What You’ll See on the Annapurna Trek

What You’ll See on the Annapurna Trek

What You’ll See

The Annapurna Circuit offers a wide variety of scenery from the lower foothills to the high peaks. Initially you will walk through fertile, cultivated valleys and terraced hillsides before rising through pine and fir forests to reach high yak pastures and eroded sandstone cliffs. As you climb to the high point of your trek the landscape will become noticeably more arid and dramatic and you will be surrounded by the giant mountains of the Annapurna range.

Throughout your Annapurna trek you will pass through picturesque villages and encounter many welcoming local people as well as pilgrims en route to Muktinath temple – a sacred site for both Buddhists and Hindus. The pilgrims, as well as locals and trekkers adorn the route of the Annapurna Circuit with multi-coloured prayer flags, sending prayers and blessings into the skies. As well as temples you will also pass many stupas on your Annapurna trek. These are spiritual monuments that help keep evil sprits out of the villages. Just make sure you walk clockwise round them or you may find the mountain gods are not on your side.

Traditional tea houses and lodges provide convenient rest stops along the way, as well as places to take meals. Some of the guesthouses can be pretty basic, but are comfortable and will certainly be welcome after a day of hard walking on the Annapurna trek.

Highs and Lows

When you reach the Thorong La Pass you will be at highest point on the Annapurna Circuit, at 5416 metres. The view there is spectacular, especially on a clear day. The Thorong La Pass forms a natural viewpoint between two slopes where you can look out across the mountain peaks of the range ahead of you and behind. Further on, the Annapurna trek will lead you to the deepest gorge in the world carved out by the Kali Gandaki River, a river older than the mountains it courses through.

The Annapurna Circuit is not for walkers uninitiated to the physical demands of a trek: it involves nineteen days of strenuous walking covering a two hundred mile route. People taking this trek should prepare themselves with plenty of walking and a fitness regime in the weeks prior to departure, as better fitness enhances your enjoyment of the Annapurna trek experience as well as helping combat some of the effects of altitude. Thankfully these effects are rare because of the acclimatisation stops incorporated into the trek itinerary, and because of the gradual way the trek’s altitude increases along the way.

After nineteen days in the mountains you will be reintroduced to the urban world at the small city of Pokhara, before flying from Pokhara airport to Kathmandu. The three week itinerary for the Annapurna trek includes some time at the historic, bustling city of Kathmandu, with its restaurants, rickshaws, palaces and temples. The monuments that line the Kathmandu valley are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visiting some of these Buddhist stupa monuments and Hindu temples are a great reminder of your time on the Annapurna Circuit.

Author: Jude Limburn Turner is the Marketing Manager for Mountain Kingdoms, an adventure tour company that specialises in the Annapurna trek and trekking holidays in various destinations including North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Central and South East Asia.

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