TRIP FACTS Trip Duration: 8 days Grade: Moderate Maximum Altitude: 4100 m Trek Type: Tea House/ Lodge Accommodations: Hotels, Tea Houses
Mardi Himal and Machhapuchhare Trekking is one of the exotic and interesting treks in Nepal, It starts from Pokhara. This trek offers an opportunity to explore traditional villages, incredible scenery, infinite and diversity of culture, spectacular views of livery mountains and tempting views of River and you can see the exotic valley on the way of trekking trail. The emphasis of the treks is on the forest and wilderness zone of these mountains. Some villages are visited on the last days of the trek and these receive few visitors and regain much of their traditional charm. This trail is totally non touristic and some time difficult to find the way. You can see watchfull eyes of Shepherd. Mardi Himal treks takes away from the tea houses trails and takes you through a forests and villages. After finishing village walk you will enter in the jungle area where you can see many types of the orchids , NTFP, with enjoy of the wildlife observation along the dense rhododendron forest. Your destination is up to brown pasture land via top ridge of the hill seeing many other trekking trail as Annapurna sanctuary, Ghandruk loop, Annapurna panorama, Machhapuchhare taan model trek, Tara hilltop trek other places to be seen from here are sarangkot,pokhara valley,7 districts of the western Nepal. In the mountain whole Annapurna range (Annapurna i-iv, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Tent Peak, Gandarwa Chuli, Singu Chuli, Holymount Fishtail, Mardi Himal, Lamjung Himal, Manaslu & Dhawalagiri) can be seen from the nearer point with enjoying peaceful &non crowded environment. Mainly Brahmin, Gurung, Chhetri, Tamang & blacksmith caste people stay in this area. Why to visit Mardi Himal trek? • To get enjoy of the culture, nature, norms, hot hospitality. • To get real peacefulness & real wilderness. • To protect time & see many scenery of the other trekking route. • Wildlife observation &dense rhododendron forest. • To see traditional agriculture, watermill, honey hunting, cattle farming(yak, sheep, goat, cow, buffalo etc) • Nepali traditional settlement.
Day 01: Drive or fly to Pokhara (800m)
After hot breakfast drive 200km to Pokhara and it takes about 6-7 hours from Kathmandu by tourist bus. It is an exciting and romantic drive that we can enjoy beautiful scenic view of terraced rice field, eye catching landscape, Trisuli and Marsyangdi Rivers and spectacular panoramic view of Ganesh Himal, Manaslu, Lamjung Himal and most of Annapurna Himalayan Range are seen. The tourist coach stops for breakfast at 09:00 am and at around 12:00 for lunch on the way to Pokhara.
Day 02: Drive to Phedi and trek to Pothana (1925m, about 4 hours trek)
After hot breakfast we drive half an hour to Phedi and commence our trek to Pothana at the elevation of 1810m. The trail is steep until Dhampus and pleasant easy walk up to Pothana, where you stay in a teahouse lodge for the first night.
Day 03: Trek to Forest Camp at Kokar (2,600m)- 4 hours walking.
From Pothana you walk up to a place called Pitam Deurali where you will turn off the main Annapurna Sanctuary trek and continue along a quiet trail through a dense forest of oak, maple, hemlock and rhododendron. Tonight we stay at one of the lodges in a clearing of the forest at Forest Camp or also known by the locals as Kokar. The lodges at Kokar are quite basic and there is no dining room so you will probably have meals in kitchen with the owner, so in some ways this is more like a homestay and is a good opportunity to get to know this friendly family from Siding village.
Day 04: Trek to Low Camp (3,150m)- 5 hours trekking.
The trail continues from Forest Camp to Low Camp through the forest however as we ascend the vegetation starts to change with more rhododendron and the trees are covered with moss, lichen and tree ferns. At Low Camp there are two basic lodges one with a dining room with open fire. The view from Low Camp is superb with Mount Machhapuchhre visible up the valley.
Day 05: Trek to High Camp (3,700m)- 4 hours trekking.
An hour or so above Low Camp the trail breaks out above tree line and towards the west there is a good view to Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. The trail continues along the Mardi Himal ridge mainly on grass with some isolated rhododendron bushes along the way. Look out for the colourful Danphe pheasant on this section of the trail. The lodge at High Camp is larger than lodges at Low Camp and Forest Camp, this one has eight rooms and a separate dining room with heater. The view from the lodge is superb to Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail).
Day 06: Excursion to Mardi Himal Base Camp (4,500m)- 4 hours Trekking.
The plan for today is to wake early for sunrise view of the mountains then after an early breakfast walk up the ridge towards Mardi Himal Base Camp. There is a well-established trail through the grass with a couple of steeper sections however overall not too challenging. Look out for the dzokpo (yak/ cow crossbreds) grazing up here as well as Danphe pheasant. In the summer the sheep and goats from lower villages are brought up to graze in this area so you will pass a number of herder’s huts along the way. After three hours you should reach Base Camp at the elevation of 4500m this is where one can look into the Annapurna Sanctuary and the panorama view is spectacular looking at south face of Annapurna and all of the peaks in the Sanctuary as well as Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail).
Day 07: Trek to Siding village (1,750m) -6 hours walking.
On the way back we take a different route so completing a circuit, from Low Camp there is a trail that goes down to Siding village rather than going back down Mardi Himal back to Kokar. Siding is a traditional Nepalese village and still very much away from the busier modern tourist treks and it is likely you will stay at a homestay in Siding owned by the person who runs one of the lodges at Low Camp. It is a wonderful cultural experience finding out more about village life and you will probably eat dhal baht in the evening with the family in their kitchen.
Day 08: Trek to Lumre and drive to Pokhara- 3 hours walking and 2 hours driving.
From Siding you walk out to the road head at Lumre, on the way from Siding you will pass the villages of Kalimati and Ghalel. Kalimati is mainly a Brahmin village with Ghalel and Siding mixed Brahmin and Gurung. At Lumre you will meet jeep organised by Wilderness Excursion in advance to drive you back to Pokhara.