Mardi Himal 5587m is located in the Annapurna region alongside the holy mountain Fishtail (Mt. Machhapuchhare). It is the lowest and perhaps the least climbed or visited trekking peaks in Nepal. The Mardi Himal Trek route is newly opened route and hidden treasure in the Annapurna range with the breath-taking scene.
Why you should visit Mardi Himal Trek?
- To see Marvelous Annapurna Himalayas
- Get amazing view of Landscapes, waterfall and Forest
- The excellent viewpoint for Mt. Fishtail
- Sunrise and Sunset viewpoints, diversity
- Experienced Local Cultures,Nepali food and lifestyle of Mardi Himal Area
The route takes you from Kathmandu(1400m/4,600ft) to Pokhara, then onto forest camp (2500m/8202ft), low camp (2900m/9809ft), and high camp (3580m/11,745ft), base camp(4450m,14,599ft).
As It is the shortest trekking route its duration varies from 4 to 5 days depending upon the people.
Mardi Himal Trek Detail Itinerary
Day 1: Kathmandu – Pokhara
First day of the Mardi base camp Trek; we had a group of seven people. Among them two of us were from Kathmandu so we decided to go through the bus.
At 8 o’ clock we went to the bus park and get on the bus. It takes approximately 5 hours to reach the Pokhara from Kathmandu. We both were experiencing the scenic view of the highway and were curious to explore more.
After 5 hour of our continuous journey we reached to Pokhara. As we were familiar to the Pokhara we decided to stay that night on the lake side (which is one of the beautiful places of Pokhara). It was the long journey though, so we decided to take rest, and find the best accommodation at angel’s park.
Day 2: Pokhara – Forest Base Camp
The next day, we woke up at 5 o’ clock. One of my friends came to pick us and then we headed toward Hemja from where we can find jeep or public vehicle. We reached there by 6 O’clock and was shocked as there were not any vehicles. We were confused for a while but one of the strangers came to solve our query. He said that the public bus will be available only after the 9 o’ clock and it’s not even sure that it will come or not. We had to reach Dhampus by 10 O’clock so that we can reach todays destination on time.
So, we decided to hire a jeep and found one. He (Driver) agreed to go there and the expense for it was around 4 thousand rupees (NPR 4,000). The route was bit tough which made the journey more interesting. At 9:30 we reached Dhampus. And the view from Dhampus was just WOW!
All of us were hungry because we haven’t eaten anything from morning so we decided to have a breakfast. Having a breakfast with a view of mountains by your side, it was really an awesome moment. After breakfast our Trek towards the Forest camp officially started.
At first, the trail was flat then we had to climb up and down the hill. On a check post, we had to pay for the permit to enter the area.
Lost and Found, on the way to Mardi Himal Trek
After we paid for our permits, we headed toward our destination. The level of excitement was so high that we didn’t even notice that we have already lost our way. After a moment we realized that we were in the wrong route. We didn’t have any idea about that route, and after a few moments we luckily found a foreign tourist with a Nepali
guide and asked for a help.
Meeting him felt like a god coming to save us, then with a new hope we marched forward with the guide. After an hour
we reached Deurali. There, we had our lunch (Daal Bhaat Tarkari) and rest for a moment.
The shopkeeper (Didi) was too friendly. We had a little bit of conversation with her. She told us that to reach the Forest camp we have to walk faster and the way is little bit confusing and full of dense forest, so we walked in a group.
After that we continued our journey through the forest. It was another experience for us, the cold weather, sound of birds, and peace environment.
Since there was not any light in the midst of the forest, it seemed like we were the first one to reach there and make way for others through the clouds and fog.
In Nepal, Guest are Gods
While continuing our journey we met a Russian Couple. And one of them was badly injured, so we asked about what had happened. And they said the way (path) was slippery, so he felt down. Then we asked how we could help them, but they refused to get help and said “I feel grateful that you asked for help but it’s okay, I will walk slowly on the way and my wife is here too so you don’t have to worry.”
Then we continued our journey, walking up and down the hill. Finally we reached Forest Camp at 5:00 PM in the evening, and felt like winning a war. It was a joyous moment for all of us since some of our friends had already lost their hope of reaching Forest Camp.
Day 3: Forest Camp – High Camp
We woke up early in the morning and it was the third day of our Mardi Himal Trek. At first, we decided to take photos for memory and reached the place where a board of Forest Camp was located.
After that we had our breakfast and moved towards our next destination, High camp. On the way, there were a lot of foreign tourist and their porter. They were very friendly. So, I started to have a chat with them and they shared what they know about the place. They were very kind to me.
After an hour I realized that I left my friends behind, so I decided to stay and wait for my friends. After awhile they came and they rested for a while and then we continued our trek.
Higher was Better – Mardi Himal Trek
The more we get higher, better the view of Himalaya, which gave us a certain type of energy to move forward. The path was little bit confusing, but there was a symbol which gives the right direction (sky blue and white color parallel lines). And on the way we had a load of fun.
Since there was no other means of transportation, people had to take goods either by carrying on their back or using horses and donkeys. And porter is one of the means of income to the people of that area. It was surprising that people were carrying weight 30-40 KG easily, and there were us – carrying our backpack of around 4-5 KG which felt like carrying an Earth on our back.
Have you Been to Heaven?
After walking for about 3-4 hours, we finally reached to Low Base Camp. The view of Mt. Fishtail (Mt. Machhapuchhre) was really breathtaking and a thought came to my mind “Heaven is myth, Nepal is Real”. And the view proved it.
Here, we took a lunch break and rested for about 30 minutes and then continued our journey. Lot of difficult path and sloppy hills always remind me of my parents. There were a lot of case of accident during trekking which always strikes my mind.
But after 2 hour of continuous walk we saw our destination and then we became very happy. It’s unbelievable that the more we get closer it seemed to be far from us. The dense forest of Rhododendron (National Flower of Nepal) and the Himalayan yak made our trip even more special.
Friend in need is Friend in deed
The trip was going smoothly but suddenly one of my friend’s bag got tore down which gave us a tense moment. Then we take out her important belonging from her bag and shared with all of us who had space in bag which reminds me of a slogan “Friend in need is the friend in deed” and then we continue our journey.
After 5 hours of continue walk we reached the base camp. We were above the clouds and the clear view of the
Machhapuchhre helped us to forget all the tiredness.
As soon as we reached base camp, we went to the kitchen hall. The weather was too cold. We talked with the locals and came to know that to see the sunrise from the view point we have to start our journey at 4 o’ clock in the morning and there are high chances of altitude sickness so we had to be very careful. As we had to wake up early, we decided to have a dinner and get into bed.
Day 4: High Camp – Base Camp and Then Return to Low Camp
Early at 4 o’ clock we were ready for the next level of challenge. We hold our torches and then begun our journey. We had to be very careful because the path was difficult and we didn’t have enough number of torches but moons light was helping us somehow.
Two of my friend chose the different path and rest of us chose different path to climb the hill. We were separated but we didn’t know how. We slowly climbed the hills. All people were eager to see the sunrise from the view point so am I.
After 1 hour we found our two friends, and we were so happy to see them but one of them was crucially affected by altitude sickness.We all suggested him to go down to the hotel and take rest but he refused as he also wanted to have a look of the sunrise.
Stairway to Heaven
The coldness was heart shivering. And then we finally reached to the view point. The sun has not come yet, so we eagerly waited for it to come. When it came, the 360-degree view of the mountain and the shining of the mountain when the rays of the sun get strikes into the mountain was mesmerizing. I don’t even know how to describe it. It was the most amazing view I have ever seen till the date if my life.
But it was not the destination we targeted for our Mardi Himal Trek, so I decided to move on but rest of my friend were not ready to go as they were very tired. I tried to inspire all of them and motivate them to achieve what we have come for beside one of my friends who is suffering from altitude sickness.
Let’s do this, achieve what we have come for
After a while one of my friend came towards me and said “let’s do this, achieve what we have come for”. And one by one all of them agreed to move on with me besides one of my friend.
We walked for about one and half hours and finally reached to the Mardi Base Camp (4450m). Then we had a cup of tea there and I was surprised when I asked for the price. It was NPR 100 for a cup of black tea. I was really surprised and asked for the reason of its high price and the shopkeeper told that he has to carry the water from the high base camp from where we started the trek at the morning, and then I can’t even say a word to him. We took a lot of photos there for memory as it was our last destination.
Finally at High Base Camp
And then we got back to the view point and then the to the high base camp. We reached there by 11 o’ clock. As we did not have much money, we decided to get down slowly to the low camp.
But first we had a lunch and packed our stuff and said goodbye to Mardi Himal. Then we slowly get down, the path was too difficult and we had to carefully take each and every step.
After 4 hours of continuous walk we reached the Low camp. As soon as we got there, we headed to the room and more importantly towards the bed. After a while, a staff came to us and informed that there was fun at the dining room and we could join if we wanted to. So, we went there and there was a musical environment. As I knew to play a guitar I played for a while. All of my friend enjoyed and the people around us were impressed too. And then we had a diner and we went to our bed to rest.
Day 5: Low Camp – Pokhara
We were tired so woke up late at around 8 O’Clock in the Morning. We packed up our bag and then we went down towards
From where we could find a jeep to return back to the Pokhara. All of us were excited to get back to the Pokhara after a lot of tiredness & wilderness. Once we reached there, we asked drivers to take us to Pokhara, but the driver demanded 8,000 rupees for fare. At that time we had only 7,000 rupees so we requested him to take with other group.
But unfortunately they refused it too, So we decided to walk for about 1-hour from where we could find the local bus. But luckily, we got one of the kind hearted driver among the cruel one and he agreed to take us with that fees. We happily put all our belongings on the jeep and after 4 hours we reached Pokhara. We paid the money and thanked him from the bottom of our heart.
Day 6: Pokhara to Kathmandu
I woke up early in the morning, had a cup of tea and breakfast and then packed my bag and headed towards the bus station. And I left Pokhara at 8 A.M in the morning and finally reached Kathmandu at 3 P.M.
For those who have limited time but like to experience the heavenly feel, then I would recommend you to visit Mardi Himal. I guarantee it’ll be one of the best experiences of your life.
Similarly, In Kathmandu, you can go to hiking in places like Champadevi, Markhu, Jamacho, Shivapuri, Lakhuri Bhanjyang, Fulchwoki, etc.
Mardi Himal Trek Cost Break Down
You can either get a flight or travel on Bus to Pokhara from Kathmandu, Chitwan or any major cities of Nepal.
A flight can cost you around NPR 3,000 ($30) per person (one way) to Pokhara.
On a Bus, fare ranges from $5 – $12 (depends on the type of bus).
You can take either a local bus or a reserved jeep to Nayapul or Dhampus (you can start from any of these 2 places). The bus ride will be around 40 – 60 mins.
Then start trekking to Pothana for first night.
2. Nepal Visa Cost
$30 – $125 (USD) per person
Indian tourist does not need a visa. Other tourists can buy the Nepal visa on arrival at the airport by paying following amounts:
15 Days – 30 USD
30 Days – 50 USD
90 Days – 125 USD
3. Trekking Permits
For Mardi Himal Trek, you need to get TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management Systems) Card and ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit) Permit.
TIMS Card fees are as follows – Group trekker: NRs. 1,000 ($10); Free individual trekker (FIT): NRs. 2,000 ($20), per trekking route per person per entry.
For SAARC countries TIMS Card fees are as follows – Group trekker: NRs. 300; FITs: NRs. 600, per trekking route per person per entry. Part of the collection will go into maintaining the trekkers’ database and in the rescue of trekkers in need of emergency services.
Diplomats are not charged for the card.
TIMS Counter office hours at Tourist Service Center, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu, are from 10 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week. The counter remains open on Saturdays and public holidays as well.
Fees, photocopy of your passport, and passport size photographs are required to obtain TIMS Card.
ACAP Permit fees per person is as follows
International Tourists : Nepali Rupees 3,000 (About $30)
SAARC Country Tourists : Nepali Rupees 1,000 (About $10)
National (Nepali) Tourists: Nepali Rupees 100 (About $1)
To get the permit, you’ll be asked about personal details like First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, Passport number, Date of Birth, Gender, Nationality and Passport Size Photographs.
4. Travel Insurance
You can purchase travel insurance on your own which can cost around $150 for 30 days. But keep in mind that, the insurance should cover high altitude. It is very important because sometime trekkers need to be evacuated with helicopter.
5. Food, Snacks and Water
The staple food is Dal-Bhat which is rich in Carbs and Protein and costs less than other foods.
And the food is expensive as you go higher. And it’ll cost you around $3 – $6 for Veg Khana Set.
So the total money you may have to spend on food per day per person can be $20 per person, per day. And for snacks extra $5 per day per person.
A liter of water bottle can cost from $1 to $5. And you need to drink minimum of 4 liters per day.
Similarly a cup of black tea can cost your from $0.5 – $2.
On the trekking trail to Mardi High Camp, a single bed can cost from $2 – $5 per person per night.
The rooms on the tea houses are really simple. They include 2-3 beds (one person on each), pillow, blanket and attached toilet (sometimes shared).
Almost every tea houses have really large dining halls with heating system in the center. Here, the trekkers can relax, play cards, chat, and enjoy the evening.
7. Guide and Porters
Guide charges can range from $20 – $50 per day based on the experience of the guide. A group of 4-6 can share a guide.
Porters charge around $15 – $20 per day.
8. Trekking Equipments
Trekking Equipments like Clothing, Sunglasses, Trekking Poles, Day Sack, Trekking Boots, etc. can cost you around $200 – $500 (USD). And it depends on quality and buying location.
9. Miscellaneous Cost
This includes the costs like Charging your electronic devices, wifi, hot showers, toilet papers, etc. on your hotels/tea houses.
Buying snacks, tea, coffee, cakes or local food on the way or on resting point.
Tipping the Guides and Porters. It is not compulsory but it’ll make hard working people happy.
Mardi Himal Trek FAQs
How difficult is Mardi Himal Trek?
Mardi Himal Trek is short and moderate. And it do not require any technical skills. And the maximum altitude gain is 5587m. Though the trek is short and easy, you should be careful of altitude sickness because you’ll gain huge altitude in short period of time. So, it’s recommended to follow acclimatization protocol while doing this trek.
What Permits are required for Mardi Himal Trek?
You need to get TIMS (Trekker’s Information Management System) Card and ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit) permit. TIMS will cost you $10/person for group, $20 for Individual/Solo Trekker. ACAP permit will cost you from $1 – $30.
Can I do Mardi Himal Trek Solo/Independently?
Yes, it’s possible to do Mardi Himal Trek Solo. The trek is short, moderate and do not require special skills. And the entire trail is marked. But it’s recommended to hire a guide if you do not have any prior trekking experrience.