The Majestic Modi River: A Lifeline in the Annapurna region

Modi River is one of the tributaries of the Gandaki River that originates in the Parbat district in central Nepal from the Annapurna ranges, comprising several peaks including Annapurna I (8091 m), Khangsarakang (7485m), Annapurna II (7291m), Barahachulee (7647m), Gangapurna (7555m), Machhapuchhre (6993m), Hiunchulee (6441m), and Tharpuchulee (5663m).

The snow from the Annapurna ranges feeds this 50-km-long river that joins the Kali Gandaki River at Modi Beni in Parbat. This river holds a unique significance, not just for the region's geography, but also for the communities that thrive along its course.


The Formation of the Modi River

The Modi River finds its source high in the Annapurna Massif. It is fed by the melting glaciers and snowfields that grace the towering summits, creating a pristine flow that cascades down the mountainside, gaining momentum and life with every passing meter of descent. A total of 5% of the Modi Khola basin is covered by glaciers. 

Several rivers, including Rati Khola, Pati Khola, Bhurangdi Khola, Malyangdi Khola, Ghandruk Khola, and Ambote Khol, join the Modi River before it flows into the greater Kali Gandaki River. Modi Khola basin has a total of 675 square kilometers area and receives 80% of annual rainfall from May to October.


Lifeline of Communities: Sustaining Himalayan Culture

As the Modi River descends through the rugged terrains of the Annapurna region, it becomes a vital lifeline for the communities that call its banks home. Villages along its course, such as Ghandruk and Chhomrong, have flourished because of the Modi River. The Modi's waters support agriculture and sustain the livelihoods of locals in this region. Locals also engage in limited fishing activities, mainly during February-June and August-November.

Modi River irrigates this region while enchanting those who witness its journey. It also sustains the local flora and fauna, including the musk deer, barking deer, snow leopard, and others.


Source of Hydroelectricity

The steep gradient of this river is favorable for hydroelectricity generation. Two power plants are currently in operation: Modi Khola Hydroelectric Power Plant (14.8MW) and Lower Modi-1 Hydroelectric Power Plant (10MW). Two are under construction: Middle Modi Khola Hydroelectric Power Plant (15.1MW), and Lower Modi Khola Hydroelectric Power Plant (20MW). Four others are planned. Excluding micro hydro projects, the total capacity of planned, completed, and under-construction hydropower projects is 237 MW. 


Adventure and Serenity: White water rafting

For adventure seekers, the Modi River offers an adrenaline-packed playground. The river's rapids attract rafting enthusiasts seeking the thrill of navigating turbulent waters against a backdrop of stunning mountain vistas. Yet, amidst the exhilaration, the Modi River also provides moments of serenity, with quiet stretches where nature's symphony takes center stage.


Journey Through the Annapurna Sanctuary and beyond:

The Modi River plays a pivotal role in shaping one of Nepal's most iconic trekking destinations – the Annapurna Sanctuary. Trekkers following the trails of the Modi are treated to the symphony of its flowing waters, often accompanied by the panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. The river provides constant companionship on the journey to the Annapurna Base Camp, with footbridges and riverside paths guiding trekkers.

The Modi River drains to the Kali Gandaki River at Modi Beni of Parbat. The Kali Gandaki flows into the Sapta Gandaki River (Narayani River). Sapta Gandaki River, in turn, flows into India as the Gandak River, eventually joining the sacred Ganges River.

Challenges and Conservation

While the Modi River bestows life around its route, it also faces challenges. Rapid glacial melting due to climate change and the increasing demand for water resources is threatening its delicate ecosystem. 

From the towering peaks of the Annapurna Range to the tranquil villages along its course, the Modi River invites us to witness the resilience of nature and the rich tapestry of Himalayan culture. It also reminds us of the delicate balance we must strike between exploration and conservation to ensure the continued vitality of this majestic Himalayan lifeline.

Conservation efforts involving local communities, government initiatives, and international organizations are working together to protect this lifeline.


Treks to experience the Modi River

You can enjoy the Modi River and its incredible journey as it follows the Annapurna Sanctuary. Here are the major treks you can consider.


Annapurna Base Camp Trek (ABC Trek): This trek takes you to the base camp of Mount Annapurna, offering stunning views of the surrounding peaks. The Modi Khola is one of the rivers you encounter during this trek.

To book an 11-day trek to Annapurna Base Camp, visit: 


Mardi Himal Trek: This trek takes you to the base of Mardi Himal, a lesser-known but beautiful peak in the Annapurna region. The trail passes through the Modi Khola Valley.

To book a 7-day Mardi Himal Trek, visit:   


Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek: The Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is a popular and relatively short trek in the Annapurna region of Nepal. It is renowned for its breathtaking panoramic views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, including the iconic Machapuchare (Fishtail) peak.

To book a 5-day Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, visit:  

If you need help deciding a perfect trek to experience Modi Khola, contact us.