Annapurna Circuit Trekking

Posted on Sep 29, 2014 by Anujghimire under Trekking

Tags: Annapurna, Thorang La pass, Tilicho, Muktinath, Wildlife of Manang,

Annapurna circuit trekking is one of the most popular trekking routes in Nepal. The trek includes one of the highest lakes in the world, as well as highest passes in Nepal. The trek offers first hand experience of many cultural and ethnic  diversity as well as biodiversity. If you’re a foreigner , you’ll need the permits, TIMS as well as ACAP permit which you can get from Tourism board in Kathmandu which costs 2000 each. 
Day 1 : Kathmandu to Besi Sahar (To Chyamche or Khudi)
The Annapurna Circuit trekking starts at Besisahar Lamjung.  The best way to reach Beshi Sahar is to get a micro bus from Old bus park. Which costs 450 for Nepali citizen and 550 for foreigners. The micro-bus ride takes roughly about 5 hours, about 179 km away from Kathmandu. After  you get off at Besisahar you can either take a jeep to Chyamche and start your trek there or you can start trekking from Besisahar. 
Depending upon where you want to start your trek, about 2 days might get add up in between, if you trek from Besi sahar it will take you one extra day to reach Chyaamche.

Trekking from Besi sahar : 
(Day 1 : Kathmandu -Besi Sahar- Khudi) 
After you reach Besi sahar you can start trekking the same day and reach Khudi, which is about 2 hours from Besishar.
(Day 2 : Khudi to Sirung) 
The next day the trekking starts at Khudi,which offers a close view of Mt. Manaslu. It takes about 6-7 hrs to reach Sirung from Khudi 
(Day 3 : Sirung to Chyaamche)
The trek is about 5-6 hours long which goes via Syange and Jagat finally ending up in Chyaamche. 
So for those who want to take a jeep to Chyaamche, you can reach Chaaymche on the first day. From now, I will write the blog starting at the chyaamche on the second day.

Day 2 : Chyaamche to Dharapani 
After walking for an hour or so through few waterfalls you reach Manang, or Taal, from where Manang starts. There are two routes you can take. Either the road or the trekking trail, the road is very easy where are the trekking trail has some sharp climbs and downhills. But the road is very easy, yet challenging if the andslide is too bad. There’s a huge landslide there called “Myagdi Bhir” and it’s risky to cross, so mostly trekkers take the road to taal. After walking for about 4 hours you reach Kotro, from Kotro then in about 2 hours you reach Dharapaani. Depending upon your waking speed you can reach Danaque or Timang as well. If you reach Timang, you’d be able to skip a day. 
Day 3 : Dharapani to Chaame 
The trail from Dharapani to Chame is quite easy, expect for the climb at Danaque for about 45 to Timang. After the the trail is easy, you walk along the road, with Marshyangdi river on your side. It takes about 6 hours to reach Chaame. Chaame is the headquarter of Manang. 
Day 3 : Chaame to Pisang/Upper Pisang 
It takes about 5-6 hours to reach Pisang/Upper Pisang, might take half an hour more to reach Upper Pisang. Upper pisang offers a great view of the mountains, plus it has traditional style houses. 
Day 4 : Pisang to Manang 
The road from Pisang to Manang,after walking a gentle steep for about 45 minute, is very easy. After that it just gets flat until you reach Manang. You cross through the village of Humde, where there is an Airport. Then in about 3 hours from Humde you reach Manang. 
Day 5 : Manang to Shreekharka 
If you want to go to Tilicho lake as well then you divert from the circuit for a while and walk to Shreekharka from Manang.  Which is about 5 hours walk from Manang. 
Day 6 : Shreekharka to Tilicho Base Camp
The trek from Shreekharka to Tilicho Base camp is very easy, it just about 3 hours. The hihglights of this section being the landslide area. You have to walk through the landside for about half an hour or so. If you are confident enough and can walk very fast then you’d be able to reach Tilicho from Shrekharka and return back to shree kharka the same day. But its not recommended to to that. So you can go to Tilicho base camp, rest there the whole day. 
Day 7 : Tilicho Basecamp to Tilicho to Shreekharka 
The next morning, wake up early and walk to the lake, which takes about 3 hours of excruciating climbing. Drink lots of water and walk slowly. If you get symptoms of high altitude sickness, drop down to lower altitude! But the tortorus walk is worth every sweat when you reach the Tilicho Lake.  The lake is at an altitude of 4900 meters,with its blue appearance below the white clouds beyond it. The view is absolutely magical. To get to the lake, from where you see the lake, it takes another half an hour or so to go down. After spending some time in the lake, walk back to Shreekharka. If you’re early you can even reach Yak Kharka the same day. 
Day 8 :  Shreekharka to Yak Kharka or Ledar
The trek from Shreekharka to Yak kharka takes about 4 hours. Another one hour walk will take you to Ledar. If you’re in good shape then you can make it to Thorang phedi which is roughly 2 hours from Ledar. But its better if you stay at ledar or yak Kharka and then trek to Thorang High camp the next day which will make the pass easy. 
Day 9 Ledar to Thorang High Camp
The trail from Ledar to Thorang phedi is pretty easy, just gentle slopes, but from Phedi to High camp is slightly tough as you have to climb almost 500 meters, which takes about an hour. 
Day 10 : Thorang high camp to Muktinath 
The  climb from High camp to Pass is relatively easy. Takes about 3 hours to reach the pass. The Thorang La Pass stands at an elevation of 5416 meters. The downhill is far more tiring than the uphill, it takes about 4 hours to reach Muktinath from the pass, waking through the dry landscape. 
Day 11 : Muktinath to Marpha 
Wake up early in the morning and visit the Muktinath temple and take a bath in 108 waters there. Then after that,  If you’re tired after the long trek you can take a jeep from Muktinath to Beni, and if you want to complete the circuit you can walk to Marpha from Muktinath . Marpha is famous for the local brandy made from Apples. You can also buy some apples and dried apples. One of the best apples you’d taste!
Day 12 : Marpha to Kaalopaani 
The trek from Marpha to Kaalopani takes about 6 hours, which offers views of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Annapurna, Nilgiri.
Day 13 : Kaalopaani to Taatopaani 
Taatopaani, famous for natural hotsprings is 5-6 hours away from Kaalopaani, from where you can go to Ghorepaani-Ghandruk trek as well, if you want to do that, then the next day you have to walk for about 5-6 hours to reach Ghorepani, or else you can take a jeep to Beni and reach Kathmandu. 
If you do that trek then it takes 2 more additional days to reach Pokhara. 
Things you need to know
Expenses and fares
Bus fare from Kathmandu to Besisahar :  450 Rs – Nepali , 550 Rs - Foreigners 
Jeep fare from Besisahar to Chyaamche –  800 Rs- Nepal , 1600 Rs - Foreigners 
Jeep fare from Muktinath to Jomsom – 300 Rs - Nepali , 700 Rs Foreigners 
Jeep fare from Jomsom to Ghasa – 410 rs Nepali, 800 Rs Foreigners 
Jeep fare from Ghasa to Beni – 390 for all 
Micro bus fare from Beni to Pokhara – 320
Micro bus fare from Pokhara to Kathmandu 500

Accommodation charge in Manang : In most hotels in Manang, they don’t charge for the rooms, even if they do its just about 100 rupees! The food prices may vary, but for Daal Bhaat its generally 150,200, 250 which can reach 350- 400 at the high camp and Muktinath. In Mustang, the room might cost about 200. 
There’s electricity all way through the route,expect for high camp. 
There are safe water drinking stations at multiple places but its recommended for you to take Iodine tablets 
Wildlife watch
There are plenty of birds in Manang, I personally counted more than 100 birds in Manang alone. The most common of them being Hoope, Shrikes, Large Billed Crow, Red Billied Chough, Yellow Bellied Chough, Chukar and Himalayan Grifforn Vultures. You'll see plenty of Blue sheep on your way to Tilicho as well as on the way to Thorang La Pass. You can also see Squirrels, Pika's in Timang and Monkeys in Chyaamche!

If you are planning for BIRDS Watching or take me as a guide into these region then call me: +977-9840069432, email: or Contact Myholidayteam:
Anuj Ghimire - Zoologist by profession, Travel writer,Photographer and blogger.

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