The Annapurna region geographically sits to the north of Central Nepal & is a honeypot region that attracts hordes of walkers seeking to tread its blissful paths from any of the perspectives related to Mother Nature with its stunning landscapes will literally take your breath away and when you hike the Anna circuit the lookouts reveals an angle you’ll never forget…virtually!
This area is the most popular and major trekking destination in Nepal. According to a recent survey by Modern Maturity (USA), the Annapurna region has been recognized as one of the best trekking trails in the world. More than 40,000 tourists annually visit this area. The Annapurna trekking region consists of peaks Annapurna I, II, III, IV, those of Annapurna South peaks, Mt. Dhaulagiri and several other peaks. The trek’s major highlights are the ancient mid-western salt route settlements of Manang, Thorung –La pass between Nepal and Tibet, Muktinath Temple and the deepest gorge in world, Kali Gandaki. The gateway to the Annapurna trekking region begins in the famous city of Pokhara; popularly known as the ‘City of Lakes’.
Mustang, or Lo Manthang, the desert plateau located in the upper valley of the River Kali Gandaki, and to the north of the main Himalayan range also falls in this region. Tourist access to Mustang is controlled to help preserve its exclusiveness. The highlight of these treks includes a visit to the Mustang Palace, the visit to Lo Manthang and pony rides to the Nepal-Tibet border.
There are seven ethnic groups found living and working in this region, from Hindu farmers to Tibetan Lamas. The most prominent ethnic groups of the Annapurna region are the Gurungs, Thakalis and Manangbas. Due to the extremes of elevation the region contains a remarkable diversity of flora;
The Annapurna region could be imagined to be the roof of Asia and can be considered the birthplace of alpinism and home to the tenth highest peak on earth – Annapurna 1; so it’s a given that the Anna range and its subsidiary peaks needn’t bow to any mountains, anywhere. It’s towering peaks and seemingly gothically drawn skyline is the kind that inspires poets and painters.
From the sub-tropical lowland forests of oak, bamboo and rhododendron in the south to above the timberline meadows and the battered desert plateaus over the horizons towards north, bordering Tibet, this area is a walkers’ paradise. Animals found here are the pika, blue sheep and Himalayan Tahr.
From the plains of the Pokhara Valley lush with rice cultivation to the base camp of the mighty Annapurna Himal, through the colorful villages, green forests, bamboo jungles, rivers and cascades rich with birds and animal life, this region is a literal nature’s galore. The trail brings us to the base of the South face of Mt. Annapurna South (7219m) through the base camp of Mt. Machhapuchhare (6993m). We generally minimize the walking hours for our guests in the base camp areas as it allows ample time to savor the wholesome view of the mighty Annapurna Himal at a pace that’s leisurely in style.
The popular trekking routes of this region are Jomsom, the Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Base Camp, Sikles, Lamjung, Dhaulagiri, Upper Mustang and all around Pokhara. The best time to visit this region is during spring and autumn. Unlike other parts of Nepal, even the monsoon months are ideal to visit Upper Mustang that falls in the rain shadow area. Most trekking routes in the Annapurna region are well serviced by teahouses… DON’T BE SURPRISED IF YOU ARE SERVED UP AN AFTER SUPPER TASTY DESSERT OF APPLE PIE…even in far-flung remote areas of this region…
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is highly popular here as it offers a great variety of beautiful landscapes, nature and opens to a vibrant culture of the central mountains of Nepal.
This zone remains within the Annapurna Conservation Area, a project for environmental and cultural protection, a base that’s worthwhile for the requirements of the local folks and tourists who support conservation. The overlapping can be seen through the curtain of the ages, and wherever you look you see another peak suitable for national park status. As you Turn south in this region towards the Annapurna sanctuary, and there, with little fanfare, is a ridgeline less heralded but with more classic mountain beauty.
Backpackers, who wish to enjoy a special charm of the high Himalayas and Glaciers so closely including Rhododendron forest with a variety of birds and animals in a short period of time while in Nepal, would surely visit this zone at any cost.
Hiking in this region is one of the most gripping as the trek meanders around various ridges towards Ghorepani Poonhill, where you stand to witness amazing views of an early morning sunrise where a red halo seeps through glistening gaps over the silver grey peaks of the Annapurna & Dhaulagiri peaks, glistening in the morning sunshine. The myriad of landscapes seen throughout your trek in the Annapurna region grace the landscape of the Himalayas where your thoughts go on overdrive as you define the beauty of nature as an experience that can never ever be forgotten for a whole lifetime.
Regardless of the trek chosen, it is most likely that Pokhara would be either the starting or ending point of your trek in the Annapurna region. Join a group at Nepal Base Camp Treks and begin a journey of discovering the unknown from the known; its not far from knocking on heaven’s doors…you’ve got to be there to understand what we mean.