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Annapurna Circuit Thorung La Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trekking Thorung La PassA rewarding trek, providing the opportunity to explore the scenery of both the northern and southern Himalaya. From thick fir and rhododendron forests to the harsh, thin atmosphere of the Tibetan plateau the ethnic groups encountered, lowland Hindu and highland Buddhist, are as varied as the landscape. From the dizzying heights of the Thorung Pass (5416m) line upon line of snow ridges stretch before you whilst below lies the sub-tropical Kali Gandaki Gorge a busy pilgrimage and trade route controlled by Thakali and Mustang tribes.

Days 1-2 : Flying into Kathmandu is an unforgettable experience with the Himalaya spread out before you. You will be met at the airport on arrival and transfered to your hotel. In the morning of day 2 a half-day city tour will introduce you to some of the highlights of Kathmandu.

Day 3 : Drive via Dumre to Besi Shahar, the bustling trading town for the villages of the Marsyandi Khola.

Days 4-7 : Follow the Marsyandi River through terraced rice paddies, bamboo forests and Tamang, Baun and Gurung villages, making several suspension bridge crossings and passing several beautiful waterfalls. Above Jaga the gorge becomes narrower and steep-sided in many places. Views of Lamjung, Manaslu and Peak 29 and nearing Chame, Annapurna.

Days 8 - 10 : Starting out through barley fields and apple orchards, follow the river through a steep, narrow gorge to enter the upper Manang district. In this cold almost arid climate wheat, barley, buckwheat and potato crops are limited to one per year and villagers depend on their herds of yaks, goats, cows and horses. All along the trail from Pissang to Manang are sacred objects of Tibetan Buddhism chorten, mani walls and in Braga, a fascinating gompa stands above Tibetan houses which cling to the hillside, their balconies formed by the roof of the house below. In the afternoon Annapurnas II, III and IV become increasingly imposing. The dramatic setting of Manang makes for a pleasant rest and acclimatization day with the added benefit of hot showers.

Days 11-12 : Branch away from the Marsyandi Khola, steadily climbing into quiet alpine areas. Again the mountain views are commanding.


Day 13 : The most difficult day, but perhaps the highlight of the trek as you cross the Thorung Pass (5416m). It is a long, tough ascent via a number of small hills, but when you reach the prayer flags at the top you are rewarded with absolutely stunning high Himalayan scenery of the Kaligandaki valley, the entire Annapurna range, and the Mukut and Mustang Himal to the west. It is then a long descent to Muktinath.

Day 14 : Muktinath is a fascinating village; sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, it attracts many pilgrims. Here spring water flows from a rock face via 108 spouts (108 is a sacred number to Buddhists). This water wall surrounds a temple sacred to Vishnu and below the statue runs a trickle of water with pale flames caused by natural gas. There are shrines to Shiva and his consort and Padmasambhava as well as numerous chorten. The surrounding poplar grove supposedly sprang from the staffs of the 84 Siddhas. The mass of Dhaulagiri I makes a striking contrast. The walk to Jomsom, renowned for the best apples in Nepal is mostly downhill with dramatic landscapes along the way.


Days 15-17 : The Kali Gandaki is home to Thakalis, Gurungs and Magars. Many of the hills bordering the northern end of the valley are yellowish due to desertification and make a striking contrast to the green farmland of the valley floor. The Thakali dominated the lucrative trade routes with Tibet and today have turned their entrepreneurial spirit to other businesses. The neglected Buddhist shrines of Tukuche are testament to their 19th century conversion to Hinduism in their climb to power. The descent to Tatopani follows the increasingly narrow valley, though one of the world''s deepest river gorges, past the beautiful Rupse Chaharo waterfall, with fantastic views along the way and the lure of hot springs at the end. Take a dip at night with the sound of the river rushing below.

Days 18-19 : It is a challenging ascent to the pass at Ghorepani, yet the sunrise and sunset views from nearby Poon Hill are truly magnificent and a fitting reward for the effort. From Poon Hill the Pokhara and Mustang valleys are visible as there are more than 30 snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. From here descend through pastureland and bamboo forests along the Bhurungdi Khola to Pokara.

Day 20 : Drive to Kathmandu, or you may choose to fly. USD98 one-way.

Day 21 : Depart

Altitude Time
1 Drive KTM-Besi Shahar 760m 7 hrs
2 Bahun Danda 1310m 7 hrs
3 Jagat 1430m 6 hrs
4 Dharapani 1860m 7 hrs
5 Chame 2670m 6 hrs
6 Pisang 3200m 7 hrs
7 Manang 3540m 7 hrs
8 Rest day

9 Yak Kharka 4260m 3 hrs
10 Throng Phedi 4450m 3 hrs
11 Throng La (pass) 5416m

Muktinath 3800m 12 hrs
12 Jomson 2710m 6 hrs
13 Tukche 2590m 6 hrs
14 Ghasa 1970m 6 hrs
15 Tatopani 1189m 7 hrs
16 Ghorepani 2750m 9 hrs
17 Pokhara 915m 8 hrs
18 driveKathmandu 1300m 6 hrs

Grade: Extreme
Duration: 18 Days
Best season: Mar-Jun / Sep-Nov

Book This Trip
Royal Mountain Holidays Nepal Pvt. Ltd.
P.O. Box: 10798, Durbar Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Tel: 977-1-4241452, 4256058, Fax: 977-1-4245 318
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