ANNAPURNA REGION is an area in Western Nepal, North of the Pokhara valley, occupying most of the popular treks extending up to the Nepal-Tibet border. This region generally includes the areas around the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri range and the Kali Gandaki River Valley. The most frequently traveled Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) lies in this region. The legendary Annapurna region has the most diversely popular trekking destinations in Nepal. The most popular treks in the region are Annapurna circuit trek, Annapurna Sanctuary trek or Annapurna base camp trek, Poon Hill trek, Mardi Himal trek and Khopra Danda trek whereas the least popular treks are Mohare Danda trek, Nar Phu Valley trek, Panchase trek, Siklis trek, Pokhara Deurali trek and The Royal trek.
The region's name is derived from the central attraction of this region, the Annapurna I 8,091m, the first of the 8,000m peaks ever to be climbed in climbing history. Annapurna simply means “full of food” in Sanskrit. For Hindus, Annapurna is ‘The Goddess of Harvest’ or ‘The Goddess of Food and Nourishment.’ Nepalese people believe that the goddess resides in the mountain and thus named it Annapurna. According to the myths, Annapurna is another name for the Hindu Goddess Parvati (the mountain daughter).
Annapurna I 8,091m/26,545ft is the highest peak and the most prominent of the Annapurna massif, which includes 5 other major peaks; Annapurna II (7,937m/26,040ft; the 16th highest mountain in the world), Annapurna III 7,555m, Annapurna IV 7,525m, Gangapurna 7,455m and Annapurna South 7,219m. The other peaks in the Annapurna region which are less prominent include: Annapurna I Central 8,051m (26,414 ft), Annapurna I East 8,010m (26,280 ft), Annapurna Fang 7,647m (25,089 ft), Khangsar Kang 7,485m (24,557 ft), Tarke Kang 7,202m (23,629 ft), Lachenal Peak 7,140m (23,425 ft), Tilicho Peak 7,135m (23,409 ft), Nilgiri Himal North 7,061m (23,166 ft), Central 6,940m (22,769 ft) and South 6,839m (22,438 ft), Machapuchare 6,993m (22,943 ft), Hiunchuli 6,441m (21,132 ft), Gandharba Chuli 6,248m (20,499 ft). Other than Annapurna, the most famous peaks in this region are Machapuchare or Fishtail Peak and Dhaulagiri I (8,167 m), located just to the west of the Annapurnas. Many of these peaks are visible throughout the region on clear days. Between the two massive Himalayas, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, lie the deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki River gorge.
A former kingdom, Mustang, close to the Tibet border, lies in Annapurna, but trekking to the Upper Mustang is subjected to special restrictions. One of the longest treks in the Annapurna region, known as the Annapurna circuit or Annapurna round, covers both famous valleys Mustang and Manang, which covers a length between 160–230 km (100-145 mi) depending on where the vehicle transportation is used and where the trek is ended. The trail reaches the highest point at Thorong La Pass (5,416m/17,769 ft), which also touches the edge of the Tibetan plateau. Muktinath in Mustang is the holiest shrine for Hindus and Buddhists and is a popular pilgrimage site. Some villages in Mustang, such as Thini and Lupra, still practice the BonPo religion, one of the last places in the world to preserve and continue this practice.
Annapurna region offers many trekking packages, as mentioned earlier, which could last from a mere couple of days to months. Almost people of any age can enjoy trekking in this mind-blowing part of Nepal. This region has become a trending area, and walking in Annapurna is the dream for many travelers. Some destinations cater to all seasons as well. Let’s take the example of Mustang and Manang valleys lying in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, which can be traveled even in the monsoon season, leaving aside the other seasons. Breathtaking views of the Himalayan giants, lush green valleys, hills, forests and farmlands, awe-inspiring views of the change in the landscapes from the thickly covered land to the barren terrains and the most exciting encounters to the mixture of various ethnic communities which come with their own unique cultures and traditions, norms and values and their different livelihoods. So rich in diverse biodiversity, including endangered and rare species of floras and faunas, makes it further more interesting. Therefore, trekking in the Annapurna region can be the most satisfying journey in Nepal, with a diverse range of experiences.
Please find all of the journeys of the most frequented Annapurna region right down below: