Narphu Valley and Annapurna Circuit Trek
The Narphu Valley trekking route is a side excursion to the Annapurna Circuit newly opened. There are two isolated valleys of Nar and Phoo in the North of Koto Village in the way to Manang, which were restricted to the foreigners until some years ago and now and have been recently opened by Government of Nepal.
The recent changes happen as the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) now confines the Valleys of Nar and Phu. Government of Nepal has special regulations and special permit has to be obtained to trek here and you'll find yourself rewarded while visiting this place when you see much of things are unspoiled and far from the frequently visited places, and it will be a life time visit of yours.
Narphu valley trekking, has been unbolted to visitors only since 2003. The Nar and Phu Valley trek lies north of Koto village on the Annapurna Circuit route, and is perhaps the most sought-after destination in Nepal due to its remoteness and untouched rugged beauty. This trek is blessing for those who are adventurous and want to explore hidden valley and trek off the beaten path crossing through challenging high passes like Mesokanto-La (5099m), Kangla pass (5200m) & Tilicho Pass (5230m) and passing by the beautiful Tilicho Lake. Hidden by mountain chains ahead of us, from Kangla pass at 5200m the magnificent panorama view of Annapurna massif appears remote. Our destination is the Nar & Phu valley, above the tree line on the upper limits of society in the very north of Manang district. It takes five hours reaching the pass that links Nar with Manang and three other Bhotia villages in the Nyershang down valley. Nowadays, there are 63 household in Nar and 39 in Phoo who depend on livestock, unlike most Bhotia people, whose trading patterns has changed. Only few have explored this virtually untouched village of Nar and Phu.
Nar & Phu Valley was explored by HW Tilman about a half century ago. Since its door was closed to foreigners until few years ago, only a few westerner trekkers have explored this wonderland. It has unique natural, cultural and geographical wonders making it the most sought after destination in Nepal. Nar & Phoo region was the place that Khampa refugee (from Tibet) once captured and lived illegally in surrounding villages. Till date very few westerners have explored the virtually untouched village of Nar and Phoo.
The trek start from Koto [Near Chame] and ends in Ngawal after crossing Kangla pass (5200m). The valley is a natural and marvelous piece of land enriched by the natural wonders like the peath catching views of Himalayas, lake and pine forest, river fountains. If you visit Nar and Phu valley in July and August, you will be lost among blooming colorful wild flowers. This is also excellent habit of blue Sheep, Chyakhura, Himalaya snow cock, different spices of bird’s and elusive snow leopard. A hot spring near the Hulaki Odar (postman cave) on the bank of the Nar River offers a relaxing natural bath! This bath is believed to be a natural therapy and supposed to heal skin aliments. Other attraction of this trek are Deep gorge of Lepche River locally know as Mahendra pool and Dona water fall (Near Dharmasala).
- Kathmandu valley excursion
- Various ethnic backgrounds, BrahminChettri, Gurung, Manangi, Thakali & Tibetan
- Ancient Buddhist monasteries and isolated villages of Nar and Phoo
- The last surviving Shangri-Las
- Ruined Khampa settlements
- Nar and Phu valleys are left untouched by modernization
- Visit Phu village situated on the edge and travel south to Nar village
- Cross Kangla Pass, east of Chulu east and join main Annapurna trail
- Thorong-La pass
- Muktinath temple, one of Hindu's most revered sites
- Lake valley of Pokhara.
|Trip Grade||Strenuous to Adventures|
|Trip Duration||20 Nights and 21 Days|
|Trip Start/Ends||Kathmandu-Besishahar/Jagat/Jomsom - Pokhara|
|Maximum Altitude||Kang-La (5322m) and Thorong Pass (5416m)|
|Trip Cost||Prices on request|
|Group Size||Minimum 2 upto 16 persons in one group|
|Accessibillity||Drive to Beshishahar to trail-head from Kathmandu and start the trek according to the itinerary, after Thorong-La pass from Jomsom fly back or trek to Pokhara.|
|The Route||Crossing Kang-La [5322m] and Thorong-La Pass [5416m], 5/7-hrs average walking per day, moderate to strenuous trail.|
|Season||Sept – Nov / March - April|
|Trip Facilities||3+ hotel in city on B/B and best available teahouse/lodge on mountain|
Upon our arrival in the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be greeted by a representative from Nepal Adventure Point who will drop us off at our hotel. After checking in, we take a rest or we may also stroll in the streets of Thamel, a tourist hub in Kathmandu for some souvenir shopping.
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swoyambhunath) and Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath) which is one of the largest stupas in the world. At noon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Nepal Adventure Point briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us an opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure.
After breakfast and leave Kathmandu around 7AM in the morning. We see picturesque views of Nepali countryside, lush greeneries, rivers, villages, farms and mountain vistas en route throughout the drive. After 8-10 hours of drive we reach Jagat via Besishahar. Drive up to Besishahar will most likely be smooth owing to black-topped roads whereas after Besishahar, the roads get dusty and coarse but the scenic view from our windowpane is more than compensating for the bumpy ride.
Upon breakfast, we slowly begin our trek today. The trail from Jagat descends until it reaches the river and then continues through a lush forest. Further ascent leads to sharp-edged cliff facing the riverbank. En-route, Chamje comes into picture amidst the glorious backdrop of towering Annapurna mountain ranges. After crossing a suspension bridge, we climb steeply towards the slippery and physically challenging path to Sattale. On treading along a succession of rock-strewn trails, we descend to a grassy riverbank that leads to Tal. As we walk away from Tal, the path becomes rugged and winding. Then we approach steep forested village of Karte. Meandering along the waterfalls and cliffs, we finally reach Dharapani after crossing a suspension bridge.
We begin our trek in the morning towards Bagarchhap which takes about one hour passing through pine and fir forests. We can visit the white washed monastery in this village. Then we continue our trek till Danaque which takes about an hour. The trail is steeply ascending up to Timang. We have a good view of Mt. Manaslu and Peak 29 from here. Now the trail continues through pine forests again till Latamarang which takes about one and half hour. We break for lunch here and again resume through forests whereby we have a short glimpse of Annapurna II. Finally we arrive in Koto village.
In the morning, we register our restricted area permit at the Police Check Post. Then we trek through the River bank of Soti Khola again through wonderful pine forests, streams and suspension and reach Dharmasala. We have our packed lunch on the way. We then continue the trek through forests and ascend steeply towards Meta village. Finally we arrive on the Tibetan Plateau where we have a very good view of Annapurna II and Lamjung Himal.
We start our day traversing up and down and crossing suspension bridges over different streams. After almost 4 hours of trek we reach Kyang where we can see the remnants, particularly the ruined forts of the Khampa settlement (The place which Khampa refugees from Tibet once captured and lived). We further keep walking past the Phu Khola on a rocky trail and finally reach the Phu village in another 3 to 4 hours.
Today is the scheduled acclimatization day whereby we are suggested to rest and get acclimatized with the altitude. As we are in the Lost/Hidden Valley, we can explore the culture, natural diversity, and religious practices of the ethnic groups like Lama, Gurung and Ghale in here. Besides this, we can trace out how people make their survival depending on agriculture, animal breeding and seasonal migrations in such remote location or in the hidden valley. It is also the day for us to explore the Tashi Lakhang Monastery – the old Buddhist Monastery listed out of the 108 world’s great Buddhist Monasteries; it is supposed to be the last monastery constructed by Karmapa Rinpoche. Apart from exploring the cultural avenues of the lost valley, the valley also offers us a great view of Himlung Himal and other snow peaks in the region.
The trail descends passing many streams and suspension bridges until Mahendra Pul which takes about 4 hours. We pass the high suspension bridge 80m over the Gorge of Lapche River. We have lunch in Mahendra Pul. After lunch, the trail steeply ascends passing many Buddhist stupas until Nar Village which takes about 2 hours. We find several Buddhist Monasteries here to visit coupled with the glorious vistas of Pisang Peak and other small peaks.
This is the second scheduled acclimatization day for this trek. We spend the day taking a day hike nearby and explore Nar village and have a close look over the local culture and lifestyle. We also prepare for the trek next day.
Today is adventurous day with long day hike so we get up early in the morning and head to Kangla pass. From pass we can see the Annapurna massif. We further trek down to Ngwal from there.
From Ngwal, we head for Manang today. We pass through the isolated village of Paugh overlooking the amazing views of Annapurna range. We then move gently uphill to Mungli and then to the main trail of Annapurna Trail at Mungli. We eventually reach Manang, where we set up our camps for overnight stay.
In order to keep fit on the trails that follow, we keep ourselves busy today with a short hike to either Bhojo Gumba or Gangapurna Lake. If we have the energy, we can even hike to Vraga Village where we can visit the Himalayan Rescue Association which will give us some idea about Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).
From Manang village, the trail crosses a stream, climbs to a village of Tenki above Manang, and then continues to climb out of the Marshyangdi Valley turning northwest up the valley of Jarsang Khola. The trail follows this valley northward, passing a few pastures, a scrub of juniper trees, as it steadily gains elevation. The trail further passes near the small village of Ghunsa, a cluster of flat mud roofs just below the trailhead. Now the trail goes through meadows where horses and yaks graze. After crossing a small river on a wooden bridge, the trail passes an ancient old Mani wall in a pleasant meadow and then reaches another small village of Yak Kharka.
We make our way to the foot of the pass, Throng Phedi today. Thorong Phedi is a small busy settlement catering to the needs of tired trekkers and climbers. Trekkers like us use this point as a base camp. Some visitors also attempt a hike to the High Camp today so that the next day can be easier for them. But, Himalayan Glacier's team leader does not advise this. Although we will have a tough day tomorrow, we stop at Thorong Phedi so that we can have sound sleep in lower altitude rather than risking sleeping in a higher altitude at High Camp.
Today is a long trek starting before sunrise at 4 am to reach the pass by 9-10 am otherwise weather conditions will greatly affect the journey. We cross over at an altitude of 5416 meters we can be exposed to strong winds if crossing too late. We start to climb steeply that is regularly used and easy to follow. However, the problem may arise due to the altitude and snow. It often causes terrible problems to cross the pass if it is covered by snow but it is all depending on the weather condition. About four hours climb up to the pass marked by the chortens & prayer flags. As you reach the top, you are rewarded by the magnificent view from the top with another 4 hours trek will take to the holy town of Muktinath. Muktinath means place of Nirvana and is home to the Muktinath temple as well as several monasteries. It is said that all sorrows you feel are relieved when visiting the Temple, which is a scared pilgrimage site to both Hindus and Buddhists. The main pilgrimage normally takes place in September. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has 108 waterspouts around it from which Holy water pours. Another attraction nearby is the Jwala Mai Temple this contains a spring and an eternal flame fed by natural underground gas.
We begin descending down the dramatic Kali Gandaki Gorge through the arid land. We pass by Jharkot and Khingar villages which has typical Tibetan architecture. Following the valley floor most of the way sprawled along the banks of the Kali Gandaki, we reach Jomsom.
After breakfast we fly to Pokhara. The scenic flight takes us through the gorge of the two huge mountains, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. On arrival at Pokhara airport, we will be transferred to lakeside hotel. We get some rest and explore the beauty of Pokhara Valley in the evening. While we leisurely walk along the bank of Fewa Lake, the second biggest lake of Nepal while admiring the mountain view of Machhapuchhare. We can also go for a boat-ride in Fewa Lake or take a short hike to the World Peace Pagoda. We can end the day with a leisurely stroll around the mesmerizing lakeside area.
Today, after breakfast, we drive back to Kathmandu. After reaching Kathmandu, we will be transferred to our hotel. We can spend the evening leisurely or perhaps catch up on some last minute shopping.
Our adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! A Nepal Adventure Point representative will escort us to the airport approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight. On our way home, we have plenty of time to plan our next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
- Fee: Narphu valley special permit, ACAP entrance permit and TIMS card
- Activities: Sightseeing, hiking and trekking trip as per itinerary.
- Equipment: All necessary camping equipments, kitchen utilize etc
- Accommodation: 4 nights hotel in Kathmandu, 1 night hotel in Pokhara on twin sharing bedroom and 15 nights at tented/teahouse on mountain.
- Food: Full board on camping/teahouse (Breakfast, lunch and dinner) on mountain and 5 breakfast in city.
- Staffs: Leader/Guide and supporters and their daily wage, food, and accommodation
- Transportation: Airport arrival/departure transfer, Kathmandu to Besishahar and Pokhara to Kathmandu transportation.
- Company and Government’s service charge: All applicable Government taxes and official service charges. And Crew’s, daily wages/salary, food, equipment, air and road-head transportation
- Jomsom to Pokhara and Pokhara to Kathmandu flight
- Travel/medical insurance coverage personal accidents, medical and emergency Helicopter rescue
- Personal travel and trekking equipments
- All lunch and dinner while in city
- Items of a personal nature such as normal drinks, hot shower, dessert, laundry, internet and phone call.
- Expenses occurred due to unavoidable Events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc
- Tips/Gratuities for your trekking crews
- Temple and Monastery entrance fees
- Optional activities
- And unforeseen expenses which are out of control by Nepal Adventure Point
Please request our Trip Note advice and detailed itinerary.