Annapurna trekking is regarded as a delight for trekkers. No place in the world can come close to the natural and cultural diversity and beauty of the Annapurna Region. The Annapurna Massif stands like an icy, 40km-long wall to the north of Pokhara in the central Nepal. Nine peaks, of over 7000 meters, project from the massif, the tallest being Annapurna I, 8091m.
It’s a region of eye-catching diversity, ranging from the dripping, subtropical, bamboo jungles of the south to the dry, barren, windswept deserts of the north. As the elevation increases, there are mud houses surrounded by terraced fields which are replaced by stone houses and pasture land. Mixture of various castes inhabits the region, Hindus in the south, whereas the hill tribes in the north are mainly Tibetan-Buddhist.
The Annapurna region is surrounded by Kali Gandaki River in the west, Marshyangdi valley in the east, Pokhara valley towards the south, whereas to the north, there is the trans-Himalayan range which marks the Nepal-Tibet border.
The two main trails into the region follow the two river valleys; one that leads towards Kali Gandaki to Jomsom and Muktinath, and the other follows the Marsyangdi Valley to Manang. These trails are connected by an east-west trail in the north which crosses the high pass, Thorung La. By joining these trails, you have the popular Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Treks in the Annapurna Region are reasonably accessible with easy transportation to trailheads close to Pokhara. Spectacular mountain views begin within a day’s walk, which means, short treks in the region are also an option. The magnificent scenery includes never-ending views of mountain such as Fish Tail, Annapurna, Nilgiri, Gangapurna and Lamjung Himal.
Pokhara can be considered as good place to start a trek and a tranquil place to end one. It not only consists of comfortable hotels and restaurants around lakeside, you can find a lot of souvenir shops and shops that rent or sell trekking equipment.
A government organization, ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) promotes sustainable tourism in the region. The popular trekking routes are well facilitated with comfortable guesthouses. Thanks to ACAP there are water filters, eliminating the waste from bottled water. Solar heating and gas cooking have replaced wood fires and reduced the rate of deforestation.