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Manaslu Region

Manaslu is the eighth-highest mountain in the world at 8163 meters / 26781 ft above sea level in the west-central Himalayas of Nepal. The peak is situated in the Gorkha District and lies about 200 km (320 mi) north west of capital city Kathmandu. The mountain’s long ridges and valley glaciers offer feasible approaches from all directions and culminate in a peak that towers steeply above its surrounding landscape and is a dominant feature when viewed from afar.


The Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) was established in 1997 with the primary objective of achieving conservation and sustainable management of the delimited area. It covers 1663 square kilometers (642 sq mi) and is managed by the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) of Nepal. The status of “conservation area” applied to the Manaslu area or region was with the basic objective “To conserve and sustainable management of the natural resources and rich cultural heritage and to promote ecotourism to improve livelihood of the local people in the MCA region.”


The Manaslu region offers a variety of trekking options. The popular Manaslu Circuit Trek route of 177 kilometers (110 mi) skirts the Manaslu massif over the pass down to Annapurna Conservation Area (ACAP). The Nepalese Government only permitted trekking of this circuit in 1991. The trekking trail follows an ancient salt-trading route along the Budhi Gandaki River. En route, 10 peaks over 6500 meters (21325 ft) are visible, including a few over 7000 meters (22966 ft). The highest point reached along the trek route is the Larkya La high pass at an elevation of 5106 meters (16752 ft). 

Manaslu Himal, as it is popularly known among trekkers, provides views of the snow-covered mountains of the Himalayas and allows close interaction with the different ethnic groups who live in hill villages scattered along the trek route. 


The region comprises sub-tropical Himalayan foothills to arid Trans-Himalayan high pastures bordering Tibet. Starting from Arughat and extending into the Larkya La pass, the area covers six climatic zones: the tropical and subtropical zone, the temperate zone, the subalpine zone, the alpine zone, and the arctic zone (lying above 4500 meters. The zones coalesce with the variation of the altitude from about 600 meters (2000 ft) in the tropical zone to the 8156 meters (26759 ft) summit of Manaslu in the arctic zone.

Flora and Fauna

Unlike many other regions, this valley is a sanctuary to many highly endangered animals, including snow leopards and red pandas. Other mammals include lynx, Asian black bear, gray wolf, dhole, Assam macaque, Himalayan musk deer, blue sheep, Himalayan tahr, mainland serow, Himalayan goral, wooly hare, horseshoe bat, Himalayan mouse-hare, and black-lipped pika. 

Conservation of wildlife in the area has mostly been achieved by monks of the monasteries in the area by putting a hunting ban in place. This action has helped the wildlife to prosper. Some 110 species of birds have been identified in the area, including golden eagle, Eurasian griffon, Himalayan griffon, blood pheasant, Himalayan monal, Kalij pheasant and koklass pheasants, Himalayan and Tibetan snow cocks, and the crimson horned pheasant.


Manaslu was first climbed on May 09, 1956, by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, members of a Japanese expedition. It is said that, given the many unsuccessful attempts by the British to climb Everest before New Zealander Edmund Hillary, “just as the British consider Everest their mountain, Manaslu has always been a Japanese mountain.”

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