About 40 miles (64 km) east of Annapurna in the northern range of Nepal stands the Great Manaslu. Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu from Japan were the first known to have scaled Mt. Manaslu (8,156m), on May 9, 1956. The eighth highest peak in the world Manaslu ‘Mountain of the Spirit’, comes from the ancient Sanskrit term ‘manasa’ which means ‘intellect’. More than 2000 people come here for trek every year. The Manaslu region has a lot to offer in trekking options, Manaslu Trekking (or Manaslu Circuit trek) being the most popular one which takes 14-22 days to complete depending upon the routes choice. This circuit was open only after the Government of Nepal gave permission in 1911. Just like any other trek in the Himalaya trails, this trek also requires a Restricted Area Permit as there are number of restricted areas in the region because when it comes to measuring the difficulty level, it is equally compared to Annapurna Base Camp trek and Everest Base Camp Trek.
The Manaslu circuit trek usually begins in Arunghat Bazaar and completes in Besisahar, which is the beginning stage of the Annapurna Circuit Trek. On the way to the base camp you will encounter some of the tallest peaks in the world including 10 crests over 6,500 meters (21,300 ft) and some standing 7000m (23000 ft) above the seal level. Some of the major peaks are Himalchuli (7,893m), Ngadi Chuli (7,891m), Shringi (7,187 m), Langpo (6,668 m) and Saula (6,235 m) however, Larkya La Pass at the height of 5,106 meters (16,752 ft) is the highest point you need to reach on this trek. Talking about the inhabitants in this region, two ethic groups dominate the region; Nubri and Tsum. In the central hills though, Gurungs have the preeminence. The religion they mostly follow here is Buddhism and the people are very religious as you can see on your journey there are monasteries and mani walls. The route follows the deep forests of rhododendron and pine trees, past lovely villages and hospitable people to provide you with warm accommodation. The trek is now a great tea-house trek. You can find various tea-house locations in Google Map. There is no rush for you to reach the base camp, you will be on move but at the same time you can relax and explore the mixed culture typical lifestyle of Nepalese in mountains.
Manaslu Circuit Trek does not have to be an ultimate trekking goal for the trekkers but it is definitely worth a try, at least once in your life. The best time to go for this venture is during the month of March till May when it’s spring or October till December during autumn when the weather is crystal clear for you to get the spectacular view of mountains right before your eyes. January is a cold and icy month but if you don’t like crowd and really looking to spend time alone, get a peace of mind, then this could be your month.