December 9th, 2020
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Nepal is a high glacial basin lying 40 km directly north of Pokhara. This oval-shaped plateau sits at an altitude of over 4000 meters and is surrounded' by a ring of mountains. The Annapurna range, most of which are over 7000 meters. With the only entrance, a narrow valley between the peaks of Hiunchuli and Machapuchare, where run-off from glaciers drain into Modi Khola River, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Nepal was not penetrated by outsiders until 1956. Because of high mountains on all sides, the Annapurna
Annapurna Base Camp receives only 7 hours of sunlight a day at the height of summer. The unique combination of heigh and depths on the 7 - 12 days trek into the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in the Himalaya gives rise to an extraordinary variety of ecosystems. The south-facing slopes are covered in dense tropical jungles of rhododendron and bamboo, while the north-facing slopes, in the rain shadow, have a drier, colder climate similar to that of the near-by Tibetan Plateau.
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek was home as sacred to the Gurung people, one of the many native people to inhabit the area. They believed it was the repository of gold and various treasures left by the Nagas, the serpent-gods known in India. The Annapurna believed' to be the home of several deities, from Hinduism and Buddhism as well as older animistic gods. The Mt. Machapuchare at the entrance believed' to be the home of the god Shiva, and the daily plumes of snow thought the smoke of his divine incense. Until recently, the local Gurung people forbade anyone from bringing eggs or meat into the Annapurna Base Camp for women untouchables or prohibited' from going there as well.
Panorama of the Annapurna Himalaya from the Annapurna Base Camp
In recent years, the number of trekkers to the Sanctuary has increased substantially, in part because the Sanctuary forms the base of one of the major routes to the peaks of the Annapurna range. The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is now part of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, which places restrictions on the number of outside travelers, gathering of firewood, and domestic animal grazing.
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