Manaslu & Ganesh Himal
Areas in Manaslu & Ganesh were affected by the earthquake of April 25, 2015. We advise you to contact your tour operator for detailed information about trail conditions on your chosen route.
The big mountain scenery of Manaslu and Ganesh is astonishing. There’s the two-horned massif of Manaslu (8156m), the circumnavigation of which is a meditation on the wonders of Himalayan geology. There’s Ganesh Himal (7406m), named for the serpentine southern ridge that evokes the elephant-headed Hindu god of good fortune. And then there’s Himalchuli (7893m), which rises an incredible 7000m from the Marsyangdi River. Nestled in between these Himalayan giants are villages that draw from Hindu and Buddhist influences. Add a sprinking of butterflies amidst forests from sal to pine, and you’ll be convinced you’ll catch a sight of the shy red panda.
The Manaslu and Ganesh region is poised between past and future – the villages still unfrequented, but already welcoming visitors – now is the time to go for a taste of the unbeaten trail in the next trekker’s Mecca.
Manaslu and Ganesh have long been overshadowed by the established trekking regions to either side. But both the ‘spirit mountain’ and the ‘elephant mountain’ are so spectacular, and so easily accessible by bus, it’s a mystery why it’s taken so long for guides and trekkers to discover them.
Manaslu lies north of the historic fortress town of Gorkha, from where the last kings of Nepal ventured forth to conquer the rest of the country in the 18th Century. The Manaslu Circuit has recently become a teahouse trek, opening up the misty wood-shingled villages of the Nupri Valley. But hikers are free to explore the many other trails being forged right now. The Tsum Valley trek has beautiful views of the four 7000m peaks of the Ganesh massif, and visitors can experience the distinct Tibetan-influenced culture of the Tsumba people, who prohibit the slaughter of all living beings.No doubt this enhances the protection afforded to such endangered species as the Snow Leopard and the Red Panda.
You can also enjoy a culturally enchanting homestay with the Tamangs, the original horse traders of Nepal. The adventurous can venture higher for a ‘walk in the clouds’ above Tiru Danda, from where gorgeous views stretch from the Annapurnas to Ganesh Himal.
With a variety to rival the Annapurna region, it’s no exaggeration to say Manaslu’s time has come. Forget the jams of the more established routes. Barring the busy teahouses, you’ll have the trails here mostly to yourself – if you don’t mind sharing it with blue sheep, langurs, yaks andthe myriad butterflies weaving in and out of the thundering waterfalls.
Tsum Valley and Ganesh Himal Base Camp Trek – 17 days
Manaslu’s hidden gem: trek through breathtaking mountain scenery, wild forests and Tibetan villages with Ganesh Himal towering above the valley. The Tsum Valley portion can be combined with the Manaslu Circuit. Along this route, you can stay in basic teahouses or homestays.
Manaslu Circuit – 13 days
This trek has it all: stunning up-close views of the ‘spirit mountain’ Manaslu, enchanting Hindu and Tibetan villages and a challenging high pass: the Larke Pass at 5160 meters. Trekkers stay in teahouses and lodges along this route.
Explore more treks in Manaslu & Ganesh Himal
- The highest peak in this region is Manaslu, which at 8163m is the 8th highest peak in the world
- Ganesh Himal is named after the Hindu God of Good Fortune. The Tiru Danda offers breath taking views of it.
- The area is highly diverse, being home to Brahmin, Chhetri, Tamang, Magar, Tibetan and Gurung peoples
- Manaslu was first climbed on May 9, 1956 by Toshio Imanishi from Japan and Gyalzen Norbu of Nepal
- The region shelters endangered animals such as the snow leopard and red pandas – especially in the northern reaches as Buddhist Lamas prohibit the killing of animals.
- A hidden gem here is the Tsum Valley. Really worth a visit.
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