Nepal, Trekking around Annapurna - the Manang side
Annapurna Circuit: on this page you will find information and pictures of the
trail from Munji to Braka (Braga). Braka is one of the most interessting villages of th Annapurna circuit with a beautifull old Gompa
you can enlarge most small pictures by clicking in on of the corners.
If you want to see a picture in full sizze, click additionally on F11
NATT-trail 23 Ngawal to Braka (Braga)***
Part 2 from Munji to Braka
Munji is a little settlement of a few houses. bu twith teashops an tweoo lodges. There is a signpos tto the ice lake, but it makes much more sense to start from Braka.
The big stupa of Munji is of particular beauty.
Braga is such an interesting and beautiful village that you should never bypass it.
Braka*** (Braga) 3470 m
For many years I thought that the name of this village was Braga, as this was the
spelling on the German Schneider Map. But the landlord of Braka bakery told me that it should be pronounced as “Braka”.
Braka is a perfect place to stay overnight. It is just 45 min to Manang and it has
nearly the same altitude. There are 5 lodges along the main trail and the Braka bakery has a wood-fired oven and makes delicious cinnamon rolls and other bakery items.
In common with other villages of this area, many of Braka’s old houses are not
inhabited anymore as the people moved to warmer places. During the harvest season there are even not enough locals for the fieldwork and day labourers from other parts of Nepal are brought here.
The villagers decided in 2011 that they wanted to keep the village in the old style and
there are plans to improve it.
Braka is proteced from the winds by a carved rock range. The flat roofed houses
are built in a half circle on the hill slope. Like this they are well protected from the cold winter winds and can catch the most of afternoon sun. Being one over the
other, every house get is own part of sunshine. The roofs are also a very good place to dry hay or grains. And neighbors easily can walk form one house to the other
A court yard a the ground floor with a small stable at the ground floor. The family
lives on the upper floors only accessible with this typical ladder.
The Gompa of Braka
Visiting the Braka Gompa *** (1 hour): This is one of the finest Monasteries I have
seen in Nepal and you absolutely should make a visit! This is not so easy, as there are no permanent monks there and you have to find someone with a key. The
people at the lodge may be able to help you, or you could just go up to the monastery and start to shout: “Gompa ko chabi chha?” (Is there someone with a
key?) or just “Gompa Tourist, Gompa tourist!” In 2012 the village committee decided that it would charge a little fee for the visit and that they would use this
money to improve the gompa and the village. This decision has made it much easier to get someone to guide the gompa visit. The visit is definitively worth the
fee! If you go there take a torch (flashlight to North Americans) with you, as there are many beautiful statues in the dark back room.
The main Gompa prayer hall
The entrance with a big prayer wheel and a fierce guardian
the main prayer hall is normally deserted as there are no monks living in the
monastery. People of the village take care of it and renew every morning the water in the bowls before the altar and keep the Gompa clean. To visit the gompa, ask in
the lodges on the main trail, they should have a key.
The visit is absolutely worth the little entrance fee. You should always have a torch
ore headlight with you , as there are thousands of little Buddha statues behind the altar without any light.
The huge Bhuddha hall
Beside the main Gompa with the prayer hall there is another building with a huge
golden Buddha statue, well protected by two guardians.
Thsi was how the golden Bhuddha statue looked in 1998
Aronud 2010 all the statue was newly painted and now everythink looks very bright and colourfull
Hay making in Summer
harvesting buckwheat in autumn
And snow in winter
Side trips from Braka
As Braka is situated nearly at the same altitude as Manang, you could stay one night in Braka, make an excursion to
Ice Lake ** or Milarepa cave** the next morning, and then continue in the afternoon to Manang. In this case you wouldn’t
need a second acclimatization day in Manang and could start the next around 10 in the morning from Manang to Yak Kharka (or Churi Ledar if you have taken
previously the high route over Gyaru and Ngawal) . Both excursion are absolutely high lights and also perfect for a good altitude acclimatization.
The Braka Bakery
The owner of braka Bakery makes excellent bread and cakes. He did also mark
the trail to Milarepas Gompa and is active in the Gompa commite. So if the gompa is closed, he might know where to get the keys
From Ngawl to Braka lower trail
From ‘Julu to Braka high trail
Overview Annapurna region
To the page
NATT- guidebook and maps