An Upper Mustang trek is same as to trekking in Tibet, as in nature it is a division of the Tibetan highland. The area of Mustang was, until 1950, a disconnect kingdom within boundaries of Nepal. The Raja of Mustang, the final king still has his home in the very old capital called as Lo Manthang.
This place was opened to non-Nepali travelers only some 15 years ago and even today, right of entry is still highly limited. To enter this place, that is to travel further north from Kagbeni, trekkers need unique trekking permit and must be accompanied by an administration appointed officer.
This place located in Himalayan rain shadow and best area in the nation perfect for trekking even at the time of monsoons. During this period, the upper Valley Kali Gandaki is still pretty dry with only occasional rainfall.
The trek Mustang is not particularly hard, the maximum point reached being just 3,800 meters, but the conditions at times can be difficult. Mustang is cold in winter and is forever windy and dusty through the year. Winter treks are top avoided due to bad weather.
There are few accommodation facilities accessible above Kagbeni, so groups must be completely self-sufficient, especially in fuel. While porters are accessible in Jomsom it is favorable to use mules to carry the loads up to Mustang. These pack animals are available domestically and are economical, and definitely more environment friendly than porters.
Mustang trek needs a minimum of nine days, beginning and ending in Kagbeni. This permits the trek to be completed within ten day period that the permit allows. The way normally follows the valley Kali Gandaki but, rarely climbs top above the valley walls.
7 things you should know about Upper Mustang
Upper Mustang might be a best trek for you if you to explore both landscape and culture. If you are planning to do Upper Mustang Trek, you should know the following things.
1. Permit for Upper Mustang
Upper Mustang is a limited area trek. A unique restricted place permit is needed to do this trek. A minimum of 2 trekkers is mandatory. Hikers must trek with an authorized travel firm of Nepal. So, you would not be capable to trek independently even if you planned to pay the higher $500 permit fee. The permit for Upper Mustang is $500 per person for ten days. It is costly for the traveler who is on budget. But, the top permit fee means a lower number of trekkers. So, you would not meet lots of people when you are trekking.
There are lots of in Upper Mustang. Some of them are well travel around while some are still strange to the outer globe. Chhoser cave is amazing, with 50 plus individual rooms and 4 individual level, all of which are linked by a ladder. In the history people lived in the cave, rather than in villages. You have to purchase a ticket to enter the cave and a domestic guide will accompany you on your cave trip.
3. Lo Manthang
Lo Manthang, the last big settlement in the Mustang North, is the capital of Upper Mustang. It is generally called as the “City of Clay” and “City of wall”. In the past, to save the Kingdom of Lo, a big wall was built around the village, and everyone was needed to construct their homes within this wall. Lo Manthang was separated into 4 quarters.
Now, as the population grows, there is no ample area inside the wall and you can find several new homes outside the wall. Today, a large resort is also under construction under the administration of former crown price of Lo Manthang.
Muktinath is a holy pilgrimage place for both Buddhist and Hindu devotees and is the beginning point of the salt trading route. At a height of estimated 3,700 metres above sea level, this place is seen as the holiest location on planet. According to Hindu mythology, the universe is a combination of 5 elements, and all the 5 elements exist in Muktinath.
The important temple is for Lord Vishnu, which is the big attraction of Mukitnath. For Buddhists there is a Samba Gompa. Further, there is nonstop flame inside Jwalamai Temple. Muktinath North at Damodar Kunda, ammonites can be found.
Upper Mustang is often addressed as “little Tibet”. Monasteries are a vital part of daily life in this place, and there are many of them – each town has their own cultural diversity. In Lo Manthang itself, there are 3 old monasteries, with the oldest one, known as The God House, being seven hundred years old.
Naturally, there are remarkable stories behind the monasteries. Your hotel in Lo Mangtang will provide you a free domestic guide for the day – a best window in the domestic culture – and can also arrange a meeting with the King of Lo Manthang. Exactly, with the changing polities of the Nepal, he is longer viewed by the administration as a King but to the domestic people, he remains Royal.
Tiji festival is the most vital festival for people of Lo. After Tiji, Horse Race or Yartung, is the next big festival. This is celebrated domestically in different villages. Domestic people adorn themselves in their traditional jewellery and costumes to participate in this festival where there are separate horse races for women and men.
7. Salt trading route
Mustang is a part of the old Trans-Himalaya salt trading road where salt, and other goods, were exchanged from Tibet to India. Being the little road from Tibet to India, the track followed the blustery banks of the River Kali Gandaki and brought much required income to the place as well. As Upper Mustang is in the rain shadow of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges of Himalayan, water sources are extremely scares and life depends around animal husbandry and trade with Tibet.
Plan your trip to Upper Mustang
Are you planning to do upper mustang trek? Upper Mustang is one of the remarkable treks in Nepal that has lovely landscape, ancient antiquity and rich culture. Upper Mustang might be best trek for you if you want to explore both landscape and culture with organized trip uppermustangnepal.com.