The Upper Mustang Trek is one of the magical treks in Nepal. Mustang is the old kingdom of Lo. Mustang derives from the Tibetan word Mun Tan which translates to fertile plain. It is renowned as Lo Manthang Trekking which was restricted to visitors until 1992. The capital of the Mustang is Jomsom. The Upper Mustang Trek is situated in the north-west within the Annapurna National park. This trek is famous for its landscapes and desert beauty. It is popularly known as the mini Tibet, lies in the yard of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs.
The Upper Mustang Trek starts from Pokhara connected with the route of Jomsom. The trek duration is 15-20 days. The route passes through Kagbeni and each village are followed by a small pass. Dajong La Pass, Syangmochen La Pass, Nyi La Pass, and Muila Bhanjyang pass commonly. After Muila Bhanjyang pass there is the oldest monastery of the region called ‘Ghare Gompa.’ You will see the mesmerizing views of Mt. Annapurna (8091m), Nilgiri (7061m), Dhaulagiri (8167m), Tukuche (6920m) and so on.
One will get to see historical and oldest monasteries, eroded canyons, dusty valleys, and colorful mud-brick houses. You can see the Tibetan influenced language speakers, culture, tradition, rituals that are preserved from centuries. They will welcome you with a sweet smile. Local people are known as ‘Lopa’ who inhabit in the clustered white houses built up of sun-baked bricked with a stone foundation. Locals are engaged in farming, tourism and animal husbandry. They encounter wheat, rice, barley, potato in the arid land of Tamang, Gurung, and Tibetan inhabitants.
Upper Mustang is a infertile landscape of moraine terraces which form a mosaic of yellow, red, and browns. It is the best destination to visit Buddhist monasteries. The main attraction of Upper Mustang is Lo-manthang, Choser cave, and Ghar Gompa. One can visit Muktinath in the lower Mustang, the famous temple of both Hindus and Buddhists pilgrimage.
The monsoon months are the best time to trek Mustang as the region is in the rain shadow. Some people depart from Lo Manthang during the winter to avoid cold. You can also trek from late March until early November. One can also visit during the “Tiji Festival” which means, ‘prayer for world peace.’ It is celebrated during the May determined by the Buddhist calendar. You should be physically fit to trek Upper Mustang. Trekking permits will not be issued for individual trekkers in this area.
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If you’re looking for other places to visit in Nepal, you can check our other posts.
Enjoy your Upper Mustang Trek!