Tilicho Lake: One of the Highest Lakes in the Himalayas

Tilicho Lake in Manang district is one of the highest lakes in Nepal at 4,919 meters (16,138 ft). If you love water, you should certainly visit Tilicho Lake. Most trekkers visit this lake as a short detour in the Annapurna Circuit. Tilicho was known to be the highest lake in Nepal, but Kajin Sara Lake (5,200 m) has taken that title recently. The straight distance between Pokhara and Tilicho is 55 km (34 miles).

According to Hindu tradition, Tilicho Lake is the ancient Kak Bhusundi Lake mentioned in the epic Ramayana. Hindus believe that the sage Kak Bhusundi, who narrated the Ramayana to Garuda, the king of birds, did so near this sacred lake. During this storytelling, the sage assumed the form of a crow, as "crow" translates to "Kak" in Sanskrit, thus giving rise to the name Kak Bhusundi for the sage. On the other hand, the Buddhists associate Tilicho Lake with Padmasambhava, a revered Buddhist master.

The Trek to Tilicho Lake

Most visitors follow the Annapurna Circuit to reach the Tilicho lake. The trek passes through stunning landscapes, diverse terrain, and breathtaking mountain vistas. Starting from Kathmandu, the trek begins with a scenic bus ride to Besishar and then continues to Jagat, passing through picturesque villages and terraced farms. As you ascend, you'll be treated to panoramic views of the mountainous region.

The trek progresses from Jagat to Dharapani while you enjoy the views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna III. As you continue to Chame, the headquarters of the Manang district, the landscape becomes even more awe-inspiring, with Tibetan-style settlements dotting the route and massive peaks like Gangapurna, Tilicho, and Pisang Peak dominating the horizon.

A highlight of this journey is the visit to Tilicho Lake at a breathtaking altitude of 4,919 meters (16,138 feet). This lake offers a surreal experience, with its pristine waters reflecting the towering peaks of Tilicho Himal, the Annapurna Range, and Nilgiri Himal. The trek from Siri Kharka to Tilicho Base Camp, followed by the ascent to the lake itself, is challenging and immensely rewarding at the same time.

After soaking in the beauty of Tilicho Lake, the trek continues with a descent back to Siri Kharka and, further onward Yak Kharka, known for its blue sheep and potential sightings of snow leopards. The journey culminates in the thrilling crossing of Thorong La Pass (5,416 meters/17,756 feet), offering breathtaking views of the Himalayas stretching north towards Tibet and south towards the Annapurna range.

The trek continues with a descent to Muktinath, a significant pilgrimage site for both Buddhists and Hindus, before proceeding to Tatopani, known for its natural hot springs. For those seeking a panoramic view, a visit to Poon Hill to witness the sunrise over the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs is a fitting end to this unforgettable journey.


To visit Tilicho Lake, you need an Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) to access the Annapurna Conservation Area, encompassing Tilicho Lake. Additionally, you will also need a Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) card. These permits help in conserving the natural environment and support conservation initiatives. If you trek with us, we will acquire these permits on your behalf.


Experience the Tranquility of Tilicho Lake

Reaching Tilicho Lake is a rewarding challenge that requires proper acclimatization and a trekking experience. From the village of Manang, you need to ascend towards the lake, passing through alpine landscapes dotted with wildflowers and grazing yaks. The final approach to Tilicho Lake involves a steep ascent, culminating in a breathtaking reveal of the azure waters surrounded by towering peaks.

The area surrounding Tilicho Lake boasts a wealth of diverse flora and fauna. As you traverse various ecological zones, you will witness a captivating transition from dense pine, oak, and rhododendron forests to alpine meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers. If you are lucky, you can encounter rare species like the elusive snow leopard, Himalayan blue sheep (bharal), and a diverse array of bird species inhabiting the region.

At Tilicho Lake, you can bask in the tranquility of this remote mountain oasis, marveling at its crystal-clear waters reflecting the towering summits above. The surreal beauty of Tilicho Lake is best appreciated during sunrise or sunset when the changing light casts enchanting hues across the landscape.

Best Season For Tilicho Lake Trek

The best season for the Tilicho Lake trek is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). These seasons offer the most favorable weather and ideal trekking conditions.

Spring (March to May): This is one of the best times to trek to Tilicho Lake. The weather is mild, with clear skies and blooming rhododendron forests along the trail. The temperatures are pleasant, making for comfortable trekking during the day, although nights can still be chilly at higher altitudes. Spring is also a great time to witness the vibrant landscapes with colorful flowers in full bloom.

Autumn (September to November): Autumn is another excellent season for the Tilicho Lake trek. The skies are generally clear, and the temperatures are moderate, making trekking enjoyable. Autumn is also the peak trekking season in Nepal. Hence, you can expect well-defined trails and a lively atmosphere along the route. In addition, autumn is the festive season in Nepal, so, you can enjoy the festive mood.



If you want to embark on a journey of a lifetime with our expertly crafted Tilicho Lake and Annapurna Circuit trekking packages. Our experienced guides and support team will ensure a safe and memorable trekking experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural wonders and cultural richness of Annapurna. You can discover the magic of Tilicho Lake and the Annapurna Circuit with us and let Nepal's Himalayas leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul. You can contact us to plan your trek to Tilicho Lake and explore the unparalleled beauty of Nepal's highest lake amidst the Himalayas.