- Can be described as a “glacial basin”
- Lies 40km directly north of Pokhara
- High mountains, most above 7000m lie on both sides of the sanctuary, giving only 7 hours of daylight everyday at the height of summer
- The sanctuary is held sacred by the Gurung people
- Only until recently, due to old traditional beliefs, were egg and meat allowed on the mountain, as well as women and untouchables like beggars used to be forbidden to enter
The "Sanctuary" is a high glacial basin surrounded by eleven of Nepal’s major peaks and is accessed by a deep gorge that carves through this mountain fortress. It is referred to as the "Sanctuary" because of the divine presence of the Hindu goddesses, Annapurna and Gangapurna.
From a consent form, tentative programme:
This awe inspiring, wonderful adventure passes through a more divers range of climate, vegetation and ultures, from the verdant green vegetation of rain and temperate forests to the terraced rice fields and to the artic zone landscapes. The country and its peoeple change daily, making this adventure more tantalizing with an indroduction to Nepal’s cultural and natural beauty.
Tiny thatched roofed villages, set among the terraced fields, make an attractive picture with the backdrop of the magnificent snowy range of Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri including the most majestic peaks of all the Himalayan range, the Mahchapuchare (Fish-tail). Journey to the Annapurna Sanctuary starts with Pokhara, a scenic spot. The trek combines spectacular mountain scenery with incredible and cultural diversity and traverses through rural farms and villages. The trail leads towards the deep gorge between the peaks, Hiunchuli and Mahchapuchare, and through the dense rain and bamboo forest of the nrrow Modi Khola valley then to the Sanctuary with immense walls of the mountain fortress. Once into the Sanctuary, you will be in the midst of Amphitheater of snow peaks Annapurna (8091m). Other major peaks overlooking the sanctuary include the Annapurna south (7219m), Gangapurna(7455m) and Annapurna III (7555m). This area is also referred to as the Annapurna Base Camp and Machapuchare Base Camp.
For the return journey, descend through the lush terraced Modi Khola valley and finally concluding the adventure at Pokhara, a popular destination with its famed Phewa Lake, dominated by the towering mountain range of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu range, includgin the majestic peak Machapuchare.