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Annapurna Circuit – 18 n 19 d
 

Round Annapurna Trek : 19 Days

This classic trek – offers more variety than any other walks of equivalent length, and takes you through virtually every type of scenery that Nepal has to offer.

There are superb views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, and the constant variety of landscapes ranges from sub-tropical through alpine to an arid semi-desert akin to Tibet; at the climax of the trek there’s a formidable 5416m pass, the Thorong La, to cross. Though it is certainly demanding enough for the seasoned trekker, the Annapurna Circuit is still an excellent introduction to walking in Nepal for those who are confident of their fitness.
This is a lodge-based trek, so you spend time in villages inhabited by many of Nepal’s different tribes, both Buddhist and Hindu. Every day brings opportunities to gain an insight into the local culture and interact with the local communities whose land you are walking through, whether by bartering for souvenirs, talking to the inquisitive children or relaxing at a tea house during a well earned break.

Facts of the Trek
Duration: 19 Days
Trek type: Tea House
Max Altitude: 5416 m.
Minimum Pax: 1 +
Mode of travel: Land
Grade: Moderate

Itinerary
Day 01: Kathmandu – Besisahar (823m.) [6 hours]
You drive along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway to Dumre and then follow the narrow and paved road by the Marsyangdi River to Besi Sahar. Beshishahar is the district headquarters of Lamjung district. All the local government offices are situated here. From here, you can see some of mountain peaks, natural sceneries surrounding the valley and the daily activities of local people. This headquarter is the centre from where the daily usable commodities are supplied to the different villages and numerous towns.

Day 02: Beshishahar – Bahundanda (1305m.) [6 hours]
The first part of the trail passes thorough flat level along the bank of the Marshyangdi river. You can enjoy the sceneries and the local culture of Gurung community. After lunch, the trail goes steeply upwards to Bahundanda which takes about 2 hours. At this point, you can see the area surrounded by eye-catching scenarios with snow capped mountains.

Day 03: Bahundanda – Chamje (1410m.) [6 hours]
A steep trail descends for early half an hour and then follows flat path through rice terraces, before crossing a stream at the bottom of a small waterfall. It then climbs again and traverses the hillside high above the river before reaching the village of Lali Gaon. Ahead, the Marsyangdi valley forms a steep V-shape, and you follow the winding mountain path down through Syange (1100m.) where there is a beautiful waterfall above it and along the river for some distance. The trail then climbs steeply and the path is cut into the sheer cliff-face some 200-300m above the riverbed. Eventually you descend to the stone village of Jagat (1330m.) situated on a shelf which juts into the precipitous Marsyangdi valley. Now the trail begins to observe small ups and down to Chamje through the forests.

Day 04: Chamje (1410m.) – Dharapani (1960m.) [6 hours]
The first part of the trail descends to the river and after crossing a suspension bridge, you begin a climb to Sattale (1550m.) on a path so steep that it seems one slip would send you hurtling down into the valley. You continue on an undulating path above the river, and at one point, where a tributary flows in from the opposite bank, the main river becomes covered with huge boulders that hide the water. Climbing the zigzag path to the top of the hill, we see the level, plain of Tal (1700m.) before us. Though it is enclosed by cliffs, the level area looks reassuring after the harrowing mountain paths just traveled on. You descend to a grassy riverbank which leads to Tal with its hotels and teahouses. Here you can enjoy the exhilarating water fall.Beyond Tal, the valley narrows and the path becomes high and winding, and in several areas hewn from the rock itself. Beyond the small village of Karte (1900m.), there is a bit more cliff-walking before the path drops again to the river. You cross a suspension bridge, and climb the short distance to the stone kani marking the entrance to Dharapani (1960m.), and our camp for the night.

Day 05: Dharapani – Chame (2675m.) [5.5 hours]
As you cut through a narrow field from the village, the Dudh Khola, which originates from the south face of Manaslu, enters on the opposite bank. The Marsyangdi then veers to the left, and as Annapurna II becomes visible ahead, you arrive at Bagarchhap, a Bhote village with prayer flags fluttering in the breeze around Buddhist monastery. Continuing to climb through forests of pine and oak, you pass through Danaque (2210m.). There comes a small wooden bridge which takes you to follow steep ascent path upto Timang. It lies at the bottom of Lamajung Himal. The trail goes through flat level until you reach Chame where there are government offices, shops, and hotels. Chame is the administrative headquarters for the Manang district.

Day 06: Chame – Pisang (3100m.) [5 hours]
With Lamjung Himal (6893m) sparkling in the morning sun, you set off for Pisang. The mountain disappears as you climb the path up the valley, passing a huge apple orchard. You continue through a fir and pine forest, climbing to a high, rocky area as the opposite bank becomes an impassable cliff. From this point the valley becomes extremely steep-sided as you follow the path to Bhratang (2950m.).In the past this was the military station for troops who fought against the Khampa tribal revolution, but the dilapidated buildings are all that remain of that era. A short climb from the village brings you to a rock-strewn area where you cross a wooden bridge and follow a high, winding path, before crossing back to the right bank again. You now walk through a pine forest and as the forest ends, the valley changes from a V-shape to a gentle U-shape, opening up a wonderful vista before us. You can see the east peak of Annapurna II as well as Pisang Peak (6091m.) to the north-east. Continuing on, you come to a long mani wall by a bridge and the lower village of Pisang.

Day 07: Pisang – Manang (3440m.) [5.5 hours]
Beyond Pisang, the trail climbs a steep ridge which affords good views of the Manang valley and Tilicho peak (7145m.). Descending past Manang’s airstrip at Hongde (3320m.), you come to a level area from where the north-east face of Annapurna III rises majestically above you. From the wide plains of the Sabje Khola Valley, Annapurna IV (7525m.) also becomes visible. Just beyond this point you cross the considerably reduced flow of the Marsyangdi Khola via a wooden bridge to the tiny village of Mungji. Cultivated fields appear on both sides of the path and off to the right, below a craggy mountain, you can see the village of Bryaga with its splendid monastery. Large chortens and mani walls abound and the tall peaks of the Himalaya spread out before us – Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Gangapurna (7455m.) and, to the rear, Tilicho Peak (7145m.). After a short steep climb you reach Manang which is a surprisingly large village for this remote mountain region. You camp here for the night, amidst the fluttering prayer flags, which adorn the houses.

Day 08: Rest day at Manang and hang in and around town.
This is an important rest and acclimatization day today before crossing the Thorung La. There are optional day walks such as crossing the river to see the tremendous icefall coming down from the Annapurnas, or climbing high above the village for a full panorama of the Annapurna range and the Manang Valley. There is also a Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) aid post in the village which makes an interesting and educational visit. Moreover you can visit Ganagapurna Glacier Lake to make your rest day a memorable one.

Day 09: Manang – Yak Kharka (4350m.) [3.5 hours]
Now the trail ascends gently all the way to Yak Kharka passing through the Gunsang (3960m.) village. En route, you can see panoramic views all the day.

Day 10: Yak Kharka – Thorong Phedi (4420m.) [3.5 hours]
Leaving Yak Kharka, you climb gradually to a ridge before descending to the headwaters of the Marsyangdi and crossing via a covered wooden bridge. After a short ascent up the mountain path on the right bank, you follow a narrow trail across an unstable spree slope and then descend to Thorung Phedi.

Day 11: Thorong Phedi – Muktinath (3850m.) via Thorong La (5416m.) Pass [7 hours]
You start early today for your crossing of Thorung La [5416m]. The trail becomes steep immediately on leaving camp but as this trail has been used by local people for hundreds of years the path is well defined. The gradient then eases and after around 4 hours of steady climbing you reaches the chorten and prayer flags of the pass. The views are dramatic to say the least, from the snow-covered mountains above, to the head of the Kali Gandaki valley below and the brown and purple hills of Mustang which are spread out before us. The descent to Muktinath is a knee pounding 1600m but it’s compensated for with excellent views of Dhaulagiri. Eventually the moraines give way to grassy slopes before a pleasant walk along the Jhong Khola Valley to Muktinath and its shrines and temple.

Day 12: Muktinath – Kagbeni (2895 m.) [3.5 hours]
You now begin the trek descent down the dramatic Kali Gandaki Gorge, initially through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet. After passing through Jharkot and Khingar villages with typical Tibetan architecture, you follow path steeply down to Kagbeni, a primitive village famous for Tibetan architectures. People living there follow the Tibetan life style and culture. There is situated a monastery said to belong to 15th Century. Kagbeni is the border for Upper Mustang.

Day 13: Kagbeni – Marpha (2650m.) [5.5 hours]
You now begin the flat path along the bank of dramatic Kali Gandaki Gorge, initially through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet upto Marpha. Marpha is a big village enriched with a Buddhist Monastery in between the village which has its own cultural importance. It is rich in cultivating apples. The apple brandy available there is famous among the local people and travelers.

Day 14: Marpha – Kalopani (2530m.) [6 hours]
Your trail stretches at almost flat level through forests to Kalopani, a Thakali village and the southern-most limit of Tibetan Buddhism. En route, you find Larjung which is situated near Dhaulagiri Glacier. The first part of the trek passes through the windy area covered with pine forests, rhododendron forests and birches are seen. At Kalopani, you are quite amazed at the panoramic view of Annapurna I (8091m.), Dhaulagiri I (8167m.) and Tukuche peak (6920m.).

Day 15: Kalopani – Tatopani (1189 m.) [6.5 hours]
The trail descends steeply upto Rukse Chhahara (Rukse Waterfall) which is amazing to look at. There is situated the deepest gorge of the world between two mountains Annapurna I (8091m.) and Dhaulagiri I (8167m.) facing each other near Rukse Waterfall. The trail again descends slightly to Tatopani through different human settlements. You can enjoy the hot spring at Tatopani as the word Tatopati is termed after the natural hot spring situated at the bank of the Kali Gandaki river. It is popularly believed that taking bath in Hot Spring helps you to get rid of skin diseases. Along this, it gives you physical and mental refreshment as well.

Day 16: Rest Day
A rest day at Tatopani to enjoy the natural hot spring bath. It is believed that one who takes bath get rids of skin diseases. After several days trekking, it is a great idea to take bath at hot spring and relax.

Day 17: Tatopani – Galeshwar [5.5 hours]
The trail is flat which continues following Kali Gandaki. You will come across many small waterfalls. The trail also continues through the Baisari, Bekhola and finally reaches Tatopani.

Day 18: Galeshwar – Beni [1 hour] –  Pokhara [drive 5.5 hours]
The vehicle clambers up the muddy tracks towards Beni though The road from Baglung to Beni is well paved. Beni is the districts headquarter of Myagdi.

Day 19: Pokhara – Kathmandu [7 hours]
While driving from Pokhara to Kathmandu, you head up to Damauli,, Dumre, Muglin and  Kurintar where the Nepal’s first Cable car is operated to reach to Manakamana Temple. En route, you could enjoy the mountain views, green sceneries, rice terrace fields, vegetable fields and people being engaged in their daily life activities. From Naubishe you climb up to Thankot, the gateway to capital city. You can also fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu which takes approximately 25 minutes.

Services Included

  • National Park entry permit,
  • Trekking permit,
  • Transportation to and fro,
  • Accommodation in lodges during the trek,
  • Food: three meals a day,
  • A guide & required number of porter(s),
  • Essential equipment.

Services Excluded

  • Personal expenses,
  • Insurance,
  • Tips,
  • Emergency evacuation by Helicopter,
  • Alternative transportation in case of heavy rain, landslide, strike, road blockade etc.
  • Other expenses which are not included in above Services Included

 

Annapurna Region

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