Upper Mustang Trek- The Forbidden Kingdom – 18 Days
To trek in Upper Mustang is a rare privilege. Here you will experience the way of life of true mountain people, who were not much in touch with the rest of Nepal for hundreds of years, and even until recent times had an officially recognized king.
In many ways, a trek into Upper Mustang is similar to trekking in Tibet, as geographically it is a part of the Tibetan plateau. The district of Mustang was, until 1950, a separate kingdom within the boundaries of Nepal. The last king, the Raja of Mustang, still has his home in the ancient capital known as Lo Manthang.
Upper Mustang was opened to non-Nepali trekkers only some fifteen years ago and even today, access is still highly restricted. To enter Upper Mustang, that is to travel further north from Kagbeni, trekkers need special trekking permit and must be accompanied by a government appointed officer.
Upper Mustang, being in the Himalayan rain shadow, is one of the regions in the country suitable for trekking even during monsoons. During this time, the upper Kali Gandaki valley is still quite dry with only occasional rainfall.
Arrival in Kathmandu ,Check-in to hotel. In the evening, walk around Touristic hub, Thamel. Night in Kathmandu.
KATHMANDU CITY TOUR & TREK PREPARATION
After breakfast, full day Kathmandu Valley city tour including Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath and Swayambhunath Stupa(Monkey temple). Trek preparation. Night in Kathmandu.
KATHMANDU-POKHARA (800m, 5-6h)
After breakfast, drive to Pokhara via Prithivi Highway. Check-in to hotel. Boating in Phewa lake and visit Tal Barahi.Night at Pokhara.
FLY TO JOMSOM (2,700m, 20 min) & TREK TO KAGBENI (2,810m,4h Trek)
We will take an early morning flight to Jomsom(Nepal’s spectacular diversity at its finest). We begin our trek on an open trail alongside a beautiful valley. Passing through Ekle bhatti(2,780m) village before reaching Jomsom which is ideally located at the bank of two rivers. Overnight in Kagbeni.
KAGBENI- CHELE (Upper Mustang 3,050m, 5-6h)
After getting our permits checked, we enter the restricted area of Upper Mustang.We walk on a trail alongside the Kali Gandaki River before ascending on a hill where Nilgiri mountain at the backdrop looks stunning. We reach the Tangbe Village and admire its narrow alleyways, white-washed houses, barley and buckwheat fields, and apple orchards. Continuing our walk and pass another village and cross a river on our way. Next, we walk on a ridge before reaching Chele Village. Overnight in Chele.
TREK TO SYANBOCHE(3,475m,6-7h)
After breakfast, our trek from today will be tough compared to what we experienced before. Our walk today involves crossing two passes, Taklam La pass (3,624m) and Dajori La pass (3,735). On our way, we enjoy great views of Tilicho, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda and pass by Ramchung Cave. We descend further and reach Samar Village. From here we walk on a trail above the village and reach a ridge. Next, we descend on a steep trail to a stream and continue our trek to Syanboche. Overnight in Syanboche.
TREK TO GHAMI (3520m,5h)
After breakfast, we ascend to the Yamda La pass at 3,850m. On the way, we pass by a few teahouses, chortens and beautiful villages. We trek through poplar forests and barley fields and reach Nyi Pass at 4,010m. From here, we descend to Ghami which is one of the biggest villages in the Lo region. The village is beautiful with fields surrounding the entire village. Overnight in Ghami.
TREK TO TSARANG (3,620m,5h)
After breakfast, our trek begins with crossing a suspension bridge over the Ghami Khola and begin ascending into the “Land of Chortens” called TSARANG. This trail marks the history and legend of the saint Padmasambhava (750-810 AD), the founder of Tibetan Buddhism who created a fusion of Buddhism with the original Shamanistic religion of Tibet called Bon. The pathway is beautiful with mani walls along the trail. Next, we cross the Tsarang La Pass(3,870m) and reach Tsarang village. The village lies atop the Charang Chu canyon with a huge fortress and a red gompa towards its east. Overnight in Tsarang.
TREK TO LO-MANTHANG (3,730m,5h)
After breakfast, we start our trek by descending to a canyon and cross a river before beginning our uphill trek to Lo La pass(3950m). From the top of the pass we can admire the beautiful Lo Manthang ‘The Capital city and the Plain of Aspiration’ of Mustang. The fabled walled city of Lo, the kingdom with a single entrance is a welcome sight! From the pass we descend to Lo Manthang which is a beautiful walled village. From here the views of the Himalayas including Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna I, Bhrikuti Peak as well as Damodar Kunda (pond) is quite astonishing . Overnight in Lo-Manthang.
EXPLORE LO MANTHANG/ ACCLIMATIZATION
Lo Manthang is a legendary-walled capital city of Mustang. The city has the largest and finest Tibetan Buddhism gompas in Nepal namely Jhampa, Thupchen and Chhoeda. The city itself is absolutely fascinating place with impressive and an enormous 14th century palace imposing 4-storey building in the centre of the city which have undergone expert restoration over the last two decades. We can also trek to Thinkhar( a beautiful village located north-west of Lo-Mangthang, with extraordinary ancient monasteries). Overnight in Lo Manthang.
LO MANTHANG – DHIE (3,360m) – YARA (3,650 m,4h)
After breakfast, we leave Lo Manthang, the trail steadily climbs two small passes before plunging through a spectacular canyon to Dhie village. After lunch, we continue along the banks of Kali Gandaki river to the reach Yara. In the afternoon, a short hike to a cave Tashi Kabum(optional).It is a cave underneath lies a beautiful stupa with some paintings in Pala idiom.Night at Yara.
YARA – TANGYE (3,420 m,6h)
After breakfast, we continue the trekking trail that descends to cross a ravine. We then cross a large rocky plateau. We further descend steeply on Ghechan Chu, crossing a fort. We climb to Sertang (3,945 m). The extraordinary view of the peaks of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri is breaktaking. We reach Tangye. Overnight stay in Tangye.
TANGYE – CHHUSANG (2,950 m,8h)
Early morning breakfast, we cross the Yak Khola then climbs steadily to reach the pass. After lunch, a beautiful walk on the ridges before descending a little stiff in the Nursing Khola valley to Tetang & ascend a basin situated below the Dzong La (aprox. 4 hrs) reach the village of Chusang.
CHHUSANG – GYU LA PASS (4,077 m) – MUKTINATH (3,710 m)
The last day of mustang trek will be memorable. We follow another great step to reach the Hindu shrine of Muktinath after crossing Gyu La Pass(4,077m). The climb is stiff in a dazzling decor with the beautiful view of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna from the pass. Muktinath consists of several sacred Hindu temples . We can follow other trekkers descending from Thorong-La Pass (5,416 m.). Night in Muktinath.
MUKTINATH – EKLEBHATTI – JOMSOM
Today we descend via Jharkot to Kagbeni and go back through the wide and stony valley of Kali Gandaki back to Jomson. Night in Jomsom.
JOMSOM – FLY BACK TO POKHARA
After breakfast, we take short flight tO Pokhara . Transfer to hotel. After refreshment, Pokhara city tour including David’s fall, Seti river gorges, Mahendra cave. Night at Pokhara.
Back to Kathmandu(6h)
After breakfast, drive back to Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel. In the evening, farewell dinner with cultural program. Night in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, transfer to Airport. Happy see off.