Our trek follows one of the most ancient trade routes of the Trans Himalaya, passing through many interesting villages, local people, and traders, donkeys and mule trains.
The trail also follows through beautiful enchanting forests of rhododendron, oak and pine trees with constant views of the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri mountain range. We start this marvelous trip in Pokhara which is located in the mid western Nepal. Pokhara, is one of the most unique sub-tropical valley's in the Himalaya, and arguably in the world, where one can marvel the beauty of the Himalayan landscape and reflection of the imposing Annapurna Range, including the towering majestic peak of Mt. Machhapuchare, and its beautiful lakes.
The trail at one time served as a major trade route linking India and Tibet. Yak caravans loaded with salt descended from the Tibetan plateau, while mule trains carrying grain headed up river from Nepal's hills, meeting halfway to barter their precious commodities. The Thak Khola region you enter after Tatopani was the centre of this vital and ancient tradition of trade.
It is also the homeland of one of Nepal's most successful ethnic groups, the Thakalis.Thakali tribes are wide spread from Pokhara up to the Mustang region, which used their strategic position on the trade route to great advantage.
As you enter the cobbled streets of Marpha, you have entered another world, a reminiscent of the Tibetan Plateau. From Jomsom the trail stretches on the Kali Gandaki Valley, and up towards Kagbeni, and Muktinath; a Tibetan-like village with the ruins of fortresses set in the upper reaches of the Kali Gandaki river Valley. Headquarters of the Mustang district, Jomsom is an important government centre.
In the heart of this scenic, magical valley lies Muktinath, one of the most sacred of pilgrimage places in all of Nepal. Here, the natural elements are displayed in miraculous form; flickering blue flames of natural methane gas burn on water, stone and earth in an offering said to have been first lighted by Brahma, the Hindu creator.
The country changes dramatically in the days walk from Dana onwards, with fabulous views of Nilgiri Himal, the Annapurnas, and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. The culture and the people changes as you reach from higher to lower elevation. Prayer flags and stone chortens (prayer walls) marks the entrance to Tibetan influenced Buddhist villages and clustered around monasteries several centuries old.
As the trek enters Tatopani onwards we will be walking on the deepest gorge in the world between the two towering massifs of Dhaulagiri 8,172m and Annapurna 8,091m with only 35km apart, turning the plunge to the Kali Gandaki at Tatopani from their high top peaks into a staggering 6,660m gorge.
Slowly, this marvelous trek comes to an end near Pokhara with glamorous scenery all the way a short interesting drive brings you at Pokhara and then to Kathmandu.