Annapurna Encounter welcomes travelers from families, school / collage groups, nature lovers and adventurer to Annapurna Dhaulagiri trek, a trip for all in the overwhelming Himalayan destination, where altitude does not much affect you, as this trekking reach at little over 4,000 meters at the high scenic hill top of Khair ridge and Vara or Khair glacial pond, this makes you free from altitude sickness and to enjoy the surrounding natural beauty at ease.
Annapurna – Dhaulagiri Panorama at Khair rige with Annapurna Encounter starts with an interesting drive to famous touristic place at Pokhara where the Annapurna Himalaya and towering Mt. Machapuchhere “Fish Tail” reflects on the pristine Phewa Lake at scenic Pokhara the door to most of Annapurna & Dhaulagiri to Mustang area journey starts.
After Pokhara with short drive to begin this wonderful trekking leading to a beautiful spot at Ghorepani walking through enchanting rhododendron forest with grandeur views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range of mountains.
From Ghorepani a short hike to Pun Hill at 3,190 meters for stunning sunrise over the chain of snow capped mountains from Mt. Dhaulagiri 8,167 meters, Nilgiris 6,230 meters, Annapurna at 8,091 m, Annapurna South 7,219m, Gangapurna 7,455m and Annapurna III 7,555m. Mt. Machapuchhere (Fish-tail) 6,997 m as far to Mt. Manaslu in the eastern horizon. After a scenic trek walk continues with great views towards high hills near Annapurna South and Annapurna Fang (Vara Shikar) on the high hills of Khair ridge, on the least visited region, on the off route from the main trekking trail after a wonderful moment in the high hills with great panorama of Mt. Dhaulagiri range of mountains with Annapurna Himalaya passing traditional Gurung villages and finally heading back to Pokhara by an alternative route from Ghandruk village onwards with constant beautiful views of Himalayan peaks all the way to scenic Pokhara, concluding this awesome journey in the comfort of nice hotels by the lake Phewa.
Morning after having breakfast, drive to Pokhara on the interesting busy main Nepal highway through number of farm villages and towns with scenic landscapes and of snow capped mountains along the drive and finally reaching at famous tourist place at Pokhara the gateway to many trekking destination around Annapurna, Dhaulagiri to Mustang area.
After a fine time in Pokhara with the views of Annapurna and Machhapuchhre peaks and the serene lake Phewa, morning a 2 hrs drive on the suburb of Pokhara valley leading at Nayapul to start this wonderful walk, at first trek leads by the river Modi to a nice village at Bhirethati and onwards overlooking cascading waterfalls and passing through many farm villages till overnight stop is reached at Tirkhedhunga with nice waterfalls nearby.
Starting the morning walk with a climb on stone steps towards Ulleri village with nice stone slate roofed typical country houses, on reaching the top ridge of Ulleri, walk gets better on the winding path through serene alpine forest of firs, rhododendron and pine trees and walking over crystal clear streams with few steep ups to Ghorepani Deurali, where superb views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountains can be seen from the overnight lodge itself.
Ghorepani located in the midst of nice forest on the route to Jomsom and Mustang area, this is an old Trans Himalayan Salt Trade Route between Nepal and Tibet which is beyond upper Mustang.
Depending upon the clear early morning sky with an hour climb to the top of Pun Hill at Pun-Hill at 3,190m offering glorious panorama and sunset views over array of Himalayan mountains from world’s highest 7th Mt. Dhaulagiri 8,167 meters, Tukuche Peak 6,730 meters, Nilgiri’s of over 6,000 meters, Annapurna Fang or Vara Shikhar, Annapurna I at 8,091 meters A II-III and IV with Mt. Machapuchhere at 6,997 meters and of world’s 8th highest Mt. Manaslu range at 8,163 meters. After catching the wonderful moment carry on trekking to overnight destination at Sauta village through lovely woodlands and continuous views of mountains all the way to our overnight halt at Sauta after leaving the main trekking trail at Chitre village.
Morning walk on the gradual off beaten trail through farm fields and spread out farm villages, and then heading north into lovely rhododendron and bamboo forest and with climb into woodlands following the route to Khair ridge, walk leads to a small stream and summer pastures to Chistebung for overnight stop, a small place with few small huts serving as tea-houses.
Today a good walk to reach the highlight and the main destination of this trip at Khair also known as Kopra ridge, from here heading higher altitude leaving the tree lines behind for short bushes and shrubs, around this area might encounter some wildlife like Himalayan Thar, the Danphe Pheasant (National Bird of Nepal). After a good scenic climb reaching at Khair or Kopra ridge for 2 nights stop, offering grand panorama of Mt. Dhaulagiri massive range and Vara Shikar (Annapurna Fang), Annapurna South at close quarter from this amazing spot.
A rest or a free day at leisure with optional hike to holy lake at Khair Lake at 4,247 meters, which is long hike nearly for 6 hours to and from this spot, Khair Lake regarded as holy place with festival held every year in the month of August. Villagers from all areas of Annapurna visits here to offer and pay homage to Nature Spirit and take a dip in the glacial, icy waters, sacrifices of sheep and goats as offering.
With wonderful time at Khair, heading back to Pokhara via an alternative scenic route which leads to a long downhill through rhododendron forest, reaching back at tree lines and to Dobato for overnight stop, in the middle of forest and grazing land of the local villagers cattle herders offering stunning views of Annapurna South and Mt.Macchhapuchere 6,993 meters at close distance.
Today a moderate day walk to a large Gandruk Gurung village, morning walk leads to a descend through beautiful forest and mountains view on reaching the bottom of the hill and to top ridge at Tadapani in the middle of beautiful forest with great views of Annapurna South and Annapurna II with Machapuchere peak, then on the trail to Gandruk with awesome views of Annapurna mountains, after a short break walk continues downhill with nice paved stone steps to Gandruk village for lunch and overnight stop. Gandruk a large Gurung tribe village and the gateway of many trekking destination to Annapurna area trekking destination, Gandruk provides many famous Gorkha soldiers enlisted in British, Indian army, Gurung are farmers and cattle herders with Tibetan Buddhist religions and culture, after lunch free to explore the village and the Gurung museum.
After a refreshing time at Gandruk morning starts with long downhill on nicely paved stone steps to Modi River with wild honey bees hives on rock cliff hanging by the river side, on reaching a small village by the river, from here crossing the river Modi with a climb for an hour on the winding path in this warmer area with paddy terraces and patch of forest, where monkeys can be seen sometime around this area, after a nice walk with ups reaching a large village at Landruk with a break here, walk continues on the gentle trail overlooking nice views of terraces landscapes and of Annapurna South, Huinchuli, then a climb of 45 mins to Deurali top, with few lodges and views of Pokhara valley, Gandruk village with Mt. Dhaulagiri, Annapurna range. From here a gentle downhill walk brings to a beautiful overnight stop at Pothana with awesome scenery including stunning views of towering Mt. Machapuchhere “Fish Tail”.
Today the last leg of this trekking journey, morning walk along with the fabulous views heading downhill for a while and then a last climb of 40 minutes through woodlands and reaching at Thulo- kharka also known as Australian Camp offering tremendous panorama scenery of Annapurna and Manaslu range of mountains, after a wonderful moment the last walk with an hour downhill to Kande village on the roadside of Beni / Pokhara Highway, here taking jeep or a bus drive all the way to Pokhara a drive of one hour concluding this wonderful trip on the famous tourist spot at Pokhara by the lake Phewa.
After a wonderful time in the high mountains and hills, taking a morning driving journey back to Kathmandu, on reaching Kathmandu after 5-6 hours of nice interesting drive, transfer to respective hotels with afternoon free at leisure or last day shopping souvenirs and handicrafts.
(Optional flight back to Kathmandu of 35 minutes with great views)
The Annapurna-Dhaulagiri Panorama at Khair Ridge Trek is considered to be a moderate trek, suitable for beginners with some prior hiking experience.
The highest point on the trek is Khair lake, which is at an altitude of 4,247 meters
The trek offers stunning views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, as well as visits to traditional villages and teahouses along the way. Other highlights include hot springs, panoramic viewpoints, and wildlife sightings.
The best time to do the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri Panorama at Khair Ridge Trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons, when the weather is generally clear and dry.
The Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) card are required for the trek. These can be obtained through a registered trekking agency
Accommodation on the trek is in tea houses, which are basic lodges that offer basic facilities such as beds, blankets, and meals. Some tea houses may also offer hot showers and Wi-Fi, but these services are not always reliable.
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