The hidden kingdom above the tree line, the vast barren landscape of the Upper Mustang region, dotted with ancient forts, walled medieval villages and monasteries rich in Buddhist art, offers its visitors a fascinating glimpse into this remote enclave of Tibetan Culture. A deliberate policy of cultural and environmental preservation has meant that Mustang remains one of the world's most special trekking destinations. Entry is limited and special trekking permits are required. 10 to 15 days should be allowed for Upper Mustang and it may also be combined with the Jomsom trek. A reasonable fitness level is required. We organise tea house treks.
At the northern most limit of Kagbeni is the police checkpoint where we take our first steps into the previously forbidden area of Upper Mustang. The trail ascends sharply to a Chorten, (Tibetan prayer wheel) from where we see beautiful views of Kagbeni with Nilgiri as a backdrop. We follow along the east bank of the Kali Gandaki, climbing and descending until we reach the sparsely vegetated plateau and the village of Tangbe, (3100 m) our lunch stop. We continue our trail to Chhuksang (3050m) where we can see ruins of castles littering the hilltops and cave dwellings across the river. The canyon walls are eroded into spectacular organ pipe formations. We continue to follow the riverbank where we can see many caves amongst the cliff walls. A steep climb out of the valley leads us to the village of Chaile.Hiking hours: 6
We climb until we reach the Chotare Lopcha Pass (3625 m) where it offers a good view towards Samar, the Kali Gandaki Valley and snow-capped peaks in the distance. We then follow the contour of the mountain to Samar (3700 m) named after the red outcrop of rocks. We stop for lunch at Samar. Then we take the lower route to visit Chunsi cave red painted monastery, which is an impressive and worth to visit. This is Rangchyung Chorten, one of the most sacred places in Mustang. Sometime it is possible to see the rare blue mountain sheep in this area. Our today’s destination is Syanboche (3920 m). Hiking hours: 6.
Unlike other villages in Mustang, where the houses are build close together and look fortress like. Ghiling is spread out wide on a patch of green grass and gives the impression of being a fairly affluent little community. After passing Ghiling we can see the Nyi La pass straight ahead. Lunch at Ghiling. Sleep in Ghami village which has a very old monastery, ruined palace, apple and apricot orchid belonging to the nephew of the Mustang king. Ghami is a Mustang’s third largest town, which is high above the river and surrounded by fields. Hiking hours: 6.
We cross the river on the other side of Ghami village. There is a hospital following 300m long Mani wall. The Mani wall is the longest in Upper Mustang and is said to be the intestine of the demon killed by Padmasambhav (Guru Rimpoche). Tsarang (3650m), a Dzong which formerly housed a king of the region. Tsarang is situated on the edge of a beautiful cliff. The name Tsarang has been derived from the Tibetan word Chaptrun meaning cook’s crest. The crest being the narrow rocky ridge upon which the Castle stands. There is a Monastery which was built in 1385AD and a 5 storied Palace built in 1378AD. The Palace has 108 volumes of Kangyur Text engraved in Gold. Hiking hours: 6
After our initial descent, the trail follows a gentle but continuous climb with increasingly beautiful views. High sandstone cliffs with numerous caves flank our east and the Mustang Himal peaks are visible stretching towards Tibet. From the Lo-Manthang Pass (3950m) we first see the village of Namgyal, and then Lo-Manthang itself, the only walled village on this route. It contains the Royal Palace of the King of Mustang and will be our base camp for the next 3 nights. Hiking hours: 5
Lo-Manthang means the “plains of prayer.” The city is a walled fortress of old times with houses tightly packed behind the walls, and a maze of narrow alleys to explore. The king’s palace, in which he still resides, is easily noticeable, as it is the largest residence in Lo-Manthang. It is also possible to visit 3 monasteries – the Chamba Lakhang which houses the massive 45 foot statue of Maitreya (the future Buddha), the Thugchen Lakhang with several large images of Sakyamuki, Avolokitsevara and Maitreya and Chodi of the Sakya Sect which has several monks in residence and offers us the chance to join in prayer and chanting. Half way to the King’s summer palace in Namgyal, is the Namgyal Monastery. It is the largest monastery in Mustang and is perched on a hillside above the village. Its massive walls are painted in scripts of grey, white and yellow. There is a large courtyard surrounded by galleries and the main hall contains a large altar with splendid statues, images and Thankas hanging from the pillars. Lo-Manthang has a post office, health post; police check post and radio communication with Jomsom and Kathamndu.
A day hike (or pony trek/jeep) to the villages of Chhosser, Garphu and Niphu north of Lo-Manthang is definitely worthwhile. There are some interesting cave monasteries and numerous caves with dwellings inside. On the way back, a hike up to the ruins of Ketcher Dzong is recommended for wide panoramic views of the valleys to the north and south. Hiking hours: 6
We provide bagpacks, crampons, and maps. Price Includes: Guide, assistants, 3 meals per day, afternoon tea & snacks, accommodation for the duration of the trek(2 persons per room).
However, during high season one room per two clients may not be always available. If this should happen we request our clients to be flexible and share a triple or room with four beds. Annapurna Park entry and TIMS fees, staff insurance, transport to and from the trailhead, two nights' accommodation pre and post the trek and can supply 75 liters backpack for the main trekking stuff, light crampons, gaiters and trekking map.
Assistant - (maximum weight to carry is 10 kg for female assistant guide and 13 kg for male assistant guide).
Doesn't include: Soft beverages, air tickets & client insurance.
Vast barren landscape
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The Forbidden Kingdom of Nepal (Upper Mustang) (one way drive)
Difficulty level : streneous
Upper Mustang also known as mini Tibet is a good combination of nature, landscape, rich cultural heritage, a great history, ancient Buddhist monastery and Caves.
Upper Mustang is untouched by present day progress. Before 1991 this region was abundant to visit for remote explorers. Trekking in Mustang was authoritatively opened in 1992. This region gives awesome mountain view. Local people of this region was prohibited and disconnected from whatever remains of the world. In spite of it could develop its own particular unmistakable culture and customary.
Sunday to Saturday 9.00am - 6.00pm