The Trek to this mystique kingdom which requires a special permit that costs US$ 700 per person [valid for 10 Days] begins at the airstrip of Jomsom after flying up early in the from Pokhara. The trek is rather easy as most of the path goes along the bank of Kali Gandaki river and eventually leads you to Lo Manthang, the capital of Mustang at 3730 meter, which is the highest point on this trip.
Fascinating areas - culturally and historically, picturesque villages, monasteries, unique landscape and easy access and very few trekkers in this area are the major highlights of this trip. This is among the very few trips in Nepal which can be done throughout the year.
The region of Mustang lies north of the main Himalayan range in the area known as the trans-Himalaya. A vast high valley, arid and dry, it has a barren desert-like appearance similar to the Tibetan Plateau and is characterised by eroded canyons and colourful stratified rock formations. It was once an important route for crossing the Himalaya between Tibet and Nepal , and many of the old salt caravans passed through Mustang.
Known to its inhabitants as Lo, Mustang was only opened to trekkers in March 1992 and you will be part of a small privileged minority to visit this remote outpost of Nepal . The capital of the Mustang district is actually Jomsom but the Tibetan influenced area north of Kagbeni is known as Upper Mustang. It is this area which we will explore fully, discovering the wonders of the architecture, language, culture and traditions which are almost purely Tibetan.
Highlights of the Trekking
Mysterious landscapes of Mustang including Lo-manthang, Charang, Ghami village, large numbers of ancient monasteries with primitive monuments, caves, etc.
Fact of The Trekking
Destination : Lo - Manthang
Group Size : Min - 2
Minimum altitude : 2700m.
Maximum altitude : 3800m.
Grade : Moderate & Strenuous
Season : Spring, Summer & Autumn
Accommodation : Tented Camp/ mountain lodge
Duration : 17 Days with Kathmandu & Pokhara.
Entry : Jomsom
Exit : Jomsom
DAY 01 ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU
Upon arrival at Tribhuwan International airport in Kathmandu meet our airport representative and transfer to the hotel .Overnight at Kathmandu .
Day 02: KATHMANDU SIGHTSEEING
In the morning after breakfast full day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu , the most popular Place in the kingdom was known as kantipur in earlier times. The tour highlights are the Living Goddess " Kumari" who appear on the balcony of her temple to greet her devotees; Kastamandap temple, the temple made out of single tree and name Kathmandu is derived from durbar square and drive to Soyambhunath which lies on top of hill is the Buddhist sanctuary said to be nearly 2000 years old. The hill itself is pleasant place overlooking the entire valley of Kathmandu . The all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha painted in prominent blue atop the dome are visible from long distance from around the Kathamandu city
DAY 03: Kathmandu - Pokhara
You will have breakfast in the early morning before 7:00 AM . This morning you will be drive to Pokhara (200km), depart 7:00 AM in the morning, approximately 7hrs away by tourist bus. Lunch spot on the way to Pokhara.. Overnight at Pokhara
Day 02 Fly to Jomsom & trek to Kagbeni [2780m]
We take the spectacular early morning flight to Jomsom where we will be met at the tiny airstrip by our trek crew. After some initial preparation of loads, we begin our trek to the pretty village of Kagbeni . Just out of Jomsom we cross a small hanging bridge and then walk along the riverbank of the Kali Gandaki. The trail is quite barren with craggy rocks and sand and is mostly flat, which makes it very easy going. It's also very picturesque, with views of big peaks all around such as Dhaulagiri , Tukuche and Nilgiri, whilst to the south can be seen the entire Annapurna Massif. Kagbeni provides us with a taste of scenes to come in upper Mustang, with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, green fields of wheat and barley and a large red gompa. At the police check-post at the north end of the village, there is a sign saying "Restricted area, tourists please do not go beyond this point". Here we will complete our paperwork before entering this long forbidden region of Nepal .
Day 03 Trek to Chhuksang [2920m]
It is possible to trek right up the river valley, but we use a combination of the high trail and the riverbank pathways. The trail then widens significantly revealing an endless stretch of sand but the path is kept interesting by the passing of mule trains bearing goods from Mustang and Tibet . On the west bank of the river are some caves and Gompa Kang. Unlike most monasteries in Upper Mustang which are of the Sakyapa sect, Gompa Kang is of the Nyingmapa sect. We stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe , where we come across the first black, white and red chortens that typify Upper Mustang. The little town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys among white washed houses, fields of buck wheat and barley and apple orchards. Nilgiri Peak continues to dominate the southern skyline. Chhuksang village is only about 2hrs walk beyond Tangbe at the confluence of the Narshing Khola and the Kali Gandaki. There are three separate parts to this village and some ruined castle walls on the surrounding cliffs. Across the river from Chhuksang are some spectacular red organe pipe eroded cliffs above the mouths of some inaccessible caves.
Day 04 Trek to Samar [3290m]
There is a distinct change here, not only in the topography, but also in the culture, lifestyle and people, and the settlements become more scattered, smaller and more basic. The people of Lo or Mustang do practice agriculture, but because of the lack of rain and fertile soil, cultivation is in sheltered plots of land, scattering the brown landscape with patches of green. Continuing north we reach a huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliffs above, forming a tunnel through which the river flows. A steel bridge spans the river just in front of the tunnel and north of here the Kali Gandaki becomes impassable on foot. The trek now leaves the valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to the village of Chele . Watch out here for the ferocious Tibetan mastiffs which are chained to many of the houses. From Chele we climb a steep spur and then continue ascending along the side of a spectacular steep canyon to a pass. Beyond the pass we descend on a pleasant trail to Samar , situated in a grove of poplar trees. This is a major stopping place for horse and mule caravans [5 to 6hrs walking].
Day 05 Trek to Geling [3440m]
We climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a chorten before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. We then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, we descend along a ridge to Shyangmochen a tiny settlement with a few tea shops. Nearby is Rangbyung, a cave containing stalagmites which have formed in the shape of chortens and one of the holiest places in Mustang. The trail climbs gently from Shyangmochen and we enter another huge valley before descending to Geling with its extensive fields of barley. As in all the settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses are constructed using mud and stones, with roofs made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles.
Day 06 Trek to Ghami [3460m]
From Geling the trail climbs gently through fields, up the center of the valley, passing above the settlement of Tama Gun and an imposing chorten. We then begin a taxing climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La [3840m]. The descent from the pass is quite gentle and about half an hour further on we come to a trail junction; the right trail is the direct route to Charang, the left trail leads to Ghami. Ghami is a large white-washed village sheltered by overhanging cliffs.
Day 07 Trek to Charang [3490m]
Today's walk is through perhaps the driest part of Mustang, and much of our energy will be spent negotiating loose, dry soil. However, the magnificent views of the countryside, from the gentle contours of the north to the rugged mountains in the east and west, are a source of inspiration. Finally, we come to Charang, a large spread-out village at the top of the Charang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village is a huge dzong [fortress] and a red gompa which houses an excellent collection of statues and thangkas.
Day 08 Trek to Lo Manthang [3730m]
We will spend part of the morning exploring the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery, before setting out for Lo Manthang. We climb gently above the valley to a large isolated chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo. The trail then broadens and eventually we get our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang . The city has only one entrance so we circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north east corner
Day 09 In & around Lo Manthang
Today is free to explore the fascinating city of Lo Manthang . The city contains about 150 houses, as well as residences for its many lamas. There are four major temples within the city and one of these, Champa Lhakang, contains a huge clay statue of Buddha as well as elaborate mandalas painted on the walls. The king's palace is an imposing building in the center of the city and is occupied by the current King and Queen. Although his duties are largely ceremonial, the King is respected by the people and consulted about many issues by villagers throughout the kingdom.
It is possible to hire horses to visit these valleys, but this cost is EXCLUDED in the tour.
Day 10 Trek to Lo Gekar
We begin our return journey from Lo Manthang, taking the upper highland route. This highland route offers dramatic views of Lo Manthang and the Charang Valley , with snow clad peaks in the background. Just past the settlement of Lo Gekar, we camp near the oldest monastery in Mustang, the Ghare Gompa.
Day 11 Trek to Ghami [3460m]
We continue our journey on the highland route, crossing alpine meadows before dropping down a steep eroded gully to Dhakmar for lunch. After lunch, we walk through the pretty valley, climb to a ridge and descend from there back to Ghami.
Day 12 Trek to Chhuksang [2920m]
Now we must retrace our route back over the Nyi La to Chhuksang
Day 13 Trek to Jomsom [2710m]
It's a long and sad final day, passing back through Kagbeni to Jomsom where we end our trek. It's time now for a nice hot shower and a celebration in the evening with the sherpas and porters we have come to know so well over the last 2 weeks.
Day 14 Flight to Kathmandu via Pokhara
We take a spectacular early morning flight along the Kali Gandaki gorge to Pokhara .overnight at Pokhara..
DAY 15: Pokhara City Tour
After breakfast we've sightseeing around Pokhara valley. You're free in Pokhara Valley also called " Magic Land " or Dreamland" of Nepal , to explore the various interesting place like a boating in Fewa lake over looking the region of Annapurna Areas, David Falls , Mahendra Cave and some Temples . After lunch you're free to shop for souvenirs or rest overnight at Pokhara.
Day 16:-pokhara - Kathmandu or Extend other activities.
Drive to Kathmandu and next day transfer from hotel to international airport to board onward journey flight. Or combine with other trip from Pokhara like white water rafting or safari tour at Chitwan Park . The cost would be extra for rafting & safari.