Upper Mustang Cultural Trek (19 days)
Upper Mustang lies in Mustang District, north of Annapurna range, close to the Tibetan border. Upper Mustang was once an independent kingdom with its capital in the walled city of Lomanthang.
The 19 days Upper Mustang Cultural Trek starts off at the town of Jomsom (2743m), famous for Thakali people and Apple brandy. The trail passes along the Kali Gandai River across a vast barren and arid landscape in the rain-shadow trans Himalayan region. Trekkers follow the trail that was once used by salt caravans to transport salt from Tibet to Nepal.
This is definitely a Buddhist land and the people here follow Tibetan language, culture and lifestyles. Chortens, monasteries, high cliffs with caves make for a visual feast but the one that holds utmost attention is the high Himalayan peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.
The goal of the trek is to reach the capital of Lo Manthang. Lo Manthang is adorned with well preserved 14th century palaces, white washed mud brick walls and gompas with Jampha Lakhang, Thubchen and Chodey monasteries being the centre of local activities.
The entire region of Upper Mustang falls within the Annapurna Conservation Area. So sightings of such rare species as Snow leopards, Himalayan Thar will be a delightful experience.
Upper Mustang Cultural Trek is essentially a tea house trek with comfortable lodges available on the trail. It is graded moderate on difficulty scale, hence all level of trekkers from beginners to advance can enjoy it.
The trek can be done throughout the year and for different duration depending on one’s interests. Since this is a trans Himalayan region trekking in Upper Mustang is possible even in monsoon season when it does not receive any rainfall.
|Trip Duration||19 days|
|Trip Type:||Lodge (Teahouse)|
|Min. Group Size||1|
|Max Altitude:||4812 m.|
|Best Season:||Autumn: SEP-OCT-NOV
|Meals:||All meals 3 times a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner)|
|Acommodation:||3 Star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu
Standard hotel accommodation in Pokhara
Lodge (Tea house) accommodation during the trek
After early morning breakfast, our guide will pick you-up from your hotel to bus station. Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (914m.) takes about seven hours. This drive will take most of the morning, leaving much of the afternoon to explore the various sites of Pokhara.
Pokhara is tourist's paradise with full of natural as well as cultural heritage sites such as lakes, caves, temples of Buddhist and Hindus along with mountains. You can observe views to the north across the hills and Phewa Tal (lake) to the white peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Stay overnight at hotel.
Drive from Pokhara (915 m.) to Nayapul (1050m.) takes approximately one and half hours. Now you begin your trek from Nayapul (1050m.) to Tirkhedhunga (1577 m.) via Birethanti (1065m.) which takes about four and half hours. Stay overnight at lodge.
Trek from Tirkhedhunga to Ghorepani (2675 m.) takes approximately 5 hours. The trail this day will be fairly tough. The first 2 hours of the trail steeply ascends up to Birethanthi and then levels up till Ghorepani. The section from Ulleri to Birethanthi provides spectacular views of snowcapped mountains, especially Machapuchre (Mt. Fishtail). You can also enjoy the beautiful rhododendron flowers during March and April along the trail between Birethanthi and Ghorepani. Stay overnight in Ghorepani.
Trek from Ghorepani to Tatopani (1189m.) takes about seven and half hours. This day offers you an early morning trip to Poon Hill (3232m.) to enjoy the sunrise view over Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m.), Tukuche Peak (6920m.), Nilgiri (6940m.), Varaha Shikhar (7847m.), Mt. Annapurna I (8091m.), Annapurna South (7219m.), Annapurna III (7855m.), Machhapuchhare (6993m.), Annapurna IV (7525m.), Annapurna II (7937m.), Lamjung Himal (6931m.) and other snowcapped mountain peaks. After breakfast you trek from Ghorepani to Tatopani. You descend, gradually at first and then more steeply to cross the Ghar Khola. At Tatopani you can enjoy the Natural Hot Spring Bath. Stay overnight at lodge.
Trek from Marpha to Kagbeni (2897m.) via Jomsom takes about five hours. You continue to follow the wide valley of the Kali Gandaki, passing through Khobang and Tukuche. As the trail continues towards Jomsom, the landscape becomes increasingly arid and impressive with its mixture of brown, yellow and grey, contrasting with the white snowcaps of Tilicho and Nilgiri. By afternoon, the stiff winds begin to blow, hastening our way to Jomsom. Stay overnight at lodge.
Trek from Chuksang to Samar (3150m.) takes about three and half hours. The trek now leaves the valley and climbs steeply up a rocky alley to the village of Chele. From Chele you climb a steep spur and then continue ascending along the side of a spectacular steep canyon to a pass. Beyond the pass you descend on a pleasant trail to Samar, situated in a grove of poplar trees. Stay overnight at lodge.
Trek from Samar to Geling (3510 m.) takes about five hours. You climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a chorten before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. You then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, you descend along a ridge to Shyangmochen a tiny settlement with a few tea shops. The trail climbs gently from Shyangmochen and you enter another huge valley before descending to Geling with its extensive fields of barley. Stay overnight at lodge.
Trek from Geling to Ghami (3490 m.) via Ghami La (3520m.) takes about five hours. From Geling the trail climbs gently through fields, up to the center of the valley, passing above the settlement of Tama Gun and an imposing chorten. You then begin a taxing climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La [3840m]. The descent from the pass is quite gentle and about half an hour further on we come to a trail junction; the right trail is the direct route to Charang, the left trail leads to Ghami. Ghami is a large white-washed village sheltered by overhanging cliffs. Stay overnight at lodge.
Trek from Ghami to Tsarang (36200 m.) takes about five hours. Today's walk is perhaps through the driest part of Mustang. Finally, you come to Charang, a large spread-out village at the top of the Charang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village are a huge dzong [fortress] and a red Gompa which houses an excellent collection of statues and thangkas. Stay overnight at lodge.
Trek from Tsarang to Lo-Manthang [Mustang] (3730m.) takes about three hours. You will spend part of the morning exploring the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery, before setting out for Lo Manthang. You climb gently above the valley to a large isolated chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo. The trail then broadens and eventually you get your first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance so you circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north east corner. Stay overnight at lodge.
Rest at Lo-Manthang. Stay overnight at lodge.
Trek from Samar to Kagbeni takes about seven hours. Following a descending path you reach Chuksang 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 at lodge.
Trek from Kagbeni to Jomsom (2713m.) takes about three hours. Your trail passes through the bank of Kali Gandaki passing through the Ekle Bhatti. The trail is windy after late morning. The river flows through broader course. Jomsom is the headquarters of Mustang and it is split into two towns and between these two towns passes through Kali Gandaki River. There is access of internet and banking facilities. From Jomsom, you can enjoy the magnificent views of Nilgiri and Tilicho peak. Here you stay overnight at lodge.
Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara takes about 35 minutes. The flights are available during the morning time. The strong breeze blows during and after and frequent change of the weather prevents the flight being landed and taken off in the afternoon. Stay overnight at hotel in Pokhara.
Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist mini bus that takes about seven hours. While driving from Pokhara to Kathmandu, you head up to Damauli, Dumre, Muglin and Kurintar where Nepal's first Cable car is operated to reach to Manakamana Temple. En route, you could enjoy the mountain views, green sceneries, rice terrace fields, vegetable fields and people being engaged in their daily life activities. From Naubishe you climb up to Thankot, the gateway to capital city of Kathmandu.
Jesias & Maya
Luciana and Analisa ,
It has been a wounderful and unforgettable experience.
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