Tourists Start Visiting Annapurna Circuit

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Tourists Start Visiting Annapurna Circuit

February 27: With the onset of the spring season, tourists have started to arrive on the Annapurna Circuit, a renowned foot trail which looked deserted until some time ago.

This famous trail, which covers five districts of central Nepal, is once again bustling with tourists with the beginning of the trekking season.

Bhupendra Gurung, in-charge of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)’s tourist screening and information center in Dharapani, Manang, said that around 25 to 30 foreign tourists are visiting this trail on a daily basis. He added that this route has been deserted for about two months due to excessive cold.

Gurung said that until recently only around five tourists used to visit this place on an average day, but now the arrival of tourists is expected to increase gradually. He said that the tourism business has come back to life as tourists have started to show up in this foot trail, which was deserted due to the extreme cold during winter.

Even the people of Manang, who had gone outside the districts to escape the unforgiving cold, have slowly started returning back. Pancha Bahadur Gurung, a tourism entrepreneur of Marsyangdi Rural Municipality-4, said that they are busy now with the arrival of tourists.

The locals have also started making income with the arrival of tourists. Gurung said that mostly Israeli citizens used to visit this place around this time of year, but there are no Israeli tourists this year due to the war between Israel and Hamas.

Gurung, the tourism entrepreneur, mentioned that the daily business is more than Rs 60,000 due to the increase in number of tourists. Tourists have already booked his hotel for almost a month.

Other tourism entrepreneurs like him, including Mekh Bahadur Gurung, Khushiram Gurung, Devijung Gurung, Chet Bahadur Gurung, Bag Bahadur Gurung Purna Bahadur Gurung, Rajman Gurung and hundreds of other hoteliers around this foot trail have now started getting back work.

Hotel business in the Chautara area of Lamjung, the entrance to the Annapurna Circuit has also started to flourish. Five districts namely Lamjung, Manang, Kaski, Mustang and Myagdi are connected to this trail.

Foreign tourists come to see the scenery of the rustic mountains and hills, the culture and customs and natural beauty of Manang. The visitors have to climb the Thorang Pass from Manang and then descend to Pokhara via Mustang on the Annapurna Circuit. Tourists come here especially to see Thorangla Pass, Larke Pass, and Kalla Pass as well as Tilicho Lake which is arguably the highest lake in the country.

This foot trail also offers breathtaking views of mountains like Gangapurna, Zulu Peak, Pisang Peak, Nilgiri and Tilicho Peak as well as the Annapurna II, III and IV. Starting from Lamjung’s Bensisahar, the journey of Annapurna Circuit takes the visitors through Dharapani, Manang, Thorangla Pass, Muktinath, Jomsom, Ghorepani and concludes in Pokhara.

In the past, the journey of this foot trail used to take 18 days but has now been shortened due to the expansion of the road.


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