Upper Mustang trek is a very popular trekking region since the government announced the opening of restricted areas in October 1991. The region of the Kaligandaki, from the Tibetan border south to Kagbeni, is generally referred as or get way to “Upper Mustang”. The trek to lo-Manthang passes through an almost tree less barren landscape.
Upper Mustang trek has an average elevation of 3000m. A steep rocky trail up and down hill with panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks make a memorable trek. The valleys are arid and dry with colorful rock formations containing many cave dwellings high up in the cliffs, canyon and desert. Many tourists visited Upper Mustang to learn the local culture, language, ancient monasteries and as well as to do meditation in the monasteries.
There must be at least 2 people to trek in this area, single person is not allowed to trek due to its wildness and as per the regulation of the government. September to November is the favorable weather to trek in this area. The culture of Upper Mustang is similar as the Tibetan culture and there are followers of Buddhism. The land is not fertile in mustang. The main crops of upper Mustang are potatoes, buckwheat and barley. One amazing thing in upper mustang is there is no fish in river. Mostly there is Mongolian faced settlement in this area. The houses in upper Mustang are built by stone where there are small windows and doors.
The lifestyles of people in upper Mustang have not changed up to now and follow the same as their ancestors do. At past time in upper Mustang if the families have four brothers in their house then they have to marry one girl. This is one of unique culture of Upper Mustang, but now slowly it is going too changed.
While you are in Upper Mustang, you will get chance to explore around the four major temples situated in this region named as Jampa Lhakhang or Jampa Gompa which is the oldest temple and said to be built in the early 15th century and also known as the “God house”. Another Temple is Thubchen Gompa, a huge, red assembly hall and gompa built in the late 15th century and located just southwest of Jampa Gompa. Chodey Gompa, now the main city gompa; and the Choprang Gompa, which is popularly known as the “New Gompa”.
The most important festival of upper mustang is TIJI which is normally celebrated on the month of April/May. The exact date for the TIJI festival is only given by Lama monk of the region. TIJI festival is celebrated for three day by the Mustangi people. TIJI festival is celebrated for the chasing of the demons. In this festival monks wear the beautiful dressed and masks and perform the dance. All the Mustang people go to Lo-Manthang to celebrate the festival. Lo-Manthang is the capital of Mustang so; there are few people in other part of Mustang so the people go to capital to do different activities.
Trekking Highlights :
- Explore the ancient Himalayan Kingdom of Upper Mustang.
- Interesting and picturesque places most of part or places in Upper Mustang.
- Buddhist monasteries and so many caves where ubtari lamas meditate in cave and separate from other monks.
- Ancient and isolated village with similar cultural people like Tibet and its lifestyle / unique culture and Tradition with different festival and celebration every season and year.
- Visit Historical place including Kagbeni, Lo-Manthang- nearest monastery which is very old.
- Very beautiful backdrop of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri and best views of Himalayas range.
Upper Mustang Trekking Itinerary.
Day 01: Arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) Kathmandu:
Day 02: Trek Preparation and Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing:
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara- 6 hrs
Day 04: Fly to Jomsom (2700 Meters) & Trek to Kagbeni (2800m) 3-4 hrs
Day 05: Kagbeni to Chaile(3050m/10,004ft):5 – 6 hrs
Day 06: Chaile to Syanbochen (3500 Meters) 5 – 6 hrs
Day 07: Syanbochen to Ghaymi [3520m/11,546ft]: 5-6 hrs
Day 08: Ghaymi to Charang [3500m/11,480ft]: 4-5 hrs
Day 09: Trekking to Lo-Manthang (3700m/12,136ft): 5-6 hrs
Day 10: Explore Lo-Manthang
Day 11: Lo-Manthang to Drakmar [3810 m/12,500ft]: 6-7 hrs
Day 12: Dhakmar to Ghiling [3806m/12,484ft]: 5-6 hrs
Day 13: Ghiling to Chhuksang [3050m/10,004ft]: 5-6 hrs
Day 14: Chhuksang to Jomsom [2700/8,856ft]: 6-7 hrs.
Day 15: Fly back to Pokhara
Day 16: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 17: Fly Home: Farewell Friend.
Upper Mustang Trek cost starts from $1,300 depending on the types of accommodation and fooding. If you plan your trekking as camping, the trekking cost will be around $2,500. Since the trekking region is Government restricted region, the extra cost will charge for trekking permits and all others government documents.