Mardi Himal Trekking is one of the alternative and unspoiled trekking routes of Annapurna Himalayan region. It is located east of the Modi Khola River, across the valley from Hiunchuli. Pristine mountain views, beautiful valleys, mixed local culture and landscape hills are the attraction of the trek. Mardi Himal Trekking moderate you an off the beaten track and take away from busy trails. The first attempt of Mardi Himal was made in 1961 route via East Flank and it is the only used so far. Previously Only camping or tented trekking will be possible to do in relevant areas. The trek is one of the bitten Eco-tourism based trekking destinations of Annapurna region in Nepal.
Now, A number of new very basic lodges and homestays have been built along Mardi Himal ridge therefore it is now possible to do this as a lodge based trek rather than having to bring in a camping crew. But, please note that the facility of lodges are very basic and we do recommend
Mardi Himal Trekking begins from Phedi after an hour drive from Pokhara. Along the trail, you will be welcomed by magnificent views of the world’s famous and most beautiful mountains including Annapurna I (8091m), Dhaulagiri, (8167m), Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna III (7555m), Annapurna south (7219m), Hiunchuli (6441m), Fishtail (6988m). This trek is a unique experience for the travelers with humming and friendliness activities of local people and trails venture into the thick forest. We move ascend through traditional villages, pristine oak and rhododendron forest to an alpine campsite.
Itinerary for Mardi Himal Trekking
Drive Phedi and trek to Pothana (1,925m)- 4 hours
After breakfast, we will pick from your hotel and drive to Phedi in a private vehicle and start your trek to Pothana where you stay for the first night.
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.
Trek to Low Camp (3,150m)- 5 hours walking.
From Forest Camp to Low Camp the trail continues 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.
Trek to High Camp (3,600m)- 4 hours walking.
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 walk to Upper viewpoint (4,200m)- 4 hours walking.
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. There is a well established trail through the grass with a couple of steeper sections however overall not too challenging. Look out for the dzos (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 Upper View point at 4,200m 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).
Trek to Siding village (1,750m) -6 hours walking.
On the return trek 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 tourist treks and it is likely you will stay at a home-stay 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.
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 your jeep organised by us in advance to drive you back to Pokhara. Overnight at Hotel
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