Annapurna Conservation Area
Annapurna conservation area project was launched in 1986. It is also the first conservation area and the largest protected area in Nepal. It covers the total land of 7,629sq.km. It is bounded to the north by the dry alpine deserts of Mustang and Tibet (China), to the west by the Kali Gandaki River, to the east by Marsyangdi Valley and to the south by valleys and foothills north of Pokhara.Annapurna conservation area is a habitat for over 100,000 residents of different cultural and linguistic groups.
It is located near Pokhara, a town easily accessible from Kathmandu by air and road. Both biologically and culturally diverged Annapurna region has several features that make it a unique place in the world. It contains deep gorge-kali Gandaki that is 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. The region contains largest rhododendron forest in Ghorepani. Tilicho Lake, located in Manang-north of Annapurna massif, is the world’s highest altitude freshwater lake. Gurung and Magar are the dominant groups in the south whereas Thakali, Manage and Loba are dominant in the north. Each of these groups has its own unique culture, traditions, and language.The natural and cultural features of Annapurna conservation area have made it the most popular trekking destination in Nepal, drawing more than 60 percent of the country’s total trekkers. Tourism, over the years, has been firmly established as one of the most important and competitive sectors of the local economy. There are over 1,000 lodges, teashops and hundreds of other subsidiary services to cater to the thousands of trekkers, pilgrims and their support staff in this area.