Tilicho lake, which is often referred as the highest lake in the world is literally the epitome of beauty. The trek to Tilicho lake is an exceptional journey from the finest deep valleys to the gigantic Himalayas.
Tilicho lake trek takes place in the Annapurna region, which provides some of the classic trails in the world. Although Annapurna region is dominated by Annapurna Circuit trek and Annapurna Base Camp trek, Tilicho lake trek is also on a rapid rise because of its magnificent beauty.
Tilicho lake trek is popular as the side hike of Annapurna Circuit. However, with the growing popularity of Tilicho, trekkers choose a direct trek to the lake nowadays.
Undoubtedly the trek will be one of the worthy journeys you have ever made. It has a stunning panoramic view, a great cultural variation with the quaint settlement, lush green forest and mountains encircling the great Annapurna massif.
The whole trekking region is rich, naturally as well as culturally with diverse groups of people and terrain, sub-tropical to a high, dry landscape resembling Tibetan Plateau.
What’s stopping you from embarking on this remarkable trek? But before getting way too enticed, let us gather some more information on this exemplary trek.
Tilicho lake survives from the collection of glacial melt of entire northern slopes of Annapurna and Thorong La Pass. The alluring lake of Tilicho is located in Manang at an altitude of 4,919 meters. Although Tilicho is sometimes called the highest lake for its size in the world, there are lakes at higher altitude even in Nepal and larger, higher lakes in world.
Along with the serene beauty of lake, you can also observe stunning view of mountains surrounding the lake. Khangsar, Nilgiri, Muktinath peak and Tilicho are some of the peaks one can get a view of from the lake.
The lake is famous for its sheer beauty set against the dramatic range of magnificent Himalayas. Tilicho lake is all about the mesmerizing water system at such height, as no aquatic organism of lake is in record.
Along with the captivating scenery, Tilicho lake also consists of religious value. As per the Hindu belief, Tilicho lake is the ancient Kak Bhusundi lake mentioned in Ramayan. Kak Bhusundi is a sage believed to have first told the events and happenings of Ramayan to Garuda (king of birds) near Tilicho lake taking a form of a crow. Crow translates as Kak in Sanskrit dialect hence the name of sage was termed as Kak Bhusundi.
Places to look after in Tilicho Lake trek
Manang is a distinctive village which comes after trekking from Besisahar. It is bestowed with the beauty of green forest, desert land, rocky mountains and sight of some of the tallest mountains in the world. In addition to that, waterfalls, sheep and Himalayan goats grazing in green pasture land, yaks and the serene environment of Himalayan region makes Manang one of the best village in Tilicho lake trek.
From Manang, one can get the view of Manaslu, the seventh highest peak in worth, Annapurna I, the tenth and several big and small peaks. Gangapurna lake, Ice Lake, Marshyangdi river, and various alpine flowers add beauty to Manang.
Muktinath is a scared site revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. The temple is also referred as MuktiKshetra within Hinduism meaning “place of liberation or moksha”. As per Hinduism, Muktinath is one of the 108 Siddharth and is named Mahadevi. While Buddhists pay homage to Muktinath because the temple is a place where Guru Padmasambhava meditated for some time.
In the outer courtyard of temple, there are 108 bull faces pouring the water. The water flowing from the 108 pipes denotes all the sacred pushkarini waters (temple tanks). With the belief the water is holy and sacred, devotees take a bath in anticipation of some miracle even in freezing temperature.
It will be a spiritual moment to visit this famous temple in Tilicho lake trek.
Jomsom is an exclusive village extending over both the banks of Kali Gandaki river. It lies at the base of two stunning peaks Mount Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri in the trans-Himalayan region of Annapurna. Despite its mountainous location, Jomsom is a well-equipped town of Lower Mustang and often referred as the Gateway to Upper Mustang.
Another impressive thing about Jomsom is the inhabitants who are mostly of Tibetan and Thakali background. The people in there still follow a traditional lifestyle depicting ancient culture which can be felt from the distinctive settlement made of stone and woods. Their way of life gives a real insight into the life of Nepali people.
The diverse landscape and culture of Jomsom let you into the real picture of Nepal.
Kagbeni is situated at the bottom of Muktinath valley scattered with abandoned settlements and irrigation fields. There is no knowledge on when and why these places were abandoned. However, there is a very interesting legend which tells that Kagbeni was founded when a demon destroyed two villages with the head of a lion and body of a serpent, and surviving villagers came together and founded Kagbeni.
Red monastery at Gompa which was built in 1429, Lhungfu Cave, a holy Buddhist pilgrim, monasteries, chortens and prayer flags makes Kagbeni a most awaiting place in Tilicho lake trek.
Information for Tilicho lake trek
-Acclimatization is very crucial while trekking in high altitude region. So walk slow but steady. Also, drink enough water and have an adequate amount of rest.
-If not much then try to be a responsible traveler. Take care of your trash and dump in designated spots, ask locals before taking a picture, take a bottle and refill in way instead of buying other bottles, choose camping and support sustainable tourism and remember leave nothing but footprints.
-Trekking to Tilicho lake is a certainly divine trip, but it will be even best if you travel in mid-September.
-Tilicho lake trek has a moderate level of difficulty. Also, acclimatization, good fitness level, prior exercise always helps.
-Now another important thing is permitted. You will require TIMS and ACAP permits for Tilicho lake trek.
Way to Tilicho Lake
Tilicho lake begins from Besisahar, which is also the starting point of famous Annapurna circuit. Besisahar itself is an attractive town with deciduous forest and the view of Annapurna II, Machhapuchhre and Lamjung.
The trek goes along the route of Annapurna Circuit to Marsyangdi river valley with excellent views of Manaslu and Himal Chuli in east. We will be rewarded every day with different landscape as the trail starts from subtropical climate and ends at the snowline.
Going through different villages, when we finally get to Manang, we will stay a day for acclimatization before moving to higher altitude. From Manang, it takes three days of treks to arrive at the Tilicho lake. It is really delightful trek for nature lovers to view a lake at this height, which also happens to be a holy site.
After witnessing the lake, we will move towards Yak Kharka and join the normal route crossing the Thorong La Pass at 5,416 meters which is the highest point of Annapurna circuit. Now we will visit Muktinath via Kagbeni and return to Jomsom. Throughout the journey, we will get pass a wide range of vegetation from lush sub-tropical to harsh semi-desert.
Tilicho lake is an ideal destination for those who are willing to embark on less trodden remote region of Nepal apart from regular routes. Help us find you through an email or comment, and we will help you organize an eco-friendly trek which makes you a responsible traveler and gives you all the ultimate experience too.