Taking a cue from these words by the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, we have set out on a Mindfulness Journey. As per his advice we will be walking in the pristine and the tranquil trails in the Himalayas through the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal.
The Annapurna Sanctuary Trek takes us to the Annapurna Base Camp through a beautiful mix of landscapes, mountains, nature, local culture and spirituality along its trail. We will walk through the dense rhododendron forest, the bamboo forest, and sometimes we will be on the fresh green uphill. We will cross the cascading streams and waterfalls, sometimes through the remains of an avalanche and landslides. As we look up, we will see tall snow capped mountains so close to us as if they are walking with us. We will smell the earth in the purest form as we meditatively walk along stimulating our senses to the nature’s glorious creation.
Along the way, we will meet fellow trekkers from different nationalities and cultures, monks and sadhus, local villagers with their unique way of life and many more. These interactions will surely make the experience unforgettable.
The trek itself, while beautiful is not an easy one but again it’s not too difficult either. If you lead an active life physically and spiritually, have a reasonable level of fitness and have a good walking regimen this is the trek for you.
All you have to do is walk so that you kiss the earth with your feet, and print peace and serenity on the Earth. :)
Travel Outline Itinerary: 14 Days / 13 Nights Trek
Day 1: 25 Apr, Sat: Arrive in Kathmandu (1,360 m/4,462 ft) – transfer – Hotel in Thamel
Upon arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport, a representative carrying a placard will receive you. Private transportation to the hotel is arranged however late. Overnight stay in a hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Guided tour of UNESCO heritage sites in Kathmandu and Trek Preparation
Today, we will have briefing in the morning after breakfast. The rest of the day will be spent in sightseeing and/or shopping for any clothing or gear required for the trek.
After the briefing, we head off to Bhaktapur, a traditional city, and the Nepali government does not allow anybody to build a new house here. One of the highlights of this city is the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, once the Royal Residential Quarter of Bhupatindra Malla, and others are a famous five-storied temple of Nyatapola in Pagoda style, Batsala temple, Bhairavnath temple, Duttatraya temple, Pujari Muth, and the Palace of 55 windows. From here, we head off to Patan, which has the Patan Durbar Square which is enriched with ancient arts and architecture. One of the highlights of this square is Krishna Mandir (temple) which is completely built of stone.
Alternatively you can do a full day sightseeing tour of Pashupati, Boudha, Swayambhu and Kathmandu durbar square as well.
Stay overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Fly Kathmandu – Pokhara (25 min) then drive to Nayapul (1½Hrs) and start trekking from Birethanti – Hile (1,430 m/4,692 ft)– Walking 3½Hrs
We fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Nepal’s city of lakes, and while on the flight we can see the magnificent views of the Northern Himalayas. After landing in Pokhara airport, we drive to Nayapul, and from here we walk towards Birethanti and Hile which is a nice Gurung village. About 3½ hour consists of pleasant walk gradually uphill walk to Hile. On the way to Hile you can see the small water fall which lies next side of river (Ulleri River). Stay overnight in a lodge.
Day 04: Trekking – Ghorepani (2,869 m/9,383 ft) Walking 6½Hrs
During the hike from Hile, we pass through many local villages, teahouses, gentle green rolling hills and rivers. After crossing the Tikhedunga Khola on the suspension bridge, the trail begins to climb up quite steeply on a stone staircase that is more than 3200 steps. After climbing the hill we can see Mt. Annapurna south (7,219 m/23,684 ft) and Hiunchuli (6,441 m/21,132 ft). We walk in the jungle most of the day. In the spring season you will see a lot of Rhododendron, which incidentally is the National Flower of Nepal. You can see a great view of many snow-capped mountains. Stay overnight in a lodge.
Day 05: Poon Excursion (2½Hrs), Trek – Tadapani (2,630 m/8,629 ft) Walking 5½Hrs
We get up early in the morning with warm clothes and climb up Poon Hill (3,210 m/10,532 ft) It is about 1½ Hrs uphill walking (stairs) to reach on top of the Poon Hill and see an extraordinary view of sunrise on a group of mountains. These mountains include the Annapurna Ranges, as well as the Dhaulagiri Ranges; including other named and unnamed many more peaks. The views are spectacular. We walk down to Ghorepani in 30 minutes. After breakfast, we start hiking with quite a steep uphill section to Deurali pass which is similar to Poon Hill and we will see all the mountains from here as well. After that, we hike to Tadapani the path is up and down. From Tadapani we can see the majestic view of the Annapurna South and many more other peaks. Stay overnight in a lodge.
Day 06: Trekking – Sinuwa (2,360 m/7,743 ft) – Walking 6½Hrs
Today, after breakfast at Tadapani, we move down gradually along forests of rhododendrons to reach Chuile and continue the trek from Chuile to Sinuwa (2,340 m/7,677 ft) From Chuile, again you will walk down to Komrong Khola and climb up to Chhomrong, Chhomring is another nice and big Gurung village from here you will trek down to the river and again will climb up to reach to Sinuwa. If the weather is nice, you will have nice Mountain View of Annapurna Range. Stay overnight in a lodge.
Day 07: Trekking – Deorali (3,230 m/10,597 ft) – Walking 6½Hrs
After a short walk along the jungle, followed by an easy downhill, we reach Bamboo. Passing the damp bamboo forest, we take the steep descent to Dovan, the bottom of a gorge. The walk from Dovan to Himalaya is a silent one as big noises are not allowed in the jungle due to Deurali temple on the way and there are plenty of waterfalls as well. Upon reaching Himalaya, clearings appear and glacial rivers are visible along the trail as we ascend to Hinku cave. After a short walk, the trail first drops to the river and then ascends again to reach Deurali that offers exotic views of the valley below. Stay overnight in a lodge.
Day 08: Trekking – Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3,720 m/12,205 ft)– Walking 3½Hrs
Today, you will trek from Deurali to Machhapuchhre Base Camp. The trail is all the way uphill. When you arrive at Machhapuchhre Base Camp, you will have again the nice view of Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South, Himchuli, Gandharva Chuli, Glacier Dom, Annapurna III, Gangapurna etc. Either you will continue to Annapurna Base Camp or stay here for the acclimatization. Stay overnight in a lodge.
Day 09: Trekking – Annapurna Base Camp (4,130 m/13,550 ft) – Walking 1½Hrs
The first part of today’s trek is a pleasant uphill climb. We keep on following a small stream until we reach the large moraine of the Annapurna Base Camp. There is a breath-taking view of the Annapurna South, towering the sky. Then, we will head off to the west to see the spectacular view of the glacier. Stay overnight in a lodge.
Day 10: Trekking – Bamboo (2,310 m/7,579 ft) – Walking 6½Hrs
You will wake up in the morning to see the nice view of Annapurna I, Barahi Shikhar, Tent Peak, Annapurna South, Himchuli, Gandharva Chuli, and sunrise. After that, you will have breakfast and continue your journey walk down to Bamboo visiting Machhapuchhre Base Camp, Deurali, Himalaya, Dovan and Bamboo. Stay overnight in a lodge.
Day 11: Trekking – Jhinu Danda (1,780 m/5,840 ft) – Walking 5½Hrs
After breakfast, you will trek from Bamboo to Jhinu Danda visiting Sinuwa and Chhomrong Village. The trail is mostly uphill and downhill. The Jhinu Danda is famous for its natural Hot Spring where you can take a relaxing bath in the afternoon. The spring is a ½ hrs steep walk from the Jhinu Danda. Stay overnight in a lodge.
Day 12: Trekking – Tolkha-Australian Camp (2,055 m/6,742 ft) – Walking 5½Hrs
After breakfast trek down the suspension bridge over Kyumrong Khola, from here it is a steep climb to New Bridge and continue trek steeply down to the Suspension bridge over Modi Khola. Continue trek to Australian Camp visiting Landruk, Tolkha and Pothana village through the dense mixed forest of Oak and rhododendron. Stay overnight in a lodge.
Day 13: Trek Ends @ Kande (9 AM, 1½Hrs) then drive to Pokhara and leisure time
From here on a clear day you can see the closed view of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna South, Himchuli, Machhapurchhre, Annapurna IV, Annapurna III, Annapurna II, Lamjung Himal and Manaslu range, etc. After your Breakfast, start trek to Kande which is the ending point of this trek. There is a nice walking trail from Australian Camp to Kande. Upon arriving in Kande meet the waiting vehicle and drive to Pokhara which will take around 40 minutes. After arriving in Pokhara, take rest and explore the town at leisure. There are many places of interest like - Phewa Lake, Temple Barahi, Devi’s Fall, Gupteswor Cave, Bindhyabasini Temple, World Peace Stupa, Seti Nadi Gorge, Buddhist Monasteries, International Mountain Museum and Mahendra Cave etc.
Stay overnight in a hotel.
Day 14: Leisure time in Pokhara, Fly Pokhara – Kathmandu then proceed to Airport (3hrs before) to connect your next destination / Return flight
Breakfast at hotel and explore Pokhara in your own till your departure from Pokhara. Transfer to the airport and then fly to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu domestic airport transfer to international airport for your flight to the next destination or back home.
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