Annapurna 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. Annapurna I is tenth among Earth's fourteen eight-thousanders. It rises east of theKali Gandaki Gorge separating it from Dhaulagiri massif. 8167 metre Dhaulagiri I is 34 km to the west and the gorge between is considered Earth's deepest.
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.
The entire massif and surrounding area are protected within the 7,629 km Annapurna Conservation Area, the first and largest conservation area in Nepal. The Annapurna Conservation Area is home to several world-class treks, including the Annapurna Circuit.
The Annapurna peaks are the world's most dangerous mountains to climb, although in more recent history, using figures from only 1990 and after, Kangchenjunga has a higher fatality rate. As of 2007, there had been 153 summit ascents of Annapurna I, and 58 climbing fatalities on the mountain. This fatality-to-summit ratio (38%) is the highest of any of the eight-thousanders. In particular, the ascent via the south face is considered the most difficult of all climbs