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The Annapurna region located to the Northwest of Kathmandu is the most popular trekking region in Nepal. According to a recent survey by the, approximately 40,000 tourists visit this region annually. The entire region is at the foot of the great Annapurna Range and Mount Dhaulagiri.
Ancient settlement sites of Manang and Lo Manthang are found in the region which seem almost frozen in time with their ancient houses and gulleys. Part of the Tibetan plateau which is basically a cold dessert north of the Nilgiri mountain and other various mountain ranges can be found which provides breathtaking views of fields and great sandstone ridges. The deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki Gorge is also located in the region. The gateway to exploring the Annapurna Region is the famous city of Pokhara.
Various ethnic groups occupy the region, the Gurungs, Hill Khas people, Thakali and people with Tibetan heritage can be found living together in a harmonious way. The majestic palace of the previously forbidden city of Lo Manthang can be found here along with ancient monasteries and cave systems galore.
Great mountain peaks like Annapurna I,II,III,IV along with Nilgiri, Tukuche and Dhaulagiri occupy a large portion of the scenery seen from this region. Due to the diversity in altitude and climate found here, forests of oak and bamboo are common in the lowlands while the higher areas beyond the mountains are completely dry consisting of only come coniferous trees and some dry bushes. A lot of exotic animals like the Himalayan Yak, Blue Sheep, Pika and the Himalayan Tahr can be seen in this region along with various types of birds.
The great Kaligandaki basin lies here where the sought-after Shaligram can be found here. Shaligram are fossilized ammonites considered by the Hindus and Buddhists of the valley to be holy. The cultural festivals of Mustang including Yarthung and Monlam are old and full of wonderous elements. The Muktinath temple where both Hindus and Buddhists go for worship is said to grant to the devotee release from the painful cycle of rebirth and suffering. There are 108 naturally flowing water taps that are said to cleanse one of all sins they might have committed in the past.
Well known trekking routes of this region include treks to Jomsom, the Annapurna Circuit which will take you across the Thorang La- a high mountain pass, Annapurna Base camo and hikes to Sikles, Lamjung and Dhaulagiri and small walking trips around Pokhara. While the best time to visit is undoubtedly the Spring and Autumnn seasons, visits to Upper Mustang are possible even during the monsoon as it lies in what is called a “rain shadow area”, one that lies beyond the mountains where rain does not fall.
Most of the treks around the Annapurna region are teahouse treks where you will be staying in small inns and teahouses while you trek. The region is well served and populated such that various itineraries can be made to explore this majestic region of Nepal.
Whichever trek you decide to go on, Accessible Adventures will take care of you from the gateway to the region Pokhara, to any mountain peak or mountain pass and beyond.