Manaslu Region is one of the underrated trekking regions in Nepal, the Manaslu Region is located in central Nepal. Mt. Manaslu (8163m) is the centrepiece of this region and is also the eighth-highest mountain in the world. The entire region gets its name from the mountain itself which translates to ‘mountain of the spirit’ derived from the Sanskrit term Manasa which means ‘soul’.
The Manaslu Conservation Area stands as the guardian of the flora and fauna and covers the major parts of the region. This conservation area is a sanctuary for many endangered animals, including snow leopards and Red pandas. Other mammals include lynx, Asian black bear, grey wolf, Assam macaque, Himalayan musk deer, blue sheep, and Himalayan Thar. The trips in this region start from Arughat and gradually head north towards the foothills of the Shringi and Mansiri Himalayan ranges. Likewise, numerous other attractions in the region captivate thousands of travellers every year. The Manaslu Base Camp (4400m) and the Birendra Lake are famous landmarks in this region. Larkya La Pass towering at 5160m, is an ideal vantage point to relish the sights of the majestic Mt. Himalchuli (7893m), Mt. Himlung (7126m), and Mt. Manaslu (8163m).
The ethnic communities in the region are prominently the Tsum and Nubri, both of which have inherited ancient culture and traditions to date. While most of the trekking trails in this region pass through the villages of Nubri communities like Lho, Sho, and Samagaon, the Tsum Valley is mainly unexplored. Mu Gompa and Rachen Gompa are the esteemed religious hubs in the Tsum Valley. As such, Pung Gyan Gompa, Ribung Gompa, and Namla Gompa are the major religious shrines located elsewhere in the region. The Gurung inhabits the central area while the Sherpas inhabit the area near the Tibetan border.
Manaslu region offers exciting sets of trekking routes ranging from the tough graded Manaslu Circuit trek to the comparatively easier trek to the isolated valley of Tsum. The most popular trekking route, the Manaslu Circuit Trek, follows an ancient salt trading route of Budhi Gandaki and circles the Manaslu Massif followed by passing down the Annapurna region. The Manaslu Base Camp Trek, Larkya La Pass Trek, and Tsum Valley Trek are some of the popular trekking options in this region.
Until recently the trek required camping, but the building of tea houses means the trek can be completed using local accommodation. As such, the trekking trails in this region are mostly off-beat and offer authentic trek experiences to the trekkers. Autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May) are the ideal times to visit this region. As such, winter (December to February) and monsoon (June to August) generally offer harsher weather conditions to trek.