The classic trek in the Annapurna region is the Annapurna Circuit. The trek encircles the famous Annapurna massif passing through sub-tropical plains in the Himalayan foothills, trans-Himalayan Manang and then entering Mustang Valley.
It then crosses the highest elevation Thorang La pass (5,416m). The trail then joins the Kali Gandaki River that flows through the deepest gorge on earth.
The trek may take 15 to 22 days starting in Kathmandu and winding up in Pokhara. An entry permit for ACAP is needed for the trek. Most trekkers start the trek by taking a bus to Besisahar which is 6-8 hours drive from Kathmandu.
The trek from Besisahar follows the partly constructed road as far as the small market town of Kudhi. The first few days of the trek goes along the Marsyangdi River. The region has lush green valleys inhabited by Gurungs along with a large number of other ethnic groups.
You encounter countless high waterfalls that cascade down into the main river while the skyline is dominated by the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges. From Manang, the trail goes uphill through high alpine pastures until the small teahouses at Thorang Phedi.
The trek on the following day goes towards Thorang La pass from where the long descent to Muktinath for a night halt begins. There are a good number of teahouses at Muktinath as it is a very popular pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists.
From Muktinath you can see the skyline to the west dominated by the Dhaulagiri range while to the north can be seen arid hills of Upper Mustang.
The trail leads down through the villages of Jharkot and Eklebhati inhabited by the people of Tibetan stock and finally the banks of the Kali Gandaki River is reached. The Kali Gandaki banks are inhabited by Thakali people.
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