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Upper Mustang- the last forbidden kingdom of Nepal is a remote trans-Himalayan village of Nepal. Upper Mustang was a separate kingdom within Nepal until the time of Monarchy till 2006 and even after the downfall of Monarchy this small Tibetan settlement has the same respect for their King Jigme Paramal Bista. Trekking in Upper Mustang is a rare privilege. This is the place where the true originality of Himalayan people exists. One can explore and get chance to know the lifestyle of Himalayan people who are not much in the touch with the rest of the world.
The trek to Lo-Manthang is through high altitude desert country climbing in and out of the huge sided valley of the Kali Gandaki. In places the gorge which the Kali Gandaki River runs through is the deepest in the world. This region is full of some of Nepal’s oldest Buddhist Monasteries, ancient and isolated villages with quaint white washed houses.
Upper Mustang was made accessible for Foreigners (non-Nepali trekkers) only some few years back. Even today, access is highly restricted. You will need a special trekking permit to travel further from Kagbeni and one must be accompanied by a government appointed official to visit Upper Mustang.
Tiji festival is also the major attraction in upper Mustang. “Tiji” the name is an abbreviation of the word “Tempa Chirim” which means “Prayer for World Peace”. Tiji is a fascinating annual three-day festival consisting of Tibetan rituals that celebrate the myth of a son who had to save the Mustang kingdom from destruction. It is celebrated in the month of May.
Arrive at Kathmandu International Airport after a scenic flight over the mountains. Meet the representative of Blue Mountain Travels & Tours and transfer to Hotel.
You can spend this day exploring some of the World heritage sites in Kathmandu valley for some time and prepare for the trek in the afternoon.
After breakfast we will take a scenic bus drive of 7 hours to reach Pokhara. Walk around the lake side and explore Pokhara city on your own. Sitting at hotel balcony you can have an excellent view of the mountains as they are only 28 Kms away from Pokhara city, which lies at an altitude of 900m.
We will fly to Jomsom early in the morning to avoid the wind in the afternoon. After landing at the Jomsom airport we will start trekking to Kagbeni following the Kali Gandaki River. The trail goes along the back of the Kaligandaki River, is flat and has a very rough terrain. We will see the mountains Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, Thorang peak and many more from the trail, in the backdrop. After two hours of walk in the flat land along the bank of Kaligandaki, we reach Kagbeni.
After breakfast we will leave lower Mustang and enter Upper Mustang. After walking for some time we can see the Gompa Kang and numerous caves in the west. At Tangbe we will get a good opportunity to stretch our legs and try our stamina as we climb up to 3060m.Tangbe is a labyrinth of narrow alleyways; here you will find the typical Mustang chortens painted in black white and red. After 1 hour of further walking we reach the village of Chuksang, where there is majority of Thakali people but they live in harmony with the Bhotias and Gurungs.
The walk from Chuksang to Samar lasts for around 4-5 hours and the day is not very tiring so you can take frequent breaks to interact with the villagers and take pictures. Villages become more scattered as you enter deeper into the region, life becomes more basic and the landscape more arid. You leave the valley today and climb steeply up to Chele home to a number of ferocious Tibetan Mastiffs, thankfully chained to the village houses. You continue up on the side of a steep canyon to a pass after which you then descend on a pleasant trail to Samar, situated in a grove of Poplar trees.
We will start to ascend from Samar and in half an hour we reach a ridge which leading into a gorge and another valley full of juniper trees. We continue walking and cross the small river and reach the base of the Shyangmochen, a tiny settlement with a few local facilities. Near Shyangmochen is the Rangbyung which has stalagmites which look like small chortens, making it one of the most sacred places in whole Mustang. Climbing up is over for today as we gently get down to Geling, which has small population living in small mud houses. At the end of the day we should have walked around 5 hours.
We start a 5 hours walk to Ghami after breakfast. The walking duration seems short but is has lots of climbs making it difficult to catch pace. The climb begins steadily to the centre of the valley and then around to the head of the valley, to the Nyi La passes (3840m). After crossing the pass we, as previous day we will gently start walking down to reach Ghami, a large white-washed village sheltered by the overhanging cliffs.
The walk today is the hardest in the entire trip so make sure you have enough water and some power bars to Support you as we walk past the driest place in the Mustang area. The walk might be tiring and 5 hours might seem as long as 10 but still you can feel fresh with the view of the high mountains in the backdrops. At mid afternoon we will reach Charang, where at the eastern end a huge Dzong (fortress) and red gompa home to a great collection of statues and thankas can be seen.
You can explore Charang for sometime as we don’t have a long walk today; it just lasts for 3 hours. We can have a leisurely breakfast, may be a lazy morning as well and then leave Charang and head up the valley to the boundary between Charang and Lo, the trail here broadens and soon you will catch sight of Lo Manthang, with only one entrance you will walk round to the North East corner to get in.
There are no rigid facts but it is said that this city was already in existence before 1390 and Ama Pal, was the person responsible for constructing this beautiful town in the cold desert. The last king of Lo Manthang was Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista (born c. 1933), and was the 25th King of Mustang from the Bista Dynasty. The people of Lo Manthang are known as Lhobas. The village is noted for its tall white washed mud brick walls, gompas and the Raja’s or Royal or King’s Palace, a nine-cornered, five story structures built around 1400. There are four major temples: Jampa Lhakhang or Jampa Gompa, the oldest, built in the early 15th century and also known as the “God house”; Thubten Gompa, a huge, red assembly hall and gompa built in the late 15th century and located just southwest of Jampa Gompa; Chodey Gompa, now the main city gompa; and the Choprang Gompa, which is popularly known as the “New Gompa”. The Government opened access for tourist to this area after 1992, but still the tourism to Upper Mustang remains limited.
Today we start the second leg of the journey to get back to Jomsom. We take the same way back to Ghami. There are few alternate routes but very short ending up at the main trail in short span of time. Overnight stay at Ghami.
We will reach Chuksang after crossing the Kaligandaki and walking past some desert like land area. After walking for around 6 hours we reach Chuksang for overnight stay.
We start walking towards Muktinath today. You will travel through some pretty scenery today, apple orchards, agricultural fields and pretty villages. At the end of the day we can make a brief visit to the temple of Muktinath which is worshiped by Hindus as Lord Vishnu and By Buddhists as Avalokteshowrs. This temple premise has 108 stone spouts from where holy water comes throughout the day.
After the short descend in the morning you will find yourself in Jharkot and Khingar, where there are beautiful monasteries which give you the opportunity to witness the interrelation and similarity of Tibet to this area. The view of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri Himal is splendid throughout the trail. We will walk past Kagbeni to reach Jomsom along the bank of Kali Gandaki River. We can spend some time exploring the headquarter of the mustang district, Jomsom from where the Mountain View is magnificent.
Early morning flight to Pokhara and free day at Pokhara for lunch.
After reaching Kathmandu, you can walk in tourist place Thamel and buy Nepali product over there.
Overnight at Hotel.
Depart Kathmandu to reach another destination or fly back home with memories of the trek.
You can depart from Kathmandu to your home country or extend the trip and head for another trip within or outside Nepal
The given cost are per person and exclude international flights. Given below are the departure dates available for online booking. If the given date is not favorable then please contact us and we will happily customize your trip on dates more appropriate for you.
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