The entire sanctuary was held 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 Nāgas, the serpent-gods known in India. The sanctuary was believed to be the home of several deities, from Hinduism and Buddhism as well as older animistic gods. The peak of Machapuchare at the entrance was believed to be the home of the god Shiva, and the daily plumes of snow were thought the smoke of his divine incense. Until recently, the local Gurung people forbade anyone from bringing eggs or meat into the Annapurna Sanctuary, and women and untouchables were prohibited from going there as well.
The south face of Annapurna from the trekker’s lodgings in the Annapurna Sanctuary.
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 Sanctuary is now part of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, which places restrictions on number of outside travelers, gathering of firewood, and domestic animal grazing.
Annapurna Sanctuary is one of the most popular classic treks in the world. Our 14-day journey kicks off in Kathmandu where we visit amazing World Heritage Sites scattered around the city. The actual trek begins from Syange to Manang where we acclimatize for a day. The dry yet mesmerizing landscape of the Manang valley adds up an extra flavor in the recipe. Next day, we continue our trek towards the dynamic landscapes and culture of the Annapurna region. We circle the Annapurna to win over one of the world’s highest pass -Thorong La (5,416m/17,769ft), after victory we hit towards Muktinath, a place of highly spiritual significance for the Nepalese and foreigners, especially both Hindus and Buddhists. We then hike down to Jomsom and fly back to Pokhara and then to Kathmandu to chill out celebrating and ending our 14 days trek.