Mustang is the arid region at the end of the Kali Gandaki, beyond the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Lower Mustang is inhabited by people related to the Manangis whilst in northern Mustang (the ancient Kingdom of Lo), language and traditions are almost purely Tibetan.
With a rich and complex history with written records dating back to the 8 th century Lo, like Dolpo, was once a part of the western Tibetan region of Ngari and maintained its status as a separate principality until 1951.
It is a land of barley fields and pasture and vast expanses of gray and yellow rolling hills eroded by the wind that howl across the area most afternoons. Sun baked bricks of pale mud are used for almost all construction, including the walls and palace of Manthang.
We will welcome you at Tribhuvan International Airport upon your arrival and transfer you to the hotel for the overnight stay.
BOUDHANATH STUPA: lies about 6 km east of downtown Kathmandu and is the largest stupa in the Valley and one of the largest in the world. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design with hundreds of prayer wheels and 108 small images of Buddha all around. Just like the Swayambhunath, the stupa here is too has four sides with the watchful eyes of Lord Buddha. All the Buddhist throng to this stupa to take part in the sacred rituals during the Buddhist festivals. The area of the stupa boasts of more than 35 gompas and is easily accessible by being a short walking distance from Pashupatinath and a little north to the airport. The Losar, the Tibetan New Year Day coming around in the months of February or March, is grandly celebrated as the biggest festival here. Therefore, a massive crowd of tourists can be seen swarming the place during such days.
PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE: One of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world, Pashupatinath lies 5 km east from the city center. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga, or phallic symbol, of Lord Shiva as well as the noteworthy gold plated roofs and silver coated doors. This is the abode of God Shiva and is the holiest of all the Shiva shrines.Religious pilgrims and sadhus, like the one pictured here, travel all the way from the remote areas of India to visit this sacred sight, especially during Shivaratri (the night of Shiva) that falls between February/March. Even though these devotees have denounced worldly possessions, each carries a Sadhu ID (identifications card) to freely cross over the border between India and Nepal.Chronicles indicate Pashupatinath’s existence prior to 400 AD. Devotees can be seen taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati river flowing beside the temple, also a World Heritage Site.
After having breakfast in the morning today, we drive to Pokhara. It takes around 7 hours to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu by bus. You can also take the flight which take about 30 minutes and in the remaining time, take your time to explore the Pokhara city and Lakeside. We stay overnight at a guesthouse in Pokhara.
Our guide assists you to transfer for Pokhara Airport to fly for Jomsom. This scenic adventurous flight takes about 20-25 minutes passing through the world’s deepest George presenting spectacular mountain views of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Annapurna Ranges and Fishtail with several famous peaks within the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri area from its both sides. The airstrip is in Jomsom, the main village in the Kali Gandaki valley. Jomsom is the beginning point of our trek. After landing here we start our trek toward Kagbeni which takes about 3-4 hours walk. Kagbeni is also the check point for entrance to restricted Upper Mustang Trekking. We can enjoy the majestic view of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri and Tukuche peak while walking the trail in the opposite direction. Your overnight accommodation is set here in tented camp/tea house/Lodge
After the formalities of showing your restricted area trekking permit in Kagbeni we start our trekking early because in Mustang there is heavy wind which gets up later in the day, blowing dust and sand around. In the route we can see Nilgiri glowing orange in the first rays of the sun. We take the western route, following the east bank of the river until we reach the end of a broad valley Chuksang, where we cross the Kali Gandaki. After Kagbeni, the trail climbs up, giving us a good view of the village, the valley and Nilgiri. At first the path follows the river closely and later it leads eastwards to flat, dry, desert-like land. Here the scenery is amazing and very characteristic of Mustang with red sandstone pillars and rock formations with fantastic forms and colors, formed by thousands of years of erosion. The first main village we reach, Tangbe, has red and whitewashed houses and on the other side of the river from here are caves, perched high in a vertical wall, which were believed as habitations in previous times. Chaile appears as a small white dot at the end of the canyon. The trail towards here descends gradually to the river-bed – this area is well-known for its fossils. The wide valley ends abruptly at a vertical cliff and a bridge crosses the Kali Gandaki, which flows through a natural tunnel in the cliff. The valley narrows further north and a steep trail leads us up to Chaile, which is a small town with good views towards the Himalayan ranges. Our tented camp or tea house accommodation is set here in Chaile for today.
Today’s trekking begins on flat terrain and the view, apart from a chorten and a few caves, is unrelieved barrenness. After crossing a pass and waking through two rocks forming a natural gate we have finally arrived at Lo Manthang.
The city contains about 150 houses, as well as residences for its many lamas. There are four major temples within the city and one of these, Champa Lhakang, contains a huge clay statue of Buddha as well as elaborates mandalas painted on the walls. The king's palace is an imposing building in the center of the city and is occupied by the current King and Queen. Although his duties are largely ceremonial, the King is respected by the people and consulted about many issues by villagers throughout the kingdom.
You continue your journey on the highland route, crossing alpine meadows before dropping down a steep eroded alley to Dhakmar for lunch. After lunch, you walk through the pretty valley, climb to a ridge and descend from there back to Ghimi.
Leaving Ghimi you begin to follow a narrow winding path until you reach Geling, crossing a small stream. Samar is a small village with terraces, Tibetan style houses, mani walls, a monastery, prayer flags and people following Tibetan life styles and traditions. Stay overnight.
Following a descending path you reach Chuksang by crossing a suspension bridge over Kali Gandaki. You walk along the bank of Kali Gandaki with views of natural vegetation and apple orchards. Stay overnight.
We make a steep climb up the Jhong Khola valley leaving Kagbeni, we then join the direct trail to Muktinath just below Khingar at 3,200m. From here trail continues high above the Jhong Khola to the imposing village of Jharkot at 3,500m. well worth exploring. As we leave Jharkot, the trail climbs up to our ultimate destination of Muktinath at 3,802m. We initially visit Ranipauwa, there are many teahouses and shops. Further 10 minutes walks up the hill, we will be rewarded with the actual religious site of Muktinath. Muktinath is a pilgrimage center for Buddhists and Hindus. Holy water flows from the 108 carved spouts surrounding the Vishnu temple in a grove of poplars. There are shrines in a grove of trees including a Buddhists Gompa & the Vishnu temple of Jwalamai. An old temple nearby shelters a spring and natural gas jets that provides Muktinath’s famous eternal flame. It’s the earth-water- fire combination that accounts for Muktinath’s great religious significance. Overnight stay at a hotel.
As we begin the final day’s hiking, Dhaulagiri glows orange and the yellow in the early morning sun. Today we take a side trip to the Bon Punt soling monastery in Lubra, before returning to Jomsom for the flight back to Pokhara. The trail is rather sporadic. From a small hill the views of Muktinath are good and it is plain that much of the valley is used for agriculture. We soon reach the Panga Khola valley and the track follows the course of the river, but high upstream. We have to cross the river and walk downstream on the other side, which seems like a major detour but is necessitated by the steep cliffs further down.
After a steep ascent and descent we come to an area of pine forest – a surprising change of scenery! We are high above the river again and must cross two bigger side-valleys on the way downstream. Eventually we come to some fenced-in fields and a garden with apple trees, near Lubra’s village school. The settlement of Lubra consists of about 20 houses near a bend in the river and was founded in connection with the establishment of the Bon Punt soling monastery in the 12th century. This is one of the very few Bon monasteries remaining in Nepal. Bon was the predominant religion in Tibet before the spread of Buddhism and is also called the fifth tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In the monastery are pictures of four Lokapalas and Buddha Shakyamuni. Bags of masks hang from the ceiling. It is still the tradition today that the head member of Lubra’s nine major families automatically becomes a priest.
After Lubra, the trail leads to the Kali Gandaki and we have to leap across the river Panga a couple of times! At the confluence of the two rivers we join the caravan of tourists going to Jomsom.
We take early morning 20min flight from Jomsom to Pokhara; we transfer you to the Hotel there in Bb Plan. The day we give you chance for exploring the beautiful valley Pokhara with its Natural and cultural beauty.
We drive back to Kathmandu from Pokhara today. Upon reaching Kathmandu, you can utilize your time for the last minute shopping or you can explore around the city. We celebrate the Farewell Dinner together with the trekking team and spend overnight at the hotel.
We are saying good bye to the Kathmandu as your journey in Nepal comes to an end today! We will transfer you to the airport for your returning flight.