Annapurna circuit trek is a popular trekking area in Nepal with a wide range of cultures and landscapes. In spite of the challenge of a 15-day Annapurna circuit trek, it offers a unique opportunity to experience both the alpine lands and the indigenous cultures of Manang and Mustang. In recent years, restricted trekking areas have been opened near the Annapurna circuit trek, including Upper Mustang, Naar-Pho Valley, Manaslu, and Tsum Valley. Due to restrictions, trekking in these areas currently requires additional permit costs. After disputes between the CIA-backed Khampa guerrillas operating from the area into Tibet and the local population and the Nepali army were resolved in 1977, the Annapurna area was also opened to foreign trekkers. It took about 23 days to complete the original trek, which began in Dhumre on the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway and ended in Pokhara. Brand new roads were constructed in the early 1980s, both from Dhumre in the north and from Pokhara in the west, then up the Kali Gandaki valley.
Now the road reaches Chame-Manang in the Marsyangdi river valley and Jomsom Muktinath in the Kali Gandaki valley. Only five walking days are without motor roads during the original 23 days of the trek. In some places, trails and routes have been marked in order to avoid parts of the road. Despite the existence of the road, the area, appearance, and atmosphere of the villages have changed. Mountain biking is more prevalent in the area due to the road. Since 2011, Muktinath and Jomsom have been renting mountain bikes to tourists. As the road sees very little traffic, it is possible to ride downhill (dirt road and/or single track) from Muktinath to Tatopani in two to three days and descend almost 3000 meters.
In order to discover more beauty of the nature trek and cultural villages, we have developed a 15-day Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary, which follows the ridge between the Marsyangdi River and the Kali Gandaki River and is feasible even during the monsoon season as the Annapurna Circuit valleys are known as rain shadow treks. A large portion of the Circuit Trail is circumscribed by the Marsyandi and Kali Gandaki valleys. The trails are shortened by roads, however, it would be better to begin the hike from Bahun Danda, as the hike begins from a low altitude, which is beneficial for acclimatization.
Manang village’s history and culture
Additionally, historical Ghale and Gurung heritage culture, a sacred sanctuary of Buddhist Bon Po monasteries and spinning prayer wheels, traditional Tibetan lifestyle, and harmony are all included in the Annapurna classification. As outlined in the Nepal oral history of Ghale and Gurung origin from Hyula Braka village in Manang, once upon a time these indigenous ethnic groups migrated along with Lamjung, Kaski, and Gorkha.
The Annapurna circuit trek is also known as the AC Trek and Nepal circuit trek. The length of the Annapurna circuit trek is 131 kilometres. Long-distance trek around the Annapurna Massif and along two river valleys. It reaches its highest point at Thorung La pass (5,416 m/17,769 ft), which is the highest point on the Tibetan plateau
In terms of distance, the AC trek ends at Thorong La Pass, which is located at an elevation of 5,416 meters above sea level. Whether you are travelling in a group or on your own, this is an excellent journey. Stunning white Himalayan peaks can be seen from the pass. Dhaulagiri, A few of the more prominent peaks are Annapurna I, Annapurna II, and Annapurna III, as well as Lamjung Himal, Tilicho Peak, Chulu Peaks, Thorong Peak, Manaslu Himal, and Nill Giri 1,2,3.
There is one more beauty to the Annapurna circuit trek
Through the Thorong La Mountain Pass, the Annapurna Circuit Trek connects two beautiful river valleys. In the northern-central region of Nepal, these river valleys are surrounded by impressive topographical features that trekkers can explore during their trip. The Annapurna circuit trek follows the Marsyangdi River up to Manang valley, then descends into the Kali Gandaki valley and enters the lower Mustang region. Located between Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) and Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m), the Kali Gandaki River cuts deep into the mountains. This gorge is five times deeper than the Grand Canyon, making it the deepest on earth.
The Lake Tilicho
We will then trek to Tilicho Lake from Manang. Located on the Annapurna circuit trek, Tilicho Lake is one of the most beautiful holy lakes in the world, which is a lap of the Tilicho peak 7,134 m above sea level. In addition to being located at a height of 4919 meters, the lake is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus.
Furthermore, this lake will be ice-covered in the winter, but it will be crystal clear and beautiful in the months of April-May and September-October. It is not recommended to do the solo trek to the lake because the trails are extremely narrow and cliffy. Although solo trekkers are not recommended, it is better to have a guide or porter with you.
Muktinath, a holy place in the Himalayas
Muktinath, a prominent holy temple that is part of the Annapurna Circuit Trekking, is one of the cultural attractions. In the Annapurna Circuit Trekking, you will experience the spiritual centres and art of the Annapurna environment. Hindu devotees consider Muktinath to be one of the holiest sites of salvation. As a result, they often take back some holy water with them after taking a holy bath in the belief that it will eliminate their sins. Muktinath’s eternal flames are believed to be lit by the Hindu god Brahma. Additionally, the Mustang region is home to many ammonites called calligrams. Vishnu himself is seen as a direct manifestation of calligrams in Hinduism. As the place where Guru Rinpoche meditated and brought Buddhism to Tibet, Muktinath is sacred to Buddhists. The temple and its surrounding area are full of relics and architectural splendour, such as the 108 water fountains carved into the walls. Many people believed that taking a holy bath would cleanse them of sin, so they took bottles of holy water home.
Nepal wilderness trekking agency offers the Annapurna circuit trek for 15 days at a competitive price with an expert guide who is familiar with the Annapurna Circuit trails, cultures, and history. There are fully-equipped guides and porters on our team, and they are all insured. In the blog, the package price is the same whether you travel in a group or alone.
Annapurna Trek SIM card recommendations
The Ncell sim card is the best for Circuit Trekking in both Mustang and Manang valleys, the SIM card can be purchased from any shop in Kathmandu city, and the Ncell network is available almost everywhere except Thorong Phedi.
Keeping hydrated on your trek
Do not forget to bring or purchase Piyush which makes natural drinking water purification. 3 drops (0.2 ML) is sufficient per litre, and you should consume at least 3 letters per day during your AC Trek. In order to disinfect drinking water for trekkers, Piyush was prepared as a chlorination method.