Annapurna, lies towards the north of central Nepal and is recognized as one of the world’s best trekking regions. This region provides fantastic panoramic views of the Annapurna range, eye catching hills full of rhododendron which blossom every spring spreading right through the areas around Kaski Mustang, Manang and Lamjung districts. This is the most visited trekking area in the mountain region. More than 60, 000 visitors trek or simply visit this area every year.
This region offers first-class sensational mountain scenery including Dhaulagiri (8167m), Annapurna (8091m), Manaslu (8156m), Lamjung Himal (6983m), Machhapuchchhre (6993m), Tukuche Peak (6920m), Tilicho Peak (7134m) and Nilgiri (6040m). Not only does this area off stunning mountain views but it gives the trekker a chance to interact with the many ethnic groups of the area and traditional lowland and highland villages. The world’s deepest gorge, the Kaligandaki, passing between the giants of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri lies in this region. It’s possible to trace this river right to its origin while trekking in this region. The area offers an extensive range of long and short trekking.
The Annapurna area encompasses Annapurna sanctuary which is conservation area. This area boasts a stunning variety of forest, from sub tropical to pine and rhododendron. It is also home to abundant wildlife like pika, blue sheep, snow leopards, tigers and Himalayan thar. Also the area 478 species of birds including multi –colored Impheyan, koklas and blood pheasants, making it an ideal area for lovers of wildlife and nature.
The most prominent ethnic groups of the Annapurna regions are Gurungs and Thalkalis, both of which have unique traditions and culture. During any trek in annapurana you will get the chance to see how this people live their day to day lives in this isolated and sometimes extreme area. You will experience how friendly and open hearted these people are, and you can get a taste of their lifestyle by staying in teahouse which are mainly family run.
Annapurna is also home to many temples and monasteries, so you can take time out to relax or meditate. You can feel free to visit these monasteries and mingle with the monks, listen to their enchanting music and truly soak up the essence of being in the mountains. The most famous temple in the area is the one at Muktinath and many pilgrims travel here from Nepal and India every year.
So considering all this the Annapurna region is surly one of the best areas to come trekking in Nepal.
The best and most popular routes of this region are:
- Poon Hill
Jomom: Jomsom is the only place which is connected by air with Pokhara and Kathmandu; it is also the district headquarters of Mustang. This region offers the views of the giant Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs and the world’s deepest gorge being the Kaligandaki. Around Jomsom there are many cultural sights to explore.
Poon Hill: The most popular place in the Annapurna trekking area, situated at an altitude of 3100 meters. It grants excellent views of the high Himalaya and is and ideal short trek.
Muktinath: It is the pilgrimage centre for Hindus and Buddhist. In Muktinath you can visit the large old temple of lord Vishnu, a Buddhist Gompa and the Jwala Mai temple at the height of about 4,000 meters.
Ghandruk: This beautiful place, positioned towards the northwest of Pokhara, inhabited by Gurungs, offers admirable views of Annapurna South, Machhapuchare and Himalchuli Peaks. This village is the headquarters of the Annapurna Conservation Project.
Ghorepani: Ghorepani, the most charming village inhabited by Magars is full of fine Hotels and lodges. The views of the glittering Himalayan peaks are outstanding from here. Ghorepani is the base for Poon hill and a great short trekking destination.
For trekking around the Annapurna area the starting and ending point is Pokhara which is located 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu. Pokhara can be reaching by road in about six hours or by air in thirty minutes from Kathmandu. Beni in Mygdi district and Beshishshar in Lamjung district are the other starting and finishing points of Annapurna trekking.