Trekking into Upper Mustang is a rare and privileged opportunity during which you experience the true life of the real mountain people of Nepal. In many ways, trekking into the Upper Mustang Area is similar to trekking in to Tibet, which geographically it is a part of.
Mustang, a land where the soul of man is still considered to be as real as the feet he walks on, while the land itself is almost treeless, barren landscape with a countryside similar to Tibetan plateau, but where beauty and happiness flourishes, in spite of hardship. This was part of the Tibetan Kingdom of Gungthang until 1830’s. The fabled medieval wall city of Lo Monthang, unofficial capital of Mustang still remains a kingdom within a kingdom with full of culture and religious heritage. The early history to Lo Monthang is embellished in myth and legend rather than recorded fact. Mustang has maintained its status as a separate principality until 1951. The king of Lo Monthang still retains his title and he has been given the honorary rank of Colonel in the Nepalese Army.
Kathmandu, Nepal. International Airport
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Early morning we are flying northwest from Pokhara toward the great portal between the snow caped peaks of Annapurna and Daulagiri. You will enjoy the massifs of more than 8000 meters, and the deepest gorge on this planet.
On arrival to Jomsom you will meet the rest of the trekking staff. From Kathmandu you will have a guide with you. We start to trek towards Kagbeni, the main gate to Upper Mustang. Overnight at Kagbeni.
The trail leads up towards the east bank of the Kaligandaki climbing over many ridges as it heads north and reaches Tangbe village. The town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys amongst white washed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. The Nilgiri peak, dominates the southern skyline of Kagbeni, all the way by different shapes. Beyond Tangbe we reach Chhusang village in about 1/2 hr, then we cross the river which continues north climbing up to a huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above, forming a tunnel that the Kaligandaki follows. The trek now leaves the Kali Gandaki valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to Chaile. From here the culture changes from the Manangi culture to the Tibetan culture of Lo. Overnight at Chele.
The climb continues along steep, treeless, waterless terrain, along the side of steep canyon to a pass and cairn of rock. Then the trail makes a long gradual descent to some chortens on a ridge, and with further descent before coming along a pleasant trail to Samar village. We climb above Samar to a ridge, descend into a large gorge, which the trail goes into another valley field, cross a stream and climb up to a ridge at 3800 meters. The route climbs over yet another pass, follows a ridge and then descends to Shyangmochen. From there we gently climb to a pass at 3770meters and descend to Geling Village. Overnight at Geling.
From Geling village the trail climbs gently up to an interesting Nyi La pass and descends below the blue, gray and red cliffs. After crossing a steel bridge of the Tangmar Chu (river) you will arrive to a Mani Wall perhaps the longest and most spectacular Mani wall in Nepal. Climbing over another pass at 3600meters, the route makes a long gentle descent to Charang village. The huge five-story white Dzong and red Gompa are the main attractions to visit and observe collections of statues and Thankas as well as many large paintings, of seated Buddha’s. Overnight at Charang.
This is an opportunity to visit two other villages on your trek. The trail climbs steadily until Lo-Gekar. Lo-Gekar Gompa is older than Samye Gompa in Tibet and one of the oldest Gompa of Nepal. After visiting Lo-Gekar continue trek to Lomanthang. The trail until Lo-Manthang is fine with some minor climbing. Finally from the ridge there is a view of the walled city of LO. After a short descent, cross a stream then climb up into the plateau of Lo-Manthang. Overnight at Lomanthang.
It takes around 2 hours to Namgyal Gompa. Namgyal Gompa is situated on a hilltop, which serves as an important monastery for the local community, also serving as a local court. After visiting Namgyal Gompa continue the tour to Tingkhar, which is a village of around 40 houses, the last main village to the northwest of Lomanthang. After visiting Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar return to Lomanthang. Overnight at Lomanthang.
From Lo-Manthang the trail walks straight till Dhi pass 4100meters and descends down to Dhi village. The trek from Lo Manthang to Muktinath is harder, but more rewarding and interesting than the west side of the valley. Dhi village is one of the best villages of whole Lo-mathang and it seems more prosperous and is settled in a very suitable place. Overnight at Dhi village.
From Dhi the trail goes through the river for around 2 hours and crosses a river from Damodar Kunda, one of the sacred lakes, there is no bridge on the river so we need to walk across in bare feet to cross this river. After crossing the river the trail climbs up till high above a pass of 3850meters. The trail goes through a grassless, treeless bare hill. After the pass the trail again drops directly to Tangbe village at an elevation of 3370m.Tangbe is a small village of around 30 houses but most of the houses are attached to each other. On the rooftops one can see piles of dry woods, which also reflects the prosperity in their society. Overnight at Tange
The trail walks through a steep ridge of hills providing some fine views of the wind carved hills. Tetang village is formed between 2 hills; they should have found it a safe place to avoid the strong wind that hits the entire Kaligandaki valley. Tetang is the upper village of the Chuksang, which we visit on the first day entering to Mustang from Kagbeni. Overnight at Chhuksang.
This is the last day of the trek. The trail goes through the village of Jharkot where one can visit the many attractions such as the Jharkot monastery, Tibetan herbal medical center and the old fortress of Jharkot which once served as palace. Continuing the trek towards Jomsom one will enjoy the views of the Kaligandaki valley and Kagbeni village. This is the entry point to Mustang. We get a round trip of our trek in Ekle Bhatti visiting all the surprises of the human effort in this corner of the World of such an isolation and solitude. Arrive in Jomsom to celebrate the last day of the trek, with all the trekking staff. Overnight at Jomsom.
Today 30 minute morning flight takes us from Jomsom back to Pokhara.