The Lost Tibetan Kingdom of Mustang
Upper Mustang Trekking Lo as it is known by the inhabitants, is a mysterious high plateau tucked behind the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Massifs in north central Nepal. The area is actually the top of a watershed, the headwaters of what becomes the mighty Kali Gandaki River, which then runs southward through the world's deepest gorge. In the rain shadow of the huge Himalayan peaks, though, this area is dry and windswept, ruggedly sculpted and mostly devoid of vegetation. The region offers dramatic and unique geography for those who only have seen the more familiar green, forested landscape of the rest of Nepal.
With a cultural history that is as intriguing as the landscape, Mustang has piqued the curiosity of many Himalayan adventurers, and only recently was it opened for limited visitation. Historically a vital trading route between Tibet and India, the trail into Mustang is lined with the fascinating remains of forts that served as tax collection out posts. Settlements in Mustang were fortified, a testament to its turbulent history. More recently, in the late 1950s and 60s, the area was a center for Khampas, guerrilla's who were trained and armed by the US C.I.A. to resist the Chinese Army's occupation of Tibet.
There are records that outline events stretching back to the eighth century, and from the writings of the Tibetan poet Milarepa it is known that the unique form of Buddhism called Sakyapa has been practiced here since 1073. This form of Buddhism lacks the more familiar metaphysical aspect; it is more worldly and practical, perhaps in response to the unforgiving environmental pressures in this area.
Throughout recent decades, the Nepalese Government had maintained total restriction on visitation to this area. The democratic change of government of 1990 and the increasing international pressures for a more open Nepal have coincided to remove these restrictions. Since 1992, limited visitation has been allowed, providing the trekking party meets strict environmental requirements and pays a substantial amount for the entry permit. These conditions limit the number of visitors, minimize their impact, and generate revenues needed for future conservation efforts in this region.
The trekking route stays mostly on the valley floor, though it may traverse the ridge during the occasional rainy period, which raises the level of the river. The horses provide uphill assistance, but must be dismounted for descending. Without substantially high passes (nothing over 5.000 meters) this is not too physically demanding as a trek, and it has the added advantage of a very long season, due to the lack of monsoon rains or high pass crossings.
Mustang's capital "City" is Lo Manthang, a magical place imbibed with centuries of rugged history. Set on a broad plateau, the town deserves its name, which translates from Tibetan as "plain of inspiration". The Raja, or King, lives in his palace in the center, while the four major temples form the corners of town. Lo Manthang and the surrounding area are usually savored for a day or two before heading back down toward Jomsom.
Govinda Panta owner of Adventure Pilgrims Trekking has been trekked in 1992 first group from Germany with Houser excursion and has visited more than 50 times to upper Mustang. Now either you can take a jeep drive to upper mustang or trekking there with expert company guide with wilder path.
Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m)
Heartily welcome to country of Himalaya. One of Adventure Pilgrims trekking team member will pick you at the Tribhuvan International Airport with the garland and assists you to transfer in your hotel in Kathmandu. After checking at the hotel and refreshment, you will be welcomed at our office. Brief discussion about trekking, introduction with the guide and porter And for trekking gear equipment . Overnight at Hotel.
Day 02: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (823m), 6 hours drive.
Today early morning drive to Pokhara by tourist bus. The bus goes through beautiful countryside and stop twice on the way for the breakfast and lunch. After arriving in Pokhara, you can freely explore the Lakeside area and it`s surrounding. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 03: Pokhara-Jomsom to Kagbeni (2,858), 3-4 hours walk
Early in the morning, we take 20 minutes scenic flight to Jomsom . Jomsom is the headquarter of Mustang District. After taking breakfast in the Jomsom, we start our trek to Kagbeni. It takes about 3 and half hours to to Kagbeni walking on gradual and windy path along the Kaligandaki river. The village is located on the bank of two river. Old houses, Buddhist monastery and some Hindu temples are interesting In the evening we explore the village and it`s surrounding. Overnight at guesthouse.
Day 04: Kagbeni to chele (3050m), 5-6 hours walk.
After breakfast we start our trek with special permit checking. Entering Mustang, we follow the east bank of the river, series of small ridge comes on the way. On the way, Buddhist monastery, chorten with red,black and white color, villages with white washed houses, surrounded by barley and buckwheat field is great. After 6~7 hours long walk, we finally arrive in Chele, a village with typical Tibetan style houses for overnight.
Day 05: Chele to Syanboche, (3475m), 6-7 hours walk.
Today our trails goes series of large spurs. While going through the Taklam La Pass, Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang , Nilgiri and are Damodar Danda beautiful. After the pass, further 3 hours walk will bring us at Syanboche village for the overnight.
Day 06: Syanboche to Charang (3500m), 7-8 hours walk.
Today after breakfast, we start our trek with uphill walk to Yamda La. Passing some Tibetan style villages, houses and Chorten, we arrive in Nyi La pass(4010m), which is also the highest point of our trip. From here, we descend to Ghami and pass series of Mani Walls to reach Charang for the overnight.
Day 07: Charang to Lo-Manthang (3760m), 5-6 hours walk
Today we start our trek with easy climb to ridge of Lo. We then go little down to stream and again go up to reach main city of Lo-Manthang. The white walls, old houses, Monasteries and Palaces are making this city mysterious and exciting.
Day 08: Exploring day in Lo-Mangthang
Today we have full day to explore this fascinating town. The king palace, monasteries and panoramic view of Himalaya is the attraction for today. The local life style and their Tibetan culture have made this town one of the wonderful place in Nepal. Visited all 4 DIFFERENTS MONASTRY AT lO-mANTHANG AND STAY OVERNIGHT AT LODGE .
Day 09 : Explore Nyamgyal Monastery/Choser
( with horse ride) It is just beside to Tibet and it is really nice place with 42 stories cave. aLONG THE Way Beautiful Land escape and farming Tarries way up to Tibet border and return to Lo-manthang stay over night at lodge.
Day 10: Ghar Gumpa to Ghiling (3806m), 5-6 hours walk
Today is also the easy day for us. We continue to go down the valley to Ghiling for our overnight stay. It is windy and dusty during day so we can explore the village in the evening.
Day 11: Ghiling to Samar (3700m), 5-6 hours walk
Today we start our trek with slow climbing. The walk is beautiful as we have scenic mountain view around. After 5~hours enjoyable walking, we arrive in Samar for the overnight
Day 12: Samar to Muktinath(3800m), 6-7 hours walk
Today is our one of the toughest day of the trip. It is steeply climb to the pass followed the descend to reach Muktinath for the Overnight. Muktinath is holy place both for Hindu and Buddhist people. The town offer paroramic view of Mt. Dhaulagiri and it`s surrounding peaks.
Day 13 : Muktinath to Jomsom.5 Hours walk
Today we visit the Muktinath temple early in the morning and continue our trek. It is easy and enjoyable downhill to Eklebhatti. From here onwards we have windy path. The trail is alomost flat for slightly more than hour and arrive in Jomsom for the overnight.
Day 14 : Early morning fly back to Pokhara
Today we finish our adventure. After breakfast, we have 25 minutes scenic flight to Pokhara. Afternoon Around the Pokhara , where is the spacial Monument To see .Water fall. World peace stupa and Cave . Explore the day in Pokhara stay overnight at hotel.
Day 15 : Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist bus that takes about 6/7 hours.
While driving from Pokhara to Kathmandu, you head up to Damauli, Dumre, Muglin and Kurintar where Nepal's first Cable car is operated to reach to Manakamana Temple. Trisuli river ,From Naubishe you Heading up to Kathmandu valley Stay at overnight in Kathmandu. stay overnight at At hotel .
Day 16 : This is your last day in Nepal. You can do shopping or buy some souvenirs for your family, friends or relatives until your departure to airport. We will transferred to the International Airport for your departure Before 3 hour to your departure flight your onward destination.