Overview

This trek offers fascinating landscape, Bhotia (Tibetan) Buddhist culture mixed with local tradition, high Himalayan pass, panoramic view of Annapurna range, and beautiful villages in Annapurna foothill. We travel by bus to Besishar and follow well-maintained trail through Marsyangdi river valley to Manang. Ascend the steep and often snowy trail that leads to 5335m Thorangla (pass), cross the pass and then descend to Muktinath. The descent continues to Jomsom. Travel to Tatopani (hotspring) and climb the steep trail to Ghorepani. Early morning next day climb Poon hill to see beautiful sunrise view over Dhaulagiri and Annapurna himalayan range. In the last part of the journey we make a gradual descend to Modi khola through thick rhododendron forest and Gurung villages. Instead of taking the trail down along Modi Khola we climb to Naudanda and then to Dhumpus.

Low mountain range and tropical vegetation gradually disappear as you reach higher elevation. As the trek circumnavigates the entire Annapurna massif you come across many villages of different ethnic groups, beautiful waterfall and, panoramic view of entire Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range. People living at higher elevation are Buddhist and at lower region there are Hindus. Major parts of the trail are easy walk except the section from Phedi (Manang) to Thorang pass is quite physically demanding.

Upper section of this trek has Tibet like country and people. The fascinating Kaligandaki gorge, high pass at Thorang La and beautiful villages at the foothill of Annapurna makes this trek one of the most popular and memorable holiday destination. Buddhist monasteries, unique houses and people in this high land gives an ever-lasting impression. From Manang (3520m) entire Annapurna range and its glacier can be seen.

You will circumnavigate entire massif of Annapurna. The journey pass through Marshyangdi valley, high snow covered pass at Thorangla, deep gorge made by Kaligandaki river  and foothill of Annapurna. Low mountain range and tropical vegetation slowly disappear as the journey approaches Manang. Depending upon snow and weather condition you will cross Thorang Pass (5335m) and reach Muktinath (3798m) on the other side. This is the arduous section of the entire trek. Descend and walk through Kaligandaki valley. The ancient trade route brings you in contact with traders from Mustang and Tibet and far beyond. The walk along the ridge in the backdrop of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna is a memorable experience. The journey pass through various ethnic communities. Cultural and religions are as varied as the topography and landscape through which you pass in this journey.

Highlights

Trek Around Annapurna massif from Besishar in Marsyagdi river, cross Thorang-la pass to Jomsom and travel to Pokhara.This trek offers fascinating landscape, Bhotia (Tibetan) Buddhist culture mixed with local tradition, high Himalayan pass, panoramic view of Annapurna range, and beautiful villages in Annapurna foothill. 

Inclusions

  • Airport transfers
  • Lodge accomodation (double sharing in most places) on Bed and Breakfast 
  • Trek guide (sardar) and an assistant sherpa above 5 persons in a group 1:5
  • Porter for member baggage 10 kg 
  • Local transport 
  • Accident insurance for staffs and porters, and ground transportation as required

 

Price

COST- Fixed Departure

US$ 965 per person

Departure: Anytime upon request

*Government fees and airfares are subject to change

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Itinerary

Day 1. Drive to Bhulbhule(794m) via Dumre and Besishar:  
We drive to Dumre on the Kathmandu-Pokhara; the journey takes about 5 hours. During the dry season, land rover and jeep run on the 42 km stretch from Durmre to Besisahar, the head quarters of Lamjung District. There are good views of Lamjung Himal on the left and Himalchuli to the right. In another 2 hour drive we reach Besishar. If possible we drive onward to Bhulbhule (794m). The road almost follow the trekking trail that climbs gently towards the village of Khudi situated on the Marsyangdi river. On the opposite side (west bank of the river) is Khudi where  Khudi Khola (river) enter the main stream - Marsyangdi river that flows from the north. The walking trail is high above the river. As you turn round the corner you can get views of Himalchuli and Ngadi Chuli (Peak 29). These 6700 meter peaks appear very close.

Day 2. Trek to Syange (912m): 
We take the trail up on the east bank of river, cross Ngadi Khola bridge after 1 and half hour and then climb the ridge of Bahundanda (1,310m) for about 2 hours. Once again descend towards the river near Syange; it should take another 2 and half hour. Syange village is the northern limit of rice cultivation in Marsyangdi valley.

Day 3. Trek to Tal (1646m): 
The trail now climbs slowly into increasingly narrow canyon. We cross the river on good suspension bridge near Chyamje and continue to ascend past canyon and then descend from the rock barriers of Ngadi Chuli (Peak 29) and Numun Bhanjyang. Tal is the gateway to Manang District. It has beautiful flat meadow with several Bhotia houses and a splendid waterfall coming off the lower reaches of Peak 29. It offer a superb site. The trail from Syanjge passes through Jagat (1 and half hour) and Chyamje in another 2 hour walk. Tal is another 2 hour walk.

Day 4. Trek to Bagarchap (2165m): 
We continue to ascend the east bank of Marsyangdi through the main gorge. The trail at this point was carved out of the vertical cliffs. We cross to the west side of river at Dharapani (1890 meter) located just south of Thonje at the confluence of Marsyangdi and Dudh Khola. Instead of crossing the river to Thonje we turn west and follow the main trail that ascends on south side of Marsyangdi through forests and meadows. We continue to climb the steep trail for about one hour towards Namun Bhanjyang and to Tebang Meadow where there are series of lust pasture pearched high above the river that provides excellent views of Manaslu and the lofty peaks in the north that are above the Larkya Pass.

Day 5. Trek to Chame (2714m): 
The trails runs diagonally from Tebang through Thankchok village (2865m) and down towards the river to Kupar which lies above the junction of the Marsyangdi and Nar river that flows from the north. There is a Police check point ay Chame. This is a short day walk (4 to 5 hour) to Chame.

Day 6. Trek to Pisang (3171m): 
We cross the bridge on the Marsyangdi Khola to north side near the apple farm at Brathang (2744m). The covered bridge with a door in the middle was built by Tibetan Khampas who had camps very close to Marsyangdi. At this point we begin spectacular ascent to Pissang. Before reaching Pisang we walk through the valley that transit into the rain shadow similar to the terrain between Ghasa and Tukuche in the Kali Gandaki. Here the trans Himalayan belt break its way through the main Himalayan Range between Annapurna II and Manaslu. There are several good places to stay at Pisang village. For camper there are many choices.

Day 7. Trek to Manang (3537m): 
As we move on the higher terrain becomes easy. The trail pass through forests and small ridge at the altitude of 3445 meter. Way below, the terrain stretches into upper Manang Valley. The southern part of this valley has the wall of Annapurna II (7937m), IV (7525m), and III (7555m). The prominent peak like Gangapurna (7455m) and Tarke Kang known as Glacier Dome (7193m) are in the west. And just south at a distance we can see the sharp rock peak; it is the Great Barrier. The basin that has Tilicho Lake (7193m) is not visible at the head of the valley. To the north is Thorung La (5416m) and Thorungtse (6483m) that makes a formidable barrier to plateau in Tibet. From this view point we descend to cross a plain and pass by Hongde airstrip (3280m). We walk further to Sabje Khola and to Braga.  Braga village, made in the cliff, have several monasteries and excellent camp site in the fields below the village.

Day 8. Acclimatization day at Manang (3537m):
Stay at Manang to acclimatize your body in the thin air. It is enjoyable to stay at Manang. There are splendid views of the mountain range from Manang. It is a large village situated on an elevated place adjacent to huge glacier descending from Tarke Kang and Gangapurna. A beautiful emerald lake lies at its foot. You may take excursion to the lake which is about 3 hours to the north from Braga (4818 m). It is interesting to visit Manang Gompa or Khangsar (3740m) on the trail to Tilicho lake.

Day 9. Trek to Ledar (4230m): 
On this day we walk slowly as we continue to climb high terrain. We pass through Yak Kharka (grassland/pasture) and Churi ledar.

Day 10. Trek to Thorang Phedi: 
The trail turns northwest up the tributary valley of the Jargeng Khola. It is sometimes possible to see herds of blue mountain sheep along the cliffs. We cross a covered cantilevered bridge and ascend to Phedi for an overnight stay before the pass.

Day 11. Cross Thorang pass (5335m) and descend to Muktinath (3760m):
Early morning we make steep ascend for about 2 hours to the rock ledge and head to north at 4590 meter then follow undulating trail to the level top of Thorung La. At this point you can see beautiful views of the Annapurna range to the south and the Mukut Himal bordering Dolpo to the west. The peak that lies immediately to the north of the pass is Thorungtse; to the south is an unnamed peak (6625m). After crossing the pass descend to Mustang. The trail is steep downhill for three hours to Muktinath. You can get to see splendid views of Dhaulagiri and Tukuche peak. Muktinath is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus and Buddhist alike. It is mentioned in the classic Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, and one may see pilgrims bathing in the holy water flowing from the 108 carved spouts that surrounds the Vishnu Temple located in a grove of sacred poplars. Muktinath is also home to many ethnic Bhote (Tibetans). The temple is holy to the Buddhist as well. Inside the temple miraculously fire burns in a stream of water.

Day 12. Trek to Jomsom (2713 m):
We continue to make gradual descend through fields and poplar groves. The trail to the Kaligandaki valley is steep. Finally we reach the valley floor at Eklebhatti (2774m). We follow the Kalagandaki river valley towards south to Jomsom – district headquarters of Mustang region. Jomsom has a large settlement with a STOL airstrip, police station and bank. It is the main center in this part of the Himalayan belt. This part of the Kali Gandaki Valley is called the Thak Khola because it is prominently inhabited by Thakalis - an ethnic group who are known for their enterprising and ambitious traders. They used to dominate the salt trade with Tibet in this region. After salt trade is over they started into tourism business running sleeping lodges along the trek route. They also diversified into construction and other business.

Day 13. Drive to Tatopani (1219m): 
Because of the road from Beni to Jomsom it has become convenient to take jeep and bus ride all the way to Tatopani in 5 hours. The trekking trail has become obsolete. We drive through Marpha, a lovely village, and Larjung (2550m): There is a Government vegetables and horticultural farm below Marpha. The road follows Kali Gandaki river valley to Tukuche, and Kalopani (2515m). At this point the vegetation transit from Himalayan rain shadow into coniferous forests. We cross Lete which has beautiful pine woods and grassy meadows and reach Tatopani (1219m) for an overnight stay. At Tatopani we come across another major transition into sub-tropical vegetation. You would see water buffalo and banyan trees that are features of tropical vegetation. Tatopani is also famous for hot spring.

Day 14. Trek to Ghorepani or Deurali (2713m): 
It is a hard walk to the pass at Deurali. On this day we gain almost 1524 meter. The trail initially follows the Ghorepani route before branching left into much less traveled country. We follow the path almost in the line of the Ghaja Khola through thick rhododendron forest. The ridge line that link Ghorepani to Ghandrung crosses the pass at Deurali. You can get great view of Dhauagiri and Annapurna South.

Day 15. Trek to Ghandrung (1920mm): 
At Ghorepani and Deurali we are in the popular trekking route. Lofty Annapurna range and Machhapuchre dominates the entire mountains views. Further in the eastern horizon are  Lamjung Himal and Manaslu. We descend to Ghandrung through rhododendron forest and water falls. Throughout the day we get to see the view of Annspurna South. Ghandrung is a large village inhabited by ex British and Indian Gurkha armies.

Day 16. Trek to Dhumpus or Austiran Camp (1950m):
Next day we descend the trail paved with stone stairs to Modi river and climb to Landrung. The main trekking trail travel through farmland and forest. We cross several ridges before descending to Dhumpus. Depending upon condition we may climb to the Austrian camp instead of Dhumpus.  From the meadow at Dhumus you can get spectacular view of the Himalayan range and beyond.

Day 17. Descend to Phedi and drive to Pokhara:
On this last day we walk down to Yangri Khola valley through rice field. At Phedi the waiting transport takes us to Pokhara to catch flight back to Kathmandu.  For members who plan to stay overnight in Pokhara it is possible to walk along the valley floor that leads to the little village at Mardi bridge from where the trail leads back to Hyangja. Or, walk the alternative trail via Astham village to Pokhara.

Note: The schedule stops as shown above are a guideline only. It may change due to logistic reason and other condition like weather, etc. that are beyond our control. It is possible to take flight from the remote mountain airstrip at Jomsom. But the flight are subject to weather and technical condition. All flights are in early morning. The cost of the flight from Jomsom is not included in the cost. Normally in winter the thick fog in Kathmandu and Pokhara airport in the morning may delay flight to the mountain airstrips. Trek around Annapurna is one of the most popular treks. there are several good quality lodge accommodation on the trail. Two nights before and three night after the trek in Kathmandu is suggested to allow for flight delay. Please note there is no refund for unused service

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