Annapurna Circuit is renowned for a trek looping world’s tenth highest mountain. The circuit has been highly praised and spectacular trekking route in the Annapurna region since it opened for foreign trekkers in 1977. The Annapurna Circuit is a trek within the Annapurna mountain range of central Nepal. The total length distance of the route varies between 160-230 km (100-145mi).It depends on where transportation is available as well trek is ended. The picturesque and majestic view through the lush green valleys and charming villages, with glorious sights of the snow- capped of the white Himalayas. Annapurna Circuit offers the variety of scenery of both the northern and southern Himalayas. Roads have been built along with many of the sections of the circuit. Trekkers appear to view the harsh, thin atmosphere of the Tibetan plateau while climbing the thick fir and rhododendron forests.
The trek crosses two different river valleys and surrounds the Annapurna Massif. The pathway reaches from the dizzying heights of the Thorung Pass (5416m/17769ft) plunge back down into the sub- tropical Kali Gandaki Gorge, a busy pilgrimage and commercial route that is still controlled by Thakali and Mustang tribes. The mountain scenery has viewed at close quarters includes the Annapurna Massif (Annapurna I-IV), Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Pisang Peak and Paungda Danda. There are numerous other peaks of 6000 to 8000m in elevation rise from the Annapurna range. The trek follows the classic Annapurna Circuit with an extension to visit Tatopani and Ghorepani thorugh the Kali Gandaki, the world’s deepest gorge. This place is the homelands of the Manangi people and able to visit Gurung villages also.
The original Annapurna Circuits trails mark the trek initiating point as Dumre and ending point as Beni. The trek begins from elevation 605m at Dumre, which eventually rises to an elevation 5416m at Thorung Pass. The circuit is doable clockwise and counter clockwise, however many trekkers hike counter clockwise circuits for better acclimatization. The trek takes through distinct regional scenery of rivers, flora, fauna and mountains. There are four regions that are passed through on the trek; Lamjung, Manang, Mustang and Myagdi. Lamjung and Myagdi of the lower elevations are both predominantly Hindu with lush green subtropical valleys with villages and terraced farming. Manang and Mustang are of the higher elevations and predominately Tibetan Buddhist. The Manang people are Gurung (not Tibetan descent) and to be proud of their unique cultural heritage and merging of lower land Gurung and Tibetan cultural influences. The people of Mustang identify themselves a lot closer with Tibet and the Mustang region has actually been part of Tibet in history. Mustang is one of the last places in the world to sight the view of the ancient Bonpo Religion. The villages for Bonpo are Thini and Lupra near Jomsom and Nargon near Kobang.
The minimum two weeks trek begins from Besisahar or Bhulbhule and goes along the Marshyangdi River, with great view of Manashlu and Himal Chuli to the east. This magnificent trek leads to the village resided by a wide diversity of people from different ethnic groups. It continues to the north of the main Himalayan range to the high and dry Tibetan Plateau, the scenery is equally breathing. Due to the difficulties of crossing the tallest point of the trek is Thorung Pass at the top valley, the circuit is usually walked in a counter clockwise direction. The travelling longer ascent and shorter descent from west to east is too many peoples to manage in a day. The Nar and Phu valley are newly opened, spectacular regions of ethnically Tibetans inhabitants for those who think that trekked all. This is a trek that combines high peaks and passes, glaciers, remote villages, narrow canyons, lovely forests, amazing rock formations, yaks, gompas and unique Himalayan cultures. Trekking to the standard Annapurna circuit, the bridge leading over the Maryland River to the steep portals of the Nar/ Phu valley system is easily missed, but although the entrances is narrow and forested. The route goes past the following mountains Mansalu (an 8,000-plus meter peak), Langtang Himal, Annapurna II and IV, Annapurna III and Gangapurna. Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri are passing through the world’s deepest gorge in between those two 8,000 plus meter peaks. At the end of the trek, Poon Hill is the viewed of those two mountains as well as South Annapurna and Macchupucchre, the “Fishtail Mountain’’.
During the trek the village of Muktinath is a holy site for both Buddhists and Hindus. Braga is one of the oldest monasteries in the region. The Annapurna section of The Great Himalaya Trail from Dharapani to Kagbeni is a long distance trekking route that counts Nepal from East to West. At the end, there are several options of the trek are available i.e. following the river further to the road proper to Beni and catching a bus to Pokhara, or adding on a trek to the Annapurna Base Camp (ABC Trek), aka the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek. The best period to hike the Annapurna Circuit is in October, when there is monsoon season. The heavy rains have cleared the air, making views of the Himalayas especially dazzling. It is also generally a safe time because the slopes are not too moist and slippery. So, the temperature is just right, neither too hot nor too cold. Annapurna hikes in early spring (March) and before monsoon (April) season begins are another good option. The rhododendrons and other flowers are in bloom, decorating the trails in spectacular color. This is also the warmest time, which makes it appealing to travelers who do not like the cold.
- Day 1 : Drive to Besishar to Syange (760m, 10hrs)
- Day 2: Syange to Chame (2670m, 6hrs)
- Day 3: Chame to Pisang (3200m, 7 hrs)
- Day 4 : Pisang to Manang (3540m, 7 hrs)
- Day 5 : Acclimatization day
- Day 6 :Manang to Letder (4260m, 3hrs)
- Day 7 :Letder to Thorong Phedi (4450m,3 hrs)
- Day 8 :Thorong Phedi to Muktinath (3800m) via Thorong –La Pass (5416m, 12 hrs)
- Day 9: Muktinath to Jomsom (2743m, 6 hrs)
- Day 10: Drive from Jomsom to Tatopani via Ghasa in local jeep (2590m,6hrs)
- Day 11 :Tatopani to Shikha (1935m,4 hrs)
- Day 12 :Shikha to Ghorepani (1750m, 3hrs)
- Day 13 :Trek to Poon Hill (3190m)
- Day 14 : Pokhara- free day
- Day 15: Kathmandu (Departure day)