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Annapurna Trek– Nepal’s Most Popular Trekking Route
Definitely the signature trek of Nepal, Annapurna trek route centers on the Mt. Annapurna, the tenth highest mountain in the world (8091 m.) Stretching from the lake city of Pokhara, different trek routes lead to Jomsom, Annapurna Base Camp, Manang and Mustang in order to reach the Annapurna Mountain. Geographically, the region features contrasting landscapes based on the wettest, driest and windiest places in the country. Henceforth, the trek is equally exciting and important to experience the best of Nepal on the single trail.
Usually, the trek takes around 22 days to complete and reach the massif, but if the trekkers have less time, they can take short treks to Sikles and Ghandruk which usually last for a week. However, the adventure trekkers who wish to have the best of trekking experience in the world and not compromise on the adventures should take the full trek to Annapurna.
At the beginning point, the trek begins at 790 m and reaches the height of 8,091 m at the summit of Mount Annapurna I. The difference of 7301 m covered during the trek is what brings the excitement all around. The trek stretch features a variation in topography. Trekkers can see forests, cold deserts, high Himalayan Mountains northwards during this varying trek route. On the lower stretch of the route, the adventurers can also observe the typical Nepali villages serving home to Gurung, Magar, Thakali and Brahmin communities.
As one goes northwards, the Tibetan cultural influence is apparent. The trek begins from Besi Sahar, off the Pokhara-Kathmandu Highway and goes on a counter-clockwise route to reach Naya Pool, Tatapani, Kalopani, world’s deepest Gandaki Gorge, etc. On the way, stunning views of mountain scenery like Manaslu, Langtang Himal, Annapurna II and IV, Annapurna III, and, Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri can be enjoyed.
Before beginning this exciting trek, trekkers should obtain Park Entry Permit and TIMS Card to enter the Annapurna region (from Kathmandu). To trek to the restricted area of Upper Mustang, trekkers need a special Trekking Permit from the Department of Immigration for the region is listed as Restricted Area.
Manang – One of the most spectacular attractions of Annapurna trek is Manang point. Located on the upper reaches of the trek route, the region hosts seven villages where people of Tibetan descent dwell along the upper arc. The area is generally rugged, and rocky, similar to the Tibetan landscape and also has many lakes, including Lake Tilicho (4919 m), the world’s highest lake.
Thorong La – The summit pass of Thorong La is the highest point on the Annapurna Circuit Trek, a 300 km route around the Annapurna mountain range. It is also the prominent highlight of this treasured trekking route.
Mustang - The most popular of the restricted-area treks leads to this long-forbidden Tibetan kingdom in a remote and arid land of spectacular Tibetan monasteries, canyons and cave complexes that border Tibet. Road construction is changing the region quickly.
The upper valley of Mustang is located on the restricted trek area that boasts of trans-Himalayan landscape and exotic Himalayan cultural experience. Muktinath (3,749 m), a popular pilgrimage destination is also a great focal point for pilgrims and trekkers alike here.
Gandaki Gorge- The Kali Gandaki Valley between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs is considered the world’s deepest gorge, with a vertical gain of 7km.
How to begin Annapurna Circuit Trek
Annapurna Circuit Trek is ideally started from Pokhara Valley. Trekkers are expected to complete the trekking formalities at Kathmandu and then proceed towards Pokhara to begin this amazing trekking route.
Best Time to Visit Annapurna Circuit Trek
The period between March to May and September to November are ideal to continue Annapurna Circuit Trek. The weather is congenial and the conditions are affable to begin this trek.
Festivals of Annapurna Circuit Trek
Manang Festival or Yartung Festival is one of the oldest continuing traditions of this fabulous trekking terrain. The festival is basically a horse racing festival celebrated in Manang for centuries. The horses’ endurance, strength and riders’ ability to run the horses on this challenging terrain is the anciently followed tradition of Manang Festival.