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The Annapurna Region in northeastern Nepal is often regarded as having the greatest hiking trails in the world. Popular hikes from Pokhara's lakeside metropolis run to Jomsom, Annapurna Base Camp, Mustang, Manang, and around the Annapurna peak. Short excursions to Sikles and Ghandruk are equally popular. The Annapurna region is a land of opposites, including the wettest, driest, and windiest locations in Nepal. The Annapurna Circuit: It is by far the most popular and takes at least three weeks to round the Annapurna massif. What makes this walk unique is that you may see something fresh in the surroundings every day. The Annapurna Conservation Area begins at 790 meters and rises to 8,091 meters at the summit of Mount Annapurna I, the world's tenth highest mountain. As you continue north, the environment changes from wooded middle mountain too high Himalaya and trans-Himalayan desert plateau. The lower altitudes are populated with Gurung, Magar, Thakali, and Brahmin communities, but Tibetan cultural influence becomes more noticeable as you travel north. The walk begins at Besi Sahar, off the Pokhara-Kathmandu Highway, and ends in Naya Pool, reaching its highest point at Thorong La, a 5,416-meter pass. You will travel through spectacular mountain landscapes along the journey, including Manaslu, Langtang Himal, Annapurna II and IV, Annapurna III, and Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri. The stunning Kali Gandaki gorge, the deepest in the world, sits between these two 8,000m hills.
The Annapurna Himal is highly renowned in Nepal and around the world for its stunning mountains and abundant biological diversity, as well as being a rich pocket of genetic wealth. Dry alpine deserts border the area to the north, the Dhaulagiri Himal to the west, the Marsyandi Valley to the east, and valleys and foothills to the south. The biological zones span from the high northern woodland (cold temperate) to the lower valley meadow (subalpine and high alpine shrub and tundra) (subtropical sal forest).
Upper Mustang: Mustang provides a trans-Himalayan scenery experience as well as an unusual Himalayan culture encounter. Muktinath (3,749 m) is a prominent pilgrimage and trekking site in the area. Before, it was a sacred spot for both Buddhists and Hindus. There is now a motorable road connecting Muktinath to Beni, where you may board a bus to Pokhara. At the commencement of the walk, you may also take a bus from Besi Sahar to Sanghe.
Lo-Manthang: Lo-Manthang in Upper Mustang is also an unusual destination. Mustang's final ruler still lives in its old capital village. Many visitors visit Lo-Manthang during the Teej festival, which is normally held in May.
Upper Mustang may be visited even during the rainy season due to its location in the rain shadow. Upper Mustang is located in protected regions and requires special authorization to access.
Manang: The eastern section of the walk follows the Marsyangdi River upstream to Manang, a string of seven settlements that comprise the upper arc of the Annapurna Circuit Trekking Trail. The landscape is austere and rocky, akin to the Tibetan plateau, and is peppered with turquoise lakes, notably Lake Tilicho (4919 m), the world’s highest lake.
More about Annapurna Region
After Everest, Annapurna has become synonymous with extreme adventure in Nepal. Superlatives are insufficient to describe this beautiful massif's alluring pathways, breathtaking landscape, and interesting culture.
It's no surprise that these breathtaking summits entice hikers and mountaineers. Frank Smith summed up the allure of hiking in his 1947 anthology "The Mountain Top," writing: "Escape from the shell of your tiny affairs and follow for a while those strange roads of the spirit that go nowhere and everywhere." Then you will understand beauty. The Annapurnas embody this energy.
Annapurna, derived from an old Sanskrit name for the goddess of abundance, is a group of four peaks ranked in ascending order of height. These giants are in full swing; at first, they are bathed in beautiful hazy light, but clouds soon descend, leaving the jagged spires hovering like benevolent ghosts.
They are surrounded by flaming devils at sunset and shimmer in the moonlight at night. Storms can swallow the rampart, yet they can also be mirrored as a vision of earthly tranquility in the cold waters of a lake.
Accessible Adventure welcomes you to join us on one of the region's two iconic hikes, the Annapurna Circuit or the Annapurna Sanctuary.
The circuit offers an incredible variety of scenery, including terraced slopes, dense rainforest, steamy bamboo clusters and canopies of cloud forest, gloomy creepy forests, and lonely alpine glades. Beautiful farmhouses dot the countryside, and ladies in vibrantly colored saris wash their clothes by the river. A Hindu god may catch your eye elsewhere and grin encouragingly.
The terrain is desolate further up. Strangely eroded towers support fanciful citadels, throwing shadows over medieval settlements and hermit caves. Monasteries with colorful prayer flags cling to precipitous cliffs, where Buddhist monks recite evocative chants, half-hypnotized by the pungent juniper incense. The higher ramparts are guarded by Himalayan Thar and Snow Leopard, which conceal countless birds among an amazing assortment of plants. The Annapurna Circuit is one of the world's genuinely outstanding hikes.
The Annapurna Sanctuary walk demands you to visualize an almost full ring of high peaks, six of which rise over 7000 meters and one - the mysterious Annapurna – rising above 8000 meters.
Imagine this gigantic amphitheater surrounded by glaciers and snowfields, buttressed by massive granite walls that erupt from a basin of ancient moraines and filthy streams. If you can, imagine a silver moon illuminating the panorama, a dawn crimson on the peaks, and mist thickening to clouds that gently fill the basin. And the last summit to be engulfed by it all is one of the most captivating:
Machhapuchhre, the distinctive "fishtail" mountain, protector of the Annapurna Sanctuary, and supreme seducer. Visual splendor is wherever you look. The famed poet-mountaineer Wilfred Noyce finished his book on Machhapuchhre's effort with the lines, "If there is a heaven on earth, it is now, it is now, it is now."
Why should you choose Annapurna?
Trekking is a type of mountain activity that falls between hiking and climbing in terms of effort. It consists of hours of trekking on varied terrain with the equipment and camping. Depending on the routes, these journeys might last many days or even weeks. Risky travels of free-spirited explorers have evolved over the previous several decades into well-planned adventures open to anybody looking for an unconventional approach to visit magnificent landscapes and meeting various cultures. If you want to experience the excitement of the unknown, the Annapurna area trip is a must.
How hard is Annapurna?
While the Annapurna is one of the most challenging mountains to climb, the Circuit has a reasonable difficulty rating. The expedition's target audience includes both experienced trekkers and newcomers, however, the latter must be physically fit for the lengthy and arduous hikes, as well as prepared for additional challenges. Altitude sickness (AMS), which is extremely prevalent in high mountains, is one of them. It happens when your body is unable to cope with sudden changes in elevation when your oxygen level drops. Above 2,500 meters, the initial symptoms of AMS, such as headache, dizziness, and vomiting, frequently develop.
Remember that the highest point of the typical Annapurna Circuit Trek is 5,416 meters (Thorung La Pas), whereas the Annapurna Sanctuary is above 4,000 meters. As you can see, the danger of altitude sickness is fairly considerable during the excursion. To avoid this difficulty, the group progressively climbs height by roughly 300 meters every day. The anticlockwise orientation of the walk is significant for adequate acclimatization, which takes nearly two weeks rather than two days as in the "normal" direction.
When it comes to hiking mileage, the Annapurna Circuit is likewise on the moderate side, ranging from 160 to 230 kilometers. The length of the path is determined by the beginning and finishing places, and it normally takes 14-20 days to complete. You can select from longer or shorter packages that vary in mileage traveled every day. As you can see, Asian Trekking may tailor the length and features of the trip to the customer's requirements. Beginners should choose the first option, which includes more rest breaks and more time for acclimatization, resulting in less difficulty.
Even if you have no prior experience with similar journeys, prepare to walk for 5-7 hours every day on uneven terrain with several stairways, boulders, and steep slopes. Improve your stamina by undertaking some aerobic exercise and long-distance walking at least one or two months before the adventure.
The ABC trip brings hikers to Mt. Annapurna's base camp, whereas the Annapurna Circuit Trek takes trekkers to numerous towns in Nepal's Lamjung, Manang, and Mustang districts, including the world-famous Thorong La Pass. Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek and Mardi Himal Trek are two well-known short hiking routes in this area. Aside from these trekking routes, other off-the-beaten-path alternatives are also popular.
Pokhara, Nepal's most famous tourist destination, serves as a gear in the wheel of Annapurna area trekking in Nepal. This region contains several model villages, including Ghalegaun, Ghandruk, Jhinu, Landruk, and Dhampus. As a result, there are several sights for trekkers to enjoy, ranging from woods, waterfalls, lakes, mountains, meadows, and multiethnic settlements.
According to many hikers, the Annapurna Circuit is a hard but not extremely difficult walk. Many factors influence the route's difficulty, including time, weather, altitude sickness, and the physical state of the trekkers. This walk-around Annapurna will be an exciting adventure for people who are used to hiking in the lower ranges. There will always be little difficulties such as overcrowded teahouses, blisters, and bad weather, but these tiny setbacks only serve to make the journey more exciting and unforgettable. If you are not convinced by the traditional Circuit, you may always take one of the other routes - Annapurna Base Camp or Annapurna Sanctuary – which are less difficult due to the lower height of roughly 1500 meters.
If you are still undecided about which journey to do, we are pleased to assist you.
How to prepare for the first trekking?
An excursion like Annapurna hiking in Nepal necessitates proper planning. This section of the article will give you important information on the procedures you should take ahead to your first Himalaya adventure, as well as items to consider. Let's take a deeper look at the packing and physical preparation for this task. It was critical to set aside some time to prepare for the adventure of a lifetime. Those days spent on the walk, in mountain communities with friendly and welcoming people, will leave wonderful memories for many years to come. Who hasn't fantasized about seeing the Himalayas? As enticing as it may seem, you should be aware that an all-inclusive trip to Annapurna will not be filled with the same warm and bright weather every day. Consider that you must educate yourself on the subject of high mountain hiking before booking a flight, especially if you are a beginner.
For those who have already walked the Nepali trails and want to learn something new, as well as for those who are just starting out, here is some helpful preparatory advice.