Maardi Himal Trek is one of the relatively unknown and pristine destination in Nepal’s trekking destination radar. One of the treks within the multitude of trekking options inside the Annapurna Region, Maardi Himal Trek is simply amazing. Taking you right into the hearts of Annapurna range, the trek will bring you very close to South Annapurna and Machhachhapurchhre himal.
Maardi himal trek offers one of the most amazing views of Mt South Annapurna and Mt Machchapuchhre. Not as famous as other part of the Annapurna region, the Maardi himal trek is a recent establishment in the area. The gateway to Maardi himal can be two places which I will explain as according to the need of a trekker.
If you have enough time and you are looking for a long trek then you can take a bus to Kaade (A point on the Baglung- Pokhara Highway). You can’t actually get a bus to Kaade, rather you have to take a bus/microbus that goes to Beni or Baglung and ask the staffs to drop you off at Kaade. From Kaade, you have to make your way to the Australian Camp, which takes about 1.5-2 hours depending upon your walking ability. Depending upon the time you leave Kathmandu, you can either decide to stay at Australian camp or head off to Deurali (Pitam Deurali) which is just about an hour away from the Camp. So here’s an option to that as well. Either you can start early in the morning and reach Australian camp by day light and aim for Deurali or you can take late bus and then aim to reach Australian camp by night fall. Or if you don’t want to walk at all till Deurali, you can catch a jeep from Pokhara to Deurali.
If you start up in the morning from Australian camp then you can head off to Forest Camp for the lunch, the trail to Deurali is relativity easy, from Deurali onward the trails climbs up steeply at times through the dense forest with minimal view, at places the forest is so dense with at least 80-90% canopy coverage. So the view is kind of boring for the most of the part. Forest camp sits in the middle of the jungle with no view of the mountain as well, forest camp would be an idea place for the lunch if you start from Australian camp, but if you start from Deurali you can aim for low camp to have your lunch. From each places, there are no tea-houses in between so you might want to pack snacks for way and plenty of water too. I have included the name and phone number of all the hotels on the way (end of the blog).
The second option is, you can take a Microbus to Pokhara then go to Hari Chowk and then find a jeep that goes to the village of Siddhing or a bus that goes to Lumre and then hike up to the village of Siddhing. From Siddhing you can directly walk up to the Low camp, it would take about 4-5 hours to reach the Low Camp from Siddhing. Which would mean that you can avoid the long trek from Australian camp to Low camp via forest camp (the view from the trail isn’t that great to be honest- except for the view from Deurali). So depending upon your ability and availability of time you can decide on the two options.
From Low Camp onward the trails goes up through the forest of Rhododendron, atop the hill lies one of the best view point of the trail. Right in front of you lies the Baadal Daada with an amazing backdrop of the massive South Annapurna, to the right hand side of the view lies the Mt Machchapuchhre. A view into the valley below to the South West lies village of Ghandruk. From there the trails goes higher and higher to the high camp. It shouldn’t take more than 4 hours to reach high camp from the Forest camp, about 2 hours to Low camp and 2 hours to reach high camp.
There are two hotels at the high camp. I stayed at the Hotel Trekkers’ Paradise and Restaurant which is a good hotel and has good hospitable environment.
The walk up to the Base camp will start the next morning, start early take some snacks for the trail and plenty of water. The trail goes steeply up at times and at times just gently, you can reach the base camp and then drop down to either low camp or even Siddhing depending upon how much you can walk. But if you do end up low camp in time, I’d recommend you to go down to Siddhing because it only takes about 2 hours to reach Siddhing from Low camp. But if you reach low camp too late in the evening then it would be better to stay at low camp and then aim for Siddhing the next morning within the time frame of getting a bus back to Pokhara (The last bus from Siddhing leaves at 12) but if you do end of missing the bus from Siddhing you can then walk further down from Siddhing to the village of Lumre (Approx. 2 hours) where you can get a local bus to Pokhara till 4 pm.
Maardi Himal Base Camp trek is a highly recommended off beaten trekking destination. Personally I loved the place and I’d love to go there again! The views of Mt South Annapurna and Mt Machchapuchhre are unbeatable.
Low Camp- Machchapuchhre in the Background
A walk through the forest
Badal dada and South Annapurna
On the way to Mardi Base Camp
Kathmandu to Kaade:- 550 Nrs
Lumre to Pokhara:- 1oo Nrs
Cost of the trip: The cost of the trip entirely depends upon how many days you take and the type of spending that you do, but basically on a budget trip the total cost per day should be around 1000nrs/per day.
Other details: Phone charging and Wifi facilities are available at High Camp but not at forest camp, so it’s better to carry extra battery or power-banks just for the road. If it’s a sunny day you can charge your batteries at High camp.
Phone networks aren’t available at most places as well but you can use the phone at high camp if you have to call.
Hotels and Phone numbers:
Nice View Lodge and Restaurant, Pitam Deurali: +977-61-620294 Mobile: +97798460-59125, 9819125634
Hotel Green View and Restaurant, Forest Camp: Suk Gurung- 9806536904, 9817121180
Hotel Trekkers Paradise and Restaurant, High Camp: 061-696668, Pradip Gautam- 9846087624, 9846183746
Hotel Trekkers Home Nepal, Siddhing: Sudip Gautam- 9856087625