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Manasalu Conservation Area

Manasalu Conservation Area
Nepal Travel Destination


Bordering the Annapurna Conservation Area in the west, the Manasalu Region lies in the Gorkha District west of Kathmandu and the north and eastern reaches of the conservation area border the Tibetan Plateau.

The success of the Manasalu Conservation area is thanks to the efforts of the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation and the Asian Development Bank. The objective of the area’s sponsors is to minimize the adverse environmental and cultural impacts via the eco-tourism model, while at the same time deliver the benefits of tourism to the local communities of the region.

Being such a remote treasure, it has now become one of Nepal’s major trekking areas for world travelers. Featuring varied elevations from just 600 meters, it has a maximum height that stretches to the summit of Mount Manasalu, the eighth tallest peak in the world at 8163 meters and fostering unique cultural and bio-diversity.

The major trekking route in the area, runs along the Budi Gandaki River, eventually reaching Larke Mountain Pass at 5106 meters and crossing into the Manang District.

The region, is stitched together with habitats that make home for nearly 30 species of mammals, including that of the highly endangered and elusive snow leopard. Other mammals that inhabit the area, are the Himalayan Tahr and the musk deer.

The animal life surviving within the Manasalu area, does not just end with mammals. The area is home to over 20 species of birds and three species of reptiles. The vegetation providing home for the numerous animal species consists of over 200 kinds of plants, 11 types of forest, and more than 50 harvest-able plants.

The villages of the area, house nearly 7000 people of mostly the Gurung community, (for more info about the Gurung community see our Ethnic Groups page) which is greatly influenced by their Tibetan culture and heritage due to their long isolation from outside impact. This is of immense value to those that travel to the area, because the numerous monasteries and places of worship in the area are frequented by the locals, the traditions of these ancient civilizations can be observed by the visitors.

Trekking through the region starts out from either Dhading or Arughat near Gorkha a famous town in its own right, being the the birth place of the great Nepali king, Prithvi Narayan Shah who unified Nepal. (You can read more about this King on the Kathmandu Valley page under history.)

Arughat can be accessed from Kathmandu by bus and an information center for the district is located there.

Daraundi, the alternative starting point for entry into the area, is located near Gorkha, from where it is a short hike to Sirdiwas the starting point of the regular trekking route.

To view pre-designed Nepal travel packages, see our programs page orĀ the encyclopedia for more Nepal Travel items.