Days: 17 / Difficulty: 4 of 5 (Strenuous)
Introduction to Upper Mustang Trek
This is one of the most popular trekking destinations for the traveler who would like to explore ancient monasteries and caves in a remote area and a beautiful landscape. This is the forbidden kingdom and ancient wall city of Mustang and it is open for trekkers since 1992. This trek is very enjoyable due to its isolation and beautiful landscape. Mustang is a land where the soul of the man is still considered to be as real as the feet he walks on; a land said to be ‘barren as a dead deer” but where beauty and happiness about in spite of hardships. Mustang is an ancient Himalayan Kingdom which lies in the northern central part of Nepal and at the top of the Kaligandaki River. Upper Mustang consists of two distinct regions: the southern part and the northern where the languages, culture and traditions are alike to those of the Tibetan people. This area is consider as one of the most interesting and picturesque places in Nepal. The whole area has an isolated and mystical feel to it, enchanting and inspiring visitors to this region. One of the few regions which could escape foreigners was Mustang, a Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas. Only a handful of Westerners had visited the area in western Nepal before it was opened to tourism in 1992. They brought back reports of a culturally highly developed, thriving medieval society and a landscape almost beyond description. It lies north of the two 8'000 meter peaks Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. The arid place with snow-capped mountains and barren hills reaches deep inside the vast Tibetan plateau. Cold winds sweep through narrow canyons and over plains. Erosion has left its marks in bizarre rock formations. Yet humans have lived in this hostile environment for centuries. They have built their settlements along rivers and creeks, the villages of whitewashed houses appear like oases in a huge desert. People work as farmers on their fields, sowing and harvesting barley and potatoes, and driving cattle to relatively fertile meadows. High up in vertical cliffs are inaccessible caves where people dwelled two thousand years ago. Much later the region came under the influence of the Tibetan Yarlung dynasty. In the 15th century the independent kingdom of Lo was founded by Amepal, whose invitation of the famous Buddhist scholar Ngorchen Künga Zangpo led to a cultural zenith never to be reached again in the following centuries. It was probably thanks to its remoteness that even in later times of conquest Mustang was granted large autonomy. The destruction of their culture and religion could be averted but the Hindu culture and tourism are definitely a threat these days. Only in 1950 was it officially declared part of Nepal. The years following the Chinese invasion of Tibet proved to be the most difficult ones in Mustang’s history. Large numbers of Tibetan freedom fighters set up their camps and attacked the nearby Chinese troops, putting Nepal in a delicate situation. In the 1970 the Dalai Lama asked the guerillas to stop their fighting, the Nepalese government arrested and sentenced some of the leaders. It takes some effort to discover the scenic and cultural beauties and mysteries of such an area. Our plan is to follow the Kali Gandaki from Jomsom northwards for two days, then taking the west route to the capital Lo Manthang and from there back to Jomsom over the holy site Muktinath.
Trek style:-Lodge/Tea House Trek
Major Attraction:-Ancient wall city of Lo-Manthang, old palace, many old monasteries, cave monastery, beautiful landscape and Tibetan culture.
Itinerary in details
Day 1:-Arrival in Kathmandu and meet our staff/crew at airport and transfer to Hotel. Welcome drink and short briefing, relax.
Day 2:-Sightseeing in world heritage sites by private vehicle
Our tour guide introduces you to the world heritage sites such as Bauddhanath, Pasupatinath and Swayambhunath y private vehicle. Overnight in hotel.
Day 3:-Kathmandu to Pokhara by tourist bus ,6-7 hours
Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara at 7:00 in the morning by AC tourist bus passing by the Riverside of Trisuli , about 7 hours to Pokhara. Some sightseeing in Pokhara with your guide. Overnight in hotel.
Day 4:-Pokhara to Jomsom by flight and trek to Kagbeni 2800m, 3-4 hours
Early in the morning, we go to the airport by taxi and we fly to Jomsom and have breakfast. Then we continue our trail passing the River bank of Kaligandaki until we reach Lubra where we visit the Bon-Po monastery. It takes about 3 hours. We keep walking to Eklebatti. Where we have lunch. After lunch, we continue until Kagbeni which takes about 1 hour. We can visit the red-painted Gompa which is said to be about 1000 years old. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 5:-Kagbeni to Tsaile 3100m, 5-6 hours
In the morning after breakfast, we must register our Restricted Area Permit in check post which is situated at the end of the village. Then the route continue passing the river bank of Kaligandaki. Repeating small ascents and descents until Tangbe village which takes about a 3 hours walk. We can see beautiful landscapes and the Buddhist influence like Chhörtens , Maniwalls. Then we continue our trek for 1 hour to Chhusang village passing over a rocky trail. We have our lunch break in this village. After lunch, we again continue on our route by the river bank and we cross over an iron bridge where the Kaligandaki River runs through a tunnel naturally built in a huge rock. It takes about 1 hour. Later we can see 16 caves above the tunnel. We walk up a steep ascent untill we reach the village of Tsaile which takes about 30 minutes. We have a good view of Nilgiri Himal and the Kaligandaki River. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 6:-Tsaile to Ghiling 3570m, 6-7 hours
In the morning, we climb up an unstable path and arrive at a plateau. We keep ascending the gentle slope and later we climb steep cliff way and arrive at a small pass.We keep gently descending to Samar village. It takes about 2 and half hours. We have lunch break here. After lunch, we leave the village and keep on going up and down until we reach the Chungsi cave monastery. It is an incredible place and we enjoy the strong spiritual environement . It is a steep ascent about 1 and half hours . We visit the monastery where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in 8th century. Then we continue our trek passing narrow way between two big huge rocks. It takes 1 and half hour to reach Syangmochen village. Again we climb up until we reach a small pass. After a you gentle descend we reach the village of Ghiling. We see a big Chhörten and two Gompas whose walls are notably painted in red. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 7:-Ghiling to Tsarang 3560m, 6-7 hours
In the morning, after breakfast, we visit the monastery. Then we keep on walking ascending gently until we reach Zaite village which takes about 1 hour. After the village a long ascent awaits us to Nyi-La 4020m. We cross over this pass entering the center of Mustang which is called the Lo region. Then we keep gently descending to reach a small pass again. After that pass it really goes steep down in a zigzag way to Ghami village. It takes 2 and half hours. We have lunchbreak. After lunch we walk again through Nepali flat which means down and up and finally crossing the small Khola. We can now see the longest Mani Wall in the Mustang region which is painted with vertical stripes of white, red and black. Then we have again a long steep ascent to a small pass and descend gently to Tsarang village. It takes about 3 hours. We can see a big huge Chhörten in the entrance of village, an Old Palace and Tsarang Gompa which we willvisit in the evening. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 8:-Tsarang to Lo-Manthang 3840m:
Upper Trail 7-8 hours,Lower trail 4-5 hours
We follow the upper trail which allows us to explore the Lo-Gyakar-Ghar Gompa. First we follow the river side trail to Marang village. It takes about 1 hour. Then we cross the River on a suspension bridge and continue to Ghar Gompa which takes about another 1 and half hours. Where we visit the Gompa. It is one of the oldest Gompas of upper Mustang. It was built by Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism in the 8th century. After visiting the monastery, we continue our trek crossing the small river and keep walking on the plateau and where we have at some point our packed lunch. After lunch, a long gentle ascent continues to reach Chogo-La 4230m which is the highest point in this region. Then we keep descending to Lo-Manthang which takes about 4 hours. Now we are in the ancient wall city of Mustang. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 9:-Acclimatization Day or Resting Day
Hike to Chhoser 7-8 hours or hike to Namgyal monastery 2-3 hours
Today, we have 2 options to explore the forbidden kingdom. To visit Chhoser Village and another to explore Namgyal Monastery. Both are nice hikes. If we decide to go to Chhoser, we can visit many caves and a cave monastery. We need to carry our packed lunch. Or we just go to Namgyal monastery. Later in the day you have a time to explore the other monasteries in Lo-Manthang or just do some shopping. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 10:-Lo-Manthang to Yara 3900m, 6-7 hours
We start our trek after breakfast, leave the village and keep by gently ascending going until we reach Day-La which takes about 1 hour. This is the last point where we can see Lo-Manthang. After 3 hours we reach Dhi village then we descend for about 1 hour down where we have lunch break. After lunch we pass the small Khola and make a short steep climb to Yara village. It takes about 1 and half hour. We can see innumerable caves at the stonewalls. Overnight in Lodge, Home Stay.
Day 11:-Acclimatization Day:
Hike to Luri Cave Monastery 4-5 hours
Today, we make an excursion to Luri Gompa. In the morning, we continue through the river route to Luri cave Monastery which takes about 2 hours. There are actually two monasteries. First we visit one which is situated below of Luri Cave monastery. Then a short steep ascent brings us to Luri Cave Monastery which takes us about 30 minutes. This the oldest and most famous cave monasteriey in the Mustang region which was constructed in the 15th century. It is situated at an elevation of 4005m. Inside the cave we can see a big Old Chhörten and many images and statues of Protectors and Deities. There is an also highly sacred religious text which is always closed. Then we return back via Ghara Village and we have our lunch break. After lunch,we return toYara. Overnight in Lodge/Home Stay
Day 12:-Yara to Tangya 3240m, 6-7 hours
Today is a difficult and long day for us. Therefore we start really early in the morning. We first have short and steep ascent and then long flat way for about 1 hour. Then the trail continues steep down to Dechhyang Khola which origin is from Damodar kunda. It takes about 30 minutes.We find everywhere Saligrames (the black fossils of marine animals). Then the trail steeply ascents and leads us to the top of the pass which takes about 2 and half hour. Then another climb for about 30 minutes where we have our packed lunch break. After lunch, the trail goes up and down for about 1and half hour. Then we are on a huge plateau and cross it for reaching the to Tangya village.We can see several big Chhörtens. Overnight in Lodge/Home Stay.
Day 13:-Tangya to Chhusang 2980m,8-9 hours
Today is also long day again. Therefore we start again really early in the morning. We leave the village, cross the suspension bridge and follow the short river route. After crossing the river, we steeply climb up to reach a small pass it takes about 3 hours. Then the trail goes straight to Pha (shelter house) where we have our packed lunch. After the break we continue crossing many small passes until we reach the top of the hill. It takes about 2 hours. Then the trail steeply descends and we encounter strong winds until we reach Chhusang village.We have a superb view of Nilgiri Himal, Dhaulagiri I, Tukuche Peak, and other snow peaks. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 14:-Chhusang to Jomsom 2720m 5-6 hours
Today, we are back on the same way when we entered Mustang. We hike over the rocky trail to Tanbe have a short descent bringing us down to the river. We pass the river banks of Kalidandaki River until we reach Kagbeni which takes about 3 hours .There we have also lunch. After lunch, we continue over the motor way trail to Jomsom which takes about 2 and half hour. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 15:-Jomsom to Pokhara by flight and sightseeing in Pokhara
Early in the morning, we fly back to Pokhara and transfer to our Hotel. We can do sightseeing or relax , the hot shower. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 16:-Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist bus 6-7 hours
Early in the morning, we drive to Kathmandu by AC tourist bus And transfer to hotel.
Day 17:-Transfer to international airport after breakfast or according to Your flight time.
Our Tour Package Includes:
* Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & transfer by car / Van.
* Domestic Flight Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara and domestic airport tax
* 5 nights accommodation with breakfast at 3*** hotel in Kathmandu and Standard hotel in Pokhara.
* Kathmandu city tour as per the above itinerary.
* Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with Tea & coffee and hot/cold filer water during the trek.
* Restricted area special permits (USD 500/ 10 Days).
* All transportation by private car/van.
* Annapurna conservation area permit and all necessary permits.
* First Aid Medical kit box.
* Tourist service charge, Vat.
* Office Service charge.
* Guide & support staffs and their insurance and salary.
* Any meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara other than breakfast.
* Travel insurance.
* International air fare to and from Nepal.
* Nepal Tourist Visa fees.
* Items and expenses of personal nature.
* Any kind of alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, snacks, laundry, phone call, internet.
* Personal Trekking Equipments.
* Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
* Any costs which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, domestic flight delays,political disturbance, and strikes etc.
* Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost included.
* Horse renting and additional porters during the trek.
* Tips for guide, porters, driver...
Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory.
N.B: The package can be redesigned or redeveloped as per your taste. For more information please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: In case of emergency during the trip, Helicopter will be arranged by Swiss Family Treks & Expedition GmbH. The charges must be paid by the clients themselves.
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