Annapurna Base Camp:
The Kingdom of Himalaya
The trek along the Annapurna Base Camp route is one of the bast in the world and also one of the most popular. The route that ranges in altitude from the lowest 1070 m to maximum 4150 m above sea level is described as “the piece of heaven on earth” by the nature lovers whose quest of natural beauty was quenched after trekking through this route. The route is however frequented more by the international tourists rather than the domestic ones. The trek starts from Pokhara and can be completed from 7 to 20 days depending upon the route chosen. The trekking could be started from Fedi or Nayapul along the Pokara- Baglung Highway. The trek is considered highly adventurous and passes along gigantic snow-capped alpine mountains, huge barren rocky mountains devoid of any vegetation, tall green hills covered in danse forest, mountain lakes and ponds and other beautiful scenery that seem out of this world. Likewise, the traditions and culture of the Gurung community and their lifestyle could also be witnessed during interactions with them on the way. The main feature of the trek is the natural beauty of the Himalayan region. The breathtaking view of the Machhapuchhre Range seen to the North of Pokhara and the experience of being surrounded by snowcapped mountains from all sideleaves an unforgettable memory, which is also the nain attraction of the place. The landscape is dotted with the display of natural beauty scattered all around. Such a splendid view, travel across the swift rivers and streams, cutting acrossthe landscape, and resting amidst the lush green wilderness not only blurs the physical tiredness but also energizes one’s mental freshness and fulfills every desire of the psyche. There is a an ample facility of luxurious hotels and lodges at various tourist places that fall along the route. However occupancy is quite high and availability of rooms is scarce during the tourist seasons. The autumn season is considered the best time for the trek.
The first phase of the trek to Annapurna Base Camp starts from Pokhara. One can embark on the journey to Ghandruk either along dhampus from Fedi along the Pokhara-Baglung Highway or along Syauli Bazar from Nayapul. Fedi is 20 km from Pokhara’s Prithvichowk.While nayapul is 43 km, along the Baglung Highway. Ghandruk can be reached at the end of 5 to 6 km walk from Nayapul. The trip includes a walk along the banks of the Modi River from Nayapul passing through Birethanti, Syauli Bazaar, and Kimche to Kling. From Kling it is a 3 to 4 hour uphill climb along the stone paved way to Ghandruk-3. Ghandruk-3 is one of the major tourist destinations. The beauty of the village is enhanced by the stone houses lining the stone paved paths. The village is also known as Dhungeni Gaon that literally translates as the stony village. The majestic view of the Machhapuchhre and Annapurna range lures tourists from all corners of the world. The machhapuchhre peak that translates as Fish-tail Mountain actually looks like the tail of fish from here. The main feature of the place is the different view of the mountains compared to that seen from Pokhara. The springs, waterfalls, appeasing beautiful scenery, heart-luring picturesque villages and the cacophony of the singing birds encountered during the journey pleases the mind and radiates any sign of tiredness from body. About a dozen cozy lodges serve the tourists arriving at the village, however rooms are scarce during the tourist seasons.
For Accomodations : Simon Guest House & Restaurant
Pro.Manoj Gurung (9846171955) Ram Gurung (9846115986)
The second day’s trek starts from Ghandruk to Chhomrong. Chhomrong is located at an altitude of 2200 to 2300 meters. Chhomrong can be reached comfortably at the end of 5 to 6 hours walk from Ghandruk, passing through Dandagaon, Komrong and Kimrung Khola. The beautiful view obsered along the Journey mesmerizes anyone. The up-close view of the Annapurna Range seen from Chhomrong delights the heart. The main attraction of this mountain village is the entire view of the Annapurna and the Himchuli Ranges, from the foot to the peak. Many tourists arrive at Chhomrong all the way from Pokhara with a sole purpose to experience the view. The combination of neatly kept Gurung settlement, cobbled stone pathways and the tiny picturesque village prompts trekkers to spend at least one night at Chhomrong. Chhomrong is probably the most beautiful village falling on the trekking route to the Annapurna Base Camp, and is also popular for the same reason. One can feel the nature at heart in Chhomrong. The traditional dance of the Gurungs is another major attraction of Chhomrong. The local women’s group called the “Mother’s Group” perform the traditional dances to entertain the tourists if they request. There are about a dozen hotels and lodges in operation in Chhomrong.
Tourists wishing to shorten their stay choose to stay at Dobhan on the third day of the trek. Others prefer to stay at Sinuwa or Bambo. The trip to Dobhan is considered tougher and more adventurous. Care should be taken during the trip because of the difficult uphill climb. The Dobhan village, previously known as Bhedikharka, has an altitude of 2500 m and it takes 6 to 7 hours to reach there from Chhomrong leads to Ghatekhola Bridge. After crossing the bridge, and uphill path crossing through Sinuwa and Bambo will take to Dobhan. Every single village along the Annapurna Base Camp trek and every next view along the way seen to have descended from a land out of this world and could be viewed as the gift of nature. The Sinuwa village along the way to Dobhan is regarded as a very beautiful village. The unique combination of Alpine Mountains, Green Hills, rivers and waterfalls, all observed in a single view enchants every soul. The beauty of this village has also made its way into the works of a good number of litterateurs. The geographical location of the Dobhan village is also unique. Sandwiched between a pair of mountain rides, only a little sky is visible from the village but the view of the Machhapuchhre range is incomparable to that seen from any other point. There are 4 lodges in the village serving the tourists.
Dobhan-Machhapuchhre Base Camp
The Fourth day’s trek is more intersting than the previous day’s trek and involves longer walk. It takes 6 to 7 hours to reach the Machhapuchhre Base Camp from Dobhan. It is better to stay at Deurali if you are extremely tired than to carry on. There are 4 lodges in Deurali for accommodation. Some trekkers can make it up to the Annapurna Base Camp in one day. The walk from Dobhan to Deurali takes 4 to 5 hours. Deurali is 3220 meters above the sea level and has an outstanding natural diversity. This along with a stone idol of Lord Buddha in a ‘padmasana’ or lotus posture is the main attraction of Deurali. The Machhapuchhre Base Camp is 2 to 3 hours away from Deurali and the Annapurna Base Camp is still 2 hours ahead from there. The trek to the Machhapuchhre Base Camp is considered as a fabulous journey for those seeking to get closer to nature. The regular change in topography in short intervals of the trip and the corresponding change in one’s perception creates a lasting memory. The crystal clear lakes, ponds, cascading waterfalls, rugged hills rising out from the foothills of the majestic Himalayan peaks have the power to heal both physical and mental fatigue. The photographs taken during the trip literally, gives an opportunity to capture the moment for ever. Tourists can stay at any of the 5 lodges operated at the Machhapuchhre Base .
Annapurna Base Camp-Bambo
It is better to stay at Bambo on the 7 day of the trip or the 1st of the return trip. One has to walk for 6 to 7 hours from Annapurna Base Camp to reach Bambo. It is also easier to walk downhill compared to uphill climb. Time passes swiftly during the walk that is made more enjoyable by the never seen before views of the surprisingly beautiful fifts of the nature. However everyone experiences a strange sense of emptiness somewhere in the heart during the return trip. Likewise it is also extremely difficult for anyone to shake off the magic of the Base Camp. Trekkers follow the route passing through Machhapuchhre Base Camp, Deurali, Himalaya Hotel and Dobhan to reach Bambo. Many luxurious and cozy lodges are operated at Bombo that provide accommodation and food to the exhausted tourists.
It is best to stay at the lovely Chhomrong Village on the 8th day if you prefer to enjoy stay amidst the nature and freshen up. Most tourists choose to stay at chhomrong on the return trip. The temptation of viewing the mountain peaks including the Annapurna Range from close distance cannot be overcame easily. That is why majority of tourists would like to stay at the village for the second time. There is an entirely different experience while staying in the village. The village with distinct geographical location and natural diversity is adored by all. Tourists also give a priority to the Chhomrong village due to cultural entertainment. The fame of the original traditional dance of the tiny Gurung settlement has spread all over the world. People are relieved out of their bodily exhaustion and mental fatigue by the end of the traditional entertainment. It takes about 4 to 5 hours to reach Chhomrong from Bambo.
It is better to stay at Tadhapani on the ninth day of the return trip. Tadhapani is a lovely village that has a great potential to become a tourist hub. However, a travel to the village is little to tough. There is no near source of water in the area thus giving it the name Tadhapani that translates as ‘far water’. Tourism is the main source of income of the village that looks more like a small bazar. Owing to its location, amidst the wilderness, Tadhapani is a favourite among the tourists. Numerous curio shops have also sprung up around the village, selling mementos to the tourists. The village also offers a delightful view of the peaks like Annapurna South, Himchuli, Gangapurna and the Machhapurchhre. Tadhapani is also famous for the view of the golden sunrise. It takes a 6 to 7 hour walk from Chhomrong to Tadhapani passing through Dhurjung. Likewise, a trip through Ghandruk, Sitkyu and Bhainsikharka takes some 4 hours. There are 7 lodges operating in Tadhapani situated at 2650 meters above the sea level.
The naturally diverse tourist hub of Ghorepani is one of the most attractive place of the trip. It is on the way to Poonhill, and tourists on the way there usually stay a night at Ghorepani. The lovely hamlet surrounded by green hills is also popular as an important tourist destination. It is thus advisable to stay at Ghorepani after the tenth day’s trip. The place is popular among tourists for viewing the sunrise and taking a peek at regal Dhaulagiri range. The view of the first rays of the rising sun lighting up the entire Himalayan panorama is distinct from that seen from any other place. The place is also famous for admiring the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges from up close. The exceptionally beautiful topography and natural diversity is not only capable of overcoming the visitors aesthetic sense but also creates a new found freshness within their inner soul. Mostvisitors, bewitched by the Place’s aura, often extend their stay. Such is the magic of Ghorepani. The night view of the Ghorepani bazar against the dark background amuses the tourists. Ghorepani is situated at 2874 meters above the sea level in the mountainous part of Myagdi district. There are more than a dozen lodges in Ghorepani that provide accommodation to the tourists. A walk from to Ghorepani from Tadhapani takes about 4 to 5 hours.
Poonhill’s fame is spread around the world as an ideal place to get lost in the wonders of the nature. Poonhill lying in the Ghara Village of Myadi district at a 3210 m altitude is a favourite name for tourists from both in and out of Nepal. A series of mighty Himalayan peaks including the Guja Peak, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Dhampus peak, Nilgiri, Annapurna-I, Annapurna South, Himchuli, Gangapurna and Machhapurchhre stand tall extending from one side to another. The first lights of sun illuminate these mountains with such splendor that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. Poonhill is also famous for its assortment of natural diversity, the traditional culture of the native Magar communiy and the numerous species of flora and fauna. The period between September to March is regarded appropriate for a visit to Poonhill. The row of mountain peaks is covered entirely with snow during that part of the year and the view allures the heart. Poonhill is actually just a hilltop near Ghorepani and there is a wide open ground on top of the hillock. A view tower has also been constructed at the middle of the plateau. Tourists climb the hillslope in droves in the wee hours of the morning to reach the top before the first raw of sun hits the earth. They pack the hilltop in anticipation of the first rays of sunlight that turn the yonder mountain ranges into the fabulous golden color. Tourists push and shove each other in the crowd for an opportunity to capture the splendid scenery on their cameras. It is very cold on top of the hillock but tourists seem to ignore the cold and the strong breeze while taking photographs of the radiant mountains. The hustle and bustle of the crowd suddenly stops and an eerie silence befalls the crowd of tourists just as the first rays of sunlight hits the mountains. A sudden chatter of clicking camera shutters then takes over as an undeclared competition kicks off among the onlookers to capture the best shot of the sunrise. Tourists who had never met each other previously begin to share their views and exclamations with enthusiasm when the magic of the moment begins to prevail. There are innumerable instances of unknown tourists beginning lasting friendship during these brief moments of ectacy and glory. Those in a hurry return back after the day break while many choose to stay there until their thirst for beauty is satisfied.
The trek to the Annapurna Base Camp ends with the walk from Ghorepani to Pokhara. The last phase of the journey is comparitively difficult. One has to walk hard in order to reach Pokhara in one day from Ghorepani. Otherwise, it is better to spend a night at Ulleri or Tikhedhunga and take a rest. It takes about 8 to 10 hours on foot to reach Nayapul from Ghorepani, passing through Birethati. The view of trekkers and mules, loaded with goods, climbing the uphill path freshen up the mind during the climb down. The rows of trekkers along the journey to Annapurna Base Camp revive the memory of the first days of the ardous trip. To reach Nayapul from Ghorepani one has to walk past Ulleri, Banthanti, Tikhedhunga, Hille Bazaar, Birethanti and from there take a cab or public vehicle to Pokhara. A glorious sense of victory overwhelms the mind after reaching Pokhara at the end of the trek.
Three Days Trek
The first day of trek from Pokhara is full of fun and cheer for the treks as the prospect of trekking to the world famous Poonhill is an exciting proposition in itself. The trek starts from Nayapul which serves as the gateway to the trek. It takes 2 hours on bus and 1 hour on taxi to reach Nayapul from Pokhara. However some tourists even choose to arrive here directly from Kathmandu. Likewise, there is also an alternative route starting from Fedi some 20 km away from Pokhara that leads to Ghandruk passing through Pothana and Landruk. The altitude of Nayapul is 1070 m while that of Ghandruk is 2000 m. it takes about 5 to 6 hours to reach Ghandruk from Nayapul, walking along the banks of Modi Khola. The mountain ranges, including Annapurna South, Annapurna-I, Himchuli, Gangapurna, Annapurna-II and Machhapuchhre, can be observed from Ghandruk. There are enough restaurants and eateries on the way to take meals during the trek. Just over a dozen lodges are in operation in Ghandruk that provide both accommodation and food.
It is better to set off on the journey right after the breakfast, after returning from viewing the sunrise and the mountains. Tadhapani also has a huge potential to attract tourists. With an altitude of 2650 m Tadhapani is also famous for viewing the sunrise. An uphill climb from Ghandruk that cuts across the amber green wilderness takes to Tadhapani within 4 to 5 hours. There are 7 lodges in Tadhapani that provide accomodation and food to tourists. The mumber of mountain peaks visible from Tadhapani is more than Ghandruk. The environment is clean and quiet due to the location surrounded by wilderness.it is quite cold in the winter and snows heavily during the coldest period of the season. Mountain ranges, including the magnificient Annapurna South, Himchuli, Gangapurna, Annapurna-II, Machhapuchhre, Lamjung and Ganesh Himal ranges could be observed from here. A walk through Siktyu and Bhainsi Kharka cutting across dense forests takes to Tadhapani from Ghandruk.
Ghorepani at an altitude of 2874 m is located at the base of the famous Poonhill. It is suitable to start the walk to Ghorepani after observing the morning view of the mountains at Tadhapani. A 5-6 hour uphill trek from Tadhapani takes to Ghorepani. The path ascends till the pass at Deurali, 3100 m in altitude, followed by a gradual descent that ends at Ghorepani. Ghorepani is famous for its natural beauty and unmatched view of the mountains. The memory of trip to Ghorepani characterized by the exquisite natural beauty and walk through the dense froests lasts for ever. Deurali is a suitable place to take lunch during the day. The Gurung Hill located near Deurali is also known for observing the beauty of the surrounding environment. Some even compare Gurunghill with Poonhill. There are 3 lodges operating at Deurali that offer both accommodation and food. Deurali is also the between Myagdi and Kaski district. It is colder in Ghorepani than Tadhapani. But the dining rooms of all the lodges in Ghorepani are provided with fireplaces that keep the trekkers warm, a facility not available in Tadhapani. Some 17-18 lodges proved accommodation and food for the tourists at Ghorepani. It is also possible to travel to Jomsom from Ghorepani.
Machhapuchhre Model trek and Mardi Himal
This trek is the combination of Mardi Himal Base Camp and recently introduced trail called Mahhapuchhre Model trek. This newer and off the beaten type of trekking trail offers mesmerizing views of snowcapped mountains like Mt. Mardi, Mt. Machhapuchhre, and Annapurna Himalayan ranges from the close proximity. Tourists can closely observe indigenous lifestyles and culture of diverse ethnic dwellers.
· Different villages with diversity of history, culture and traditional lifestyles
· Butterflies and many kinds of Rhododendrons.
· Scenery of Mt. Fishtail, Mt. Annapurna (I-IV), Gangapurna, Singu, Chuli, Tent Peak, Gandarwa Chuli, Lamjung Himal, Manaslu, Dhawalagiri and Mt. Mardi Himal.
· Natural hot spring at Kharpani
· Tea garden, Trout farming, and organic vegetable farm
· Home –stay provisions in various villages.
· Vulture restaurant,
· Paragliding sites at korchon, armala, kotefera, and Lwang
There are additional attractions like unlimited rich flora and fauna, alpine forests, different bird species, wild flowers, wild animals, and natural hot spring in this trek area. These attractions are available for visitors of diverse interests.
For Accomodation : High Camp Guest House & Restaurant
Pro: Purna Bahadur Gurung (061-696839/9846284859)
This trek route is also known as a pilgrimage tourist destinations due to the location of the Muktinath temple. It is one of the most sacred temples of Hindus which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Jomsom and Muktinath regions are located in Mustang district which is bordered with Tibetan autonomous region of China. This trek route includes windy valley, apple orchards and the Kali Gandaki River. The Kali Gandaki River is the world’s deepest George as located between Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Dhaulagiri. Jomsom-Muktinath trek reaches to the maximum altitude of 3800m (12,464 ft) at Mukthinath and can be completed by anybody with a moderate level of fitness. This trek route also offers opportunities to explore old monasteries over hundred years, ancient caves, local tribes and scenic beauties of the different landscapes. One can make an adventure trip starting from the world’s deepest George Kali Gandaki to world’s one of the highest regions passing through tree-less barren landscapes. The steep rocky trails, up and down hill and panoramic views of Mt. Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks are other attractive features of this trek route.
For Accomodation : Hotel Cold desert & Thakali Kitchen
Jomsom-5 Mustang (069-440351/9847788777/9847618462)
· Muktinath Temple
· Titi lake, Dhumaba lake
· Windy valley of kali Gandaki
· Deepest George Kali Gandaki
· Apple orchards
This unique and seldom traveled route offers the adventurous trekkers with a bit of everything that makes Nepal very special. This trek route can be started from Besisahar in Lamjung district. The travelers gradually ascend the Marshyangdi River Valley to Koto. Here, they head towards north and enter the recently opened NarPhu Valley of Upper Manang. Passing through the chorten gate that designates the entrance to NarPhu, it’s as if trekkers have been transported into a land where time has stood still. The Himalayan Pine quickly gives way to high plateau, remote Tibetan villages built of stone, ancient Buddhist monasteries and grand views of the Annapurna Range.
· Nar and Phu Villages
· Kangla Pass ( approximately 5200 m)
· Tashi Lakhang Monastry
· Natural cliff
· Hot water spring
· Old Khampa (Tibetan refugee) settlements
Mustang was by far Nepal’s one of the restricted trekking areas till 1991. It was opened to foreigners in 1992. It is located in the Northwestern area of Nepal, and is part of the Tibetan plateau. This area has long been inhabited by Tibetan Buddhists. This kind of area is nowhere else in Nepal where a rich and untouched Tibetan Buddhism culture can be found. Trekkers are not common here which is why this trek provides such a rare and close look at a society that has remained
unaffected by change for centuries. Trekking in Mustang is truly one of the rarest and most rewarding experiences to be had in Nepal.
· Age-old Monarchy
· High land desert
· Beautiful landscape
· Rich culture
· Unique Buddhist festivals
· Monasteries and abandoned caves
Dhaulagiri is one of the most popular peaks for climbing in the Himalayas, the seventh highest mountain in the world whose height is 8172m. Its surrounding region is popular trekking destination. Dhaulagiri lies north – west of Pokhara culminating to its highest point at the Eastern end. In fact, Kali Gandaki is dramatic as two eight thousand Mountains like Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri both stand near the river facing each other over a deep valley.
· Unique in terms of its rise above local terrain where it rises to
7000 m over the Kali Gandaki george to the south-east in about
30 km of aerial distance.
· Various Glaciers
· Rhododendron forests and beautiful sceneries of Mt. Dhaulagiri
and Annapurna range
Dolpa or Dolpo was popularized by the famous film “Caravan”. Dolpa showcases the extraordinary untouched beauty of the North Western region in Nepal. It is remote and fascinating, confined by the Dhaulagiri range in the South and East. The local inhabitants have Mongoloid facial features. These people speak Tibetan language.
· Sisne and Kanjiroba in the West and Tibet towards the North
· Lake Phoksundo with its turquoise water
· Probably one of the highest settlements in the World ( 3600-
· A total of 130 Gompas (monasteries) in Dolpa reflect the religious
feature of its inhabitants
Besides these, many other alternative routes are explored by Annapurna Conservation Area Project with help from Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal, Nepal Tourism Board, tourism entrepreneurs of Pokhara and the villagers in local areas. Among them, Sikles-Timang, Tangting-Besishahar, Kabhre-Sikles and Pahirothapla-Muktinath routes have great potentials from touristic point of view. These alternative routes are yet to be developed and promoted.