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Mardi Himal m is a 5,467 m peak, situated on the east side of the popular trekking region of Nepal, Annapurna region. It lies just below the prominent mountain Machhapuchhare.
Mardi Himal Trek was first summited in 1951 A.D yet, the tracks were only used by self-supported groups for several years after the summit. Later in the year 2012, the government officially opened Mardi Himal Trail as commercial trekking.
As the area started functioning commercially for trekking activity, people started opening fine lodges and basic tea houses with the purpose of providing food and accommodation services to the trekkers.
Some of the major highlights of the trek are:
You’ve got lots of options to choose from package tours to independent trekkings. The cost may vary while booking the tour online or in-person during your visit to Nepal.
The best way to undertake Mardi Himal Trek is by consulting with a reliable and trustworthy agency and purchasing their package. You can go through their tailored itineraries and packages to know regarding the duration of stays, accommodation, and fooding along the journey.
Independent trekking can also be an option for Mardi trekking. But, it won’t be much convenient and you might have to face difficulties and mishaps during your trip. For solo trekking, the cost might even get higher than going through package tours with agencies.
Travel agencies have contacts with guides, porters, transportation, and hotels. Thus, they arrange the services at a comparatively lower cost than the trekkers individually would. Also, you will not have to worry about finding a well-trained guide and porter and also about your stays and fooding while you’re here in Nepal.
The best time of the year to go for mountaineering or trekking in Nepal is during the spring and autumn. The same goes for Mardi Himal Trekking as well. These seasons offer stunning and clear views of the snow-capped mountains, lush green forests and flower blossoms along the trail.
Spring and autumn are the peak season for trekking in Nepal. The temperature during the daytime is around 15-20C with mostly warm and sunny days. Thus, there can be crowds on the popular trekking trails and in the lodges as well. In order to avoid any kind of unfortunate events and unavailability of services, booking in advance needs to be done. Dust-free sky and pristine surroundings are the wonders you will find after the rainfall at this time. Perfectly, awesome mountain views can be obtained
In contrast, the summers may be 10C -5C in the daytime and 0C during winters. During winter, most of the places in the region are covered with snow. Thus, you might have to carry heavy boots and lots of warm clothes for trekking during this time.
The first step to reach Mardi Base Camp is a long drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The drive takes around 6-7 hours to reach Pokhara bestowing you with spectacular views of the landscapes and lush green forests.
The trekking starts from the next day upon your arrival at Pokhara. You will pass through many suspension bridges, rivers, rhododendron forests and beautiful villages on your way to the Base Camp.
In order to go for trekking in Mardi Himal, you need to have trekking permits that include ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) and TIMS Card ( Tourism Information Management system). Also, you need to carry some extra fees for entry charges at certain places.
Your tour agency will give you a list of equipment and gear you need to prepare for yourself. The trekking gears include:
In order to trek to Mardi Base Camp, you need two trekking permits. They are:
These permits are available in Kathmandu as well as in Pokhara. The Tourist Information Centre in Pokhara is less crowded in comparison to the center in Kathmandu. The opening and closing times are 10 am-5 pm. You can receive the permit in 30 minutes if you have got all the required documents with you.
Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit (ACAP) is a mandatory permit that allows you to explore through all the areas in Annapurna National Park. The permit is valid for single entry and exit only.
You can use the permit for as many treks as you want (including Mardi Himal Trek), as long as you don’t exit.
Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) helps to protect the trekkers through registration checkpoints that are found along the way. The guide will get the TIMS card for you.
Mardi Himal is a moderate to difficult trek. A certain level of fitness is required though climbing isn’t involved. The return route to high camp from the base camp is a descent through steeps. So this part is going to be hard for you in case you have knee problems. You are advised to bring a kneecap for ease.
You won’t be at a high altitude for very long during Mardi Trekking. Thus, the risk of altitude sickness is quite less. However, it is wiser to be aware of altitude sickness and keeping yourself hydrated.
Mardi Himal trek is operable for all levels of trekkers. You don’t need to be highly experienced in order to commence this trekking. Exercising and practicing hikes before going is to be beneficial enough during the trek.
You will be served typical Nepali trekking course meals during the trek. There won’t be many items but the available food will be enough for you to stay healthy and energetic to properly complete the trek. Dal Bhat is a basic followed by pasta, pancakes, etc. The vegetables that they serve you are grown in their own fields.
You will be burning lots of calories as you will trek higher and higher. So, make sure you stay hydrated and intake enough lentils and liquid items.
The majority of food products that are served are produced by the farmers themselves. Cornbread is one of the famous local products.
Mardi trekking is a newly opened trek in the Annapurna Sanctuary. There were no lodges and hotels established for commercial purposes along the way until very recently. With the increasing flow of trekkers from both inside and outside the country in Mardi trek, people have started running basic tea houses and lodges.
The accommodation along the trekking region is good (for the remoteness). They provide fine accommodation with good facilities of wifi and hot showers up to forest camp. As you start reaching the higher altitudes, the facilities in the lodges will reduce to a minimum. You will have to learn to adjust sharing bathrooms, sleeping on foam mattresses and bathe on buckets of hot water.
Almost all the tea-houses have a traditional heater at the center of the main room. You will be given fiber blankets to keep yourself warm at night. In Pokhara and Kathmandu, you will be spending the overnights in a good hotel with great facilities
Mardi trek is a moderate one with steep ascents, narrow trails and long daily walks. The trail to Mardi Himal takes you to beautiful villages. You will pass by the beautiful Rhododendron forests that are always there welcoming you into the immortal wilderness. Once you march up to 3, 300 m altitude, you will be out of the forests.
Upon arriving at an altitude of 4500 meters, make sure to take precautions and go as per the itinerary as it has good pacing with distance and altitude. Always stay in a group and watch out for the trails as there is a possibility of getting lost at some points. Carry water bottles with yourself as you will not find many stops to fill water in between the trails.