Permits and Fees
For most of the Annapurna trekking area, no trekking permits are required. The exception is upper Mustang where a fee of US $700 per person is levied for a ten-day visit. Additional restrictions relating to Mustang will be outlined later. Most of the area discussed in the trek descriptions is within the area controlled by Annapurna Conservation Area Project. Entry to this area is controlled and an entry permit has to be purchased.
Regardless of the trek chosen it is most likely that Pokhara will be either starting or ending point of your trek. Pokhara is located 200 km. west of Kathmandu and can be reached by road in five to six hour or by air in 30 minutes from the capital. For road travel there are a number of tourist buses available daily from Kathmandu and from Chitwan.
There is no shortage of tourist facilities to be found in and around Pokhara. The main center for tourists is at the side of the largest of the three lakes in the area, Phewa Tal. The suburbs of Lakeside and Damside both provide a wide range of accommodation and restaurants along with the usual variety of trekking and traveling agencies and suppliers of souvenirs and trekking equipment. For those trekking in the eastern side of the Annapurna massif the most likely starting point will be Besishahar, the district headquarters of Lamjung district. Buses from Kathmandu, Pokhara and the Terai arrive and depart here on a regular daily basis. The bus trip from Kathmandu to Besishahar takes around four to five hours but, at this time, there are no tourist bus services available.
When to visit ?
The best time to visit are during spring and autumn. Spring is the time for rhododendrons while the clearest skies are found after the monsoon in October and November. At these times the weather is generally mild and there is little rainfall.
Climate Flora and Fauna
The climatic condition in the Annapurna region is different from subtropical to alpine. The southern grade of the region has the maximum number of the rainfall in the nation i.e. 3000mm per annum; similarly, the northern grade situated in the downpour shade has the lowly rate i.e. fewer than 300mm per annum. The differentiation in the climate in this area is accountable for its different fauna as well as flora.
This area has different types of plants and animals. It elongates from the subtropical plains and the towering temperate rhododendron area in the south, to a dehydrated alpine prairieland surroundings in the North. The Southern plains are flourishing with subtropical woodland having of chirpine and alder. In the Northern flat terrain moderate woodlands we can find oaks, rhododendron, fir, and blue pine. The damp areas capitulate a multiplicity of bamboo class. The advanced elevation extra North provide ascend to woodlands of birch, blue pine and juniper trees, which are reinstated by juniper and rhododendron in the distant North. In the semi-desert shower shade area, following the Himalayas, shrubs of caragana and juniper class are apparent. It consists of numerous classes of flora and fauna. There are approximately 474 classes of birds, and in the same way, approximately there are hundred classes of mammals. The Annapurna area provides as an outstanding environment for exceptional and rare animals like the snow leopard, musk deer, blue sheep, red panda and numerous of Nepal’s luminously plumaged pheasants.
Most of the trekking routes in the Annapurna region are well serviced by teahouses for most of their length. This is particularly true for most popular treks-the Jomsom trek, the Annapurna circuit and Annapurna base camp treks.
Trekkers should be aware, however that there is always the risk of being stranded by bad weather or injury/sickness between teahouses, particularly in the more remote parts of the trek itineraries. A good example is on the Annapurna circuit where there is one very long day when the high pass of Thorong La has to be crossed. There is little or no shelter available for most of this day and some trekkers have been caught unprepared by bad weather and altitude problems.
The treks in less developed areas, particularly the Dhaulagiri circuit and the trek east of Lamjung, definitely require trekkers to be self sufficient in food and shelter.
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The Annapurna region can be considered the best region for trekking in Nepal in terms of accommodation as we can find variety of accommodation units here. Some of the hotels have basic rooms, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets with electric lights and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. Nowadays in the new constructions we can find attached bathrooms as well. You will spend each day in a different lodge and the trek guide will send a porter to book it ahead of us every day. Some are very basic depending on the remoteness of the place so stay prepared for the adventure.
Camping trek means sleeping in tents. On a camping trek, the tents provided are ‘Two men dome’ or ‘A’ shaped. Foam mattress with insulation underneath is provided for sleeping. Clients need to have their own sleeping bag. Bags or cloth packs are used as pillows. If you wish, you can bring your own ‘Air pillow’.
People & Places
The Gurung people are the major group in the Annapurna area. They approach from Tibet Burman stock. Even though fundamentally Buddhists some Gurungs have transformed to Hinduism. They occupy the superior northern areas of the Annapurna, Lamjung, Chuli and hills in the region of Ganesh Himal. A huge number of Gurung people are in the British and Indian army.
The instant locality of Pokhara is mostly inhabited by Chhetri and Brahmins. They too exist in the region of the momentous place of the aged Gorkha realm. The Magars live in the inferior track flanked by Baglung and Dana. They exist elevated on the vertical edges all along the branch of the Kali Gandaki.
One more racial set of this area is the Thakali. Recognized all the way through the nation as talented hoteliers and experienced merchants, they are renowned intended for their insistent operating strength. They create one of the minority wealthier assemblies of citizens in Nepal. The Jomsom trail goes by through Thak Khola which is the Thakali native soil.
In the gorge of the Muktinath exists the Baragaun Bhotiya. Their way of life is parallel with the aim of the Tibetans. Extra clusters of community who allocate a near resemblance to the Tibetans are the Lopa group of Mustang which is at the north of Kagbeni. Several of people perform the antique pre-Buddhist faith of Bon which is permeating with animistic and shamanic faith and ceremony. The natives existing in the upper Marshyangdi gorge are normally recognized as Mananges. The Nyeshang region, beneath which fall the villages of Manang, Braga and Ngawal. The citizens are of Tibetan source. Except their tongue Nyeshang is not a Tibetan language. This region is commonly recognized by the name of its main and huge village Manang.
Pokhara is the major city which is situated in middle of Nepal. It is the preliminary place of most of the foremost treks in the Annapurna area. It is located at an elevation of 827m; it is warmer and moist than Kathmandu. This city is recognized for its charming places resembling the Phewa Tal (lake), on whose apparent water you can observe the manifestation of the Mt. Machhapuchhare and the Annapurna Himal. Pokhara is one of the chief tour aims of Nepal.
Muktinath is a consecrated place equally for Hindus as well as Buddhists. It is situated at a height of 3,710 m at the base of the Thorong La pass in Mustang area. The Hindus identify the place Mukti Kshetra, which is also called the "the place of salvation", whereas the Buddhists name it Chumig Gyatsa, Tibetan for 'Hundred Waters'. For Tibetan Buddhists Chumig Gyatsa is a place of Dakinis, deities recognized as the heavens performer. Jwala Mai Temple, Vishnu Temple, Marme Lhakhang and Gompa Sarwa are several of the spiritual places of pilgrimage to observe. The springs as of the Gandaki River spurts out of the 108 waterspouts in the vicinity of Vishnu temple, as of where the Hindu pilgrim takes sacrament shower. On one thing that is exceptional to this place is the Saligrams, which is also called Ammonite fossils. These are the black pebbles that when busted open; disclose the fossilized leftovers of primitive ammonites shaped concerning 130 million years ago. The aged fragments that emerge on several Saligram are pyrite (fool's gold). Hindus consider that the Saligrams symbolize the deity Vishnu.
Jomsom is considered as the capital for Mustang gorge. It is situated on the shore of the Kali Gandaki stream. There is an airfield now with programmed service to Kathmandu. The raise in the frequency of air travel has transport extra travelers to this region. Jomsom has all the facilities like bank, post office, telecom office, a hospital and plentiful inns as well as hotels and lodges.
Manang regions was merely lately unlock to trekker. The dehydrated plus scorched area of Manang called Nyeshang is situated at a height of 3520m. At hand is a great quantity of huge chortens and Mani walls .The citizens of Nyeshang were decided special trading rights by the King of Nepal hundred years before. The businessmen from these fractions are supposed to be equally eager and judicious. The giant climax of the Himalaya such as Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Gangapurna [7455m] and Tilicho Peak [7134m] are noticeable from this place. There is as well a Himalayan Rescue Association [HRA] assist position in the village which creates an attractive and instructive trip.
Kagbeni is situated at the northernmost village in this area that foreign persons may visit on a usual trekking permit. The police check post at the northern end of the village delicately stops foreigners from going on towards Lo-Manthang, the walled town of Mustang exclusive of the appropriate documents. A emerald oasis at the crossroads of the Jhong Khola and the Kali Gandaki river, Kagbeni appears like a city out of the medieval history, with intimately crowded sludge houses, dim tunnels and alleyways, impressive chortens and a huge, ochre-colored Gompa balanced on top of the city. Numerous people in this place still costume in emblematic Tibetan clothes.
This is the uppermost everlasting resolution in the gorge. Chomrong is alienated keen on New Chomrong and Old Chomrong. New Chomrong which is 2040m is the higher fraction. It has resort hotels, a school and a helicopter pad. Old Chomrong which is 2060m is the major division of the community with shops offices and hotels. There is a marvelous vision of Annapurna South, which appears to soar on top of the village. There are excellent sights of Machhapuchhare, the fish tail peak across the gorge. Further than Chomrong, camping is constrained to convince ACAP- elected campground sites and hotel building is severely banned.
Ghandruk which is a conventional Gurung village is a group of slate-roofed residences. It is the succeeding major Gurung settlement in Nepal following Siklis. Its real Gurung name is Kond. It is enclosed by tidily terraced meadows; the village has electrical energy and widespread water furnish. There are numerous inns and cottages to supply to the numerous trekkers and visitors that leave behind that path. The headquarters of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project are at this time. More than here one gets to observe the exceptional way of life, custom and practice of the Gurung population. Ghandruk presents admirable vision of Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Annapurna III and Machhapuchhare.
Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)
Annapurna Conservation Area Project also known as ACAP was recognized in 1986 beneath the supervision of the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation. The plan includes extra 7600 sq km. of the Annapurna series. As a pioneering loom en route for ecological security, this region was confirmed a "conservation area" in its place of a national park. In an attempt to evade some inconsistency of concern, ACAP has wanted the participation of local citizens and has highlighted ecological instruction. ACAP mission comprise the guidance of hotel proprietors, by means of a prominence on cleanliness, deforestation and cultural conceit. They have skilled trekking hotel worker and confident hoteliers to give a reasonable cost for foodstuff and lodging. ACAP persuades to utilize of kerosene for cookery and completed its use obligatory over Chhomrong in the Annapurna shelter and on the road linking Ghandruk and Ghorapani. ACAP is sustained by a "conservation fee" of Rs 650 that is composed from all trekkers who attain trekking authorize for the Annapurna area.
What to expect
When the day is good with the sunlight and if there is no wind then the thermal top is sufficient which is back up the light jacket or wind proof jacket for rest stops and you need a windproof breathable jacket for when the wind picks up.
We will take for granted that you have all the necessary mountaineering equipments or gears like warm hat etc. You can have a large number of gears or equipments obtainable from our side or you can hire in the Kathmandu. You should have to pay some dues for the gears which will be charge by the day basis.
- High quality sunglasses. Side pieces are not essential; we can always use tape for a day. Ski goggles are unnecessary.
- neck gaiter or balaclava
- balaclava, only if you don't have a neck gaiter
- new liner gloves (i.e. thin gloves)
- fleece gloves/wind stopper gloves
- Wind proof gloves/mittens if you don't have wind stopper ones.
- trekking pole
- ice axe, non-technical is generally better
- light harness (Black Diamond Alpine Bod is perfect)
- belay device: ATC or figure of 8 etc
- two locking carabineers, two ordinary ones
- two prussic, one short, one longer
- windproof pants - these don't have to be fancy and you can buy in Kathmandu cheaply
- snow gaiters
- Plastic boots/leather boots - see the discussion below
- leather boot waterproofing (snow seal etc)
You need a sleeping bag. The bag should be down-filled bags which is best for 4-5 seasons and they are the finest to carry because at the height nights will be cold and cold night are the most worse things while trekking.
Sleeping bag liner
The sleeping bags liner is made of the silk, cotton or fleece. It saves time of washing your sleeping and provides extra warm. The sleeping bags made by cotton or silk can be made in Kathmandu but we recommend you to bring from home because it saves your time and money. The bag made of fleece is ready made and easily available in Kathmandu and will cost you next to nothing.
This is supposed to be relaxed and high-quality waistbands that relocate a few of the burden to the hips are mainly significant. It requires being gigantic adequate to obtain a jacket, fleece, water, camera and so on. You set your daypack in the sunrise and offer the remaining of your luggage to the porters. You be supposed to have the whole thing you require during the daytime with you, because it is probable that we don’t notice the porters another time earlier than we camp for the night.
This is the most significant stuff you don’t want to neglect on those cold evenings. If you don’t have your down jacket already then you can easily rented in Kathmandu for around $ 1 per day.
It is one of the important materials while climbing. It is constantly reasonable to climb and walk with the helmet. It is only use for a couple of hours while climbing. For the mountaineering summits it is exceptional for climbers to use a helmet, but we won't force you and that is up to you. On Island peak rock fall is probable but it is uncommon.