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Tourist Places To Visit In Annapurna Region
The Annapurna region forms one of the popular spots for tourists to visit in the northern regions of Nepal. It is home to the entire Annapurna Massif, Dhaulagiri, Tilicho Peak, Machapuchhare and many other magnificent peaks that form the highlight of the Annapurna region. Nearby villages and native locals residing in these settlements provide a glimpse into the cultural diversity prevalent in these regions.
While most activities in the Annapurna region are limited to hiking through the glorious territories, there are undoubtedly areas buried in the lap of the majestic mountains that deserve to be explored. Here are some places that you shouldn’t miss out on visiting on your next trip to the Annapurna region.
Mustang is a little district located in the Annapurna region that witnesses minimal rainfall and more or less resembles a hilly desert terrain with selective settlements in the fertile areas. The Mustang Trek starts and ends in Kagbeni, and can be completed within ten days. It usually follows the Kali Gandaki Valley trail that can be used as both the entry and exit route. The regional capital of Lo Manthang is an interesting attraction spot in this area and should be devoted enough time to explore its settlements. The famous sky caves located around this area on the valley walls of the Kali Gandaki River are some of the most fascinating features of Mustang.
The city of Jomsom forms the district’s current headquarters and is located in Lower Mustang. It has its own airport and operates daily flights from Pokhara. It is the perfect place to explore the upper regions of Kali Gandaki, the deepest gorge in the world.
Muktinath serves as a place of religious significance for both Buddhists and Hindus and is located near the village of Ranipauwa, at the base of Thorung La Pass. A number of temples and shrines dedicated to Hindu and Buddhist deities are housed in this complex that witnesses a large influx of pilgrims from neighboring regions, making it the most important pilgrimage site in the Himalayas.
Located at 3800 m altitude, the grounds of Muktinath include a Vishnu Temple, a Buddhist Gompa, and the Jwalamai Temple dedicated to the Goddess of Fire that includes a spring and jets of natural gas that have been providing fuel to Muktinath’s famous eternal flame. The presumed blend of earth, water and fire sharing such closeness is mostly what accounts for Muktinath’s spiritual importance.
Muktinath can be reached via road from Jomsom; you can also choose to make a day trip out of it by hiking down from Kagbeni to Muktinath, which is a three to four hour trek.
One of the highest situated lakes in the world, Tilicho Lake is located at an altitude of almost 5000 m. The trek to Tilicho Lake includes a stay at Tilicho Base Camp located at 4100 m height, followed by a climb to the lake that is situated at the end of glaciers dropping down from the Tilicho Peak, and usually remains frozen. The round trip from Tilicho Base Camp to Tilicho Lake and back takes about 5-6 hours. The trip to Tilicho Lake will add three more days to your Annapurna Circuit Trek, but it is a side trip that is undeniably worth making.
One of the lesser explored areas, Nar-Phu Valley is usually arranged as a camping trek and is usually explored as a part of the Annapurna Circuit Trek, adding about a week to the usual trail duration. The hike starts at Koto, that is just before Chame in the Annapurna Circuit and involves an experience that will take you to some of the remotest areas in the region, along with some ancient villages and the crossing of one of the highest passes at Kang La Pass located at 5300 m.