Once it was forbidden land but now Mustang has been opened to all. Lo Manthang, capital of Mustang, is located north of the main Himalayan chain between the snow-capped mountain on the east and west. It is part of Nepal that has jutted inside Tibet. We cross the dull, dusty, barren and high passes (average 4600m) on foot to reach the enigmatic land. The weather is generally dry throughout the year. Most of the historical sites and villages are located in the valley at the elevation of 3300 to 4000 meter.
We take you by flight to Jomsom, a remote airstrip in the mountain, and travel north. As you ascend to higher elevation you come across patches of green vegetation on the western side of Mustang and in places where small rivers flows down from Mustang himal. It is amazing to see the landscape that keeps changing with the light of the sun. The panoramic view of Nilgiri and Damodar himal are in the south and east and the dull and gray rolling hills spreads to Tibetan plateau.
At Lo-Manthang you will find the houses and monasteries enclosed in the fortress. We will also visit some of the major villages around Lo Manthang that has historic gompas and caves. At the monastery at Tsarang we can see valuable fresco painting on its walls. There are several caves used by people long time back. Historian and archeologist believe that human civilization of Mustang dates back to 800 BC. Indeed Mustang is totally another world.
People of Lo-Manthang are called Lobas. Their surname is same as that of Bista and Gurung ethnicity of middle hills but their way of life and cultural practice is typically of Tibetan. Many of them have two names – one is Hindu and other is Buddhist. The land and people can still mesmerized anyone like it did to Tony Hagen, a Swiss geologist, Giuseppe Tucci- an Italian scholar, and a French adventurer – Michael Peissel who traveled to Mustang in between 1952 to 1962. Little has changed since then. This kingdom was closed for foreigners for about 3 decades. It was opened for tourist only in 1991. Since then the government have allowed only limited visitors. This old salt trading route of the Trans Himalayan region is bound to change dramatically in due course of time when the road from the north and south eventually link the capital to Jomsom.
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu. Transfer to Hotel. In Kathmandu - Hotel Accommodation
Day 02: Half day sightseeing tour . In Kathmandu - Hotel Accommodation
Day 03: Fly to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara - Hotel Accommodation
Transfer to airport and fly to Pokhara. Upon arrival at Pokhara transfer to your hotel.
Day 04: Fly to Jomsom (2750m). Walk to Kagbeni (2800m) - Guest House Accommodation
From Pokhara fly to Jomsom in the morning. The flight duration is 35 minute. The plane takes you through the Kaligandaki valley with Dhaulagiri in the left and Annapurna on the right hand side. Jomsom has a STOL airstrip. Small 16-sitter plane can only land at the airport. Jomsom is the districts headquarter. It has army camp, police post and several government offices. It is an important trading center for people living in the hinterland of Mustang. We start our journey from Jomsom following Kaligandaki river to the north. The trail skirts right-bank of the river. We stop for lunch at Eklebhatti and continue the walk to Kagbeni. It is a major junction for several villages around this area.
Day 05: Walk to Chaile (3050m)- Guest House Accommodation
Continue to follows the Kaligandaki river towards north to Chusang. It is a large village on the east bank of the river; on the West Bank little further north is Chaile. Except for crossing the river in monsoon the trail to Chaile is easy.
Day 06: Walk to Shyangmochen (3800m)- Guest House Accommodation
From Chaile climb the steep path carved out of the mountain. On the ridge is a small village known as Samar. Stop for short rest, and walk on the main trail that continually ascends to a ridge (3800m) then descend to make another climb to a pass. Make a short descend to Syangboche. It is a stopping place for traders and travelers. There is an alternative path that leads to a cave nestled deep in the valley where there are carvings of many deities. The name of the cave is Rongbyung Chorten. This cave is used by the Lamas (Buddhist priests) for meditation and prayer. From the cave the walk to Shyangmochen is steep.
Day 07: Walk to Tsarang (3500m)- Guest House Accommodation
Next day descend to Ghilling. The trail becomes broader as you approach Ghilling. Ghilling village is about an hour walk from the main trail marked by a big chorten (stupa). The wide path now becomes wider as you approach Nyi La - pass (3950m). and descend to Ghami (3440m). The pass is the highest elevation on this trek. At Ghami there are health and agriculture office of the government and a police check-post. Cross the bridge over a small river and continue the journey through a spectacular long stretch of Mani-stone, about 244 meters long. The trail gradually climbs to a ridge and descends to a relatively large and prosperous village. The marooned color structure of the monastery is visible as you reach Tsarang. Visit the monastery at Tsarang. There are several thanka painting hanging on the ceiling and pillars of the monastery. Fresco painting of Thousand-Buddha and large collection of Buddhist text staked in the corner. Tsarang is a last village before Lo-Manthang. (It is also possible to take a jeep from Chaite to Lo Manthang but the trail is still nice to walk
Day 08: Walk to Lo-Manthang (3730m)- Guest House Accommodation
Make a short descend to a small river that flows below Tsarang, and climb the short and steep trail that becomes leveled and broad as you approach Lo Manthang in the scorching heat. It is about 4 hours walk to the final destination. En-route stop to see caves high above the steep walls. You will see the unmistaken land mark – a red fort of Lo-Manthang and, a big and distinct red structure of Namgyal monastery located in north-west direction as you climb up the ridge top in the final lap to the once forbidden city.
Day 09: In Lo- Manthang (3730m)- Guest House Accommodation
Inside the fortress there are 3 monasteries. One of them has image of a huge Sitting-Buddha in meditation and the other has several statues of various deities including Buddha. Old and beautifully painted thanka paintings are hanging from the ceiling and pillars of the monastery. Inside walls are painted with stories of Buddha and other epics and beliefs. The gompas appears old and in original shape. The Lamas uses the Third monastery located in the center. This is Thugchen-gomp. The monks use this monastery for prayer and other functions. People in Lo Manthang believe that this monastery came into existence because of tantric power of an incarnate lama to drive away the evils. In the altar of this monastery there are images and statues of various Gods of Hindu mythology with different name but similar connotation. Inside the monastery, in addition to living quarters of the monks, there is a separate chamber that store masks and costumes. These costumes are worn at Lama-Dance festival that takes place every June. This festival continues for 3 days. King of Mustang attends this festival in his ceremonial dress. The story of Lama-Dance is based on tantric legend. You may visit Choser villages and gompas.
Day 10: In Lo-Manthang (3750m) - Guest House Accommodation
Visit Chosar cave, Chornup villages and gompas beyond Lo-Manthang
Day 11: Drive to Jomsom (2750m) - Guest House Accommodation
We drive by local transport to Jomsom. Though the road along Mustang Khola (river) is not a proper road but the truck carrying goods from Lo Manthang to Jomsom usually ply on the route. Unlike the switch back trail the rough ride in the truck can give you another pleasant aspect of Mustang. The trucks cross Mustang river innumerable times as you head down through narrow gorge near Chaile to join Kali Gandaki river valley at Chusang. In about 8 hour we reach Jomsom. Stay overnight in the lodge.
Day 12: Fly to Pokhara and to Kathmandu. Hotel Accommodation
After breakfast we take early morning flight to Pokhara. Upon arrival at Pokhara take connecting flight to Kathmandu. Transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 13: Free day In Kathmandu - Hotel Accommodation
Day 14: Transfer to airport. Depart Kathmandu.
Cost: US$ 2260 per person
01. Fullboard Lodge - 9 days trek
02. Trek guide and porters
03. Bed and breakfast Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara
04. Accident insurance for staffs and porters, and ground transportation as required.
05. Airfare, park permits and document fees,
06. Local transport and airport transfers
Cost does not include:
01. Personal clothing, sleeping bags (US$ 35 per person)
02. Bottled beverage, mineral water and service that are not specifically mentioned
03. Personal accident insurance, emergency evacuation, medical first aid
find your trip
- Price : USD 2260
- Destinations : Upper Mustang - Lomanthang
- Max Elevation : 4890
- Weather : Spring and Autumn are good to visit this area
- Trip Duration : 14 days
- Trip Grade : Moderate
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