The Kingdom of Lo, better known under the name of Mustang, is a Tibetan enclave in Nepalese territory. Located at the north of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs, it has always been the synonym of the « Forbiden Kingdom » for the westerners. The Mustang remained for long an unknown land for the westerners. It’s just in 1952 that a foreigner, the Swiss geologist Toni Hagen, enters Mustang. The landscapes are typically Tibetan with high, dry and colourful plateaux swept by the wind. The monsoon is very moderate there but the winter is very hard. For sure, the Mustang is one of the most authentic destinations for the Himalayas lovers. This 13 days trekking requires a good physical condition and goes through off the beaten tracks paths. Going through villages, you’ll walk along the Kali Gandaki, next to some troglodyte cities, and go through small passes hardly situated beyond 4000 m altitude. You’ll meet herds of yaks and sheeps and finally you’ll arrive to the beautiful fortress city of Lo Manthang.
>SEASON: april to beginning november. This trek can be undertaken during the monsoon.
>GRADE: Moderate/ Strenuous (grade explanation)
>MODE OF TREK : Camping trekking
|-Kathmandu and Pokhara city tour.
-Scenic flight to and from Jomsom .
-Exploring the Kali Gandaki River valley.
-Forbidden kingdom of Mustang.
-Picturesque views of the Himalayas.
D-1: arrival in Kathmandu and transfert to hotel.
D-2: visit of Kathmandu: Durbar Square and its bazar, temples, Royal Palace, the goddess Kumari’s home.
Afternoon: visit of the Buddhist Stupa of Swayambunath, one of the oldest religious sites of Nepal, worshipped by both Buddhists and Hindus.
Visit of Pashupatinath, the “Benares of Nepal”, dedicated to the God Shiva on the Bagmati River and visit of Bouddhanath and its famous Stupa, one of the biggest in southern Asia.
D-3: KTM-Pokhara by bus or taxi (6 / 7h)
Departure early in the morning, arrival in the afternoon.
D-4: Pokhara-Jomson by flight (30min)
Walk to Kagbeni: 4h
The flight to Jomson is very spectacular with breathtaking views over Annapurnas Himal and Dhaulagiri.
From Jomson the route follows a vast plain, dry and flat until the charming village of Kagbeni. Kagbeni is the entry gate of the Mustang.
Day 5 Trek to Chele (3050m) : 5 / 6 h
It is possible to trek right up the river valley, but we use a combination of the high trail and the riverbank pathways. The trail then widens significantly revealing an endless stretch of sand but the path is kept interesting by the passing of mule trains bearing goods from Mustang and Tibet. We stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe, where we come across the first black, white and red Chortens that typify Upper Mustang. The little town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys among white washed houses, fields of buck wheat and barley and apple orchards. Nilgiri Peak continues to dominate the southern skyline. Chhuksang village is only about 2hrs walk beyond Tangbe at the confluence of the Narshing Khola and the Kali Gandaki. There are three separate parts to this village and some ruined castle walls on the surrounding cliffs. Across the river from Chhuksang are some spectacular red eroded cliffs above the mouths of some inaccessible caves. There is a distinct change here, not only in the topography, but also in the culture, lifestyle and people, and the settlements become more scattered, smaller and more basic. The people of Lo or Mustang practice agriculture. But due to lack of rain and fertile soil, cultivation is limited to sheltered plots of land. This spots the brown landscape with patches of green. Continuing north, we reach the river. A steel bridge spans the river just in front of a tunnel and north from here the Kali Gandaki becomes impassable by foot. The trek now leaves the valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to the village of Chele
Day 6 Trek to Geling (3570m) : 5 / 6h
Watch out for the ferocious Tibetan mastiffs here, which are chained to many of the houses. 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 we descend on a pleasant trail to Samar, situated in a grove of poplar trees. We climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a Chorten before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. We then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, we descend along a ridge to Shyangmochen, a tiny settlement with a few tea shops. Nearby is Rangbyung, a cave containing stalagmites which have formed in the shape of Chorten and one of the holiest places in Mustang. The trail climbs gently from Shyangmochen and we enter another huge valley before descending to Geling, with its extensive fields of barley. Like in all settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses in Geling are constructed using mud and stones. The roofs are made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles.
Day 7 Trek to Ghami ( 3520m) : 5 / 6h
From Geling, the trail climbs gently through fields, up the center of the valley, passing above the settlement of Tama Gun and an imposing Chorten. We 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.
Day 8 Trek to Charang ( 3560m) : 5h :Today’s walk is through perhaps the driest part of Mustang, and much of our energy will be spent negotiating the loose, dry soil. However, the magnificent views of the countryside, from the gentle contours of the north to the rugged mountains in the east and west, more than compensates for the hard climb. Finally, we 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.
Day 9 Trek to Lo Manthang (3730m) : 5h : We will spend part of the morning exploring the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery, before setting out for Lo Manthang. We climb gently above the valley to a large isolated Chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo Manthang. The trail then broadens and eventually we get our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance so we circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north-east corner.
Day 10 In & around Lo Manthang
Today, you are free to explore the fascinating city of Lo Manthang. The city contains about 150 houses, as well as residences for its many lamas. There are four major temples within the city and one of these, Champa Lhakang, contains a huge clay statue of Buddha as well as elaborates mandalas painted on the walls. The king's palace is an imposing building in the center of the city and is occupied by the current King and Queen. Although his duties are largely ceremonial, the King is respected by the people. Throughout the kingdom, the villagers continue to seek his advice regarding many issues. It is possible to hire horses to visit these valleys, but this short tour will incur extra costs.
Day 11 Trek to Lo Gekar : 5h
We begin our return journey from Lo Manthang, taking the upper highland route. This highland route offers dramatic views of Lo Manthang and the Charang Valley, with snow clad peaks in the background. Just past the settlement of Lo Gekar, we reach the oldest monastery in Mustang, the Ghare Gompa.
Day 12 Trek to Ghami (3520 m) : 5h
We continue our journey on the highland route, crossing alpine meadows before dropping down a steep eroded gully to Dhakmar for lunch. After lunch, we walk through the pretty valley, climb to a ridge and descend from there back to Ghami.
Day 13 Trek to Samar (3660m) : 5h
Now we must retrace our route back over the Nyi La to Samar and Chuksang
Day 14 Trek to Chuksang : 5 /6h
Day 15 Trek to Kagbeni : 5h
Day 16 Trek to Jomsom [2710m] : 3h
Day 17: Flight Jomosom - Pokhara ( 30 min) and return to Kathmandu by bus or taxi
Day 18: Kathmandu
Free day in Kathamndu. Night at the hotel.
Day 19: Kathmandu - International airport
Transfer to the international airport.
>Price/pers with all the detailed program : Please write us with the number of guests. We will reply you as soon as possible.
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