Why is the Annapurna region the best trekking destination in Nepal?
The fact that the majority of tourists visiting in Nepal are either trekkers or mountaineers remains. From the year 1949, when Nepal first opened its border to foreigners to today, the mountains have been the epitome of attraction. The glimmering range of Himalayas harbors many massifs and mountains, and you can easily say, Annapurna is the elite one.
The whole Annapurna massif is home to Annapurna I, at 8,091 meters, the tenth tallest and a long list of several mountains. These peaks have formed a major attractions overtime, especially Annapurna I and many trekking trails were formed making it a hotspot for trekking in Nepal.
Most of the treks in Annapurna usually starts from the beautiful hilly village of Besisahar and gradually ascends towards the Manang, also known as a hidden valley. Annapurna Circuit is one of the most popular treks in the whole world, and the reason definitely is not just the mountains.
Along with the drastic showcase of nature’s beauty, the trail is unique that takes you along off the beaten track, where you can observe the quaint lifestyle and traditional practices of people. Today, let us look at some reasons why the Annapurna region is the best choice for trekking.
The Dramatic Setting
The whole Annapurna is an incredible setting comprising one peak over 8,000 meters, thirteen peaks over 7,000 meters and over sixteen peaks that are over 6,000 meters. With the presence of such a mesmerizing mountain range, there is no way the Annapurna region could escape the title of being best.
After all the effort when you finally stand facing those gigantic peaks against the vast blue sky surrounded by complete serenity, everything will stand still and you will immerse at the moment. It is just this dramatic setting and sequence of encounters that makes trekking in Annapurna so special.
The Ultimate Biodiversity
Trekking in Annapurna region will take to diverse lands that consist of different inhabitants and vegetation. You will begin the journey walking along the sub-tropical vegetation and slowly move on towards alpine vegetation before bidding farewell to snowy barren landscapes. From lush apple farms in Marpha to desert-like vegetation in Mustang, Annapurna region has it all.
Starting from either Besisahar or Dharapani, you will get past the lush hardwood forests with diverse vegetation. As you scale higher, the surrounding and time change along with the climate and you will enter the alpine vegetation zone. When you finally get to a higher altitude over 4,000 meters, you will find no trace of vegetation as the climate gets way too extreme.
Annapurna region will give you a good taste of adventure. Also, you will explore the natural diversity in a good bit. Walking straight to the natural serenity in the lush forest of plants we have never seen or heard of will give a good tour of biodiversity in Nepal.
The Multiple Choice
Now, this is something that not every trekking destination has. Annapurna region is known for many trekking routes and Annapurna Circuit, Annapurna Base Camp and Jomsom Muktinath are three most popular ones. You can embark in any of them as it fits you depending on the difficulty and accessibility.
Annapurna Circuit is the most popular one that encircles Annapurna mountain and includes Jomsom route as well. The Base Camp trek follows the same route as Annapurna Circuit only to return after base camp. Likewise, Jomsom Muktinath trek takes you along the deepest gorge in the world, Kali Gandaki gorge and then to the holy site of Muktinath temple. These all are the long trek, a few days of a trek from Kathmandu to Ghandruk and Ghorepani of Annapurna is also very popular.
No matter which route you take, the area is very accessible, with plentiful of a guest house in your service. They all are equally enticing and has many trail variation that will keep on surprising you. The diverse scenery with both high mountains and lowland villages, the distinctive settlement of people and their quaint lifestyle will keep on the charm.
Incredible Array of Mountains
Annapurna region is homes of mountains after all. Trekking in this region will take you in the vicinity of some of the tallest mountains in the world. You will walk in close ranges like Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri range, Gangapurna, Himalchuli, Manaslu, Nilgiri, and others. Machhapuchhre, Tilicho Peak, Paungda Danda, Pisang and other unnamed peaks are equally captivating as the mountain ranges.
Not just the mountains and ranges, you will also cross passes at high altitude which is very a thrilling and exciting moment in the whole trek. Thorong La Pass at 5,416 meters and Lubra Pass are some that you will encounter.
The Vast Diversity in Culture
The whole region of Annapurna inhabited by a diverse settlement of different indigenous group. As you start the journey, you will encounter the settlement of Brahmin, Chhetris, and Gurung among others. When you gradually move on, then along with the topographical and climatic changes, you will see different types of settlement. In the higher region, you will see a different lifestyle that is influenced by Tibetan culture.
The lower region exhibits more of Hindu culture while in the upper region you can see prayer flags fluttering along houses and bridges, large prayer wheels spun in the narrow lanes of town and old monasteries and gompas. Even the dress code is very distinctive where women wear colorfully striped aprons and their hair in long braids. A typical lifestyle of local and their Tibetan influenced life and Bon practices will show you a different picture of typical life in the Himalayas.
Different Taste in Trails
Annapurna region not only comprises tall mountains and lush vegetation; you will also walk in a rugged and barren landscape on the other side of Himalayas. You will walk through the deepest gorge of Kail Gandaki and cross several mountain passes to walk on the back side of Himalayas. It will definitely left you in awe when you come across the high altitude desert-like surrounding with caves and wind-craved architecture on the rocks.
More to the fact, the trek on Annapurna region lies in the rain-shadow area of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges; there is very less rainfall, which means even monsoon favors this your journey. The lush green rhododendron forest and terraced rice fields in the lower region and as you proceed further, the beautiful rugged surrounding, high altitude lakes, and dry, windy weather are unlike any other.
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