Annapurna Circuit/Round is one of the famous trekking routes in the world. The trek around the Annapurna Massif is one of the finest in the Himalayas and is reguarly described as one of the top ten treks in the world It is observed that about 64% of the trekkers who come every years Nepal for trekking visit Annapurna regions of Nepal. So it is the most trekked area of Nepal. Annapurna area/region offers a great variety of beautiful landscapes, nature & culture of the central Himalayan area of Nepal with the best & splendid Himalayan panorama of Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Fishtail, Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Nilgiri, Mt. Hiun Chuli and several other mid western Himalayan ranges of Nepal
It is said that Annapurna Circuit/Round is one of the famous trekking routes in the world. The trek around the Annapurna Massif is one of the finest in the Himalayas and is reguarly described as one of the top ten treks in the world It is observed that about 64% of the trekkers who come every years Nepal for trekking visit Annapurna regions of Nepal. So it is the most trekked area of Nepal . Annapurna area/region offers a great variety of beautiful landscapes, nature & culture of the central Himalayan area of Nepal with the best & splendid Himalayan panorama of Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Fishtail, Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Nilgiri, Mt. Hiun Chuli and several other mid western Himalayan ranges of Nepal .
From the heights of the pass we descend to Muktinath and its scared Buddhist and Hindu Shrines. Further south, the contrasts of the Nepal Himalaya become even more apparent, as high windswept passes are replaced by forests, or mandarin and banana groves. Finally we trek out of the gorges and look back to the peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri . After poonhill one of the best place for sunrise view, we trek through rhododendron and bamboo forests, as we climb towards the famous Fishtail Mountain Base Camp. From the Sanctuary we use the same route till Chomrong downstream the Midi Khola before making a worthy detour to Gandrung, a beautiful and large Gurung village.
|Best time to travel||March to May, October to December|
|Trip Grade||Easy/Normal/Moderate/Hard/Very Hard/|
Day 1 Drive to Besisahar (7 hrs)
Break journey for lunch at the River Side Spring Resort. After lunch continue drive to Besisahar. Besi Sahar (823 m) is the main town of Lamjung district. Until recently this market town of 2000 inhabitants was called Besigaon. However since the opening of the road to Manang, in the late seventies, the village became a compulsory stop over for those who go trekking around the Annapurna and was renamed Besi sahar. There are several administrative offices here, as well as post-offices and a police check-post where your trekking permit will be examined for the first time.
Day 2 NAGADI (860m)
After breakfast, commence the Around Annapurna Trek. The Annapurna Region in central Nepal is the most geographically and culturally diverse region for trekking. The area boasts of a variety of diverse cultures, tribes and castes as the Brahmins, Chettris, Newars, Gurungs, Magars, Manangis and the Tibetans. This area has sub-tropical lowlands, valleys, and forests of bamboo, oak and rhododendron, alpine meadows, windswept desert plateaus and the towering Annapurna Mountains. This area has the world's deepest river gorge, Kali Gandaki, lying some 6900 metres/22,563 ft., below some of the world's largest and most beautiful mountains as the Annapurna I (world's 8th highest) & Fishtail (one of the most beautiful). 440 species of birds and animals like the marten, deer, languor and the elusive snow leopard live here.The trek starts by heading northwards, until we reach the District Forest Office. Then ascend for 150 meters, heading towards Pam Khola on the other side of the small bridge. The track goes up again till the hamlet of Sanuti, less than thirty minutes away.Walk across fields of paddy, barley and corn to reach the village of Bhalam in about an hour's time. Then we cross Khudi Khola on a suspension bridge to reach the first Gurung village also named Khudi (792m). It takes about two and half hours to reach the Nagadi village (860m) from Khudi.
Day 3 JAGAT (1,340m)
Start by moving north up to a suspension bridge crossing the Nagdi Khola. At this point, the track on the right leads to the village of Utsa. The path going up towards Mardyangdi leads to the village of Lampata in the Manang District. The climb is quite steep and it takes about two hours to reach Bahundanda, a village sitting on the headline at a height of 1314 meters. Bahundsnda means "Brahman's hill" which explains the origin of the people. We stop here for lunch and to enjoy the view of Mount Phungi (6379m), towards the North.After lunch climb down a steep slope for about thirty minutes until we reach the Dhule Khola, cross over to reach the village of Besi. In about an hours time we get to see the magnificent water fall at Syange (1136m) flowing from the high plain hamlet of Ghulima. From here it takes about two hours to reach Jagat, a village along the ridge of the mountain, at a height of 1340m
Day 4 DHARAPANI (1,943m)
In the morning after ascending for about forty five minutes, we will reach bhatti, from where it will take another thirty minutes to reach the village of Chamje (1433m). It takes about one hour to reach the hamlet of Sattare ('top of the hill', in Tibetan) from Chamje. We have our lunch since this is the idle place to have lunch.After lunch we start by walking along the ridge of the hills and then uphill for about an hour through the bamboo forest, to reach the village of Tal set in the middle of the broad valley at a height of 1707 meters. Tal means 'lake' in Nepali language. From Tal, it takes about two hours forty five minutes to reach Dharapani (1943m), which means 'stream'.
Day 5 CHAME (2,713m)
It takes 45 Minutes to reach the village of Bagarchap (2164m) which literally means 'the river bank'. Bagarchap marks the barrier between the humid valleys of the souch, which we have crossed on the way, and dry regions of the high- Marsysngdi. That the monsoon is more or less absent in this region is evident by the change in vegetation.From Bagarchap, it will take an hour to climb up to the hamlet of Dhanagya (2300m) where we stop to have our lunch. After lunch it takes us about 2 ½ hrs to 3 hrs through the hamlet of Thanchock and Besi Salla ( which means "the Garden of Pines") to reach Kodo( and also called Koto) meaning 'Millet' and then to the village of Kyupar (2600m). Outside the village a police check post controls the assess to the Nar Phu Khola Valley which leads to Tibet. We have to show our trekking permits here again before proceeding to Chame (2713m), the District Headquarters of Manang District, which is another forty five minutes away.
Day 6 PISANG (3,185m)
After the school at Chame we have to cross the bridge to get to the northern bank of Marsyangdi. We walk along the river to reach the village of Bratang (2919m), mainly populated by Tibetans. Here we stop to have a hearty Lunch. On the way Bratang we pass through a splendid pine forest with splendid views of Lamjung and Annapurna II and IV.After lunch its about two hours walk to reach the top, where trekkers traditionally plant a pine sapling, not only to establish that they have made it to the top, but also to contribute to the reforestation of the area. We have to go down to Pisang (3185m) from here and it takes about an hour to reach there. There are neither houses nor any water resources on the way down.
Day 7 MANANG (3,530m)
After crossing the Pisang Khola there is a forty-five minutes steep climb up to a steep pass. From the top of the pass we get a glimpse of Paunda Danda (4655m), mount Pisang and Manang valley, with right before you Mount Tilicho. On the way down to Hongde we come across a check post where the trekking permits will be again examined. We will have our lunch here until the permits are examined.After Hongde the valley widens and we get to see the Annapurnas III and IV (7555m and 7525m) to the left, East and West Chulus(6584m and 6419m) on the right, towards the horizon, there are views of highest peak of Mount Thoroung(6481m) and to the east, the crown of Mount Pissang. From Hongde we climb up to the ancient village of Braga (3505m).We can take time to wander around Braga to see this picturesque village with its flat roofed houses and to visit he Gompa, not only the largest in the region but also the richest with its fine collection of thangkas (religious scroll paintings) and prayer books. It takes only forty-five minutes to reach Manang from here, which sits on the plateau of 3530 meters.
Day 8 Rest day at Manang.
This is the day for rest and acclimatization before proceeding to higher altitudes.We can go for a walk in the afternoon to the north of the village, which offers a panoramic view of Annapurna IV and II to the southeast and Gangapurna (7455m) and Tarke Kang or Ice dome (7202m) to the southwest.
Day 9 THORUNG PHEDI (4,220m)
After leaving Manang the path climbs up till we reach the hamlet of Tengi (3642m). From here it takes about an hour to reach Gunsang (3850m). From here it is another one hour forty five minutes up hill to Churi Lattar (4250m) where we stop to have our lunch and stay for the night. This is a short day to help with the acclimatization.
Day 10 It takes about two hours to reach Thorung Phedi. Thorung Phedi means 'foot of the hill' and it is situated at a height of 4220m on a small hill overlooking a high plateau. These Himalayan pastures are domains of yak, a bovine of Tibetan origin, reared for its wool, milk and to transport goods. The thar, a kind of wild goat that lives in herds, is also found here. This is also another short day to prepare oneself for the hard climb to the Thorung La (pass) the next day.
Day 11 MUKTINATH (3,802m)
Early morning wake up and start the ascent to the pass. We have to cross about twenty hills on the way to reach the summit, Throungla, at 5,415 meters and it takes about 4 ½ -5 hrs to reach here. On the way up we get to see many prayer flags several cairns (small mounds of rock). From the top, one can see the panoramic view of Yakgawa Kang or Thorungse (6481m) to the north, and Khatung Kang (6484) to the south and the Annapurnas along with the Gangapurna to the southeast. In the horizon to the west, Dhaulagiri (8169m) and Mount Tukuche (6920m) are also visible.From the summit the descent to Muktinath (3802m) takes about three hours and the difference in altitude is of 1600m. Here we will find another check post where permits are checked.
Day 12 MARPHA (2,667m)
After crossing the hamlet of Ranipauwa, adjacent to Mukntinath, we arrive at the village of Jharkot (3612m), mainly populated by Tibetans. It takes about two hours through rocky terrain and horse caravans to reach Kagbni (2807m). It will take us about two -three hours to reach Jomsom (2713m) from Kagbeni, the administrative headquarters of the region. Here there is an airport with regular flights to Pokhara, a bank, post office, hospital and few hotels. We have to show our permits again before moving on to Syang (30 Min. away) and then to Marpha (2667m) our camping place for the day. Marpha is famous for its apple liquor and it has a charm of its own with its black-salted streets and unusual architecture.
Day 13 GHASA (2,012m)
We start by walking along the bank of the river Kali Gandaki for an hour and half to reach the village of Tukche (2951m), dominated by the name of the same peak, which stands at the height of 6930m. This beautiful village is populated by Thakalis, whose houses reflect just how significant this centre of Trans- Himalayan trade is.After Tukche, the path meanders along the Kali Gandakhi valley for about one and half-hours to reach the village of Lajung (2560m). Outaide the village there is against pine where villagers sacrifice chickens and goats to propitate the Goddess Kali.The hamlet of Sokung (2951m) is another thirty minutes away. From here it takes about forty-five minutes to reach the hamlet of Dhampu. Here we have to cross the river to enter into Kalopani (or 'black water') located at 2530m.We will have lunch here and enjoy the impressive views of Dhaulagiri, the Nilgiris (South: 6839m, Central: 6940m and North: 7061m) and Annapurna I (8091m).From Sokung the path climbs up and down over a low altitude tropical forest to reach the village of Ghasa(2012m) which is two and half hours away. On the way we have to show our permits at the check post in the village of Lete (2438m).
Day 14 TATOPANI (1,189m)
It will take about forty five minutes to reach the hamlet of Panoi Thaala and fifteen minutes from here we will reach Deorali, the boarder hamlet between the Mustang and Myagdi district. After crossing several hills from here, we start to descent until we reach the bridge leading to the west of the river. Few minutes walk from here will take us to the village of Rupse Chhara (1550m), near a huge a waterfall. We stop to have our lunch here.From Rupse it takes us about forty five minutes to reach the village of Dana (1446m), distinctive because of its large houses and decorative windows. From here it takes us about two hours easy descent to reach the camping place for the night, Tatopani (1189m). The names of the village means 'hot springs' for which the village is famous.
Day 15 GHOREPANI (2,874m)
Today will be a hard day since we will cover a long distance with a difference in altitude of 1700 meters. From Tatoapni it takes two to three hours to reach the village of Ghara (1768m) and another hour to reach the village of Sikha(1920m) where we stop to have our lunch.After lunch a climb through terraced cultivation's, for about an hour and half brings us to the village of Chitre (2316m), and then across a rhododendron forest until Ghorapani, which is about an hour away. Ghorapani (2874m), means 'Horse water " or water place for horses' is, in fact, a stop over for donkey caravans traveling from Jomsom to Pokhara.Over the night at lodge.
Day 16 TADAPANI
The Trek turns east through Rhododendron forests to arrive at Deorali pass at a similar altitude at 10000ft and the views obtainable are equal to those from Pun hills though of course a little later in morning . The walk continues through Rhododendron forest and then mixed confiner and some open meadowland. the descent that follows in steep and in the winter can be slippery with forsted or shnow covered leaves covering the ground and scramble down a steep icy path may have to be negotiable near a stream that trumbles in a series of waterfalls dawn the hillside . But this is one of the most beautiful days trekkinmg anywhere in Nepal and after lunch, a vidge is crested to arrive at tatopani , that appears to outstanding views.
Day 17 CHHOMRONG (1950 m)
After a wake up to a marvelous sunrise (weather permitting) and a hearty breakfast, descend for about 20 minutes from the village to valley bottom, cross a small bridge and trek on a winding trail on a hillside cleared for making terraced fields. There are a few settlements enroute and after about 3 hours arrive at a teahouse and after crossing the bridge, it is a steep ascent for 30 minutes to the settlement of Jhinu danda. Here are a few tea houses and many Tibetans selling trinkets to passing tourists.This place is fast becoming a popular resting place because of the close proximity to the Hot Springs. There is a belief that sickness is cured if one takes a dip in the hot spring. The hot spring is located about 20 minutes walk from the settlement to the river bank and is a man made pool where the hot sulfur water is tapped through pipes. While the lunch gets prepared the guests are at liberty to visit this pool and take a much desired hot bath.After lunch, the trek to Chomrong - the gateway to the Annapurna Sanctuary take about 2 hours. It is a very steep ascent to the top of the ridge with a tea house. The roof of the Tea house can be seen from the bottom but getting there is a tough two hours of huffing and puffing up the mountain hillside. Upon arrival at the ridge, a 10 minute walk on a gentle undulating trail through a forests brings us to Chomrong which is also located on a ridge with a wide expansive view of the Annapurna Range of mountains and valleys towards the Annapurna Sanctuary area. The views of the Annapurna Range is closest from here than anywhere on this trail.Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge in Chomrong.
Day 18 Himalaya Hotel (2100 m).
Go down until the suspension bridge which crosses the Chomorong Khola and then climb up the opposite side for about 30 minutes till you reach the hamlet of Banuwa. Carry on for another thirty minutes until you reach Sunawa (about 2400m) where you will find at least two lodge-restaurants. Here the path leaves cultivated fields to enter the beautiful tropical forest. You can follow the ridge of the hill, about 2500 meters high, but unfortunately the mountain is drained by several small streams and the trekkers are forced to take several ascents and descents. It takes about an hour to reach Khuldi ghar (2,477m) where a second check post is encountered.( ACAP tickets are checked here as the head quarters of ACAP and its environment center are also located at Khuldi Ghar.) After the check post the path suddenly descends until it reaches the hamlet of Bamboo (2300m) with four or five lodges and is a good place to make a lunch break.As the name suggest, Bamboo marks the beginning of the huge bamboo forest which leads, after about an hour of walking, to Tiptop (2571m). There are two lodges here competing with the lodges established at Doban(2606m). Soon after Doban you will enter the sacred forest of Jode Yehm, where near the waterfall on the east bank of Modi khola, you will see an alter surrounded by thousands of white banners suspended from the trees. A sign indicates the name of the place and reminds the travelers not to lean over. One assumes it is better not to disturb the Gods. From Doban, it will take an hour to reach Himalayan Hotel (2873m).
Day 19 Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3700 m)
The track continues through the middle of the forest, going up and down following the flow of the rivers, until the last stretch where a steep path leads to Hinku Cave (3139m) It will take another three hour to reach the actual site of the Hinkui Cave, noticeable by a huge rock half sheltering a bhatti. From here it will take about three hours to reach Deorali (three lodges, 3230m). On the way you probably would have to cross two neves, or slabs of old frozen ice, commonly found in glacial area.Walking from Deorali to Bagar (3300m) takes about fifty minutes. Instead of lush vegetation, only bushes and high grasses survive. The path crosses the lodges twice on rather shaky bridges so as to avoid avalanches and landslide prone area. It is a good place to make a lunch break.The next stop, the base camp of Mchhapuchhare, is about two hours walk away. Machhapuchhare or "fishtail', has been thus named because its twin summits resembles a twitched fishtail. After having walked along the river for thirty minutes, the path rises up and goes through several neves. (If it has snowed recently, this part of the route will be quite difficult, though the use of crampons is not necessary, a stick should suffice.)
Day 20 Annapurna Base Camp (4200 m)
To enjoy the magnificent sunrise over the Sanctuary one has to go to the Annapurna Base Camp(ABC) which is only two hours away. Except for a few hills, the route is flat and therefore quite easy. Also, the spectacular views of Annapurna south in the forefront are so satisfying that one easily forgets the exhaustion. At the end of the route ( 4130 m), there are about five or six lodges. A little further, the path leads to a small hill which is the best point to admire the entire panorama of the Sanctuary.
Day 21 Backtrack to Himalaya Hotel - 6 hrs.
Day 22 Backtrack to Chhomrrong (2170m) - 5 hrs.
Day 23 Ghandrung (1920m./ 6400 ft.)
After breakfast trek towards Kyumrong Khola for lunch. After lunch trek to Ghandrung Village via Kyumrong Danda. Ghandrung (6297'). This area is offers some of the finest trekking in Nepal. The Anapurna range and Machapuchhere dominate the mountain views through glimpses further East to Lamjung Himal and Manaslu Range are also possible. Ghandrung village is rich through its excellent farming land and the generations of its sons who have sent and received pay and pensions from the British and Indian Gurkha armies.
Day 24 Pokhara
After breakfast, trek through a pleasant down hill trail and then the trail levels out and follows the banks of the river. After having spent a long time at higher altitudes, the heat sometimes makes traveling on the open riverbed an uncomfortable one. After, about 3 hours arrive at the riverside settlement of Birethanti for lunch. This is also the main entry point to the Annapurna Conservation Area and after lunch, walk along the high banks of the Modi Khola for about 30 minutes and end trek at Naya Pul to meet waiting vehicles for the one hour drive back to Pokhara. Trek Duration - 4 hours + 1 hour drive.Overnight at the Hotel.
Situated at 925 metres, Pokhara is the country's second largest city,located on the west bank of Seti river . Only foothills separate Pokhara from the full height of the Himalayas , and the magnification 8000m. Peaks of Annapurna Range.It is a vactoiner's paradise with it's crystal clear lakes and fantastic views of Annapurna range including The fish tail Mountain.
Upon arrival,check into hotel. The rest of the day is free to the lake side baazar with it's quaint shop's and lakeside resturant.