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Annapurna Circuit Trekking

Annapurna Circuit Trekking

Annapurna Circuit Trekking, an adventure around both the North and Southern side of the massive Annapurna Himalaya range of peaks. Where the main Annapurna-I stands as the world's 10th highest at the height of 8,091 m and 26, 545 feet. The first 8,000-meter mountain conquered by the French Expedition in 1950, way ahead of Mt. Everest was summited. Mt. Annapurna is a great massive Mountain range with several adjoining peaks from A-I, A-II, A-III, and A-IV. Extends with Annapurna South, Annapurna Fang / Vara Shikar, with majestic Machhapuchare Himal the famous Fish-Tail peak.

Annapurna Circuit Trekking covers most of these wide Mountain ranges with close views of Chulu’s, Damodar Himal, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu. One of the most spectacular and scenic trekking in all Himalayas, listed as the world's top ten adventure destinations. Where trekkers will be amazed by the great contrast and diversity of landscape, climate, and vegetation, as well the people with varied cultures. Truly an adventure to experience once in a lifetime, where views of high snow mountains remain constant throughout the walks. Besides grand scenery of high peaks, green hills, and valleys the local culture is equally fascinating to witness from one lovely village to another. Adventure from low sub-tropical temperatures of heavily farm areas, to cooler hills and heading towards the arctic zone of ice and glaciers.

The great changes in a short frame of time make Annapurna Circuit one of the most preferred and worth trekking. An awesome country in the whole Himalaya, probably in this whole world, where one can experience everything from rice paddies to alpine forest. Which extends towards remorseless fields of moraine and glaciers around high scenic Manang valley and crossing over Thorang-La Pass. The highest point of the adventure is where you will be standing at 5, 416 m and 17, 700 feet high. One of few high-altitude adventures in Nepal Himalaya, where elevation gains gradually, considerably helps and supports to get acclimatized.

Various ways and options to complete Annapurna Circuit Trekking:    

Annapurna Circuit Trekking, in early days it took more than 20 days to complete the whole circuit. But at present from last decade, since the motorable rough dirt tracks have reached to main Manang village. Similarly, the motorable road has reached on the other side of Manang valley after Thorang-La Pass to Muktinath area around Lower Mustang. At present trekkers have options to complete the scenic Annapurna Circuit trekking from a week to 14 days or more.

Some trekkers start the walk from the foothills of Lamjung district beyond Besisar large town taking a 5-6 hour drive. Another option is driving further on the rough narrow mountain road to reach the mid-hills of the Manang area. Taking longer drives or with more trekking days, eventually, all route leads to the main Manang village at 3,550 m high. Located on a scenic valley enclosed within towering Chulu and Pisang peaks in the north, with Annapurna massive towards close south. 

Route to Manang and major villages:

On leaving Besisar, headquarter town of Lamjung district drive or walks takes you past Khudi, Bulbule, Syange, Jagat, and Chamje. (Located within Lamjung area). After Chamje to Tal-Besi from here into Manang district, Dharapani, Bagarchap, Timang or Rata Manang to Kodo and Chame town (headquarter of Manang area). From Chame to Bratang, Dukuri, Pisang and Hongde villages with Braga and then at Manang main village. 

Extra Activities on Rest Day at Manang village:

Most trekkers on reaching main Manang village enjoy a rest day, for acclimatization before heading towards high Thorang-La Pass. Within Manang, there are various activities one can enjoy, explore the Manang village enriched with age-old Buddhist culture. Visit the Braga Gomba one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries, treasures great ancient artifacts with colorful religious paintings. Includes huge idols of Lord Buddha and other famous Gurus and saints, located above Braga village, a short walk from Manang village.  

From the top of the monastery, the area offers grand views of the Annapurna Himalaya range with Chulu’s and Pisang Peaks. An energetic person can take a long hike of near 3-4 hours to Ice Lake, actually, a small glacial pond at near 4, 900 m high, facing a grand panorama of snow-mountains. The short and scenic activities are an hour or more walk south of Manang village to Masrsyangdi River. After crossing a strong bridge then less than an hour climb to a scenic view-point ridge for dramatic views. Where you can get a close look at Gangapurna Ice Fall and glaciers with Manang's small icy turquoise pond. 

On High trail to Muktinath around Lower Mustang crossing Thorang-La Pass:

Spending exciting time at Manang village with a rest day, where walk leads west to reach the end of Manang valley. A pleasant trek with close views of Chulu West with Gangapurna and Tilicho peaks to reach Yak Kharka and Ledar. A small temporary settlement with several good lodges to stay after Manang village on route to Thorang High Camp or Phedi. The adventure continues on a high trail with short ups and downs, but more on a gradual trail to reach Phedi. The base of Thorang-La Pass with several simple lodges and then climb steeply up to Thorang High Camp. For overnight stop either at Phedi or at High Camp as per one physical condition on these high altitude walks. Early morning start with long winding ups to reach the top of Thorang-La Pass, 

the pass with a welcome sign. Marked with thousands of Buddhist prayer flags and a board that you are at 5,416 m / 17, 700 feet high. From Thorang-la top enjoy the super panorama of the snow mountain range, which includes Annapurna, Chulu’s, Damodar, and Manaslu Himal with the Dhaulagiri Himalaya range. A slow descend reaches you on another side of the pass into the Mustang region, Thorang-La marks as a barrier between Manang and Mustang districts. An easy walk to Muktinath with many good lodges to stay and relax, after a hard day walks.

Muktinath, one of the world's highest Hindu temples as well as a Buddhist monastery, is located at 3, 800 m / 12,468 feet high. Which is a few hour drive from Jomsom, headquarter town of Mustang district and 5 hours walks. Muktinath is a famous pilgrimage site for Hindu followers, and for some Buddhists, the word Muktinath means a sacred place of salvation. Hindus believe that bathing in the waters of 108 spout, reach salvation after death.

From Muktinath options for long walks and drives to Pokhara:

On reaching around near desert-like country at Muktinath, options for a ride in a jeep or similar type vehicle to Jomsom. Which is at 2, 715 m high a large town with a small airport, located within wide Kaligandaki River Valley. The major hub of the Thakali people, the indigenous tribe of the Kaligandaki area of the lower Mustang, follows the Buddhism religion. Jomsom a vantage point of Old Trans Himalaya Salt Trade and Caravan Route of Nepal to Tibet, extends beyond Upper Mustang.

At Jomsom town reaching by drive or walks, with choice of flying to beautiful tourist city Pokhara. A short scenic flight of 22 minutes or take a jeep ride to Pokhara, a drive of more than 6 hours. The other option is to drive to a nice low warm village at Tatopani, a place with a natural hot spring. From Tatopani trek and drive to Pokhara via Ghorepani and famous view-point Poon Hill, a long climb of 6 hours. But worth the views and walking into serene rhododendron and pine forest, where early morning hike reach you to Poon Hill. Where you catch a splendor sun-rise that reflects on an array of snow-mountain ranges that includes Dhaulagiri, Nilgiris, Annapurna, and Manaslu. After a pleasant overnight stop and enjoying panoramic views of sunrise and mountains downhill to a road-head with a few hour drive to Pokhara.

Route to Pokhara and major villages with walks or drive:

From Muktinath to Jomsom, Marpha, Tukuche, Larjung, Kalapani, Lete, Ghasa and Dana with Tatopani village. From Tatopani options for short way to Pokhara driving to Beni, Kusma, Nayapul, Kande, Naudanda and then at Pokhara. Trek from Tatopani, walk uphill to Ghara, Sikha, Chitre to Ghorepani village, and then downhill to Ulleri, Tirkhedhunga, Hille, Bhirethati, and Nayapul to reach Pokhara.

Pokhara, located Nepal Mid-West about 220 km away from Kathmandu a drive of 5-6 hours by air 30 minutes flight. Pokhara, one of the most scenic cities in Nepal and around the Himalayas, is probably in this whole world. At the height of low 860 m to 900 m high within a verdant valley, surrounded by rolling green hills dotted with farm-houses and terraces. From Pokhara close views of Annapurna Himalaya Mountain range with majestic Machhapuchare Himal, the famous Fish-Tail peak.

A charming place blessed with mountains, green hills, valleys, and serene lakes, where the most exciting adventure to Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayas starts and ends in this beautiful city. Pokhara besides its scenic snow-mountains views is also famous for various adventure sports activities, like paragliding, ultra-light flight, Zip-Lining, Bungee Jumping, and other various outdoor activities.

The season for Annapurna Circuit Trekking:

Best in spring from March to May and autumn/fall which starts from September to November. March to May around mid-hills the forest is alive with wildflowers in seasonal bloom. Days are pleasant with enough sunlight hours but cold in the morning and nighttime. Could snow sometimes around a high altitude above 3,000 m high. 

Autumn / Fall is another high season for trekking around Nepal Himalaya as well Annapurna Circuit, where days are crystal clear for walks and views but short sunlight hours. Much cold in the morning and nighttime, with chances of snowfall sometimes around higher areas of Manang valley.

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