Upper Mustang Trekking - 20 days

Mustang, a long lost kingdom, radiates the aura of mystery and seclusion. So, this hidden kingdom can be fascinating to those who crave for wilderness and exploration. Mustang has a long rich history that makes it one of the most interesting places in Nepal. Despite the mysterious and legendary early history, the activities in Mustang have been recorded as early as eighth century. The in-habitants of Lomanthang- capital of Mustang would boastfully call them “Lopa” which refers the people of Lo. The religion practiced at Lo is Tibetan Buddhism of the Sakyapa sect. In Lo itself the countryside resembles the Tibetan plateaus with endless expanses of yellow and grey rolling canyons eroded by wind. Villages are several hours apart and houses are constructed with fewer stones but with more sun baked bricks and mud.  Astonishing constructions, high city walls and palace up to four stories are undoubtedly a worthwhile watch in Lo. The trek to this forbidden kingdom begins at Kagbeni after two hours of walk from Jomsom.

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu and transfer to hotel

Day 02: Flight to Pokhara, Sightseeing and boating on Phewa Lake

Day 03: Fly to Jomsom. And trek to Kagbeni

Day 04: Trek to Chele

Day 05: Trek to Eklo Bhatte

Day 06: Trek to Ghami

Day 07:Trek to Tsarang

Day 08:Trek to Lomanthang

Day 09: Rest day at Lomanthang to acclimatize

Day 10: Day Hike to Lomanthang eastern valleys and return to Lomanthang

Day 11: Day hike to Lomanthang western valleys and return to Lomanthang

Day 12: Trek to Surkhang

Day 13: Day Hike to Lori Gompa (Monastery) at Yara Gang and back to Surkhang

Day 14: Trek to Tange Height

Day 15: Trek to Tetang Height

Day 16: Trek to Muktinath

Day 17: Trek to Jomsom

Day 18: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara, Fly to Kathmandu

Day 19: Free day in Kathmandu for shopping and other activities and farewell dinner

Day 20: Departure back home

 

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu and transfer to hotel (1400m)

As you enter Nepal on a clear day, it is an electrifying experience to be welcomed by the panoramic view of snowcapped mountain ranges sprawling around, before you land in Kathmandu. A representative and driver from TAGnepal will meet and greet you at the airport. They will escort you to your designated hotel and help in your check-in procedure and will brief you about the trip beginning the next day.

Day 02: Flight to Pokhara, Sightseeing and boating on Phewa Lake (827m)

A thirty-minute morning flight from Kathmandu airport might be your best moment in the air with the bountiful savoring views of mesmerizing Manaslu and snowcapped Annapurna mountain range. At Pokhara airport, you will be welcomed by our representative. Once you reach Pokhara, “the City of Lakes”; you will release all the exhaustion by basking in the spectacular view of Pokhara against the legendary Mt. Machhapuchre, “Fishtail”. Pokhara, a city nestled on the lap of Mt. Machhapuchre, is the city of outstanding beauty. You will have a guided sightseeing tour of the city. Your trip takes you to the mythological Davis fall, deep gorges of Seti River and Tibetan Refugee Camp. You even get to explore the deep-seated mysteries of captivating cave Mahendra Gupha. In the evening, you will have a tranquilizing boating experience on the serene Phewa lake.

Day 03: Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2800m)

An early flight will take you to Jomsom in about 20 minutes. The flight unfolds you some rare views of the Himalayas and the wonderful settlements nestling on the foothills. Jomsom lies in the Annapurna Circuit, a well-known world-class trekking trail. The place resembling to the Tibetan highland desert is a gateway to Mustang, the ancient kingdom beyond the Himalayas. After reaching there, you will trek to Kagbeni (2800m), a wonderful village en route Upper Mustang along Kali Gandaki river. Throughout the trek, you will walk through sloppy uphill and downhill through a small suspension bridge, arid trail, craggy rocks and few green patches. You wont feel the trek strenuous as you will be welcomed by the magnificent views of huge peaks such as Dhaulagiri, Tukuche and Nilgiri, whilst to the south the entire Annapurna massif can be seen. After around 2 hours’ walk, you will reach Kagbeni, a village of small mud and wooden settlements with narrow alleys, irrigation canals flowing through, wheat and barley fields. There is an impressive monastery named Kagchode Thubten Sampheling Gompa built in 15th century. As this village borders the lower and upper Mustang, it is an important point to start your whole trek.

Day 04: Trek to Chele (3050m)

After your breakfast, you will resume your trek today towards Chele. The trail follows through picturesque village of Tangbe, where you can see barley and buckwheat fields along with apple orchards. As typical of this region, you will be following the spectacular views of Nilgiri peak and other neighboring ridges. You will reach Chele after you cross Chhusang village and the Kali Gandaki Valley behind.

Day 05: Trek to Eklo Bhatte (3820m)

Today’s trek will lead you through the brown landscape, some juniper trees, crystal clear stream, chortens and pearly peaks at the backdrop. Immediately after leaving Chele camp, the path climbs steeply up to a plateau region through a small tunnel-like gully. Climbing more gradually, the village of Ghyakar appears to the west as the path rounds a corner. The trail, narrow in places, rounds the wall of the canyon, with almost vertical edges. This narrow path leads around, always climbing, to a pass at 3550m. The view towards south offers an impressive panorama of Nilgiri, Tilicho Peak and towards east offers the widening stretch over to Thorong La pass on the Annapurna Circuit. From the pass it is a short descent to Samar, a pleasant settlement with running irrigation channel. The path leaves near a large chorten and dives steeply into a deep canyon. After few hours’ walk, you will reach Eklo Bhatte, which literally means “lonely inn”. Previously, there used to be a single teahouse but after the increase in the number of trekkers in that region, there are more teahouses now.

Day 06: Trek to Ghami (3520m)

After breakfast you will trek uphill from Eklo Bhatti passing through few teahouses. The trail climbs gently through fields, settlements of small mud and wooden houses. After few hours of walking, you will reach Gelling village, a beautiful village surrounded by fields and monastery. After you pass the village, you will start a long climb towards Nyi Pass (4010m).  The descent from the pass is not very steep. A little further you will come to a junction which leads to Charang on the right and Ghami on the left. Taking the trail to Ghami and walking for about 6 hours, you will reach Ghami, the third biggest village in the region. Ghami is a mud and stone walled village nestling below the overhanging cliffs.

Day 07: Trek to Charang (3500m)

Trek to Charang will take you through one of the driest parts of the region. Nevertheless the trek is rewarding as the wonder of the nature does not cease to amaze you- the magnificent countryside, the dramatic red canyon walls and the overarching mountainous view will dominate your trek throughout. At the end of the day, you will arrive at Charang, a comfortably settled village on the Charang Chu canyon. As with other villages, Charang also is a collection of white washed houses made of mud and fluttering prayers’ flags. But the highlights of this village are a huge fortress and a red monastery with an impressive collection of ancient art and thangkas.

Day 08: Trek to Lomanthang (3700m)

Today’s trek will lead you to the most important destination of the whole trek.  After exploring the village of Charang, you will start today’s trek. As you start the trek, the trail starts to ascend to a chorten, which gives you a view of both Charang and Lo Manthang. As you move towards north, you will get to see the Himalayan peaks of Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna I behind you towards the south. The trail then descends gradually and you will get to see the magnificent view of Lo-Mangthang, an ancient walled city against the Tibetan Border along with the Namgyal monastery and wide valley of Tingkar where the King’s summer palace is located. The view is even more beautified by the colorful bands of eroded canyons and hills. As the city has just one entrance at the north-east corner, you have to walk round to enter the city.

Day 09: Rest day at Lomanthang to acclimatize

Lo Manthang was a capital city of the kingdom of Lo, which was founded by Ame Pal in the 14th century, long time ago than the Shah Dynasty, the latest kings of Nepal. Till Nepal became a republic, it was self ruled kingdom but under the dependency of the Central State government. The city still practices monarchy as a legacy though in ceremonial form. The city is not very populated as it has just around 150 houses and some monasteries and lama residences. However, the place houses some of the finest Buddhist arts and crafts dating back to ancient time. The King’s palace, an impressive building is at the center of the city. You can go round the city either on foot or by mule ride which incurs an extra cost.

Day 10: Day Hike to Lomanthang eastern valleys and return to Lomanthang

Today’s hike will take you to the north east part of the city. You will pass through cultivated land patches next to Mustang river. You will get the experience of a live museum as you will encounter the ancient ruin, dry alleys, ram shackled buildings, mani walls and inhabited villages. The other highlights are the cave of Chosar and monasteries of Gharphu and Nyphu. The Nyphu monastery is erected against a sheer rock face and a wonder to see. As you retrace back, you will come through different route, which will give you another dimension of the region.

Day 11: Day hike to Lomanthang western valleys and return to Lomanthang

Today, you will hike from the northern corner of the city towards the west. The trail gradually descends and leads to Namgyal monastery. The western valley offers you the sights of Tingkar, from where you can see the King’s summer palace; and Kimling and  Phuwa. You hike back to Lo Manthang and today will be your last stay here.

Day 12: Trek to Surkhang (3670m)

From Lo-Manthang, you will hike to Dhi village after crossing Dhi pass (4100m). Dhi village is an attractive village of the region. From the village, you reach Surkhang after crossing a river. You will stay overnight at the village.

Day 13: Day Hike to Lori Gompa (Monastery) at Yara Gang and back to Surkhang

Lori Gompa is one the oldest monasteries of the region. After walking 4-5 hours, you will reach the monastery at Yara Gang (4000m). It is perched atop eroded cliffs. You can see a chorten along the old wall paintings of Buddha and yogini dating back to 13th or 14th century inside the monastery. A small chorten rests inside the inner chamber with paintings of the Mahasiddhi, great yogini, Vajrapani and other Boddhisatvas. After the excursion, you will make a round trip back to Surkhang.

Day 14: Trek to Tange Height (3240m)

Today you will leave Surkhang. To reach Tange village, you need to cross Ghechang river originated from Damodar Kunda, one the sacred lakes of Nepal. After crossing the river, the trail ascends through a pass at 3850m and descends down through grasslands till you reach Tange village (3240m). Tange is small village with similar compact structures and one storey houses which offer you a delightful spectacle in the arid landscape.

Day 15: Trek to Tetang Height (2940m)

Trek to Tetang will take you through the similar landscape of the region- almost lunar landscape, deep ridges, wind carved hills and gradual uphill and downhill walks. Tetang village lies in the upper part of Chuksang between two hills. After you pass Tange village, the trail ascends steeply till the summit of the pass (4050m). From the top, you can see the most stunning panoramic view of Charang, Lo-Manthang villages and Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna range. All along you will get to see the most tempting colorful canyons with very artistic features made by the constant corrosion since time immemorial. Finally, the trail leads to a split at a plateau; the right way leading to Chuksang, while the left way leading to Tetang.

Day 16: Trek to Muktinath (3800m)

Today is the last day of the entire Upper Mustang trek. Now onwards, you will start losing altitude as you descend down gradually to Muktinath. After breakfast you will resume your journey along the riverbed of Kali Gandaki. After you cross Chhancha Lhumba at 2730 m, you continue heading towards Muktinath. More meadows, streams and lush vegetation can be seen along the trail as the trail paves way to Jharkot (3500m) where you can see Jharkot Monastery, Tibetan herb Medical center and the old fortress of Jharkot. Continuing the trek towards Muktinath, you will enjoy the views of Kali Gandaki valley and Kagbeni village, the entry point of Upper Mustang.

Day 17: Trek to Jomsom (2700m)

Heading away from Muktinath, you retrace your steps to Jomsom still relishing the magnificent view of Nilgiri. You stay overnight in Jomsom. In the evening, you celebrate the completion of your trek with the crew and other members with whom you shared some of the most memorable moments of your life.

Day 18: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara, Fly to Kathmandu

Today you will again have the panoramic thrill of flying above the mountains. After 20 minutes of fun filled flying, you will land in Pokhara where you will catch a connecting flight to Kathmandu. At Kathmandu airport, you will be received cordially by the office representative and a driver to take you back to your hotel.

Day 19: Free day in Kathmandu, Farewell Dinner

Today is your free day to let go off your exhaustion from two weeks long trek. You can just relax at the hotel room or lounge. The best option could be strolling down the streets, try some exotic cuisine and do some shopping. In the evening, our office representative will pick you up for Farewell Cultural Dinner. At the end of the day, you will have the pleasure of local cuisine along with cultural music and dance.

Day 20: Departure back home

Finally your fun filled trip will come to an end. If you have some time before your departure time, you can stroll down the streets and do some last hour shopping. Your tour officer and a driver will be at your hotel reception to pick you up three and half hours prior to your departure. You will be transferred to the airport for your international flight back home.