Annapurna is considered to be the most famous and popular trekking destination in all of Nepal. The area is dominated by the presence of such peaks as the Annapurnas, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Machhapuchre. These mountains loom in the distance throughout your trek giving you a true Himalayan experience. Trekking through the lowland villages and mountain communities will expose you to the variety of different cultures of the Gurung, Marangi, and Thakali people.
The 322 km trek has been called by many to be not only the most famous trek in Nepal, but also one of the most celebrated treks in the world. A recently published book on Trekking Great Walks of the World (Unwin Hyman, London) called it the ultimate in mountains and the first among ten best treks in the world. A recent book entitled Around the Annapurna written by the writer of these lines gives a village wise description of this trek not found in other guidebooks.
You pass through Dumre on Kathmandu-Pokhara highway and take a micro-bus to Besisahar by private bus and start you trek there. You go north to Manang following the Marsyangdi River. Manang is situated in the trans-Himalayan region of Nepal and is geographically part of Tibetan Plateau and the people are ethnically Tibetan. After crossing 5300 m Thorungla, you pass through Muktinath, a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists and visit the beautiful villages of Kagbeni (ethnic Tibetan) and Marfa (Thakali). Walking along Kali Gandaki valley via Tukuche and Kobang, you also pass through the deepest gorge in the world and emerge south of the main Himalayan Range. The trails pass through Tatopani for fantastic mountain views and descend to Birethanti and take a bus to Pokhara. The trek takes three week. This has been divided into several parts to enable those with less time or those who are less physically fit to trek in peak of the trekking season in mid-November, trails in this period will be full of western trekkers.
If you are planning to trek the entire Annapurna Circuit, it is advisable to do it in a counter-clockwise direction. It means that you start the trek from Dumre/ Besisahar to Manang and then climb and descend to Muktinath and Jomosom instead of the other way around. This is because a higher ascent is required from Jomosom side if you were to do it in a clockwise direction. However, day-to-day description of this trek from Pokhara-Birethanti to Jomosom and Muktinath is given in the following lines just to give you an idea of what you’re likely to encounter.
The total days of your trek could take about 22 days. Thus you enjoy with this remarkable trek of your real life experiences and we hope that you enjoy exploring the world as much as we do in this part of the globe. This is an unforgettable expedition into the most mountainous corner of this part of the world. Greeted by views of the Annapurna and Manaslu mountain ranges from our first village stop in Bandipur, we have time to take in the breathtaking scenery and local people before immersing ourselves into the spectacular mountain wilderness, ancestral customs and cultural richness this region has to offer. The trekking is challenging but the rewards fulfilling in every way.
This trek travels around the entire Annapurna by visiting the Tibet-like country on the northern slopes of the Himalaya and the dramatic Kali Gandaki Gorge. Much of the trek is through lowland country, but there is one high pass, Thorung La. The pass is not difficult, but this is still a long trek at high elevation. You should be aware that you might have to return to Dumre if it is impossible or dangerous to cross Thorung La because of snow or altitude sickness. There are years when the weather allows it to stay open, but Thorung La is usually snowbound and closed from mid-December to mid-April.