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Annapurna Circuit

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The Annapurna circuit has long been exalted as a trekking route that commands great respect owing to all the amazing experiences that one recieves when embarking upon it. This trip provides a glimpse of the beautiful Annapurna range and a walk will linger on in your memory for a long time. We begin from Kathmandu and move to Besishahar. From there its Ngadi. This trek takes you to some of the most enchanting villages of Nepal from where the mountain peaks are visible in full splendor. Across some of the most enchanting forests and little hamlets lost in time you will find your spirits rejuvenated all along this trek. We will also be moving to Pokhara a beautiful lake side city and later end our trip at Kathmandu.


Day 01, Kathmandu
As you arrive at Kathmandu, our representative shall pick you up and transfer you to your hotel. A briefing shall be given to you by your tour leader. Halt overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 02, Kathmandu
Today we will begin with a half-day sightseeing tour of the Pashupatinath Temple which is considered the holiest temple for the Nepalese and is situated at the banks of the Bagmati River, one of the tributaries of the Holy Ganges. You will also visit the Bouddha Nath and Swayambhunath Stupas, revered by both the Buddhists and the Hindus equally. The sightseeing will continue till the evening. Halt overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu

Day 03, Besishahar
Today, we shall make a 6 hour drive toward to Besishahar. The road will take us around the deep gorge of the Trishuli River. As we keep moving west, we move past Munglin, the place where the Trishuli and the Marshyangdi Rivers meet. We pass over a suspension bridge and begin to follow the Marshyangdi River, which will accompany us all the way to Thorong Phedi.
On this section of the road you will get your first sight of the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges. After Thorong Phedi, you turn north and the Annapurna Massif looms as you approach Besishahar. Halt overnight at a lodge at Besishahar.

Day 04, Ngadi
Our trek starts here. From Besishahar we will chase the west bank of the Marshyangdi River up to the village of Khuldi. We get across a branch of the major river and move on to Bhulbule, where we will halt for lunch. There are outstanding views from Bhulbule as you can see the incredible peak of Himalchuli (7893m). We will then cross over Marshyangdi by a wide suspension bridge. The bridge serves as an important artery between both sides of the village. You keep walking past terraced rice fields and here the path is mostly level. About 30 minutes past Bhulbhule you begin a gentle ascent up to the village of Ngadi. This trek will take us about 5 hours. 

Day 05, Jargat
Today we will walk up the road from where you will see the main village, which is located on a small outcrop on the banks of the Marshyangdi. We can stop here for a cup of tea in one of numerous friendly lodges around this place. Soon after we will cross another wide suspension bridge over the Ngadi Khola, where the track begins to ascend and moves away from the Marshyangdi and takes us through a dense forest. For the final hour the climb is steep beside the cultivated fields into Bahundanda.

From Bahundanda you will start climbing down through a succession of stone steps. Much laterr the path levels off. From here you will be able to see small villages of Sildhunga and Tadhring clinging to the hillside on the opposite side of the valley. You cross a small log bridge and climb up passing a disused water-powered grinding mill. After passing through the village of Lili Bhir you continue contouring around the valley side. You come to a small chorten which marks the boundary of Khani Gaon and there is another chorten at the end of the village. You will soon pass through another village called Ghermuphant. This means “flat place” due to the wide flat expanse on which the village sits. On the opposite side of the valley there is a magnificent waterfall which extends the whole height of the valley side. You now descend to the valley floor to cross a steel suspension bridge across the Marshyangdi at Syange. As you trek up the valley you will notice the sides narrowing and increasing in height. You will pass many donkey trains along the way. From here it is a steep climb up to the village of Jargat (1341).
This trek will take us about 6 hours.  

Day 06, Dharapani
In the morning we will be moving through rhododendron forests and you will notice that the valley get narrower and much steeper that it was before. Initially the path meanders but as you keep walking the trail evens out and you will cross through an archway. This is actually the gateway to Tal and the district of Manang. The trail then leads to the right of this expanse beneath a mighty rock wall on your right. The people of the Manang region are Tibetan in origin and you will see increasing evidence of this Tibetan influence as you continue your trek up to Thorong Phedi. The architecture changes and you will see more Buddhist chortens and Gompas. The trail from Tal is level for a while, giving a welcome relief for you legs! The Marshyangdi is wide and calm at this point. After an hour you cross a bridge back to the western side of the gorge. Back on the eastern bank you will see the old trail which was used until recently. However due to landslides it is no longer safe. You continue to climb to reach the village of Dharapani (1890 mt), which has numerous hotels and a police check post. This trek will take us about 6½ hours.   

Day 07, Chame
After walking towards the western side of the valley and cross some amazing forests of fir and pine we will reach Bagarchap (2160m), the first village on the trek with typical Tibetan architecture. Here we may observe firewood stacked on the roofs in preparation for the long, hard winters. The village marks the transition between the lower, wet valleys and the higher, dry, arid area of the Manang valley. From here there are excellent views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II (7937m), and Annapurna III (7555m) up the valley. Down valley to the east, Manaslu and Peak 29 soar magnificently to the skies. Leaving Bagarchap, we cross a small wooden bridge beside a beautiful waterfall, and ascend to Laatamarang (2360m) where we may wish to rest over a cold drink. The trail then continues past the police check post at Koto, a short distance from Chame (2685m), which boasts among other things, a wireless station, bank, health post and well-run hotels.   

Day 08, Pisang
Today will be a shorter walk but the scenery is so wonderful that you will want to take your time. Leaving Chame you pass a few Mani walls, one overshadowed by a huge wall of rock to your right. You pass though a small hamlet marked by chortens at each end. The trail here is even and for a while is bordered by an attractive dry stone wall. Soon you will arrive at a water-turned prayer wheel. You pass through the village of Bhratang and continue up until you begin a 45-minute climb though forest, leveling off and then reaching a suspension bridge. Crossing the bridge there is a moderate climb in forest and you begin to move away from the Marshyangdi. The valley begins to broaden out and Pisang Peak (6091mt) will be directly in front of you. The woodland here is made up of juniper, pine and fir. You pass a couple of small lakes where wading birds can sometimes be seen. Pisang is divided into upper and lower villages. You cross a small wooden bridge to arrive at Lower Pisang. It is well worth while crossing the Marshyangdi River and climbing up to the upper village, which is more traditional and has an ornately decorated Gompa overlooking both villages. This trek will take us about 5 hours.    

Day 09, Manang
You cross the river out of Pisang village and then take a reasonably level path through scrub land, passing a small picturesque lake on your right. You then pass a long Mani wall and descend to cross a stream and begin a strenuous climb on zigzags up to the village of Ghyaru (3,673mt. The views from here of Annapurna II and Annapurna IV are totally stunning. From Ghyaru you continue up the valley on a wonderful high level trail, passing the ruins of a castle set on a promontory, with views both ways up and down the valley. You then arrive at the village of Ngawal (11,975ft/3,650m) where there is a large newly built Gompa up to the right. You leave the village from near a long Mani wall. Finally you descend back to the valley floor and rejoin the main trail to continue to Braga and Manang (3,500mt).

Day 10, Manang - Khangsar Gompa (3,920m)
We will take a rest for acclimatization. Those who wish to visit the Khangsar Gompa can make an optional hike there.

Day 11, Leder
It is a short trek from here to Leder. We will however be slower due to the altitude. Soon we will reach a small village called Tanki Manang and much later towards Yak Kharka. Leaving Yak Kharka you will pass through the small collection of lodges known as Ledar (4,200m). 

Day 12, Thorong Phedi
From Throng Phedi we will take a high route, which winds its way around the eastern side of the Thorong valley, before dropping down to the valley floor. Crossing the river there is a short but sharp climb to Thorong Phedi (4,500m). Phedi means “foot of the hill”.

Day 13, Muktinath
We will start early in the morning and ascend steeply for 1½ hours to a rock ledge and notch at 4,679mt, then continue up along an ascending and undulating trail. This ascent will seem endless and be warned – there are several false summits, but there are great views back down the valley as you go. Finally, after anything from 3 to 5 hours, you arrive at the top of the Thorong La (5,414mt) with its large cairn and many prayer flags. You will have spectacular views of the Annapurna Range to the south and the Mukut Himal bordering Dolpo to the west. The peak immediately south of the pass is Thorong Peak – this is a ‘trekker's peak’ and you may see people climbing here. You will probably not want to linger too long at the pass as it can be very cold and you will probably be feeling the effects of altitude. The descent to Muktinath is very steep and takes some 3 to 4 hours. This is where you might appreciate having walking poles to take the strain off the knees! During the descent there are splendid views of Dhaulagiri (8,175mt) and Tukuche Peak (6,920mt) and all the way down into the valley of the Kali Gandaki below. Finally you see the buildings of Muktinath (3,700mt) coming in to view. You bypass the enclosure round the famous temples and descend to the main village, which is actually called Ranipawa and not Muktinath, a name which technically refers just to the temple.

Day 14, Marpha (2,700m)
Continue walking down from Muktinath. You pass by the village of Jharkot with its crumbling but still impressive fortress and continue down past the village of Khingar. We will then come to a trail junction. Take the right one and descend steeply to the village of Kagbeni, which is a fascinating oasis in this arid landscape. It is the most northerly village of Mustang that you can visit without a permit and it is worth walking through its narrow streets of ancient houses, through to the end of town, to see the Thak Khola valley stretching away to the north. You walk over a dry section of the riverbed to reach the small settlement of Eklaibhatti. As you walk down the valley look out for ammonite fossils among the pebbles. These are sacred to the Hindus. The Kali Gandaki is here called the Thak Khola and the ethnic group of the area is the Thakalis an enterprising and ambitious community who formerly dominated the salt trade with Tibet as it passed down this valley. After its collapse in the 1950s they diversified into other businesses, most noticeably running hotels along the trek route. Their former wealth is reflected in their fine villages, the principal ones that you visit being Marpha and Tukuche. You continue into Marpha, a lovely village of paved streets and well maintained, white washed houses surrounded by productive fields and orchards.  

Day 15, Kalopani (2,500m)
We will have to pass the government vegetable and horticultural farm below Marpha, you continue down the Kali Gandaki on an undulating trail through forests of juniper and pine, reaching the former Thakali trading centre of Tukuche with its large, richly-carved homes, now largely deserted or converted into trekking lodges. Continue down the Kali Gandaki valley and go through the narrow streets of the villages of Karjung and Larjung. From Larjung there are great views of Dhaulagiri. Beyond Larjung you cross more gravel banks and continuing down alongside the river to the twin villages of Kalopani and Lete. 

Day 16 Tatopani
Today we will head down towards the banks of the Kali Gandaki River. We will have to follow the Annapurna circuit route, which is along the Kali Gandaki River. A little later you will reach Ghasa. The trail now moves high above the Kali Gandaki River and passes through many narrow gorges, regarded as the deepest and steepest in the world takes us to Tatopani which literally means "hot spring". If it is the autumn season there maybe plenty of oranges to be found in and around Tatopani. This will take us about 7 hours.  

Day 17, Ghorepani
We will continue downhill beside the river and cross upon a long suspension bridge to the east bank. At a cluster of houses the trail divides: one branch continues downstream to emerge at the road head at Beni but your path takes off steeply uphill, making an altitude gain of about 12,200mt to reach the small settlement of Chitre. From here we will continue walking uphill and in a while reach Ghorepani situated at a height of about 2,850 mt. This trek will take us about 6 hours.   

Day 18, Ghandruk (2,100m)
We will climb up to Poon Hill situated at a height of about 3,190m early in the morning. If conditions are clear in the morning Poon Hill offers a magnificent panoramic view of the mountains, this afternoon. To the east across the Kali Gandaki is towering Dhaulagiri, while Annapurna South and Hinchuli are directly in front of you, with Machhapuchhare and others looking less distinguished a little further to the East. Far to the east the rolling hills diminish in size and you can see the serpentine Chinese road snaking its way through the hills and where the road ends at the Phewa Tal (Lake), Pokhara can be seen. We will then be moving towards Ghandruk which is a small village inhabited by the Gurung community.    

Day 19, Dhampus (1,600m)
Today we will be moving towards the village of Dhampus. The trail has a lot of ups and downs. We will have to first reach the village of Tolka where we will be stopping for lunch. From here the trail moves through exquisitely beautiful rhododendron forests and soon we will reach the village of Dhampus which is located on a ridge at a height of about 1,600 mt.

Day 20, Pokhara
We will have to make a short trek in the morning to reach our pick up vehicle at Phedi. We will then be driving towards Pokhara. Pokhara is a beautiful town in western Nepal and has been constantly attracting tourists. The landscape all along the path is a continually varying delight for the eye and your heart as there are wonderful rock canyons and rivers, undulating hills, terraced rice paddy fields and striking views of the Himalayas at its backdrop. The places in and around Pokhara is the most admired destination in Nepal apart from Kathmandu. It’s a beautiful region with beauty in its most natural form and serves as the base for some of the most popular treks in Nepal and world. There is the unbelievable Annapurna range that comprises of the famous Annapurna I to IV plus Annapurna South, and the magnificent Machhapuchhare popularly known as the ‘fishtail’ mountain

Day 21, Kathmandu
Today we will take a flight back to Kathmandu.

Day 22, Kathmandu
Tour ends.