Saturday, July 2, 2011

Annapurna Foothills Trekking

 The Annapurna foothills provide tremendous trekking with delightful trails connecting villages and ridge tops. This picturesque trek winds through enchanting villages with ochre thatched houses, terraced rice fields and rhododendron forests, which are spectacular in the spring when whole hillsides are cloaked in colourful flowers. The ridge top village of Ghandrung provides one of the finest viewpoints of the Annapurna Mountains with magnificent views of the four Annapurnas, and Machapuchare with its fishtail summit. It is a  good walk to the top of Poon Hill 3150 metres with a dress circle view over the four Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri as well. 

Day 01   Kathmandu to Pokhara (885 metres) – 6-7 hours by bus 4th Dec 2011
Drive to Pokhara by the comfortable Green line Tours Tourist Bus and check into the Gurkha Haven Guest House in Damside which is a quiet area of Pokhara. Spend the evening in Pokhara taking in the sights near the lake and relaxing prior to the start of the trek. 

Day 02 Trek to Ghandrung  (1950 metres) 5-6 hours walking 5th Dec 2011
Leave Pokhara around 7.30 am after a good breakfast at the German Bakery and travel in our own micro bus to Birethanti  the start of the trek.  From here we begin our trek with a walk along the river to the scenic  village of Syuli Bazar. We have an early lunch at Syuli Bazar and then commence the three hour climb to Ghandrung. Overnight at a lodge in Ghandrung. Ghandrung is largely a Gurung town and is the headquarters of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). Many of the lodges here have the more environmentally friendly features that ACAP encourages such as back boilers, solar panels, etc. 

 Day 03 Trek to Tadapani (2595 metres) 4 hours walking 6th Dec 2011
From Ghandrung the trail climbs gently to the village of Baisi Kharka where we stop for a cup of tea and then make the final ascent to Tadapani. Overnight at a lodge in Tadapani. The views of the Annapurna Mountains and Machapuchare from here are stunningly close.  

Day 04 Trek to Ghorepani  (2750 metres) 6-7 hours walking 7th Dec 2011
The trek from Tadapani to Ghorepani involves a number of ups and downs! We pass through the villages of Banthanti and Deorali before reaching Ghorepani. Overnight at a lodge at Ghorepani.  

Day 05  Ghorepani to Tirekedhunga  (1515m) -5 hours walking 8th Dec 2011
We visit Poon Hill at sunrise to watch the views over Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. After breakfast we begin our walk down to Ulleri (1960m)  We stop for lunch at Ulleri and then start descending the 3000 steps to Tirkedhunga ( take it easy!). Night at Tirkedhunga. 

Day 06 – Tirekedhunga to Birethanti to Pokhara (885 metres) 4 hours walking 9th Dec 2011
The trail descends from Tirkedhunga to the village of  Birethanti. We have our lunch at Birethanti and then walk for half an hour to Nayapul. We cross the Modi Khola on a suspension bridge then follow the river valley to the road-head at Nayapul. Here our trek ends and our private vehicle takes us the short way to Pokhara. Here we check-in at the Gurkha Haven Guest House again  From the hotel roof, across the lake and above the terraced hillsides, we may catch a glimpse of the sun setting on Annapurna and Machapuchare once again.

Day 07   Pokhara to Kathmandu (885 metres)  10th Dec 2011
We take  the bus  back to Kathmandu  and enjoy the view of the mountains. Those who wish to stay on in Pokhara for a day or so rest and shopping are welcome to do so and arrangements can be made accordingly. Pokhara is a great place to chill out for a few days after the trek! It has good food and relaxing boat rides on the Phewa Tal lake and of course shopping! 

 Trek Costs
•For Nationals of SAARC countries – Rs 25, 000/-
•For foreign nationals-  USD 680/-
•The cost is per person for Kathmandu to Kathmandu (8days) as per the itinerary
•Costs given above are at current rates and may change without notice. Changes if any will be notified 2 months before the trek.
•Group size will be limited to eight/ten  only.
Costs include:
• Luxury Tourist bus from  Kathmandu to Pokhara and back (six hours journey with lunch). 
•Taxi fare from hotel in Katmandu to bus station and back. Taxi fare in Pokhara from  bus station to guest house and back.
•ACAP national park permit and TIMS permit for trekking in the Annapurna region
•Travel from Pokhara to start of trek and back by micro bus.
•Two nights guest house stay in Pokhara (accommodation only – Hotel Gurkha Haven and two nights hotel stay in Kathmandu ( Hotel Marsyandi Mandala)- first day and last day
•All accommodation on the trek on twin sharing basis
•Cost of porters/guides for the trek. Please note that porters will carry one duffel bag or backpack not exceeding 20 pounds in weight for each  trekker comprising of personal items, clothing, sleeping bag etc.
Costs not included:
Meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara 
•Airport taxes at Kathmandu and Pokhara airports in case of flights.
Breakfast lunch and dinner on the trek is not included
•Desserts, drinks, and exotic items listed in the lodge menus are not included. Alcohol, cold drinks (coca cola, sprite, beer), juices, ice cream  etc on the trek and in Pokhara.
•Client travel and medical insurance of any kind.
•Emergency evacuation costs if needed.
•Video camera fees in National Parks (where applicable).
•Bottled drinks; boiled, filtered or bottled water; alcohol; snacks etc
•Hot showers (Rs 200-300  per shower);
•Personal clothing and equipment; sleeping bag;  douvet /down/ goretek jacket, medicines for personal use etc.
•Air fare from  residence country to Nepal and back
•Tips to porters and guides at the end of the trek
Food Costs
•You should budget USD 20-25 per day for the food on the trek for five days  and USD 15-20 per day for food in Kathmandu and Pokhara. So for eight days this comes to USD 185 say USD 200.  

For testimonials from past South Col trekkers please visit

For photographs of the region please do visit

For any further information and details please e mail me at


  1. Hi I am a photographer and was looking at different sites and blogs and came across this. Beautiful site would love to have these experiences one day, shall return to see more.


  2. I am extremely impressed along with your writing abilities, Thanks for this great share.



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