Fact File: Annapurna
Perhaps one of the most trailed routes around the world, the Annapurna circuit is a miraculous journey through valleys and gorges crossing the Thorung La Pass (5,416m). The pass used to serve as a secure border between Manang and Mustang during winter in the olden days as snow would block any passage. Annapurna I was the first mountain over 8,000 meters that was successfully scaled. The Goddess of Harvests – Annapurna stands 8091m tall and is the tenth highest mountain in the world. Major peaks of the Annapurna range are Annapurna I (8,091m), Annapurna II (7,937m), Annapurna III (7,555m), Annapurna IV (7,525m), Gangapurna (7,455m) and Annapurna South (7,219m).
Know these facts to make your trip around Annapurna more enjoyable:
Annapurna Conservation Area was established in 1985 and is the largest protected area in Nepal. The conservation area covers 7,629 square kilometers over Manang, Mustang, Kaski, Myagdi and Lamjung.
The Annapurna Circuit trek and Base Camp trek are the busiest trails in Nepal and much favored even all over the world. In spring and autumn, the trails are the busiest.
The Annapurna I was first scaled by the French expedition Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal on July 3, 1950. After this successful expedition, however, both Maurice and Louis lost their gloves and had to be amputated due to lethal frostbite.
Maurice Herzog’s book Annapurna that he wrote after his successful expedition became the best seller on climbing selling more than 11 million copies.
Kali Gandaki gorge is the deepest in Nepal and lies between the Annapurna range and Dhaulagiri. This gorge is also considered one of the deepest in the world.
The death rate for attempts to summit Annapurna I is very high (38 %). This number is which is remarkably surprising compared to other mountains above 8,000m. The death rate in Everest is around 6.5%.
The top of Annapurna is formed of Limestone which is the same with Everest and Dhaulagiri I. Thus the mountain was presumably formed on the ocean floor and gradually pushed by tectonic forces to the present condition.
Tilicho Lake lies in the Annapurna Region and is among the highest in Nepal and one of the highest in the world. At an elevation of 4,919m, the journey to this beautiful lake is often taken for acclimatization though a more challenging pass through here is being used by trekkers in recent times contrary to the Thorung La Pass.
Some villages in Mustang such as Thini and Lupra still practice the Bonpo religion. These are among the last places in the world to preserve this practice.
Braga’s oldest monastery and Muktinath – a holy shrine for both Hindus and Buddhists are popular pilgrimages. Other Hindu and Buddhist holy sites are residents along the trail showing a close companionship of both religions from ancient times.