‘an adventure within most scenic and cultural country of Lo of immense interest’
Upper Mustang Journey leads you to magnificent country which is an extension of great and vast windswept and barren terrain Tibetan plateau, which was attached with Tibet past hundred of centuries, at present falls within Nepal since early 7th Century as a different and separate kingdom of Lo.
For centuries ruled by monarch the Raja of Mustang was an un-forbidden kingdom and opened for outside interested travelers since past three decades, where visitors requires special permits to enter into once and former walled kingdom of Lo-Manthang within beautiful country of Upper Mustang.
Upper Mustang Journey will be a mind-blowing adventure to experience which takes you to its dry and near deserted like landscapes with views of high snow capped peaks of Nilgiri’s, Dhaulagiri range with Damodar and Bhirkuti mountains.
An interesting place to visit into time forgotten villages adorned with timeless culture of Buddhism with its ancient practice of Bon sect (pre Buddhism) which still exists in this remote and wild country of Upper Mustang.
Truly a great photogenic land with high eroded canyons and tall sheer cliffs of varied colors that makes a beautiful picture in the harmony of local Mustang farm villages, growing fields of buck-wheat, barley and other high altitude crops.
Around Upper Mustang where tree lines demise for smaller alpine high altitude bushes of Burberry, juniper along with some trees grown around near villages Poplar and Willow species with yellow mustard fields.
This is kagbeni the get way to entering upper mustang Journey.
Upper Mustang Journey can be done in various on reaching at Jomsom around Lower Mustang which is headquarter and administrative town of whole Mustang area, and the home to Thakali people who have been on trade with Tibet since hundred of centuries, as the town located on the junction of old Trans Himalayan Salt Trade Route of Nepal and Tibet.
Jomsom with a small airport where daily schedule flights operates to and from Pokhara, the starting point of this marvelous Upper Mustang journey, where a short scenic flight from beautiful Pokhara takes you to land at Jomsom around Kaligandaki River Valley.
From Jomsom where adventure begins from 2,715 m elevation, either walk beyond Kaligandaki valley to Upper Mustang at Lo-Manthang or take a drive on four-wheels, since past decades motorable been constructed making its shorter and easier for travelers to reach Upper Mustang and back at Jomsom.
As per your interest with time duration taking an adventurous walks or overland journey where route leads you past interesting village of Kagbeni, located on the entrance and exit point of Upper Mustang an old village where you witness first touch of Tibetan traditional life and its culture.
Upper Mustang journey continues leading past Kagbeni to enter into its wild country between towering high red cliffs and canyons to reach at Chusang / Tsusang –Chele / Tshele towards Ghami and Charang / Tsarang villages of great cultural and religious interest, decorated with long series of prayer walls known as Mani with rows of spinning bells.
As journey continues crossing some high and scenic passes of Lo-La and Yamda La passes above 3,950 m high, facing magnificent panorama of Mustang vast terrain along with high snow capped peaks in the distance north-west and eastern direction.
Finally Upper Mustang journey enters into former forbidden walled kingdom at Lo-Manthang with ample time to explore its medieval era villages, actually a large village like town in early days known as city.
At Lo-Manthang tour takes you into its famous sites of great religious and historical interest at four main monasteries Namgyal Gompa, Champa Lakhang (God House), Red Thubchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa and the great Entrance Hall.
Where advance permission requires to visits inside former and late king’s old palace interior, here at Lo-Manthang with great impressive moments, then head back to Jomsom for flight back to scenic Pokhara or continue overland journey.
Location of Upper Mustang:
Upper Mustang situated on the far corners of Nepal Far North West Himalaya which touches the border of Western Tibet / China via high Karo-La pass, where ancient Trans Himalayan Caravan and Salt Trade took place, and still exists with native of Upper and Lower Mustang people.
Upper Mustang beside border with Tibet it touches its district boundary with Dolpo in the far west, with Dhaulagiri Himalaya includes Mygdi district and as far towards east at upper Manang areas of Nar and Phu.
Various ways to enjoy Upper Mustang Journey:
Upper Mustang where one can trek from Jomsom onwards or hitch hikes with drives all the way to Lo-Manthang and back at Jomsom town, Upper Mustang Journey depends upon choice of your interest as per your time duration to spend in the beautiful remote isolated country.
Instead of driving or walking back to Jomsom on the same route, where interest people can take a higher route to Yari one of remote and isolated areas but interesting exploring Luri Gompa and then walk or drive towards holy Muktinath around lower Mustang area.
Muktinath regarded as sacred spot by both Hindu and Buddhist devotees where thousands of Nepalese and Indian pilgrims visit the temple and take a bath in holy 108 water spouts.
From Muktinath a short drive of few hours reaches you at Jomsom for your onward journey back to lower region at beautiful Pokhara.
Most interesting with more time in Nepal combining this fabulous Upper Mustang Journey with short trek to Ghorepani and Poon Hill for scenic mountain panorama of Dhaulagiri-Annapurna and Manaslu range of peaks with majestic Machhapuchare Himal ‘Fish Tail’ includes stunning sunrise views over array of peaks.
Best Seasons for Upper Mustang Journey:
March to November months including the rainy seasons of monsoon also, where Mustang area similar to Tibetan dry climate falls under rain-shadow areas, monsoon heavy clouds completely blocked by giant Himalayan mountain range, and that is why the areas if barren and arid due less moisture and rains.