Annapurna Circuit, a moderate and adventurous with impressive Buddhist cultures and panorama of high Himalaya peaks.
Annapurna Circuit trekking a combination of scenic walks with tremendous cultural variation, starting from lower warm Hindu area to high Buddhist country of Tibetan origin. This wonderful trek leads to high Manang valley with tremendous views of mountains of Annapurna II-III- IV, Gangapurna, Tilicho, Pisang and Chulu peaks, after a rest day at Manang with acclimatization heading towards remote areas at Tilicho Lake with amazing scenery.
The trek ends at Pokhara, one of the most scenic places in Nepal. where the Annapurna mountains reflects on its pristine Phewa / Begnas Lakes.
One of the most charming and scenic adventure destination as the walk leads from warm semi-tropic temperatures to alpine areas of cooler climate to high and dry of arctic colder zone. On this trip where you will be walking within vast dramatic change in climate and landscapes and from moderate to adventurous trekking visiting rich Tibetan
origin culture around Manang and Mustang villages of Kaligandaki valley. Annapurna Circuit and Kaligandaki Valley offers daily views of snow capped peaks including world three highest mountains Mt. Annapurna- Mt. Manaslu and Mt. Dhaulagiri
Annapurna Circuit is understandably one of the most popular and a spectacular destination for walkers and it offers some of the most fascinating and enjoyable trekking. Panoramic views of Himalayan ranges close from your eyes. Accommodation on local lodges owned by indigenous locals. cultures and landscapes with views of peaks, visiting traditional villages in the rich Buddhist culture with old monasteries of ancient Buddhist cultures and custom.
Note: Accommodation, meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara will be covered by the client themselves.
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Early breakfast, then a bus ride to Besisahar on a scenic Kathmandu-Pokhara highway. The ride is an interesting along the lush foothills following the banks of Trisuli and Marsyangdi rivers. The road has been greatly improved in recent years so you can read, chat or look out the window in total comfort. A few hours before reaching Pokhara, our route diverts from Dumre northwards to Beshishar, the headquarter of Lamjung district.
A pleasant trek from Syabrubesi, with a few climbs for a while, but the rest of the walk is gradual on the winding trail through terraced farm fields and villages, as the trail descends and joins the path coming from upper Syabru at the Riverside Lodge near a place called Bamboo. The trek is more or less an uphill climb in the cool rhododendron and oaks forest, following the torrential, glacial Trishuli River upstream. After walking for 5-6 hours we reach a small clearing place of Lama Hotel where we halt for the night.
The trail begins with an easy winding climb followed by a steep climb for half an hour then lush farm terraces appear and the walk becomes gradual and another half hour climb brings you at the top of Bhaundanda hill. After a short break here, the trek descends through farm terraces to Syange village after crossing a long suspension bridge. For a while the trail is gradual then climbs steeply for an hour to the top of the ridge from where we can have magnificent views of waterfalls below. From here an hour of pleasant walk brings us to our overnight campsite at Jagat.
Today’s walk starts with a gradual trail through terraced fields to Chamje, after a while we cross a suspension bridge over the raging Marsyangdi river. After crossing the river a steep climb past several teahouses till we reach a viewpoint at Taal showcasing a spectacular view of Kahng Guru. After a brief stop we get back on the trail that winds uphill and downhill ending at a large bridge, an hour’s walk brings us to the village of Dharapani, located at the confluence of the tributary of Dudh Khola that Marsyangdi rivers.
An hour’s walk will take us to Bagarchap, the first village on the trek with typical Tibetan architecture. Noticeable changes in vegetation, people and landscape during the walk. Altitude gains slowly as we approach the ‘apple country’ at Dhanaqi and the alpine region with orchards and pine forest and amazing view of Lamjung and Annapurna II. The trail follows Marsyangdi upstream past Ratamanang and Koto villages, to the village town of Chame, an important place of Manang region.
The trail moves towards the other side of the river, after leaving Chame, passing through pine woods and small villages with few ups and downs till you reach Bratang. From here, the trek continues on the gradual path up to a bridge, followed by a short steep climb through the pine forest to the top of the ridge above Pisang village. Past the tree lines, we get a great view can of Pisang and Chulu peaks and Pisang village down below, a gentle descent for an hour takes us to the windswept village, welcomed by the long prayer wheel at its entrance.
From Pisang onwards we are constantly accompanied by the beautiful view of snowcapped peaks. The trail climbs up steeply for half an hour to the top of a small hill, a grand spot that offers a dramatic view of the valleys, Hongdre village with its STOL (short takeoff an landing) air-strip and the great peaks of Gangapurna, Annapurna II, III, Tilocho and on the right Chuli East, and Pisang Peak behind us. The walk from this spot a gradual descent all the way to Hongdre, from where the trail flattens out on a wide track most of the way to Manang, you will experience a slight hint of altitude gain as you approach the village of Braga and Manang with enough time to visit Braga Monastery in the morning, the largest in the district with an outstanding collection of statues, thangkas (religious paintings) and Buddhist manuscripts. From here it is only an hour’s walk to Manang for the overnight stop.
A day of rest and acclimatization is a must due to the altitude and thinner air and to explore mystical Manang. The picturesque village of about 500 flat-roofed stone and wooden houses is set amongst the spectacular scenery of Annapurna II, Annapurna III , Gangapurna , Tilicho, the Grand Barrier and both Chulu West and Chulu East.
The trail from here leads to a slow climb for an hour, after the last village of Manang, the track gently winds up offering inspiring views of the Annapurna II, Gangapurna, Tiloche and the close up views of Chuli’s peaks from mid and west as the trail heads up in the barren windswept terrain's with juniper bushes as the only surviving vegetation around this region, coming to a small settlements of Yak Kharka for the overnight with time for a short hike around.
The trail from here leads to a slow climb up, after the last settlement of Ledar, the track gently winds up offering grand views of the Annapurna II, Gangapurna, Tiloche and the close up view of both Chuli peaks as the trail heads up in the barren windswept terrain that has only juniper bushes as the surviving vegetation in the vicinity, finally coming to the small settlement of Yak-Kharka. From here the gentle path leads to a descent by the stream followed by a steep climb till Thorang Phedi (‘phedi’ means ‘bottom’). Depending upon your fitness, if all is well here at lunch time, we continue the climb on the zigzag track towards Upper Phedi or High Camp where there are few teahouses/lodges, reaching here makes the walk easier start for the next day and shortens the hour of walking towards the pass.
After a few days in absolute wilderness we get back on the busy trail that lead to other parts of Helambu and Kathmandu. Our walk starts through the pleasant alpine forest for an hour then another hour uphill to Tharepatti 3597m/11801ft. A lovely spot on the high ridge showcases spectacular views of snowcapped peaks of Jugal Himal and Ganesh-Manaslu mountain ranges. You can also make out the ridge and the trail coming out of Gosainkund. After lunch at this scenic viewpoint the trail descends for few hours to Mange Ghot, a nice place with a grassy field and an army barrack nearby. The trek from here onwards, leads to farm fields, villages and patches of forests to Kutumsang village inhabited by Sherpas and Tamangs, hill tribes.
After Muktinath, a 1200m/3937ft descent to the Kaligandaki river valley floor, a brief stop at Ekale Bhatti (means ‘lonely pub’) with 3-4 teahouses. It gets very windy in the afternoon and the walk follows a gentle trail for another two hours to Jomsom, a large town. Jomsom, with a small airstrip is just above the Kaligandaki river. Another two hours of easy walk takes you to Marpha for the overnight stop. It is a quaint town with whitewashed houses, paved streets and numerous well kept lodges. The place is known for its local apple products like cider, brandy and juice and its name –Marpha- is also the name of a drink.
From Marpha, it’s an enjoyable walk following the Kaligandaki river downstream to Tukuche village, beneath the towering Tukuche peak and spectacular views of Dhaulagiri massif, Mt Nilgiri and the tumbling icefalls on the Dhaualgiri's east face. An hour from Tukuche takes us to Larjung village, then we cross the broad river bed, either by way of a series of temporary plank bridges over numerous channel if the river level is low, or via a high suspension bridge. An hour later we get back to the tree line of pines, oaks and rhododendron where the path meanders away from the river for an hour then comes back to it just before Kalalpani village, another lovely village with excellent lodges and grand view of Mt. Annapurna I, Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri above the beautiful forest surrounding. A short descends brings you at Lete village for the overnight stop.
Walk from Kalapani onwards leads to a dramatic change in the vegetation, from dry, arid desert to pine and conifer forests, passing between the two giant peaks of Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna. The trail goes past the village of Ghasa with constant view of the snowcapped peaks through the cool forest and many settlements and isolated lodges and teahouses and open areas with enchanting forest and impressive views. The area below Ghasais is dominated by Thakali people with their number decreasing till Tatopani. The architectural style too changes, with much ornately carved wood work in evidence. This amazing trek continues back to the terraced paddy fields and into warm sub-tropical climate all the way to the village of Tatopani. Along the way we encounter beautiful waterfalls of Rupsi. Tatopani (natural hot spring) valley is quite constricted and quite warm with sub-tropic climate and vegetation.
After a wonderful time at Tatopani, the trek continues on a gradual trail for an hour across a suspension bridge over the Kaligandaki river. At a fork ahead the route diverts uphill on a steep terraced hillside, dotted with farms and villages later leaving behind the terraced fields and entering dense rhododendron forests, eventually reaching the village of Chitre. From here we continue towards Ghorepani, a short uphill walk through the rhododendron and pine forest, for the overnight halt.
If it’s a clear day, early morning we can hike to the top of Poon Hill 3195m/10482ft, to view the beautiful sunrise over the superb Himalaya panorama. After an exciting photo session we return back to Ghorepani for breakfast then head downhill through a patch of forest and small villages to Bhanthati and continue on the gradual trail for a short period to Ulleri followed by a long descent on the stone paved steps all the way to the suspension bridge at Tirkhedhunga for the overnight halt.
A pleasant walk downhill on the easy path leads us past rural farm villages and beautiful cascading waterfalls till we reach the beautiful village of Bhirethati by the Modi river for lunch. From this village, it’s an half an hour walk to Nayapul where we board our vehicle and head to Pokhara on a scenic drive of less than two hours for the overnight stop by the serene Phewa Lake. We will have sufficient time to roam around Lakeside, go for boating and participate in the farewell celebration with trekking crew and porters.
The flight back to Kathmandu offers another chance to enjoy the Himalayan panorama all the way to Kathmandu, where our staff will transfer you to the hotel. Tomorrow, you have the option to join the guided tour of the city or go for an early morning mountain flight. Note: It is advisable to book the mountain flight well ahead, so please let us know at the earliest.
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