Annapurna Region is one of the most popular destinations in Nepal. It is the balcony to view majestic Annapurna South, Annapurna North, Machhcapuchre (Mt. Fishtail), Dhaulagiri and Himchuli. Whoever treks in Annapurna Sanctuary Area, it will surely be hard to take the beauty of Nepal out of their mind. The lower area of this region is very relaxed and less physical strength is enough to trek. But the upper region is very challenging and includes the best landscapes and scenic beauty.
Besides majestic mountains, it is the home of cultural delights, cascading rivers, waterfalls, forest trails, ridge mountainous trails, base camps and diverse trans-Himalaya landscape of Mustang and Manang District.
Why Annapurna Region Trekking?
Right after stepping your foot in this sanctuary, you will be walking in the steep well-paved paths along with other trekkers, locals, and herds of yaks and donkeys. The mighty Annapurna range will give pleasure to your eyes whereas, jaw-dropping sceneries, small settlements, friendly locals, will provide the beauty of your existence. From easy, hard to extreme difficulty, from base camp to circuit around the Himalayan Range, Annapurna Region Trek has got it all. Select the type you are comfortable with. The panoramic view of the mountains, especially during sunrise and sunset relaxes your mind and body. Poonhill is popular for sunset/sunrise.
This region is settled by Gurung and Thakali communities. You can enjoy the friendly hospitality of these and would taste the local foods. Snow-capped mountains under the blue clear sky, green terrace farming, hot springs, waterfalls, cool chill winds, amazing sunset, and sunrise rejuvenates your life.
Let’s see why Annapurna Region is most explored after Everest Region Trek.
Annapurna Circuit Trek (Thorong La Pass)
Around Annapurna trek starts from the Manang and ends at Mustang Valley, which covers the entire Annapurna Region; crossing Throng La Pass (5,416m/17,769ft), surrounded by Annapurna South, Annapurna North, Annapurna Fang, Macchapuchre, Hinchuli, Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri. The sunrise and sunset in this area are breathtaking. Similarly, one can the whole cultural diversity and the ecosystem while trekking around Annapurna
Ghorepani Poonhill Trek
Ghorepani Poonhill Trek is very easy and crowded trek, elevated at the height of 5,545m/18,192ft. This trek is popular for sunrise, from where one can observe the never seen before panoramic view of Annapurna Range along with the neighboring Himalayas. Besides this, you will also experience many waterfalls and small villages that will give us a pleasant experience in the region. Rhododendron Forest and Gurung settlements give you village life experience.
Mardi Himal Trek
Elevated at the height of 4,250m/13,600ft, Mardi Himal Trek is a very easy trek and suitable for all types of trekkers. On this trek, you can see the up-close view of Annapurna Range, including Mt. Macchapuchre (Fishtail). It is totally off-beat path and less crowded than other destinations of the Annapurna Region. This trekking route will lead up to the Mardi Himal Base Camp while enjoying the solitary trails through forests, accompanied by Mardi River and Annapurna, Machhapuchchhre and Hinchuli.
Mustang Circuit Trek
Regarded as “The Last Forbidden Kingdom”, is popularly known as the land beyond the Himalayas. Mustang Circuit Trek is famous for deserted landscapes, and ancient Tibetan lifestyle. It is a magical land filled with deep-rooted history, and archaeological mysteries This trek takes us to the serene Thakali and Bhotia villages, the majestic treeless/deserted landscapes and the ancient Cave Monastery. Here also, you can witness, Annapurna Range, Dhaulagiri, and Nilgiri. Walking through the world’s deepest Kaligandaki Gorge, an ancient trade route between Tibet and India, you can visit various popular places of Mustang District such as Muktinath Temple, monasteries, man-made caves, lakes, small settlements, apple farm and much more.
The most popular trekking destinations of Nepal, Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) Trek takes you to the journey of diverse landscape and rich culture with beautiful mountains, serene Gurung villages, and lush green jungles. You will be standing at the base of Mt. Annapurna, one of the 10th highest peaks of the world at the height of 8091m through the breathtaking view of Mt. Machhapuchchhre, one of the beautiful mountains to marvel at for its unique fish-tail shaped peak.
Nar Phu Valley Trek
Opened in 2003, Nar Phu Valley Trek is an alternate route to the popular Annapurna Circuit Trek. It is a combination of high passes including Thorong La and Kang La pass, glaciers, remote villages, narrow canyons, lovely forests, amazing rock formations, gompas, and ancient Tibetan cultures. Apart from that, one can also hike to Himlung Himal Base Camp. Here you can enjoy the beauty of Manang valley, Tilicho lake, and Annapurna Range.
Saribung Pass Trek
Saribung Pass Trek is a very challenging and difficult trek of the north of the Upper Mustang Region. Situated at the height of 6,042m, it is one of the highest mountain passes of Nepal. The trail is very rugged, which passes through small settlements of Buddhist people, completely isolated from the modern world and high cliff sides. Trekkers have to cross various passes including De Hults Pass (6225m), and descend to NarPhu Valley to Annapurna Circuit trail. One needs to properly acclimate themselves before ascending to Saribung Pass. You can also go for Saribung Peak expedition if you have the climbing permits. From there, you can observe spectacular mountain scenery. Besides the pass, Damodar Kunda, a glacier lake of Damodar Himal, the scenic mountain views, and the rugged trails along the Nar Phu valley are some major highlights of this highest mountainous pass of Nepal.
Sunrise over Annapurna Range
No matter where you are trekking to lower or upper Annapurna Region, one can see the rays of sun falling over the Annapurna range. This will be the view one can surely not forget in their lifetime. Sunrise over the Annapurna has become the photographers’ paradise to capture the stunning picturesque. For this tranquility, one has to wake you early in the morning to see the unobstructed line of snow-capped mountains, majestically taking a sunbath. 🙂
Annapurna Conservation Area
Not just being gifted by the mountains and scenic landscape, Annapurna Sanctuary is also home to a diverse ecosystem of Himalyan region. It is land of board species of rare wild animals, birds, migratory birds, and various plants as well. Lower regions are generally lush green whereas the upper or the beyond the Himalayas land (Manang and Mustang) is very deserted and drier.
Ethnic groups by Brahmins, Kshetris, Gurung, Tamang, Magars, and other small groups are settling in the lower Annapurna region. As you move a bit further, you can observe Gurung and Thakali community, and their culture. Now comes the upper region, where you will be astonished to see the ancient Tibetan Culture, and the settlements of Lopas and Bhotias people. They are very less touched by modernity and still deeply influenced by Tibetan culture and religion. Being the frontiers with Tibet in the north, they completely isolate themselves from modernity and hence still preserving their ancient culture. That’s why most of the upper Annapurna Treks are restricted and one needs to take a permit from the Government.
Best Time to Visit Annapurna region
You will always see the beauty of the Annapurna no matter which time you prefer to trek here. But to see the outstanding views, unobstructed mountain ranges, clear skies, blooming flowers, vibrant weather and crimson Rododendron full forests, Autumn (Sept-Nov) and Spring (March to May) are best.
Regarded as the most difficult and most threatening expeditions, very few (top climbers) have successfully reached the peak of Annapurna. It is a very challenging expedition for most of the top climbers as well. But you need to plan from around a month before and climb it on full precaution.
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This post was written by Pinnacle Expedition