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At a glance
This adventurous trekking through mixed terrain offers diverse landscapes. This trek provides hiking experience in Himalayas as well as culture of Ghandruk village. Hiking trails in the Nepal Himalayas typically circle the vast Annapurna Himalayas, passing through many up and downhill and a variety of flora and fauna with challenging terrain. An once-in-a-lifetime experience climbing from 800m to 5416m. Starting in the valleys of the Besisahar or Marsyangdi rivers, climbing to the Thorong la Pass at 5416m above sea level on the Tibetan Plateau is an adventure in itself.
There are several high mountains in the area, including the world’s eighth highest Dhaulagiri (8167m) and tenth highest Annapurna I (8091m), and between these two snowcapped giants is the world’s deepest gorges of the Kaligandaki River. The Annapurna circuit trekking route begins in the lowlands inhabited by various Hindu communities and continues through small settlements dominated by Buddhists, animal grazing pastures, and high rugged mountain trails. Such trials may pave the way for more difficult journeys in the future.
A moderately challenging hike full of adventure, scenery and experiences. It offers breathtaking views of the Annapurna Massif, its glaciers, landscapes, vegetation and rich biodiversity. The trail also passes through various settlements and villages of Gurung and Magar. They have their own culture and traditions that are new to see and experience. They have their own lifestyle. The trail follows Modi Kola to a dense forest of lush rhododendrons, bamboo and alpine trees. Hiking does not require a high level of fitness but general cardio or walk is recommended before the trek in order to avoid muscle cramps.
The Annapurna circuit trek commences from Besisahar, walking along the subtropical forest, fast flowing rivers and waterfalls amidst the beautiful view of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri we reach Manang. Moving a little high we make our final preparation to cross Thorongla pass. Paving our way through the tranquil snow, we come in harmony with the nature. On a decent from the pass is the ancient temple of Muktinath, a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus and Buddhists.
While walking through the lush greenery of the Oak and pinkish Rhododendron forest, one could see a variety of seasonal wild flowers. Avoiding altitude sickness requires proper acclimatization days and easy walks through trails. You will be staying in small and local tea houses provided by a small and isolated community during this trip. These trails take you through subtropical forest, waterfalls, and massive cliffs. There is also a good chance of seeing a snow leopard in Yak Kharka.
The Gurung culture at Ghandruk is something that is not to be missed on checking out on a visit. Usually home stay are available in this area and the musical evening takes place in a Rodhi Ghar special home dedicated for this purpose where the locals known as Gurungsenis dance wearing traditional costumes and jewelry. Guest sits on a courtyard, warms up by fire, warm tea and Narepa (traditional liquor made of millet) and enjoy the music and fight with cold weather. Traditionally built with stones the place is also known as Dhungeni village.
Arrival at Kathmandu
You will be welcomed at Kathmandu airport by one of our representative and will take you to hotel. There will be small meeting regarding the trip at evening.
Drive to Beshisahar (5/6 hrs.)
Today you will be moving towards Beshisahar which takes about 5-6 hours on a private vehicle. You will be resting there for a night.
Drive to Pisang
After breakfast, you then will be moving to Pisang on a jeep which will take around 6-7 hours. The jeep trail cross numbers of beautiful waterfall and lush forest.
Trek to Manang
After Pisang, we have alternate paths at north and south of the Marsyangdi River that meets up again at Mungji. The southern route by Hongde, at 3325m involves less climbing than the northern route via Ghyaru, despite the fact that there are better views on the each trail that follows the northern bank of the river. From Mungji, the trail continues past the quaint but partially hidden village of Bryanga at 3475m to nearby Manang at 3500m. Walking along the valley through the drier upper part of Manang (the unofficial trekking capital of the Annapurna Circuit) we can view Annapurna range. People of this area herd yaks and raise crops for leaving, beside this during winter they move to other places for trades.
Acclimatization in Manang
Today we explore Manang valley to take some rest and acclimatization for next days. We spend our day walking and sightseeing around Manang village, learn some Manang culture and the daytime is best to gain altitude.
Trek to yak Kharka (5hrs. walk)
Leaving Manang the trail ascends steadily along the Jarsang Khola valley and reaches Ledar at 4250 meter. Walking and glancing over the steadily sparse vegetation, we reach Yak Kharka at 4090 meter. There is high chance to see snow leopard as well.
Trek to Thorung Phedi (5hrs. walk)
Descending the trail, crossing the river at 4310 meters and again climbing through the trail takes you to Thorong Phedi at 4420 meters. At the foot of Thorung La Pass, this place gives your pleasant view of massive Annapurna region.
Trek to Thorung - La (cross over 5416m), then trek down to Muktinath 3802m), 8-9 hrs. walk.
The journey starts early in the morning from the foot of the hill to the Thorung La Pass, highest place of days of Annapurna Circuit Trek. Crossing the steeply made pass, covered with stone, we hike gradually looking at magnificent views. Pass marked by Chortens and prayer flags looks nice and magnificent views imprints in your memory. Passing Thorung La, we reach the sacred site of Muktinath at the elevation of 3800 meters. Hindus and Buddhists visit Muktinath. The temple is built in the pagoda style dedicated to Lord Vishnu or Avalokiteshwara as the Buddhists call him. For Hindus, Muktinath is one of the most important places of pilgrimage. Long and difficult yet rewarding day of our Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Drive to Tatopani (1,200m/3,937ft) 4/5 hours.
From Muktinath we took a local jeeps and drive to Tatopani. Evening you can visit natural hot spring in order to overcome the exhaustion from the trek in the natural hot spring water at Tatopani and prepare for upcoming days.
Trek to Ghorepani (2,850m/9,350ft): 7 - 8 hours.
From Tatopani we head forward to Ghorepani. The trail goes along lush rhododendron and lush forest after leaving Kaligandaki behind. Ghorepani is a small village inhabited by Gurungs and Thakalis. The name Ghorepani means water to horses. It is place where the horses carrying the goods and commodities would clear their thirst.
Hike to Poonhill and Tadapani
The most important day of your trek early morning wake up and start your journey climb to Poon Hill (3210m) around 1 hr. to witness best majestic scenery and sunrise over the high mountains. Lots of White Mountain can be seen from Poonhill including the likes of Dhaulagiri [8167m], Annapurna South [7119m] Fishtail [6993m], Nilglgiri south, Singa chuli, Annapurna I [8091m]. You then come down to Ghorepani to have breakfast and trek to Tadapani for 6 hours. Trek leads mainly up and down hill through the forest.
Trek to Ghandruk (2012m/6601ft.)
Today we will hike towards Poonhill. A hill station with a view of a lustrous Annapurna range and Dhaulagiri range. We then trek down to Ghandruk usually where home stay are available. Sitting on a courtyard which warms up by fire, warm tea and narepa (traditional liquor made of millet) and enjoy the music and fight with cold weather. Traditionally built with stones the place is also known as dhungeni village.
Back to Pokhara
Morning you will be exploring the Ghandruk village and afternoon drive to Pokhara and evening explore lakeside.
Back to Kathmandu
We will be flying back to Kathmandu or you can hop on private vehicle where it takes about 6-7 hrs, and flight will take you about 30 minutes.
Our representative will take you to airport where you will be catching your flight to next destination.
We suggest you to have local number for internet connection and phone calls. They do have prepaid Wi-Fi but it’s quite expensive
Yes, you will be needing two permits for this trek. You need TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) and ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit)
In case you suffer from altitude sickness or any other problems, we will offer you the doctor’s prescribed medicines according to the type of problem facing you. We will descend you to lower altitude. Incase of extreme cases, you will get rescued by the helicopter so make sure to have your insurance covering helicopter rescue.
You should be fit but not super fit. This is a moderate level trekking. There is no requirement of prior trekking experience. Ensuring proper acclimatization days and with proper gears you can easily complete this trek but carrying some personal knee support and general cardio is recommended before trek.
The best season for this trek is October to mid-December and mid-February to mid-June. This trip is not preferred during the monsoon season from June to August except the treks to Himalayan rain shadow like Upper Mustang and Mt. Kailas.
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