Annapurna region is always taken as the best trekking and travel destinations for travel enthusiasts around the globe. There are a lot of different trekking trails in this region, among all those trekking trails Mardi Himal is also another most beautiful and popular trekking trail nowadays. It lies in the eastern part of the Annapurna and this trek is outstandingly positioned at the base of the Mardi Himal and Mt. Machhapuchhre, another iconic mountain. This is a recently opened trekking trail because it’s an unrevealed natural beauty and a majestic and gorgeous view of mountains can be easily experienced from this trail.
Trekking through the traditional mountain settlements, lush green forest, and mind-blowing unrevealed natural beauty along with gorgeous mountains is the major attraction of Mardi Himal trek. The landscape changes unexpectedly into the rugged mountain terrain, once you cross above 3000m altitude. If you plan to do this trek in the off-season (winter season), the trail is completely filled with snow and will be more fun for the snow lover. Here we’ve collected some useful guides regarding this trekking trail.
Normally, Mardi Himal Trek starts from the drive or fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara and start trekking from there. There multiple options for trekking in Mardi Himal. One is the most chosen route which starts from Kande and finishes in Siding. Another is the connecting route, which starts from Ghandruk and ends in Siding as well. This is the route for those who came from ABC or Poonhill trek. There is another shortest route as well, starts from Landruk and ends at Siding. If you have less time for the trekking, you can choose this option. Also, the longest one starts from either Ghandruk or Kyumi and ends at Kande.
Mardi Himal trek can be done around the year since the altitude is quite normal as compared to high mountain trekking and also it's moderate in trekking grading. Despite this, there is always favorable weather for the amazing view of mountains and landscapes. Spring and Autumn are the best season to trek in all the Himalayan regions of Nepal and including Mardi as well.
In Nepal, generally, Spring season falls between March to May. The sky is blue and most of the time the weather is clean and clear. The mountain views are undoubtedly amazing and the forest is filled with colorful rhododendrons. The temperature also supports us as it goes up to 20C during the daytime and freezing point during the night is the maximum temperature.
Generally, Autumn falls from September to November in Nepal. This is considered the best trekking season in Nepal according to the guest reviews and trekkers' choice. The sunrise and sunset are absolutely stunning as the sky looks more clear in this season. You still can experience some portion of brightness and green landscapes until this season. You can see the shining mountains and the weather remains more stable. The temperature falls to 5 degrees and goes up to 20 degrees during the day.
Normally for trekking in Nepal, Monsoon and winter are taken as the off-season because of extreme weather. During monsoon, the rainfall and bad weather disturb your trekking whereas winter is extremely cold and freezing there. But, if you are prepared to explore more adventure in the mountains in this season as well, you can explore the lush green forest, numerous waterfalls, amazing sound of rivers, and green landscapes in monsoon. If you love to play with snow and love to play with the snow, then winter might be the best season for you.
Since the route is newly opened, you might not get all the continental and international taste in Mardi Himal, but the taste and proper diet will be enough for this trail. Basically, they serve typical Nepali food (Dal Bhat), some Indian cuisine, common international taste, and Italian and Tibetian foods. Most of the vegetables and rice are grown in nearby fields, so they are healthy and organic as well.
During breakfast, you will get Pancake, bread items, noodle soup, local cornbread, Chapati with tea and coffee. You will get ginger lemon honey, soda, coke, and some other soft drinks on the way. You will find some hard drinks also, but it's better not to take them while trekking in high mountains. Instead of this, drink more and more water and keep your body hydrated.
During lunch, the teahouse and lodges offer Nepali Dal Bhat, Pasta, fry noodles, MOMOs, and some other flavors. Dinner will be mostly similar to Lunch, but it depends on what to eat in your dinner. If you are trekking through a travel agency, they will get some desert ( mostly fruits) during your dinner.
Also, sometimes, you might get hungry while hiking, So, it's better to bring some chocolate, dry fruits and nuts with you. When you get tired and hungry, it always helps you.
Accommodation will be normal as in all the mountain regions. If you are familiar with the other high mountain accommodation, then it will be almost similar. For the first few days, you will get comfortable accommodation like an attached bathroom. But, once you cross forest camp, or low camp you will get normal rooms with a shared bathroom in the teahouse. During prime trekking season, sometimes you might share your room with the fellow trekkers as well. Though the trail is getting popular day by day, as a result the food and accommodation facilities are improving.
The accommodation facilities are less as you ascend to higher altitudes. The options for food also becomes less as compared to the low altitude. Since most of the trail is filled with forest, they have limited lodges and tea houses in major camp areas.
Normally Mardi Himal is considered as the easy to moderate level hiking trail. The walking distance is shorter and easier and you won’t gain much altitude in a single day. Also, the maximum altitude is nearly 4200m, So, this altitude is common for high mountain trekking. The longest day will be hiking from high camp to base camp and back to high camp. The risk of altitude sickness will be less as we won’t spend much time at higher altitudes. Still, plenty of water, proper rest, and sufficient food will take easily to the most famous and beautiful trekking trail in Nepal. However, a narrow path. Steep slope might be the problem while trekking, so it’s better to be aware of it.
Since this astonishing trail is part of the Annapurna Sanctuary, you need a trekking permit like other trails in the Annapurna region. You will require the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) which helps you to enter inside the Annapurna Conservation Area. Also, you need a Trekkers Information Management System card (TIMS), which is basically a database of the foreigners visited in Nepal and it includes their general information along with where they visited and how many days they spend in that region. Nepal Tourism Board, TAAN Office Kathmandu, and Pokhara both provide this permit with a photocopy of your passport and two pp size photographs. ACAP costs Rs 3,000 (~26$) and TIMS card costs Rs 2,000 (~18$) for the foreigners.
However, if you are traveling through a local travel agency, then you shall not worry about all these permits and entrance. They will get all the necessary permits for you.
As we know, some of the travelers love to explore solo without any disturbance from other fellow travelers and trekkers. In such a case, Yes, Mardi Himal is the best option for solo travelers as well. You will get the proper direction on the way and the Nepalese locals, as well as guides and travelers, are always helpful for you.
However, it depends on person to person. If you are traveling in Nepal for the first time and even you never traveled in high mountains then solo travel will not be a good option for you. Because, this is the newly opened trail, it's hidden valley which is untouched and virgin land. The human settlements are too far from one to another. In such a worst moment, you may be lost and you may not find anyone to help you there.
So, if you know everything and you have experience of trekking in high mountains before then just collect all the necessary information, get enough cash to spend while trekking and get in touch with some travel agency or some reliable person, so that you can contact them if you will find some trouble on the way while doing solo trekking in Mardi Himal.
After Ghandruk, you won't find electricity in your own room. They will provide that facility in either the dining room or in the reception area. Because they don’t have normal electricity and they depend on sunlight for electricity. They charge Rs 100-150 per hour for the charging of your phone. You will get wifi in almost all the hotels as well. They charge a certain amount for it as well.
Trekking in the mountain region is not easy but with the help of experienced guiding team members, proper foods, drink, and rest can take you to your dream destination. We recommend travelers to travel with a guide and porter (if you have heavy luggage), because most of the time, we’ve to travel through dense forest and narrow trails. Where it's very hard to find the locals and other people always while trekking. Guides provide the essential information, take care of all the accommodation, safety measures, and your flights, transportation, and entry and exit in all the entrance points.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that, at the end of the trekking, the guide and porter expect good tips from you. These people are hardworking and they put all the efforts to take you and your staff to your dream destinations in an extreme mountain environment.
In the mountain usually, the bathroom was made outside the teahouse or sometimes attached to the house but in one corner. In Mardi Himal Trek, the toilets are sharing basis and you’ve to use a bucket to carry water and your own toilet paper while trekking.
Drinking water tab is available almost everywhere in this trekking trail but all are not safe to drink directly. So, carry your own bottle and water purifier along with you. Also, the teahouse and lodges sell the bottled water which you can directly use without a purifier. But we do not recommend this one, because it will make the trail trash and using plastic things in high mountains is against the conservation of nature.
Mardi Himal trekking is not that so much easy also. You need some warm-up, little practice, discipline, early preparation, and best guidance that can easily take you to the most beautiful trekking destination in Nepal. It means not that you have to work as a professional trekker. Anyone can go on this trekking but, good health, physical fitness, and self-motivation are indeed required. There are few things that you can do as naive trekkers before the commencement of the trek:
Another important and essential thing is your trekking equipment and gears. Proper equipment includes a sleeping bag, a pair of high mountain trekking boots, poles, a duffle bag, essential warm and hiking comfortable clothes, warm socks, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, and so on. Another major thing that we should keep in mind is, comfortable and warm but light things are best for high mountain trekking. Make sure all the necessary papers, documents, ideas of restricted non-restricted things are in that zone.
Mardi Himal has a few different options to start trekking. Normally, we start from 3-4hr driving from Pokhara to Kande and start our hiking from there. The landscape, terrain, people, culture, and everything looks so different from Kathmandu. Dense rhododendron forest, wide range valley, diverse terrain, waterfalls, and rivers are the major attractions on the way. Here is the most popular itinerary for the Mardi Himal Trek:
Day1: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara
Day2: Drive from Pokhara to Kande and trek to Deurali
Day3: Trek to Low camp
Day4: Trek to High camp
Day5: Explore in Mardi Base Camp and back to Middle Camp
Day6: Trek to Siding and drive back to Pokhara
Day7: Drive to Kathmandu
Here, we tried to collect some essential information for the Mardi Himal trek, which you must know before departing to the Mardi Himal. We hope that it will be helpful for you.