Camp draws tourists and naturalists from all over the world. Whether traveling to take in the Himalayas' unmatched beauty or taking on the ultimate climbing challenge, this isolated outpost delivers an experience that will stay imprinted in the memories of everyone who visits.

Rupak Parajuli

Rupak Parajuli

He is a Travel Enthusiast and Writer, who mostly covers the guide to outdoor adventure in the Himalayas of Nepal. He can be your friendly trip planner. Feel free to reach out to him.

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