Free Essay


In: Other Topics

Submitted By avsk
Words 5688
Pages 23
The ANNAPURNA REGION’s popularity is well deserved: nowhere else do you get such a varied feast of scenery and hill culture and the logistics are relatively simple. Treks can all start or finish close to Pokhara, which is a relaxing place to end a trek and a handy place to start one, with its clued-up guesthouses, equipment-rental shops and easy transportation to trailheads. With great views just two days up the trail, short treks in the Annapurnas are particularly feasible, and good communications mean the region is also fairly safe, from the point of view of medical emergencies. Tourism is relatively sustainable, too, thanks to ACAP, the Annapurna Conservation Area Project. The inevitable consequence is commercialization. The popular treks in this region are on a well-beaten track, and unless you step aside from them you’re more likely to be ordering bottled beer from a laminated menu than drinking homebrew with locals.
The Annapurna Himal faces Pokhara like an icy, crenellated wall, 40km across, with nine peaks over 7000m spurring from its ramparts and Annapurna I reigning above them all at 8091m. It’s a region of stunning diversity, ranging from the sodden bamboo forests of the southern slopes (Lumle, northwest of Pokhara, is the wettest village in Nepal) to windswept desert (Jomosom, in the northern rain shadow, is the driest).
The himal and adjacent hill areas are protected within the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). A quasi-park administered by a non-governmental trust, ACAP aims are to protect the area’s natural and cultural heritage and ensure sustainable benefit for local people. To take the pressure off local forests, the project has set up kerosene depots and installed microhydroelectric generators, and supports reforestation efforts. Lodge owners benefit from training and low-interest loans, enabling them to invest in things like solar water heaters and efficient stoves. Safe drinking-water stations (bottled water is banned), rubbish pits, latrines, health posts and a telephone service have all been established on the proceeds of park entry fees. ACAP also sets fixed lodge prices, and agrees menu prices (which vary by area), to prevent undercutting and price wars; these prices should be respected rather than negotiated – though the system does seem to be breaking down, and lodge owners get around it by putting “special items” on their menus.
The Annapurna Sanctuary
The ANNAPURNA SANCTUARY is the most intensely scenic short trek in Nepal, and one of the most well-trodden – there are lodges and tea stops at hourly intervals or less, until the highest sections at least. The trail takes you into the very heart of the Annapurna range, passing through huge hills in Gurung country with ever-improving views of the mountains ahead, then following the short, steep Modi Khola, before you pass into the most magnificent mountain cirque: the Sanctuary. Wherever you stand, the 360-degree views are unspeakably beautiful, and although clouds roll in early, the curtain often parts at sunset to reveal radiant, molten peaks.
The Sanctuary is usually an eight- to twelve-day round trip from Pokhara. The actual distance covered isn’t great, but altitude, weather and trail conditions all tend to slow you down. The trail gains more than 2000m from Ghandruk to the top, at 4100m, so you’d be wise to spread the climb over three or four days – and dress for snow. Frequent precipitation makes the higher trail slippery at the best of times, and in winter it can be impassable due to snow or avalanche danger.
There are two main approaches, both converging on the major village of Chhomrong after two or three days’ walk (though hardy types have made it in one exhausting day). At the time of writing, however, new roads were being built towards the largest villages, Ghorepani and Ghandruk, which will reduce the walk-in – though it may take some time for regular bus or jeep services to become established, and longer still for this area to become a tourist rather than a trekking destination.
The Phedi approach
Arguably the most satisfying approach route begins at Phedi (1160m), a mere twenty-minute taxi drive west of Pokhara. From here the trail ascends the wooded Dhampus ridge, climbing steeply up the last hour to Pothana (1900m), where you’re rewarded with fine views of the mountains, including Machapuchare, the “Fish Tail” mountain. From the col at Bhichok Deurali (2080m), a well-paved trail descends again through thicker rhododendron forest, then contours and gently switchbacks through cultivated hillsides around the village of Tolka (1700m) before reaching Landruk, a substantial Gurung village with wonderful views of Annapurna South. From here the trail follows the Modi Khola upwards, crossing the river at New Bridge (1340m) and climbing very steeply above Jhinu Danda (near which there are good hot springs) to Chhomrong.
The Nayapul alternative
A slightly more direct approach leaves the Jomosom road at the Nayapul bridge, sloping down to the lively town of Birethanti (1050m), where you enter the Annapurna Conservation Area – sign in at the gate. From here, the trail pushes up the steep, terraced west bank of the Modi Khola. (A road already runs towards Ghandruk as far as Syauli Bazaar and Chane, though there was very little traffic on it at the time of writing; permission to build a dam near New Bridge has been given, however, so expect more road-building and disruption.) You can either climb to the major settlement of Ghandruk (1940m) – given those 900m of ascent, this is likely to be enough for one day – or for a still more direct approach stay low in the Modi Khola valley, leaving the main road-cum-trail at Syauli Bazaar and bypassing Ghandruk on the way up to New Bridge and Jhinu Dandavia Siwai. Leaving Ghandruk, the usual trail detours west to the crest of the fine Komrong Danda (2654m), joining the Ghorepani trail at Tadapani (2630m) before descending to Kimrong (1890m), then contouring up to Chhomrong (2170m), with its distinctly upmarket lodges and its viewpoint at Gurung Hill, two hours above.
From Chhomrong to the Sanctuary
The ACAP post at Chhomrong can inform you about weather and avalanche conditions higher up the trail. They’ll also clue you up about altitude, which poses real danger from here on up – not least the danger that you won’t reach the Sanctuary if you go too fast. Actual walking time from Chhomrong to the Sanctuary is in the region of twelve hours, but you should plan to spread the trip over three or four days. Be aware that in the autumn peak season, lodges can fill early, especially higher up, and trekkers often end up sleeping on the dining-room floor; make sure you have a warm sleeping bag.
The route above Chhomrong is simple and spectacular. After a difficult descent and re-ascent, and then another descent after Sinuwa on a three-hundred-step stone staircase (which gets very slippery in the wet or snow), you start steadily ascending the west side of the deep and forested Modi Khola valley making for a narrow notch between the sheer lower flanks of Machapuchare and Hiunchuli. There are no real villages past Sinuwa, so you ascend past regularly spaced (every two hours or so) clusters of cottagey lodges at Sinuwa (2360m), Bambu (2310m), Dobhan (2600m) and Himalaya (2920m). Bamboo thickets give way to oak and rhododendron, then to birch, and Annapurna III and Gangapurna loom at the head of the gorge. Note that there are no settlements or lodges at Kuldhigar or Bagar, as suggested on many maps.
Just short of the Hinku Cave (3170m), an overhanging rock where langur monkeys sometimes congregate, there’s a small shrine in the middle of the path to a local Gurung guardian deity, Pojo Nim Baraha; the tradition is that meat should not be brought above here. The tree cover thins out substantially at this point, and the avalanche risk from the steep slopes above is at its worst – especially in the areas immediately below the cave and above and below Deurali (3239m), though for the most part avalanches are only something to really worry about after heavy snows (typically Jan to Feb), or during the spring melt (March and April). If conditions are dangerous, the trail may be diverted to the opposite bank or shut altogether – ask before proceeding up. Once beyond this sanctuary “gate”, you reach high pasture and Machapuchare Base Camp (3700m). A good tip is to sleep at the more comfortable, larger lodges here and do the final ascent and descent (alongside the glacial moraine) in one long day, thus avoiding an uncomfortable high-altitude night at Annapurna Base Camp (4100m). Note too that lodges at both get impossibly crowded in peak season, and shut altogether after heavy snowfall, especially from early December.
Descending is astonishingly fast, compared to going up – it’s one fast or two leisurely days down to Chhomrong. It makes sense to return along the alternative approach route, or you can make a longer loop via Ghorepani and Poon Hill.
Poon Hill
The Himalayan viewpoint of POON HILL (3193m) provides a tempting destination amid the steep, lush hill country between Pokhara and the Kali Gandaki. This trek doesn’t take you right in among the mountains but, weather permitting, there are outstanding vistas and handsome Gurung and Magar villages. The trails are wide and well maintained (though steep in places), the lodges are large and comfortable, and the altitude shouldn’t present any problems – though you will need warm clothes at night. Rain gear is advisable.
Most people do Poon Hill as a loop from Pokhara, starting at Birethanti (1050m), just below the roadside settlement of Nayapul. A road is being built up the Bhurungdi Khola valley towards Ghorepani (and at the time of writing had already reached Tikhedunga), but there’s little traffic, and for most people it’s still two shortish but relentlessly uphill days on foot via the handsome Magar village of Ulleri (1960m) and some fine rhododendron forest to Ghorepani (2860m) or, a little higher up, the thrumming cluster of lodges at Ghorepani Deurali. There’s no need to set your alarm at either, as you’ll be awakened at 4am by the daily stampede of Poon Hill sunrise-seekers. If clouds block your view, as they often do, it’s worth hanging on for an extra day for the sight of Annapurna South apparently looming over Annapurna I, and the hump-shouldered pyramid of Dhaulagiri.
Beyond Ghorepani Deurali, the trail descends the thriving, terraced valley of the Ghar Khola (and there’s a road being built here too; coming down, you’ll meet it near Shikha, though the trail stays off it and there’s next to no traffic). It finally plunges down to cross the Kali Gandaki on a splendid suspension bridge and arrive at the busy townlet of Tatopani (1190m), a fairly demanding day’s walk from Ghorepani. At Tatopani, there are banks (no ATMs as yet), restaurants, a health post and all the other facilities you might need, as well as the well-maintained hot springs beside the river, from which the town gets its name (it means “hot water” in Nepali). Frequent buses and jeeps head down to Beni and Pokhara.
For a slower return to Pokhara, head east from the old, lower village of Ghorepani, making for Ghandruk – one long or two short days’ walk. The first section to the lonely little cluster of basic lodges at Deurali (not to be confused with the Deurali above/north of Ghorepani) is a fine ridge walk through rhododendron forest, with great views of Dhaulagiri and Machapuchare, especially from the lodges perched at Ban Thanti (3180m); the descent to Tadapani (2630m) is steep and slippery. At Tadapani you join the Ghandruk route described under the Nayapul approach to the Annapurna Sanctuary, but you could easily make a longer loop, crossing to the east bank of the Modi Khola to rejoin the road at Phedi.
The Jomosom trek: the Kali Gandaki and Muktinath
The trek up (or down) the Kali Gandaki gorge from the pilgrim site of Muktinath and the Wild-West-style regional capital of JOMOSOM was for many years the classic Himalayan sampler, and the most developed stretch of trail in Nepal, with food and lodging closer to what you’d find in Thamel than the usual hill fare. Since the construction of an 83km road from Beni to Jomosom, on the west bank of the Kali Gandaki, many would-be trekkers are going elsewhere, though Indian pilgrims are replacing them (especially during festivals during auspicious seasons, notably April to June, and mid-August to mid-September – during the latter season, especially, guesthouses are full to bursting with tour groups). It’s still perfectly possible to do the trek, however, following new trails on the steeper eastern side of the valley or paths that weave on and off the road. Guides can show you some fantastic day hikes and overnight trips up from the valley floor, too: little-trekked trails lead to North Annapurna Base Camp, the Dhaulagiri Icefall (way out west of Larjung) and the high-level Dhampus Pass (5182m), the key to Dolpo.
Many trekkers fly to Jomosom and walk up to Muktinath, then down again, but you’ll have more sense of arrival (and acclimatize better) if you do the trek the hard way. The best approach route on foot is now from Nayapul to Tatopani via Poon Hill.
Tatopani to Jomosom
From Tatopani to Jomosom is typically three or four days’ walk – or a tough, scary day in buses and/or jeeps. It’s possible to avoid the road most or all of the way by following the eastern bank. That said, landslides are a perennial problem, meaning that the east-bank trails can be tricky or impassable in places – and information about the state of the route can be hard to come by. The main settlements (and most of the trekking lodges) are on the western side, and people there aren’t exactly keen to see the foot traffic pass them by. Path maintenance on the eastern side isn’t exactly a priority, for the same reason. Temporary wooden bridges make crisscrossing relatively simple in the dry season, but when the river is high, you may have to make strategic crossings at the permanent suspension bridges and resign yourself to walking on the road for longer stretches. Taking a guide who has walked the route recently would ease the logistics considerably.
Above Tatopani (1190m), where the trail from Poon Hill joins the road up from Beni, the route passes into the world’s deepest gorge, the Kali Gandaki, with the 8000m hulks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna towering on either side. Above Tatopani, you often have to stick to the west bank, and near the old Magar village of Dana, you enter the steepest, sheerest part of the gorge; there’s a lookout point below the waterfall of Rupse Chhahara. The east bank trail from Kopchepani, just above and opposite the falls, up to Ghasa (2010m) is relatively good.
At Ghasa, you enter Lower Mustang district and the homeland of the Buddhist Thakali people – from here on up, the river is known locally as the Thak Khola, and subtropical greenery starts to give way to Alpine trees and shrubs. You usually have to stick to the west bank from Ghasa to the village of Chhyo, opposite Lete (2480m), but from there a good east-bank trail climbs up to Kunjo and the little lake of Titi Tal before dropping down, partly on a rough road, to the well-established trekking village of Kokhetanti (2545m), where you are usually forced to re-cross the river to Larjung, on the west bank – the east-bank route up to Tukuche via Sirkung and Sauru is particularly prone to landslides. The relatively large and prosperous village of Tukuche (2590m) is the place to cross back onto the east bank, heading up via Chimang, with its lovely Dhaulagiri views, and Chairo, a Tibetan settlement. It’s usually possible to continue up the east bank directly to Thini, but it would be a pity not to cross over short of Dhumba to handsome, stony Marpha (2670m), which sits amid apricot and apple orchards – the cider and brandy are famous. The administrative centre of Jomosom (2720m), with its busy airstrip, looks like a stony Wild West settlement, but is useful for supplies, doctors, banks, police and so on, and great for those seeking respite – it has plenty of relatively fancy hotels.
Jomosom to Muktinath
Above Jomosom, the valley starts to level out, and you enter a dry and powerfully Tibetan-flavoured highland region. A few motorbikes and jeeps plug dustily up the rough road, though paths are easy enough to find, often on the stones of the valley floor. Beware the extraordinary late-morning and afternoon katabatic winds, however, which tear up from the south after about 11am, rushing to fill the void left by the hot air rising from the highlands above. The winds carry enormous amounts of grit and dust from the riverbed – and, nowadays, vehicle dust too – meaning that a scarf as a mask, a hat and sunglasses are vital. If you’re heading into the wind, coming down, walking can be anything from severely trying to almost impossible.
At the romantic fortress town of KAGBENI, with its medieval buildings and terracotta Buddhist figures, you’re on the very edge of the Tibetan plateau, and can gaze north into Upper Mustang. What with the expensive permit that’s necessary to visit (see The TIMS card), this really is a forbidden kingdom. Eastwards, however, it’s an open-access, 1000m climb towards Muktinath, up a delightful, open side valley dotted with orchards and lined with dry-stone walls. The trail crisscrosses the road, and takes you through the impressive village of Jharkot (3550m), where there’s a fine gompa. Jeeps can take you as far as Rani Pauwa (3710m), where dozens of hotels cater to the Indian pilgrim trade; from there you’d have to walk the last twenty breathless minutes to Muktinath, or buy a seat on the “Muktinath Express” – which means riding pillion on a motorcycle.
The Mahabharata mentions poplar-shaded MUKTINATH (3760m) as the source of mystic shaligrams, stone ammonite fossils found in the Kali Gandaki gorge. It is one of the most important religious sites in the Himalayas – and ever since the arrival of the road, a pilgrim boomtown. A priest will show you around the Vishnu temple, with its 108 waterspouts (where pilgrims bathe in the freezing water) and its shrine sheltering a tiny perpetual natural-gas flame hidden half-underground beside a little spring – a particularly holy combination of earth, air, fire and water. Yartung, a madly exotic festival of horseriding, is held at Muktinath around the full moon of August–September.
If you’re returning to Jomosom, it’s possible to take a dramatic, high-level side route over the shoulder of the hills to the southeast of Ranipauwa, descending on precipitous paths (and crossing the Panda Khola on temporary bridges – so ask before setting out) via the old-world Thakali village of Lupra. If you’re heading up over the Thorung La to follow the Annapurna Circuit towards Manang, bear in mind that there are a couple of basic high-season-only teahouse lodges at Chabarbuk (4200m), also known as Phedi, just before the zigzagging, four-hour climb up the pass begins; sleeping here would get you an hour’s head start in the morning.
Manang and the Marsyangdi Valley
The MARSYANGDI VALLEY, which curls around the east side of the Annapurna range, was once the less commercialized half of the Annapurna Circuit, trekked only by the hardcore few intending to cross the 5415m pass of the Thorung La and descend towards Jomosom. With the opening of a new road, it is eclipsing its cousin as a destination in itself and the base for some stunning side treks. At the time of writing you could drive all the way to Manang – subject to landslides and the usual roughness of road – except for one short section between Tal and Karte, which was still under construction. Expect this section to be completed, but other sections to be periodically buried and rebuilt.
The main trailhead is at Besisahar, but in good conditions jeeps penetrate the valley as far as Syange. With a guide, you could also walk in two to three days from Begnas Tal, via Nalma Phedi and Baglungpani, to Khudi, just north of Besisahar.
The Upper Marsyangdi to Manang and the Thorung La
Above the riverside settlement of Syange, the road is (or was at the time of writing) left behind, and the trail passes from terraced farmland into the gorge of the Upper Marsyangdi; and it’s three or four marvellous days’ walk up to Manang, mostly through Buddhist country. The trail crosses astonishing suspension footbridges and passes along dramatic walkways blasted into the rock, all the time climbing through successive climatic zones: temperate forest, coniferous forest, alpine meadows and finally the arid steppes of the rain shadow. The walk from Chame to MANANG – the high route via Upper Pisang avoids the bizarre stretch of unconnected road below – is spectacular and shouldn’t be rushed. The sight of the huge, glacier-dolloped Annapurnas towering almost 5000m above the valley will stay with you forever. Manang’s architecture, like that of all the older villages here, is strongly Tibetan.
The Thorung La (5416m) is iffy to impossible from late December till early March, while the lower parts of the trek are uncomfortably warm from April onwards. Snow can block the pass at any time of year, so be prepared to wait it out or go back down the way you came. If you’re going for it, you’ll need proper boots, gloves, very warm clothes and a three- or, better, four-season sleeping bag; visit Manang’s Himalayan Rescue Association post for information on weather conditions, AMS and suggested pacing of the route. It’s only six or seven hours to Thorung Phedi (4450m), the last cluster of lodges before the pass, but you should spread the ascent over at least two days – perhaps making day-trips from Manang. Thorung Phedi and the worryingly high Thorung High Camp (4925m) are grotty places where you’ll be woken up at 3am by trekkers who’ve been told (wrongly) that they have to clear the pass by 8am. Afternoons do get very windy, though, so an early start is advisable. The climb up the pass (where there’s sometimes a teashop in high season), and the knee-killing 1600m descent down the other side to Muktinath is a tough but exhilarating day.
Short side trips from Manang
Manang makes a fine base for exploratory day hikes around the Upper Marsyangdi valley – ideal for acclimatizing if you’re crossing the Thorung La, and worthy as destinations in their own right. The gompa at Manang, Bojo and Braga, all within half an hour of each other, are well worth visiting, and you could add on a short stroll from Manang to Gangapurna Lake and the fine viewpoint two hours above. Kicho Tal (4950m), an icy lake where bharal (blue sheep) have been sighted, makes a fine day hike.
The most enticing destination west of Manang is TILICHO (sometimes called Tilicho Tal or Tilicho Lake), not the highest lake in the world, as is often said, but beautiful and remarkable nonetheless. Getting there is two or three days’ hard work: paths are scree-ridden and dicey, routes may be hard to find and lodges are often shut out of season. Take advice and, if possible, a guide.
Two tricky hours west of Manang, Khangsar (3734m) is the highest permanent village in the Marsyangdi valley; it has a few lodges. From here the trail doesn’t follow the landslide-prone Marsyangdi valley, but a higher northern route passing Kharka (also known as Srikharka or Shreechaur; there’s a good guesthouse here) and a high col (4920m), descending to Tilicho Base Camp (4150m), some five hours from Khangsar. A second overnight at one of the two icy lodges at Tilicho Base Camp would make possible a steep day-trip the next day towards the astounding, often iced-over lake, Tilicho (4920m), a further three hours up (on snow, in parts, between November and May). There is currently just one very basic, seasonal teahouse (dorm room only) beside the lake, on the Manang side, but check if it’s open before you head up without camping gear. Most people visit the lake as a day’s round-trip from Tilicho Base Camp, but the hardy return to Khangsar (or even Manang) in one long day.
Tilicho is not a trip for the inexperienced; still less is the high, snowy, dangerous route through to Jomosom (or Marpha). The lakeshore can’t be circumnavigated (whatever maps may show), so the route demands either a roped-up crossing of the frozen lake (very roughly Nov or Dec–April, but make sure), or a high detour to the north across the Eastern Pass (5340m). After that you have to cross the watershed range, usually via the perilous MESOKANTO LA (5121m), sometimes called the Middle Pass (as there is a higher but supposedly easier one to the north). Only very strong walkers should expect to make it down to Jomosom (or even Thini) in one day from Tilicho Lake; ten hours would be fast, so it’s better to camp at one of the two sites along the way.
Other Annapurna region treks
The following four treks have little in common with the well-serviced routes described above. You’ll typically find only Nepali food and lodging, or will need to camp – and possibly stay in people’s homes for at least some nights. If you’re not trekking with an agency, you’ll probably want to go with a guide.
Of course, there are scores of possibilities beyond the treks described here. The Khopra Lake trek, on the shoulder of Annapurna South above Ghorepani and Tadapani, could one day rival Poon Hill in popularity, with its stunning views towards Dhaulagiri, and high point at the small, sacred Khayar Lake (4880m). There’s no lodge at Khopra, but in 2012 a guesthouse was being built at Dharamdanda, halfway between Tadapani and Khopra Danda; you can also stay at Swanta, above Chitre. Increasing numbers of trekkers are exploring west of the Kali Gandaki towards the Dhaulagiri massif and the little-visited Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve; beyond that, of course, there’s Dolpo.
The Machhapuchhare trek
One of the newer routes in the region takes a loop north of Pokhara, towards the south faces of Mardi Himal and MACCHAPUCHHARE, with fine views of the Annapurna wall. The usual approach route heads up the upper valleys of the Seti Khola, leaving a spur road just above Hyangja (20min by taxi from Pokhara), and passing through lush, terraced farmland around the Gurung villages of Ghachok and Diprang (1440m), where there’s a community lodge and a natural hot spring nearby. A choice of steep paths lead up through forest (one passes Pipar Lake, prime pheasant habitat with a stunning view of Machapuchare, looming just to the north) to a high ridge dripping with rhododendrons and alive with birds, which you can follow up to the minor peak at Korchon (3682m), and potentially on up in the direction of Mardi Himal Base Camp (4120m). Most treks descend the ridge before dropping to the Mardi Khola at the village of Ribang. The trek takes five to seven days, and requires camping and supplies.
Mardi Himal trek
One ridge to the west of the Macchapuchhare trek is another fine camping route, the MARDI HIMAL TREK. The usual starting places are at Phedi or Kande, both on the road to Nayapul. From either, you climb on well-made trails to the villages of Pothana (1890m) and Bhichok Deurali (2100m). From here, you ascend the incredible ridge that drops south from Mardi Himal (5553m) between the Mardi and Modi Kholas. There are stunning views from the ridgetop, while rhododendron forests drop away on either side, and campsites appear every four hours or so: at Kokar (2550m), Low Camp (3050m) and High Camp (3900m). From High Camp, you can continue on up the ridge as high as you dare – it’s snowy from around November. From Low Camp, a good, steep trail drops east through the forest towards Sidhing, on the Macchapuchhare Model Trek.
The Royal trek
The so-called ROYAL TREK, an undemanding if somewhat unexciting amble through lush countryside, gets its name from Prince Charles’s visit in 1981. It was more enticing then, before the road was build east from Pokhara to Kalikasthan, and concrete houses started replacing traditional homes in places. It’s usually done over three (sometimes four) days, staying in homestay-style lodges. The first day follows gradual ups and downs as you head eastwards from Kalikasthan to Lipeyani; the second takes you up to ridgetop Chisopani (the last section is steep, but never scarily so), where there are fine views of the mountains; the third takes you back to Rupa Tal, from where you can pick up a bus to Pokhara.
The Siklis trek
The SIKLIS TREK probes an uncrowded corner of the Annapurna Conservation Area under the shadows of Lamjung Himal and Annapurnas II and IV – though you’ll see more terraced fields than mountains and forests. The usual itinerary takes about a week, starting at Begnas Tal and heading north to Kalikasthan (first night) then following the river’s west bank to Taprang (second night) and on up to well-preserved Siklis (1980m), Nepal’s biggest Gurung village. The fourth day is hard work: you strike westwards over the thickly forested ridge that separates the Madi and Seti drainages to Tara Hill, where a small teahouse offers incredible views of Macchapuchhare; you then descend via Ghalekharka and the Sardikhola to the Seti Khola, returning towards Hyangja via Ghachok. Many other variations are possible, including making a detour up the Seti Nadi from Ghachok to the hot springs at Diprang. It’s now possible to make this trek without camping or staying in local homes, but the lodges are still pretty basic.
The Manaslu Circuit
There’s only one trek of note in the region east of the Annapurnas and north of Gorkha: the MANASLU CIRCUIT. It’s some trek, however, passing through relatively unspoiled and hugely varied countryside, from rice terraces to spare Tibetan villages, and from rich forest to a 5100m pass. It takes two weeks (13–18 days) to walk the challenging route, and it’s well worth considering if you were thinking of doing the Annapurna Circuit and were put off by the new road or the increased commercialization.
It is now possible to trek the Manaslu Circuit by staying in lodges, without taking camping equipment, but the facilities are, for the most part, quite basic. Things are changing fast (w is a good place to seek traveller reports and updates), but this is still daal bhaat and shared dormitories territory.
The trek traditionally starts in Gorkha, passing right next to the royal palace and then through some very scenic and culturally rich country. Many people now shave off the first three days or so, however, by beginning at Arughat. Direct buses run from Kathmandu to Arughat (2 daily; 7hr), or you can get off the Prithvi Highway between Kathmandu and Pokhara at Malekhu, and catch frequent local buses or jeeps from there up the paved road to Dhading, a busy administrative centre, and then on up the rough road that continues to Arughat (and indeed beyond, as far as Arkhet or Sozti Khola).
The Manaslu Circuit route
From Arughat (530m), the first eight days or so climb steadily up the wooded, peaceful Burhi Gandaki valley. You’re passing through deep Gurung country, where local women wear heavy gold jewellery, and working men carry the distinctive Gurung bhangro, a heavy, cream-coloured rough woollen cloak which is cross-tied around the waist and shoulders and doubles as a bag.
After three or, more likely, four days, you pass into the Manaslu Conservation Area at Jagat (1340m), where there’s a checkpost, and the scenery becomes ever more spectacular. (A fascinating side trip would be east of Philim up to the stunning, forested and intensely Buddhist Tsum valley, which penetrates behind the 7000m peaks of Ganesh Himal.) Beyond Deng (1800m), one long or two short days above Jagat, the valley starts to turn west and you enter the high, strongly Tibetan-flavoured country of Nupri; it’s three or, more sensibly, four days up through increasingly lofty, Buddhist country to the town of Samdo (3870m). It’s worth taking your time to acclimatize, and Samdo, with its cluster of relatively comfortable lodges, and possibility of a side trip towards the Lajyung La (which leads into Tibet), is a good place to take a rest day. If need be, porters can be hired here – at a price.
It’s inadvisable, on acclimatization grounds as well as those of fatigue, to try to do one huge, 10hr day from Samdo all the way over the pass of the Larkya La (5135m) and down to the lodges at Bimtang (3720m). The only alternative, if you’re not camping, is the single lodge at Larkye La Phedi, also known as Larkye Dharamsala (4470m), three hours above Samdo; at the time of writing, however, there was a question over its future, as it was built illegally. The Larkya La itself, which clings to the very shoulder of Manaslu, takes four to five hours to ascend from Larkya Phedi, and can be windy and dangerous; in snowy conditions, which are common (and should be expected from November), guides should use a rope for the steepest hour or two of the descent. The views are sensational, even if they don’t take in an 8000m peak – only Annapurna II, at a shade over 7900m.
The descent can be very fast: two to three steep days down the Dudh Khola to the Marsyangdi valley. At Dharapani (1860m), you enter the ACAP zone (permit needed) and relative civilization. You meet the road at Syange, where jeeps come up from Besisahar, but it might be preferable to walk to Bhulbhule.

Read more:…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay


...Narration My first serious argument with parents Our society is still very conservative. Among the narrow minded people of our society I never considered my parents as one. They have always allowed me to do almost everything and go anywhere regardless of my gender. But now I know that people change their thoughts and minds according to time and situation. That change was what I was against and thus happened our first argument. Once in every two years each class of our college goes for some sort of trip of 2-3 days and that year was ours turn to go. As most of the students of our class were adventurous and loved hiking we had decided to go trekking to ABC(Annapurna Base Camp). I was also one of the active students who had taken that decision. I was sure that my parents would allow me. I was over the moon just at the thought of that trip for I had always wanted to go there.That trek was all over my mind and at home that was the only thing I talked about to my parents. To my surprise, this time they didn't seem to be much interested in my jabber. It was almost like they were trying to ignore me. But as I was too much into that trek I didn't care about their reaction either. I was making plans with my friends and we were also discussing how to convince their parents. There were only three or four days left for the trek and we were also excited about going shopping for the trekking gear. I asked my parents for money, they usually didn't ask me why I needed the......

Words: 550 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Maggi Noodles Marketing Stratedy

...They also use strategy of free product samples to promote it. • Celebrity endorsements. Eg. Javed Jafferi PROMOTION • Less promoted as compared to maggi. • No particular celebrity endorsement. • The utter confusion regarding the long-term strategy for Kissan brand was visible through the experiments that were conducted on this brand by Hll. • But with a brand which had a tremendous equity during the late nineties and early 2000, HUL had weird plans. One of the major casualties of MS Banga's Power brand strategy was Kissan. During the early 2000, the brand Kissan was rebranded as Kissan Annapurna. Kissan Annapurna was marketing not jams and squashes by Atta, salt and other staple foods. Later Annapurna and Kissan was splited into two separate brands , one concentrating on staple foods and other on processed foods. This migration strategy proved to be very costly for both Kissan and Annapurna brand. Kissan was synonymous with Jams and Squashes during its initial years. Kissan Ketchup was a market leader in ketchup segment but these experiments and myopic strategies pushed the brand behind the focused and aggressive Maggi. • So all through the period 2001-2005, Kissan was in a sticky wicket. But now according to reports, the brand mandarins of HUL is now clear about Kissan as a brand for processed food like Jams , ketchups and like. That change is visible in the recent campaign of Kissan which takes a unique view of Ketchup. Taking the tagline " Aao banaye pakode......

Words: 5038 - Pages: 21

Premium Essay


...surfaces | Domex | A household cleaner which not only removes germs but also makes toilets and floors sparkle | Gives you the confidence that all germs have been eradicated from your house | The thick consistency ensures that the protection lasts longer | Magic | Helps save upto 3 buckets of water in washing clothes. Reduces rinsing effort and adds shine | Reduces worry of using too much water for washing when water supply is restricted | First of its kind product in the category | Food and Beverages: Food and Beverages Brands | Brand | Functional Benefit | Emotional Benefit | Differentiation | Annapurna (Salt + Atta) | A salt that contains the right amount of iodine for health | Provides the homemaker the satisfaction of cooking tasty, nutritious food for her family | only salt which can trap the iodine that escapes from food while cooking | Annapurna Atta | Made from best quality wheat, that ensures tasty and soft rotis | | The unique aroma and softness result in rotis that melt in one’s mouth | Kissan(Jam+Sauces+ Juice+Squash) | Made from 100% real natural products. Helps consumers enjoy tastier food with supplements that are richer, yummier and healthier | Mothers don’t have to worry about their child’s growth with them eating  Kissan products. Because Kissan lets every child enjoy what they love to eat & helps them grow | Made from 100% real ingredients | Knorr | Get restaurant like tasty food across cuisines(Chinese) at homeTasty and......

Words: 1714 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


... | | | | | |ϖ HUL and P&G | | | | | |7. Strategic growth and Strategic market entry | | | | | |(Kissan Annapurna Iodized Salt) | | |8. Strategic Shifts | | | | | |9. Financial Analysis | | | | | | ...

Words: 6892 - Pages: 28

Free Essay


...CS3 application integrating Macromedia products (2005), rather than recompiling CS2 and simultaneously developing CS3. nDesign CS3 initially had a serious compatibility issue with Leopard (Mac OS X v10.5), as Adobe stated: "InDesign CS3 may unexpectedly quit when using the Place, Save, Save As or Export commands using either the OS or Adobe dialog boxes. Unfortunately, there are no workarounds for these known issues." Apple fixed this with their OS X 10.5.4 update. There have been many updates to fix and improve InDesign here’s a list: InDesign 1.0 (codenamed Shuksan, then K2): August 31, 1999. InDesign 1.0J (codenamed Hotaka): Japanese support InDesign 1.5 (codenamed Sherpa): April 2001. InDesign 2.0 (codenamed Annapurna): January 2002 (just days before QuarkXPress 5). First version to support Mac OS X and native transparencies & drop shadows. InDesign CS (codenamed Dragontail) and InDesign CS Page Maker Edition (3.0): October 2003. InDesign CS (Oct. 2003) on Windows XP InDesign CS2 (4.0) (codenamed Firedrake): shipped in May 2005. InDesign Server (codenamed Bishop): released October 2005 InDesign CS3 (5.0) (codenamed Cobalt): April 2007. First Universal binary versions to natively support Intel-based Macs, Regular expression, Table styles, new interface InDesign CS3 Server (codenamed Xenon): released May 2007 InDesign CS4 (6.0) (codenamed Basil): Introduced September 23, shipped in October 2008. InDesign CS4 Server (codenamed......

Words: 692 - Pages: 3

Free Essay


...explores the role of culture and religion in providing guidance on ways of living sustainably. It also provides activities which analyse the place of these themes in the school curriculum. Objectives * To develop an understanding of the relationship between culture, religion and sustainable living; * To explore the principles for sustainable living encouraged in a chosen religion and in a case study from Nepal; * To analyse the relevance and applicability of principles of sustainable living in the Nepal case study; and * To encourage reflection on the contribution of religious education in Education for Sustainable Development. Activities 1. Defining religion and culture 2. Values and principles 3. A case study: Annapurna, Nepal 4. Culture and development 5. Reflection References Bassett, L. (ed) (2000) Earth and Faith: A Book of Reflection for Action, UNEP. Gardner, G. (2002) Invoking the Spirit: Religion and Spirituality in the Quest for a Sustainable World, Worldwatch Paper No.164, Worldwatch Institute. Robinson, M. and Picard, D. (2006) Tourism, Culture and Sustainable Development, Division of Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue, UNESCO. Schech, S. and Haggis, J. (2000) Culture and development: a critical introduction, Wiley-Blackwell. Throsby, D. (2008) Culture in Sustainable Development: Insights for the future implementation of Article 13 (Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diveristy of Cultural......

Words: 3397 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Mr. Roshan Sharma

...The Hariyo Ban Program The Hariyo Ban program is an initiative designed to benefit nature and people in Nepal with the financial support of $ 30 million from USAID for 5 years. It is being implemented with a consortium of international and national NGOs: WWF (lead), CARE, National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), and the Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN). Government of Nepal is a key partner and beneficiary of Hariyo Ban Program as are local communities. The program also partners with other NGOs, academic institutions and the private sector. The program covers east-west Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) and the north-south Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape (CHAL) in the country. The program aims to reduce adverse impacts of climate change and threats to biodiversity in Nepal through three integrated objectives: 1) to reduce threats to biodiversity in targeted landscapes; 2) to build the structures, capacity and operations necessary for an effective sustainable landscape management, especially REDD+ readiness; and 3) to increase an ability of target human and ecological communities to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. Livelihoods, governance, and gender and social inclusion are three cross cutting themes of Hariyo Ban that has to integrate in all its activities. Hariyo Ban has three main components that are closely linked; Biodiversity conservation, Sustainable landscape, Climate change adaptation, livelihoods, gender and social inclusion are......

Words: 474 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Sustainability in Tourism

...Green (2014), the word Manaslu literary means the “mountain of the spirit”. The mountain is believed to be 8156 metres above the sea level and is located 40 miles the east of Annapurna. Manaslu mountain is the eighth highest mountain in the world. Located near the border of Nepal and Tibet, the Manaslu region is the central focus of the unique Manaslu conservation area. This conservation area is designed to preserve the cultural heritage of the local community and the same time advocate ecotourism in order to revamp the sustenance of the local community within the region. Although Manaslu offers a variety of trekking options to the relatively untouched area of Nepal, Manaslu is also believed to be the 4th dangerous 8000 metres mountain to climb with high dangerous peaks. The Government of Nepal only permitted trekking to this Manaslu area in the year 1991. Despite Manaslu area possessing a lot of potential, it has not been able to attract Tourists like the Annapurna, Everest and Langtang region as there is no facilities to cater the basic need of the people visiting the area.The trekking trail follows an ancient salt-trading route which follows the BudhiGandaki river passing through of the most eye-catching and dazzling and yet more culturally alluring areas of Nepal with sceneries resembling the Annapurna Circuit. However, Manaslu Circuit is one the most challenging yet very typical treks in Nepal for tourists who are looking for a demanding trek in the lovely distant and......

Words: 3898 - Pages: 16

Free Essay


...1 Via AB Road 1 Via Annapurna / Rajwada 7.00 PM 7.25 PM 7.40 PM 7.55 8.15 8.30 8.50 9.05 9.20 PM PM PM PM PM PM 5 Via AB Road 2 3 Via Via AB Road Annapurna / Rajwada 8.00 PM 8.25 PM 8.40 PM 9.00 PM 9.35 PM IIM Indore Campus (departure) Bhawarkuan Annapurna Rajwada Indore Railway Station Treasure Island Vijay Nagar (C21 (arrival) (departure) Mall) Treasure Island Rajwada Annapurna Bhawarkuan IIM Indore Campus (arrival) 10.00 AM 10.35 AM 7.30 PM 8.05 PM 10.45 11.00 12.00 12.20 AM AM PM PM 2.55 3.15 3.30 3.50 PM PM PM PM 8.25 8.45 9.00 9.20 PM PM PM PM 8.55 PM 9.15 PM 9.40 PM 10.00 PM 10.15 PM 10.30 PM 10.55 PM 9.45 PM*** 9.55 PM 10.00 PM 12.40 PM 1.15 PM 4.10 PM 4.45 PM 5.45 PM 6.10 PM 6.45 PM 7.10 PM 7.45 PM 8.15 PM 8.40 PM 9.15 PM 9.45 PM 9.40 PM 10.15 PM 10.20 PM 10.55 PM * 12919 Indore- Jammu Tawi Malwa Express departure 12.25 PM *** 19310 Indore-Gandhinagar departure 10.45 PM CAMPUS - MASHAAL HOTEL Bus No 6 (Tuesdays to Sundays) IIM Indore Campus (departure) 8.15 PM Mashaal Hotel arrival 8.30 PM departure 22.30 PM IIM Indore Campus (arrival) 22.45 PM ** 12962 Indore-Mumbai Central Avantika Express departure 4.25 PM CAMPUS - RAU MARKET Bus No 6 (Mondays) IIM Indore Campus (departure) 6.00 arrival 6.15 Rau Market (Government School) departure 7.45 IIM Indore Campus (arrival) 8.00 PM PM PM PM CAMPUS - MHOW Bus No 1 Saturday IIM Indore Campus (departure) 3.00 PM Mhow arrival 3.40 PM......

Words: 357 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Jeevan Anand Lic Analysis Brochure

...Tata Salt was launched in 1983 by Tata Chemicals as India's first packaged iodised salt brand. The brand is now the biggest packaged salt brand inIndia, with a market share of 17%.The Indian salt market[edit] The market for packaged iodized salt in India is estimated to be worth Rs. 21.7 billion, with Tata Salt commanding a sales share of Rs 3.74 billion or 17.3% of the market. Domestic competitors include Annapurna, Captain Cook, i-shakti, Nirma Shudh and Aashirvaad. Product[edit] Tata Salt is amongst the few vacuum evaporated brands on the market. The brand is currently packaged in 500g, 1 kg and 2 kg sizes with the 1 kg size being the most popular. The 1 kg pack retails for Rs.22 MRP. Produced on the western tip of India in the town of Mithapur, Tata Salt reaches around 3.75 Crore Households in India according to the IMRB Household Panel. Economic Times Brand Equityranked Tata Salt as the "Most Trusted Food Brand" and seventh "Most Trusted Brand" overall in its 2009 "Most Trusted Brands" survey.[1] Tata Salt has been ranked the most trusted food brand five times since 2004. Advertising[edit] Tata Salt is positioned as the Desh Ka Namak in its various ads. The latest ad for the brand Ghul Mil ad talks about the unity in diversity of India as a nation and how its people blend with each other just the way Tata salt completely dissolves in water, showing that it is a pure salt. price is rs 18...

Words: 260 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Trekking in Nepal

...industry in Nepal ranging from civil war within the country, to global economy downturn or different Flus in the world,. These factors and many others affect the number of people travelling to the Nepal especially for group of people for holiday, pleasure for trekking and mountaineering (Himalayan, 2012). There is a huge time frame(1990-2012) we can see that tourism in Nepal is not developing as it should have like increasing in the number of the travellers though the trekking industry have the big potential of large business (Tourism Board of Nepal, 2013). If only trekking and mountainering tourisms is acknowledged, and developed to bring more visitors into Nepal, it can bring great economical boost in the rural areas of Nepal, like Annapurna Range, Mustang, Manang, Rasuwa, Solukhubhu, which will encourage locals specially young generations to be involved in tourism industry rather than going abroad for work purpose. Basically, tourism is good for the economy as well as being good for the local inhabitants where tourism occurs. 1.2Research questions: The research aims to discover the factors affecting Trekking and mountaineering in Nepal, though most of the time trekking and mountaineering statistics are combined this study will only focus on trekking. Research questions will mainly focus on impact from different internal and external factors that affect and influence the trekking in Nepal. Question will include: 1. What are the main areas for trekking in Nepal? ......

Words: 6056 - Pages: 25

Free Essay

Hariyo Ban

...gravel roads, and 918.45 km mud roads. Most of the gravel and mud roads have been constructed without proper planning and Around 79 percent of the total energy consumed in 16 districts (excluding Palpa, Syangja and Kaski) in 2008-2009 was based on wood fuel (WWF-2013). Climate change adaptation activities are being implemented in Nepal in line with the government’s climate change policy, 2010, National Adaptation Program for Action (NAPA), 2011 and National Framework on Local Adaptation Plans for Action, 2011. Since 2012, the Hariyo Ban Program has been supporting local communities to prepare and implement community adaptation plans in more than 400 villages across 29 districts in two landscapes – Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) and Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape (CHAL). The program also supported a climate sensitive protected area management plan for Manaslu Conservation Area. The adaptation planning process included vulnerability assessment of ecosystems and human communities, identification and prioritization of adaptation measures, scenario planning, and implementation of adaptation activities. In all these plans, participatory monitoring, evaluation, reflection and learning (PMERL) was an integral part of the adaptation plans. However, monitoring of the adaptation plans was not very effective as the tools and processes were technical and not very community friendly. In light of the importance of monitoring the effectiveness of adaptation measures, Hariyo Ban Program designed......

Words: 1173 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Jainism vs. Sikhism

...principle and is done with consideration of others. A gentle ending to a life that followed the core principles is what this practice allows. Walking into a body of water, such as a lake, is acceptable but the method that is most respected is called Sallekhana and it involves self-starvation. This method is gentle and can be prepared with through many years of fasting. Giving up all food but continuing to drink water is the typical practice. Chapter 5 explains this death as honorable act of nonattachment and freedom (Molloy, 2012). References Experiencing the Worlds Religions. Tradition, Challenge, and Change, Sixth Edition2012McGraw-Hill (Gruenwald & Marchand, n.d.) The Goddess of Food: Annapurna, Introduction on the Hindu goddess Annapurna...

Words: 670 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Hindustan Unilever Limited Is the Indian Arm of the Anglo-Dutch Company –Unilever. Both Unilever and Hul Have Established Themselves Well in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (Fmcg) Category. in India, the Company Offers

...India Limited. It is currently headquartered in Mumbai, India and its 41,000 employees are headed by Harish Manwani, the non-executive chairman of the board. HUL is the market leader in Indian products such as tea, soaps, detergents, as its products have become daily household name in India. The Anglo-Dutch company Unilever owns a majority stake in Hindustan Unilever Limited. The company was renamed in late June 2007 as "Hindustan Unilever Limited". Some of its brands include Kwality Wall's ice cream, Lifebuoy, Lux, Breeze, Liril, Rexona, Hamam, Moti soaps, Pureit Water Purifier, Lipton tea, Brooke Bond tea, Bru Coffee, Pepsodent and Close Up toothpaste and brushes, and Surf, Rin and Wheel laundry detergents, Kissan squashes and jams, Annapurna salt and atta, Pond's talcs and creams, Vaseline lotions, Fair & Lovely creams, Lakme beauty products, Clinic Plus, Clinic All Clear, Sunsilk and Dove shampoos, Vim dish wash, Ala bleach and Domex disinfectant,Rexona,Modern Bread and Axe deospray.HUL has produced many business leaders for corporate India. It is referred to as a ‘CEO Factory' in the Indian press for the same reasons. It’s leadership building potential was recognized when it was ranked 4th in the Hewiit Global Leadership Survey 2007 with only GE, P&G and Nokia ranking ahead of HUL in the ability to produce leaders with such regularity Today, HUL is one of India’s largest exporters of branded Fast Moving Consumer Goods. It has been recognized by the Government......

Words: 2418 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Ethics Class

...ANNAPURNA SUNKARA WEEK 3 ASSIGNMENT Task Statements: Human Resource Receptionist Student Name | Annapurna Sunkara | What action is being performed (verb) | To whom/what is the action directed (receiver of the verb) | How is the action performed (procedure, tools, equipment) | Why is action performed (purpose) | Operate telephone switchboard to answer, screen and forward calls, providing information, taking messages and scheduling appointments | Customers, Clients | Telephone, e-mail | To provide information to clients and schedule appointments | Greet persons entering establishment, determine nature and purpose of visit, and direct or escort them to specific destinations | Clients, Customers | - | To assist clients and customers and to make them satisfied about the establishment | Transmit information or documents to customers, using computer, mail, or facsimile machine | Customers, Clients | Telephone, email, mail, facsimile machine | To co-ordinate the process. | Collect, sort, distribute and prepare mail, messages and courier deliveries | Customers, Clients | Mail, telephone, computer | To co-ordinate the process | Provide information about establishment such as location of departments or offices, employees within the organization, or services provided | Customers, Clients | - | To help clients in getting familiar with the establishment and clarify their queries | File and maintain records | HR manager | Data entry | For......

Words: 1977 - Pages: 8

Hunter X Hunter 116 | दी लल्लनटॉप | TECNO (368)