Manaslu also called "Kutang" is the 8th highest mountain in the world with an evaluation of 8163 m above the sea level. It is situated in the small fragment of west-central Himalayas of the Nepal. Literally Manaslu indicate "Mountain of Spirit" derived from the Sanskrit word Manasa means "soul".
In the history, Manaslu was climbed by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, both Japanese citizens on 1956. The Manaslu region is considered to be the unrevealed treasure and most adventurous trekking route of Nepal. The Manaslu trekking trail guides you off the beaten path through dense forest, narrow passes ways, traditional villages, suspension bridges, rivers, glaciers in the remote part of Nepal.
The starting point of trail is August which extends up to Lharke La Pass and including six climatic zones; the tropical and subtropical zone, the temperate zone, the sub-alpine zone, the alpine zone and the arctic zone. The peaks like Nagdi Chuli, Himalchuli and Baudha have been the major attraction of the Manaslu region.
In addition, Manaslu conservation area managed by the National Trust for nature conservation of Nepal also have been attracting trekkers from all over the world due to its diverse flora and fauna along with pure and fresh environment.
The Manaslu region is conserved and preserved by National Trust for Nature conservation in Nepal, making it restricted region for foreign climbers and trekkers. Thus, you need to be assist by government registered trekking guide and two trekkers at least. Nevertheless, you are allowed to take a local porter in place of registered guide. Earlier, the treks used to be categorized in the difficult level of the trekking du e to its remote environment.
But now days with increasing number of tea houses and superior quality road, it has been shifted to the category of strenuous trek. Due to its attachment on the tea house trek of Nepal, it is suitable even for the first time trekkers. Thus anybody with Physical fitness and determination can do Manaslu trek.
Manaslu Trek Without Guide
Manaslu circuit trek without guide is impossible as it falls under the category of restricted region. Hence, you are compulsory to trek with government registered guide. As declared by Nepal government every foreign trekker are requested to take a special permit to the Manaslu trek.
In addition, other trekking route which is shares border with Tibet like Tsum valley, Lharke Pass, Manaslu Base Camp are also restricted are for foreigners, thus these trekking routes are also required a special permits and as well as at least one guide. Thus, if you are planning to do this trek alone then your trek is impossible but still solo traveler can do this trek with registered guide and extra (ghost) permit.
Benefits of Having a Guide
During the Manaslu trek, some parts of the trails are a bit confusing, thus having a professional guide proves too beneficial in such a case, as guide will help you native through such trails.
All guides have been deep knowledge about safety and first-aid, thus they help in ensuring your safety and security.
Trekking guides are familiar with local culture, lifestyle, languages, so they also assists you in understanding native peoples culture, tradition by creating a environment for you to interact with local peoples.
Professional guides are provided with least updates of weather, trails conditional form the respective trekking agency due to which the guide will ensure your trek managed and memorable.
A professional guide recommends you the best tea houses for you to stay, eat and rest as per your requirements and budget.
An Alternative for a Guide
If you are no willing to hire a professional guide but still you want to trek in Manaslu region then your alternative is hiring a licensed professional porter gum guide. The porter –does the work of a guide as well as a porter. He would carry your things having weight 10-12 kg only. Porter guide is two in one combination, who carries your luggage as well as guides you along the trail.
Some porter guides who are experienced can communicate well in English which increases the interaction between you and the porter-guide during the trek. A porter guide is intermediate stage between porter and licensed guide. After some time porter guide become fully licensed guide.
The price of hiring a porter guide is US $ 25- US $ 30 per day, which is slightly more than hiring a porter. The cost includes all of his expenses like food, accommodation, insurance as well as his salary.
Manaslu Trek Permits
The following permits are required to do the Manaslu region trek
Annapurna conservation area entry permit: Rupees 3000 per individual
Manaslu conservation area entry permit: Rupees 3000 per individual
Manaslu Restricted permit: the cost is different for the different months of the year
September to November: US $ 100 per individual per week and US $ 15 per day per individual after the first 7 days
October to August: US $ 75 per individual per week and US $ 10 per day per individual after the first 7 days
Manaslu Tsum valley trek is unfeasible without the company of government registered guide. Government has declared the area from Jagat to Bimtgang as a restricted region, which means you can't trek indivisually and you need to have all permits needed for the treks.
Most of the trekkers are unknown of this fact and wants to go the independent short Manaslu circuit trek. This is done for your security reason only, not for other reasons. All the end we advice to do complete research before dong the Manaslu circuit trek.