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What is Annapurna Circuit?

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Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit is one of the oldest trekking trails in the Himalayas and has been open to foreigners since 1977.

This circuit is considered one of the best treks in the world though road construction is threatening its reputation and its future as a classic trek.

The trekking route is crossing Thorung La Pass, which sits at an altitude of 5,416 meters (17,769 feet) and connects the village of Manang in the east with the famous Hindu temple of Muktinath in Mustang in the west. The pass was originally used by locals as a trade route, herding agricultural products on yaks and donkeys.

The trekking to complete the Annapurna Circuit starts in the town of Besi Sahar, approximately a six-hour drive from the capital Kathmandu or a three-hour drive from Pokhara, a popular tourist destination.

Annapurna Circuit is one of the oldest trekking trails in the Himalayas and has been open to foreigners since 1977

Annapurna Circuit is one of the oldest trekking trails in the Himalayas and has been open to foreigners since 1977 (photo AP)

Many tourists still choose to walk from Besi Sahar and complete the trek in about three weeks, which takes them through small villages where locals provide food and accommodation. But in the past decade, an unpaved road runs to Chame, the headquarters of Manang district, which gives many trekkers the ability to rent jeeps and cut short the trek by at least a few days.


The circuit goes through Manang, from where trekkers can choose to hike to the Tilicho lake, one of the highest lakes in the world, sitting at an altitude of 4,919 meters (16,138 feet).

Described as “the best long distance trek in the world”, the Annapurna Circuit is known as the “apple pie” circuit due to the baked goods offered by tea houses along the route.

The circuit passes Mount Annapurna, world’s 10th highest mountain and one of the most dangerous.

This week, at least 32 people have been killed, and dozens are missing, after a devastating blizzard hit the key hiking route in Nepal.

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