“The world might belong to good people but the world of trekking belongs to tough and determined people and they are mostly seen in Annapurna Circuit.”
Located in central Nepal, Annapurna Circuit (AC) is a trail within the mountain range of Annapurna. Earlier, the circuit comprised of almost 230 km but due to the penetration of motor roads, this circuit is shortening gradually. Depending on your use of motor transportation and the ending point of the trek, a trekker to AC is likely to cover 160km at present.
River valleys, Annapurna massif, Thorung La pass and Tibetan plateau is the core of this trek. It means a trekker to AC crosses two different river valleys and encircles the Annapurna massif and arrives at the highest point of the trek—Thorung La Pass 5,416m—reaching the edge of Tibetan plateau.
Generally, it is an anti-clockwise trail which begins from Besisahar and ends in Kali Gandaki Gorge. Following the counter clockwise route will help trekker to gain altitude gradually and this is the best way to minimize the chances of being arrested by altitude sickness.
The trial unfolds the beauty of at least 11 peaks—Annapurna massif (Annapurna I to IV), Dhaulagiri, Gaganpurna, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu, Pisang Peak, Paungda Danda and Tilicho Peak. You will also get an opportunity to witness numerous other peaks that is in between 6000 to 7000m which are also termed as minor peaks in Nepal.
Apart from witnessing peaks, the trail will reward you with many other scenic beauties like greenery of terrace farming and subtropical forests, plenty of waterfalls and massive cliffs. It reveals traditional villages where to reside traditional people rich in culture.
The cultural aspect of the trek is something that leaves people (trekkers) speechless as the circuit encapsulates Hindu villages at the low foothills and Tibetan culture at Manang Valley and Lower Mustang.
Gurung, Magar, Thakali are the main inhabitants of this part of the world. They are the ethnic group who are popular for tier valor especially, Gurung and Magar. Thakali, on the other hand, are popular for their hospitality. Normally, these people—Gurung and Magar—work in Indian Army, British Army, and Singapore police. They have their typical culture and tradition and rakshi (liquor) is mandatory in their every ritual. Loshar is their main festival and Buddhism is their religion.
Undoubtedly, AC is the longest trek distance of the world if considered its old length, 260 km. From the tropic at above 600m from sea level to the Arctic at 5,41m—it has varying climatic zones.
With the construction of roads, the destination is also emerging as one of the best sites for mountain biking especially, Mustang and its periphery.
Similarly, the jungle of AC has its own uniqueness. It is a home for various species of animals and birds. Some of the common wild animals found here are Himalayan black bear, serow, goral. Barking deer, wild boar, etc. Similarly, pea-cock and Himalayan pheasant are commonly sighted birds here.
Hence, considering its beauty and uniqueness, trekking to Annapurna Circuit is worthy of any trekker like you who has guts to challenge the challenges!!