- Crossing the Thorung- La over 5416 meters
- Visiting oldest Buddhist monastery in Braga/ Manang
- The Pilgrimage town of Muktinath
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a very popular trek in Nepal. The trail passes through villages inhabited by diverse ethnic groups, and offers spectacular mountain scenery from the far northern Himalayas to the Tibetan Plateau. A highlight of the Annapurna Circuit Trek is the Thorung La pass at 5416 m. Throughout the trek, you’ll be walking in the shadows of Himalayan giants, marvelling at the absolutely magnificent scenery.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek passes through lowland Brahmin and Chhetri villages to the remote village of Manang and also descends via the Kali Gandaki Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. In addition to the normal trekking route, you will also trek over the Thorung La pass and add another layer of adventure to your trek.
The Annapurna Circuit trek offers an amazing panorama of snowy Mt. Manaslu (8187 m), Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Hiunchuli, Mt. Gangapurna, Mt. Nilgiri, Mt. Dhaulagiri, and many other Himalayan peaks. Another attraction of the Annapurna Circuit trek is the Tibetan village of Manang (3500 m) where you will be able to observe Buddhist monks worshipping at ancient monasteries in the area. Life in this region has remained almost unchanged throughout centuries.
A side trip from Manang, the trek also offers the icy Gangapurna Lake and the incredible natural paradise surrounding Gangapurna Glacier. The trail ascends from the Manang village over Thorung La Pass (5416 m), the highest point on the Annapurna Circuit Trek. From the pass, trekkers enjoy spectacular views of the Mustang peak, the snow-covered giant Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167 m), and the amazing lands of Upper Mustang, a restricted area. After crossing Thorung La Pass (5416 m) the trail descends to the Hindu Temple of Muktinath, a celebrated Hindu pilgrimage with 108 spring water taps and mysterious natural gas fires. The trail then descends along the edge of the Kali Gandaki valley to Jomsom, a major focal point for the Mustang District. From Jomsom, a 20 minute scenic flight takes you to another picturesque town, Pokhara, which offers many tourist sights.
People in reasonably good health can do the Annapurna Circuit trek comfortably. Trekkers slowly ascend the trail to allow for full acclimatization and optimum enjoyment of the Annapurna Circuit trek.
Day 01: Kathmandu to Beshisahar (823m) Bhulbhule (840 m)
Early morning drive from Kathmandu to Bhulbhule via Besisahar. It takes seven to eight hours to reach Bhulbhule by bus. Overnight at lodge in Bhulbhule.
Day 02: Bhulbhule to Chamje (1430m.) 7/8 hours
After breakfast at Bhulbhule, we begin our trek to Chamje. Lunch will be served half way to Chamje. we would trek along the steep and slippery trail running through paddy fields; trail ascends through the rhododendron forest to Chamje.
Day 03: Chamje to Bagarchhap (2160m).
The day begins with a rocky trail following the Marsyandi River progressively uphill to Tal at 1675m, the first village in the Manang district. The trail crosses an extensive, flat valley, then ascends a stone staircase to 1860m. The journey continues to Dharapani at 1890m where we find a stone entrance chorten typical of the Tibetan villages from here northwards. We then visit the Bagarchhap at 2160m where we can view the typical flat-roofed stone houses of local Tibetan design.
Day 04: Bagarchhap to Chame (2630m).
The often rough and rocky trail climbs to Timang at 2360m, then continues through forest near the river, to Kopar at 2590m. Approaching Chame, the headquarters of the Manang district, we are rewarded by the fine views of Annapurna and two small hot springs by the town.
Day 05: Chame to Pisang (3300m).
We begin our day trekking through a forested steep and narrow valley, then we cross a river on a long bridge at 2910m. We then cross another bridge at 3040m, where a view of the towering Paungda Danda rock face begins to appear. From there, the trail climbs to Pisang, 3200m.
Day 06: Pisang to Manang (3500m).
Today we continue through the upper part of the Manang district, which is cut off from the monsoon rains by the Annapurna Range. People of this region herd yaks and raise crops for part of the year. They also continue to enjoy special trading rights granted to them in 1784. Leaving Pisang, there are alternate trails north and south of the Marsyangdi River which meet up again at Mungji. The southern route by the Hongde airstrip at 3325m involves less climbing than the northern route via Ghyaru, though there are better views on the trail that follows the northern bank of the river. From Mungji, the trail continues past the picturesque but partially hidden village of Bryanga at 3475m to nearby Manang at 3500m.
Day 07: Manang Rest Acclimatization Day.
Today we spend a day acclimatizing in Manang. We spend the day sightseeing and viewing the wonderful sights around the village, hiking high and sleeping low as we return to our accommodation and enjoy a night's rest.
Day 08: Manang to Letdar (4250m).
Today we leave Manang and the trail begins the ascent of nearly 2000m to the Thorung La pass. We make the ascent progressively through Tengi, leaving the Marsyangi Valley. Continuing along the Jarsang Khola Valley, we reach Letdar at 4250m.
Day 09: Letdar to Phedi or High camp (4600m).
The trail descends to cross the river at 4310m, then ascends to Phedi at 4420m. At High Camp (elevation 4600m) some good guesthouses have been built. Your overnight stay will be there.
Day 10: Phedi or High Camp to Muktinath (3710m).
The journey from Phedi "foot of the hill" at the foot of the 5416m Thorung La pass, starts the day. We make the steep climb that is regularly used and easy to follow. However, a problem may occur due to the altitude and snow which can often make the crossing impossible if the pass is covered by snow. It takes about four hours to climb up to the pass marked by the chortens & prayer flags. As you reach the top, you are rewarded by the magnificent view from the top.
Day 11: Trek to Jomsom (2713m.).
Visit Muktinath temple early in the morning. There is second biggest Hindu temple as well as a Buddhist temple. Many Hindu pilgrims come to visit Muktinath temple. There are 108 water taps and two small pounds. The Hindu people believe that if you take bath 108 taps (108 is a sacred number in Tibetan Buddhism), cast in the shape of cows’ heads, which pour forth sacred water. You will be the free from the sin which you committed in your past life. A short walk past a collection of chortens is the Dhola mebar Gompa, or Jwalamai (goddess of fire) temple, where a holy flame of natural gas burns behind a grill just above the spring. After visit Muktinath Temple we come back to the lodge for breakfast then start trek to Jomsom via Jharkot village, Kagbeni, Ekle Bhatti which is the headquarters of Mustang district. It is one of the windiest valleys in Nepal. Every afternoon is guaranteed to be windy in the season.
Day 12: Fly back to Pokhara
Today, early in the morning, we will go to airport to fly Pokhara. I will take about 30 minutes to Pokhara. During the flight we may see many mountains as well as the trail down to Tatopani /Ghorepani.
Day 13: Drive back to Kathmandu
Drive back to Kathmandu by Bus - about 6-7 hours scenic drive. Transfer to your Hotel.