Mardi Himal Travel Guide
Mardi Himal Trek Overview
The Mardi Himal Trekking which has the height of 4500 meters is one of the new destinations in the Annapurna region which was opened after 2012. Due to its newness, the quantity of trekkers is quite low compared to Annapurna circuit and Annapurna Base Camp and other routes such as Poon Hill Trek, Manaslu trek, Everest Base Camp, etc. From the high camp which is 3700 meters, it takes about 3-4 hours to reach Mardi Himal Base camp. Mardi Himal trek is the best option for the trekkers who have limited time but do not want to miss the trekking experience in Nepal. The 4 days short trek will take you to one of the most mesmerizing view of the Himalayas. A short and moderate walk to Mardi Himal is a good choice for both the beginners as well as experienced trekkers.
Mardi Himal trek is a beautiful trek, which offers breathtaking view of the mountain ranges such as Machhapuchhre, Nilgiri, Hiunchuli, Annapurnas and Lamjung Himal. Mardi Himal trekking is not only limited to mountains, but the trails take the trekkers through beautiful villages where they can meet the indigenous tribes and witness their daily lifestyle which is completely different from the modern world. The people are very friendly and hospitable and welcomes the travelers with their warm heart and treat them as their own family members.
If you have enough time and would like to combine this trek with other treks in Annapurna region such as Annapurna Base Camp or Poonhill Trek, this is also possible. Also, if you are searching for more off the beaten treks other than Mardi Himal, then Khopra trek and Nar Phu Valley Trek are the options as well.
Reasons to trek to Mardi Himal
- Off the beaten trail
- Short trek
- Affordable Trekking
Off the beaten trail
One of the main reasons for trekking to Mardi Himal is due to its newness and off the beaten trail, which will be less crowed than other trekking trails that offers the trekker a peaceful journey. Mardi Himal trek is suitable for the family since all age groups can complete this trek because the challenges and risks are lower to other trekking region
As Mardi Himal trek can be done in as short as 4 days the trekkers can fully enjoy the Nepali culture and magnificent mountain ranges in short span of time. This trek will take you to the Base camp (4500m) of the beautiful mountain Mardi. Once you reach the top of the Base Camp you will have the closest view of the famous 8000 meters mountain Dhaulagiri and Annapurna I along with other beautiful mountain ranges. The journey takes you through the beautiful rhododendron forest, terraced farming’s and river crossing.
This trek is ideal for everyone and is a short holiday, which rejuvenates your mind and body, and helps you connect through nature and yourself.
Price varies purely according to the trekking season. Since this is a new walking trail there are less tea houses and lodges compared to the other trekking areas in Annapurna. Having said that Mardi Himal trek is quite affordable for all. If you have a budget of $25-$30 USD for food and accommodation per day, this is enough but for the other expenses such as government permit, transportation and guide or porter fee, you need to allocate separately. For the government permit it will cost $50 USD, transportation to and from trekking point it will cost about $90 USD if you want the private transport. Or if you want a local bus, it will cost less than $40 USD. Now talking about the extra cost of the guide and porter fee, it will cost $30 USD for guide per day and $25 USD for porter per day.
Best short Itinerary of Mardi himal trek
Itinerary starts from Pokhara and end at Pokhara
Day 1: Pokhara to Kande to Forest Camp (2520 m/8268 ft.)
Distance: 14.5 km / 9 miles
Time:1.5 hrs drive , 07-08 hrs walk
Day 2: Forest camp to Low camp to High camp (3540 m/11614 ft.)
Distance: 8 km / 5 miles
Time: 07:00 hrs walk
Day 3: High camp to Mardi base camp (4500 m/14764 ft.) and back to High camp
Distance: 10 km / 6.23 miles ( Both way)
Time: 07- 08 hrs walk
Day 4 :High camp to Sidhing village and drive to Pokhara (1700 m/5578 ft)
Distance: 8.5 km / 130 miles
Time: 04-05 hrs OR 06-07 hrs walk and 2 hrs drive.
Note: If you choose the alternative route to come back from high camp through jungle then it takes 2 hrs. more where you will witness a beautiful waterfall on the way back. This route must only be taken in the Spring and Autumn season and guide is recommended for this route.
How to reach Kade (Trekking start point) from Pokhara ?
Kade is a starting point of this trek and can be reached by local buse and jeep from Pokhara. It takes about 1.5 hours drive from Pokhara lake side.
How to reach Pokhara from Sidhing village (Trekking end point)?
After completing the trek of about 4-6 hours you will reach Sidhing village where you will find local jeeps that will take you to Milan chowk (Hemja highway) or Hari chowk via Lwangghale, Kalimati where you will find the place for canyoning.
From Milan or Hari chwok you can take taxi to drop you to Pokhara lake side. The total journey will be about 1.5 to 2 hrs. depending upon the season since the road is quite rough from Sidhing village to Lwangghale, Kalimati and after 1 hour of driving you will get to the blacktopped road, a place called Lumre. It will take another 45 mins to 1 hour to reach the lakeside.
Best time of the year for trekking around Mardi himal.
As the climate changes according to the season, the difficulty and challenges also depends on the season. If the trekker chooses the right time of the year then this trip can be a lifetime memory but if they choose wrong season then this trip can turn into hazard making your trip into a nightmare. Choosing the best time creates a harmony between the traveler and the weather.
As there are basically four seasons in Nepal.
- Spring (March- May)
- Autumn (September to November)
- Summer (June-August)
- Winter (December to February)
March to May weather in Mardi Himal trek
The most ideal season for trekking around Mardi Himal is spring. The spring season is the season of the flowers, the trails are filled with different species of Rhododendron in red and pink color, the wildflowers, ferns and the green forest makes the trail more colorful. The temperature is favorable in spring season and the days are warm with cool evenings, opening the best view of the mountains.
September to November weather in Mardi Himal trek
After Spring, Autumn is the best season to trek around Mardi as the sky will be clearer and the weather will be favorable. The days are warm and nights slightly cooler than spring. During the Autumn the trekkers can have the best view of the sunrise and sunset.
December to February weather in Mardi Himal trek
Trekking in winter around Mardi is not ideally recommended as the trails will be filled with thick snows and high wind pressure. Most of the accommodation facilities will be closed during Winter, The trekkers will have poor visibility and might lost their way while trekking. The difficulty and risk is high during the winter season.
June to August weather in Mardi Himal trek
Another season is the Monsoon season which is not meant for trekking, the heavy rain and hailstorm makes the trails slippery and difficult. The weather will not be clear during these seasons blocking the views of the mountains. Most of the accommodation facilities will also remain closed during this season.
What can be expected in Mardi Himal trek.
Mardi Himal trekking is a simple and short trek compared to other trekking regions of Annapurna. This trek is less challenging and meant for every one. Anyone with good physical and mental condition can complete this trek. Even if the trekker has no experience of previous trekking, they can attempt Mardi Himal trekking. The challenging part of this trek would be the altitude where the trekker will Reach up to 4200m above the sea level. But with proper acclimatization, right food and water the altitude won’t be a problem.
The trekker will not be walking more than 6-7 hours per day and the trails are well maintained and easy. But the difficulty and challenge also depend from person to person, as for some people coping with the new culture and community may be a challenge, for some the new foods and accommodations may be a challenge. And for some the altitude and long hikes may be a challenge but if you love to get out from your comfort zone and love to face challenges then Mardi Himal is your Cup of Tea.
Accommodations, Toilet and Showers during Mardi Himal trek
The accommodations on Mardi Base Camp Trek are basic tea houses and lodges. The lodges and tea houses are not luxurious with outside bathroom and the houses are made with local woods and stones but the construction is quite unique and eye catching. The tea houses and lodges offers the trekkers with the facility of food, water, shower and charging for the mobile phones and camera. The basic comforts such as blankets, pillows and mattress are provided. But during the peak season these are limited so carrying sleeping bag is recommended. But if the trekkers choose the non-season for the Mardi Himal Trek, then they will have enough of blankets, pillows and mattress since there will be less trekkers. The rooms could be shared with your friend as there are twin beds. To give the trekkers maximum comfort some rooms have attached bathroom in lower altitude. The staff of the Tea houses are very hospitable and welcome the trekkers with their warm heart.
Toilet and Showers
In the Lower zones some of the tea houses have attached bathroom. Most of the toilet are Asian style squat toilet and few of them are western toilet. The toilet is clean and hygienic, if the tea houses don’t have attached bathroom, then they have common bathroom outside the room where one can also get hot water for shower on request with the extra payment.
When you move to higher altitude showering will be much more difficult because there is scarcity of water in Mardi and the tea house owner have to walk miles to get the water.
Food on Mardi Himal trekking route.
The foods are simple compared to Annapurna circuit and Base camp, the tea house offers both typical Nepali dishes and western foods. You can choose the food according to menu and some of the common meals are:
- For Breakfast (Eggs, Porridge, Bread, Chapati, Tibetan bread, Curry etc.)
- For Lunch and Dinner (Pizza, Momo, Dal bhat, Variety of noodles, Pasta etc.)
- For beverage (Tea, Coffee, Hot chocolate, Hot water and Soups)
The pro tip for trekking is not to be afraid of carbs because after the long walk you need carbs. Carbs and Spinach always makes you full. The taste of food may vary from place to place where you may not get the same taste of food in every tea house and that will also be a good experience. All the foods meet the hygiene standard and are prepared by cooks who have years of experience in cooking. You can always pack your favorite snack if you want.
Water resource during Mardi Himal trek
Since we will be trekking in high altitude our body dehydrates fast losing the amount of water, so we recommend the trekkers to drink at least 3 liters of water every day. The water helps to heal the body fast and give you energy. We do not recommend you to drink unfiltered water as they are not hygienic. You can get the mineral water at tea houses but it will cost you more. So, you can bring your own life straw or purification tablets this will save huge amount of money. The tea houses also offers normal hot water.
Mobile Network, Internet and Electricity on the Mardi himal trekking route.
In the lower zones the tea houses provide the facility of Wi-Fi and electricity. The Trekkers can recharge their batteries and be active in their social media also. The Tea houses may charge extra for charging facility and Wi-Fi but it will not be more than $3. The speed of the internet may not be the best compared to city areas.
When you reach higher altitudes, it will be difficult to get the mobile network, Wi-Fi and electricity, so there will be disruption in mobile network for 2 days when you are in the higher altitude. We recommend you to bring your power banks for backup.
Permits required for Mardi Himal trek
Since Mardi Himal lies inside the Annapurna Conservation Area the trekkers are required two different kinds of Permits, ACAP permit and TIMS card (trekkers Information Management System). Our company will help you to arrange both of these permits.
Mardi Himal trek with Guide or without Guide
Before taking the major decision on whether to do the trek with guide or without guide, you need you be clear what trekking with guide offers you on the trek. A Trekking Guide is someone who are certified by the Government and licensed to guide the client. A Guide is not just someone who will show you path and take you to your destinations but they will be with you throughout the trek, who will assist you in every difficulty. They have received trainings on first Aid, Navigation, Conflict management, Risk assessment, and have years of experience in trekking. The weather and trails high in the mountains sometimes become unpredictable, so the guide will always be there to lead you and take the major decisions. Incase of emergency and accidents the guides will provide you the basic first aid and if that treatment doesn’t ease the symptoms, then they call for emergency rescue which could be a helicopter and transfer you to the nearest hospital. Guides are prepared for any consequences.
Trekking without a Guide means you are on your own. Mardi Himal trekking is not so risky and the trails are also not confusing but you can never predict the Mountains. So the choice completely depends upon the trekker.
One of the most important part of the trekking is packing the right thing for your journey, and sometimes with little knowledge packing can be really confusing. The trekkers might feel like they will need everything for the trek and just end up using only few items from their rucksack. And sometimes the trekkers forget small things in their backpack and later regret that they should have brought that item with them. Below are the items that you should not miss on your Rucksack.
- Trekking clothes: 2 pairs of hiking pants, Quick dry synthetic t-shirts. Sports bra and underpants.
- Base layers: Warm inner thermal
- Mid layer: Fleeced jacket, woolen sweaters or shelled vest.
- Shell jacket: Waterproof breathable jacket. Jacket is highly recommended.
- Insulation: Down or synthetic jacket.
- Gloves: 1pair of inner gloves and 1 pair of waterproof gloves.
- Hats or caps: For a sunny day caps works like a miracle. A woolen hat will always keep your ears head warm and protect from cold.
- Flip flops
Other essential items
- Books or kindle
- Head torch
- Basic First Aid Kit and personal medication
- Extra batteries for your camera and gadgets
- Cables and chargers
- Sewing kit
- Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitizer, etc.