Nepal, Trekking around Annapurna - the Manang side
Annapurna Circuit: on this page you will find information and pictures of the trail from Braka (Braga) to Manang and side trips from Manang
you can enlarge most small pictures by clicking in on of the corners.
If you want to see a picture in full sizze, click additionally on F11
28. Braka – Manang 35 min: From Braka just follow the broad dirt road trail.
Fortunately there is not yet much traffic till now, just sometimes a single tractor or motorcycle. People of the valley can call a motorcycle to bring them to Brathang,
where they can take the jeep to Besisahar. (2014)
The upper Manang valley . In the foreground you see Braka and not so far away Manang. The snowwhite mountain is the grande barriere with Tilicho Peak. The way
to Thorong la will go along the right valley behind Manang.
Between Braka and Manang
You might have already tasted the fruity seabuckthorn juice. Thsi is made from the orange berries of
the seabuckthorn scrub. these plants grow in the wild and you can find them just beside the road or trails. Some years ago there was a very succesful project training the people to make sea-buckthorn
concentrate for juice. I was astonished when i found out that this concentrate was much cheaper in Kagbeni than in Manang, even after it was carried over the thorong la.
Coming from Braka you will pass under the Manang welcome arch. After a short
gentle climb you pass the entrance chorten. All the hotels are situated in Malang’s newer section as you first enter the village. Accommodation is plentiful and only in
the high peak season will you have problems finding a room.
Manang * 3500 m
the last meters before eyou enter the village
Manang in 1998
Manang is situated on a large sedimentary bed, which had been filled up in former
days. Meanwhile the Marsyangdi Khola has dug a deep riverbed into it on the south. When you are on the way up to Thorong La, if you look back you can see how
Manang is perched above cliffs. On the other side of the valley to the south there is the enormous mountain chain of the Annapurnas with Annapurna III and
Gangapurna right above Manang with the fabulous Gangapurna glacier falling down nearly vertically for some hundred metres.
Manang during monsoon
a broad range of top cinemas
Since a few years there is a hugte new stupa
An interesting place is an old lodge with three big prayer wheels. In the restaurant
you can get the normal items, but cheaper than in the other restaurants and they make a very tasty chhyang, the local brand of a light and turbid beer. As it is made
with boiled water I don’t hesitate to drink some. I stayed in this lodge in 1981 when i first went to Nepal. in whole Manang there was just this lodge and two private houses offering a place to sleep !
The favorite occupation of guides and porters during the rest day in Manang
Take care for your acclimatization
As indicated before, it is essential to stay two, or even better, three nights at an
altitude of 3500m or more before going up in direction of Thorong La. If you have taken the high route via Ghyaru and Ngawal and slept there, you already have one
night. In this case you might just stay one night in Manang. Otherwise, you absolutely should stay two nights here. During the trekking seasone you canfoollw
lectureres about altitude sicknes in the afternoon. One can also stay one night in Manang and go the next day to beautiful Khangsar, which is even a little bit higher.
All the hotels are situated at the begin of the village. There you can also find many
little shops selling warm clothes, sun cream and other trekking items. Check to see if you might have to buy anything. On Thorong La, the sun burns down and you will
absolutely need sun blocker. Once a guy went up in shorts. He only realised in the evening that the sunrays are also reflected from below by the snow when he got a
bad sunburn underneath the shorts, where he forgot to put sun cream :-)
There are a few video halls showing English films in the afternoon. There is also the
local museum and an ACAP post. An interesting place is an old lodge with three big prayer wheels. In the restaurant you can get the normal items, but they make a very
tasty chhyang, the local brand of a light and turbid beer. As it is made with boiled water I don’t hesitate to drink some. The new part of town ends near the new stupa.
Old Manang is absolutely worth exploring with its small lanes and flat roofed houses. Going west in direction of Thorong La you first pass a prayer wheel wall with a
fountain. (This is the place to turn right to pay a visit to the “100 rupee monk”). After a beautiful old chorten turn to the left and continue down till you reach another big
prayer wheel wall. (The next day you will take the lane to the right) Gompa lovers will find someone with the key here. Otherwise it’s a beautiful old area and you can
make some very nice pictures or even go down to the river.
Day hikes from Manang:
Many people stay two nights in Manang and if you don’t just want to relax for a day there are many possibilities.
Visiting Praken Gompa **(3945 m) 2 hours.
Praken Gompa is a small hermitage perched like an eagle’s nest on the rocks
above Manang where the old monk Deshi Lama has been living for many years and gave his blessing to visitors. It was really a great experience no one could forget it .
He left Manang in 2013 and mooved to Swayambunath in Kathmandu.
Now it is jis daughter giving the belssing and it is surely still a great experience to go
up there. And the 400 altitude meters help you to a better acclimatization.
Here are some old pictures of Deshi Lama in 2005
his sleeping room, an open cave was just a little bit protected by some low walls.
The Blessing ceremony
First you were invited to the little prayer room full of thankas and a shrine full of photos of
trekkers who had got the blessing earlier. Teshi Lama then started the ceremony, wearing a huge red hat.
First you had to deposit your offering, the famous 100 rupees which gave him the name of
the one hundred rupee monk, on the table. Then Teshi lama started to murmur prayers, sprinkled you with some holy water and laid his big book on you head. At the end he
attached a little woolen thread on your neck or hand. ‘I haven’t seen anybody who didn’t wear it till after the crossing of Thorong la.
Nun beginnt der Lama heilige Texte zu murmeln , gibt einem etwas Weihwa sser um legt
His sleeping place
From Praken Gompa you also have beautiful views of the Annapurna and Tilicho ranges. To go there: turn to the right near the fountain
and big juniper tree in old Manang. This trip is also perfect for acclimatization and you will definitely know that you are climbing up in thin air ;-).
The lake below the Gangapurna glacier: Crossing the Marsyangdi River, it is
a 45-minute walk up to the lake. There is also Chongar viewpoint above the lake with good views which is decorated with many prayer flags. Once there was a rubber
dinghy on the lake, but I don’t know if it is still there.
Hike to the Ice Lake:
The trail to ice lake from Manang is much more difficult than going from Braka so I
suggest that you go first back to Braka. The people of Manang hat pur signposts to the lake, but these were removed by the people of Braka.(2012)
The Bocho Gompa
Just 15 min before Manang you can see Bocho Gompa on the right side. It will be appreciated by anyone interested in the local culture and offers nice views with the juniper trees around it. Inside you can see the statue of a former king now said to
be protecting the Manang area.You can either visit it as a little side trip on the trail
from Braka to Manang.but you will have to climb a little bit with your luggage or just go to Manang and return in a little walk. In any case it is worth a visit. in a
little side house you will find the staue of a former king and he ist said to be now the protector of the manang valley
The gompa complex and the little side house housing the king statue
inside the Gompa
The former king and protector of Manang
Bocho Gompa: This old gompa is situated just a short way back to the trail to Braka
(15 min). It will be appreciated by anyone interested in the local culture and offers nice views with the juniper trees around it. Inside you can see the statue of a former
king now said to be protecting the Manang area.
From Manang you can continue directly in Direction of the Thorong by following
the valley tuning to the north behind Manang. I personally favor much more a side trail by Khangsar. As Khangsar is even higher than Manang you get even a
better acclimatization than with an extra day in Manang g so you don’t need more time. But you will see the fantastic Grande Barriere*** much closer.
Overview Annapurna region
No. 30 Direct trail to Thorong Phedi
No. 31 Khangsar
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NATT- guidebook and maps