Annapurna (Sanskrit, Nepali, Nepal Bhasa: अन्नपूर्णा) is a section of the Himalayas in north-central Nepal that includes 8,091 m (26,545 ft) Annapurna I, thirteen additional peaks over 7,000 m (22,970 ft) and 16 more over 6,000 m (19,690 ft). This section is a 55 km-long (34 mi-long) massif bounded by the Kali Gandaki Gorge on the west, the Marshyangdi River on the north and east, and Pokhara Valley on the south. Annapurna I is tenth among Earth's fourteen eight-thousanders. 8167 metre Dhaulagiri I rises 34 km to the west across the Kali Gandaki Gorge, considered Earth's deepest canyon.
Annapurna is a Sanskrit name which literally means "full of food" (feminine form), but is normally translated as Goddess of the Harvests. In Hinduism, Annapurna is "... the universal and timeless kitchen-goddess ... the mother who feeds. Without her there is starvation, a universal fear: This makes Annapurna a universal goddess ... Her most popular shrine is located in Kashi, on the banks of the river Ganga." Her association with the giving of food (wealth) led her in time to be transformed into Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth.
Manang District (Nepali: मनाङ जिल्ला Listen (help·info), a part of Gandaki Zone, is one of the seventy-five districts of Nepal. The district, with Chame as its district headquarters, covers an area of 2,246 km² and has a population (2001) of 9,587.
The Manang Valley, which lies close to the Nepal-Tibet border, offers tremendous opportunities due to its rich natural flora and fauna. Three tracks start from here. The first, via Thorangla, Muktinath, and Mustang to Lhasa—a journey that takes four days; the second via Naur Khola and Naurgaon, which takes five days to Lhasa; and finally the third via Larkiya bazar, which is the one most commonly used by the people of Central Nepal.
Along with the Marwaris who have migrated from India to Nepal in large numbers, the Manangies are the best known traders of Nepal. They have received special dispensation from the King to trade in South East Asia, and travel abroad with precious stones and metals, musk, herbs and other items. They import ready-made garments, watches and electronic goods. Many of the Manangies spend as much as six months away from home, returning only during the summers. Many of them reside in Kathmandu, where their children study in the English medium schools. The parents' lack of proficiency in the English language is irrelevant as it in no way affects their trading skills.