Around Annapurna Circuit

Trip Overview

The Annapurna circuit trail takes us through an epic trek – from lush green valleys to the arid Himalayan desert, mountain glaciers to gushing rivers, stunning peaks of the some of the highest peaks of the world, including Annapurna I, II, and III, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche to name a few. Traversing predominantly through the districts of Manang and Mustang, we are also fascinated by the culture of the ethnic people of the region – the ‘Mananges’ and the ‘Thakalis’.

Our trek begins from Besi Shar, an idyllic settlement alongside Marshyangdi River some 5 hours drive from Kathmandu. Crossing lush green paddy fields through the villages of Jagat and Chame, we notice a stark change in landscape once we cross the 3,000 meters mark. Once in Manang observe panoramic views of the majestic Himalayas, including peaks of Annapurna II, III and IV. After Manang, we make our way towards Chulu West, set up high camp and take in the close-up views of mountains. Make our way towards Thorang La Pass (5416m), another highlight and reach Mustang, take in the deep valley, stay a night in Jomsom before flying to Pokhara, and back to Kathmandu. 


Day 1

Overnight: Hotel
Arrive at TIA, Kathmandu, meet representatives and be transferred to the hotel. Guests welcomed with a welcome drink and rooms duly assigned. Free to visit local attractions the remainder of the day. 

Day 2

AM: Sightseeing PM: Preparation
Overnight: Hotel
AM: Tour Kathmandu valley and travel through time as you visit UNESCO Heritage sites like the Durbar Squares and Swayambhu Temple. PM: Briefing about the trek and allow time for last minute purchases of essentials.

Day 3

Kathmandu / Besisahar / Bhulbhule (820 m)
Overnight: Phakding          Drive duration: 6 -7 hours (approximate)
After leisurely breakfast board the waiting vehicle and drive to domestic airport. Catch the 25 minutes’ flightEarly breakfast and a 5-6 hour scenic drive along the banks of Trishuli and Marshyangdi Rivers to Besisahar. Lunch en route. Reach Besisahar (823 m) (known as Besigaon prior), the main town of Lamjung District and have your TIMS card examined. An hour drive away we reach Bhulbhule, have our trekking permits checked at the ACAP office. Proceed to cross the river on a ‘suspension bridge’, the first of many, and check into a lodge to retire for the night.

Day 4

Trek: Bhulbhule to Jagat (1,340m)
Dinner and Overnight at Lodge    Trek duration: 5 ½ hrs – 6 hrs (approximate)
Trek formally begins – a pleasant early morning walk through fields of wheat, barley and maize to reach Nagdi (890 m) – a small picturesque village. Proceed through the trail consisting of terraced farms and small villages. Trail becomes steeper as we approach Bahundanda (Brahmin’s Village) (1314 m). Stop for lunch while enjoying the view of Mt. Phungi (6379m). After lunch, we descend toward Besi, cross a small stream; pass through a few villages to cross the Marshyangdi River via a suspension bridge. Turn right and start an ascent to reach atop a hill. The trail widens and we reach Jagat, a village along a mountain ridge (1340 m), our stop for the night.

Day 5

Trek: Jagat to Dharapani (1,943m)
Dinner and Overnight at Lodge    Trek Duration: 5 ½ hours approximately.
Walk up hill for approximately 2 hours to reach Chamje (1433m). From Chamje, downhill to Marshyangdi River, cross another suspension bridge and walk up hill to reach Sathtalle (‘top of the hill’ in Tibetan). The trail becomes fairly gradual up till Tal Phedi. A 45 minute walk later we reach Tal (1600m), the gateway to Manang. Stop for lunch. Following lunch, we head north along the river, cross a 60 metre long suspension bridge. As we proceed, some parts of the trail are exposed to a vertical cliff, which calls for caution. Reach Dharapani (1943 m). Dharapani means ‘a stream of water’.

Day 6

Trek from Tadapani to Chommorong (2170 M)
Dinner and overnight at Lodge    Trek Duration (5 – 5 ½ hours) (approximate)
Log our entries at an ACAP check point. Reach Bagarchap (the river bank) (2164 m) in 45 minutes. Bagarchap marks where the point of contrast in topography begins – lush green fields in the south and arid dry lands in the north. Reach Donaque. Ascent to Timang along beautiful pine and rhododendron forests and be rewarded with stunning views of the Annapurna range atop. Lunch at Thanchowk with a back drop of Mt. Manaslu. After lunch we walk towards Kodo which means ‘millet’ and then to Kyupar (2600 m). A police check post guards access to Nar Phu Khola Valley which leads to Tibet. Show our permits again and proceed to Chame (2713 m) – the District Headquarters of Manang.

Day 7

Trek: Chame to Pisang (3,185m)
Dinner and Overnight at Lodge    Trek Duration: 5 – 5 ½ hours (approximate)
Consistently gradual with an occasional climbs along the river through pine forests, in two hours we reach Bhartang (2919 m), a small village with mostly Tibetans. Reach Dhukur Pokhari in 1 ½ hours and have lunch. Enjoy splendid views of the Annapurna range en route. Walk for about an hour through a pine forest to Pisang after lunch. Pisang is divided into two villages – upper and lower. Upper Pisang is the main town; however the recent construction of the main highway to Manang has resulted into residents migrating to Lower Pisang.

Day 8

Trek: Pisang to Manang (3,530 m)
Dinner and Overnight at Lodge    Trek Duration: 4 – 4 ½ hours (approximate)
A relatively short however an equally interesting hike. We reach Humde after two hours of a fairly easy walk. Humde has a small domestic airport which connects Manang to Pokhara and subsequently Kathmandu. We cross the village, log our entries at another checkpoint and proceed to Barkha – our lunch destination. We explore the village with its thatched houses and visit the Gompa (the largest in the region with a beautiful collection of Thankas) while we wait for lunch. After lunch, reach Manang in a short while which sits atop a plateau.

Day 9

Rest Day: Manang (3530 m)
Dinner and Overnight at Lodge.
Manang at an elevation of 3530 meters serves as a perfect place to rest and acclimatize before proceeding to summit the peak. Plenty of activities to do – observe the art and explore the culture of this quaint little village. In the afternoon we can take a walk to the north of the village to take in panoramic views of the Annapurna Annapurna IV and II to the southeast and Gangapurna (7455m) and Tarke Kang or Ice dome (7202m) to the southwest.

Day 10

Trek to Churi Leadher (4,220 m)
Dinner and Overnight at Lodge    Trek Duration: 4 ½ – 5 ½ hours approximate.
A steady climb till the hamlet of Tengi (3642 m); from then on another hour of steady yet gentle climb to Gunsang (3850 m). After Gunsang the trail is gradual up till our lunch destination – Yak Kharka. After lunch, a gentle climb through a vast meadow, cross the suspension bridge and reach Churi Leadher (4220 m) in an hour. A short day trip to help with acclimatization.

Day 11

Trek: Churi Leadher to High Camp (4,450m)
Dinner and overnight at lodge    Trek duration: 4 – 4 ½ hours (approximate)
A gradual trail exposes us to a magnificent landscape of the high altitude desert. Reach Dewarli in an hour, cross a wooden bridge to reach the village. Reach Thorang Phedi (translates to ‘foot of the hill’) on a small hill overlooking a high plateau to have lunch. Hereon, the climb becomes a little challenging. Climb slowly to reach High Camp in an hour. The climb is worth it – the view ahead of us is unbeatable. Catch close up views of the mighty Himalayan peaks, look out onto the rolling Himalayan pastures, and notice the Yaks and the Thars. Short trek today to allow rest for the next day.

Day 12

Trek: High Camp to Thorang La (5,416m) to Muktinath (3,802)
Dinner and Overnight at Lodge    Trek Duration: 7 – 8 hours (approximate)
“The day you cross 20 hills and one of Nepal’s highest mountain pass – Thorang La Pass.” Today is a big day and we set off early. Early morning ascent to Thorang La. Several prayer flags offering prayers to the mountains as we reach the highest point. At the highest point (5416 m) watch an unparalleled, uninterrupted view of the Himalayas – Thorangse, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Tukche, Gangapurna. Drop down 1600 metres in 3 hours to reach Muktinath. Settle for the night.

Day 13

Trek: Muktinath to Jomsom (2,713 m)
Dinner and Overnight at Lodge     Trek Duration: 4 – 4 ½ hours (approximate)
Pay a visit to Muktinath – a revered Hindu and Buddhist temple. Breakfast at hotel and begin trek to Jomsom. Cross Ranipauwa, Jharkot, a small Tibetan settlement, and reach Kagbeni. Cross the Kali Gandaki and head towards Jomsom, the capital of Mustang district.

Day 14

Flight: Jomsom to Pokhara (884 m)
Overnight at Hotel.
Enjoy a last breakfast in the laps of the Himalayas and bid farewell to the Sherpas and Porters and head to the airport for a short flight to Pokhara. Enjoy a laid back afternoon alongside Pokhara lakeside.

Day 15

Flight: Pokhara – Kathmandu
Overnight at Hotel.
Breakfast and catch a flight to Kathmandu. Be met by representative and transferred to a hotel. The remainder of the day is at your own leisure.

Day 16

Watch the Himalayas pass by.
Last minute shopping of souvenirs and transfer to TIA, Kathmandu.          Head home, or to your next destination with beautiful memories and a wide glossary of experiences. 

Trip Facts

Best Period: Feb, Mar, April, May – Oct, Nov, Dec

Time Period: 15 Nights / 16 Days.

Trek Period: 11 Night / 12 Days

In Kathmandu: 04 Nights      

In Pokhara: 01 Night

Flights: Jomsom / Pkh / Kathmandu

Trek Type: Strenuous

Highest Altitude: 5416 meters

Warning: Altitude Sickness.

Trek Start Point: Bhulbhule

Trek End Point: Jomsom

Accommodations: Hotels in Kathmandu & Pokhara / Lodges on trek


National Park: Annapurna National Park (7629 sq. kms)

Mountains: Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Yaka Khawa, etc. 

Pass: Throng la Pass (5416 m)

Rivers: Marshyangdi Khola and Kali Ghandaki

Villages: Jagat, Dharapani, Chame, Pisang, etc.    

Tribes: Brahmins, Chettris, Gurungs, Magars, Thakalis, Lobas and the Tibetans

Forest: Of Rhododendron and Pine. 

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