Manang trek: A district overview

  • Last Updated on Dec 8, 2022

Table of Contents

One of Nepal's 77 districts, Manang District is a part of Gandaki Pradesh. Headquartered in Chame, the district has a total area of 2,246 km2 (867 sq mi) and a population of 5,645 as of 2021. A route between the cities of Manang and Muktinath is provided by the Thorung La Pass, which is located at 5415 meters above sea level and connects the area to the Mustang District. Due to its location to the north of the Himalayas, which prevents monsoon air, the Manang district receives the least quantity of rainfall among Nepal's districts. Due to its diverse natural flora and wildlife, the Manang Valley, which is located not far from the Nepal-Tibet border, provides enormous potential for tourism. Three tracks diverge from here. The first, via Thorangla, Muktinath, and Mustang to Lhasa—a journey that takes four days; the second, via Naur Khola and Naurgaon, which takes five days to Lhasa; and finally, the third, via Larkiya Bazar, which is the one most commonly used by the people of Central Nepal. Moreover, Manang is home to several mountains and rocks/cliffs. The highest peak of Mt. Manaslu borders Manang with the Gorkha district. Lamjung Himal is situated in the south of Chame and it borders to Lamjung. (8091m, 7939m, 7575m, 7535m), Pisang Peak (7134m), Gangapurna peak (7455m), Tilicho peak (7134m), and Thorong Peak (6882m) lie in the upper region of Mustang. Besides these peaks, there are many beautiful valleys, waterfalls, and lakes, and they are part of the Annapurna Base Camp trek/ Annapurna Circuit trek.

Location of Manang

Manang is a district in the north-central region of Nepal. Gorkha, Kaski, Lamjung, and Mustang districts share a border with Manang. It shares a northern border with Tibet. Over 1830 meters are covered by this area. The district of Manang covers 2170 square kilometres. Mountains including Mt. Peru, Manaslu, Muktinath, and others surround the Manang district. There are three ecological zones in the Manang district. The country's capital city, Kathmandu Valley, is approximately 250 kilometres away from this district. The most picturesque valley in all of South Asia is Manang. It can be found in the Annapurna region. Old-style hotels and lodges for the tourism industry make up the majority of Manang town. According to the 2021 census, there are 5,645 people living there.

Topography

The Himalayas and other mountains may be seen beautifully from this charming mountain community. The location's surroundings add to the natural beauty of the objects. Manang is the ideal location for mountain gazing since the mountains may be observed in their various moods with the interaction of light and also because the mountains appear to change in their shapes and personalities when viewed from different directions. For instance, the Annapurna range same mountain range appears as a dramatic wall of rock and ice when viewed from Pokhara's northern horizon, but when viewed from Manang's southern horizon, the same mountain range seems like a huge ridge, with the individual peaks taking on a completely different appearance.

Climate and profession

Yak herding, tourism, and the sale of goods to tourists are some of the occupations of the locals. There is a far better education system than in the following areas. The education of children might be of a high calibre. Recently, roads were built to get there. The northern part of town is primarily used for fields for agriculture.
The Manang district has a moderate climate. There is a generally warm climate here. Summertime brings a tremendous amount of rain. Winter precipitation is lower here. 6.5 degrees Celsius is the typical yearly temperature of Manang. 398 mm is the current average amount of rainfall. With a high of 12.1 degrees Celsius, June is the hottest month here. With a temperature of -0.6 Celsius, January is the coldest month in the Manang district. Furthermore, people leave their homes for six months in the winter to escape the bitter cold because the temperature is lower throughout the year. Manang becomes a village without people in the winter. In order to trade and raise animals, they go to comparatively warm regions. For business purposes, many of them travelled to Kathmandu and other wealthy towns. Those who take care of the animals reside in Kharka, a plain green meadow that is located a few hundred feet below.

Major Attraction

The gateway to the Trans-Himalayas is Chame (2710 m), the district headquarters of Manang, from where the Himalayas emerge in the south. After Chame, the landscape starts to change, and the Trans Himalayas region begins from Dhikur Pokhari (40 minutes' journey from Chame). Therefore, you will be returning to the Himalayas from here in Chame. The Manaslu Himalaya range in the southeast, the Rocky Mountains, and the Lamjung Himal (6983m) make Chame's location unique. The Himalayas are built upon unique topography. Your one-of-a-kind encounter along this journey will be the hot spring experience while you are in Chame.

Lake Tilicho- World’s highest altitude lake

Tilicho Lake, a well-known lake throughout the nation, is located in the Manang district. It extends to about 4.8 square kilometres. The walk to this lake is strenuous. It is a natural lake with plenty of gorgeous blue water. The lake contains several aquatic species. The lake is the highest on the entire planet. People also refer to this area as "heaven". It is located at a height of 4929 meters. The ideal location for hikers and trekkers is there. This lake is reported to be surrounded by numerous hazardous landslides. A lake and a place of worship are both there. There are mountains all around this lake. The best way to trek to this area is from the Annapurna range.

Lake Gangapurna

At 3,540 meters above sea level, Gangapurna is a magnificent glacial lake found in the Manang section of the Annapurna Circuit Trek. This glacial lake is the result of melting from Glacier Dome, Mt. Annapurna IV (7,525m), Mt. Gangapurna (7,454m), and other nearby peaks. As sediments and other particles move alarmingly quickly through the lake's inflowing waters, Gangapurna, a glacier lake on the Annapurna Circuit Trekking Route, is getting increasingly shallow. After Tilicho Lake, Gangapurna Lake is regarded as the second most popular tourist destination because of its cyan hue in the spring and fall, white appearance during the monsoon, and snow-covered appearance in the winter. According to reports, the lake covered a region of 21.08 hectares.

Thorong La Pass

 Thorong La, which lies in the Manang district, is a mountain pass, located at 5416 meters above sea level. It is within 4 hours' reach of the famous Muktinath Temple. This pass is located in Damodar Hill, which is part of the Annapurna Himal to the north within Annapurna Circuit Trek. It is also a little bit of heaven. These days, a lot of people travel to this area. The highest point on the Annapurna Circuit is Thorong La. This pass is used regularly not only by tourists but also by local merchants. Additionally, it is the ideal location for hiking.

Milarepa Cave

Many visitors are unaware of the side trip on the Annapurna Circuit Trek called Milarepa Cave. This cave is located at a height of 4,250 meters above sea level. The journey's scenery and geography are spectacular, yet the cave is completely isolated. The journey from the village of Baraka takes about two hours. The depth of the cave is about ten feet. In Nepal, Milarepa is known for Milarepa Cave, a cave. The renowned Tibetan Buddhist mystic Milarepa is said to have lived there when visiting what is now northern Nepal in the 11th century. A gompa and a sacred spring are also located here. Locals worship in direct line of sight of the cave, which is located beyond the gompa and is approached by a steep scree slope, from the edge of a glacier moraine. The neighbouring cliff is where a bow is visible hanging. The hunter in the area, Kera Gompa Dorjee, allegedly attempted to kill Milarepa after a dispute about killing animals and is said to have attempted to do so with this bow. Milarepa's Song to the Hunter is a well-known Buddhist hymn that serves as a vehicle for the hunter to learn about causality and compassion. This is where the fabled incident took place, according to local mythology.

Braga Village

A glimpse of the magnificent village of Braga, located in Nepal's Manang district. It is a location with stunning, enchanted landscapes, a historical, 700-year-old Tibetan Buddhist monastery, and primarily the cave of the great master Jetsun Milarepa. Braga Village is a small but charming village-town, approximately 45 minutes walk from the nearby Manang village. Several of the oldest monasteries in the area may be found in the hamlet of Braga. This monastery has a stunning outlook and is home to hundreds of antiquated statues. If that is your goal, October is not the best month to become a monk. Since monks will be travelling to Kathmandu to spread knowledge, the focus will be on visitors. As a result, finding the monastery's key requires a lot of time.

Tal village

Manang, Tilicho Lake, and the Annapurna Circuit Trek all have entrances through Tal Village. Tal is a charming little community with a lot of natural beauty. Both Tal Jharana, a stunning waterfall, and the Marsyangdi river are available for your enjoyment. Both excellent lodging and mouthwatering meals are offered. On their way to Manang, Tilicho Lake, and the Annapurna Circuit Trek, thousands of tourists stop in Tal hamlet. Locals claim that roughly 200 years ago, the location of the current hamlet was home to a small lake, which gave the community its name of Tal. On a different note, Tal is such a joy; it is peaceful, charming, and colourful after that arduous uphill climb. Additionally, this is more than simply an official boundary; it is also the first settlement in the Manang District. From this point on, significant changes in culture and architecture begin to occur. Also worth visiting is the Kau Khola waterfall, also known as Tal Jharana, which is a sizable waterfall at the village's northernmost point.

Pisang Urgent Chhyoling Gumba

Pisang Urgent Chhyoling Gumba is one of the monasteries in the Pisang valley. Many people hold the view that the renowned Guru Padmasambhava himself chose to meditate in several of the caves and monasteries. If you're curious, you can always go to a monastery and receive blessings for a successful life. Moreover, the monastery is also regarded as the second best monastery in terms of grandeur, constructed in the remote areas of Nepal.

Manang's culture

Most of the locals practice Buddhism. They serve the trade and tourism industries. There are primarily Gurung, a few Brahmin, and Chhetri residents. Here, Hindu holidays are also observed. Humans revere nature. Maize, oats, and buckwheat make up the majority of agricultural output in these regions.
 There is a strong blend of Nepali and Tibetan culture. Tibetan culture has a profound impact on language as well. The locals dress and practice according to their own cultural traditions. Buddhism is practised by the majority of the population, and Manang is home to several monasteries. The 11th-century Tibetan Buddhist philosopher Milarepa is thought to have spent his entire life practising meditation in Namkading Cave, also known as Milarepa's Cave. This location is regarded as one of the oldest and most significant historical sites in the area. Located in the Manang district, Braga Bhojo Gompa is a Buddhist monastery. This monastery's most distinguishing feature is its collection of Buddha sculptures and idols in a serene environment conducive to meditation. The Tibet-Nepal corridor is made more appealing by the lush plain meadows surrounding it.

Accommodation and Meals

Manang is one of the most well-liked trekking locations in Nepal, and hiking along the Marsyangdi River's extensive length gives you the chance to see the many stages of a Himalayan river's course. Standing tall at 3505 meters above sea level, Manang is home to stunning, authentically traditional villages including Nyeshang, Braga, Pisang, Ngawal, Ghyaru, Tanki, and Khagsar that are worth at least one visit. The oldest of these villages are Ngawal and Pisang, while Ghyaru is an outgrowth of Ngawal, and Tanki is the expanded village of Manang. Khabgsar, which was situated on the valley's western side, is thought to have originated as a monastic settlement.

Flora and Fauna

The flora and fauna found in the Manang district are the same as those in the Annapurna Base Camp trek. Manang and Mustang typically share the same kind of flora and fauna. Daphne, the Nepalese national bird, known as “the Himalayan Monal”, the Himalayan Ghoral, the Alpine Forest, Blue Sheep, Himalayan Thar, Musk Deer, Snow Leopard, the national flower of Nepal, laliguras (Rhodendron), Bojho, Titepati, Timur, Blood Pheasant, Red-billed Chough, Yak (chauri), and Chyangra (Himalayan goat) are some of the major attractions of the district. Other characteristics of this area are the plants and herbs used for meditation. Exports from Manang include expensive metals, musk, herbs, and precious stones. Manang is home to the cultivation of 91 different kinds of herbs, including Yarchagumba, dubbed "the Himalayan Viagra" and costing more than gold. Globally, this region exports high-quality musk, spices, and herbs.

 Conclusion

Tourists find Manang to be the most distinctive part of Nepal and the most well-liked part of the Annapurna Circuit. The endangered Tibetan culture can be seen here. High-altitude homes are made of stone and clay and lack the most basic roofs with wooden beam support. Manang is unique because of its icy deserts, rocky cliffs, apple orchids, lakes, monasteries, Buddhist culture, waterfalls, mountain ranges, alpine forests, and a wide range of flora and fauna. We advise taking a hike around this location once in a lifetime.

Suman Aryal

Suman Aryal

Suman Aryal is Travel and Tour operator in the Himalaya since long. He organizes tours, trekking, hiking and climbing in Nepal. He loves writing related to travel and trekking in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.