Upper Mustang Trek-12 Days

Panorama from Tetang

Highlights

  • Guided tours of UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kathmandu.
  • Explore the beauty of Pokhara enhances by its lovely lakes, which have their source in the glacial region of the Annapurna range of the Himalayas
  • Mustang Trek through the spectacular Tibetan scenery and Buddhist heritage of the ‘Forbidden Kingdom’ to the legendary walled city of Lo Manthang.
  • Ancient Monasteries of Mustang and see the imposing 4-storey palace of the Raja of Mustang.

Upper Mustang is located north of Annapurna and at an average altitude of 4,000m is geologically and culturally part of the Tibetan plateau. The valleys are arid and dry with colourful rock formations containing many cave dwellings high up in the cliffs. The first trekking parties were allowed into Upper Mustang in 1992 and there are still very few people (about 700 trekkers each year) visiting Upper Mustang as a result it is one of the few places left where one can see undisturbed Tibetan culture.

Mustang is a remote semi-independent Tibetan Kingdom with a walled capital called Lo Manthang. Upper Mustang was once part of Tibet and was used by the salt caravans crossing the Himalaya into Nepal. It became an independent kingdom in 1380 and the current royal family can trace their lineage back to this time.

 Upper Mustang Trek which offers a spectacular trekking into the remote Trans-Himalayan mountain area with Tibetan influence culture. The high desert region of the Tibetan influence, Kaligandaki, from the Tibetan border south to Kagbeni is generally referred to as Upper Mustang. Explore the thousand years of old monastery, caves, local tribes and scenic beauties of the different landscapes. Make an adventure starting from world’s deepest gorge Kaligandaki Region into world’s highest regions of  Lo-Mangthang Valley that passes through an almost tree-less barren landscape, a steep rocky trail up and down hill and panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks. The trek passes through high peaks, passes, glaciers, and alpine valleys. The thousands years of isolation has kept the culture, lifestyle and heritage remain unchanged for centuries and to this date. The houses in Mustang are mostly made from stone and sun baked mud bricks. The city wall and the four storey palace in Lo-Manthang are some of the beautiful architectures of Mustang region.

Upper Mustang Trek begins with a spectacular scenic flight of 20 minutes over the mountains with views of 8,000ers such as Annapurna & Dhaulagiri, brings you at Jomsom. This trek allows us to explore a weird and wonderful landscape of eroded conglomerate cliffs, colored by natural earth coloring – red, yellow, brown and blue. Trekking across passes of up to 4100m, we also trek through a succession of picturesque white painted Mustang villages and Tibetan monasteries, set against a backdrop of the distant snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. We have a day to explore our ultimate destination for excursion in Lo Manthang, a fairy-tale walled city and the capital of Mustang. This enlightening trekking adventure to Mustang in Nepal entices to them who love to explore special part of the Himalaya and finally by flight from Jomsom to Pokhara.

DETAILED DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAY 01 Pokhara- Jomsom- Kagbeni (2,858m)

Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (20 minutes flight) & trek to Kagbeni: Approx 3-4 hrs walking 

After an early breakfast, you will be transferred to the Pokhara airport for a morning flight to Jomsom, it will be a scenic flight of approx  20 minutes over the mountains with views of 8,000 meters such as Annapurna & Dhaulagiri, brings you at Jomsom, the district headquarter of Mustang.

This is a large town, headquarter of the Mustang region; it is also a major village on the Kali Gandaki area linking the age old Trans-Himalayan Salt Trade route to Tibet. Here we meet our trekking crew and prepare for our trek to Mustang. We begin by trekking north to the village of Kagbeni. Continue on the gradual path on the Kali Gandaki river bed for about 3 hrs and finally reaching at Ekley-bhatti village. After good stop here an hour of easy walk takes us to Kagbeni, which lies at the bank of two rivers. Kagbeni is an interesting windswept villages situated on the main age old Trans-himalayan salt trade route to Tibet via Upper Mustang area. In Kagbeni a major tributory, Kak Khola, coming from Muktinath, meets Mustang Khola, and from there the river is called the Kali Gandaki.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 02 Kagbeni to Chele (3050m)

Trek from Kagbeni to Chele -Approx 6 hrs walking

Our journey starts once we have completed formalities at the police check post at the end of Kagbeni village we are then allowed to pass the sign which says ‘restricted area’ and enter the once forbidden region of Mustang. During the walk we have scenic picturesque place to stop through the sandy and windy trails.

Using a combination of the route along the river bank and a higher trail we reach Tangbe village (3060m), with its black, white and red chortens, narrow alleys and white painted houses surrounded by fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. Continuing north we cross the river by a bridge just before the Kali Gandaki enters a tunnel and climb steeply up a rocky gully to Chele set amongst extensive barley fields at 3100 metres. From this village as we travel north we are in the true Tibetan culture of the region of Lo.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 03 Chele to Syanbochen (3475m)

Trek from Chele to Syanbochen Approx 6-7 hrs walking

Today, we start our trek again and walk further to Eklo Bhatti. We climb to Taklam La Pass (3,624m) through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda. Further descend a little to the village of Samar.

From Samar we climb to a ridge and descend into a gorge, passing a large chorten (memorial) painted in red, black, yellow and white. Cross several pasture areas then ascend to and cross the pass at Phyangbo La. Follow zig zags down into a narrow gorge then ascend steeply to the

Chungjen Rangjen Gompa tucked away in a side valley. The gompa houses a Guru Rimpoche stone carving and is a popular pilgrimage destination for local people. Himalayan Griffon vultures next in the cliffs above. Make a steep ascent to reach the small village of Shyangmochen

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 04 Syanbochen to Ghaymi (3520m)

Trek from Syanbochen to Ghaymi-Approx 6 hrs walking

After breakfast we trek uphill to the Yamda La (3,850m ) passing a few teahouses, chortens and local villages which is like Tibetan style of houses with open Varanda. We cross mountain passes, and an avenue of poplar trees and fields of Barley. The climb to Nyi Pass (4,010m/13,193ft) would be a little longer. Descend to our overnight stop at Ghaymi. the third largest village in the Lo region, Ghayami is surrounded by large fields most of which are barren.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 05 Ghaymi to Tsarang (3560m)

Trek from Ghaymi to Tsarang – Approx 4-5 hrs walking 

Start the trek after breakfast with a pleasant walk.  After crossing Ghaymi Khola, the trail climbs to a plateau and passes beside a very long Mani wall, a sacred stone wall made by the followers Buddhism.  From the end of the wall the trail heads east to the village of Tsarang with a maze of fields, willow trees and houses separated by stone walls at the top of the Tsarang Chu canyon.  There is also a huge white dzong and red Gompa to get to our teahouse for tonight’s stop.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 06 Tsarang to Lo-Manthang (3810m)

Trek from Tsarang to Lo-Manthang-Approx 4-5 hrs walking 

We descend from Tsarang to cross the Charang Chu then climb steeply up a rocky trail to a cairn on the ridge opposite the village at 3950m for first views of the walled city of Lo Manthang. We then descend to the ‘Plain of Aspiration’ and climb to a plateau where the city is situated at 3840m.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 07-Explore Lo-Manthang

A day for looking around Lo Manthang and the surrounding area. There is one main gate that gives access to the interior of Lo Manthang. From the narrow streets of the town it is difficult to get a clear impression of the layout. The raja’s palace is a four storey building of mud and timber construction. Just to the north of the town there is a prominent hill that is capped by two ruined forts. From the highest point of this hill it is possible to look across Lo Manthang and back all the way to the Annapurnas – a fascinating perspective. Namgyal Monastery, which lies an hour’s walk to the north west of Lo Manthang, is another option for those who want to stretch their legs.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 08- Lo-Manthang to Drakmar (3810 m)

Trek from Lo-Manthang to Drakmar-Approx 6-7 hrs walking

Leaving Lo Manthang we take a slightly different return route and follow a trail to climb to the highest pass on our trek, Chogo La (4325m) before descending to Lo Gekar monastery (also called Ghar Gompa) which, dating back to the 8th Century, is thought to be one of the oldest gompas in Nepal which is still active. From Lo Gekar we climb to a ridge before descending to a pretty valley where the village of Dhakmar is situated at 3820m.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 09 Dhakmar to Ghiling [3806m]

Trek from Dhakmar to Ghiling- Approx 5-6 hrs walking

Today, we get back to Ghiling as our journey for our overnight stay after a long walk. After arrival and lunch enjoy the day exploring the area, but it will be dusty wind in the afternoon, better to walk in evening time.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 10 Ghiling to Chhuksang (3050m)

Trek from Ghiling to Chhuksang-Approx 5-6 hrs walking

We re-track back to Ghiling for the overnight stop after 5 hrs walk. You will have wonderful scenery during the journey with a Himalayan view. Enjoy your trip and overnight at teahouse

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 11 Chhuksang to Jomsom (2700m)

Trek from Chhuksang to Jomsom (2700m): Approx 6-7 hrs walking

Our last day of the day would be a long one.  Better to walk early start as before and trek to Kagbeni. Finishing the upper Mustang trails and we join the normal Annapurna circuit trek. After lunch at Kagbeni will head on to Jomsom for the overnight stop.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 12- Fly back to Pokhara

After morning breakfast we check in the Jomsom airport to fly back to Pokhara. A 30 min dramatic flight to Pokhara between gorge of the two huge mountains Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. On arrival at Pokhara airport , you will transfer to your hotel. Rest of the time explores the lake and overnight at hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast

 

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