This trek is a part of the Annapurna Circuit that gives the perfect insight into the rural life of Nepalese people. The main feature of this trek is walking through the gorge of the Kali Gandaki River, crossing from subtropical jungle to high-altitude desert in less than a week. The ending point of this trek is the ancient shrine of Muktinath (3,800 m), one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in Nepal. Muktinath has been remained sacred for more than 2000 years; the Hindu holy book ‘Mahabharat’ mentions it as ‘Place of the Saligrams’, the black fossil stones sacred to Lord Vishnu and found in abundance in the Kali Gandaki Valley. Its holiness stems from flicking blue flames of natural methane gas burning on water, stone and earth, and now enclosed in the shrine of Jwala Devi below the Vishnu Temple. Near the pagoda, there are 108 waterspouts, where devout pilgrims bathe in the freezing water to purify their sins and earn spiritual liberation.
The place has ancient associations for Buddhists as well. Guru Rinpoche, also known as ‘Padmasambhav’, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, is said to have meditated at Muktinath on his way to Tibet. There are many old Buddhist monasteries around here.
One should figure at least 2 weeks to walk in and out, allow a few extra days for exploration, the upper region in particular which is lined with fascinating villages. Flying into Jomsom and walking back down is possible, but one should remember to acclimatize before ascending to Muktinath. One can fly from Jomsom to Pokhara.
Grade : Moderate Easy
Average walking per day : 5 hrs
Maximum altitude : 3,800 m
Best seasons : Feb-May, Sep-Dec
Type of Trek : Teahouse/Camping
Starting Point : Pokhara/Jomsom
Ending Point : Jomsom/Pokhara
This trek can also be done in the reverse way i.e. Fly in to Jomsom and Trek down to Pokhara.
Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400 m)
Upon arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport, meet our airport representative who will be displaying our company’s placard just outside the airport terminal. Then, get transferred to the respective hotel in a private tourist vehicle. Overnight at hotel, Kathmandu
Pre-trip Meeting; Kathmandu Valley sightseeing
After breakfast, at around 07:30 AM, pre-trip meeting is hosted in your hotel in Kathmandu in order to introduce the trek leader/guide. It is recommended to seek this opportunity to ask any question relevant to the trek. Please remember to bring the passport, 3 copies of passport-size photos, and a copy of the travel insurance policy. In any case that you will be arriving late and therefore are unable to attend the meeting, please inform in advance.
Drive to Pokhara (827 m)
After early breakfast, leave for Pokhara, situated around 200 km west from Kathmandu. Pokhara is a beautiful valley with Phewa Lake in the west and stunning view of the Annapurna mountain range at the north. Overnight at hotel, Pokhara
Drive to Nayapul (1,070 m) & trek to Tikhedhunga (1,577 m)
After breakfast, drive for around an hour to Nayapul; then start trekking along the bank of the Modi Khola. After 15 minutes of short walk, reach Birethanti (1,065 m); continue walking through the village following the north bank of Bhurungdi Khola; climbing steadily up the side of the valley to Hile, finally reaching Tikhedhunga. Overnight at lodge, Tikhedhunga
Trek to Ghorepani (2,855 m)
After breakfast, move on towards the steep ascent to Ulleri, a large village of Magars at 1,920 m. Then the trail continues more gently through a pleasant rhododendron forest and fields via Banthanti (2,250 m) and Nangethanti (2,460m) leading onwards to Ghorepani. Overnight at lodge, Ghorepani
Hike up to Poon Hill (3,210 m); Trek to Tatopani (1,190 m)
Get up early in the morning and go for an hour hiking to Poon Hill, a brilliant mountain range spectacle; this vantage point provides a clear view of the sunrise over the high Himalayas. After spending about 1 hr, return to Ghorepani for breakfast. After breakfast, start walking down through Sikha (1,980 m), a large village with shops and hotels. From there, the trail descends gently to Ghara; a further steep descent of 500 m takes to the Ghar Khola, where the trail crosses the river on a suspension bridge. Then, climbing up above the Kali Gandaki River, reach Tatopani. Overnight at lodge, Tatopani
Trek to Ghasa (2,110 m)
After breakfast, climb up the Kali Gandaki gorge – considered to be the deepest in the world – which is situated between the two 8,000 m peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. The trail further ascends up to Dana (1,400 m) and on to Rupse Chhahara (1,500 m). As the trail crosses to the eastern bank of the river, you will reach Kopchepani which crosses back to the west side on a suspension bridge at 1,935 m. Then after a short climb, you will reach Ghasa. Overnight at lodge, Ghasa
Trek to Tukuche (2,590 m)
After breakfast, start trekking by crossing to the eastern side of the river; cross back again further up the trail before entering Larjung Village (2,560 m). The trail continues for a short distance to the interesting village of Khobang, finally reaching to Tukuche. Overnight at lodge, Tukuche
Trek to Kagbeni (2,885 m)
After breakfast, climb along the valley side to Jomsom (2,710 m), which is a large bustling settlement and is the administrative centre of the region that contains the airport, army camps, hotels, shops, banks and government offices. Crossing the river to the eastern bank, walk towards Ekle Bhatti (2,730 m); follow the trail along the river to Kagbeni, which is situated at the junction of the Jhong Khola and the Kali Gandaki. Overnight at lodge, Kagbeni
Trek to Muktinath (3,800 m)
After breakfast, make a steep climb up the Jhong Khola Valley, leaving Kagbeni and rejoining the direct trail leading to Khingar (3,200 m). The trail climbs through a desert landscape till Jharkot Village and a further climb takes you to the ultimate destination of the trek, Muktinath. Overnight at lodge, Muktinath
Trek back to Jomsom (2,710 m)
After breakfast, follow the same trail nearby Kagbeni and then the new track that takes you down to Ekle Bhatti. Then again, follow the old trail to Jomsom. Overnight at lodge, Jomsom
Fly to Pokhara
After an early breakfast, take a 30 minute flight to Pokhara; get transferred to the hotel and rest of the day in Pokhara at leisure. Overnight at hotel, Pokhara
Free day in Pokhara
After breakfast, relax and enjoy the day on your own. It’s also spare day in case of bad weather in Jomsom. Overnight at hotel, Pokhara
Drive back to Kathmandu
After breakfast, drive back to Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel, Kathmandu
After breakfast, free till check out time; get transferred to Kathmandu International Airport for your final departure