Day 1: Drive Kathmandu to Arughat
We will be driving from Kathmandu to Arughat early in the morning. The landscape along with the lifestyle of the habitant changes radically as we proceed on. Arughat is a bustling town which is cut into half by the Budhi Gandaki River. We can enjoy the pleasant stay here and make the necessary preparation for the amazing trek next morning. Overnight accommodation will be in a lodge.
Day 2: Soti Khola to Machha Khola (900m)
After crossing the Machha River and Khrolabesi, we will pass through the hot springs at
Tatopani. The trail follows a forested area until we cross Dovan Khola. We then make our way
to Budhi Gandaki Valley. As the elevation increases, the scenery undergoes a complete transformation, with white sandy areas along the riverside.
Day 3: Jagat to Deng (2095m)
Today we will scramble steeply up into a spectacular trail before descending to cross the river.
We pass through some small settlements and then climb to an impressive valley. There we will
encounter Mani stones (prayer stones) carved into wayside rocks – a sign that we are entering
In the afternoon, we take a side excursion to the small settlement of Prok – a two hour round trip.
Day 4: Deng to Namrung (2600m)
Today’s trail passes through Ghap (2380m). We will be walking through west of Budhi Gandaki and crossing some waterfalls and Sringri khola on a funky suspension bridge. The trail then climbs steeply and traverses above Budhi Gandaki. The trail passes through a Kani with intricate, well-preserved paintings. On the trail, we may encounter some colourful birds including Dhafe. The trail climbs alongside the river, past two long Mani walls and the waterfalls. As we cross the Rhododendron forest before finally reaching Namring, we will be able to spot grey Langure monkeys swinging from branch to branch.
Day 5: Namrung to Sama Gaon (3390m)
Beyond Namrung, the trek enters into upper Nupri where the dialect changes to a form of Tibetan style and most people dress in chubas, the Tibetan style of wrapping around cloak. The trail leaves the village through a Kani and makes a long sweep into a wooded canyon and crossing the Hiran Khola on a double span cantilever bridge. One can now capture a spectacular sight of Manaslu, Manaslu North (7157m) and Naike Peak (5515m).
The trail will pass through Lho (3080m), Syala (3350m) and we will have to cross a ridge and trek in and out of the canyon of the Thosang khola. We will then descend onto a rock-strewn moraine and reach Sama Gaon.
Day 6: Rest day and acclimatization day at Sama Gaon (3870m)
Today we can visit the Pungyen Gumba. We’ll enjoy the sight of thousands of mani stones with Buddhist texts and pictures and the Sherpa women clad in traditional clothes and ornaments. On a little hill near the Sama village is an old Gompa (Pungyen Gompa), a monastery with great views of the glacier.
Day 7: Sama Gaon to Samdo (3690m)
As we continue on with our trek, the valley begins to widen. The route is an easy trail on a shelf above the river past juniper and birch forests and the stone huts of Kermo kharka. From a stone arch, you will be able to see a large white Kani. It gives an illusion of being close but will take you a long time to reach the Kani before reaching Samdo. Samdo is at the junction of three valleys.
Day 8: Samdo to Dharmasala (4460m)
The trail descends into a wide, gentle land from Samdo, past many fields to a large Mani wall and a stone archway. After more than an hour of walking the trail becomes indistinct. We will be staying high on the trail that crosses the top of the two large ravines. Watch for the unique blue sheep as the trail gets steeper and climbs the side of a ridge to about 4460m.
Day 9: Dharmasala to Bhimthang pass via Larkya pass (5016m)
The trek today will test one’s endurance level and patience. We will trek to Bhimthang by crossing the Larkya pass. It might take 4 to 5 hours from Dharmasala to Larkya La and it is recommended to make an early start in order to cross the pass safely. It can be extremely cold and windy during the climb. However, the views are tremendous.
The peaks seen to the west of the pass are Himlung (7030m), Kanggure (6981m) and Annapurna Second (7937m). The trail then descends along the top of a moraine to the west and drops steeply and traverses screed slopes to alongside a set of steep, rough switchbacks. Once off the top the trail crosses the moraine and descends more gently. The trail becomes easier, descending along the grassy moraine to a small meadow. The trail heads down to a large meadow, a Mani wall and a small rest house; we reached Bhimthang, which in Tibetan means “Plain of Sand”
Day 10: Bhimthang to Tilje (2300m)
The trail descends from Bhimthang and crosses a glacial steam. The next two days’ walk follows on an ancient salt-trading route. We will be climbing over the side of the moraine and descending into a beautiful pine and rhododendron forest. The trail cuts across fields before making a steep climb over a ridge decorated with prayer flags. We will be proceeding through fields over a clear stream, past houses and more fields interspersed with rhododendron and oak forests. We will leave Tilje and walk up to Tal village.
Day 11: Rest day at Tal Village
The day trek of about 5 hours follows the trail downstream of Marshyangdi River, passing through the scattered villages to reach Tal village. We will be climbing over the side of the moraine and descending into a beautiful pine and rhododendron forest. The trail cuts across fields before making a steep climb over a ridge decorated with prayer flags.
We will then head through fields over a clear stream, past houses and more fields interspersed with rhododendron and oak forests. We will leave Tilije and walk down Jagat.
Day 12: Tal Village to Jagat (1300m)
Today the trail runs gently downstream of the river passing the village of Chamje and Himal Pani We then cross the bridge over Dudh Khola and climb up through a chorten-shaped arch, pass a mani wall and reach the Thonje village. At the village, we go through a police checkpoint and continue to Dharapani. We have entered the Annapurna circuit section from Dharapani.
Further down, we come across Karte village and after quite a bit of walking we cross a bridge over Marshyangdi Khola. We also come across some mani walls before reaching the village of Tal, situated at the foot of a large waterfall.
Day 13: Jagat to Bahundanda (1310m)
From here the road-building is full-on, so we’ll continue as far as we can get, and hop in our jeeps. But before then, one more steep descent through the woods, looking across the river to large waterfalls, leads us to the lovely cobbled village of Jagat, situated on a shelf which juts into the precipitous Marsyangdi valley. Descending steeply, we arrive at the small, somewhat wild-looking village of Bahundanda. We have a bumpy drive to Besisahar where we set up our last campsite and get ready for our last night’s party with the staff and porters in the evening!
Day 14: Bahundanda to Besi Sahar (760m) Depart To Kathmanu by bus or private jeep
The trail runs gently downstream of the river passing the village of Naadi. From Naadi, the trail takes you to the bank of Marshyangdi River and a town of Bhulbhule, Khudi all the way to Besisahar We will walk up to Besi Sahar and take a ride to Besi Sahar and from there we will take a bus ride to Kathmandu.