Kagbeni is situated in the valley of the Kali Gandaki, This river is one of three who cross the Himalayas. The Kali Gandaki was one of the major trading routes between Tibet and
India. The traders brought the famous salt from Tibet and barley, spices and clothes from India. After the Chinese invasion in Tibet the trade came to an halt and many of the rich villages lost their revenue
and later many people. Nowadays, there is again a some trade, but also now the income from Tourism.
Kagbeni is just a 2 hour side trek from the shortest route from Muktinath to Jomsom. But it is one of my favourite villages in the whole Annapurna region and it really a pity, if
you miss it.
Kagbeni means literally” bolt at the two rivers” and formerly controlled the trade. One can
see this past as a fortified village, as all the houses are build in a common rectangle which a common outer wall and just three little entrance doors. The former fortress is nowadays in ruins.
North of Kagbeni starts the upper Mustang where you need a very expensive permit.
The valley of the Kali Gandaki with the Nilgiri mountain (7061 m)
View from the river to Kagbeni with Thorong la
The Kagbeni Gompa with folded sea-sediments
In one of the little northern streets you can find this protector statue. To show all the bad spirits, that “he” is a strong protector, the gave him a clearly male
part. have a look to the lower part of him,
For me it is the “viagra” man
Its just nice to sit in the warm sun, chatting and knitting
Inside the new Annapurna lodge, which is within the old village centre. In their big kitchen
many people can sit, drink butter tea and listen to the beautiful songs, the sisters are singing. They would love, if you have also some songs. The Annapurna lodge is definitively
my favourite lodge on the whole circuit and many people stays for days, even when they had not even planned to stay at all before.
The mother of the Annapurna lodge
Her elder daughter Yanyum is now in Bangalore studying Hotel management
The young sisters Dölma and Katsang in 1998
a girl from Kagbeni
The Kali Gandaki between Kagbeni and Jomsom. From Kagbeni to Kalopani there will be nearly every day a strong and dusty wind blowing up the valley. so its a good idea to stay
overnight in Kagbeni and to start in the morning to Jomsom, which is just 2,5 hours away.