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This circuit is considered one of the best treks in the world, though road construction is threatening its reputation and its future as a classic trek. Yet no one disputes that the scenery is outstanding: 17 to 21 days long, this trek takes you through distinct regional scenery of rivers, flora, fauna and above all – mountains.There are four regions that are passed through on the trek; Lamjung, Manang, Mustang and Myagdi. Lamjung and Myagdi of the lower elevations are both predominantly Hindu and with lush green subtropical valleys with villages and terraced farming.
Manang and Mustang are of the higher elevations and are predominantly Tibetan Buddhist. The Manang people are Gurung (not Tibetan descent) and are very proud of their unique cultural heritage and merging of lower land Gurung and Tibetan cultural influences. People of Mustang identify themselves a lot closer with Tibet and the Mustang region has actually been part of Tibet in history. Mustang also is one of the last places in the world to view the ancient Bonpo Religion in action. Villages to note for Bonpo are Thini and Lupra near Jomsom, and Nargon near Kobang.
The trek goes counter-clockwise from Besisahar to Nayapul and reaches its summit in Thorung La (pass) at the height of 5416m, or 17,769 feet. The route goes past the following mountains: Manaslu (an 8,000-plus meter peak), Langtang Himal, Annapurna II and IV, Annapurna III and Gangapurna, and, of course, Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri — passing through the world’s deepest gorge in between those two 8,000-plus meter peaks. Poon Hill, at the end of the trek, affords views of those two mountains, as well as South Annapurna and Macchupucchre, the “Fishtail Mountain.”
The trek also goes through Buddhist villages and Hindu holy sites, most notably the village of Muktinath, a holy site for both Buddhists and Hindus, and Braga, one of the oldest monasteries in the region.The eastern portion of the trek follows the Marsyangdi River upstream, to its source near the village of Manang. To get there several days of up-hill hiking are required. Then the route goes over the pass, a grueling day of hiking, and back down the other side, where it meets up with the Kali Gandaki River. At the end of the trek, several options are available: following the river further to the road proper to Beni and catching a bus to Pokhara, or adding on a trek to the Annapurna Base Camp (ABC Trek), aka the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek.
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to hotel
We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.Rest of day at leisure. Please let us know your flight details in advance.
Day 02: Sightseeing Around Kathmandu
Free time for sightseeing, and trek preparation. Kathmandu is a busy city but it still presents some wonderful historic architecture and has many atmospheric temples, squares, palaces and courtyards. There’s also a vibrant nightlife, including restaurants and bars, although most places close relatively early.
Day 03: Kathmandu to Besi Sahar (760m)
In the morning, we take the bus to Besi Sahar. Overnight at Besi Sahar.
Day 04: Besi Sahar to Bawandara (1310 m)
It is a long walk with several ups & downs across rice paddies and sub tropical forests. The path wanders through small villages scattered amongst extensive rice terraces with views of Manaslu (8156m.) and Ngadi Chuli.
Day 05: Bwandara to Jagat (1300 m)
Next day we move crossing a bridge over Ngadi Khola. This is the end of the access road, so from here on you will be walking only on trails. The trail winds around then makes a short, steep climb to Bahundanda. Rest in Jagat.
Day 06: Jagat to Dharapani (1800 m)
Descend to the Marsyangdi and follows along the riverbank. The trail climbs from the bridge to a stone kani that marks the entrance to Dharapani. From here the Tibetan influence becomes stronger as you see all the villages from here to Kagbeni have entrance chortens at both ends of the village.
Day 07: Dharapani to Chame (2670 m)
Between Dharapani to Cheme, you get some occasional glimpses of Lamjung Himal & Annapurna II. The trek enters the east-west Manang Valley and reaches to Chame the administrative headquarters of the Manang district, then spent the night here.
Day 08: Chame to Pisang (3100 m)
Up Until Bhartang the walk is pleasant but after Bhartang, the valley is steep and narrow and the trail goes through deep forest. You may view Annapurna II, Pisang Peak, Himal Chuli and Ngadi Chuli. The trek is reasonably level as it heads into the upper part of the Manang Valley, eventually reaching the entrance to Pisang. Overnight at Pisang.
Day 09: Pisang to Manang (3540 m)
After crossing a swathe of flat landscapes, trek to the upper portion of the Manang district that has about 5000 inhabitants in six major villages. Then across a stream and overnight at Manang.
Day 10: Acclimatization day in Manang
Explore Manang while you acclimatize to the increased altitude.
Day 11: Manang to Yak Kharka (4100 m)
From Manang village, you can take the trekking trail to relaxing town of Yak Kharka in preparation to ascend the Throng La High Pass in the very early morning.
Day 12: Yak Kharka to Thorung Phedi (4450 m)
Day 13: Thorung Phedi – Thorung La Pass (5416 m) – Muktinath (3802 m)
This morning we wake up very early in order to make the arduous journey of passing the Thorung La High Pass. This is important in order to avoid the strong winds that can occur. The trail becomes steep immediately after leaving the Thorung Phedi, but as you cross, you will experience magnificent views of the Himalayas. In about four hours, you will cross the High Pass and make a final descent to Muktinath. It is a pleasant walk along the upper part of Jhong Khola. You will stay at Muktinath for the night.
Day 14: Muktinath to Marpha via Jomsom (2725 meters)
Muktinath is the home of the Muktinath temple and several other monasteries and is a sacred site to both Hindus and Buddhists. After visiting this temples and monasteries, we will descend down to Kagbeni that looks like a town straight out of an unknown medieval past with closely packed mud houses, dark tunnels & alleyways then further descend down to Marpha and overnight.
Day 15: Marpha – Ghasa (2500 m)
Marpha is the home of many apple orchids with apple brandy and apple pie being a famous local specialty. If you wish, you may indulge in both of them. Descend down and overnight at Ghasa.
Day 16: Ghasa to Tatopani (1189m)
We further descend down to the valley of Kali Kandaki. A dramatic change occurs in the vegetation and landscapes. We stop at Tatopani, which translates as ‘Hot Water’ and you may enjoy a relaxing, rejuvenating soak in them in preparation of staying overnight there.
Day 17: Tatopani to Ghorepani (2750m)
Leaving behind Tatopani, we ascend again climbing to the Ghorepani and staying overnight there.
Day 18: Ghorepani to Tadopani (2520m)
Early in the morning, we hike to Poon Hill (3210m) for the best sunrise view over the high Himalayas. One may witness the sunrise of a lifetime with over more than 30 snow peaks in easy view. Then walk down to Ghorepani for breakfast and we will walk towards Tadapani and overnight
Day 19: Tadopani – Ghandruk (1910m)
We will finally descend down to a charming and prosperous village and stay overnight there.
Day 20: Ghandruk – Naya Pool- Pokhara
We descend down to Naya Pool and drive to Pokhara. End of Trekking.
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