Mardi Himal is a beautiful mountain in Nepal’s Annapurna region. It falls under the Annapurna Mountain Sub-range of the Himalayas and is situated east of the Annapurna Base Camp Trail. Mardi Himal stands 5,587 meters (18,330 feet) above sea level. Though it is not as popular as other peaks like Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, it is still one of the most visited destinations in the region.
Mardi Himal is located in the Gandaki Province of Nepal, in the western part of the country. Nestled inside the Annapurna Conservation Area, the Mardi Himal region is very affluent in natural beauty and diverse flora and fauna.
The Mardi Himal Trek 5 Days package will offer an opportunity to delve into the region’s richness. Starting from Pokhara, the beautiful city of lakes, the trek takes trekkers to the untouched landscapes offering breathtaking views.
The ecological richness of the Mardi Himal region does not come at a low rank. The lush green forests, alpine meadows, rugged terrains, and pristine surroundings are worth visiting the destinations. To the north, it has the Mardi Himal and other major peaks such as Machhapuchhre (also known as Fishtail Mountain), Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli.
Overall, Mardi Himal 5 Days Trek offers a rewarding trekking experience for those seeking a quieter and less crowded alternative to some of the more famous trekking routes in the Himalayas of Nepal.
Highlights and Attractions of Mardi Himal 5 Days Trek
- Panoramic views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre (Fishtail), Manaslu, and Mardi Himal.
- Cultural immersion with local ethnic groups, especially Gurung.
- Exploring remote villages like Siding and Liwang.
- Exploring exotic floral and faunal diversity.
- Colorful Rhododendron, magnolia, pine, and oak forests along the trails.
- Exploring Mardi Himal Base Camp, High Camp, and the Forest Base Camp.
Mardi Himal Trek 5 Days Outline Itinerary
Day 1: Drive to Kande and trek to Deurali/ Pothana
Day 2: Trek to the Low Camp
Day 3: Trek to the High Camp
Day 4: Hike to the Mardi Base Camp and trek down to Siding
Day 5: Drive back to Pokhara
5 Days Mardi Himal Trek Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Drive to Kande and trek to Deurali/ Pothana
Deurali Altitude: 2125 Meters
Elevation Gain: 1303 Meters (From Pokhara)
Trek Hour: 3-4 Hours
On the first day of the Mardi Himal 5-Day Package, we will start our trek from Pokhara (822 meters). It is a beautiful city of lakes, offering magnificent views of snow-capped mountains like Machhapuchhre, Himchuli, Dhaulagiri, and Annapurna.
As we leave Pokhara behind, we will drive through the countryside road of the Kaski district and reach Kande. It takes around 3 hours to reach Kande from Pokhara. From Kande, we will embark on a short trek to Pothana, where we will stay overnight.
The trail from Kande first takes us to the Goldanda, a small settlement rich with hospitality. From there, we will hike uphill through the remote trail and reach Australian Camp, which takes around one and a half hours. As we hike uphill through the rhododendron and pine forests, we can have magnificent views of Machhapuchhre and Annapurna.
There are limited hotels in Pothana, so it is recommended to book your reservation early. These hotels have basic to lavish amenities you would like to cherish during your overnight stay.
Day 2: Trek to the Low Camp
Location: Low Camp
Low Camp Altitude: 3150 Meters
Elevation Gain: 1025 Meters
Accommodation: Tea House
Trek Hour: 3-4 Hours
The second day of the Mardi Himal Trek is set to get to the Low Camp of the trail, which lies 3150 meters above sea level. Starting the day with a light breakfast at Pothana, we will set our journey through the remote trails of the Mardi region.
We will catch a trail that stretches to Pitam Deurali at 2142 meters above sea level. It is a unique village with abundant green vegetation and hospitable people. From Pitam Deurali, we will continue our journey to Tolka and walk through the trail of a small stream. After a few minutes of walking, we must cross a suspension bridge before heading towards Landruk.
Landruk is a beautiful village rich in Buddhist practices and traditions. The Gurung village also has a Tibetan Monastery at Kumkum, which reflects the tribute to Lord Buddha with chortens and prayer flags.
From Landruk, we must traverse the remote and uphill trail to get to Kokar Forest Camp at 3050 meters. After walking a few times again, we will reach the next stop, Rest Camp, from where we can have views of the snow-capped peaks in the north. From Rest Camp, reaching Low Camp only takes 45 minutes or an hour. We will stay at a tea house with twin bedrooms and traditional Nepalese Dishes tonight.
Day 3: Trek to the High Camp
Location: High Camp
High Camp Altitude: 3700 Meters
Elevation Gain: 550 Meters
Accommodation: Tea House
Trek Hour: 5-6 Hours
Today, we will proceed to the High Camp from Low Camp, elevating around 550 meters. We will start our day early in the morning with breakfast at the tea house and preparation for the trek.
From Low Camp, we will push our hike to Deurali and be involved in sightseeing activities. The Gurung tradition and culture and the beauty of Machhapuchhre and Annapurna Peaks are worth watching. Similarly, after around an hour-long walk, we will reach the Middle Camp.
We will then hike through the rhododendron and oak forest at Nange Danda and reach Badal Danda. Enjoying the views of Hiunchuli and Annapurna, we will hike through the uphill trail that leads us to the High Camp of Mardi Himal Trail. During the trek, we can even encounter the Pheasants (Danphe), the national bird of Nepal in the region.
At High Camp, we will accommodate at a tea house tonight. We will get a twin shared bedroom at the tea house, with warm hospitality and food.
Day 4: Hike to the Mardi Base Camp and trek down to Siding
Location: Mardi Base Camp
Mardi Base Camp Altitude: 4500 Meters
Elevation Gain: 800 Meters
Accommodation: Tea Houses
Trek Hour: 8-9 Hours
This is one of the longest hikes in the Mardi Himal Trek 5 Days Itinerary. This day has around 8 to 9 hours of hiking duration, exceeding the elevation of 800 meters. This means we will climb and elevate an altitude of around 800 meters from High Camp to Mardi Himal Base Camp.
Most of our trek is based in Kali Danda, one of Nepal's most beautiful viewpoints. The natural scenery of the Himalayas in the north and the surroundings are breathtaking from Kali Danda. The green valleys in the deep-down mountains and the forests encompassing the Mardi Himal region's lowlands are something you would never want to miss cherishing.
If you are a photography geek or a video enthusiast, the scenery from the Mardi Himal Base Camp is the perfect prop for you. The sightseeing activities are one of the most popular things that trekkers usually involve in the base camp.
After exploring Mardi Himal Base Camp, it's time to return to Siding Village. We will embark on a 4-hour-long steep downhill trek that leads us through the dense forest of rhododendrons and oak. Upon reaching Siding, we will stay tonight at a homestay, which offers traditional local dishes and cultural insights.
Day 5: Drive back to Pokhara
Pokhara Altitude: 822 Meters
Elevation Gain: 3678 Meters
Accommodation: Tea House
Drive Hour: 4-5 Hours
The fifth day is the last day of the Mardi Himal Trek 5 Days package. We will return from Siding Village to Pokhara in a jeep, which should take 4 to 5 hours.
Upon reaching Pokhara, we will be escorted to our respective hotels for rest. We can also explore the beauties of Pokhara, including Phewa Lake, Mahendra Cave, Davis Falls, and Tal Barahi Temple. We can also explore the nightlife of the lakeside and participate in the party with drinks and live music.
Trip Cost US$ 580 Per person
- Pick up and Final drop from private vehicle.
- All your standard meals like, Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner, during the trek with A cup of tea or coffee during the breakfast.
- Tea house Accommodations during the trek.
- equipment like Sleeping bag, down Jacket, Duffel bag and walking Poles (if you don’t have your own, To be return after trip completed).
- All ground transportation.
- Well English speaking guide, friendly, experienced, with government license holder.
- A Strong Porter among the two trekkers ( one porter sharing among two member ) including all his expenses including full insurance during the trek.
- Monastery fees.
- Emergency helicopter rescues arrangement if in case, pay by your travel insurance company.
- Insurance of Guide.
- A trekking route map.
- Annapurna conservation area fee.
- TIMS (trekkers’ Information Management System.)
- One night standard accommodation on B/B in Pokhara Before and After the trek.
- First aid service kit box, Normal medical supplies.
- All kind’s of Drink’s like Mineral water, beer Juice, Coke, fanta, other alcoholic hard drink’s, ETC.
- Sweet things like chocolate and others
- Your personal expenses.
- Sightseeing in Pokhara.
- Extra night hotel night in Pokhara.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How can I get the trekking permit required for the Mardi Himal Trek?
You can obtain a trekking permit from the Nepal Tourism Board in Kamaladi, Kathmandu. Also, you can purchase it from Pokhara.
How difficult is the Mardi Himal Trek compared to other treks in Nepal?
The Mardi Himal Trek is considered a moderately challenging trek. But it is quite easy compared to other treks in Nepal, such as Everest Base Camp Trek and Manaslu Circuit Trek.
Are teahouses or lodges available along the Mardi Himal Trek route?
Yes, tea houses and lodges are along the Mardi Himal Trek route. However, the numbers are limited - it is recommended to make a booking to secure your space for accommodation.
Are there any altitude-related risks on the Mardi Himal Trek?
There are always altitude-related risks on the Mardi Himal trek. Since the trek takes you over 4500 meters above sea level, trekkers are always in the danger zone of altitude sickness.
Can I do the Mardi Himal Trek independently, or do I need to join a group tour?
While you can do the Mardi Himal Trek independently, the Nepal Government has already banned this system. Now, you need a certified and experienced guide to lead you through the remote sections of Mardi Himal.
Are there any cultural considerations I should know while trekking in the Mardi Himal region?
Yes, it's important to respect the local culture and customs. Dress modestly, ask for permission before taking photos of people, and be mindful of local traditions and practices.
Is extending the Mardi Himal Trek to include nearby treks or destinations possible?
The nearest destinations from Mardi Himal are Annapurna Base Camp, Ghandruk, and Annapurna Circuit section. If you are looking forward to extending your trek duration, there is always space for a customized itinerary at Exciting Nepal.
5 Days Mardi Himal Trekking Route and Duration
The trekking trail to Mardi Himal Trek was opened in 2012. Since then, the tourism prospects have boasted in the region by far more huge numbers. It is also classified as a 'Trekking Peak' by the Nepal Government, and many trekking agencies, including Exciting Nepal, offer trekking packages.
There are several tea houses, and hotels opened alongside the trail to facilitate trekkers with their essential needs and items.
The route to Mardi Himal starts from Pokhara. With a scenic drive from Pokhara to Kande, the first phase of Mardi Himal Trek starts. Trekkers must traverse several towns, such as Milanchowk, Nau Danda, Dhikur, and others, to reach Kande. The actual trek begins from Kande, which takes to Pothana and the Low Camp via Pitam Deurali, Landruk, and Tolka.
After passing through dense forests of oak, rhododendron, and bamboo, the trail touches Nange Danda before reaching High Camp. After hiking through Kali Danda, the trail stretches to Mardi Himal West Base Camp. From there, trekkers can reach Mardi Himal in just a few hours of walk.
Permits and Regulations
Every trekking destination in Nepal has a special process to go through before embarking on a journey. Whether you determine to reach the Everest Base Camp or the Annapurna Base Camp, you must acquire special permits. Most trekking destinations are inside protected land areas like National Parks and Conservation Areas.
Trekkers must acquire two permits to embark on a Mardi Himal Trek 5-Day Package. They are:
- Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit
- TIMS Card (Trekkers Information Management System)
Obtaining these licenses is compulsory - if you do not have these, you cannot initiate your trek. So ensure your trekking agencies cover all the permits and logistic services within the main package cost.
Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit (ACAP):
Mardi Himal is situated within the protected area of Annapurna Conservation Area. So, to enter Annapurna Conservation Area's premises, trekkers need special permission relayed by the Nepalese government under the National Tourism Board.
To acquire this permit, trekkers must pay a certain amount, which can vary under various circumstances. The cost of an Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit is NRs. 3000 per person for the foreign trekkers. Similarly, trekkers from the SAARC Nations (South Asian Countries) must pay NRs. 1000 per person to acquire this permit. The Nepalese Trekkers can obtain this permit for only NRs. 100 per person.
TIMS Card (Trekkers Information Management System) is another mandatory permit to embark on the 5 Days Mardi Himal Trek. You can purchase the TIMS Card from the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu. And it costs around NRs. 2000 per person.
(Note: Diplomats are not charged the card fees.)
Cost Details Of Required Permits for Mardi Himal Trek:
|Foreign Trekkers||NRs. 3000|
|SAARC Nationals||NRs. 1000|
|Nepalese Trekkers||NRs. 100|
|TIMS Card (Trekkers Information Management System)||NRs. 2000|
Required Documents to Obtain The Permits
- Copies of Passport.
- Copies of valid visa.
- Copies of Passport-sized photos.
- Permit Fees.
- Health & Travel Insurance.
- Clearance from Trekking Agencies.
Best Time to Trek
The best time for Mardi Himal Trek, the 5-Day Package, might differ from person to person. The best time can be any season, depending on their preferences. But regarding the climate and weather favorability, only two seasons, Autumn and Spring, are considered the best. These seasons have their respective features that align with the safe trekking experience in the Mardi Himal region.
Both of these periods offer ideal weather conditions and numerous advantages for trekkers. Here's why these seasons are considered the best for trekking in Nepal:
Autumn (September to November):
Autumn lasts for three months in Nepal, bringing several favorable features that help in a safe trekking experience. Due to its stable weather, it is considered one of the best times for trekking to Mardi Himal. The clear skies with fewer clouds, moderate temperature, and humidity make the hiking more comfortable.
Here are some of the plus add-ons you can cherish during the trek in Autumn:
Scenery: As said earlier, the clouds are fewer in the sky, making it clear and crisp. So, the scenery you will experience in the 5 Days Mardi Himal Trek is crystal clear, with no blockage. The scenes of the magnificent snow-capped peaks like Mardi Himal, Annapurna, Hiunchuli, and Dhaulagiri are worth watching. Similarly, the green valleys, vegetation alongside the trail, natural streams, and waterfalls are breathtaking.
Biodiversity: The biodiversity and ecosystem of the Mardi Himal region is very affluent in Autumn. Since the region lies inside the Annapurna Conservation Area, trekkers can encounter several species of plants, animals, and butterflies.
Cultural Festivals: Autumn is the season of festivals. Major festivals like Dashain and Tihar fall under this season, which brings a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Nepali traditions and celebrations.
Spring (March to May)
Spring is the peak season to trek to Mardi Himal, and if you see the history of adventurous activities, most are done in Spring Season. Numerous mountaineering expeditions and trekking packages are launched this season since Spring brings stable weather conditions.
Moreover, there is less chance of rainfall and snowfall in the Mardi region, making hiking comfortable. The trail gets dry and crisp, allowing you to have safe navigation and avoiding the risks of natural hazards like landslides, floods, and avalanches.
Here are some of the plus add-ons you can cherish during the trek in Spring:
Weather: Spring is a perfect season with fantastic weather conditions. The weather is stable, and the temperature is mild during Spring. Mardi Region's average temperature ranges from 17 to 20 Degrees Celsius.
Blooming Rhododendrons: Here is a short detail: If you are unaware of the richness of Nepal's Spring season. Spring is the season of colors in Nepal. Since the Mardi Region is located in the Himalayan region of Nepal, it is rich in several species of Rhododendron and other wildflowers. The forest goes in full bloom with flowers and green leaves, making it scenic to watch the surroundings.
The choice between the two seasons depends on your preferences, with autumn being slightly cooler and more popular, while spring offers the spectacle of blooming rhododendrons and fewer crowds. Regardless of the season you choose, Mardi Himal Trek promises an unforgettable adventure in the stunning landscapes of Nepal.
5 Days Mardi Himal Trek Difficulty Level | Can I Do It?
Mardi Himal Trek is a moderately challenging trek. And yes, trekkers must have prior experience. It is physically demanding as the average trek duration ranges from 4 to 6 hours daily.
The trail is steep, rocky, and remote, which requires a high level of physical sturdiness. Similarly, the long walks through these trails can be physically exhausting. On top of that, the trek takes trekkers to over 4500 meters above sea level, where people are more prone to altitude sickness and other related illnesses.
Beginner trekkers can also embark on this trek but must be equipped with emergency preparedness plans and safety measures.
Preparation and Packing
Mardi Himal Trek 5 Days Itinerary is a multi-day trekking package that requires enough preparation and strategic plans for a thorough journey. Without proper preparation and plans, this trek might get challenging to overcome. Here are some parts where you can prepare to make it more comfortable and convenient.
Physical And Mental Preparation
First of all, the Mardi Himal Trek requires a great level of physical fitness. The average duration of trekking is around 4 to 5 hours daily, which requires strong physical conditioning. Similarly, the routes are off-beaten and remote, which can be physically exhausting. So, to prepare for your physical side, you can follow the following pro tips.
Cardiovascular Fitness & Strength Training: Cardiovascular training must be done to increase the immunity of your muscles. It helps in making steep ascents and descents. Hence, focusing on running, cycling, or brisk walking to build stamina is essential. Exercises like squats, lunges, planks, and push-ups strengthen your leg muscles, core, and upper body.
Hiking Practice: If you practice hiking, taking a short hike will help you overcome the physical challenge of the Mardi Himal Trek 5 Days.
Hydration and Nutrition: Trekkers must stay well-hydrated and maintain proper nutrition to support their physical needs. It is recommended to consider the calorie trekkers' intake during long treks such as the Mardi Himal Trek.
When it comes to mental preparation, it is recommended to stay positive regarding the trek. Sometimes, even during the peak trekking season, the weather conditions might not align with the preferences of trekkers, bringing the risks of natural hazards. And sometimes, trekkers might get injured or sick on the trail.
During these phases, trekkers must be robust and immediately seek medical attention. Also, trekkers must listen to their body - if they cannot do it, leave it - do not over-pressurize your body.
To overcome the mental challenges, you can follow the following pro tips:
Practice Mindfulness: Trekkers must stay focused during the trek, and a peaceful mind is necessary. They are recommended to practice mindfulness and meditation for the same reason. It can also sweep away the stress during the trek.
Learn Basic Navigation: Whether with the help of a navigational map or GPS devices, trekkers must be aware of their location and routes. Even if they get tangled into unknown routes, these useful tools will come of great use.
Emergency Preparedness: Learn basic first aid skills and carry a kit. Knowing how to handle common trekking injuries can boost your confidence.
Essential Gear and Equipment
- Insulated Jacket to keep you warm.
- Layered Clothing for regulating body temperature.
- Thermal Underwear is made from materials like merino wool or synthetic fibers.
- Fleece or Softshell Jacket.
- Waterproof Pants to protect against snow, rain, and wind.
- Insulated Pants for added warmth.
- Warm Hat for preventing heat loss from your head.
- Gloves or Mittens to keep your hands warm and dry.
- Thick Socks to keep your feet warm and dry.
- Sturdy Boots are essential for cold-weather treks.
- Backpack for carrying your gear, and consider one with a hydration system to prevent your water from freezing.
- Trekking Poles provide stability and reduce the strain on your knees when hiking.
- Navigation Tools like maps, compasses, and GPS devices.
- Emergency Essentials like a first-aid kit, fire-starting equipment, an emergency blanket, and a whistle for safety.
- Food and Water.
- Avalanche Safety Gear
- Communication tools like mobile phones and satellite communication devices.
Challenges and Safety
Mardi Himal Trek is not an easy feat to succeed. We have already discussed the preparations needed for this trek since this trek is physically demanding. Alongside the physical demands, this trek has several other challenges. These challenges should be acknowledged before booking the package so that trekkers can prepare well for the conditions. Here are some of the challenges of the trek. Let’s discuss them in detail:
Weather And Climate
Weather and climate conditions are one of the major challenges of Mardi Himal Trek. Most trekkings are conducted in the peak seasons like Spring and Autumn. But still, sometimes, the weather conditions are unpredictable around the region, which makes trekkers difficult to navigate.
Mardi Himal lies in the northern Himalayan region of Mid-Western Nepal. Nestled in the alpine climatic conditions, the temperatures are low, and phenomena like sharp winds are common.
If you embark on this trek during the winter, you should strictly prepare for the weather conditions. The temperature is extremely low, sometimes even below 0 degrees celsius. Trekkers must focus on thermal clothing and warm tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads for staying in high-altitude locations.
Similarly, during the monsoon, heavy rainfall follows the region, making it difficult for trekkers to navigate through the remote trail. The trails are usually wet and slippery, which does not offer proper grip on the ground. This can elevate the risk of injury and falls. In addition, natural phenomena such as landslides and floods occur during the monsoon season, which can even lead to the cancellation of trek or postponement.
The Mardi Himal Trek takes you to the highest altitude, over 4500 meters above sea level. This elevation level is very prone to altitude-related illnesses like AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema), and HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema).
The oxygen level is very low at high-altitude locations such as Mardi Himal Base Camp, High Camp, and Low Camp. Similarly, the air pressure is high at these locations, making breathing difficult. The physical exhaustion on top of that makes it more prominent, which brings a high possibility of suffering from altitude sickness.
It is recommended to seek an immediate medical attention if you see the symptoms of altitude sickness like nausea, vomiting, fever, dizziness, and fatigue. Similarly, acclimatization is very essential during the trek. Trekkers must focus on hiking high and sleeping at lower altitudes. Also, the factors like hydration, nutrition, and enough rest & sleep impact altitude sickness.
The standard trail to Mardi Himal is very remote and rugged. It features the fluctuated landscapes, such as high and low steep ascents, lowlands, and straight routes. Walking through these uneven terrains might drain physical energy, making trekkers physically exhausted.
This will also lead trekkers to suffer from altitude sickness and other illnesses.
It is recommended to have sturdy hiking boots and trekking poles to aid yourself during the Mardi Himal Trek. Also, be hydrated and eat nutritious food to energize yourself during the trek.
Guides And Porters for Mardi Himal Trek
Guides and porters are essential for the Mardi Himal Trek as they help make the trek convenient. Guides are compulsory for trekking in Nepal. The Nepalese Government has issued a law to compulsorily hire guides for remote trekking after banning solo trekking in Nepal.
This law was enacted on April 1, 2023, after analyzing the reports of missing and injuries from the remote trekking. It is designed to safeguard trekkers in remote, unknown locations. Before embarking on the Mardi Trek, trekkers must hire a professional and certified guide who can help navigate the routes.
Guides not only help in the navigation but also cultural immersion. Guides have extensive knowledge about local people, places, culture, traditions, and history. So they can provide insightful knowledge about the Mardi Region.
You can hire guides at anywhere around $25 to $35 per day. However, the prices may differ depending on the expertise and the service they offer during the trek. Some guides may even charge you up to $50 per day.
Similarly, porters are also very essential in Mardi Trek. While the trek is a multi-day package, carrying all the stuff and gear might not be possible. So you need an extra hand to support you in carrying your luggage and backpacks. While porters carry your loads, you will get spare time to cherish the beauty of the Mardi Region. You can immerse in the cultural experiences, have conversations with local people, and know their lifestyle and history.
Porters will charge you around $20 to $30 per day, depending on their expertise and the weight they carry.