Tilicho Lake is situated at an altitude of 4919 metres and is a famous natural beauty spot located in the Trans Himalayan region of Manang. The district offers many natural wonders for its visitors from the Marshyndi river valley and its natural wonders to the oldest monastery in Braga village. It’s a place where you can enjoy a mix of Tibetan, Buddhist and Bon culture with the great mountains like Mt Manaslu (8163m), Annapurna 1 (8091) and Dhaulagiri (8167m) Crossing Throng La Pass (5416m) in the back ground. This particular area is equally as important for Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims because it’s considered to be a Holy place. The rough and wild beauty of the area attracts a few visitors each year including many pilgrims heading for the Tilicho lakes. But on the way you have to pass through every type of vegetation zone from lush sub-tropical to harsh semi-desert and pass over one of the highest trekking passes in the world. Here you enter a world without roads or cars and witness the way people have worked, played and survived for hundreds and hundreds of years. It’s like walking through a time warp allowing people to see the simple things in life. The first part of the trail follows the Annapurna circuit trek until reaching Manang where you head up the main valley to the West thought the Khangsar Village (The Last Village of Nepal) and trek up to Tilicho Lake. From here the trail goes to Yak Kharka and joins the normal Annapurna circuit route to cross the Thorong La Pass (5,416m). From Tilicho Lake we have also the option of crossing the challenging pass of Moesokanta La and arriving at Jomsom instead of traveling to Thorong La but good additional equipment with tented camp are require trekking in this route.
On arriving at the Kathmandu international airport you will be greeted by one of our representatives who will welcome you and assist in your transfer to a hotel. They will be available for any questions along the way and will make sure you have the chance to refresh before briefing you on the upcoming trek.
The day begins with a drive to Changunarayan, which is situated approximately 20 km east of Kathmandu. It’s said to be one of the oldest temple of Kathmandu valleys and is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage monument list and is rumoured to have been built by King Hari Dutta in 323 AD. From here you will take a little trek to reach the well-known beauty spot of Nagarkot (2,195m.) by walking through the pine forests along the ridge and through the villages with splendid view of the valley and mountains. It is one the most panoramic destinations of Nepal for landscapes, mountain views including Mt Everest and magnificent sunrise and sun set view so you stay the night.
The drive to Beshisahar takes about 5 hours but Nepali roads are notorious for delays and traffic problems. You leave the Kathmandu valley by following the Tribhuwan Raj path (Highway) along the Trisuli River to Mugling. And from here it’s time to turn westwards along the Marshyndi River until you reach Beshisahar where you disembark and take a short hike of 1.5-2 hours towards the village of Khudi and your first night on the trail. Here you will be relaxing to the sound of the mighty Marshyangdi.
After breakfast you leave Khudi passing the school on the right hand side until you reach Bhulbule where there is a check post for the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). Your guide will arrange the necessary crossing and in a few minutes you will be heading for the steel bridge over the Marshyangdi River, which serves as a vital connection between both sides of the village. All along this section you walk past the flat rice fields to the village of Ngadi where you can stop for lunch. After lunch its back out on the trail across another large suspension bridge over the Ngadi River and you notice the trail begins to ascend, straying away from the Marshyangdi River through woods. The last hour is a steep climb to Bahundanda (Hill of Brahmins) through cultivated land.
The trail begins in the morning by descending stone steps and into the farming fields where it’s possible to grow 2-3 crops a year depending on the rainfall. The path levels off and it’s easy going so you have plenty of time for sightseeing. Looking towards the opposite side of the valley you will notice the small villages of Sildhunga and Tadring. Continuing along the rolling path you finally start to descend towards the small settlement of Syange. Here it’s time for a short break before you attempt the descent at Ghermu Phant for a drink while enjoying an impressive waterfall on the opposite side of the valley. Then it’s back up the trail across another suspension bridge before you start noticing the sides are narrowing and getting steeper as you walk up the valley
. Here you need to be a little careful as it’s a steep climb and it’s quite possible to pass mule trains along the way until you reach Jagat. A series of descends and ascends along the path until you reach Chyamje for an overnight stay.
Not long after leaving Chyamje you will reach the suspension bridge where you cross to the eastern side of the Marshyangdi. Passing along a series of overhanging rock formations before the path hits a broad ledge and a series of stone steps which you must go up. Along the way here are several tea shops if you’re thirsty and then the trail evens out and you reach an archway that’s the gateway to Tal and the Manang district. From here the Tibetan influence becomes more evident from here on with ‘Chorten’, ‘Gompa’ and the beautiful architectural designs of the buildings. The trail from Tal evens out after a while before crossing a bridge back to the West of the Marshyangdi about an hour later. You can see the old trail on the other side which was recently abandoned due to landslides. Continue along the trail as it ascends up to the village of Dharapani where there is a police check post and Bagarchhap is just a 45 minute walk from Jagat.
The morning should bring great views of Mt. Annapurna II (7937m) and Mt. Lamjung Himal (6932m) as they greet you as you proceed up the valley. Approximately 30 mins of walking will bring you to the village of Danakyu where you have the chance to view the lofty peaks of Mt. Manaslu (8156m), the eighth highest peak in the world & Peak 29 (7833m) will be visible on clear days. From here it’s a steep climb of around an hour through pine and fir forests (keep your eyes open for Langur monkeys) and you reach a Tamang village where you can have spectacular views of Manaslu (8156m). Past the village to continue along the flattish path until you reach the village of Thanchok where the path re-joins the main trail while descending through woodland down to Koto, which sits in the shadow of Annapurna II (7937m). The Nar Khola River flowing from the recently opened valleys of Nar and Phu joins the Marshyangdi from the right side of the valley. And Chame, which is the district headquarters of Manang, is a short walk away.
Because this stretch of the trek is so beautiful it will only be a short day on the trail. This will give you plenty of time to admire the scenery and take lots of photos. The trail is pretty even as you pass through a series of Mani walls and arrive at the apple orchards of Brathang. From here it’s time to climb up a steep trail for an hour through the forests before it levels off to reach a suspension bridge. Across and it gets easier as you trek through a forest consisting of juniper, pine and fir and the valley broadens with Pisang Peak (6091m) standing out in front of you. Continue up through the valley pass several lakes before reaching Pisang which is divided into Upper and Lower.
There is a choice of routes for this stretch of the treks the easy or hard one, the first will take you through the valley of Hongde and the hard one will follow the river north of the valley. Either way you will pass through fields of grazing yaks and a wide variety of crops before reaching Manang where the most spectacular views of Annapurna II, III, IV, and Gangapurna Tarkekang waits.
Today is a day of rest to give your body time to adjust to the higher altitude. And it gives you time to visit the local monasteries, take a side trip to Gangapurna Lake or do some excursions with the wonderful views around the villages.
The day starts with a descent down the trail towards a Chorten before turning northwest to follow the river. After crossing the Jharsang Khola on suspension bridge the trail goes through blue pine forests and the wheat fields before arrive Khangsar a Gurung village. There you find a small monastery, Chorten, Mani walls and prayer flags.
The day starts with the trail climbing steeply past the Gompa and small Chorten`s and up through the juniper and sea buckthorn bushes. Along the way you must cross several streams before the steep climb to the Tilicho Lake begins. At the top you get some amazing panoramic views of Tilicho Peak and surroundings mountains.
The day starts early so you can walk round the lake from where you will have an outstanding view of Gangapurna, Tarkekang, and Khangsar Kang and the Manang valley and Upper Pisang. When you have seen enough it’s a hike back down the trails to the base camp for an overnight stay.
Another early morning start will see you out on the trail passing through the ruins of old Khangsar to follow an unmarked trail which will lead you around and down to cross the river on an old log bridge between Gumsang and Yak Kharka.
Leaving Yak Kharka behind the trail will climb along the bank of the Jorsang Khola; here it’s worth keeping your eyes open for sightings of herds of blue mountain sheep. Stay overnight at Phedi
As you leave Phedi you will find the trail starting to get steeper as it swings around the backs of moraines and follows the rocky ridge as it ascends to the pass. But please take a little time to see the views of Gangapurna, Annapurna, Thorong peak Khatung Kang peak as they are outstanding. Its quite a hard day as you ascend to the high camp at 4590m along an undulating trail to the flat top of Thorong La Pass (5416m) from here the trail descend steeply down to Muktinath. A place famous for Buddhists and Hindu`s because of its religious importance.
Today is an easy walk after the hard graft of yesterday as you tackled the Thorong La pass. The trail descends gradually down to Jharkot with the picturesque kani (large Gompa). From here it’s a gentle stroll among meadows, streams, and poplar and fruit trees until reaching Kagbeni a gateway to Upper Mustang. Spend a couple of hours here visiting its Chorten’s and ochre-colour Gompa and monastery but make sure you visit red walled kagchode Thubten Sampheling Gompa which was founded in 1429. After lunch in Kagbeni continue trekking to Jomsom on the windy trail of Kaligandaki valley and an overnight stay at Jomsom.
The flights only take around 25 minutes and are usually available in the morning time only as strong breeze’s blows frequent weather changes in the afternoon. But at least in the morning the skies are usually clear and you must take advantage of this to enjoy the splendid views of different mountain peaks. Spend the rest of the day taking advantage of the delights’ Pokhara has to offer with its numerous eating houses etc.
After breakfast you will drive to the airport for a flight to Pokhara and usually it takes around 25 mins. If the weather is clear it’s also gives you the chance to see the great view of Annapurna and Manaslu Himalayan ranges. Arrive in KTM and you will be transferred to the hotel for a rest.
At the very start of the Annapurna
Flying through the Himalayas
Folow the trails to the mountains
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