Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Annapurna Foothills Trek: December 2012


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 colorful 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 an easy walk as the altitude never crosses 1950 metres and its ideal for first time trekkers. This is one of the most popular treks of South Col and has been done by children as well!  

Day 01   Kathmandu to Pokhara (885 metres) – 6 hours by vehicle
Drive to Pokhara in our own private micro bus and check into the Gurkha Haven Hotel  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 Dhampus and Pothana (1650 metres) 4-5 hours walking
Leave Pokhara around 7.30 am after a good breakfast at the German Bakery and travel in our own micro bus to Phedi the start of the trek.  From here we begin our trek with a walk to the scenic ridge village of Dhampus. (3 hours walking).  Have lunch in Dhampus with spectacular view of the mountains.  From Dhampus walk for about two hours after lunch through scenic forests and Annapurna views along the ridge to Pothana. Overnight at a lodge in Pothana which has possibly one of the best views of Macchapuchare.

Machhapuchare, Annapurna II and IV from Pothana 

Day 03 Trek to Landrung (1550 metres) 5 hours walking
From Pothana the trail climbs gently through forest to Bichok Deorali (2100m). From this pass there are views through the rhododendrons in several directions with Dhaulagiri being visible from here. A steepish descent through trees takes us to the old suspension bridge at Bheri Kharka. From here we follow a level trail to the large Gurung village of Landrung. This village is directly across the valley from Ghandrung and stretches 500 metres up the hillside. There are good views up the Modi Khola to the Annapurna Mountains from here.  Overnight at a lodge in Landrung.

Landrung village
Day 04 Ghandrung (1939m) 4-5 hours walking
The large village of Ghandrung can be seen directly across the valley from Landrung. This is a short walking day allowing time to explore Landrung and Ghandrung. From Landrung we descend to the Modi Khola River and cross on a large suspension bridge. The ascent through terraced fields to the picturesque town takes around 2 hours. 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.  The views of the Annapurna Mountains and Machapuchare from here are stunning.

Walking down to the bridge from Landrung to Ghandrung 
Day 05 Rest Day at Ghandrung to explore the village and see the spectacular views and chill out!

Day 06 – Ghandrung to Birethanti to Pokhara (885 metres) 5-6 hours walking
The trail descends from Ghandrung to the village of Syuli  Bazaar next to the river (3 hours).  After an early lunch at Syuli Bazaar around 11 am,  we set out for the level walk to the village of Birethanti , a village situated on the banks of the Modi Khola, the valley leading to the Annapurna Sanctuary. 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 micro bus takes us the short way to Pokhara. Here we check-in at the Gurkha Haven Hotel again.  From the hotel roof, across the lake and above the terraced hillsides, we may catch a glimpse of the k sun setting on Annapurna and Machapuchare once again.

Day 07 Kathmandu (1526 metres)
We return to Kathmandu by the morning flight. In case anyone wants to stay on in Pokhara please let me know and arrangements can be made. In case bookings are required in Kathmandu for a hotel please let me know as well.

 The cost of the trek is Rs 27,500  per person for Kathmandu to Kathmandu (7 days)  for SAARC citizens and USD 700 for foreigners as per the itinerary above and excludes meals.  For more details please email me at

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