Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek
- Vast and barren valleys, Scattered valleys.
- Tibetan lifestyle, cultures and traditions.
- Fascinating mountains like Nilgiri, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri ranges.
- Painted mud-brick houses, Caves carved into the cliffs.
- Royal Palace, Buddhist Monasteries, Thugchen Gompa.
- Kali Gandaki, the deepest gorge in the world.
- Traverse to villages like Chhuksang Village, Ghame Village, etc.
- Lo Manthang, the ancient capital of Mustang.
- Diversification of landscapes from green vegetation to the dry Tibetan plateau.
Upper Mustang Trek Overview
Upper Mustang Trek is one of the best trekking in the Annapurna Mountain Region of Nepal. The trekking to Upper Mustang takes you to the forbidden kingdom of Lo, which has been isolated and secret for many years. It was opened for the trekkers and visitors in 1992 and gazette as a restricted area. The Mustang area is one of the popular and distinct areas in the mountains of Nepal. Semi-arid geography, unique culture, and traditions, amazing desert-like mountain landscapes and variations in the geographical terrains makes Upper Mustang area a destination of thrill. Upper Mustang Trek is a moderate level trek that takes you at a maximum altitude of 3730 m above sea level.
Mustang region is one of the fascinating sights to explore in the Annapurna region of Nepal. Trekking to Upper Mustang is not technical and easy to complete and suitable for beginners as well. A person with a normal physical fitness can complete the Upper Mustang Trek. The trekking distance of the Upper Mustang trek is around 2000 KM and is doable in 16 days. Upper Mustang is the restricted area of Nepal. So, to trek here, trekkers need to obtain a restricted area permit. Since the Upper mustang lies in the Annapurna Conservation Area, trekkers also need to have an ACAP permit and TIMS card.
Upper Mustang is rich in culture and traditions, a rural lifestyle, and diverse natural beauty. Tibetan alike landscape and culture is the major attraction of Upper Mustang. Tiji festival that is native and one of the most important festivals of Upper Mustang is worth exploring. There are beautiful caves, landscapes, monasteries and a wonderful sense of rural human habitat that is unspoiled by external interference. Upper Mustang carries centuries-long history and is believed to be a part of Ngari of Tibet. However, it remained autonomous inside the territory of Nepal.
Trekking to Upper Mustang is a wonderful experience. The deserted valleys, caves, mountains, arid landscapes are amazing to explore. This area is somewhere comparable to the beauty of Ladakh. The yak caravans, canyons, Buddhist prayer flags, rural settlement, etc. are the major things to explore in the Upper Mustang trek. Upper Mustang radiates beautiful vibes of the true human lifestyle that is primitive yet civilized and knowledgeable. A very little sign of cultivation can be seen in some places. Since it is the trans-Himalayan zone and Himalayan shadow zone, this area gets very few rainfalls and monsoon is not observed here.
The trekking route of Upper Mustang is once an ancient salt trade route to Tibet. It was historically ruled by a local king. The home of the king still exists here which is one of the historical parts to explore. Upper Mustang area is highly influenced by Tibetan culture and practices and most of the people in this area follow Tibetan Buddhism.
Trekking in the Upper Mustang passes through the arid river valley, that flows north-south of Annapurna Circuit. The desert alike settlement and geography is one of the best parts of trekking in this region. Trekkers can get diverse experience in Upper Mustang Trek. The lush greenery in lower elevations and arid beauty of Upper Mustang lures a lot of people.
The Upper Mustang Trek starts with a drive to Pokhara valley from the capital Kathmandu. A flight from Pokhara will take you to the beautiful Jomsom in the Mustang. Jomsom is also the headquarter and major trade place of Mustang. From Jomsom, you will trek to a beautiful cultural village of Kagbeni. Here, you can experience the culture and traditions of local people. From Kagbeni, you will further trek to Chele, Syanbochen, Ghami, and Tasrang finally leading to the wonderful Lomanthang.
You will explore the beautiful Lomanthang and its surrounding. There are some Gompas such as Jhampa, Thupchen, and Chhoeda. The beautiful Sky caves, ancient cave paintings, and the amazing natural beauty is fascinating. Furthermore, the culture and lifestyle of local people are one of the best parts to explore here.
The returning trek follows the beautiful Ghami village from Lomanthang. You will trek to Samar following the banks of Kaligandaki river. The further trek from Samar will take you to Kagbeni and Jomsom. The trek ends here. A flight from Jomsom will take you back to the Pokhara city and a drive further, you will reach Kathmandu.
Upper Mustang Trek is one of the best trekking in Nepal that takes you to the unique landscapes. This area is isolated and offers a wonderful cultural and natural experience in the Mountains of Nepal.