ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT TREK via Thorong-la pass

Description

ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT via Thorong-la pass

The trails on this route of ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT via Thorong-la pass give way to wonderful discoveries with a lot of extraordinary scenery. The ecosystems hereabouts are amazing as we plod the freeway to summit point. The labyrinth of trails poses challenges in certain sections but the wonders of Mother Nature inspire the spirit to go the mile on this great venture…

The natural beauty of sweet-sounding waterfalls, well farmed green paddy fields, dotted barren deserts, oak forests and the deepest gorge in the world make this venture a dream odyssey of sublime wonders that turn holidays into lifetime moments never to forget. Thorong-la High Pass Panorama is your signature odyssey that’s panned out to ignite your adventure cravings for the bigger things to come.

This trip of ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT TREK via Thorong-la pass is certainly no cakewalk as you grind your hike above the tree-lines where the western flank of the mountain is protected by a hanging glacier posing formidable obstacles to the climb, but if you are looking for something tough and compelling with landscapes that steal your emotions and your heart, then this is one outing in the wilderness you’d want to spend some of your savings on.

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu airport (1345meters)
Day 2: Free at your own leisure
Day 3: Drive to Besisahar (830meters) by bus 7 hours
Day 4: Trek to Bahundanda (1310 meters) 5 hours
Day 5: Trek to Chamje (1400meters) 5 hours
Day 6: Trek to Bagarchhap (2160meters) 5 hours
Day 7: Trek to Chame (2630meters) 5 hours
Day 8: Trek to Pisang village (3300 meters) 5 hours
Day 9:  Acclimatization and explore around Overnight at guesthouse
Day 10: Trek to Manang (3500meters) 6 hours
Day 11: Trek to Yak Kharka (4000meters) 5 hours
Day 12: Trek to Thorung Phedi (4450meters) 5 hours
Day 13: Cross Thorung La pass (5416meters) and trek down to Muktinath (3800meters). 7 hours
Day 14: Trek to Jomsom (2715meters) 5 hours
Day 15: Morning flight to Pokhara Overnight at hotel
Day 16: Drive to Kathmandu by tourist bus. 7 hours
Day 17: Transfer to international airport for your final departure

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
It is fantastic flying into Kathmandu on a day with clear blue skies. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks spread down below you are almost rapturous, and begins a whole sequence of memorable experiences that stay with you for a real long time. An escort from our office will meet you at the airport and reach you to your hotel. Our representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be oriented about your daily activities. This is your first overnight in the valley of temples and footloose and fancy free cows, probably the most in the world - Breakfast

Day 02: Free at your own leisure
After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about what to do in your next free day. The choice is yours: either you can stroll around the nearby market on your own or you can opt for a half/full day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest. The cost for this extra tour is not added in the trek cost and you have to pay extra depending on the places you choose to visit. This extra tour gives you deep insights into Nepal’s iconic monuments that have been recognized by UNESCO as world heritage sites.  Rupakot holidays will give you an orientation on your program & you will also get the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have regarding our upcoming adventure. When this is done, you might find time to shop around the city in the evening time if you need any gears for the trek. Overnight at your hotel

Day 03: Drive to Ngadi. Approx 1,150m via Besisahar [823m] – 7 Hrs
We have an early breakfast, & then travel by a Deluxe Coach through the scenic Pokhara highway. This is an interesting drive through the foothills of the Himalaya. The road has been greatly improved in recent years. Just two hours before the road that leads to Pokhara, our route off-shoots from the town village of Dumre north towards Beshishar. On arriving Besisahar, a large town and the district headquarters of Lamjung area, we continue our drive following the Marsyangdi River upstream to Ngadi for an overnight camp in the village backyard of Besisahar – B. L. D

Day 04: Trek to Bahundanda [1310m] – 5 Hrs
As we walk northwards up the Marshyangdi Valley, away from Khudi, we get to see the magnificent Annapurna mountain ranges. The trail winds through a suspension bridge and follows terraced rice fields, offering breathtaking view of Manaslu and cascading waterfalls. Further, as the trail goes uphill, we spot several shops and teahouses at Ngadi village. On leaving Ngadi after a brief rest, we skirt through the challenging trails to Bahundanda. Bahundanda literally means "Brahmin hill" and as the name suggests Bahundanda is largely inhabited by Brahmins. Here we conclude our trekking journey for the day – B. L. D

Day 05: Trek to Chamje – [1430m] - 5 hours
An early start for the trek would be a good idea; Chamje is a charming little village in the Annapurna Region at an elevation of 1430m. The village has a lovely waterfall which is an attraction for both locals and hikers. The fine-looking greenery that surrounds us will stimulate us for the trek ahead. Overnight at a lodge in Chamje with tents as an option B. L. D

Day 06 - Trek to Bagarchhap [2160m] - 5 hrs
We hit the rocky trail following the Marsyandi River steadily uphill to Tal (1675m), the first village in Manang district. We cut a trail across a wide flat valley, reaching a stone stairway at 1860 meters. We then climb up another stairway, continuing up and then down to Dharapani (1890m). There we find a stone entrance, typical of Tibetan influence to be seen in villages from here northwards. We then reach Bagarchhap (2160m), which offers typical flat-roofed stone houses of Tibetan design, although the village is still in the transition zone, before the dry highlands. Reckon, this is where we bunk out for the night in our teahouse lodge – B. L. D

Day 07: Trek to Chame. [2,715m] – 5-6 Hrs
From Bagarchhap onwards, the vegetation, the local inhabitants and the general landscapes go through a gradual change as the air gets cooler, the trail then climbs through forests to Bagarchhap, the first village on the trek with typical Tibetan architecture.

After a pleasant cool morning walk to Bagarchhap, the altitude slowly gains as we come closer to apple country at Dhanaqi and to the alpine region passing through farm orchards and beautiful pine forest with views of towering peaks of Lamjung and Annapurna II, the trail follows the river Marsyangdi upstream passing by the villages of Ratamanang and Koto before Chame.  From Koto, a half hour of easy boot walking brings us to the village town of Chame; an important place in the Manang region. We settle into our lodge by this village in the middle of the pine wood near the fresh running river of Marsyangdi, after several hours of some solid hiking – B. L. D

Day 08: Trek to Pisang [3,185m] – 5 Hrs
The walk from here follows the other side of the river on the northern bank, after leaving Chame, the path passes through pine woods and small villages with few ups and downs till you reach the orchard village of Bratang. From here we continue on the gradual path up to a bridge, from the bridge a short steep climb through the pine forest brings us to the top of the ridge of Pisang village. After walking out of the tree line a great view of Pisang peak on the north and the Chulu peak can be seen with Pisang village below us, a wonderful sight & from this top a gentle descent of one hour brings us to the windswept village of Pisang where we crash out for the night at our lodge – B. L. D

Day 09: A day for Rest and acclimatisation at Pisang
Today we spend a day acclimatizing in Pisang Village. We can spend the whole day taking some fine day walks and sighting the magnificent mountain and scenic views around the village. The day time is best to gain altitude. At the end of the day, we return back to our accommodation and have a goodnight’s rest to prepare for the higher reaches in the days ahead – B. L. D

Day 10: Trek to Manang [3,350m] – 6 Hrs
From Pisang onwards, we keep hiking with constant views of the high snow capped peaks. The walk climbs steeply up for half an hour, after a short gradual walk from Pisang village. On reaching the top, we stop at a ridge to get our first view of the Manang valley, a wide U shaped valley hanging between the two lines of snow peaks. This grand spot offers a dramatic view of the valleys, Hongdre village with it's short air-strip and the great peaks of Gangapurna, Annapurna II, III, Tilocho, and on the right Chuli east, on the back Pisang peak. The walk is downhill and gradual all the way to Hongdre, from Hongdre the trek is more or less gradual on the wide path most of the way to Manang, adding a slight touch of altitude as you near the village of Braga and Manang, here we will have time to spend the morning visiting Braga Monastery. The largest in the district, it has an outstanding display of statues, thangkas and religious manuscripts.  From here on, it is only an hour walk to Manang for an overnight stop – B. L. D

Day 11: Manang to Yak Kharka.  Gangapurna Lodge - (Maya) – 5 Hrs
After a wonderful time at Manang, the trail from here leads to a slow climb up for an hour, after the last village of Manang, & the track gently winds up offering inspiring views of the Annapurna II, Gangapurna, Tiloche  and the close up view of Chuli mid and west as the trail heads up into the barren windswept terrain with juniper bushes as the only surviving vegetation around this region, as we come to the small settlements of Yak-Kharka for an overnight at our lodge, with ample time & space for some short hikes around – B. L. D

Day 12: Trek to Thorung Phedi [4,450m] – 5 Hrs
Today the trail descends to cross a river, and then climbs up to Thorung Phedi (4450m), a five hour trek. We climb gradually to a ridge before descending to the headwaters of the Marshyangdi and cross via a covered wooden bridge.

After a short ascent up the mountain path on the right bank, we follow a narrow trail across an unstable steep slope and then descend to Thorung Phedi for the night – B. L. D

Day 13: Cross Thorung La Pass [5416m] & trek down to Muktinath [3800m] - 5 hrs.
Today it’s the long haul in our hikes that begin at 4 am, giving us time to reach the pass by 9 or 10 a.m. this is so because inclement weather conditions can impede our journey. We cross over at an altitude of 5416m, and we can be exposed to strong winds if the crossing is made too late. We start climbing up a steep path that is regularly used and easy to follow. Problems may occur, however, due to the high altitude and snow. Snow often creates hurdles in our crossing. After about four hours’ climbing we’ll reach the pass, marked by chortens and prayer flags. At the top we are rewarded by the breath taking combination of the work of Mother Nature – through the power of God; the views are simply awesome. After this spectacular experience, we descend down for several hours to the holy town of Muktinath, meaning “place of Nirvana,” which is home to the Muktinath temple as well as several monasteries. It is believed that all sorrows are relieved when visiting the temple, a venerated pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists alike. The main pilgrimage usually takes place in September. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and features 108 waterspouts from which holy water pours. An added attraction nearby is the Jwala Mai Temple, which contains a spring and an eternal flame fed by natural underground gas. This is where we crash out for the night in our teahouse lodge – B. L. D

Day 14: Muktinath to Jomsom [2,715m] - 5-6 hours
We begin descending down the striking Kali Gandaki Gorge through parched territory. We pass by Jharkot and Khingar villages which have typical Tibetan architecture. Following the valley floor most of the way sprawled along the banks of the Kali Gandaki, we reach Jomsom for a night’s halt. Jomsom, at (2715m), is headquarters of the Mustang district and home to many apple orchards and apple treats. Apple Brandy is a local specialty that you may be lucky enough to taste during the journey. A lot of the apple pies that land on your plate after supper on most trails across Nepal’s Himalayas originate from this district – B. L. D

Day 15 - Morning flight to Pokhara
After breakfast this morning, we head down to the airport for a thirty minute flight to Pokhara from Jomsom. Once at the Pokhara airport, we’ll drive to our villa and chill out for some time. In the afternoon will be a sightseeing tour around Pokhara valley, covering Fewa Lake, Devi’s Waterfall, a museum, and a Tibetan refugee settlement, and Gupteshower Cave, etcetera. Overnight at our villa – Breakfast

Day 16: From Pokhara, we drive back to Kathmandu
From Pokhara we have the options to either fly or drive to Kathmandu. The flight is for about 30 minutes and the drive takes approx 6-7 hours. This is a highly scenic drive through lush rural countryside via the main highway to Kathmandu. On reaching Kathmandu, your day is free to do what you would like to do best. Maybe you could go in for some last minute shopping to pick up some souvenirs for the loved ones at home, or maybe you could just chill with a few beers at your hotel. At eventide, we visit an upscale Nepalese restaurant for a delicious Nepalese supper to celebrate a trip well enjoyed. While savoring our meal, we will be entertained to a scintillating cultural dance performed by the local belles, we are going to enjoy this evening to the hilt. Overnight at your hotel – Breakfast and a comp dinner on the house

Day 17: Departure for that lovely place we call ‘home’ – Farewell Buddies!
Today is free to relax and do your own things; perhaps some last minute shopping or pen a few post cards to the loved ones at home, until your departure or to commence any additional trips or activities you may have booked. If you are departing, you’ll be transferred to the international airport in time for your return flight home. Meeting you has been a wonderful experience that Rupakot holidays will cherish for a long, long time; & on your way home, you’ll be thinking of a trip that will linger in your memories for a whole lifetime which we are sure will become fireside stories to be told to your loved ones on a cold winter night for the generations to come. Till we meet again one day…its bye for now.

Accommodation

A ‘TH [Teahouse Lodge] is a term used for sleeping in teahouse lodges on the trails. These teahouses are pretty basic but provide all the comforts that you would expect when hiking in remote conditions, they are cosy and warm – you’d like the homely environment. We crash out in single rooms wherever available, but often times we sometimes have to adapt to sleeping out in dormitory type rooms for a night. Generally, it’s just a bed with a pillow and blankets. It’s a matter of choice, if you want, you bring your own ‘Air pillow’ and freak out anyways, this is adventure in the wild…the rougher it gets the better. We accommodate our trek groups in local lodges available each day. Our porters hike ahead of us to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot be booked in advance). Please note, that some of them are very basic and a spirit of adventure is the call of the day. It is cheaper to stay in lodges rather than organizing a camping trek.
 
We have a pool of hotels in Kathmandu under 3-4-5 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection with this itinerary, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice. You can check on the description of such hotels through our website. Accommodation is never a problem, the choice exclusively yours.
Dining

To start the day, breakfast is ‘king size’ [the first meal of the day] consisting of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereals followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads.

After a lengthy gritty day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal - soup, followed by a variety of vegetables, meat, rice and pasta dishes completed with a simple dessert. Don’t be surprised if the delectable ‘apple pie’ lands on your plate, it’s literally ‘yummy’’, even better than the ones you come across in Thamel.

The lodges always use as much fresh produce as possible and special diets are regularly catered for. This has allowed us to maintain extremely high standards of health over many years of planning treks - and good health is vital to an enjoyable and successful trek and climb. All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. Boiled water is served for drinking. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing. 

Cost Inclusion

  • 3N Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis in BB plan at KTM    
  • 1N Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis in BB plan at KPKR                 
  • 12N accommodation on Normal hotel /lodge/ home stay during trekking 
  • One English speaking guide 
  • Porter (1Porter for 2Pax)
  • 3 meals (Breakfast, Lunch & dinner) everyday during Trekking.
  • National park fees
  • TIMS
  • Airport pick up and drop 
  • All ground transfer as per itinerary (KTM-Nagdi –PKR-KTM by tourist coach or Micro bus)

Cost Exclusion

  • International Air Fare
  • Domestic Air Fare
  • Entrance Fees
  • Daily Meals (Lunch & Dinner) during Kathmandu
  • Tips to Guide & Driver
  • Bar Expense
  • Telephone, Laundry and Internet
  • Personnel Insurance
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • All other personal expenses
  • Nepal visa fees 

Popular Sightseeing places in Kathmandu:

  • Kathmandu Durbar Square
  • Bhaktapur Durbar Square
  • Patan Durbar Square
  • Pashupatinath Temple
  • Boudhanath Stupa
  • Swayambhunath Stupa

Half day sightseeing includes visit two of these places and full day sightseeing includes three of these places inside the ring-road of Kathmandu. Besides the above mentioned places, the charges will apply depending on the distance accordingly.

The best time to visit for a trip of this kind would be in the Spring and Autumn.  It is wonderful duringthis time of the year when an overall beauties of the landscapes found in these trips are so distinct & stunning, due to clear weather pattern & sunny blue skies. Our program could be changed to accommodate individual group choices and preferences in order to give you proper holidays that become signature ventures for a lifetime. 

Trip Information

Trip Duration: 16 Nights / 17 Days
Trek/climb Duration: 17 days
Grade: Moderate to fairly challenging
Activity: A cultural tour and Trekking/climbing
Starts/ends in: Kathmandu
Trek type: Tea-house {lodge} and camping from base camp
Transportation: Flights and private car/ tourist coach
Meals: Nutritious meals are provided throughout the journey on the trail

 

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