Since its opening in 1977, the Annapurna Circuit has been renowned as one of the world’s greatest trekking destinations for both cultural diversity and scenic grandeur. Despite being fragmented by roads, this trek still lives up to its reputation with many side trips and alternate routes available, and can be tailored to fit your personal needs! The traditional route circumnavigates the Annapurna massif, home of the world’s 10th tallest peak, and traces two great Nepali river valleys, the Marsyangdi and the Kali Gandaki. The environmental variation along the trek is unrivaled as you ascend from merely 800m in the jungles and Rhododendron forests of the lower Marsyangdi valley to over 5,400m at the snow covered Throng La pass, then down into the arid Mustang Region in the rain-shadow of the Himalayas. Abundant wildlife, along with many religious and cultural sites and a hot spring are other highlights of this classic trek.
From Jagat, we start our trek through canyon. The jeep road still continues all the way up to Manang, however can try to avoid it as much as possible by following old trekking trails. Immediately leaving Jagat village we walk on road for a while and take a newly built trail to avoid the road. After half an hour we rejoin the road at a place called Ghatte Khola Village. The path again branches off the road and ascend steeply through a forest with superb views of the canyon and the river, and a thundering waterfall. After descending for about half an hour we reach to Chamje Village (1425m). From Chamje village, the road goes along the west bank of the Marsyandi river and the trekking trail is to the east bank. The trail drops to the river bank soon after leaving the Chamje village, crossing a suspension bridge rises steeply uphill passing Sattale village. Path continues following the canyon, finally becoming a deep gorge a towering cliff. Then steeply climbs up passing two small huts called Talbesi (1580m), now the trail eases and entering at a gateway to Manang district. Today’s destination Tal can be seen in the distance on the river bank 15 minutes ahead. On the way to Tal, we can see beautiful waterfalls, Beehives. Tal is the first village of Manang district. A paradise along the Marsyandi River. We can see beautiful waterfalls from the hotel. A Buddhist shrine called chorten is located in front of the waterfall and according to the villagers the shrine protects the villages from natural disasters. Tal means lake in Nepali. The village was once a lake, and therefore it is called Tal (1700m). Hiking hours: 5
Leaving hotel, the trail winds through maize, barley and potato fields with a spectacular waterfall. Normally people cross a steam over a small suspension bridge and follow the road on the west bank of Marsyangdi however it is recommended to take the path which was abandoned since 1980s after damaged it on the east bank of the Marsyangdi river, because the east trail connects with Nachai, a village perched high up. The trail to Nachain climbs steeply uphill ascend about 400m from the main trail. The people of Nachai are neither Hindu nor Buddhist, they are more like animist. Lunch at Nachai village proceed ahead toward Tilche village, cross a highest suspension bridge over Dana River and gently climb up to monastery. From monastery, our trail drops down slowly through forest and just before Tilche village, we cross a suspension bridge over a stream reaching the village of Tilche, our destiny for the night. Hiking hours: 5-6
A short day’s trek mostly though forest on the east side reaching Danaque where many of Bagarchhap’s lodge owners relocated after the landslide from Danaque, Mt. Manaslu (8163m) the world’s eight highest peak is clearly visible on the east while Lamjung Himal looks closely in the west. Today's destination is Danaque (2285m). Hiking hours: 4-5
Just beyond Danaque there are two wooden bridges over stream. The trail forks after the bridge: we take upper trail a very steep climb to Timang (2590m), then flat through a changing type of vegetation from dense pine forests to drier in Manang region following road. Today we will walk mostly on the road. Chame (2670m) village is famous for its hot springs – perfect for soothing our aching limbs! The village of Chame is the districts headquarter of Manang district. Many administrative offices are located in Chame. The trail continues thru pine and rhododendron forests with spectacular view of Manaslu. The lower route is faster, but is not as scenic as the higher route. Hiking hours: 6.
There is a mani wall just beyond the Chame. Today also we will walk on mostly on road passing Chhorten (stupas) we walk through a deep gorge with some dramatic scenery. We passed the great sweeping slope of Paungi Danda (the legend of Paungi Danda – Swargdwar – gate way to heaven). Gurung ethnic people believe the Manang area is an area of the underworld (Netherworld) and that Paungi Danda is the gateway. They shout to the wall the names of their ancestors to guide them through the Netherworld Manang, just before Dhikur Pokhri (3145m) where can stop for lunch. We walk through Juniper and pine forests and reach Pisang (3200m). We will stay in Upper Pisang with the great view of Lower Pisang and Annapurna II, III and IV, Pisang and Tilichu. It has a long Mani Wall stretches in the middle of the settlement, further up at the top of the village there is Gompa, worth to visit. Hiking hours: 6
When we move from the hotel, we pass a long Mani Wall and an old Chorten, soon we enter a forest. It is the high route to Manang, via Ghyaru and Ngawal, and after bridge that the hard climb begins and the views of the Annapurna peaks are superb. Finally, a huge Chhorten, marking the entrance of Ghyaru Village (3670m) a typical village. Moving out of the Ghyaru village, the passes stone walls initially level. The trail rounds many ups and downs, all along we see the Annapurna range and Marshangdi river reaching Ngawal (3660m). Ngawal has two old Gompas and a large new one to visit. There is a very interesting place for acclimatization hike above Ngawal village on the way from Kongmala Pass often encounter a herd of Blue Sheep with stunning views of Annapurna range, Pisang Peak and Chulu East and West. It is worth to stay here in Ngawal for the better acclimatization walking via high route, enjoying peaceful, pleasant and more scenic high route, over view of the close-up mountain views and avoiding two nights stay in Manang. The trail now continues to Braga, a very old and traditional village with a historical monastery. Hiking hours: 4
Today our trek to Manang is not too long and we have flexible time allowing time to visit Brage Gumpa dates back to the 16th century, villagers say it was built in 1501, the oldest monastery in Manang district. The main trail out of the village normally descends steadily down but we usually unlike this trail. We try to avoid a dusty road and make tasteful trek. When we move out of the hotel, we will take the path leading to a new large monastery toward north west ward along the farming fields, passing by couple of stupas, the Annapurna vista is always with us. From the new large monastery our trail drops down rapidly to the Chulu river through pine trees about 20minutes as we cross the river reaching hamlet called Chulu where there is trail fork. We take to norther one and climb steeply up for half an hour then the trail become easy on yak pasture and the views get ever impressive. After the meadow, we enter a landslide section walking on a narrow path overlooking the valley view of Marsyangdi river, road from Pisang and Ngawal to Manang, we meet the trail to Ice Lake just above Shera Gompa then we will enter the Braga valley, reaching to Braga Gompa. We can visit the Braga Gompa, explore the village and can enjoy lunch in a hidden village. Then we can proceed ahead to Manang for another half an hour along the long Mane Wall passing school and stupas on the road all the way up to Manang village. Hiking hours: 4/5 Manang (3536m), the district’s capital. We take a side trip to Gangapurna Glacier and hike around the crystal-clear lake. We can then visit Bhraka Gompa; here the lama sometimes conducts puja for trekkers for a safe crossing of the Thorung La pass. At 03.00pm we visit the HRA (Himalayan Rescue Association) for a lecture on how to recognize the symptoms of altitude sickness and to take appropriate action.
Today we climb up to Phedi (4400m) at the foot of the Thorung La pass. We might be lucky to spot a herd of blue sheep. Afternoon stroll to a higher altitude and return to stay in Phedi for well acclimatization. After an early supper we retire to our sleeping bags – full of anticipation for the next day. Hiking hours: 5
Muktinath is one of the pilgrimage sites for Hindus & Buddhist – we can visit the Buddhist gompa and the Vishnu temple of Jwala Mayi. Every year many pilgrims make a visit to Muktinath especially in spring season. Mountain on the other side such as Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche peach, etc can be seen. The trail to Kagbeni (2800m) is all the way downhill, crossing the authentic village Jhong. Kagbeni (2895m), a Tibetan-influenced settlement surrounded by a patchwork of fields and fruit trees. Hiking hours: 4
Today’s walk will be on lever riverbed of the Kali Gandaki, we recommend to start early from Kagbeni to avoid a fierce wind following high way, after walking about 7km on dusty road, we reach to a school, there is an alternative route from behind the school toward Thini village, the original and historical Bon village, stop for lunch. Trail down to a stream and ascend passing through Dhumba Lake, a secret lake gently then steeply climbs to the Kutshab-Ter-Ngha Gompa commanding superb views of the valley. From the Gompa, our path descends down to river, cross suspension bridge then joins the Mrpah road for another hand an hour. Hiking hours: 5
Leaving Marpha, the trail rejoining the jeep road, which passes by apple gardens, hotticulture and seattered houses. The Nilgiri peaks can be seen on the left. Finally, we are morning out of the rain-shadow zone. We will cross a suspension bridge over the Kali Gandaki river connected to Chhairo occupied by Tibetan refugees who fought the Chinese till 1970, the Tibetans today sell carpet and curios to make a living. Our trail passes through the juniper and pine forest just below Chimang village on a terrace. It is visible from the west bank of the Kali Gandaki river. The views of Dhaulagiri range is superb, we pass a couple of small streams, making ups and downs to reach Sauru village for lunch. After lunch we continue along the river bank passing Sirkung village with seabuckthorn bushes and a swampy place, further down we reach the suspension bridge which connect the jeep road but we will follow the east bank trail passing the riverside village of Kokhethanti (2545m) again soon we cross the river over a bridge to meet the jeep road. And then we cross a last bridge over a tributary Kali Gandaki, finally we can approach Kalopani (2530m) a village with superb mountain views, besides Dhaulagiri and Tukuche, we can see Annapurna I, Barah Shikhar (Fang) 7647m. Hiking hours: 6/7
Today early rise and early breakfast to move early from a pleasant village of Kalopani with panoramic mountain starting with Dhaulagiri, Dhaulagiri Icefall and Mt. Tukuche to the north east, the vista clockwise, Nilgiri North Central and South peaks, Fang and Annapurna I. Kalopani is among the best places the world’s deepest valley. We walk just passing Lete immediate begins. Just beyond Lete, the jeep road makes U turn while we cross a suspension bridge over the tributary. We hit the jeep road again after crossing the bridge and descend down with the view of Dhaulagiri Mountain. Our path enters a landslide prone zone descending through a forested stretch. We arrive at the hamlet of Kaiku (2035m). We will continue on jeep raod, cross a bridge again then the cultivated fields of Ghasa Village appear. There is a check post to entry our trekking permit. Ghasa is a the last major Thakali village, the last big settlement of Mustang district. From we descend, the vegetation turns sub-tropical, the houses are no flatter roofed. We can still see the Nilgiri South Peak. Soon after leaving Ghasa, the trail, separates from the jeep road, we cross a long suspension bridge over Kali Gandaki river, our trail climbs on cliff making few ups and downs ahead reaching the hamlet of Pairothanti continue descend to Kopchepani, continue trail leading to Gadpar village and continue on east bank eventually just before Tatopani we cross a last suspension bridge for today and walk on jeep road for another 20 minutes to Tatopani (Hot Spring). Hiking hours: 8
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Annapurna Massif Teahouse Trek
Difficulty level : streneous
Sunday to Saturday 9.00am - 6.00pm