Annapurna Circuit is one of the popular but quite a demanding trek which take you around the entire Annapurna Masiff. The whole trek can span anywhere from 180 km to 300km covering four districts depending on the route you are taking. It definitely is not for the faint hearted as it is the longest pass in the country, where we come across the deepest gorge in the whole of earth and have the world’s highest altitude lake, Tilicho Lake 4919m. Newly formed (Gangapurna) Glacier Lake is truly mesmerizing and the view of locals seeking for Yarsagumba (aphrodisiac), on the edge of ridges is nerve-racking! The sight of the biggest of vultures (Lamagaya) is exhilarating. Overall, the Round Annapurna Trek is exulting and needs a whole lot of courage to complete.
Starting trek from Chame (2710m), colorful hills, waterfalls and River Marshaygdi gushing deep down somewhere is soothing. As we walk towards Dhukur Pokhari(3240m) for miles, rocks, stones and shrubs are your only companions. Next we follow the deserted trail till Manang (3540m) is the same experience, then coming in contact with civilization is extraordinary. And we soar up along the longest part of the trail, till reaching Thorang Phedi (4450m), where we encounter the hundreds of yellow beaked crows those have amazing hovering skills. Getting to the only lodge in High Camp (4850m) is a steep climb. Next morning starting early to cross the pass and witnessing the most pleasant view of peaks including breathtakingly enticing Pisang Peak, and the combination of rocks and snow till you reach the summit of Throng La Pass (5416m) is thrilling. First thing beyond Thorung La Pass that feasts your eyes is the panoramic sight of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Nilgiri Ranges.
Now, the downhill to Charabu (4230m) and then to Muktinath (3800m) is precarious. Reaching Muktinath is an experience of lifetime, which is one of the holiest places for Hindu devotees. Downhill trail continues till Kagbeni (2800m), a never ending walk in one of the most deserted area will definitely test your endurance. Seeing the greenery at Kagbeni, after 6 or 7 hours of walking in the deserted plain is a pleasant relief to the eyes. Closely connected houses, warm hospitality with a cup of coffee and chilly winds are rare combinations at Kagbeni. Staying a night at Kagbeni is highly recommended. The feel of Kagbeni will always remain. It’s time; we have to leave behind our longest friend of the journey, River Marshaygdi and offer greetings to River Kali Gandaki. Leaving early from Kagbeni will be a wise decision. Two hours of walk from Kagbeni will bring you to Jomsom (2720m) along the dusty road with jeeps and motorbikes hurtling by at high speed. Then comes Marpha (2670m), do not forget apples, apple juices and apple brandy. You’ll get to know this when you get there!
The next thing you might want to plan is to get to Tatopani (1200m) where dipping into natural hot water spring awaits, a soothing experience for the body after the strenuous trekking. Ultimately, cross passing the final landmarks like Poonhill 2870m (a popular hilltop for extraordinary sunrise view) and typical Gurung hamlets including Ghandruk along the trails, lushly filled hills with flora and fauna accompanied by series of extravagant waterfalls the trek ends at Nayapool before driving to the beautiful tourist town, Pokhara.