By Belina Thapa Lamjung, Nov. 21: For quite some time now, the Annapurna foot trail has been seeing droves of tourists on a daily basis. Hundreds of foreign and domestic tourists have been walking along the trail to visit different picturesque places across Manang district, locals said.
According to the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), a majority of the tourists are internal tourists. “While around 50 foreign tourists arrive at the foot trail daily, domestic tourists number 100-150,” said Lekhnath Gautam, chief at ACAP Manang. An official record of foreign tourists is kept by the authorities. From October 12 to November 16, 990 foreign tourists came to the area by way of the foot trail.
Some tourists use the trail to reach Tilicho Lake, the world’s highest lake perched at an altitude of 4,919 metres and Gangapur Lake (3,540 metres). “Mostly, tourists go to Thorang La Pass, a mountain pass at an elevation of 5,416 metres,” said Gautam.
The time from September to November is peak season for tourists in Manang. The flow of tourists falls from December onwards and starts rising again after three months. The foot trail starts from Besisahar in Lamjung and leads towards Manang, Mustang and Myagdi before ending at Pokhara.
Earlier, the route normally used to take 21 days for tourists to complete. But, with the roads now reaching different areas of Manang and Mustang, that time has been shortened to 7-10 days. With several fascinating scenes and places, the foot trail has succeeded in finding itself in the bucket list of countless travellers, with an overwhelming majority of them expressing deep satisfaction after their visit.