Mesmerizing trek to Mardi Himal

Subi Maharjan

New member
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 armature trekkers like me. After a long Googling, there was an option for Mardi Himal we found 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 wouldn't complete the trek due to the long walking days and low stamina. Also, two of our friends dropped the plan as they were getting married in a few weeks. Somehow we both convinced three of our friends for Mardi trek. 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. 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 Swayambhu Temple 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 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. We bought essentials and most importantly medical supplies & first aid kits. 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.

Finally, the day came to melt down some fats that were consumed in lockdown. We started our as:

Our first selfie in Domestic Airlines before we fly. In picture Punit, cc (in front), Me Anita and Sujan. We missed Santosh & Sumitra

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.

Landslide is being cleared on our way!

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.



Mr. Punit looking at his food :)


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 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 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.


Closer View of Mt. Machhapuchhre






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