Nepal, Trekking around Annapurna - the Manang side
Annapurna Circuit: on this page you will find information and pictures of
the northern trail from Muktinath to wonderfull Kagbeni
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 No. 50. Along the northern trail though the picturesque villages
Chongur, Jhong and Putak to Kagbeni.
This is a highlight of the AC for everyone who is interested in Tibetan like culture of the upper kali
Gandaki valley. In the same time you will see clearly the Thorong Lain full splendor and have beautiful views on Nilgiri and Daulagiri Range.. Partially you will walk on a dirt road, but with so
few vehicles per day that they will not bother you. (in 2011 we saw just 3 in a whole day!)
Part 1: from Muktinath Ranipauwa to Chongur
The trails begins just on the left below the
arc on the way to Muktinath temple area. The ACAP sign does not say Chongur but Choinkhar, which is rather funny, as people of the village definitively call it Chongur . It is
just a little rather unspectacular trail. You will pass a little Electric hydropower unit which formally produced the electricity for Muktinath and Ranipauwa. Nowadays all the
villages are connected to the general grid.
Soon you will see the colorful village of Chongur on the other side of the Jhong Khola.
When you crossed it you will come to some little chortens and reach the village through a little forest.
All the three villages are connected by a dirt road with very little traffic. Fortunately the
road contours Chongur so that you will enjoy a pristine traditional village in the style of Tibetan-Nepali culture. It will give you already a good feeling of upper Mustang. This area
is called lower Mustang, but you don’t have to pay the very expensive fees of upper Mustang
Chongur has an upper and lower part
The colorful houses of Chongur
View from Chongur over the Muktinath valley with the Daulagiri
A long time ago a monk came to the Gompa of Chongur and he was from the Buddhist
Sakia line. Sakia is a Monastery in Tibet and has the colors Grey, red and white.
The people were so fond of this monk that they started to paint also their houses in the colors of Sakia which make it unique in the area.
In this high and dry area people grow mainly barley, buckwheat and sometime potatoes.
Also sheep and goats are raised. The fields are in terraces and must be irrigated. The animals are brought by the village herder to meager, nearly dry grasslands. As al the
sheep are marked with color the can be later easily separated.
Ploughing is done with the help of oxen. The famer sings and whistles a song which tells
them when to pull and when to turn. This makes it a very pleasant walk in November or December when the entire valley resounds of the ploughing people.
The Gompa of Chongur
When you enter the village you see directly this deep red and beautiful Sakia monastery. Normally it is always closed but it is worth
to ask people in the village if someone has the key and could show the Gompa. Most of the gompas has no resident monk or nun but some people of the village take care of it. They come every day to renew the water
in the offering bowl, light some butter lamps and clean when necessary. The monks will come only for bigger ceremonies. Don’t to give a donation for the Gompa and a tip for
the person showing it to you. The gompa of Chongur is definitively worth waiting for an half hour !
The ferocious guardian
Just on the other side of the road is a big white building. The two ladies offer tea, soft
drinks and noodle soup. They have a gorgeous terrace with an awful view. But there is no Lodge sign and you will have to knock on the door an hope that they are at home..
Continuing to Jhong
First you go to the lower part of Chongur and climb up a little trail behind a Mani wall. This
will lead you to a nice viewpoint from which you descend to a bridge, crossing a little river which has carved deepl gorge into the soft sandstone.
After the bridge you will walk on a dirt road but with so little traffic, that you will not be
Overview Annapurna region
NATT 43-Purang Jharkot
Jhong (trail to Kagbeni)
To the page
NATT- guidebook and maps