Manaslu region is named after Mount Manaslu [26718 ft/8163m], the 8th tallest peak in the world. Mt. Manaslu lies in the Mansiri Himal, part of the Nepalese Himalayas, in the west-central part of the Gorkha district of the Gandaki Province of Nepal. The word ‘Manaslu’ is derived from Manasa, meaning "intellect" or "soul". Thus Manaslu is known as the "mountain of the spirit". It was first climbed by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, members of a Japanese expedition on May 9, 1956.
Manaslu region offers varieties of trekking, peak climbing, and expedition options. Trekkers can explore the hidden valleys and unexplored trails. Nubri and Tsum are the two major places in the Manaslu region. Popular Manaslu Circuit Trek (110 mi /177 km) skirts the Manaslu massif over the pass down to Annapurna.
The Nepalese government allowed permits in 1991 for foreigners to trek. Trekking this circuit, you will follow an ancient salt-trading route along the Budhi Gandaki River. During the trek, you will reach Larkey La (16,752 ft/ 5,106m), the highest point of the trek.
While trekking Manaslu, you will find the Gurung and Bhotias cultures and lifestyles. Alike the Sherpa ethnic group of Tibetan, Bhutias or Bhotias dominate the Upper Manaslu. These indigenous have their own typical culture, tradition, and lifestyle. Still, you can see flat-roofed houses, ancient Buddhist monasteries, chortens, and nomadic herding practices in this region.
Jagat, Deng, Namrung, Sama Gaun, and Samdo are the most popular stops while trekking. During your walk, you will pass through the Manaslu Conservation Area, which is the home of about 9,000 inhabitants and over 2,000 species of plants, 39 mammals, 201 birds, 3 reptiles, and 11 butterflies in 11 types of forest.
The most significant of them are the highly endangered snow leopards and Pandas and other mammals such as the Himalayan Black Bear, Dhole, Assamese Monkey, Himalayan House Hare, Himalayan Musk Deer, Lynx, Grey Wolf, Blue Sheep, Himalayan Tahr, Mainland Serow, Himalayan Goral, Wooly Hare, Black Lipped Pika, Horseshoe Bat, etc.
Manaslu is also rich in vegetation such as Blue Pine, the national Flower Rhododendron, and various medicinal and aromatic herbs and plants. The mostly found birdlife in this region includes the golden eagle, Eurasian Griffon, Himalayan griffon, kalij, Tibetan snowcock, and the crimson-horned pheasant.