Annapurna region is the famous and much-loved trekking destinations of Nepal which offer some of the fascinating classic treks in the world. Trekking in Annapurna gives a different insight of beauty and authenticity of Nepal and Nepali peoples.
Annapurna Sanctuary trek is one of the popular treks in Annapurna sought by both national and international tourists. The trek provides you with a once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with people of different ethnic background, to observe their lifestyle, culture, and practice.
About Annapurna Sanctuary Trek
Annapurna Sanctuary trek takes place in the heart of Annapurna Himalaya that will exhilarate the nature lovers who are eager to experience the worthy mountain holiday at the base of tenth tallest mountain in the world, Annapurna at 8,091 meters. Along with the Annapurna I, you will also get rewarded with the alluring view of Machhapuchhre (6,997 meters), Gangapurna (7,455 meters), Hiunchuli (6,441 meters), Annapurna South (7,219 meters) and several other snow-capped peaks.
The base camp of Annapurna quite an amazing location with an oval-shaped plateau that sits at an elevation of 4,130 meters and is enclosed by a ring of mountains, the Annapurna massif. As the only access is from a narrow pass between the peaks of Hiunchui and Macchapuchhre, from where Modi Khole run-off glacier drains into, the Annapurna Sanctuary trek wasn’t visited until 1956. With all the mountains surrounding on all the side, Annapurna Sanctuary receives only 7 hours of daily sunlight light in the major summertime.
The trek is comprised of magnificent heights and jaw-dropping depth which has given rise to an amazing diversity of the ecosystem. In the south slope, you can find a verdant tropical forest of bamboo and rhododendron, while in north slope, the rain shadow has drier colder weather similar to that of near-by Tibetan Plateau.
Interesting stories surrounding Annapurna Sanctuary
Apart from the natural beauty that we all adore, the entire sanctuary region is also considered holy by Gurung people, which are one of the major ethnic inhabitants of this area. As per their belief, the place was a storage area of gold and variety of resources left by Nagdev (serpent god).
It is said that the sanctuary area was home to several deities of Hindu, Buddhists and older animistic gods. Machhapuchhre is believed to be the home of Lord Shiva, and the daily plumes of snow were thought as the smoke of his divine incense. It was only until recently when local Gurung people forbade anyone from bringing meat or eggs in Annapurna. Also, women and untouchables were prohibited too.
Annapurna Sanctuary Trek under Annapurna Conservation Area Project
Annapurna Sanctuary trek has gained popularity in these recent years because it forms the base of one of the major routes to the summit of Annapurna range. Now, it is also part of Annapurna Conservation Area Project, which was launched to conserve local resources, bring socio-economic development and manage tourism in such a way that hasa minimum negative impact on natural, socio-cultural and economic environment of the region. Under the initiation of ACAP, there is restriction on number of outside travelers, gathering of firewood and domestic animal grazing.
Best time for Annapurna Sanctuary Trek
It is the main trekking season in Nepal especially in case of Annapurna region. In autumn, everything is just perfect, temperature is warm, and climatic is stable which gives a crystal-clear view of Himalayas.
In this time of year, monsoon has just washed the dust and cleaned the whole trail with freshness. Sanctuary trek will be best in this season when view is just perfect and undisturbed.
Spring is another popular trekking season when the whole trail gets literally lit-up with colorful rhododendron, magnolia,and other alpine flowers. This season starts with chilling coldness and hazy days gradually turning warmer.
You will be super satisfied if you go on Sanctuary trek in this time of years, as the stunning flowers against the dramatic range of Himalaya are something one can resist.
Summer is the season when monsoon slowly starts. Days are warmer while in late afternoon there is a high probability of rainfall. Sometimes rain and clouds obstruct the mountain views. However, the vegetation is green and alluring.
If you want to have some time with nature in complete solitude, then this might be the perfect time for you. But prepare yourself for the wrath of rain,and it is also better if you start early in the day.
Obviously winter will be extreme in higher altitude regions. But you can have all the fun and adventure while enjoying snowfall and playing with snow.
Days are bearable, but morning and night get more chilly, so don’t forget to bring extra warm clothes. But due to snowfall, the passes may remain blocked in higher altitude, so be cautious and collect reliable information before heading any further.
Further Information on Annapurna Sanctuary Trek
-Annapurna Sanctuary Trek has a moderate level of difficulty suitable for trekkers who can walk 6-7 hours a day with light back. If you are in a good physical condition, then you can up for this challenge. No technical skill is a need. However, regular exercise at least a month before will be extra helpful.
-Also, don’t neglect the trek and hazards even though it has a moderate level of difficulty. Take proper rest, drink plenty of water and most importantly acclimatize.
-Trekking in Nepal requires TIMS card, so don’t forget this permit. Also as above mentioned, Sanctuary trek is within ACAP, you will need Annapurna Conservation Area Permit.
Way to Annapurna Sanctuary
Our journey of this remarkable trek begins from the beautiful city of Pokhara which is known as the home of captivating lakes. Moving on from Pokhara, we will walk along the trail witnessing a mesmerizing view of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapcuhhare, Annapurna, and others.
Getting pass several villages en route, we arrive at Ghorepani, a typical village famous for culture as well as natural beauty. Ghorepani is a charming village which offers a panoramic view of surrounding mountains including Annapurna South and Nilgiri Mountains. Now we will embark towards Poonhill, from where we can enjoy a sunrise view.
The sanctuary trek route takes us to verdant rhododendron forest, beautiful terraced fields, rivers and suspension bridge, quaint settlement before reaching Deurali. From Deurali we trek towards Annapurna Base Camp, but, there is a little twist, that is we will get to Machhapuchhre before arriving at our ultimate destination.
From Machhapuchhre Base Camp, we will get a view of Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Annapurna III, Gangapurna and Gandharyachuli. Now, we will turn left and ascend towards Annapurna Base Camp.
After base camp, our trail rapidly descends past Machhapuchhre Base Camp. The trek ends after three days from the base camp. But the return journey will be equally fun where we get past remote valleys, rain forest and farms, beautiful landscape views.
Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is a short yet exceptional trek in the midst of high Himalayas and culturally rich villages. The trek can also be accomplished with family. So, if you are looking for an ideal place for family holiday destination, then Nepal can’t be more perfect,and for family trek, there is always Annapurna Sanctuary Trek.
Send us an email or a comment below, and we will help you organize a perfect family-friendly trek with our trekking experts. Because what is better than letting your kids learn from the best teacher of all – nature.