If you are thinking about spending a worthwhile few weeks in the Himalayas, Nepal should be on your travel itinerary. Though the entire country offers several scintillating and adventurous treks, the Everest Base Camp Trek and the Annapurna Circuit Trek find special mention. The Annapurna range offers you majestic views of the snow-capped Himalayas and a chance to indulge in the region's diverse culture.
Though many-a-travelers from around the world have charted it, it still packs a level of awe that is rarely matched by other treks. Suppose you are reasonably fit and have around three weeks to spend on a grueling adventure. In that case, the Annapurna Circuit Trek will be a thoroughly rewarding experience to cherish throughout your life.
If you consider the Annapurna Circuit Trek to be a cliched and less remote or exotic one, keep reading to know why you should do this trek at least once in your lifetime.
A moderate yet captivating trek:
The Annapurna Circuit Trek might involve a more significant elevation than others, with the maximum being 17,769 feet, yet it is relatively moderate than other high-altitude adventures. Though the trail covers both uphill and downhill walks, the elevation change occurs gradually, so people get enough time for acclimatization. Hence, Acute Mountain Sickness and complications in health due to high-altitude are far less common.
The living trail across remote, hilly areas of Nepal:
The Annapurna Circuit Trek still follows an ancient trade route that has been operational since time immemorial. The trek offers you a broad spectrum of experiences. You will explore the untouched valleys, national parks, shocking rock formations, ancient monasteries, lush green forests, and the hospitable Himalayan culture.
From the virtually untouched villages that consist of Tibetan-styled mud houses and prayer flags to the land of the salvation-Muktinath that befalls your descent, this trail is vivid with places of worship and pilgrimage.
A scenic splendor beyond explanation:
Though every mountain adventure accompanies breathtaking views and picturesque beauty, the Annapurna Circuit Trek has almost every flavor of visual wonder that your eyes can feel. If you have an indomitable spirit and adequate time to spend, you can take a detour to the brain-shaped rock formation in Guru Sangpo Cave or the placid Tilicho Lake. Other beautiful side-treks include the Gangapurna Lake, Milarepa Cave, etc.
The beautiful ethnic culture and the warmth of the locals:
The serenity and peace that this trek offers will be a welcome break from the hubbub of the busy city life that we encounter regularly. The ethnic lifestyles of the Magar, Gurung, and Loba tribes will fascinate you beyond imagination. Their Tibetan-derived culture, charming villages, places of worship, and trade will intrigue you.
The incredible Manang village, situated at around 11,500 feet, provides you a rare insight into the locals' cultural heritage with its ancient monasteries and gumphas like the Praken Gompha. You can stay at the tea-houses which beat other classic treks with their cost, convenience, and local flavors. Drinking some delightful tea and eating yak cheese while gazing at the dolomitic cave systems is something every trekker seeks. The warmth, hospitality, and ethnic cuisine on offer flex your trek itinerary immensely.
The surprise that the terrain presents:
This central-Nepal trek provides a chance to encircle around the fabled Annapurna Massif. From the Marshyangdi river valley, you begin the trek amidst paddy fields at the Annapurna foothills to lush forests nestling with beautiful flora and fauna. Once you start climbing uphill, the scenery changes. The dense tropical forests give way to conifers, and after a certain point of time, the treeline vanishes.
You will get a rare chance to explore the lateral moraines of the Rongbuk glacier as well. The trek terminates at the Kali Gandaki Gorge that is the deepest in the world. The wide variety of topographical features that range from 4000 feet to almost 18,000 feet makes this trek one of the world's most-popular long-distance treks.
The challenge posed by the Thorung-La Pass:
Pushing the summit at the Thorung-La Pass- the highest point of the trek, with an elevation of 17,769 feet, will be an achievement in itself. As the day progresses, the weather gets immensely rough, and turbulence increases. Overcoming this stiff challenge and making the summit will be a mighty accomplishment, etched in your memory for years to come.
The panoramic view of the Annapurna range:
Since the Annapurna Circuit Trek enables you to encircle the entire Annapurna Massif (Annapurna I-IV), you get to witness an alluring spectacle consisting of beautiful Himalayan scenery. The Annapurna range's prominent peaks, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung, Machhapuchchhre, Tukuche, Manaslu, Tilicho, Pisang, Paungda Danda, etc. are easily visible from different parts of your journey. The amazing frozen lakes, ancient cave systems, etc., increase the allure.
Though roads are coming up for the sake of the locals' development and things are changing by the day, the Annapurna Circuit Trek still offers an intrigue beyond imagination and special surprises for every trekking enthusiast.