One of the most popular trek on offer and few places in the worlds have such a splendid variety of natural beauty as the Annapurna region. It is a rare combination of long arrays of snow capped peaks, crystal clear lakes, turbulent rivers with deep gorges, Tibetan monasteries, hot-springs, and picturesque villages inhabited by simple and friendly local people. This three-week trek takes you far away from the road, into the heart of the high mountains.
Highlight of this trek is crossing the Thorong La Pass (5380m), an assent of over 4500m from the start point at Besishar. From the pass you are confronted with line after line of snow capped ridges stretching before your eyes. You will trek throught an important trading village of Manang, the holy and sacred Muktnath and picturesque Jomsom before descending through Kali Gandaki gorge – deepest on earth. The trek is rich in variety and vistas from the rolling hills of Marsyangdi to the Himalayan interior, providing the complete trekking experience. Shorter version of this trek to fly out from Jomsom.
Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu Arrive Kathmandu airport and you will be met by the staff from our agency in Kathmandu. Transfer to your Hotel.
Day 2: Kathmandu. Sightseeing The following morning you will be taken on a 1/2 day Sightseeing tour of the many holy temples and interesting Surrounding sights of Kathmandu including the Sacred Pashupatinath Temple and Nepal's oldest city, Bhaktapur. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the many shops and bazaars and eating-houses of Kathmandu.
Day 3: Kathmandu - Beshishar. We spend 2 nights in Kathmandu before boarding our 6 hour drive to Beshishar, a small beautiful town the district head quarter of Lamgung district, set on the banks of the Marshyangdi river. It is smaller and much less hectic than Kathmandu and is the perfect starting point for our trek.
Day 4: Beshishar - Bahundanda. We walk through the deep river gorge, rice fields, sub-tropical forest and small hamlets to the Gurung village of Khudi. From here, the trail continues along the riverside past a majestic waterfall to Bahundanda, watched over by the towering peaks of Himal Chuli and Manaslu.
Day 5: Bahundanda – Chamje. A steep and slippery trail runs up and down along the valley side through paddy fields, dips to cross the river and then snakes steeply up the cliffs on the other side. Passing through tiny Tibetan villages, the trail ascends through the rhododendron forest to Chamje, a small settlement at 1430m.
Day 6: Chamje – Bagarchhap. The path climbs beside the river through bamboo groves, before a dramatic waterfall heralds our arrival at Tal, a large village on a suddenly-emerging open plateau. We cross barley and potato fields to reach Dharapani and begin to climb to Bagarchhap (2160m,) site of our first Tibetan Monastery and with views of Annapurna II and Lamjung Himal.
Day 7: Bagarchhap - Chame. The trail climbs along the mule track through pine and fir forest and then follows the river for a time amongst the higher oak and maple trees. We pass through scattered small villages before arriving at Chame (2630m.)
Day 8: Chame - Pisang. The trail undulates through the river valley, ascending through deep forest to Pisang (3190m) with good views along the way of Pisang peak and the high Annapurna II.
Day 9: Pisang – Manang. Tibetan culture begins in earnest as we start to climb towards Manang (3535m) through fields of grazing yak and a wide variety of crops. This large Tibetan settlement commands good views of Annapurna II, IV and Tarke Kang. It is no problem to trek here in the summer as rainfall is low.
Day 10: Manang. This is a rest day to acclimatise to the higher altitude. Time to visit Monasteries, take advice from the Himalayan Rescue Association and observe the spectacular views of the Himalaya.
Day 11: Manang - Latdar. The trail climbs to Latdar along the riverside and as the altitude increases, we move through alpine pastures to scrubby forests of juniper and rose. We camp at an elevation of 4250m.
Day 12: Latdar - Thorung Phedi. The trail undulates near the river, before climbing a steep scree slope north west of the tributary valley of the Jargeng Khola. It is sometimes possible to see herds of blue mountain sheep along the dramatic cliffs that surround the camping meadow at Thorung Phedi (4420m.)
Day 13: Thorung Phedi - Muktinath we ascend steeply to a 4590m, then along an undulating trail to the flat top of Thorung La (5416m.) From here there are views of the Annapurna range to the south and Mukut Himal bordering Dolpo to the West. The trail descends steeply over glacial moraine, which gives way to grassy meadows before we reach Muktinath. This is one of the most important pilgrimage sights for Hindus. Holy water flows from the 108 carved spouts surrounding the Vishnu temple in a grove of poplars. Muktinath is also home to many ethnic Tibetans and holy Buddhists, who come here for the temple in which fire miraculously burns in a stream of water inside a small but very holy temple.
Day 14: Muktinath - Jomsom Descend gradually through fields and poplar groves, then into the Kali Gandaki river valley. Follow the valley southwards to Jomsom. The Kali Gandaki valley here is called the Thak Khola, from the ethnic group the Thakalis, the main inhabitants of this area.
Day 15: Jomsom - Kalopani Descend to Marpha, a lovely village of whitewashed houses and fertile fields. Continue down the Kali Gandaki reaching the old Thakali trading centre of Tukuche. As the trail continues, the Himalayan rainshadow end and open spaces make way for coniferous forest and Kalopani (2560m.) From here there are spectacular 360 degree views of Dhaulagiri and the Annapurnas high above.
Day 16: Kalopani – Tatopani. A beautiful walk, with another transition into sub-tropical vegetation and the return of water buffalo, banyan trees and poinsettias. The trail follows the river through a narrow gorge, and descends to cross a bridge near a spectacular waterfall, before winding through the valley to Tatopani. The hot water springs that give the village its name provide the perfect opportunity for a good 'scrub.'
Day 17: Tatopani - Ghorepani. Steadily climbing all day, we eventually leave behind the terraced fields and walk through thick rhododendron forest to the village of Ghorepani. We camp at the pass for the best views of the sunset over the spectacular, snow-capped Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna Range.
Day 18: Ghorepani - Tadapani. A short early-morning climb to the Deurali pass for a spectacular panorama over Dhaulagiri and the Annapurnas, and all the way south to the plains of India. Trail descends steeply through dense moss-covered forest rich with birdlife to Tadapani (2540m) for beautiful sunset views of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare.
Day 19: Tadapani - Ghandrung. Trail descends steeply through dense damp forest, where you may see monkeys, and continues down over a series of rock-cut steps that follow a leaping stream. Arrive in Ghandrung (1940m) and explore the maze-like streets of this thriving Gurung settlement.
Day 20: Ghandrung – Dhampus. The path descends for about 2 hours, before climbing steeply to another Gurung village, Landrung. We then follow the hillside south to the Dhampus. The mountain views are superb and far away to the south lies Fewa Tal (lake.) We continue down the ridge to the village of Dhampus, from where the distant mountains are still visible.
Day 21: Dhampus - Phedi - Pokhara. Steep descent through the river valley to Phedi, then drive to Pokhara.
Day 22: Pokhara - Kathmandu. Drive to Kathmandu.
Day 23: Depart Kathmandu.
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