Upper Mustang (from the Tibetan meaning “fertile plain”), also called Lo, is a remote and isolated region of the Nepalese Himalayas. The Tibetan culture here is relatively undisturbed and its remoteness and isolation makes it one of the most culturally protected areas of the world. The inhabitants are strong devotees of Tibetan Buddhism and the majority of the population still speaks traditional Tibetan languages. Trekkers were first allowed into Upper Mustang in 1992 and only around 700 are permitted to enter this restricted area each year.
Upper Mustang lies at an altitude of just below 4000m and is geologically and culturally part of the Tibetan plateau. Lying in the rain shadow of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges it is an arid but colourful landscape with impressive and rugged rock formations. Villages of whitewashed mud brick houses, monasteries and Buddhist shrines decorated with colourful prayer flags dot the countryside.
The trek starts in Kagbeni and follows the ancient salt trade route used by the people of Mustang to trade their salt for grain from the lowlands. The major attraction of Upper Mustang is the walled city of Lo-Manthang from where you will have the opportunity to visit some of Nepal’s oldest Buddhist Monasteries. Three nights here also gives us the time to trek close to the Tibetan border and visit the amazingly interesting Jhong Cave.
Even though part of Nepal, Mustang has its own king, King Jigme Parbal Bista who resides in Lo-Manthang and locals respect him as the head of their people.
One of the many highlights of the trek is the pass at Lo La from where you can see the walled ancient capital in the distance, the white-washed 6-meter tall wall sticking out in sharp contrast to the surrounding barren landscape.
This trek differs from other Upper Mustang treks in that it descends via a different route visiting the fascinating far flung towns of Yara and Tangye before rejoining the uphill route at Chhusang. This route gives us the opportunity to visit Ghara Village and the amazing Luri Gompa.
Along the way you will stay in teahouses and homestays and have the opportunity to experience the unique and mysterious culture of the local people. You may even get to witness the ancient “sky burial” funeral ritual where the dead are dismembered and offered to animals, birds and fish. This trek into this fabled mystical forbidden kingdom is one of the true classic treks of Nepal and not to be missed.
The trek starts and finishes in Pokhara and includes flights to and from Jomsom. To keep cost as low as possible, we offer the flexibility for you to arrange your own transport to the start and from end of the trek if you wish. Alternatively, we are happy to arrange all connections within Nepal as well as accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara if required.
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