Mardi Himal Trek
Mardi Himal is the name given to the feature of the long rising ridge and its summit that from the southwest lower slope of Mount Machhapuchhare(Fishtail), the famous triangular skyline that is seen from the Phewa Lake at Pokhara. As we shall soon see from a closer and more westerly vantage point, the mountain hold win peak – thus its name, Machhapuchhare, which is English means “Fishtail”. Mardi himal trekking is relatively short and easy trek in the Annapurna Region the Majestic Grouping of Mountains.
Mardi Himal Trek is a veiled jewel for the dedicated trekkers and backpackers. Located eastwards of the classic Annapurna Base Camp, this trekking route is yet to witness a large mass like other commercial treks in Nepal though it officially opened for all only since 2012.The richly assorted terrains of Mardi Himal takes you athwart the densely forest areas leading to the high rocky stack trails. Although measured as a short trek, the path of Mardi Himal is ornamented with stone-built villages, terraced fields, rhododendron forests, along with astonishing spectacles of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, and Machhapuchhre peaks.
Mardi Himal Trek is an exceptional choice for travelers who have inadequate time to spend but are looking for a quench of trekking experience in Nepal. This trek offers an opportunity to value the solitary walk in the isolated trails of Annapurna region. Short and sensible, Mardi Himal Trek is an excellent option for both beginner travelers as well as experienced trekkers.
Mardi Himal Trek Facts
|Trip Duration||09 days|
|Maximum Altitude||4,500m at Mardi Himal Base Camp|
|Walking Duration||5-6 hours per day|
|Best Time||Autumn and Spring|
|Group Size||Minimum 1 Person|
Highlights of Mardi Himal Trek
- Remote and less travelled track in one of the most admired trekking regions in Nepal.
- The outstanding scenes of giant Himalayas — Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, and Dhaulagiri.
- Pamper yourself in the rich cultures of Gurungs and their community hospitality.
- Navigate through the ever-changing backdrop with the narrow meandering paths, rhododendron forests, high valleys, and jagged Himalayan terrain.
Day 01: Drive to Pokhara (828 m /2690 ft) 6 – 7 hrs, Hotel Accommodation.
You will set out to Pokhara on a bus after having a breakfast in your hotel. The route of the bus takes you along the beautiful, scenic hills along with sights of Trisuli and Marsyangdi River. It is also possible for you to catch views of Ganesh Himal and the Manaslu peak during this bus ride. After a bus ride of 6-7 hours from Kathmandu, you will reach Pokhara. Pokhara is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal. It is a paradise for tourists. This is mainly due to its wonderful landscape, touristic vibe, and its clean, green environment. After you reach Pokhara, you can stroll around the city or spend some quality time in the lakeside.
Day 02: Drive to Phedi and trek to Deurali (2100 m/ 6888 ft) 30 minutes drive, 4-5 hrs trek, Tea House Accommodation.
After an early morning breakfast, we start our adventure with a drive to Phedi and start trekking from there. We walk on stone steps, terraced fields and through villages and forests before reaching Dhampus where we have lunch. We continue our walk to Deurali which is a small village beautifully located on a ridge with good views of the Annapurna South, Mardi Himal and Macchhapuchhare. Overnight in Deurali.
Day 03: Deurali to Forest Camp (2520 m/ 8266 ft) 6-7 hrs, Tea House Accommodation.
Our trail passes through lush forest dotted with the red rhododendrons. The flowers are a common sight in Nepalese hills and it is no surprise that its Nepal’s national flower. Our trail is very quiet until we reach a clearing of the forest camp. We can take rest and explore the area which is also known locally as Kokar. Overnight in Forest Camp.
Day 04: Forest Camp to Low Camp (2970 m /9742 ft) 5-6 hrs, Tea House Accommodation.
We continue to walk through dense forests admiring Nepal’s rich biodiversity and reach the low camp. From here, the fantastic view of Mt. Machapuchhre (Mt. Fishtail) up the valley is mesmerizing. We can spend some time in the evening observing the local lifestyle. Overnight in low camp.
Day 05: Low Camp to High Camp (3540 m/11,611 ft) 3-4 hrs, Tea House Accommodation.
We trek uphill alongside a ridge towards Mardi Himal and Macchhapuchhre. The tree lines start getting thinner and the area mostly consists of shrubs with isolated rhododendron bushes along the trail. If lucky, we might even come across the Daphne pheasant (national bird of Nepal) on our way to high camp. We ascend up to the high camp, which the final destination of the day. From here the mountain views are stunning. Overnight in high camp.
Day 06: High Camp to upper viewpoint (4250 m/ 13,940 ft) returns back to High Camp 2-3 hrs, Tea House Accommodation.
On our trek to the upper viewpoint we ascend and descend, and sometimes on a steep and narrow trail. Our trail passes through pastures and we hike along a narrow ridge before reaching the Upper Viewpoint. The view of the Himalayan vista from here is astonishing. We see Mardi Himal (5587m), Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna south (7219m), Hiunchuli (6441m), Baraha Shikhar (Mt. Fang) (7647m), Tent Peak (5695m), Singhachuli (6501m), Machapuchhre (6993m) and others. We trek back to the high camp for an overnight stay.
Day 07: High Camp to Sidhing Village (1700 m/5576 ft) 6-7 hrs, Tea House Accommodation.
We take a different route in high camp that takes us to Sidhing instead of going back down to Mardi Himal. The different route lets us experience something different and makes our trek exciting. Siddhing offers a quiet stay for trekkers as it is tucked away from the busier trails. Overnight in Siddhing.
Day 08: Trek to Lumre 2-3 hrs, and drive to Pokhara 35 minutes, Hotel Accommodation.
After an early breakfast, our trek starts with a walk towards Lumre finally reaching the road from where we begin our drive to Pokhara. After reaching the city. We take a rest and freshen up. In the evening walk around the lake. There are plenty of exciting things to do in this leisure time in Pokhara. This awesome tourist valley is filled with travelers all around the world. There are plenty of world class restaurants here where you can find cuisine from all around the world. You can also go for boating or a thrilling walk in the caves in Pokhara. You can also go for a sunrise/ sunset views from Sarangkot. In short, you are free to spend this day whichever you want to.
Day 09: Drive back from Pokhara to Kathmandu on a comfortable tourist bus. 7 – 8 hrs, Hotel Accommodation.
You will go to Kathmandu today. You will take a tourist bus to Kathmandu. The tourist bus takes around 6-7 hours for you to get to Kathmandu from Pokhara. You will get to see scenic hills, free flowing rivers, and culture of people along the way in small settlement. After you arrive in Kathmandu, you can go for shopping souvenir. Walk around the the Thamel street and there will be a farewell dinner to celebrate the successful completion of Mardi Himal Trek.
Best Time to Travel to Mardi Himal
Unlike most of the treks in Nepal, trekking to Mardi Himal is possible throughout the year. However, Autumn (September to November) and Spring (March to May) are two most encouraging seasons to trek to Mardi Himal. The temperature in Autumn is moderate and stable with a clear sky, which means the panoramic view of the mountains and landscapes is implausible throughout the trek. You also get to enjoy an extraordinary sunrise and sunset during this phase. However, the trekking trail is slightly more congested in Autumn.
Spring is regarded as the second-best time for trekking in Nepal. The temperature is a bit warmer and unwavering during this time of the year. However, the sky can be slightly fuzzy and misty at times, which means the scenery may not be as outstanding as the Autumn.
Winter brings cold and callous weather, especially at the higher altitudes. Most of the time, snow covers the upper access of the trail. Therefore, in case of extreme snow, the trails may be tougher to walk. However, the skies are unclouded and pleasing with magnificent sights. If you’re planning to trek to Mardi Himal during the winter, you need to make sure to pack temperate clothes and high-quality sleeping bags.
Monsoon is the least encouraging time to go trekking in Mardi Himal. The temperature and climate are far too unbalanced with wet and slippery trails. Since dense forests dominate this territory, the risk of leeches attack increases extensively. Trekking in monsoon demands accurate preparation and packing for the damp weather.
How difficult is Mardi Himal Trek?
Mardi Himal Trek is a comparatively shorter and moderate trek that does not require any technical skills. Lush green forests dictate the lower region of the trek while the trail in upper levels becomes faintly rough with naked and rocky terrains. The most demanding section of this trek is to hike from the High Camp to the Mardi Himal Base Camp. The route turns into much steeper and slippery on this day. However, most of the trek is contented for an enjoyable and pleasant walk.
The entire trek covers approximately 50-65km depending upon which itinerary you choose. You can complete the trek from 5 to 9 days averaging 5 to 6 hours of a daily walk. The risk of Sensitive Mountain Sickness is least as the highest elevation point of this trek stands only 4,500m at the Mardi Himal Base Camp. However, it is crucial to stay hydrated and take the necessary protection to prevent altitude sickness. Since the weather conditions of the mountains change swiftly, it is essential to pack all the necessary gear for the trek. It is better to invest in premium quality waterproof boots and carry all the prerequisites for cold and wet weather. Although experienced trekkers regard Mardi Himal as an easy trek, it requires a certain level of physical fitness. You do not have to be a sportsperson to trek in this region, but necessary preparation, and cardio-related workout is always suggested.
What Permits are Required for Mardi Himal Trekking?
For trekking to Mardi Himal Base Camp, one requires two different permits — TIMS Card (Trekking Information Management System) and the ACAP permit (Annapurna Conservation Area Project). You do not need any extra special authorization to enter this area.
If you’re trekking with our company, we will take care of this hassle for you. However, if you’re planning to travel individually, you can acquire both of these permits from Nepal Tourism Board offices in Kathmandu as well as in Pokhara. To acquire the TIMS Card and ACAP permits, you’ll need your passport, insurance details, four passport size photos, and contact details of a individual in Nepal. If you do not have printed photos, you can take one at the office free of charge.
To receive the TIMS Card:
- You must first fill up the form you get from the counter of the Tourist Information Center in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
- Take a photo, if you haven’t brought it with you. You can take a photograph in the office without any charge.
- Submit the filled out form along with two passport size photos and 2000/$18 per person to the counter. Remember they only accept Nepalese Rupees, so make sure to exchange your dollars to NPR.
- Finally, get your TIMS Card.
To receive the ACAP Permit:
- After receiving your TIMS Card, walk to the next door, and get another form.
- Fill the necessary details in the form.
- Submit the filled form, your passport, and two photos with 3000/$27 per person (payable in Nepalese Rupees only).
- Get your ACAP Permit.
Though the province of Gandaki announced to charge a tariff of US$10 per tourists to enter the area since 2018 but it has not come into practice till now. However, it is always handy to keep this in mind as it may be implied any day.
For International Countries
For SAARC Countries
NPR 2000/ US$ 18For Group:
NPR 1000/US$ 9
NPR 300/ US$ 2For Group:
NPR 600/US$ 4
ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project)
|NPR 3000/ US$ 27||NPR 1000/ US$ 9|
Insurance for the Trek
It is important to have travel insurance while trekking in the high Himalayas. The circumstances at such high altitude are changeable. Therefore, we highly advise you to get the travel insurance for Mardi Himal Trek. Make sure your insurance embraces all the essential costs like helicopter rescue, medical charges, natural disasters, trip cancelation, and theft. We recommend you to do your insurance from World Nomads.
Guided VS Independent Trek
It is potential to do the Mardi Himal Trek mutually independently or with a professional guide. Despite being less marketable trekking route in the Annapurna region, the entire trail to Mardi Himal is well-marked with blue and white stripes. Additionally, the trek is comparatively short and less challenging compared to other popular treks. So, if you’re enthusiastic to trek solo in the Himalayas of Nepal, Mardi Himal is a perfect option for you. However, it is indispensable to have prior experience to do the trek independently. Trekking independently is relatively cheaper than hiring a guide, but it also means you’ll have to tackle all the troubles by yourself. Having a qualified guide can come in helpful while trekking at high altitudes. Although hiring a guide may add your expenditure slightly, it is far safer than wandering solo. The guide will help you throughout the entire trail and provide detailed insights into the place and the details and facts about the place you are trekking every day. If you hire a guide, you do not have to worry about the hassles. The guide will take care of all your permits, transport, accommodation and other necessary arrangements for the trek.
Accommodation and Food
Mardi Himal Trek was widely popular among the campers but the trek officially opened in 2012 with teahouse services throughout the entire trail. Teahouses along the Mardi Himal Trek have required facilities or minimal amenities and services. Most of the rooms has two single beds with thin mattresses but they do not provide the attached toilet. The toilets are mostly shared, and running hot water is not offered throughout the trek. However, some teahouses offer buckets of warm water with a supplementary charge. Although the teahouses do not offer a diversity of food choices as other commercial treks do, they provide adequate menu to have well. One extraordinary thing about the food in this trek is that the locals themselves produce the majority of the crops.
Dal Bhat is the most general meal, followed by pancakes, pasta, and chop suey. Since you’ll be blazing a lot of calories while trekking, Dal Bhat is healthy and filled with proper calories to keep you going. Chocolate bars and treats are also widely available all the way through the route. It is important to remember that the foods are more expensive in the higher parts of the trek. For extra facilities like hot showers, boiled water, wifi, and charging services, most of the teahouses charge you an additional sum.
Packing Lists for Mardi Himal Trek
Although Mardi Himal Trek is not as challenging as other popular treks in Nepal, you still have to pack the correct gears before heading off to the trails. The majority of the packing things depend on when and how you’re planning to trek. Since Mardi Himal is a fairly comfortable trek, you do not need to hire a porter to carry your things. Traveling solo means you’ll be taking all the stuff by yourself. So, you need to pack your bags lightly yet adequately.
Here are some of the essential gears you need to pack while trekking to Mardi Himal:
- Backpack: A 45-65 L with a top opening backpack is highly advisable for this trek.
- Trekking Shirt: 4-5 shirts, stability both long and short shirts.
- Trekking Trousers: Packing 1 trekking trouser and 1 trekking short is suggested.
- Base Layer: Pack a pair of wool base layers to keep yourself warm.
- Insulation Layer: Carry a high-quality fleece jacket to protect yourself from the cold.
- Waterproof Shell Jacket:A pair of waterproof jackets to stay protected from the rain.
- Breathable Underwear: It is advisable to pack a couple of pairs of underwear.
- Hiking Boots: Buy waterproof hiking boots with sturdy soles.
- Sandals:It is always handy to carry a pair of slippers to wear around the teahouses.
- Hiking Socks: Pack 2-3 pairs of breathable hiking socks.
- Sun Protection Hat:Do not forget to pack a sun protection hat to protect your face from the harsh sun.
- Beanie: Beanies come in handy during the evenings to keep you warm.
Gloves: Packing warm and light gloves is suggested as they can be useful when the temperature gets cold.
Although sleeping bags are not a must for Mardi Himal Trek, we recommend you to carry one, especially if you’re trekking in the winter. The lodges offer a small blanket which may not be enough during the cold winter nights. Furthermore the blankets of the teahouses may not be unsoiled all the time. So, if you carry a sleeping bag, you no longer have to worry about the dirty and malodorous blankets!
Other Important Accessories:
- Trekking Poles
- UV Protection Sunglasses
- Water Bottle
- Basic Medical Kits
- Water Purification Tablets
- Hand Sanitizers
- Sunscreen/Lip Balm
- Trekking Towels
- Portable Chargers
Mobile Network Information
When it comes to telecommunication services, NTC and Ncell both works decently in the Mardi Himal Trek. However, the utility may not be available throughout the trail, especially in the higher altitude. It is imperative to remember that cell phone services may not be dependable in all parts of the region. You may have to wander around to find courteous network coverage in some remote villages. Mobile internet services are not constant and reliable due to incoherent network coverage. The majority of teahouses also offer WiFi services, but they might charge you a few extra cash for it. WiFi is the most favored way to stay connected with your friends and family despite the high number of clients.
Mardi Himal is a short and isolated trek ideal for trekkers who have limited time in Nepal and fancy to avoid the crowd. The trek is one of the most reasonable alternatives to the popular trekking destinations across the country. Trekking to Mardi Himal is a venture that takes you through the various landscape, remote villages, and captivating forests. You get to enjoy the close-up view of Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli. The trek also provides an exceptional opportunity for qualified photographers and photo enthusiasts for implausible spectacles of the mountains. On a lucky day, you most probably will get to photograph the night sky and extraterrestrial events. While trekking to Mardi Himal, you’ll also get a more in-depth insight into the existences and cultures of the local people when enjoying their hospitality.