Unleashing Manaslu’s Majesticity

November 20, 2014 , by Mohan Duwal, 3 Comments
Unleashing Manaslu’s Majesticity » My Dreams Mag
Manaslu in itself is majestic. The snowcapped peaks, the winds blowing with an amazing intensity- all of it reminds you of the splendor of nature. The path to Manaslu isn’t any less incredible. Mohan Duwal has been generous enough to share his brilliant photographs with us. Here is to Manaslu and her awe-inspiring trails. The month of October was especially exciting for our photographer, Mohan Duwal. An IT specialist by profession, a photographer by interest and a traveler at heart, he takes a vacation every year to go some places he hasn’t been before. Manaslu is one of the coveted destinations for trekkers and mountaineers alike all over the world. As a hard-core trekking enthusiast, it is no surprise that trekking to Manaslu was on Mohan’s list.

The trip started with a bus ride from Kathmandu to Aarughat with two friends and a very friendly guide Bishan Dai, followed by yet another bus ride to Soti Khola.
“The Path That Lies Ahead” – The 12-day trek then commences from Soti Khola with Mohan and his friends walking day in and day out and discovering nature’s grandeur.
“Shoe Story, Sad Endings” –Makeshift bridges without handles for support are common in rural Nepal. Mohan says, “I had bought a pair of ‘nice’ shoes thinking I got them for a very good price. These shoes tore and gave away in two days.”
“Balance” – “Now these shoes were my friend’s backup shoes. They were older than mine but they were perfectly fine even after we were done with the trip!” he says.
“I’m fabulous!” – The trail is full of lizards. They are very sneaky though and run away as soon as they are spotted.
“Faith” – A Buddhist shrine.
“Beauty spotted” – Waterfalls can be spotted every now and then on the trail.
“The original Tumbl(e)r” – My thoughts – “This little house by the waterfall must have a magnificent view! The view must be crooked, too!”. Mohan corrects me by saying that it’s a power house that produces hydro-electricity with its water-trubines. Nauli waterfall in the background.
“The wait”- A little girl looks at passers-by out of her window.
“Serenity” – Budhi Gandaki river makes its way between two hills at Jagat. The Manaslu Conservation Area Project territories begin from here.
“Survival” – A woman dries maize grains after “winnowing” them. In hilly areas, maize is one of the very few crops that can be grown.
“Rugged” – Thousands of years of wind blowing against these mountains at Ghap, and they still stand strong.
“Angelic” – Little siblings pose for Mohan as they play with maize grains.
“Pomme” – Apples in full blossom. It is said that the apples taste sweeter as you go higher up the mountains. Also, they are very energetic. Forget snickers, grab an apple! ;)
“Oh! For the love of football!” – A child plays with a deflated football on the smooth surface of a bridge, unlike the rough roads.
“On the lookout” – A baby lizard on its mother’s back basking in the sun. We like to think she is teaching her baby how to hunt!
“Gaas ra baas” – Mobile shots by Mohan showing their daily meal. “ This one place we ate at, it had the most awesome tomato chutney ever. Roasted tomatoes, coriander, chili and timur (Schezuwan pepper)….I am salivating right now.”
“Deep in thought” – A little boy seems to be lost in his own world of thought as Mohan photographs him. I ask, “Don’t the flies bother him?” Mohan replies, “Kati dhapaune! There are just so many flies!” The climates are harsh and children are rarely bathed these areas due to the fear of them falling sick. Medical facilities are at least a day’s walk.
“Majestic” – The snowcapped mountains begin to loom closer with the walking. The Monastery of Lho sits atop a hill.
“Together” – Population is sparse in mountainous areas and society consists of houses that are clustered together. The easy availability of rocks facilitate building of houses. The front portion is the old village of Samagaun. Behind it lies a new one full of new tourist hotels.
“Windy ” – A shrine marks the entrance of another beautiful village, Samdo. The winds start blowing around noon and are very strong.
A rest house is located below a huge morraine at 4400 m. It is the only available teahouse, with an accommodation capacity of 100 people. Mohan divulged, “It is so cold up there. I couldn’t doze off all night because it was so frigid.
“Our walk starts at 4:00 AM on D-Day (crossing Larkya Pass). Some people start at 2:00 AM, while the others wait until 6:00 AM in the morning. You walk non-stop for six hours. The path is so silent that you can hear your heartbeat. I could swear mine beat in a techno rhythm!”
The temperature gets colder and the walk gets tougher with the increasing altitude. “On the way, we saw one of the trekkers getting altitude sickness. He couldn’t walk anymore. A porter carried him on his back all the way to the next camp, all the way to Larkya pass.”
“Finally!” – On Day 8, Mohan and his friends finally read Lakya Pass. It is the highest point trekkers are allowed to go to at an altitude of 5135 metres. “We finally reached the pinnacle of the Pass. Dotted with prayer flags and stone cairns, the top of the pass offers a miraculous view of the Himalayan vista. It was beautiful!”
“But let me take a selfie first”
The trail goes further downhill to Bhimthang, Manang. I realized that it was tougher than the Thorong pass.
“Camp” – 10 hours of walk and you reach Bhimthang. It is the only place to rest after Dharmashala. Mules are used for transporting heavy goods on the trek. The picturesque camp of Bhimthang and the mountains provide the perfect backdrop for this mule. Mohan says, “Nepal is just so beautiful. If only there were resources for development of such places, they would be no less than Switzerland.”
“ Dazzling ” – Mohan manages to capture the beautiful Milky Way in Bhimthang, Manang..
“5-Star kitchen and Dining facilities” in Bhimthang
“We were lucky to cross the pass two days before the Hudhud storm but still we had to stay one extra day at Dharapani, Manang because of it. Because of heavy rainfall for almost two days, there were massive landslides at many places. The high water level in the waterfalls, which we had to cross along our way made our trek so much more adventurous.
“Uphill” – Blacktopped roads are almost unheard of in these areas. Seen in the picture – Women on their way to their homes in Tal, near Manang after going to the “besi” (lowlands) for supplies.
“Namaste! Feri aaunus hai!”
Photos by Mohan Duwal.
Words by Aayesha Rai Gurung.
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Categorised in: Food & Travel

3 comments on “Unleashing Manaslu’s Majesticity

  1. Surya Man Bajracharya says:


    After Looking Those Beautiful Pics, The Temptation Is So Strong That I Just Want To Pack-up & Move For The Manaslu Trekking Right Away! :)

  2. Subash says:

    Beautiful trek Mohan !
    And brilliant pics !
    I would defo like to do in the days to come.
    By the way, what a coincidence, I met Bishan, on my way back from Jomsom to Pokhara last July, Small world this is :)

  3. biplav says:

    words are not enough to define how I was feeling while going through these pictures. This should serve an inspiration to the people of Nepal who leave for greener pastures, that what they have left behind is In fact Heaven in disguise. Oh! how I wished I could pack my bags and leave and never be back.

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