Category Archives: annapurna circuit

Annapurna Circuit – the 13 highlights

I walked the entire Annapurna Circuit in October 2015: Independently, no guide, no porter, walking the 250 km from Besi Sahar to Naya Pul in 21 days. Below the itinerary and links to further posts on the individual stages:

From Besi Sahar to Chame (day 1-5)
Odar village home stay (day 4)
Chame to Manang (day 6-7)
Manang and around (day 8-10)
The 100 rupee monk (day 8)
Tilicho Lake (day 11-12)
Over the Thorung La Pass: Letdar (day 13)-Thorung Pedi (day 14)-Thorung La-Muktinakth (day 15)
From Muktinath to Jomsom (day 15)
Kagbeni (day 15)
Marpha (day 16 and 17)
From Jomsom to Naya Pul: Ghasa (day 18)-Tatopani (day 19)-Chitre (day 20)-Birethanti (day 21)-Naya Pul and a taxi to Pokhara (day 22)

Tilicho Lake
                                                  Tilicho Lake

The highlights of the Annapurna Circuit:

Online information sources on the Annapurna Circuit:

Bemytravelmuse (from Bhulbule to Jomsom)
Backpacker´s guide to the Annapurna Circuit
Wikitravel´s guide to the Annapurna Circuit
NATT alternative trails avoiding the roads

Kagbeni, a medieval mud village

Kagbeni
Kagbeni

The century old village of Kagbeni is the gateway between Lower and Upper Mustang and as far North it is possible to go on the Annapurna Circuit without a permit. Atmospheric, with mud houses clinging onto each other, the main income is trade to and from Tibet as well as cattle.

Kagbeni
Kagbeni

The absolute limit to where one is allowed to go without a permit is the village of Tiri, about an hours walk north of Kagbeni. In 2014 a major road construction project was ongoing almost cutting the village, which may otherwise have been atmospheric, in half.

Cattle near Kagbeni
Cattle near Kagbeni

The complete photogallery of Kagbeni is available on flickr.
This post is part of the series on the Annapurna Circuit walked in October 2015

From Muktinath to Jomsom

This high country bordering Higher Mustang is one of the highlights of the Annapurna Circuit.

Muktinath is the most important pilgim site in the Nepal Himalaya for both hindus and buddists.  Muktinath itself may not be so interesting, despite a 7eleven Nepalese style and colourful buildings. The major attraction here is rather observing the myriads of pilgrims, many from India pilgrims paying homage at the temples, gasping in the thin air, carrying huge amounts of luggage.

Muktinath
                                                   Muktinath

The walk down to Jomsom via the medieval mud village Kagbeni passing traditional  villages such as Jhong on the northern side of the river is another highlight of the Annapurna Circuit.

Jhong
                                                      Jhong

The complete photogallery of this area is available on flickr.
This post is part of the series on the Annapurna Circuit walked in October 2015.

Marpha, the white apple village

Marpha  is wonderful atmospheric white village at the Kali Gandaki river 90 minutes walk south of Jomsom on the Annapurna Circuit.The roofs of Marpha

Luckily the historic center remains largely untouched as the road bypasses Marpha with a couple of hundred meters. Agriculture and tourism are the main sources of income.
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The complete photogallery of Marpha is available on flickr.
This post is part of the series on the Annapurna Circuit walked in October 2015

From Jomsom to Naya Pul

Day 15-21: Muktinath-Kagbeni-Marpha-Ghasa-Tatopani-Ghorepani-Naya Pul

Buses ply the dirt road continuously from Jomsom to Tatopani and most finish their hike at Jomsom. For walkers, the choice is between walking the dirt road or the alternative (longer) NAAT trails down the Valley, or change between the two as I did. As with Odar Village at the other side of Thorung La, a detour via  Titigaon and Titi lake brings you slightly off the beaten track as well.

From Tatopani, the dirt road is left behind and the trail continues +1500 meter up through atmospheric villages to Ghorepani and Poon Hill. The descent to Birethanti (and Naya Pul) is uncomplicated but endless.
As an alternative way to descend the Annapurna Circuit, mountain bike outfitters propose rent of bikes as well as luggage transport from Muktinath to Tatopani.

Annapurna Circuit
Viillage on the way up to Ghorepnani

The highlights:

The complete photogallery of the Tilicho Lake Trek is available on flickr.
This post is part of the series on the Annapurna Circuit walked in October 2015.