Beauty Under The Shadow Of The Annapurna Range – Mardi Himal Trek
Beauty of Mardi Himal Trek is located east of the famous Annapurna Base Camp Trek, the Mardi Himal Trek route is a hidden gem in the region, as it is the least traveled one in the area. The trekking opened for trekking in 2002, and ever since, it has remained fairly obscure. However, this trait of the Mardi Himal trekking route is in fact what makes it so well suited for the adventure seekers who wish to avoid the crowded route of the Annapurna Base Camp trek, or other treks in the region.
The Mardi Himal trekking route explores much of the Annapurna region. The eerie solitude of the journey only seeks to further immerse you into the natural surroundings, as you go through the mesmerizing scenario of pristine rhododendron forests and oak tree lines. The picturesque scenario of forestry fades as you travel higher and you are greeted with the extravagant view of some of the world’s tallest mountain ranges.
To name a few, Mardi Himal 5,587M, Mt. Machhapuchhre (6,693 m) quite literally meaning ‘Fishtail’, Mt.Annapurna I (8,090 m) and Annapurna South (7,219 m) are the key highlights of this region. The area here is alpine, with the surrounding being composed of grazing meadows.
Mardi Himal Trek Itinerary
The Mardi Himal trek begins in Pokhara, lasts for 12 days, and explores much of the untouched region around Mardi Himal as you embark on a journey of a lifetime. During the trek, you cover places such as Kande, Sidhing, Lumde, and so on.
You also cover numerous camps like High Camp, Forest Camp, Australian Camp, and so on. All these places and settlement areas don’t just offer you amazing food and recommendation, but also, they contribute to making your trek full of joy.
In these places, you will come across numerous tribes of indigenous people who have been living here for centuries. It is a great experience to get to know about them, their lifestyle, and so on. During your stay in these villages, you’re bound to get mesmerized by the natural beauty, and also you’ll be fascinated by how man and nature coexist in an inhospitable environment as such.
During the journey, you also get to explore the cities of Pokhara and Kathmandu. While the former one is known for natural spectacles like lakes, caves, and mountain views, the latter one is known for its historical, cultural, and religious heritages. You’re bound to visit these two cities before your trekking journey on any route in the Annapurna region.
Mardi Himal trek route Information
The entire Annapurna region, which includes the Mardi Himal trek route, is a part of the Annapurna Conservation Area, which is the largest conservation area of Nepal. It is also one of the richest protected areas of Nepal when it comes to the population of rare and endangered species.
During your trek, you’re bound to come across one or the other such creatures. You will make your way through various landscapes, and the one that you’d absolutely adore are the forests of rhododendron. It is in these jungles that you’d spot numerous rare birds and animals.
The beauty of Mardi Himal Trek is one of the shortest treks in the region. So, if you’re someone who generally prefers longer treks, you may not be quite content with it. Now, there is one option that you can go for if that’s the case.
Since the trek is in the Annapurna region, there are numerous other trek routes around Mardi Himal Trek. The two of the most prominent ones are Annapurna Base Camp trek and Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek. Now, provided that you have the required time, you could merge the three journeys together.
The resulting trek won’t just cover Annapurna Base Camp, but Machapuchhre Base Camp, Mardi Himal Base Camp, and Poon Hill. All these four places are major attractions of the Annapurna region, and they are most popular as viewpoints. Machapuchhre Base Camp and Mardi Himal Base Camp also serve as overnight rest spots.
This combined trek will also allow you to explore multiple villages in the region, which are not parts of Mardi Himal trek. Overall, the journey gets longer, more exciting, challenging, and adventurous. There’s nothing more that you’d need.
Important Factors Regarding Mardi Himal Trek
Before embarking on any journey, gaining a basic understanding of the situation ahead is always important with the beauty of Mardi Himal trek being no exception to this rule. Food and accommodation are some of the more general concerns expressed by most who have embarked on this trek.
Important Permits and Costs
The general cost of Mardi Himal trek ranges between $500 and $700. For permits, a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management system) card is required which costs from $10 to $20 depending on whether or not you are with a local trekking agency. Similarly, an Annapurna Conservation Area permit costs $20 as well as an additional VAT of 13%.
Transport and Tour Costs
Transportation by tourist bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara will cost around $10 while the less-crowded alternative via a private car, jeep or van will cost around $120, $170 and $220 respectively. The tourist bus takes approximately 7 hours to get to Pokhara. If you choose the option of airlines to travel to Pokhara, which is the shortest route taking only 25 minutes, it will cost $125 per head.
Guides are a necessity whenever you are traveling to new areas. A licensed guide will cost you around $25 to $30 per day which covers accommodation, food, and insurance. A porter costs around $30 per day. Accommodation includes overnights at a local tea house which costs around $2 to $6 per room.
Equipment and Cost
Beauty of Mardi Himal Trek needs various necessary equipment that is a must for your trip. These include an all-season sleeping bag and backpacking sleeping pad, a warm and waterproof jacket, mid to light trekking boots and trekking poles, a duffel and daypack, trekking trousers and shirts including a base layer and a second layer fleece, warm gloves with inner and outer layers, and warm thermal socks.
However, depending on the conditions of both, the purpose of your journey and the circumstances around it, your beauty of Mardi Himal trek packing list may differ. Brand new equipment may be as expensive as $2000, or as cheap as $500. But generally, a total budget of $500 to $1000 is recommended for the equipment cost.
Similarly, visa, insurance, flight costs, and general costs of travel are also factors to be considered. The visa to Nepal costs $30 for 15 days, $50 for a 30-day stay, and $125 for 90 days. In conclusion, Nepal is in no way an expensive country, so you should find the beauty of Mardi Himal trek budget to be quite reasonable.
Travel Insurance and Cost
It is also highly recommended that you carry travel insurance as trekking always comes with risks. The basic insurance needs to cover events such as flight cancellation, tour cancellation, and medical costs. Insurance policies may not cover trips over 4,000 m, so it is important that you acquire details confirming that you are covered for both high altitude and medical air support. The insurance cost varies greatly but on average around $150.
A wide variety of cuisines are available at tea houses throughout the trek. These include Nepali, Tibetan, Indian, and Continental. Regarding your hotel stay at Kathmandu, breakfast is provided but lunch and dinner must be covered on your own. Arrangements for vegetarian, vegan, or lactose-free diets can be made if you inform us in advance.
Accommodations include a 3-star hotel during your stay in Kathmandu, and the best lodges picked by our guides on the route. All accommodation will be on a twin shared basis. The showers and lavatories are also offered on a shared basis as you reach the mountains.
Mardi Himal Trek Difficulty
Classified as a ‘Moderate trek’, the Mardi Himal trek is well suited even for amateur trekkers. The route itself is not very difficult with the trek itself being just around 10 days long. The average trek in the itinerary lasts around 5-6 hours and involves some degree of uphill climbing with well-scheduled resting periods to make your journey easier.
Although the trek is not at all difficult for experienced trekkers, some beginners may find the long walks quite exhausting. So, preparing yourself physically is important. As with most treks, stamina, and lower body strength are extremely important. At least 3 weeks of preparation on this is recommended.
Finally, the possibility of altitude sickness can be a bit of a problem as you go higher up towards the Mardi Himal base camp. Altitude sickness can cause shortness of breath as your body cannot adjust quickly enough to the lower atmospheric pressure and oxygen level.
This is why having enough resting periods is extremely important. Any and all signs of possible altitude sickness must be reported immediately.
Maintaining proper hydration is extremely important. It is recommended that you carry at least one bottle of water throughout the trek. Similarly, any form of common stimulants including alcohol and sleeping pills should be avoided entirely during the trek.
Best Time For Mardi Himal Trek
The Mardi Himal Trek takes place in the Himalayan region where the weather can be unpredictable. However, there are some reasons that are better suited for visiting than others.
For the autumn season, September to November is the best month. During this time, the day time temperature is around 15 degrees while night time temperature can reach as low as 0 degrees. Autumn gives you the opportunity to observe a congregation of vibrant colors of leaves and majestic sunsets. Autumn is usually considered the best month.
For spring, late March to May is considered the best time for enjoying the blooming rhododendron forests and clear bright skies. It is recommended that you carry sun protection.
Although the winter trek from December to February is cold and quite hostile, it is well suited for those who prefer less crowded traveling. Similarly, during Monsoon, rainfall can prove to be quite troublesome. So, it is recommended that you prepare accordingly. It is also recommended that you carry insect repellants.
Mardi Himal Trek Map
Beauty of Mardi Himal Trek is a complex journey partly due to the variety of attractions found in the region. So, a general understanding of the area of a visit is important. Unfortunately, time is limited and not all parts can be explored.
Thus, selecting the most interesting sites to explore in such a vast area would require a Mardi Himal trek map, with which you will have the freedom to select your sites of interest, the routes and side routes, and overall discretion regarding how you wish to conduct your journey.
Making plans, dictating your journey through the area, anticipating the challenges ahead, and deciding whether to face them or take a detour becomes very convenient with the help of a Mardi Himal trek map. A similar principle also implies to any of your general visits to Nepal.
Going on the beauty of the Mardi Himal trek is one of the best ways to explore the hills around the Annapurnas. The journey allows you to explore the subtle side of the region. Since the journey is shorter and comparatively simpler than the other treks here, it can turn out to be the best option for you especially if you’re a first-time trekker.
The journey allows you to experience nature at its best, which can prove to be the best thing for you if you’re a nature lover. You should try the Mardi Himal trek during your upcoming holidays.
Himalaya Guide Nepal Pvt. Ltd. is a registered trekking company with professional guides and helpers. We have been working for 18 years in the tourism industry of Nepal organizing trekking, peak climbing, expedition, hiking, tours, air ticketing, hotel reservations, and adventure activities. Recommended on Trip Advisor and Representative in different countries.