[Travel Blog ] Mesmerizing Trek to Mardi Himal

[Travel Blog ] Mesmerizing Trek to Mardi Himal

Trip facts:
Total Days – 5 days, can make it shorter if you can walk.
  • Permits – TIMS card and Annapurna Sanctuary permit required for foreigners.
  • Guide – Mandatory if you are trekking for the first time.
  • Starting points – Kande/Ghandruk/Landruk/Phedi.
  • Finishing points – Siding/Landruk/Ghalel.
  • Highest point – Mardi Himal Base Camp, 4500 m.
  • Total ascent – 3274 m.
  • Total descent – 3731 m.
  • Accommodation – Guesthouses, camping (at lower altitude).
  • Mardi Himal Trekking route:
    - Day 1:
    Pokhara to Forest Camp Via Dhumpus
    - Day 2:
    Forest Camp to High Camp
    - Day 3:
    High Camp to Mardi Base Camp
    - Day 4:
    Low Camp to Pokhara via Siding
    - Day 5:
    Pokhara to Kathmandu

What to pack for Mardi Himal Trekking:
  • Trekking bags, Headlamps, Torch lights, Cameras, Hiking Sticks, Raincoats, Down Jackets, Fleece Jackets, Caps, Sun Glasses, Sun Creams, Thermal to avoid cold, Slippers, proper hiking shoes, Waterproof pouch, Towels, First aid kits, Lip balms, Toothbrush, Soaps, Hand Sanitizer, Toilet papers, power banks for the mobile phone charge because you have to pay an extra payment to charge your phone in the guesthouse.
    Please don't bring unwanted things while trekking. Only carry the important things.

So, after the first lockdown, we planned to take in the fresh air and we chose trek this time. Since we never trekked before we Googled a lot about the trek destination for amateur trekkers like me. After a long Googling, there was an option for Mardi Himal. It was one of the easiest and most popular trekking destinations for beginners. Also, when it comes to trek, how could I miss my husband’s (Sujan) dream destination. He was also interested in the trek as he likes to click pictures in front of mesmerizing Himalayas while carrying his wife; that’s me just as his friend did two years back. He was completely lured by the picture his friend had posted on social media. So, we decided to trek up the Mardi Himal. However, we were unsure about our fitness as it was our first trek, so we tried to get prepared mentally and even physically.

We shared this idea about the trek with a few of our close friends as it will be fun to trek with friends. Most of them were happy to go on a trek but most of them doubted they would complete the trek due to the long walking days and low stamina. We started collecting information by reading blogs, watching youtube videos which helped a lot to prepare ourselves for the trek. ☺

So finally we were a total of 7 members ready to conquer Mardi. We fixed the date so that everyone can take a leave from work. We all planned to take a 5-day leave from our busy work schedule for the trek. There were seven members in a team: Santosh (team leader), Sujan (Citymotorbike), Punit, Sristi, Anita, Sumitra, and me (Subi).

We prepared ourselves for the trek by starting to walk every morning for one and half hours to Swayambhunath for more than 2 weeks (which is about 8km away from our house).

Everyone was excited about the trip as the trip date was coming closer. In preparation, we started buying clothes/gear for the trekking. Most of the items we bought were from Kalapathhar trekking store in Thamel (which is a cheaper option for trekking gear).

As the departure date was coming closer, we were all prepared and finished our shopping and packing and shopping for snacks the day before. Since it was our first trek, we were unsure about the number of clothes to pack. So yes we overpacked our backpack which was a bad decision. Our team was led by Santosh Maharjan who is the professional guide as well. All the necessary reservations for flights and hotels and itinerary planning were done by him. This gave our plan more fullness and made us confident.

Day 1: Pokhara to Forest Camp via Dhumpus:
As planned, we gathered at Anita’s house in Dhalku at 7.30 am and took a cab to reach the airport. After checking in and receiving a boarding pass, we all were excited to reach Pokhara and start our flight. It was about a 30-minute flight to Pokhara. The weather was clear to get a glimpse of mountains as we were flying to reach Pokhara.


As soon as we landed, there already was a jeep waiting for us. We grabbed our luggage and rushed to get on a jeep to reach Dhampus. Our plan was to drive to Phedi and to reach Dhampus and start our trek, but due to a landslide in Phedi, roads got blocked and we couldn't move further.


We waited for some time to see if we can drive further to reach Dhampus, but there was less chance for roads to get clear. Sometimes everything won't go along with the plan. So, as a Plan B, we decided to take an alternative route to Dhampus from Astham which was an alternative route. We had no other choices, so we made the U-turn from there and started driving toward Dhampus via Astham. We were all eager to start our trek but we had the worst luck, we again got stuck in Astham due to road construction work. We waited there for an hour to clear up the road. As soon as the road cleared, we headed toward Dhampus. Finally, our jeep dropped us at Dhampus.

As we were running late than our planned itinerary, we started our trek from Dhampus. The trail ascended all the way to Pothana through rhododendron forests. Our trek was accompanied by magnificent views of Annapurna ranges and beautiful green forest. We all were quite excited and happy to start our trek as we were accompanied by our very close friends. Far from city hustle and bustle, chirping of birds, whistling of fresh air compelled me to think rural life has so much to offer.


Group picture on our trail

After about an hour's walk, one of our friends Anita (who was more excited in the group) couldn't walk further as she was too exhausted and got nauseated and vomiting. This may be due to low energy. So, we decided to take a rest near a local shop. A glass of glucose water and bananas gave us instant energy. We also reshuffled our bag loads which made us a little easier to walk. After about a 15-minute break, we continued to walk further. Our plan was to reach Pothana for our lunch. It was already 2 o’clock by then. We had our lunch there, rested a few times, and continued our walk to reach Forest Camp before nightfall. Along the way, we pass through Deurali.





Our diet for the trek, Nepali thali.

After Deurali, the trail goes through the dense forest. There is a blue and white marking on the trees to help you to be on the right path. There were arrows pointing to Forest Camp. You can also use a map or use Maps.me app to find the route. As it is a dense forest area, Google Maps usually doesn’t show proper trails. Since Santosh is a leading guide who was leading us, we didn’t have to worry about losing the right trail.



Fueling up while resting

As we are now walking through a deep forest, it was quite a frightening moment. There couldn't see any other people on the trail except our group. It was getting darker and we are still quite far from reaching Forest Camp. Since we lost our time due to landslides in Phedi, we walked at a pace to avoid the darkness and reach our destination. We used our mobile flashlight and torch to see the way.


At around 7 pm, we saw lights in the distance. Seeing the light was such a relief for us. Finally, we reached the forest camp. As the tea house was pre-booked, we were welcomed with a warm cup of tea. It worked as fuel to us as we were exhausted after a long walk and didn’t have any energy. We freshened up and had our dinner and went to bed to get a rest. Due to Corona, there were fewer trekkers around this area. Otherwise, during this time, most of the hotels will be fully occupied with national and international tourists.

Day 2: Forest camp to High camp

We woke up early at 7 am. It was a cold morning even though it was the month of March. While our breakfast was being prepared, we started taking pictures and exploring the area. We found out that there were limited houses for lodging and accommodation in that area. At 8.30 am, we had our breakfast with Tibetian bread, eggs, and tea. Usually, in trekking areas, we recommend having veg foods. Our friend Anita was still not feeling good walking due to her leg pain. We encouraged her to move slowly. We also told her to stay at the hotel if she was unable to walk further but she decided to hike up! This was the determination that we were looking for in her.

Our tea house in The Forest camp


Cc & Punit at Tea house in a Forest camp


Tibetian Bread, egg & hot tea are our breakfast in the Forest camp.

Now, we begin the hike. Today’s hike is a steep climb to get over a hillock, then relatively flat for a while, and again start the ascent. Although it was difficult for us as we have no habit of walking, we managed by taking a rest in the middle of the way. As it is said, difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Once we saw the magnificent stunning view of the Annapurna range and Mount Machhapuchhare, we were more excited and encouraged to walk further.

The mountain views were getting better as we were ascending. We were quite lucky because the view cleared up after 6-7days. It was so close view. We felt our trip was worth it. We spent some time taking pictures and making memories with breathtaking views. We were lucky to see peaks like Macchapuchre, Annapurna South, Mardi, Himchuli, etc. Anita almost forgot about her leg pain and was excited capturing the and was frequently updating this moment on her Instagram story. Further, Santosh gave us information about the routes and the mountains. He was good at what he was doing and was an experienced leader.


After some time, we continued to hike and the ascent of about three hours. We arrived at Low Camp through the dense forest. We rested for a while and enjoyed a cup of coffee while enjoying the beauty of the mountains.


Group picture in Low Camp

As our bags were overpacked, we decided to leave behind some of our clothes in the tea house. As we will be returning back to the same teahouse, we managed to talk with the owner and he agreed to keep our things safe. It was a great relief for us. Now our backpacks were quite light than before, it was easy to walk with less load.


We started our hike towards Badal Danda. After an hour of ascending, we reached Badal Dada. Since it was the month of March, we couldn't see much snow. However, we have seen pictures of Badal Danda in winter from where clouds were below the lodges. Though we couldn't see the most stunning beauty, we were all stunned by the breathtaking scenario of pearly white Machhapuchhre and Annapurna range. There were few lodges in Badal Danda, but the food was delicious. We had our lunch and spent time together watching our hilarious pictures, poses, laughing, and enjoying every moment that let us forget our pain of walking.


We saw locals constructing the trails towards Mardi high camp. There was a donation box where we donated some amount for them and wished them a good life for their hard work for trekkers. We started meeting lots of new people at Badal Danda and introduced ourselves and enjoyed taking pictures, forgetting about the pain of walking for long hours.

Moreover, we were making indelible memories. We started to walk again and after an hour of uphill trek, we finally reached High Camp at 5 pm.


The view from the High Camp was spectacular. We were lucky enough to see the amazing night sky with the mountain. It was cold over there. Moreover, we were tired so we waited for our dinner at the dining hall. We used to enjoy our dinner time as we all got to sit together and talk about anything.



Punit with Nepali Flag at Badal Danda.


Way to High Camp





Group picture once we reached High Camp
View of Mardi Himal from High Camp

Day 3: High camp to Mardi Base camp

Today is the day we reach our main destination. Our plan is to reach there early in the morning, so we all woke up early at 4.30 am and began to hike towards our destination. Just before our trek to Upper View Point, Santosh told us about the difficulties of walking in the dark towards Upper View Point. Again our friend Anita who was quite afraid of height started to refuse to walk further, but we encouraged her and told her the worth of walking up to Upper Viewpoint.


Mardi himal view early morning

It was all dark. The trail was not visible. We used a torch and mobile flashlight to see the way and started to walk in a line so that ways could be visible for all through the light. It was the hardest and most dangerous climb of our trek as the trail from High Camp to Upper View Point was steeply uphill and narrow. Besides that, we were also tired from the previous day's hike.




We met a dog, who is leading us all the way from High camp to Mardi Himal


We hiked very slowly and carefully and rest in most parts of the way. Seeing the trail and the painful hike, we were losing hope to reach Upper View Point. It was an unimaginably tough hike. However, we kept on moving at our pace. We met different groups of trekkers on the way. Some were ascending while some were descending. After almost 3-4 hours we reached the Upper Viewpoint. The place was captivated that couldn't be explained in words. And finally, we reached our destination Mardi Himal. We captured memorable pictures at the Viewpoint.

Here are some photos from the Mardi Himal viewpoint.






Finally, after many retakes, I and my husband got the priceless picture with the stunning view of Machhapuchhre and Annapurna. :) Thanks to Punit who took this amazing photo of us.


Later Punit and Cc also tried to capture this amazing shot at the Viewpoint


And its Santosh dai and Sumitra bhauju's turn :)


Since there is no one to carry Anita so took a single shot at the basecamp, hope fully we will find someone who can carry her :D


As there was snow and we did not have crampons, we were unable to reach Mardi Base Camp, but it was worth hiking up to the Upper View Point. After spending some time in Upper View Point, we descend towards the High Camp. After having our breakfast, we headed to Low Camp at around 3 pm. We reached Low Camp where we stayed there overnight.

Day 4: Low camp to Pokhara via Siding

At 7:30 am after having breakfast, we descend from Low Camp. The way to the siding was an extremely steep descent through the forest. We climbed down slowly and enjoyed every step. We had no time limit this time as we had all one-day extra leave.


It was a steep descent to Siding. We descend through the forest for about three hours to reach there. It was a small settlement of not many houses with all the facilities available.

We waited for about an hour before the jeep arrived. Then, we got in the Jeep and rode back to Pokhara on a dusty road which took about 2.5 hours. While heading back from High Camp to Low Camp, we met at least 300 people on the way who were heading towards High Camp. But they were quite unlucky because the weather was quite bad from the day we got back from the High Camp. Some were sad since we showed them the pictures that we got from our starting point today we reached Upper View Point.

We heard from locals that the Mardi Himal trek is getting quite popular for Nepali people because it’s not a hard trek as we thought and it’s a budget trek too.

Sometimes luck is also needed when you are on trekking, you never know mountain weather. It keeps changing frequently. At that time, we were very very very lucky to experience the clear view of Mt Machhapuchere and the surrounding mountains.

Day 5: Pokhara to Kathmandu:

We planned to reach Kathmandu by taking a flight, but all the flights were canceled due to bad weather, so we booked a jeep and left Pokhara early in the morning to reach Kathmandu.

Later in the evening, we decided to get a Trekkers massage in Heritage Spa which is a highly recommended massage once you have completed a trek. It’s a great relief for our body to get a massage after the trek.


(Heritage Spa, Basundhara)

And I would like to thank Heritage Spa for its great service & Mr. Santosh who guide us all the way to the trek. You can reach him if you ever planned for trekking in Nepal.

Anyways, this is my first try at writing a blog. I couldn't write everything because it’s getting longer hehe.
I will definitely make it shorter and more informative in my next blog.

Hope you guys enjoy the pictures and blog. Looking forward to your Feedbacks in the comment section.

Ps: Mardi Himal is definitely a highly recommended trekking route for those who are planning for the trek for the first time.

If you have any questions regarding Mardi Himal trekking please feel free to contact anyone below.

  1. Santosh Maharjan (Professional Trekking Guide)
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/santoshmhrjn

  2. Sujan Maharjan ( For Vehicle rentalS or Motorbike rental for your trek)
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sujan_Mhrjn
    Web: https://citymotorbike.com/

Here is the full video from our trek, here is the link

Drone Shot of Mardi Himal

Thank you :)

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