GHT Manaslu & Ganesh Himal Section, Lower Trail
This section offers great views to the Ganesh Himal and Manaslu range. You visit the Gorkha palace, the palace of the unifier ofNepal, Pritvi Narayan Shah. The trail passes through charming, most Hindu villages and beautiful countryside and forests.
Teahouse/homestay/Camping (it is recommended to take a tent)
- Day 1 Kathmandu- Betrawati (605 m) (5 hr bus ride) - Bungtang (1294 m) 4 hrs It takes about 5 hrs by bus to Betrawati. Betrawati is a small bazaar town, with a few local restaurants; some can offer a place to stay upon request. You can also start walking to Bungtang (4 hrs) the same day.Shortly after leaving Betrawati, you enter the bufferzone of Langtang National Park (no fee). The trail follows the Trisuli River, and brings you at the small village of Sole (613 m). After Sole, you follow the Salaukhu Khola upstream, going through fields and passing the villages Chilaune (765 m) and Kirnebagar (807). You cross a river stone hopping and start to climb through forest and terraces, with beautifl views on forested hills. 2 hrs after Kirnebagar you arrive at the village of Bungtang (1294-1540 m), a big and spread out village. It has a few small restaurants, which on request can provide a place to stay. It is recommended to bring a tent.
- Day 2 Bungtang (1294 m) - Chautara (1591 m) 5 ½ hrs After Bungtang the trail continues going up, going through forest and fields and as you get higher rhododendrons are appearing. You pass the villages of Phasang (1970 m; 2 ¾ after Bungtang) and Myagang (2054 m; after another ½ hr). In Myagang are a few small restaurants, where you can stop for lunch.You keep on climbing till you reach the highest point of today (2130 m, ½ hr after Myagang). Shortly after, you see an old stupa at your left (2117 m). Next to the stupa a small trail is going down steeply through forests and fields to the village of Gairagaon (1692-1611 m; 1 hr). You walk down through the village till you reach the dirt road below the village, which you follow for about 45 min till you reach the village of Chautara (1591 m).Chautara is a Tamang village. There are only a few local restaurants. Some can offer homestay facilities, but it is best to camp; ask around. In the surroundings, at about an hour walk, are the ruins of a Tamang palace; ask around for directions.
- Day 3 Chautara (1591 m)-Arugath (490 m) 8 ½ hrs This is quite long day! The total distance to cover is about 31 km, but there is not a lot of climbing involved, in fact most of the day you are going down. Other possibilities to stay overnight are Lapang, Sukaura and Salyantar.You leave Chautara, following the road through the village. Shortly after you pass the village of Tikardung (1589 m). The trail is going through the fields, and it is easy, rather flat walking. After about 45 min you pass the village of Tanzamani (1671 m), from which (with clear weather) you have the first view of Manaslu (8163 m) and the Ganesh Himal Range (Ganesh Himal I: 7422 m); a stunning view!After the viewpoint you are entering a small trail, going down through the bushes to the village of Marpak (1380 m; 1 hr), a charming, spread out village. You are walking through the countryside, slowly descending and you pass another beautiful viewpoint (1320 m) of the Ganesh Himal range and Manaslu, with the Ankhu Khola flowing far below you. You arrive at a dirt road, which is going through pine forest, and pass the village of Nimarchuk (1050 m; ½ hr). Far below you, you can see the Ankhu Khola. After another ½ hr, you take a steep trail going all the way down to the river and to the village of Lapang. There are a few restaurants here, where you can stop for an energizing dahl bath.You follow the dirt road again, walking through beautiful countryside and following the Ankhu River. You pass several villages, like Aku Sanku (525 m; 1 hr), Khare (519 m; 5 min, a small bazaar town), Sukaura (516 m; ½ hr) and Ganeshtan (502 m; 45 min). About 40 min after Ganeshtan you cross a small bridge (464 m) and you start climbing up northwards on a small trail. You pass the village of Salyantar (616 m; ½ hr) and a resting place, after which you go down steeply again to a dirt road (15 min). You follow the dirt road, walking through forest, bamboo, and small fields with banana plants. You follow the beautiful Budhi Gandaki river upstream. After about an hour you reach the town Arugath (490 m).At the entrance of Arugath, next to the bus station, is a resort (Manaslu View Camping Resort) which also has space for tents. Besides, there is another camping nearby.From Arugath you can take a bus to Kathmandu (6 hrs).
- Day 4 Arugath (490 m)- Kalikatang/Gorkha Palace (1313 m) 7 hrs The distance to cover today is about 26 km, but as most of the day you are walking more or less flat, it is not too difficult to make this distance. However, you can choose to stay overnight in one of the many villages earlier on the route; camping is recommended.A suspension bridge brings you into the centre of Arugath. From Arugath you have to climb up quite steeply via stairs, until you reach a dirt road (½ hr). From here it is easy, almost flat walking, mostly alongside fields and terraces. You pass small villages, like Tanrang Bazar (803 m; 30 min), Saune Pani (860 m; 10 min) Okhle (922 m; 40 min), and Kuwapani (907; ½ hr). A few minutes after Kuwapani a small trail to the left leads you through fields and small forests. The trail goes down at first and then climbs up steeply for about ½ hr, arriving at the village of Khanchowk (939 m). Khanchowk has a few local restaurants that serve dahl bath.It is easy walking to the small settlement of Sigre (923 m; 20 min). About ½ hr after Sigre, the path enters a beautiful subtropical forest, leading to the village of Kuereni (1012 m; 45 min), from which the trail goes down. You continue in southwestern direction, passing the villages of Korkhe Ale/Ale Banjyang (965 m; 20 min), Gabisa (1133 m; ½ hr), Pipaltok (1283 m), Hotia (1372 m; 20 min) and Padilithok (1307 m; ½ hr). From Padilthok it is another 10 minutes to Kalikatang, at the foot of the Gorkha Palace. Here you can camp next to a small local restaurant.The Gorkha Palace is also an important Hindu temple. This used to be the palace of Pritvi Narayan Shah, who unified Nepal in 1769. Especially the beautiful woodcarving of the palace is impressive. It is beautifully situated on top of a hill, offering great views of the valley.
- Day 5 Kalikatang/Gorkha Palace (1313 m)-Gorkha (1075 m) 1 hr From Kalikatang you go down to Gorkha via the Gorkha Palace. After the palace, stairs bring you all the way down to Gorkha Bazar. It is worth spending a day here, and visit the palace in the morning, and the Gorkha Museum in the afternoon. The museum has a beautiful display of paintings of the Shah kings around the 18th Century, weaponry, utensils, etc.Gorkha has plenty of hotels where you can stay for the night. For those who want to end their trek; from Gorkha you can take a bus back to Kathmandu, which takes about 6 hrs.
- Day 6 Gorkha (1075 m)-Appipal (1140 m) 7 hrs From Gorkha the trail goes all the way down to the Daraudi Khola (river) at about 400 m. After this it climbs up for most of the day, till you reach Appipal at 1140 m.From Gorkha buspark, you follow the road in western direction, which soon turns into a dirt road. Far below you, you see the Daraudi Khola at your right. The dirt road becomes a trail; and soon goes down steeply towards the river. You pass the small settlements of Nanglepani (746 m) and Borabesi (425 m). From Borabesi there are 2 choices: go left, towards Borabesi Bazar and cross the river there (longer way). Or go right and walk on a small trail through the fields towards the Daraudi Khola river (shorter way). In this case, you have to wade the river a few times to cross it (400 m). At the other side of the river you start climbing and after about 15 min you reach the first houses of Khoplang (480 m). However, Khoplang is a very spread out village and the “centre” is at about 730 m, 45 min ahead.Shortly after the first houses of Khoplang, the trail becomes a stairs, climbing up steeply through the forest. It leads to a dirt road, which you follow to the north/northeast with the Daraudi Khola far below you now. You are climbing through terraced fields, passing a few settlements which are also part of Khoplang, and then finally walk into the main part of Khoplang. Here you find a few small local restaurants, which serve dahl bath.After Khoplang you go down on a beautiful trail through terraces till you reach the village of Khoplang Banjyang (632 m; 20 min). You are going up again, through the forest and countryside, passing several villages, like Kolkate (807 m; ½ hr) and Baise Pani (905 m; ½ hr). You go down a bit to the village of Tsapa Banjyang (844 m; ½ hr), and up again passing the village of Pokhare Besi (913 m; ½ hr). The trail enters into the forest, slowly climbing up. After about an hour you reach a dirt road, where you go right. You first pass the village of Ribgaon (1192 m; 5 min) and after another 5 min arrive in the village of Appipal (1140 m).Appipal has a few small local restaurants, where you can eat dahl bath. For sleeping, camping is recommended as they don’t provide accommodation.
- Day 7 Appipal (1140 m)-Paudi (520 m) 6 hrs This is an easy day, with not a lot of climbing or descending. The distance is about 16 km, passing through small villages and fields.The day starts pleasantly with an easy walk through the forest on a dirt road going down slightly. After about 15 min you reach a small settlement, Mukudara (1036 m). In Mukudara you have an excellent view on the Manaslu range (with clear weather): Manaslu (8163 m) at the left, and next to Manaslu the Himal Chuli (7893 m) and Baudha Himal (6672 m). You see the Chepe Khola (river) far below you. It’s an amazing sight!At the end of the village, you go down towards the Chepe Khola. The trail is going through the fields, with the Manaslu range at your right, and passes the Gurung village of Bayapani (873 m). You arrive at a dirt road, which you follow westwards for about 10 min, till a trail at the right side of the dirt road brings you into a forest and goes down steeply to a suspension bridge over the Chepe Khola (542 m), which you cross. You follow the Chepe Khola downstream, on a beautiful small trail through the fields. You pass the village of Tinpiple (575 m; ½ hr) and Syauli Bazar (579 m; ½ hr). In Syauli Bazar are a few small local restaurants that serve dahl bath.You walk through the countryside, passing Salphedi (633 m; ½ hr) Goretari (568 m; ½ hr) and Tarkughat Bazar (489 m; 45 min), with its colorful houses.From Tarkughat Bazar you go northwards, following the Marsyangdi Nadi River upstream through forest and terraces. The path goes partly over the river beach, climbing over some big boulders and goes back into the forest again. You pass a small ashram (45 min), which is also an elderly home. You cross a suspension bridge (500 m) over the Marsyangdi Nadi River, and climb up to the village of Paudi (520 m).Paudi is a small bazaar town, with a few local restaurants. Some offer a place to stay as well, ask around. Below the town is a school with a football field where you can camp. There are buses to Besisahar from Paudi (1 hr). From Besisahar you can continue to Kathmandu (about 6 hrs) or Pokhara (about 4 hrs).
- Day 8 Paudi (520 m)-Besisahar (810 m) 7 hrs Today you follow the Marsyangdi Nadi river all day in northern direction, till you reach Besisahar. It is quite a long distance, over 24 km. You can decide to stay overnight earlier, in one of the towns at the left side of the Marsyangdi Nadi river.You cross the same suspension bridge you crossed yesterday and continue walking on the right side of the Marsyangdi Nadi river, following it upstream. The trail leads you through beautiful terraced fields to the river beach, where you have to cross some big boulders. A path is going up (stone stairs) away from the river, to the village of Matigaon (546 m; 1 hr).With clear weather you can see the Lamjung Himal and Annapurna 3 and 4. You enter into a beautiful forest. After crossing a suspension bridge over the Tardi Khola (a tributary of the Marsyangdi Nadi river; 525 m; 15 min), you climb up through terraces and forest, passing Doke Eklekhet (585 m; 15 min) and Belgari (539 m; ½ hr). After Belgari it is easy walking along the fields, passing the villages of Sagra (619 m; 15 min), Archalbot (653 m 10 min) and Alangche (589 m; 20 min). You cross a suspension bridge (600 m; 10 min) over the Dordi Khola and follow a small trail through the fields to the village of Ramchowk (630 m; 20 min). About 10 min after Ramchowk you pass a small restaurant, which can be a good place for lunch.You walk on a dirt road now, (which is more a tractor track), still following the Marsyangdi Nadi river. After about 40 min you arrive at a big dam. From here a nice trail through the fields leads to the village of Budikoa (700 m; 20 min). The dirt road/tractor track is climbing slowly through the forest till 785 m (1 hr) and then descends to the spread out village of Pasachaur (730 m; 15 min). After about 45 min you cross a suspension bridge (694 m), from which it is a short climb to Besisahar (755 m).Besisahar is the headquarters of Lamjung District and is quite big. It takes about ½ hr to cross the whole town. There are a few hotels and guesthouses, most are located at the other side of the town (800 m).Besisahar is the gateway for a couple of treks, among which the famous Annapurna Circuit. Another less well known trek, is the homestay trek to Gurung villages like Ghalegaun, Bhujung Pasgaun and Thumsikot, described partly in the Annapurna Section.
- Day 9 Besisahar-Kathmandu (6 hr bus ride) or Pokhara (4 hr bus ride) From Besisahar you can take a bus to Kathmandu (about 6 hrs) or Pokhara (about 4 hrs).