Here is an article where we are attempting to call attention to some significant explanations behind picking the Annapurna Base Camp trek for your next excursion in Nepal.
GURUNG, THE ETHNIC TRIBE:
The Gurung, this beautiful ethnic tribe in Nepal is densely populated at the foothills of Annapurna Massif. They are believed to be a clan that migrated from Mongolia around the 6th century. Legends speak of Gurung being a Nomad Tribe that traveled from Mongolia via China and the Tibetan Plateau to the Mustang and India.
The name GURUNG is been given by different interpretations as to Farmers, Horsemen, or the Nine Mountains. The interpretation of the Nine Mountains has been widely accepted as these people live in and around the mountain regions of India and Nepal. The Gurung, also very popularly known as TAMU have a rich tradition of culture and music. It is said that their legends and history are hidden from the outside world and yet to be explored.
The belief system of Gurung is a beautiful blend of Shamanism or Animism (a cult of their own), Buddhism, and Hinduism. Believed to be one of the most honest – Loyal and brave tribes thus giving anyone ample history of their bravery in the history of the British Gorkha Army. They celebrate LHOSAR as their biggest festival which is observed at the end of December. While trekking in the region of Annapurna travelers would simply be fascinated with their culture and architecture.
Undemanding and easy access:
There is much like a historical trend where Annapurna Base Camp Trek typically begins from Nayapul and ends at Nayapul. However, other exit points solely depend on the itinerary and preference. If you are to classify the ABC trek in terms of difficulty, it is generally a moderate trek. nonetheless, few rate it as strenuous or equivalent to a few remote trekking destinations in Nepal. But again, unlike most of the high-altitude trekking destinations of Nepal, this trek is undemanding as it doesn’t involve the crossing of high passes OR going very high with any uncertainty of getting altitude sickness and most significantly it can be attained by all.
As said, Acute Mountain Sickness is the least of the worries about while doing Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Furthermore, additional rest days for acclimatization are not required which would keep the trek duration short and practicable. The trail to Annapurna Sanctuary is very undulating cruises through the vertical steps, beautiful villages, small settlements with limited lodges (as you go higher), and the most stunning forested trail. This undulating trail is sure to give anyone a constructive workout as you climb to the ridge line or a village and get back down with much anticipation to get to your destination.
Annapurna Base Camp trek has very easy access. You can either fly or drive to get to Pokhara, the most spectacular city in Nepal. Unlike the Everest trek, there is no horror of your flights getting canceled or being stuck in Kathmandu or Lukla if the weather doesn’t show any sign of improvement. Even at late hours you always have the privilege to DRIVE to Pokhara or Kathmandu. The transportation facility, all around, for this trek is effectively available with convenience. At the same time, road access to the starting and endpoints of the trek makes it far less risky as one doesn’t have to go through the hassle of delays, cancellations, or being late.
Annapurna Massif and a 360-degree view
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek, no matter which way you go, provides incredible views of the landscapes, deep gorges, and remarkable vistas on the Annapurna Massif. The enchanting perspective at the Annapurna Sanctuary base camp with a 360° mountain view will make you overlook the rest of the world’s beauty. Annapurna I (Main), the 10th highest mountain in the world is the most significant mountain that dominates the base camp with its elegance and enormous presence.
The ABC Trek is an epic excursion into the sanctity, the spiritual abode of the locals that exhibits strong spiritual energy and lures any human being for the quest of the Himalayas. The superb and mysterious presence of the gorgeous and Sacred invincible mountains of Annapurna Massif and Dhaulagiri Massif eliminates all tiredness and nurtures trekkers with ultimate delight. Annapurna base camp trek offers you a glorious view including the most stunning sunrise and sunset at its finest.
Social and cultural excellence:
This delightful trek to the Annapurna base camp gives travelers the most beautiful experience of the region's culture, customs, and people. While on the trial you would be fascinated with the pleasing rustic life of the countryside people and their life. The view of thousands of ancient farming terraces that stretch and appear endlessly over the slops into the deep valley is amazing. These farming terraces look like paradise during the time of harvest. One could literally come up with an exceptional piece of poetry or a great piece of art during this moment with a backdrop of the majestic mountain.
The very close encounter with some of the world's most noteworthy mountains, and the Gurung Community with their warm hospitality, their culture, and their religion mixed with the cult of their own give you an enlightening trekking experience. Get ready to explore Nepal’s most scenic region which is culturally rich and that brings you closer to the people and their unique social life. The inhabitants of this region are very peace-loving. They have their own language, distinctive customs, practices, and qualities of life, their beliefs are legendary, and most significantly they have attractive traditional outfits. Passing by their little settlements you'll feel the satisfaction to find out their way of life inside the mountains.
The Annapurna Base Camp trek cruises through the ancient trail into the woodland of Pine, Oak, Rhododendron, bamboo, and numerous juniper trees. Getting to your tea house (destination) centered in a very cultured village with an awesome view is something very tranquil.
Annapurna Sanctuary and its Myths:
The Annapurna Sanctuary is a high glacial basin lying 40 km north of Pokhara. This plateau is at an altitude of over 4000 m and oval in shape and is surrounded by high snowy mountains. It provides the 360° mountain view especially the Annapurna range, Fishtail, and the neighboring mountains most of which are over 6000 m - 7000 m. The trail in the narrow valley between the two soaring peaks of Hiunchuli and Machchapuchare (Fishtail) leads you to this magical Base Camp.
This Sanctuary which is indeed a sacred valley for the locals was not visited by outsiders until 1956. Because of the high mountains on all sides, the Annapurna Sanctuary receives only about 7 hours of sunlight a day at the height of summer. Because of its special combination of heights and depths, the Annapurna Sanctuary offers its travelers a miraculous variety of ecosystems. The southern side is shielded by dense tropical forests of rhododendrons and bamboo, while the northern side is very alpine with alpine herbs, a drier colder climate, and a stronger chill factor.
To the people residing in this region, especially Gurungs, the entire Annapurna sanctuary is still a sacred sanctuary where spirits dwell. The sanctuary is still believed by these people to be the home of several gods and goddesses including their animistic gods and they do have several legends and myths. Mount Machchapuchare or the Fishtail is believed to have some diving force to defend the people of the region because of which it’s the HOLY mountain and it is forbidden to scale this sacred mountain.
The Gurung people forbid anybody from bringing eggs or live meat into the Annapurna Sanctuary since it is the dwelling place for the DIVINE being. They have a strong belief in this legend and worship it genuinely. Legend says that there was a time when women and untouchables were forbidden from entering the sanctuary, and it was until recently. It is widely believed that the sanctuary is essentially guarded by the supreme force of the Goddess BARAHI, one can encounter the temple on the way to Annapurna Base Camp dedicated to Goddess Barahi.
Annapurna I is the tenth-highest mountain in the world at 8,091 meters (26,545 ft) above sea level. A French Expedition led by Maurice Herzog in the 1950s became the first-ever human quest to successfully summit an 8000 m mountain. Annapurna Base Camp trek allows us to trek to the base of this historic mountain and appreciate the unbelievable accomplishment of Maurice Herzog's team in 1950. It makes us wonder what could have been the situation of undertaking something so impossible then. They made it without any proper map, trail, knowledge, and most significantly the basic equipment to cope with the harshness of mountain weather.
Besides, there is Mt. Fishtail, the holy mountain that is sacred to all the people residing in the region including Pokhara. Mt. Annapurna Fang (Barah Shikhar) is yet another holy mountain. Beneath the Annapurna Fang rests a beautiful lake where every year around monsoon there is a religious festival and thousands of Hindus and locals visit the lake to worship the divine spirit.
Ghorepani | Poon Hill – The Highlight:
The Amazing blue roof settlement of Ghorepani, no matter which way you go, before or at the end of your trip, never fails to thrill travelers with its view and fascinating atmosphere. Ghorepani, which can be interpreted as ‘Horse Water’ has served as a significant junction during the SALT TRADE ERA. At Ghorepani, traders settled their business affairs or fed their tired horses and mules with fresh water. Furthermore, a short excursion to the POON HILL is magical and delivers unbelievable views of the stunning Annapurna Massif and Dhaulagiri Massif.
Standing at the high ridge of Poon Hill is an incredible experience to witness the most stunning sunrise or sunset views. The panoramic mountain vistas, the high vibrant hills, and the phenomenal view of the World’s Deepest Gorge Kali Gandaki are blissful. Poonhill is something that offers you exceptional scenery within a very short period. Furthermore, Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is one of the very active and prominent short trekking destinations where thousands of trekkers come every year for the best view which they can do without much difficulty.
While on your quest to Annapurna Base Camp, you also have the opportunity to visit this interestingly breathtaking place. Ghorepani is indeed a final section of the Great Annapurna Circuit Trek, which used to be the world's number one trekking destination during bygone years. It is undeniably a substantial highlight for both Annapurna Circuit Trek and Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
Beautiful Landscape & Sustainable Tourism:
Trekking into the region of Annapurna simply means discovering diverse cultures and scenery. The topographic diversity and beautiful cultural diversity survive side by side in beautiful harmony. The moment you start your journey to the Annapurna Base Camp anyone would be enticed to its magical beauty. The Tropical forest, terraced fields, Gurung towns, and lush vegetation, without doubt, take you into the virtual world of fantasy. As you walk into the deep valley trekking trail below the high hills with the magnificent mountain view you would feel the thrill and love the serenity of the mountain environment.
Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), is there to protect the region's natural and cultural heritage while ensuring sustainable benefits for local people. Sustainable tourism is the main goal of ACAP. Thanks to ACAP, for all their hard work and efforts to preserve the well-beaten tracks, putting up signboards, encouraging safe drinking water stations, and setting up rubbish pits and health posts. ACAP has stern restrictions on deforestation, and firewood cooking or heating system is strictly forbidden in the region.
Furthermore, every year tens of thousands of tree saplings are distributed for reforestation. So trekkers doing Annapurna Sanctuary are to be aware of the fact that under the minimal price, they would get a Kerosene heater to ward off the chill factor during dinner time. ACAP also restrains anyone from using disposable plastic bottles (mineral water) which means the region is void of plastic mineral water bottles. However, you can fill or refill your bottles from the filtered can or the safe drinking water station. They have also set up kerosene depots and micro-hydroelectric generators to discourage the use of firewood and preserve the beautiful woodland.
Pokhara: The Dream City:
Pokhara is the gateway to most of the Annapurna trekking region or it has been the endpoint of most Annapurna trekking destinations. This beautiful Lake City of Pokhara is said to be the second home of the tourist where many trekkers find their Shangri-La. Pokhara’s fascinating beauty has been the subject of many travel writers. Its clean air, and the spectacular backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna Range, Phewa, Begnas, and Rupa Lakes, make this destination ‘the Jewel of the Himalayas’.
It is home to exceptionally warm and engaging people and is the starting point for treks into the Annapurna Himalaya, which dominates the skyline. The area along with Fewa Tal, the largest lake in the valley, was first a camping ground for trekkers and has gradually developed into the tourist hub of this rapidly growing city.
The Annapurna base camp trek allows you the opportunity to explore this wonderful yet peaceful city as most of the trekkers stay in Pokhara before the start as well as after the end of the trek