The Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal is arguably the most unique trail in the entire country. For those who are graced with the privilege of trekking in the Upper Mustang area, you are in for the adventure of a lifetime. The exotic land adjacent to the Tibetan border is on the other side of the Himalaya, connected to the Tibetan Plateau. After hiking up the Kali Gandaki River for some days, the pinnacle moment of the trek is reaching Lo Manthang – the former capital of the Lo kingdom.
Trekking in Upper Mustang feels like you are entering a hidden area. In fact, in a way you are. For hundreds of years, this area remained separate from Nepal as its own kingdom – the Lo Manthang kingdom. As recently as 1950, the kingdom was separate and autonomous, ruled by its own king. Today, Upper Mustang is known for trekking. And wow, it does not disappoint.
The trek kicks off in Jomsom after enjoying a relaxation day in Pokhara. Then, climb up the Kali Gandaki river valley. We move up and up, further into the arid, barren landscape. Look around and you will see mysterious caves dug high up into cliff walls. Enter Lo Manthang, which is encompassed by a long stone wall. Behind the walls lie magnificent monasteries and colourful palaces. Those who live here are ethnically Tibetan and practice Tibetan Buddhism. They are exceptionally kind and show great hospitality to visitors.
After a memorable time in Lo Manthang, we descent to Muktinath, a famous Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage destination. Take a ritual bath in the sacred waters at Muktinath and enjoy the mountain views. Then, make a final descent and head back to Pokhara. The landscapes in Upper Mustang are unreal. From snowy peaks to barren cliffs and hills to parcels of green, lush land, the trail always surprises.
Try to make the Upper Mustang Trek during Tiji Festival! The three-day long celebration in Lo-Manthang takes place to pray for peace to conquer evil. At this time, Buddhist monks play music and perform cultural dances. The festivities commemorate Buddha’s incarnation’s victory over the demon that caused a ruckus in the area many years ago. In 2019, the festival falls sometime during mid-May. Ask us for more details.
The Upper Mustang area requires a hefty fee price of $500 for ten days (and $50/day after that). However, the beauty of this region cannot be stressed enough. You will feel as if you are traveling back in time to an ancient kingdom. The landscapes as well as the culture is exceptionally well-preserved. Both the cultural fascinations as well as the unique landscapes can be found nowhere else in Nepal – the Upper Mustang is one-of-a-kind.
The trail is not very difficult and the highest altitude reached is about 3,800 meters. All are welcome to take the Upper Mustang Trek. You can take trek all throughout the year. The best times to make the trip, though, are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These seasons provide the best weather and clearest skies. Also, spring brings beautiful blossoming flowers. Third Eye Adventurre Treks & Expedition Pvt. Ltd. handles the trek with complete management. If you have any questions about the trek, do ask!