Annapurna Circuit Trekking: Exploring the Marsyangdi Trail and Throngla Pass
Annapurna Circuit Trekking is one of the most popular trekking destinations in the Nepal Himalayas. This trek offers a diverse range of landscapes, from lush green forests to arid desert-like regions, and from high-altitude passes to traditional mountain villages. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the trek, starting with the route and the best time to visit.
Route of Annapurna Circuit Trekking
The route of the Annapurna Circuit Trekking has been modified in recent years to meet the time constraints of tourists. On the first day of the trek, we drive from Kathmandu to Dharapani, the starting point of the trek. This journey takes about 9 to 10 hours by bus or other private transportation. Or we can drive directly to Manang.
Annapurna Circuit Trekking is generally called the Marsyangdi trail, which goes upstream along the Marsyangdi River. The trek starts from Dharapani and follows the river upstream to reach Manang village, which was once a kingdom. The trek provides a glimpse of the region’s diverse landscape, including canyons, gorges, and the north side of the Annapurna Himalayas.
Exploring Manang Village
Once we get to Manang, we stay there for a day to acclimatize to the high altitude. This is because we are going to cross the Throngla Pass, which is 5416m above sea level and is one of the world’s highest passes. Manang is a beautiful village with traditional houses, Monasteries, and Chortens. It is also a hub for trekkers who are on their way to the Throngla Pass. The village provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains, including Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, and Chulu West.
Crossing Throng La Pass
After acclimatizing to the high altitude in Manang, trekkers are ready to face the challenging Throng La Pass, which stands at a height of 5416 meters above sea level. It is one of the highest passes in the world and offers stunning panoramic views of the Annapurna Himalayas. Crossing the pass requires physical endurance and mental strength, but it is an unforgettable experience that rewards trekkers with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Descending to Muktinath
Once trekkers cross the Throng La Pass, they descend to the sacred town of Muktinath, located at an altitude of 3800 meters. Muktinath holds great significance in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology and is considered one of the holiest places in Nepal. The town is home to a famous temple, which is a popular pilgrimage site for devotees. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, a Hindu deity, and contains a holy flame that is believed to have been burning for centuries.
Final Destination: Jomsom
Jomsom is the final destination of the Annapurna Circuit trek. It is a popular town situated at an altitude of 2800 meters and is known for its unique culture and beautiful scenery. The town is famous for its apples and apple brandy and offers a range of accommodation options for trekkers. From Jomsom, trekkers can take a direct flight back to Pokhara, which marks the end of the trek.
The Annapurna Circuit trek is an unforgettable experience that takes trekkers through a diverse range of landscapes and cultural experiences. It offers stunning views of the Annapurna Himalayas and allows trekkers to immerse themselves in the local culture and customs of the region. The trek is a physically challenging but rewarding experience that is suitable for experienced trekkers and novice hikers alike. The best time to embark on this adventure is from March to May and September to November when the weather is mild and the skies are clear. Overall, the Annapurna Circuit trek is a must-do for anyone looking to explore the beauty of the Nepal Himalayas.