Annapurna region’s absolute favorite of the trekkers offers many beautiful trekking routes. Among many routes, Mardi Himal Trek is one of them. Mardi Himal Trek is recently opened trail thus trail is graced by a few numbers of trekkers. So, if you are looking for a short trek in Nepal, then think about Mardi Himal. One more interesting fact of Mardi Himal Trek is that the trek traverses through a road less route hence it gives you a true experience of trekking in the off the beaten path of Nepal. Here we are describing A complete Guide of Mardi Himal Trek.
Highlights of Mardi Himal Trek
Besides, the trail being new gives you the raw experience of trekking on the off the beaten path of Nepal, Mardi Himal Trek lets you enjoy the sights and sceneries that nature has bestowed in this path. From the glorious up-close view of the mountains to the wilderness of the trail, you can feel the essence of the trek while you are on your journey to the base camp of the mountain.
Mardi Himal stands tall at an elevation of 5587m above sea level is a pretty easy trek in Nepal. The route to Mardi Himal is quite different than the other trail of the Annapurna region. While most of the trail passes through the traditional villages, Mardi Himal mostly passes through the lush jungle where you can find little human settlement. However, the journey gives you a chance to reacquaint with nature.
Furthermore, the journey entails passing through swiftly flowing rivers which will be music to your ears while you are on the trek. Likewise, you will be blessed with the breathtaking vistas of Annapurna massif, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Hinchuili, Machhapuchhre, Lamjung Himal and many more astoundingly beautiful peaks of Nepal. Not to forget the cultural and traditional villages of Rai and Limbus who will offer pleasant hospitality to you.
Best time to do the trek
Mardi Himal is doable throughout the year. However, if we have to mention the best time to do Mardi Himal trek would be spring and autumn season in Nepal.
Spring season falls from March-May in Nepal. During this season, you can see a wide assortment of blossoms sprouting, for example, national bloom Rhododendron, magnolia and different wildflowers on the trek. Also, only a few meters of snow will be on the trail and the mountain views are clear and breathtaking. Also, the climate is warm during the day and evenings are cool.
The autumn season falls from September – November. At this time of the year, you will be graced by the moderate temperature and green lush forests and, splendid views of the Annapurna massifs. Autumn season is the peak season for trekking in Nepal besides spring season.
The trek is doable in winter as well. In Nepal, winter falls from late November to early March. However, due to snow, the route can get blocked. Therefore, other than the harsh winter air and chance of heavy snowing there is no other hindrance to trek at this time.
It is quite difficult to do Mardi Himal Trek during monsoon. The trail will be muddy and there are high chances of encountering leeches and worms that frequent during the rainy season. Besides that, there are high chances of routes being blocked by landslides.
What type of food is found in Mardi Himal Trek?
From typical traditional Nepalese dishes to international cuisine, you can expect all sorts of foods while hiking in Nepal. The teahouses where you will stay overnight will provide you a menu with varieties of foods. Besides, if you have a preference like vegan meals, vegetarian meals, non-vegetarian meals and gluten-free meals that will also be arranged. Just make sure to let your host know about your preferences. And if you value your money then we suggest sticking to Daal (lentil soup), Bhat (rice), spinach, vegetable curries, bread (roti/chapatti) will be the best option.
What type of accommodation is found during Mardi Himal Trek?
And regarding accommodation, trekkers who have trekked in the Himalayas of Nepal are familiar with the type of accommodation they will get while on the trek. Accommodation in Mardi Himal Trek is simple and basic. You must not expect luxury accommodation. Since the trail mostly passes through forest, the tea houses built on this route are only to provide accommodation and food to the trekkers. Hence, do not except the same type of accommodation as you had on the Everest trail or Annapurna region trek.
But except to share the rooms with other trekkers in the tea houses at the high altitudes.
And what is the condition of the Bathroom?
The bathroom is outside the housing area. And the condition is the same for the shower too. And toilets found in the tea house are mostly squat down type.
The trail is remote and you will see not any shops on the trail except tea houses and small villages. Thus, be prepared with enough money you will require while on the trek. You will not find any money exchange shops or ATMs on the trek.
Note: No foreign currencies are accepted on the trail so make you have plenty of local currency with you.
Electricity and Internet
You will find electricity on the trek but mostly in the dining or reception area of the tea-house. You can find electricity in your room in Gandruk but afterward, it is only available in the dining areas of the tea houses. Similarly, if you want to charge your electrical devices then expect to pay some fee. But please make sure you know the fee before taking the services. In general, it cost about NPR 100-150 per hour.
And regarding the internet, you will have a WIFI facility while on the trek. Like electricity, you are charged a certain amount for WIFI too.
Is Mardi Himal trek difficult?
In general, Mardi Himal Trek is a moderate level trek. If you do not have any previous experience of trekking in the Himalayas then you shall not worry. Because the maximum elevation you will reach during this trek is 4200m above sea level. You can easily adapt to this height if you take the acclimatization measure correctly. For instance, not rushing the trek, drinking plenty of water and using rest days if needed are some but great tips to remember while doing Mardi Himal Trek.
Furthermore, on average you will be walking for 4-5 hours daily which is achievable by anyone. Additionally, the trek is attainable by every age group of people.
How many days it take to do Mardi Himal Trek?
Mardi Himal Trek is a comparatively short trek that can be finished in 4-5 days excluding your arrival and departure days in Nepal. Thus, we can say Mardi Himal is a week-long trekking journey in Nepal.
Common trekking route to reach Mardi Himal?
The journey begins for Mardi Himal Trek from the beautiful Lakeside city –Pokhara if you do not consider Kathmandu as your start point. From Pokhara, you will hike to forest camp then continue the journey towards High camp the next day. The trail as earlier mentioned is through the dense sub-tropical forest. Afterward, the journey requires descending to Siding village and on to Pokhara valley following the next day. In general, the trekking part can be completed in 4-5 days.
Besides the above-given route, there are few other alternative routes that you can take on. For instance, you can start the trek from Ghandruk or Kande or Landruk.
Do we need to hire a guide and porter for Mardi Himal Trek?
We strongly recommend interested trekkers to hire a guide and a porter for the trek. Because the trail passes through jungles where for hours you can’t see or meet villagers to guide you through the trail. It is better to be prepared than to risk yourself by getting lost in the woods.
How to access clean water to drink while on the trek?
Water is available along the trekking trail. You can even purchase bottled water along the trail. We do not recommend buying water bottles as it will trash the trail only. Moreover, you will find many taps along the way from where you can fill your water bottle and purify the water using the water purification tablet and drink it.
Thus, we recommend to bring a water purification tablet along with you.
Trekking permit for Mardi Himal Trek
Yes, you do require a trekking permit for Mardi Himal Trek. As you know, Mardi Himal is also a part of Annapurna Sanctuary. So you will require not one but two entrance permits card. You will require Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) to enter the Annapurna Conservation Area. Likewise you also require a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) card for Mardi Himal Trek. TIMS is a procedure or a system which is required to keep the number of trekkers visiting Nepal along with their basic information including trekking region and number of days.
And if you are wondering where to get these permits then no worry. We are here with answers. You can get ACAP at Nepal Tourism Board in Pradarshani Marg, Kathmandu and TIMS card from TIMS counter in Thamel.
However, if your trip is organized by a travel agent then you shall not worry about it because they will organize the permits for you.
NOTE: 2 passport size photographs are required for ACAP and TIM’s card.
So, if you are planning for Mardi Himal Trek, then the above-mentioned topic covers most of the information you should know about the trek. We hope that it will be somewhat helpful in preparing your trek.