Upper Mustang Trek is one of the most popular regions for trekking in Nepal. It lies north of the Annapurna region just behind Mount Dhaulagiri and Mount Annapurna massif very close to the Tibetan border.
Geographically Upper Mustang has long been isolated from the outside world and only recently opened to trekking groups. The trek to Upper Mustang begins with a flight to Jomsom from Pokhara where we make our way through a quaint medieval town of Kagbeni, brightly painted chortens (Buddhist shrines) and tiny villages guarded by enormous monasteries.
While walking along this barren land our collective minds are blown with great views of the snow-covered Himalaya to the south, and desolate high plateaus, deep canyons and an ocean of windswept hills exploding with the colors of the sunset on the desert to the north. Once we reach the walled capital city of Lo-Manthang, we’ll absorb in a great sense of timelessness and appreciation of the ancient culture as we discover the ruins of old forts and monasteries rich in art and history plus caves replete with magnificent religious statues. While visiting at Kagbeni (2,858m), Syanbochen (3,475m) on the way Lo-Mangthang (3,810m) you will find the living images which reflect the society of the primitive time. Most of the places along the trail offer you to enjoy the magnificent views of Himalayas before our eyes.
Those who love to explore ancient villages and experience the cultural and natural diversity of the Buddhist land in Nepal can join our 19 days exotic trip. If you are looking for Tiji Festival in Upper Mustang, the month of May will be the best. The great festival is held on the premises of the Mustanghi king’s palace in Lo Manthang. Despite monsoon in other parts of Nepal, we can organize trekking during June, July and August.
Known as ‘The Forbidden Kingdom’, Mustang refers to barren landscapes and far remote region on the north of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri adjoining Nepal border with Tibetan plateau. It is a destination cherished in the imaginations of connoisseur trekkers, who prefer to undertake a journey with a difference into the kind of lands which cannot be encountered anywhere else in the world. The trip to Upper Mustang begins with the flight to Jomsom from Pokhara and then the trek continues onward destination. The people living in Upper Mustang still follows exactly the true Tibetan lifestyle for centuries and the mud -made buildings look like pictures from a book of ancient history. One can explore snow-crested mountains and barren hills reaching deep inside the vast Tibetan plateau. Strong cold winds sweep through its narrow canyons and over its plains and erosion has left its mark in weird and wonderful rock formations. One can visit the fabulous walled capital of Lo Manthang which is regarded as home of the Mustang King, beautiful temples and monasteries.
Arrive at the Tribhuwan International Airport where you will be welcomed by Trek Himalayan representative and transferred to your hotel. This day is simply an arrival day and there will no organized activities. So you will have some free time to relax or walk around for local sights. A pre-departure meeting will be held early evening and you will be introduced with your trekking guide. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu
Your guide will meet you at your hotel in the morning to begin your city tour of Kathmandu. You will visit the Boudhanath temple, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal, Pashupatinath, a Hindu pilgrimage site, and possibly view cremation ceremonies along the banks of the Bagmati River. Continue drive to Patan Durbar Square to see ancient Nepalese architecture and end your tour after lunch. Then, you will view ancient Nepalese art in the Patan museum. Overnight in Kathmandu
Drive to Pokhara and transfer to the hotel. We drive around 7 a.m. after breakfast. The distance between Kathmandu and Pokhara is 200km and it takes about 6 hrs. We drive through beautiful hills, alongside Trishuli and Marshyangdiriver and valley enjoying with mountain views.
Upon arrival in Pokhara either you can relax in your hotel or boating in the Phewa Lake. Boating in Phewa Lake viewing Mt. Fishtail is an exciting and fascinating lifetime experience.
We take an early morning mountain flight (weather permitting) from Pokhara toJomsom (2696m). After landing at the airport, we will meet the Sirdar and crew the porters, Sherpa guides, and pack animals for the trek. We begin our first day trek along the bank of the Kali Gandaki River, passing through Eklebhatti to the medieval-looking village of Kagbeni , The arid climate, mud-walled houses, and Tibetan dress and language are indications of how closely this area is linked with Tibet.
You trek right up to the river valley. The trail then widens significantly revealing and endless stretch of sand on the west bank of the river, you stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe, where you come across the first black, white and red chortens that typify Upper Mustang. The little town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys among white washed houses, fields of buck wheat and barley and apple orchards. Nilgiri Peak continues to dominate the southern skyline. Chusang village is only about a 2hrs walk beyond Tangbe at the confluence of the NarshingKhola and the river Kali Gandaki.
Here you will find a distinct change in the topography as well as the culture, lifestyle and people of the area. The settlements become more scattered, smaller and more basic. The people of Lo or Mustang practice agriculture. Lack of rain and fertile soil, cultivation is carried out in sheltered plots of land, covering the brown landscape with patches of green vegetation. Continuing north, you reach a huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliffs above, forming a tunnel through which the river flows. The trek now leaves the valley and climbs steeply up a rocky alley the village of Chele. From Chele you climb a steep spur and then continue ascending along the side of a spectacular steep canyon to a pass. Beyond the pass you descend on a pleasant trail to Samar, situated in a grove of poplar trees. This is a major stopping place for horse and mule caravans.
We climb up to Samar on a good trail winding up and around from the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We have an early lunch, then trek for 4hrs ascending three high ridges to the highest one at 12,464 ft. We pass some teahouses at Shyangmochen then we continue trek to Geling. This day is possibly the hardest day of the trek
We trek a high loop southwest and lunch on the way outside GharGompa .GharGompa is the oldest active monastery in Nepal, dating back to the 8th century. It is also being restored with the funding of the American Himalayan Foundation and well worth a visit. From here we climb to a ridge and descend through a spectacular series of red rock formations at Dhakmar. We continue
to Ghami and camp overnight, one hour beyond Dhakmar
We climb another high ridge of 11,808 ft, and enter the ancient town of Charang. While passing through the picturesque entry portal we see the five – storied dzong (fortress), formerly the home of the kings of Mustang, and the vast red DorjeDhenGompa. We will visit the monastery and fortress later in the evening.
Today we descend to cross the Charang Chu River and climb to a ridge. We then hike through a desert-like landscape to climb again to a ridge at 12,628 ft from where we get our first view of Lo Manthang, We descend for a while and then a short climb brings us to camp
A day to explore Lo Mangthang, including visits to two important monasteries built in the early 15th century. ThugchenGompa has very fine Buddhist murals on the walls of its massive assembly hall, which is supported by huge wooden columns. ChampaLhakhang contains a fiftyfoot-tall image of Maitreya, the future Buddha, making it the largest clay statue in Nepal. Both monasteries are restored now by a team of Conservation Architects and Wall Painting Restorers with the help of the American Himalayan Foundation. We also visit the Choedhe monastic school and the imposing four-story Raja’s palace (if he is in residence). The current Raja can trace his ancestry back to the first king of the late 14th century, which suggests Lo Manthang dates back to that period
We continue our journey on the highland route, crossing alpine meadows before dropping down a steep eroded gully for lunch. After lunch, we walk through the pretty valley, climb to a ridge and descend from there back to Ghami. Overnight at camp
The trail takes you downwards into a gigantic gorge, which narrows right down. At a junction and a stream the path turns right and a short way on it zigzags steeply up to a cave called Rangbyung. Inside are huge stalagmites, painted Buddhas, a few rough stone rooms and prayer flags strung across the entrance. Against the rear walls are small Buddhas that apparently magically re-grow if a piece is broken off. This is an important religious shrine. There now follows a long slow gruelling climb out of the gorge to reach Samar village. Overnight at camp
Today you trek down for nearly two hours and then walk through the flat path till we reach Jomsom. Between the walk lies Eklebhatti village where we find some tea houses and lodges
The flights are available during the morning time. The strong breeze blows during the after and frequent change of the weather prevent the flight being landed and taken off in the afternoon. During the flights in morning, the sky looks very clear which makes you able to enjoy the splendid views of different mountain peaks.
Pokhara is an ideal lake city for vacationers. After breakfast sightseeing around the Pokhara valley to explore the various interesting places such as Davies Falls, Mountain Museum, Barahi Temple, Bindhabasini Temple and many interesting caves. This city is really blessed with natural jewels and is highly considered a Shangri-La for nature’s lovers. Every nook and cranny of this place is worth visiting
After breakfast you will be driven to Kathmandu which is approximately a 7-hour drive
Today you will be free for shopping or just leisurely walk around Thamel
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