Mardi Himal Trek – A 5 day trek to the Himalayas

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Machhapuchhre Mountain seen from Mardi Himal View Point. Photo: Amir Shrestha
Machhapuchhre Mountain seen from Mardi Himal View Point. Photo: Amir Shrestha

The Mardi Himal Trail is one of the most preferred treks where you can see Machhapuchhre, Annapurna and Mardi Himal from close range. This trail is very popular among foreign tourists and Nepali youth because it has well-organized tea houses and can be completed in a few days. The trek starts after reaching Pokhara which is the biggest tourist hub of Nepal. Mardi Himal Trek within itself has the enticing paths of the forest, hills, and the panoramic view of the mountains.

Mardi Himal is a beautiful destination for those who are attracted by travel and especially those who prefer hiking. We welcome you to the third Season of Heaven is myth, Nepal is real’s Episode 1.

The first day’s journey started through the busy streets of Kathmandu. And as always, we went to the Sikre Khola in Dhading for breakfast and stopped for a while.

The month of Magh and the freezing cold and the journey was going to be very challenging. But the early morning’s sun gave some relief to the scooter journey. In terms of kilometers, Pokhara is not very far from Kathmandu, but since the road is rough, it takes about 6-7 hours to travel 200 kilometers.

The wide Trishuli river was flowing beside. Trishuli, which takes a terrible form during the rainy season, looks somewhat calm during Winter. It is also very fun to travel during the Winter. After a few hours’ ride from Sikre Khola, the road was a bit busy. The journey progressed slowly. During the journey, we stopped for a while at Malekhu on Prithvi Highway and decided to taste fish. The journey that started again after from Sikre river came to a stop again at Malekhu.

Clouds and the sunrise seen during Mardi View Point trek. Photo: Amir Shrestha
Clouds and the sunrise seen during Mardi View Point trek. Photo: Amir Shrestha

After having the fish at Malekhu, the journey through Kurintar accelerated. Most of the people go to Pokhara by public transport and stop at one place for food. Those who have their own means of transport are allowed to stop wherever they decide. After Malekhu we made full use of that and stopped for lunch at Anbu Khaireni. 

The road from Abbu Khaireni to Pokhara is a bit uncomfortable. As the road is widening, the roads are dusty. The government is working on this road section to widen the national highway. It seems that the widening road will greatly help the development of Pokhara and its nearby tourist areas in the coming days.

We hope that the road widening work will be done as soon as possible and people will be freed from the problems of travel delay and dust at once. Last year we also completed our season two traveling on this road. In the coming season, we expect to travel on a new and wider highway.

We had to stop on the road for a while as road construction work was going on. We were forced to pass the time by watching the Bulldozers digging up the soil. We were not in such a hurry as we were staying in Pokhara for the first day, which created no rush for the roads to reopen.

The sun was setting down before we even reached Pokhara. The horizon was covered with the pink color of the setting sun. A few pieces of clouds were drawing a picture in the sky of Kaski. However, we were traveling to meet Pokhara on the road as soon as possible.

As the evening fell, Pokhara finally arrived. After reaching there, our team filled the scooter with petrol for tomorrow and headed towards Hotel Himalayan Front located in Sarangkot.

After reaching the hotel we went to the dining area of ​​the hotel. Hotel Himalayan Front in Sarangkot operated by KGH has been giving guests a comfortable stay and a chance to view the beautiful mountains at the same time. Hoping for the sunrise of the next morning with the Himalayas, we went to sleep.

Pokhara, the most used name in the Nepali tourism sector and this name includes huge Machhapuchhre and Annapurna mountains, on the top of which the first glimpse of the sun decorates the golden Crown. And within this name are 8 beautiful lakes like Phewa, Begnas, Rupa, Gunde, Khaste, Nyurani, Maidi and Deepang.

Reddish sky with sun about to rise, Pokhara. Photo: Amir Shrestha
Reddish sky with sun about to rise, Pokhara. Photo: Amir Shrestha

Pokhara itself is not only a beautiful tourist destination but also a hub to connect other beautiful tourist areas like Mustang, Annapurna Base Camp, Kusma, Kori and Mardi. People who travel to those areas have to step on this land once. And as soon as people come to Pokhara or go to other places, they rest on this land. Pokhara takes care as much as possible. The magic of Pokhara city is such that whoever comes here will come again and again.

The second day’s stay happened to be Pitam Deurali. Our team left the hotel after having breakfast looking at the huge Annapurna and Machhapuchhre mountains in the background. Shortly after leaving the hotel, we reached the Pokhara Baglung Highway. This 76 km long highway starts from Zero Kilo in Pokhara and ends at Baglung. This road connects Mustang, Kusma and Dhampus with Pokhara. Our team went towards Dhampus by traveling on this road.

Journey to the View point of Mardi Himal is an epic one. Photo: Amir Shrestha
Journey to the View point of Mardi Himal is an epic one. Photo: Amir Shrestha

After a little further from Ghate Khola through the highway, you will find a road to the right. On the way, you will also find a sign saying Welcome to a Dhampus. That place is called Fedi. After ascending from Phedi, a small unpaved road starts which leads travelers to Dhampus, which is 26 km from Pokhara. Some small settlements are found on the way, leaving those settlements behind, our journey continues. Although the road is rough, it is not that difficult.

Scooters and any two-wheeler can easily reach Dhampus. After traveling on a rough road for a while, the forest road starts. When you travel through that road, you feel that you have arrived somewhere far away from the city. It’s a sunny day and when you look at the mountains looking at the world with your neck stretched out on the other side, you don’t even notice the time has passed. 

After eating at Dhampus, we continued the journey. The weather was very clear. Looking at Dhampus from Pokhara, the road from Dhampus to Pitam Deurali is a bit uncomfortable. It was not as easy as we thought to travel on the rocky road to the dusty one. In order to reduce the weight of the scooter, the friend sitting behind had to drop down. On top of that, the saddle bags stuck on the back of the scooter kept moving backwards. Every now and then it had to be adjusted and moved on.

Mardi Himal trekkers can start their journey by walking from both Dhampus and Australian Base Camp. In order to go to the Australian base camp, one has to climb from a place called Kande, which is some distance from Fedi. Both the Australian base camp and Dhampus have good accommodation facilities. Passengers are free to start their journey from wherever they feel comfortable. Since the scooter goes all the way to Pitam Deurali, we took that route.

It is said that Pitam Deurali, which is at a height of 2100 meters above the sea level, had a water problem earlier and people passing through it had to drink collected water from the sky. Because the collected water is the color of a bear’s hive, the name of this place is Pitam Deurali. From this place, you can see the mountains like Dhaulagiri, Annapurna range, Gangapurna, Machhapuchhre, Ganesh and Mardi at once.

Stars above Pitam Deurali. Photo:  Amir Shrestha
Stars above Pitam Deurali. Photo: Amir Shrestha

We reached the hotel at midday and we didn’t need to walk anywhere that day. The body was well rested. We used our leisure time by eating hot noodle soup to beat the cold. After the sun went down, Pitam Deurali was getting very cold. Pitam Deurali can be a very suitable destination for those who want to spend the day looking at the surrounding mountains and the sunset to their heart’s content. Millions of stars visible in the night sky further decorate Pitam Deurali. Like adding fragrance to gold.

The rays of the morning sun get poured on the mountains like always. The chirping of the trees disturbed the sleep of the sleepers. Pitam Deurali, who was exhausted from the cold of the night, was touched by the rays of the sun and he embraced the warm day. On the first day of the walk, Pitam Deurali gave us a good morning message

Looking beyond the hotel, the Mardi mountain can be seen. That is as far as we will go. Having rested the previous day, more fresh energy was added for the walk. Since it takes about 6 hours to reach the Low Camp, it was appropriate to start the journey. So, after breakfast, our team moved towards the Low Camp. 

The walk started from Pitam Deurali. From the height of 2100 meters we had to reach the Low Camp at 3050 meters.

Shortly after starting the walk, we took a shortcut and proceeded towards the forest camp. On the way there is a hill called Lovely Hill. A little tiredness could be killed by stopping there for a while. We were standing at the landscape where the huge Annapurna Himal was seen. Some other young travelers were enjoying watching it. Our team felt excited again because we had to reach the Low Camp.

After crossing Lovely Hill, the forest path begins. In winter, those who go to this place can see the leaves of the trees falling all over the road. One of the beautiful aspects of this path is that no one gets lost as there are marks on the trees while trekking. Following them, new travelers can also proceed without any inconvenience.

After leaving Pitam Deurali and walking along for about 1 hour, you will reach Dod Kharka.

As the weather was clear in the morning, it suddenly started to get cloudy. The journey continued, leaving Dod Khark behind, who was covered by fog. Even the forest was full of excitement. The fog played hide & seek in between the trek. On the way to the dense forest, we kept walking listening to the chirping of birds.

From the beginning of the journey, the hiker is in a hurry to reach the destination. We were no exception. With every uphill climb, we continued our steps towards our destination, Forrest Camp.  When we are feeling tired, and we’re hoping to Forest Camp soon.. It was not a new thing for us to expect forest camp to be this far, as we were tired.

Trekkers enjoying the famous Mardi Himal Trek. Photo: Amir Shrestha
Trekkers enjoying the famous Mardi Himal Trek. Photo: Amir Shrestha

During the journey, Musalbari was left behind. We met our well wishers on the way. When we find people who like our work like this, it boosts our enthusiasm to work even more.

We were very hungry when we reached the forest camp. After packing our bags and resting for a while, we started eating.

Forest Camp, at an altitude of 2550 meters above sea level, is an important point of the Mardi trek. Some tourists reach the low camp and after having lunch here and some even stay for one night and travel.

Among the main features of the Mardi trek are the tea houses here. If you find it difficult, you can find many tea houses within a short distance. These tea houses have created the atmosphere that since anyone who can walk less can easily reach Mardi. That is why the Mardi Himal trail is able to attract both people who are going on a trek for the first time and those who keep trekking.

The rest camp is a little bit above the forest camp. The rest camp is a very suitable place for the view of the mountains. Those who walk from Dhampus usually come to the rest camp to stay. From this camp, which is 2600 meters above sea level, you can see the fishtail mountain very close. When we reached the rest camp and saw the mountains in front of us, we felt as if we would rest there at the same time. We sat there and looked at the fishtail to the fullest.

A small glimpse of the beauty of the Mardi Himal could be seen on the way from the rest camp to the low camp. They stood motionless in the rays of the setting sun. On top of that, the clouds that stole the color of the mountains were moving calmly. Indeed, that evening of Mardi Trek was defining magical beauty.

We woke up the next day at the Low Camp tired from the previous day’s long walk. The Machhapuchhre Mountain, which was in front of our eyes since the first day, was in front of our eyes yet again on that day too. We had to reach Mardi View Point, seeing it the whole trek.

A trekker moving towards the view point of Mardi Himal. Photo: Amir Shrestha
A trekker moving towards the view point of Mardi Himal. Photo: Amir Shrestha

Locals say that the place was known as Humal before it was named Low Camp at a height of 3035 meters above sea level. But with the increase in the number of foreign tourists, it came to be known as Low Camp over time and now it is known as Low Camp all over the world.

The bad experience given by Humal Hotel made the mind awestruck. We have grown up with the culture that the guests who visit our  home are like gods, everything seems different with time now. Our minds did not accept the facts on how Humal treated us inside our own Country. 

The words spoken by the Hotel Humal’s dai that if there were that foreign tourists we wouldn’t have allowed Nepalese to stay were so hard for us to take. We hope no one ever says that sentence again in Mardi or any tourist destination inside our country. We hope that the greed of some hoteliers for money will not affect Nepalis to visit Nepal.

Mighty Macchapuchhre. Photo: Amir Shrestha
Mighty Macchapuchhre. Photo: Amir Shrestha

After reaching Badal Danda, which is 3300 meters above sea level, the complaints towards the low camp stopped. There was a towering mountain on the other side and a wide empire of clouds under the eyes. Reaching the top of Badal Danda was like reaching the top of the cloud itself.

It was a green forest. It was a beautiful path to walk on. But even in the middle of the winter month, there was no sign of snow on the Mardi. In the past years, the Mardi area, which was covered with snow, was still waiting for snow this season. The reason why global warming is affecting the world is that our mountains are not seen as white as usual.

While traveling on the path, one often meets friends. We also met many such friends during the journey. Sometimes while walking, they would meet several groups and after walking for a while they would leave again. People who came from all corners of the country to see Mardi didn’t know that the road felt like it was shortened while they traveled gossiping.

After walking from Badal Danda, the road to the Mardi High Camp becomes visible. It will help the travelers to get to their goal as soon as they can see it nearer with every walk. Mardi Himal trekkers may not know that Mardi Himal and Annapurna Base Camp Trail are neighboring trails.

After climbing for a while from Badal Danda, after reaching the top, Annapurna Mountain can be seen on the left side. A footpath can be seen passing right below the Annapurna Mountain. That is the Annapurna Base Camp trail. If you look at it on a clear day, the road from Chomrong to the Himalayas on the ABC trail from Mardi can be seen clearly.

The road after Bandal Danda is a bit difficult and steep. The hotel operators there tell that some hikers get caught with altitude sickness at the high camp. In terms of altitude, Mardi Base Camp at 4500 meters is a little higher than Annapurna Base Camp at 4130 meters. But both have their own characteristics. Both are equally attractive in themselves.

The foggy weather covered the road before reaching the high camp. The mountain that was seen a moment ago suddenly disappeared from us. As we moved forward, we saw some Mules coming down from the high camp through the road. In various footpaths of Nepal where there are no vehicles, similar Mules carry goods. That’s why the food in the tea houses on the footpath is a little more expensive than that of the city.

At Mardi High Camp, there are the last tea houses of the Mardi trail. All trekkers going to the view point and base camp must spend one night here. Like many hikers, they wake up early in the morning, reach the base camp and return, and after having lunch here, descend towards the Low Camp. Some return to Pokhara from Low Camp via Siding, while others reach Pokhara via Dhampus or Australian Base Camp.

Above the clouds, Mardi View Point. Photo: Amir Shrestha
Above the clouds, Mardi View Point. Photo: Amir Shrestha

When we reached the high camp, the cloudy weather was getting fierce at times. When the weather cleared, Annapurna and Machhapuchhre would show their faces and as soon as they got caught with fog, they would be hidden again. Seeing that, it seemed like the mountains were playing hide and seek with us.

After reaching the high camp at a height of 3580 meters above sea level, it starts getting cold. Our hands and feet are frozen with cold. All-day hikers go to sleep after eating. As we needed to get up early in the morning and for the view point, we decided to sleep as soon as we had dinner.

Our team set out for the view point in the dark with mobile flash lights and flashlights. The road was very steep. The new trekking path in the dark made us a bit uncomfortable to walk. However, we had to reach the viewpoint to watch the sunrise so we kept walking.

As we were heading towards the view point, the sky slowly began to light up. From the east, a golden color poured into the sky. The sun’s rays had yet to touch the clouds hidden under the mountains, but Annapurna, Mardi and Machhapuchhre standing nearby were already bathed in light.

The sun rose before reaching the view point. So we got mesmerized along the way and captured the surrounding scenes on camera. Among the people who come to trek the Mardi Himal, few even go to the Mardi Base Camp. It takes about one and a half hours to reach the base camp from the view point at a height of 4200 meters above sea level. Those who want to see Machhapuchhre and Mardi Himal more closely, it is better to reach the base camp.

Mardi Himal trek is not a long trek and it is not that difficult either. Since it can be reached in 6-7 days from Kathmandu and you can see the mountains very closely, this trail is very suitable for everyone from the first trekker. As the light began to fade, the dust of the ground also began to be seen.

The foggy  weather was dancing at the Mardi View Point area. We were afraid that he would not see anything after reaching the view point. While climbing uphill, the weather was good, but we couldn’t tell what the weather would be like as we were reaching closer to  the ViewPoint.

We were not the only ones who walked to reach the viewpoint that day. There were other hikers who had come to High Camp the previous day. The journey to the viewpoint was completed by listening to their travel experiences and sharing ours too.

Mardi Himal at a height of 5587 meters stands along with Machhapuchhre Himal. Basil Goodfellow successfully climbed Mardi Himal for the first time in 1961. After that, the Mardi area became popular among more and more people. From 1931 to 2023, Mardi has become a desired destination for many people. Because of this, this area sees thousands of tourists every year and shows its beauty to others.

A cute family seen during the Mardi Himal Trek. Photo: Amir Shrestha
A cute family seen during the Mardi Himal Trek. Photo: Amir Shrestha

Unfortunately, after reaching the view point, the weather turned a little cloudy. But seeing  the morning sunrise, there was no complaint because what we actually saw was exceptionally beautiful. After spending some time getting lost in the same hazy atmosphere, the Nepal 8th wonder team finally took their leave from the beautiful surroundings of Mardi View Point.

The 5-day long Mardi Trek has given us with heart-filling memories. Some sweet and some bitter too. After a two-day scooter trip and a 3-day trek, from the concrete city of Kathmandu to the world of mountains, the mind also got rid of the noise of the city for a few days. This journey, of five days through Pokhara, Pitam Deurali, Low Camp and High Camp, will be a lifelong memory.

Mystical & Magical Landscapes can be seen while doing the famous Mardi Himal Trek. Photo: Amir Shrestha
Mystical & Magical Landscapes can be seen while doing the famous Mardi Himal Trek. Photo: Amir Shrestha

We would like to remember everyone who supported us on the journey, including the Porter Dai who carried heavy luggage and made us light, Shiva Dai of Hotel 360 and Hotel Snowland of High Camp. We would like to thank our sponsors who provided financial and other support to our aim of traveling the country and bringing the country to the whole country. Finally, with the expectation of the same love and support that we got from the audience in Last season, we have handed over this first episode of season 3 to the audience.

Hope the efforts of Nepal 8th Wonder team will encourage the audience to visit the place. In the next episode, we will be back again with the Ruby Valley trek located in Dhading district. Until then, we ask for your leave. Thank you very much.

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