- Explore the cultural and natural beauty of the Annapurna region.
- Visit Hindus and Buddhist holiest Muktinath temple.
- Superb views of Mt. Manaslu, Pisang peak, Annapurnas, Himalchuli peak and fishtail mountain.
- Thorong La pass (5,416m.) – one of the longest pass in world.
- Hike along the world deepest gorge – Kali Gandagi river
- Explore beautiful remote villages.
- Sightseeing in historical UNESCO world cultural heritage sites of Kathmandu Valley.
Embark in for trekking in Annapurna mini Circuit. Trek through the most famous trekking trail of Annapurna circuit over the Thorong La concluding it at Jomsom. Mini Annapurna trekking circuit half of the Annapurna circuit trek and is ideal for time bounded people who are unable to trek through the whole Annapurna circuit trail. Still this mini Annapurna circuit trek extends the natural beauty of glorious Himalayas, cultural and traditional variance along with never seen flora and fauna anywhere else in Annapurna region.
Trekking in Annapurna mini Circuit is initiated after taking an 8-10 hrs drive from Kathmandu towards Syange or Jagat as per situation via Beshisahar. At the beginning days, we experience the small-big Sherpa inhabited villages, barley, rice and Potato fields across the bottom part of Annapurna conservation area. Peerless delight and enduring adventure of crossing the popular Thorong La pass at altitude of 5416 meters on the way to Muktinath from Manang with the surround of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna I is just incredible. Finally we conclude this amazing Annapurna mini- circuit trek after trekking towards Jomsom and taking short flight to Pokhara followed by 7 hours drive to Kathmandu.
Annapurna mini Circuit Trekking is the gem among the trekking sites in Nepal. Previous hiking experience with moderate level of physical fitness would be an added advantage but novice trekkers can also do this trek with good training and preparation.
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Mini Annapurna Circuit Trek -15 days Day to day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,338 m/4,390 ft)
As you land at Kathmandu Airport (Tribhuvan International Airport), finish your custom formalities (visa, etc.) and get to the airport waiting terminal, you will find our representative waiting to greet you. He/she will be holding Icicles Adventure Treks and Tour signboard. You will be then transferred to your respective hotel in our private vehicle. You can either rest in your hotel or shop around Thamel for any gears for your trek. Accommodation: City Hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu Tour
After breakfast, we start an interesting tour around Kathmandu escorted by a tour guide who provides an window to glance into the heritage sites, temples, architecture, monuments, and culture. In our sightseeing tour we go to Monkey temple Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath Boudhanath Stupa and Kathmandu Durbar square.
Durbar Square: -This complex of palaces, courtyards and temples, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, used to be the seat of the ancient Malla kings of Kathmandu. An intriguing piece here is the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages. The Durbar square, protected as an UNESCO world Heritage site, is the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. There are also museums inside the palace building. There is an entrance fee of Rs.250 for foreign visitors. Your ticket to the Square entitles you to visit all the museums.
Swayambhunath, 6.5 kilometers west of Kathmandu, situated on a hillock, this 2000 years old Stupa is the world’s most glorious Buddhist shrine and is surrounded by several small pagodas. The main temple is capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt and is painted on the four sides with all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha.
Pashupatinath is the holiest and most famous Shiva temple for Hindus in Nepal . Situated 5 kilometers northeast of Kathmandu on the bank of the sacred Bagmati River, it is an impressive pagoda style structure with gilt roof and richly carved silver doors. It has bathing and cremation ghats, which are of absorbing interest to the tourist, particularly in the mornings and on festival day
Boudhanath Stupa, one of the largest stupas in the world and an important Buddhist pilgrimage. The unique octagonal Mandala design with hundreds of prayer wheels and the 108 images of the Buddha set into the niches around the huge structure. The area of Boudhnath is also famous for over 50 Tibetan Gompas or monasteries, the also being known as the ‘Little Tibet’ as the Tibetan refugees are residing in this site. Accommodation: Kathmandu Hotel. Included Meal: B
Day 03: Drive Kathmandu to Beshishahar to Syange (1100/3600 ft)
We make an early departure from Kathmandu this morning for BesiSahar. It is a beautiful journey to the trek road head. We set off for Pokhara after breakfast. Driving today is adventurous and pleasant as it winds down hugging the mountain side through terraced fields. Following the side of Mahesh River we come to the Trishuli River. We follow Trisuli River side all the way up to Mugling where Trisuli River confluences with the Marshyangdi River. After crossing a bridge over Marshyangdi River we head further west to Pokhara. If you are on the right pane of your vehicle the journey today provides plenty of opportunity to view cultivated terraced fields, rivers, streams, green valleys, rocky gorges, farmlands and typical rural life of Nepal. We take lunch break in a restaurant along the way. Leaving Besishahar we drive up to Syange. On this drive, the scenery will impress right from the moment of leaving Besisahar. The jeep track follows the Masryangdi river upstream through gradually a narrowing and increasingly lush valley all the while with the water of the Masryangdi raging violently below. Weather permitting provides great views of Himalchuli (7893m) and Ngadichuli (7541m) who belong to the Manaslu Range of mountains. Driving Time: 7-8 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 04: Trek start Syange to Dharapani (1,860m/6100 ft)
We start early after breakfast. A rising and falling trail leads to Chamje, after which we cross a suspension bridge and climb through oak forest. We will notice a dramatic change in the landscape today as the valley narrows to a very deep gorge, and cascading waterfalls as the one here across the valley are a common sight in the feature for the next few days. The trail then emerges into a level valley where ‘Tal’, the next village is situated at the foot of a grand waterfall (1700m). Further we walk ahead past some mani stones Just after Tal Village. The local custom is to walk on the left hand side of the Mani walls. We cross Marshangdi river over suspension bridges couple of times before reaching Dharapani. Walking Time: 6-7 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 05: Dharapani to Chame (2,710m/8890 ft)
It is a very gentle climb from Dharapani to Bagarchap, here we will be rewarded by sight of Annapurna II (7937m) looking up the valley. As we continue through Danakyue and climb up to Temang one cannot help but stop and look back to enjoy the view of the Manaslu Range. You will notice a general change in the vegetation today to pine and fir. The trail is fairly level from here for about an hour until after emerging out into a clearing which has a couple of tea houses and fields. We then descend to cross a bridge and climbing out we pass through Thanchok Village with its apple orchards. We reach Koto in about thirty minutes from Thanchok village and another thirty minutes to Chame, the headquarter of Manang District. Walking Time: 5-6 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 06: Chame to Pisang (3,300m/10824ft)
We spent the rest of the morning trekking through rich forest of blue pine and fir keeping alongside the river to Brathang. The old Brathang village used to be a Tibetan resistant camp fighting Chinese occupation of Tibet by making raids over the border. Today you see only an apple orchard with a couple of tea houses. We carry on walking through the forest, the trail clings on a cliff side for a while and as we cross the bridge, looking back the view of the huge rock face of Mui Tscho (Paunde Danda) is breathtaking rising about 1500m from the valley floor. After climbing steeply through the forest, there is a sudden change in the landscape as we enter the Upper Manang District. The valley becomes very broad and vegetation mainly pine, Juniper and berberis shrubs is very sparse. A beautiful and easy hour of walking in the shadows of Annapurna II brings us to Lower Pisang. By this point you would have trekked around to the north side of the Annapurnas and the views from here on are of Annapurna II and IV to the south and Pisang Peak and the Chulu East to the north. Walking Time: 5-6 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 07: Pisang to Manang (3,540m/11611 ft)
Today we continue through the drier upper part of the Manang district, cut off from the full effect of the monsoon by the Annapurna Range. People of this region herd the yaks and raise crops for a part of the year. Leaving Pisang, we have alternate trails form the north and the south of the Marsyangdi River which meets up again at Mungji. The southern route by Hongde, with its airstrip at 3,325m, involves less climbing than the northern route via Ghyaru and Ngawal villages. For better views we take the northern route, i.e. through upper Pisang that follows the northern bank of the river. We come across a very picturesque village clinging on to a cliff side where the houses appear to be stacked on top of each other. Its Bragha village dominated by the oldest monastery of the region which is more than 500 years old. Upon reaching Manang, The rest of the day can be spent walking around the village and visiting the monastery and enjoying the view from the lodge and acclimatizing. Walking Time: 3-4 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 08: Acclimatization day at Manang village
We spend a day acclimatizing in Manang. It is recommended to stay active and take short walk to higher altitude is suggested to get acclimatized with the altitude. The whole day we spend doing some fine day walks and viewing the magnificent sights around the village. The upcoming next two days will be very demanding and tiring trek for us with swift gain in altitude. We should never be too confident with the altitude and should always be watchful. Bodzo Gompa or Gangapurna Lake is worth visiting sites from acclimatization point of view. Manang village houses Himalayan Rescue Association. Volunteer western doctors work here during the trekking seasons helping educate trekkers and researching on Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). An altitude talk is held here every afternoon, which is definitely worthwhile attending. Walking Time: 3-4 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 09: Manang to Yak Kharka (4,110m/13,484ft)
Continuing on from Manang we cross a stream and then the trail ascends by nearly 500m to Yak Kharka. We make the climb steadily through Tenki village. We descend as we head northward up the Jarsang Valley to cross the river then climb up to Yak Kharka. Herds of yaks and vegetations appear to thin out. We will feel noticeable difficulty breathing and other symptoms of altitude effects on us. We need to be more cautious from this point and drink a lot of water, walk slowly and steadily enjoying the views. Walking Time: 4-5 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 10: Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi (4,600m/15,092ft)
Today is a gentle climb enjoying the mountain views as we ascend to Throng Phedi. After about one hour into the walk we arrive to cross a bridge at Ledar, and a great view of the Chulu mountains. We can spot herds of Himalayan blue sheeps grazing in the slopes and we may also see herds of yaks too. The trail climbs steadily through Ledar and then drops down to cross the Jarsang Khola. After a steep climb and traverse of a scree slope we arrive at Thorong Phedi, a small busy settlement catering to the needs of tired trekkers and climbers. There will be an acclimatizing walk in the afternoon up the trail to the high camp; adhering to one of the golden rules of altitude “climb high and sleep low.” Sometimes depending upon the weather, season we may walk up to Thorung high camp to make the next day easier. Walking Time: 3-4 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 11: Trek to Muktinath (3,800/12,467ft) via Thorung La pass (5416m/17764ft)
Today is a long trek starting before sunrise at 4-5 am to reach the pass by 9-10am otherwise weather conditions (strong winds) will greatly affect the journey, particularly at the Thorung La Pass (5,416m). We climb steeply on a regular route which is quite easy to follow. However, some problems may arise due to the altitude and snow. It often causes terrible problems to cross the pass if it is covered by heavy snow. About four hours climb up to the pass marked by the chortens and prayer flags will reward you with stunning views from the top of the pass. The view that awaits us is a fantastic 360 degree panorama. As we turn back to appreciate the effort of the morning, looming straight ahead is Chulu West, following to the right are several of the Annapurnas that have been with us these last few days. The pass is nestled in between Yakgawa Kang (6481m) to the north and Khatung Gang (6484m) to the south. The Kali Gandaki Valley spreads out in front of us and rising from the valley floor some 2500m below are a whole new range of mountains. It is a gentle descent to start with but gets steeper as we get nearer the base of the pass. There are fantastic views of Dhaulagiri (8167m), Tukuche (6920m) and Nilgiri North (7069m) as we approach Muktinath. Muktinath is religiously significant for both Hindus and Buddhists and is a place of pilgrimage. You will see gompas, pagoda-style temples, and religious and culturally important architecture. Muktinath means place of Nirvana and is home to the Muktinath temple as well as several monasteries. It is said that all sorrows you feel are relieved when visiting the Temple, which is a scared pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists. The prime pilgrimage month is September. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has 108 waterspouts around it. Another attraction nearby is the Jwala Mai Temple which has a gorgeous natural spring and an eternal flame fueled by natural gas. Walking Time: 7-8 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 12: Trek to Jomsom (2700m/8856 ft)
We will move through trail of Kagbeni to reach Jomsom. Today is comparatively easier downhill and level walk through through settlements of Jharkot and Eklebhatti settlements and then through wide Kali Ghandaki floodplains with fantastic views of Mustang valley, the Nilgiri Mountains and Dhaulagiri Ranges. Jomsom is a strong windy and a little cold valley but like the beautiful wet hills and the view of Tilicho mountain as well. Walking Time: 4-5 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 13: Jomsom to Pokhara
A 30-minute morning flight takes us to Pokhara from Jomsom. Once we arrive at Pokhara airport, we then drive to the hotel. In the afternoon either we relax in our hotel or may have a sightseeing tour around Pokhara valley, which covers Fewa Lake, Devi’s water fall, Museum, Tibetan refugee settlement and Gupteshower cave, etc. Flight Time: 30 minutes. Accommodation: Pokhra Hotel. Included Meal: B
Note: You have the option to extend your trip with an extra day at Pokhara (Pokhara is a beautiful city to relax after a long trek), Chitwan jungle safari, rafting adventure, Bunjee Jumping, Kayaking, Canoeing, Kathmandu valley shopping tour, Bhaktapur and Patan sightseeing, scenic Everest flight, mountain biking and other activities.
Day 14: Drive Pokhara to Kathmandu
We drive back to Kathmandu today. Try to get left pane of your vehicle to enjoy the greeneries, mountains, river gorges, villages and terraces during the drive. In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner in a traditional Nepalese restaurant with cultural performances. Driving Time: 6 hrs. Accommodation: City Hotel. Included Meal: B
Day 15: Depart Kathmandu-Airport drop
Your Mini-Annapurna Circuit Trek concludes today. Our airport representative will drop you at the international airport in Kathmandu for your departure flight from Nepal. We hope beautiful Nepal, the magnificent Himalayan sceneries, and unique cultural experience you got along your Mini-Annapurna Circuit Trek will stay in your memory lifelong and you will go back home with a sense of achievement. Included Meal: B
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