Description

The Annapurna Region in central Nepal is the most geographically and culturally diverse region for trekking. The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) has declared this region as area of conservation and sustainable development. Stretched over 2,600 sq. km., the area boasts of a variety of diverse cultures, tribes and castes as the Brahmins, Chettris, Newars, Gurungs, Magars, Thakalis, Manangis and the Tibetans.

This area has sub-tropical lowlands, valleys, bamboo, oak and rhododendron forests, alpine meadows, windswept desert plateaus and the towering Annapurna Mountains. This area has the world’s deepest river gorge, Kali Ghandaki, lying some 6900 meters /22,563 ft, below some of the world’s largest and most beautiful mountains as the Annapurna I (world’s 8th highest) and the most beautiful Fishtail Peak. Animals and birds are in abundance in this region. 440 species of birds and animals like the marten, deer, langur and the elusive snow leopard live in this area.

Nepal is occupying only 0.1 % of the earth and is home to:

  • 2 % of all the flowering plants in the world.
  • 8 % of the world’s population of birds (more than 848 species).
  • 4 % of mammals on earth.
  • 11 of the world’s 15 families of butterflies (more than 500 species).
  • 600 indigenous plant families.
  • 319 species of exotic orchids.
Itenerary

DAY 01: ARRIVAL AT KATHMANDU AIRPORT 

If time permits, half day sightseeing of Swayambhunath.

DAY 02: FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING AT KATHMANDU

Visit Bhaktapur, Boudhanath and Pashupatinath. Lunch at Bhaktapur.

DAY 03: DRIVE TO BHULBHULE VIA BESISAHAR (820 M)

After breakfast board the waiting vehicle and drive to Bhulbhule which take approximately 7 to 7 ½ hrs first along the Prithivi National Highway and then on a newly constructed road. We will be stopping at a convenient place for lunch en route. After lunch continue drive to a small town of Dumre, which lies on the Highway. From here take the right hand side and continue on the road till you finally arrive at Besishahar. Besishahar (823 m) is the main town of Lamjung district. Until recently this market town of 2000 inhabitants was called Besigaon. However since the opening of the road to Manang, in the late seventies, the village became a compulsory stop over for those who go trekking around the Annapurna and was renamed Besishahar. Which was the original trekking trail head, but due to recent development in the infrastructure the road now reaches all the way to Manang. However those who opt for a good hike then Bhulbhule a small bustling village is an alternative way to avoid the motor able road.

There are several administrative offices here, as well as post-offices and a police check-post. TIMS card will be checked for the first time at Besishahar before we drive further. After the formal documentation, we drive for about an hour to reach Bhulbhule on a dusty undulating road passing through several villages.

On arrival at Bhulbhule your trekking permit will be checked at the ACAP office. After completing the formalities, we take the right side of the trail cross the Marshyangdi River on a suspension bridge for the first time, across the bridge there are number of hotels and lodges. We check into one of the lodges for the night.

Dinner and overnight at the Lodge

(Drive Duration: 7 -7½ hrs approximately)

DAY 04:TREK BHULBHULE TO JAGAT (1340 M)

The trek begins with a pleasant morning walk through the lush green valley and the fields of wheat, barley, maze and potato’s, moving north up for an hour will bring us to a village of Nagdi at 890 meters. This is a small picturesque village with a number of lodges on both side of the trail past the main village and continues on, cross the stream on a log bridge there are some more lodges at the northern end of the village continue on the trail for some time to arrive at the suspension bridge crossing the NagdiKhola.

At this point, the track on the right leads to the village of Utsa. We take the left side and continue on the main trail, the trail seems to end in the middle of a forest as recently the construction of road is on process, but then from here take the right side and climb to a solitary house. From here the trail is gradual though there are few climbs in between but then most of the walk is on gradual path and through beautiful lush green terraced farm lands and villages. The trail slowly begins to ascend on approach to Bahundanda and becomes steeper as we approach our lunch destination and it takes about an hour and a half from the solitary house to reach Bahundanda, a village sitting on the headline at a height of 1314 meters. Bahundanda means “Brahman’s hill” which explains the origin of the people. We stop here for lunch and to enjoy the view of Mount Phungi (6379m), towards the North.

After lunch, take the left side and then descend a steep slope for about thirty minutes until we reach a stream cross over on a steel bridge to reach the village of Besi, though you will be ascending but you won’t feel it as the trail is gradual but then exposed to a vertical cliff passing through several villages and the terraced farm lands in about an hour and a half we arrive at a small village of GhermuPhant, from here we again descend towards Syange, cross the Marshyangdi River on a suspension bridge. From here turn right and continue on the trail past the village of Shree Chaur the trail from here slowly begins to ascend and becomes severe as we continue, this section is exposed due to landslide and the recent construction of the road to Manang. To reach the top it take about forty five minutes, from here the trail becomes wider and safe and it takes another forty five minutes to reach Jagat a village along the ridge of the mountain, at a height of 1340m.

Dinner and overnight at the Lodge

(Trek Duration: 6 – 6 ½ hrs)

DAY 05: TREK FROM JAGAT TO DHARAPANI (1943 M)

From here on wards we will have to use the combination of both the motor able and trekking trail. The trek begins with a gradual walk through the village the trail undulates and will take roughly about thirty five minutes to reach the main village of Chamje (1433m). At Chamje we leave the main motor able road and take the right hand trekking trail and descend to the Marshyangdi River cross over on a suspension bridge take the left side trail and begin ascending on trail which is a combination of both stone stairsand undulating trail for about an hour to reach next village, Sathtalle (‘top of the hill’, in Nepali) from Chamje. Again the trail becomes gradual but with short up and down climbs in between all the way up to Tal Phedi. It is a good place for a tea break, as it takes another forty five minutes steep climb to reach Tal, the gateway to Manang. The village of Tal is set in the middle of the broad Marshyangdi valley at an elevation of 1600 meters. Tal means “lake “in Nepali. We have our lunch since this is the idle place to have lunch.

After lunch we start walking towards north along the river bank side for sometime, and climb to a 60 meter long suspension bridge cross the Marshyangdi River, take the right side where we meet the main motor able road again. Before the construction of this new motor able road the trail were exposed to a vertical cliff, but now the trails are much wider and safer to walk, continue on the road and walk past small bhattis and isolated villages for about an hour through the undulating trail, There are few bridges we have to cross on an approach to Dharapani. Dharapani at an elevation of 1943 meters is a small village, which means ‘stream water’.

Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge

(Trek Duration: 5 ½ – 6 hrs)

DAY 06: TREK FROM DHARAPANI TO CHAME (2713 M)

The trek begins with a pleasant morning walk on a gradual trail. After walking for about ten minutes there is a police check post and ACAP office where we do the usual formalities of trekking permits to register your presence. From here it takes forty five minutes to reach the village of Bagarchap (2164m) which literally means ‘the river bank’. Bagarchap marks the barrier between the humid valleys of the south, which we have crossed on the way, and dry regions of the high- Marshyangdi. The monsoon is more or less absent in this region is evident by the change in vegetation.

From Bagarchap, it will take another forty five minutes to the hamlet of Danaque 2300 meters, from here begins ascend from the far end of the village through a beautiful pine and rhododendron forest. It take an hour to reach the village of Timang, views of the Annapurna range of mountains are breathtaking from this village. The trail also becomes gradual at the top of the village, all the way up to our lunch camp at Thanchowk, which take an hour and a half walk through this pristine pine forest, with the back drop of Mt. Manaslu where we stop to have our lunch.

After lunch it takes us about an hour to reach Kodo (and also called Koto) meaning ‘Millet’ and then to the village of Kyupar (2600m). Outside the village a police check post controls the access to the Nar PhuKhola Valley which leads to Tibet. We have to show our trekking permits here again before proceeding to Chame (2713m), the District Headquarters of Manang District, which is another thirty minutes of easy walk to Chame.

Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge

(Trek Duration: 5 ½ – 6 hrs)

DAY 07:TREK FROM CHAME TO PISANG (3200 M)

The trek begins through the village and mane walls of Chame, though the trail is gradual but there are few short climbs in between through a picturesque landscape. It takes two hours to reach the first village Bhartang after Chame. We walk along the river and through the pine forest to reach the village of Bhartang 2919meters, mainly populated by Tibetans. The trail is fairly easy and the views of the surrounding mountain are stunning.

The most interesting natural sight is the “Great Oble Dome”, which sits magnificently in the eastern sky. We continue on the trail cross a steel bridge, and then climb through the pine and rhododendron forest, there is a small tea shop in the middle of the forest, and one can have a tea break and take some photos as this is a good spot with the views. From here, it’s another hour and a half to reach the lunch point at Dhukurpokhari. Here we stop to have a hearty Lunch. On the way we pass through a splendid pine forest with splendid views of Lamjung and Annapurna II and IV.

After lunch it’s about an hour and a half walk again through the beautiful pine forest on a gradual trail to reach the village of Pisang. The valley open wide as we continue on the trail and the eastern sky is dominated by Mt. Pisang and further down the Great Oble Dome. Pisang is divided into two villages upper and lower section, upper Pisang is the main old village but then recently people are moving down to lower Pisang to do more business, as it lies on the main highway to Manang.

Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge

(Trek Duration: 5 ½ -6 hrs)

DAY 08: TREK FROM PISANG TO MANANG (3540 M)

The trek from Pisang to Manang is another beautiful day to discover. There are two main trekking trails from here to reach Manang. The upper section and the lower section, upon discussion with the group we can use either of the trails. This is fairly easy hiking day then compared to other trekking days and the vista of the surrounding mountains is simply breath taking. The trek start with a gradual walk first through the village and then pine forest though there are few short climbs in between but then most of the walk is fairly easy, it’s only the altitude that makes the trek interesting. The first village after Pisang is Humde, which is just two hours of easy walk. Humde is a small village in Manang district, the only place where travelers and domestic tourist fly in and out from Manang. After crossing the village there is a police check post where we have to register our presence, we continue on the trail for about an hour, cross the Marshyangdi River on a suspension bridge to reach our lunch point at Bharka.

While the lunch gets ready, we can take time to wander around Bharka to see this picturesque village with its flat roofed houses and to visit the Gompa, not only the largest in the region but also the richest with its fine collection of thankas (religious scroll paintings) and prayer books. After lunch, it takes only forty-five minutes to reach Manang from here, which sits on the plateau of 3530 meters.

Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge

(Trek Duration: 5 ½ – 6hrs)

DAY 09:REST AND ACCLIMATISATION DAY AT MANANG

Manang at an elevation of 3540 meters is the perfect place for rest and acclimatization before proceeding to higher altitudes. There are number of sidewalks in Manang, where it gives you immense pleasure to wonder around, rich in art and culture this place is worth exploring. We can go for a walk in the afternoon to the north of the village, which offers a panoramic view of Annapurna IV and II to the southeast and Gangapurna (7455m) and Tarke Kang or Ice dome (7202m) to the southwest.

Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge

(Trek Duration: 3 ½ to 4 hrs)

DAY 10: TREK FROM MANANG TO CHURI LETDAR (4220 M)

After leaving Manang, the path climbs steady till the hamlet of Tengi (3642m). From here it takes another hour of steady yet gentle climb to reach Gunsang (3850m). Once we reach Gunsang the trail becomes gradual and undulating all the way to Yak Kharka where we stop for the lunch.

After lunch, a gentle climb through the vast meadows for about forty five minutes will leads us to a suspension bridge, cross over the bridge and walk for about ten minutes to bring us to the destination for the night to spend at Churiletdar at an elevation of 4250 meters. This is a short day to help with the acclimatization.

Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge

(Trek Duration: 5 to 5 ½ hrs)

DAY 11: TREK FROM CHURI LETDAR TO HIGH CAMP (4833 M)

The trek begins with a breathtaking landscape of the high altitude alpine meadows and surrounding mountains, while the trail is still gradual; it takes an about 2 – 2 ½ hrs to reach Dewarli where we have to cross the river on a steel suspension bridge and climb for 30 minutes to reach Dewarli. Where there I tea shop but mostly closed during off season. From here it takes about an hour to reach Thorang Phedi. Thorang Phedi means ‘foot of the hill’ and it is situated at a height of 4450 m on a small hill overlooking a high plateau.

Stop for a much deserved rest and lunch before proceeding to High Camp. From here the climb is a little challenging all the way up to High Camp. It takes only an hour to reach High Camp, but the climb is steadily on steep screed.

These Himalayan pastures are domains of yak, a bovine of Tibetan origin, reared for its wool, milk and to transport goods. The Thar, a kind of wild goat that lives in herds, is also found here. This is also another short day to cut short the long walk the following day and also to prepare oneself for the hard climb to the Thorang La (pass) the next day.

Dinner andOvernight at the Lodge

(Trek Duration: 5 -5 ½ hrs approximately)

DAY 12:TREK HIGH CAMP TO MUKTINATH (3720 m)VIATHORONG LA (5416 M)

This is a big day for all the trekkers, as we will be crossing one of the highest pass in Nepal. Early morning wake up and after a quick breakfast start the ascent to the pass. There are black and white steel poles to mark the trail just in case if there is heavy snows fall, so that the trekker doesn’t miss the trail. We have to pass by many knolls on the way to reach the summit, Thorang-la, at 5,416 meters and it takes about 3 ½ -4 hrs to reach the pass. On the way up we get to see many prayer flags several cairns (small mounds of rock). From the top, one can see the panoramic view of Yakgawa Kang or Thorangse (6481m) to the north, and Khatung Kang (6484) to the south and the Annapurna along with the Gangapurna to the southeast. In the horizon to the west, Dhaulagiri (8169m) and Mount Tukuche (6920m) are also visible.

From the summit it’s a knee wobbling descent to Muktinath (3802m) and takes about 3 -3 ½ hours and the difference in altitude is of 1600m. Once we reach Muktinath we check into the lodge and can take a much deserved rest or a warm shower while your lunch gets ready. Rest of the day is at leisure.

Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge

(Trek Duration: 7 ½ – 8 hrs)

DAY 13:TREK FROM MUKTINATH TO JOMSOM (2720 M)

After breakfast, we get ready for the last day of the trek to Jomsom. Trek begins from the main village square and heads south. The trek begins with a pleasant walk through the town of Ranipawa and soon we take the trekking trail and descend to a village of Jarkot where we meet the main motor able road, from here we again take a trekking trail and meet the motor able road at the village of Kinga. From here onwards we trek on the main motor able road to arrive at a trail junction just above Eklebhatti. We take the left side trail and continue to descend till we arrive at Eklebhatti with a cluster of lodges. From here onwards we continue on the trail which traverses all the way till we finally arrive at the jeep stand at old Jomsom, from here it will take another 25 / 30 minutes to reach the new Jomsom. Upon arrival at Jomsom, we check in to the lodge for the night. Rest of the day is free to browse around.

Jomsom is more correctly known as Dzongsam or New Fort. It spreads over both the banks of the Kaligandaki. The towering peaks of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri form an attractive backdrop. Being the district headquarters, it is primarily an administrative and commercial center with government officials and merchants rubbing shoulders with the local inhabitants of the region, known as the Thakalis. Jomsom (2713 m) is the Administrative center of the Mustang region and the gateway to the Annapurna region. A land of mystique, the rugged peaks of the Annapurna, Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri gaze down in their awesome splendor at weathered landscapes that contrast with the deep river ravines over noisy riverbeds. Jomsom is a mixture of hard work, social frivolity tempered by culture founded on deep religious traditions. It has the only airport that operates daily scheduled flights to Pokhara in the early mornings before the winds build up.

Rest of the day at leisure .In the evening a farewell dinner will be organized for the group by the staff.

Dinner and Overnight at the lodge

(Trek Duration: 5 – 5 ½ hrs)

DAY 14:FLY JOMSOM TO POKHARA

After an early breakfast proceed to the airport for the flight towards Pokhara (approx. 30 minutes flight to Pokhara).

Upon arrival at the Pokhara airport board the waiting vehicle and transfer to the Hotel.

DAY 15:FLY BACK TO KATHMANDU

Half Day Sightseeing at Pokhara (Davis Fall and Gupteshwor Cave). In the evening, fly back to Kathmandu

DAY 16:FINAL DEPARTURE

Transfer to Tribhuwan International Airport tnght.

Trip Facts

Best Period:  Feb, Mar, April, May – Oct, Nov, Dec

Trek Period:11 Night / 12 Days

Flights: 01 Way. (Jomsom / Pokhara)

Trek Type: Strenuous

Highest Altitude: 5416 meters

Warning: Altitude Sickness.

Trek Start Point: Bhulbhule

Trek End Point: Jomsom

Features

National Park: Annapurna National Park (1148 sq. kms)

Mountains: Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna South, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tiloche etc.

Rivers: Marshyangdi and Kali Ghandaki.

Villages:  Jagat, Dharapani, Chame, Pisang, etc

Tribes: Brahmins, Chettris, Newars, Gurungs, Magars, Thakalis, Manangis, Lobas andthe Tibetans

Forests:  Of Rhododendron and Pine.

Landscapes:  Varying from temperate low land valleys to alpine grassland and snow clad mountains.