Finally accessing the mentioned conditions and planning your trek can decrease the difficulty of the hike drastically leaving you only with memories you will never forget. You can look forward to being among the enormous snow-cloud mountains at the Annapurna Base Camp. Enjoy the magnificent panoramic view of Mount Annapurna with all its glory and the glistening peaks surrounding it.
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Nepal, also known as the home of mountains has more than 1310 peaks above 6000m, comprising the world's eighth highest among ten. It supports astounding terrain rising from as low as 59 meters to the world’s highest peak Mt. Everest, 8,848 meters above sea level offering suitable habitations from tropical to alpine vegetation. Annapurna is a massif in the Himalayas in north-central Nepal. It includes one peak over 8,000 metres (26,000 ft), thirteen peaks over 7,000 metres (23,000 ft), and sixteen more over 6,000 metres (20,000 ft). The massif is named after Annapurna, the Hindu goddess of food, nourishment and of harvest.
Mt. Annapurna (8091m) of Nepal is the 10th highest mountain in the world and the journey to its base camp, which is at 4130m in height, is one of the most popular trekking destinations on earth. Protected by ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project), sustainable tourism is practised in this region. The conservation area covers Manang, Mustang, Kaski, Myagdi, and Lamjung Districts. Annapurna Conservation Area encompasses Annapurna Sanctuary and is known for several trekking routes including Annapurna Circuit. This region offers varied landscapes and cultures of people. Cultural diversity and natural diversity are equally distributed in this area. The southern part of this region is dominated by Gurung and Magars whereas the northern part is by Thakali, manangi, and Lobas. Covering an area of 7,629 sq. km., 100,000 residents of different cultural and linguistic groups dwells in this region. The deciduous and deep forests of fir, pines, and birch are home to more than 100 species of mammals, 402 species of wild birds, and 35 species of reptilians. Rare wildlife species such as snow leopards, blue sheep, Himalayan black bears, and Himalayan Thar also are spread across the conservation area. Pisang, Manang, and Humde to the north of the Annapurna massif are a few of the famed specimens of Tibetan Buddhist settlements. Ghandruk, Ghorepani, Tadapani, and Mohare Danda are a few examples. These settlements comprise Hindu and Buddhist followers and are acclaimed for offering charming hospitality to travellers.
Another major attraction of the Annapurna region is the Upper Mustang. Also known as the Forbidden Kingdom, Upper Mustang allows you to know about the Tibetan-Buddhist heritage and history of the region. Monasteries in Thinggar, Namgyal, Niphu, and Garphu along with the mysterious sky caves add more mystery and allure to Upper Mustang. Annapurna region also hosts Tilicho Lake which is considered the highest-altitude freshwater lake in the world. Annapurna Circuit Trek, Ghorepani Poonhill Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, and Upper Mustang Trek are a few of the famous treks in this region. From the world's deepest gorge, Kaligandaki Gorge to the largest rhododendron forest to the world’s highest altitude glacial Tilicho Lake, this region has it all.
Reasons to Trek to Annapurna Region
1) Exotic Flora and Fauna:-
Annapurna Region has varied floras and faunas. Every step you take on your journey awaits a surprise. Annapurna Conservation Area is rich in biological diversity. About 1226 species of flowering plants including 40 orchids and 9 species of rhododendron – the national flower, also 101 mammals, 474 birds, 41 reptiles and 23 amphibians are found in this region. The southern region of Annapurna Conservation Area has abundant rhododendron forest while the northern part comprises alpine pastureland, vegetation is diverse. It harbours rare and endangered wildlife species such as the snow leopard, musk deer, Tibetan argali, Impeyan Pheasant and Tragopan Pheasant. If get lucky, you might spot a few of these.
2) Hot springs
Another reason to trek to the Annapurna Region is the natural hot spring of Jhinu Danda. It is located on the bench of the Modi Khola. The pool is Surrounded by green trees, relax in the healing hot water and enjoy the glorious sight of the river. It is believed that taking a dip in a hot spring will cure your skin diseases and reduce stress because of the minerals present there.
3) Exploring culturally rich villages:
From the south to the north of the Annapurna region, people belonging to different ethnic groups have settled. From Gurung, and Magar to Thakali and Lobas, every settlement offers warm hospitality. Exploring the diverse culture of the Himalayas is an amazing experience one can ever get in one's life. It genuinely changes the way you see your life for the rest of your life. So, the spiritual and pious sentiment is acquired in a variety of forms which is one of the major motives to trek in the Annapurna Region. You can learn about the local living style, culture, tradition, food and dresses along with helping the local economy to grow.
4) Easy Accessible:
Trekking trails befalling under the Annapurna region is the most beloved region amongst the trekkers. Trekking to this region is easily accessible from Pokhara, which is just a seven-hour drive or half an hour away from Kathmandu Valley.
5) Mesmerizing Mountain View throughout the trek:
The most interesting part of the Annapurna Region trek is the ever-changing scenery. You'll be left smitten by the gigantic white mountains which never leave your eyesight. Himchuli, Annapurna South, Barahi Shikhar, Annapurna I, Glacier Dom, Gangapurna, Annapurna III and Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, Tarke Kang, Khangsha Kang can be seen from almost every region of Annapurna.
6 ) Moderate and suitable for any age group:
There are various treks to be done in this region. Every trekking route is suitable for any age group. From gentle trekking in the Annapurna Foothills, the trek into Annapurna Sanctuary, the classic Annapurna Circuit, the royal trek, and the mini Annapurna Circuit, the Annapurna offer a wide range of treks of varying lengths, altitudes and grades. So, no prior experience of trekking is required to accomplish trekking in the Annapurna region.
7) The highest lake and deepest gorge
The Annapurna Region has some extraordinary natural features including freshwater lake at the highest altitude and the deepest gorge in Nepal. Tilicho Lake, at nearly 5,000m, is a stunning turquoise glacial body of water that makes for an exceptionally attractive and remote campsite and can be reached on the Nar-Phu & Annapurna circuit trek. The Kali Gandaki Gorge is not only the deepest in Nepal but one of the deepest on Earth. The descent into the Kali Gandaki is one of the places of interest of the Annapurna Circuit and is reached via crossing the famed Thorong La pass.
8) Walkthrough of beaten tracks
Annapurna region not only offers you stone-paved paths but also has off-beaten tracks. You can trek to Nar Phu Valley, Khopra Ridge trek, and Annapurna Circuit is off the beaten tracks. The beauty of these trails is untouched and pure. This challenging trek takes you to the Tibetan border at the very edge of the Annapurna Conservation Area. It combines crossing two high passes and time at dazzling Tilicho Lake with a journeying of infamous valleys and isolated communities set amidst stunning scenery and breathtaking landscapes.
9) Apple orchard
Trekking in the Annapurna Region in the autumn gives you a feeling of being in paradise. You will be very near to orchards full of trees heavily loaded with marvellously sweet apples – especially in Marpha the pretty apple capital of Nepal. Marpha’s apple pies have become world famous and their apple brandy too.
10) Tea houses and luxury lodges
The tea house is used mostly for accommodation in the Annapurna Region. Basic facilities include a twin bed, communal dining, and a hot shower in a few places whereas, traditional teahouses include a comfortable bed, healthy food and warm hospitality. For those looking to trek in more comfort, there are now several luxury trekking lodges in the foothills of the Annapurna.
Popular trails in The Annapurna Region
1) Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most beautiful trekking packages in Nepal with loads of fun and adventure. This trek offers you beautiful views of snow-capped mountains. The trek also puts together the exploration of many villages on the way along with their unique culture. It is a shorter and easier trek in comparison to other high-altitude treks.
2) Ghorepani Poonhill Trek
Ghorepani Poonhill Trek is the most popular short trek to the Himalayas. In contrast to other short treks, the Ghorepani Poonhill Trek is truly unmatchable for the epic scenes it beholds. Similarly, the blend of Gurung culture also offers refreshing moments. The scenery on this trek is simply breathtaking. Poonhill is the view tower at 3210m which offers a stunning view of the Himalayan panorama at sunrise with Annapurna I (8,091m), Annapurna South (7,219m), Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Lamjung Himal (6,983m), and Machhapuchhre (6,997m).
3) Mardi Himal Trek
Mardi Himal Trek is one of the most popular off-beaten trekking routes in the shadows of the Annapurna Himalayas. This trek is perfect for travellers looking for isolated trekking trails. The trail goes from one base camp to the other in a gradual manner while exploring the Annapurna Conservation Area. A diverse set of vegetation covers the entire trekking trails. These forests also shelter several wildlife species. The landscape changes quite abruptly into a rugged high mountain landscape, with amazing views of Mardi Himal, Machapuchre, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli.
4) Annapurna Sanctuary with Tilicho Lake
The Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Trek encircles the Annapurna range. The trek combines many notable destinations in central Nepal. The trek is also a way to learn about the ancient culture and norms of the settlements on the trail. This route consists of the Highest pass Throng La, the Highest altitude lake Tilicho, the most preserved conservation area Annapurna, the sacred temple Muktinath, the windiest place Jomsom and many other attractions.
5) Ghalegaun Homestay Trek
Ghalegaon Homestay Trek is a 7-day trek to a scenic village in Lamjung. The Ghalegaon is situated 12.5km to the northeast of Pokhara. It is an easy trek to learn about the Gurung ethnic group and their culture. Trekkers can also enjoy the scenery of the Annapurna range on the horizon. Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of the touristy village.
6) Panchase Trek
Panchase Trek is one of the best and most unique short trekking routes in the Annapurna Region. The name refers to the five seats of the mother in which a person experiences five levels of existence including thinking, feeling, sensing, and manifesting from above and below. From the Panchase viewpoint, you will see the giant Himalayan peaks of Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Lamjung, Gangapurna, and Manaslu. The forests in the Panchase area are very diverse, and much of it is classified as a protected forest consisting of a large number of orchid species at over 100 and rhododendron forests.
7) Jomsom Muktinath Trek
Jomsom Muktinath Trek takes you to the foothills of the Annapurna Mountain Range and offers a wide range of scenic views, landscapes, and delightful cultural experiences. Along the route, trekkers get to enjoy the lush pine and rhododendron forest, pilgrimage sites and local culture of Gurung, Thakali, and Tibetan villages. This trek offers a sunrise view from Poon Hill over Annapurna Range and a chance to visit the Muktinath Temple.