On Top Of The World

The Magnificent Annapurna and the land of the Thunder Dragon

On Top Of The World

  • Nepal and Bhutan
  • 13 Days
  • Kathmandu | Pokhara | Dhampus | Landruk | Ghandruk | Majhgaun | Lumle | Paro | Thimphu | Punakha | Delhi
  • Happiest country in the world
  • Annapurna trekking circuit
  • Tashichhodzong – architectural marvel of Bhutan
  • Tiger’s Nest Monastery


One of the most fascinating highlights for active travellers around the world are the snow capped Himalayas and the regions that exist in ther shadow. This trip is specifically for those who want a tryst with high passes, isolated villages and the company of snoe-topped peaks.You start in the bustling capital of Nepal, Kathamandu and trace your way through the historical loop of the country, moving north towards the Annapurna trekking circuit. Later, the trip wends its way to Bhutan, another small wonder that has a special relationship with the magnficent mountains. Paro, Thimphu and Punakha Valley offer the traveller a distinct showcase of the Buddhist culture, terraced fields and monasteries perched on mountain-tops, and yet the familiarity of feeling at home.

The country is known as the only one that calculates a ‘happiness index’ and works towards keeping it high. With its stunning landscapes and heartwarming people, it cannot be too difficult a task. The serenetic and dramatic landcsapes of this route promises to nudge to forever fall in love with Nepal and Bhutan.



Delhi – Kathmandu : Arrive in Delhi and take the connecting flight to Kathmandu. Meet our representative at the airport and transfer to the heritage hotel.


Kathmandu : Acclimatize the body to the mountains and Nepalese life by exploring the town. Patan the city of arts – the second town in the Kathmandu valley – is a labyrinth of temples and stupas best known for its craftsmanship. In the afternoon, we will visit Bhaktapur. This is a 12th century town on the eastern edge of the Kathmandu Valley, and is often known as an open museum. Later, we visit Pashupatinath – the holiest Hindu shrine in the country, dedicated to Shiva. It is here on the banks of the Bagmati River that the flaming funeral pyres announce the end of a Hindu’s mortal existence.


Kathmandu – Pokhara : Wake up early in the morning to take a flight to Pokhara, over the mountains, to get a closer look at the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest and many others. Will see 21 mountain peaks, six of them over 8000 meters. Pokhara is Nepal’s second largest city and gateway to all the treks in the Western Himalayas. The beauty of Pokhara is enhanced by its serene lakes, which have their source in the Annapurna range. Situated 200 kms west of Kathmandu at an altitude of 800 meters for the mountain viewers, Pokhara offers magnificent views of the western Himalayas including Dhaulagiri, Machapuchre and Annapurna among others. Leisure time to relax and get packed for the trek days (with vehicle and guide at hand for last minute shopping of the supplies etc).


Pokhara – Dhampus : This morning, we are met with our trekking team (supporting staffs), and driven out of the city for about an hour to the starting point. Our walk will trail through the villages and terrace farming in the lower foothills of the Annapurnas. This route then climbs up through the forest and villages to the ridge overlooking the Phedi and Mardi Valley. This will be a 4 hour trek, until we reach out lodge at 1,490m. It has magnificent views of the entire Annapurna Range.


Dhampus – Landruk : After breakfast, we will climb up the gentle path through the rhododendron and oak forest till Pothana. Here, we can see the majestic Machhapuchhre. The trail climbs through the rhododendron forest to a pass with views of the Mardi Khola far below and the panoramic views of Annapurna South and Hiun Chuli to the north, and Pokhara and Phewa Lake to the southeast, before reaching Deurali. Then, we will make a steep descent through the forests into a huge side canyon of the Modi Khola and arrive at Bheri Kharka. Then we continue descending, crossing a stream over the suspension bridge. A climb starts again to the steps of Tolka. We have a last short descend to a suspension bridge across the small stream, and a climb to the forest, to a ridge until we reach Landruk Village at 1640 measurement. The entire trek takes about 5 hours. This is a local Gurung settlement. The village offers stunning views of the Annapurna Range.


Landruk – Ghandruk : Get ready for a 5 hour trek on this day. After enjoying a relaxing breakfast, we set out through the village. We will leave the village and choose the left trail, walking on a thick jungle trail that descends through ferns to a fine view of Annapurna South, high above the jade-white river. We cross a long narrow suspension bridge over the Modi Khola. Here, we will be at the base of the cliffs where the famed honey hunters of Nepal, climb on ropes to collect honey. From here the trail ascends through the forest to the village of Ghandruk at 1980m.


Ghandruk – Majhgaun : After enjoying a relaxing breakfast and glorious views from the lodge, we start our trek to to Majhgaon. After leaving the village of Ghandruk, the trail descends steeply and the trail follows the contours of the hill with small ups and downs passing through villages and farmland to the banks of the Modi River. After crossing the river, we walk uphill to the village of Majhgaon at 1410m.


Majhgaun – Lumle – Pokhara – Kathmandu : A 3 hour trek in the morning brings us to Lumle, after crossing Chandrakot and then descending gradually. From here, we take a car to Pokhara and a flight to Kathmandu.


Kathmandu – Paro – Thimphu : Fly from Kathmandu to Paro. On arrival, drive to Thimphu (1.5 hours). After checking in at your hotel, the remainder of the day is at leisure. A short walk this evening would enable you to start acclimatizing to the almost 8000 feet.


Thimphu : The day is reserved to explore Thimphu. Visit the city’s centerpiece, the venerable Tashichhodzong – architectural marvel in that it is constructed entirely without nails – seat of the royal government. The National Assembly and the summer headquarters of the central monastic body presided over by the Chief Abbot, is also on the cards. The National Memorial Chorten, another of the capital’s significant sites, is dedicated to the memory of the late king, founder of modern Bhutan. The Handicrafts Emporium is where the depth and variety of the country’s folk crafts is attractively evident. The National Library houses a priceless collection of manuscripts and books. The General Post Office is the source of the country’s rare and unusual stamps. At the Painting School, students undertake five years of intensive study in Bhutan’s traditional lines of arts and crafts and at the National Institute of Herbal Medicines, the ancient science of herbal treatment and nature cure is fastidiously preserved and strengthened. A visit will also be made to the Chamlimithang sports ground to watch an archery contest, this being Bhutan’s national sport, in progress.


Thimphu – Punakha – Paro : Drive this morning to Punakha highlighted by the crossing of the Dochu La Pass (10,130 feet), which is usually shrouded in mist and firests of prayer flags, before making the steep descent to Punakha valley as the vegetation changes from temperate to tropical (alt 4,288 ft).
Capital of Bhutan till 1955, and the winter seat of the Chief Abbott, Punakha is a beautifully scenic river valley, dominated by the Punakha Dzong that stands at the confluence of two rivers. It is the local monastic and administrative seat, a pattern followed over much of Bhutan, with rich interiors, such as the great assembly hall, that date back to the 17th century AD. Travel 11 miles south in the valley to see Wangdiphodrang, noted for it’s eponymous fortress, with stunning views of the upper and lower valley.
Continue to Paro (120 km/3 hours, alt 7,264 ft), another of the country’s several breathtaking and picturesque valleys. Paro is dotted with clusters of small villages and terraced rice fields, still resembling a small medieval settlement.


Paro : This morning, visit Ta Dzong, formerly a fortress and watchtower, before being modified and renovated to house the excellent National Museum. Its varied and unique collections exhibit armour, coins, natural history specimens, postage stamps, silver, statues, textiles and thankgka paintings. Later, walk down the hillside to visit Paro Dzong, best known as the venue for the annual Paro festival, the country’s greatest event staged every spring.
In the afternoon, visit Drugyel Dzong, the hallowed site where the Bhutanese finally repelled the repeated invasions from Tibet. On the northern horizon, is Bhutan’s most sacred mountain, Chomolhari, a cerebral site on a clear day. End the day visiting some typical rural dwellings around Paro, before reaching Kyichu Lhakhang, Bhutan’s most sacred 7th century Monastery. Later, climb up to the Taktsang monastery or ‘Tiger’s Nest’, one of life’s unforgettable experiences.


Paro – Delhi : Fly to Delhi to catch your international sector.
October – March: Winter months, recommended to travel.
Mid April – June: Summer months, when it is moderately hot in April, but May and June are avoidable.
July – September: Monsoon months where trips are doable.
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