Annapurna is the Goddess of Harvest who makes sure that all her devotees have been fed. The Annapurna region is certainly one of the famous destinations in the trekkers' community. It lies in the central north part of Nepal and houses the Annapurna Sanctuary, Annapurna Massif, and Annapurna Conservation Area. The districts that fall in this region include Manang, Mustang, Kaski, Myagdi, and Lamjung. The dry valleys of Manang and Mustang behind the mountains hold their own unique culture and lifestyles adding icing on the cake.
The mountains of Annapurna Region are so beautiful that one can literally say "the mountains are calling and I must go". Mt. Machhapuchhre, Mt. Annapurna I, II, III, IV, Mt. Annapurna South, Mt. Himchuli, Tilicho Peak, and many other peaks welcome you with love and purity. Trekking through the breathtaking glacial valleys will be one of the best memory of your lifetime.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is undoubtedly the most popular trekking route. It also takes you past Machhapuchhre Base Camp. Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek can be a great side trek from this area. The spectacular view of the sunrise over the panorama of mountains will leave you spellbound. At Ghandruk, you can visit Gurung museum, where you can dress up as a Gurung. A 300 km journey of Annapurna Circuit Trek takes you to a new destination and new culture every day of the trek. Apart from these, Mardi Himal Trek has also gained much attention in the recent years.
On the other hand, a different tale awaits you behind the Annapurna Massif. Destinations including Manang, Mustang, Lomanthang and Muktinath fall in the rain shed part of Annapurna Region, and are considered as the desert of Nepal. The terrain is dry and rocky, with canyons. Mustang is famous for apples, apple wine, and dried apples. A large number of pilgrimage visits Muktinath Temple, a holy shrine of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that taking a shower from the 108 stone spouts in this temple will give you salvation. The Upper Mustang, Lo-Manthang, Nar and Phu Valley have a Tibetan history and interesting legends.
The cultural diversity and richness of the Annapurna Region will certainly baffle us. A diversity of ethnic community resides in this region including Thakali, Gurung, Magar, Brahmin, and Chhetri being the major ones. With diversity comes diverse culture, traditions, lifestyle, and food. The Thakali Food is famous even in the cities of Nepal. The Buddhist influences reflect all along the trails as we encounter many monasteries, Gumbas, Mani walls, Chortens, and prayer flags.
The trail to any destination of the Annapurna region is about ascended and descends. But the natural beauty will keep you motivated. Hot springs, frozen lakes, frozen waterfalls, forests, rivers, and many more natural perfections will amaze you throughout the journey. The most suitable seasons for the attempt are spring (March-May) and autumn (September to November). So, if you haven’t made it to the Annapurna Region yet, it is high time you thought about a trekking vacation here.