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Best Side Trips of Manaslu Circuit Trek

And we wouldn’t want to lie when we say this, but being referred as a Beyul, Manaslu Circuit Trek, is certainly worth a try. Actually, a must go! Having no chaos at all, this region is another beautiful trekking destination of Nepal that takes you to the high altitudes, enchanting monasteries, lures with awesome mountain views, lets you across winsome lakes, and lonesome villages accommodating hospitable people. Manaslu Circuit Trek is a tea house trek in Nepal, which also lies in the Great Himalayan Trail. As we have informed you about the things to know before going to the Manaslu Circuit Trek earlier, you should also know the undeniably perfect side trips that you can take along this trail.

1. Manaslu Base Camp (4848m):

Manaslu Base Camp
Manaslu Base Camp

This is possibly the most exciting side trip of Manaslu Circuit Trek. The whole trip will take about 6 hours for the average traveler. To catch this trail you first go to Birendra Lake and then walk to the bottom right corner of the lake. From here you can see a road going up that joins with the Manaslu Base Camp trail. Or you can also walk out of Sama village through a wooden door, the left road leads you to the camp. The trail encompasses forests, barren lands and sharp climb so brace yourself. At the top is a small chorten with a lot of prayer flags that marks Manaslu Base Camp.

2. Serang Gompa (3100m):

Serang Gumba, Manaslu Circuit Trek
Serang Gumba, Manaslu Circuit Trek

Serang Gumba is a small paradise on the foot of Shringi Himal. It would be a major dismay if you miss Serang during the Manaslu Circuit trek, as the valley surrounding Serang (Kyimolung trail) is considered to be one of the four beyuls hidden among the Himalayas of Asia as identified by Guru Padmashambhava. Also, he is supposed to have meditated here. The Shringi Himal behind the gumba is an attractive mountain with great religious significance. The high-low trail accommodates forested roads, mani walls, suspension bridge, beautiful chortens, and enigmatic energy.

3. Kalmachum Lake (3800 m):

Kalmachum (Kal) Lake, Manaslu Circuit
Kalmachum (Kal) Lake, Manaslu Circuit

This is a beautiful high altitude lake in Manaslu Circuit Trek that is a day’s hike from Prok village. The trail is completely forested with pine, fir and langurs. The way to Kal Lake starts from the south-western corner. It is a total uphill trail for the first 3 hours. In about 20 mins, you arrive at Pari Gompa. At nightfall, the lama who has the key of the gompa, comes to spend the night here and during the day he is out working in fields. You can see the beautiful village of Prok from here and the village on the far away cliff is Kok.

4. Hinang Gumba (3100 m):

Hinang Gumba, Manaslu Circuit Trek
Hinang Gumba, Manaslu Circuit Trek

Located in the village of Hinang, Hinang gompa is without a doubt one of the most beautiful gompas in Manaslu Circuit Trek.  It sits with a backdrop of Mt. Himalchuli and yellow pine forest on the background. The road to this gompa separates after 20 mins from the village of Lihi. You can even visit the Hinang glacier further up from the gumba. The main idol in the gumba is of Gautam buddha; on the right side is Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), and on the left is Guru Karmapa. It is also a lama school and students studying here go to Namobuddha Gumba in Kathmandu during winter. This monastery was built about 10 years ago and the head lama who is looking after the gompa is Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.

5. Birendra Lake (3620m):

Birendra Lake
Birendra Lake

This is a glacier lake formed from the melting ice of Mt. Manaslu. This is one of the most popular and the easiest side trip in all of Manaslu Circuit Trek. Situated just about half an hour away from the village of Sama, this glacier lake is where most people spend their acclimatization days. To reach to the lake, follow the direction pointed by the signboard just opposite to Mount Manaslu hotel. Walk straight past the gompa and you will come to an open field where dzopkyos and yaks will be grazing. The trail here will disappear so first, locate the chorten in the middle of the field. Then walk diagonally to the farthest corner past the chorten. There the trail should appear again. The road from here is not missable and will directly lead you to the lake.

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HoneyGuide Staff

This article was written by an internal staff writer.

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