Nepal- the land of the Himalayas is one of the best trekking destinations in the world. It is home to many tall Himalayan peaks, including eight of the ten tallest mountain peaks on Earth, which also includes Mount Everest- the tallest Mountain on the planet. Not only that, but Nepal is also a diverse country not only in terms of natural riches and biodiversity but also in terms of culture and unique traditions.
Nepal’s opulence makes trekking in the country a greatly wholesome and adventurous affair filled with unforgettable Himalayan ambiances, vibrant terrains and cultural practices that have withstood the test of time and have remained unchanged through centuries. As such, trekking in Nepal is one of the things that every enthusiastic trekker simply must do once in their lives.
Pertaining to Nepal’s many trekking destinations, Nepal also presents many different trekking adventures. Each trek in Nepal is different and gives trekkers unique escapades whether it be in terms of topographical features, the ethnic culture or the Himalayan scenery.
Among the many treks in Nepal, one of the classic trekking adventures is the famous Annapurna Circuit Trek. It stand as one of Nepal’s most appealing trekking adventures that takes trekkers in a circumbulation of the Annapurna Mountains, with the views of the Annapurna peaks and many of its neighboring Himalayas keeping the trekkers company. Here are the top 7 highlights of the Annapurna Circuit Trek:-
1. Marshyangdi and Kali Gandaki River Valley
The Annapurna Circuit Trek takes trekkers to two river valleys connected by the Thorong La Mountain Pass. These river valleys take up the northern-central Nepal and are blessed with amazing topographical features which trekkers can enjoy along the journey. With a diverse climatic variation and different biological biospheres scattered throughout the valleys, trekkers can enjoy a myriad of alpine and sub-tropical woodlands that provide an amazing canopy under which the trekking trail runs. Furthermore, the valleys are also drained by the Himalayan Rivers of Marshyangdi, Koshi and the Gandaki that have various tributaries that water the forests and wetlands home to many species of animals.
2. The Annapurna Mountain Peaks
Perhaps the most rewarding hallmark of the Annapurna Circuit Trek are the gorgeous and magnificent Himalayan views of the Annapurna and its neighboring peaks. Throughout the journey, trekkers can encounter towering views and panoramic sights of Himalayan peaks like the Annapurna range- Annapurna I, II and II, the Machhapuchhre Peak, the Nilgiri Himal, Mount Gangapurna, the Lamjung Peak, the Pisang Pak, the Dhaulagiri range and many more. The vast open pastures of the terrain are also blessed with the views of the peaks that seem to dwarf the land, making the journey quite unforgettable.
3. Thorong La Mountain Pass
The Thorong La Mountain Pass, with an elevation of 5,416 meters, is another hallmark of the Annapurna Circuit Trekking. The high mountain pass is sure to be the most thrilling part of the trekking journey as the mountain pass is a navigable route that is situated between the Khatung Kang and the Yakawa Kang Himals. The pass connects the village of Manang to Muktinath. It is the highest point of the Annapurna Circuit and presents trekkers with mesmerizing views of the sprawling river valleys below and the tapestry of ivory Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Mountain Peaks that decorate the skyline.
4. Highlights of the Annapurna Circuit Trek – Muktinath Temple
Muktinath is one of the cultural highlights of the Annapurna Circuit Trekking. A revered site for both the Hindu and the Buddhist people of the country, Muktinath is a sacred temple that is visited by hundreds of pilgrims. The temple and its vicinity are laden with artifacts and architectural beauties like the forty water-sprouts that are carved into the walls of the temple from which flow swift bursts of river water believed to atone the sins of man when bathed under. This is the first destination that trekkers come across after crossing the Thorong La Mountain Pass.
Jomsom is a famous village that is often an overnights-stay destination for trekkers doing the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Situated by the banks of the Kali Gandaki River, the village is known for its Shaligrams- fossilized stones that are believed to be the natural state of Lord Vishnu by the Hindu people. The soaring peaks of the Annapurna and the Nilgiri Peaks also form picturesque backdrop to the village. Jomsom is also the home of the ethnic Thakali people.
One of the destinations of the Annapurna Circuit Trek is Marpha. A pretty stone-lined village, Marpha is also renowned for its apples. In fact, Marpha is one of the leading destinations for apple-production and is known as “The apple capital of Nepal”. It is a great destination to stop for an overnights stay while trekking. The natural views of the apple orchard and the Tibetan Buddhist culture of the village make this one of the highlights of the Annapurna Circuit Trekking.
One of the best tourist hubs of Nepal, Pokhara is the major starting point of most of the Annapurna region treks, including the Annapurna Circuit Trek. It is situated beside the Phewa Lake and presets close views of the Annapurna and the Machhapuchhre Himalayas. Pokhara is a great place to relax and enjoy the many sites that the city offers. After an arduous trekking journey, Pokhara welcomes its trekkers back with the promise of extra-elevated R-n-R.
In conclusion, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is a classic trek that takes trekkers through the best features of north-central Nepal, presenting many natural, Himalayan and cultural virtues perfect for enthusiastic trekkers who want a mix of thrilling and interesting sites and experiences. It is simply an enduring and archetypal trek of Nepal that makes the journey a classic adventure.