Annapurna Conservation Area
Annapurna conservation area is the first conservation area and the largest protected area in Nepal. It is protected by the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC). It was established in 1992 A.D. It covers a total of 7629km2. It ranges in elevation from 790m (2,590ft) to the peak of Annapurna at 8091m (26,545ft). It is distinguished in two climatic regions. Rainfall in the Southern part is higher than the Northern part. At the altitude of 4,400m (14,400ft), winter air temperatures range from -4.65-6.06 degrees celsius. The districts covered by this conservation area are Manang, Mustang, Kaski, Myagdi and Lamjung district. The nature conserved in this area attracts people around the world. Kali Gandaki Gorge is the world’s deepest river gorge, which is 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. Tilicho Lake, the world’s highest-altitude freshwater lake, is located in Manang district here. It includes peaks like Annapurna Massif, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchre(Fishtail), and Hiunchuli. Flora and Fauna of this area make it rich in biodiversity. Around 1226 species of flowering plants are found here. We can find the world’s largest rhododendron forest here in Ghorepani. Around 101 species of mammals, 478 species of birds, 39 species of reptiles, and 22 species of amphibians are found here. Some of them include rare and endangered species like snow leopard, musk deer, Tibetan argali, and Tibetan wolf. Not only nature, but it is also home to over 100000 residents of the different cultural and linguistic groups. The northern part of this area is dominant of Gurung and Magar, whereas the southern part is dominant of Thakali, Manange, and Loba. They speak their language and have a unique culture and tradition. Brahmin, Chhetris, and others are also found in small numbers. Different cultures and traditions add more beauty to this conservation area. These natural and cultural features have made it the most popular trekking destination in the country. Annapurna Conservation Area is most visited trekking area in the mountain regions of Nepal. Annually more than 40000 tourists visit here annually for a trek. Some popular trekking destinations are Annapurna circuit trek, Tilicho trek, Ghorepani poonhill trek, Mardi Himal trek, Khapra danda trek, Nar Phu valley trek, etc. There are around 1000 lodges, teashops, and hundreds of other services to cater to the thousands of trekkers. As the conservation area is large, it is divided into 7 unit conservation offices. Jomsom, Manang, and Lo-Manthang are in the trans- Himalayan region, and Bhujung, Sikles, Ghandruk, and Lwang are on the Southern flank of the Annapurna range.