The tour begins with a flight from Kathmandu to Jomsom via the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara. We commence our trek in Jomosom (lower Mustang) passing along the banks of the Kali Gandaki River towards Kagbeni. On route to Lo Manthang in upper Mustang we pass through the extraordinary village of Tsarang. In this village (around 800 years old) a set of human hands, said to belong to the site’s master builder, still remain. According to legend, the king cut the builder’s hands off to prevent him from constructing any other place to rival it.
Situated North of the Annapurna Himal on the Tibetan border, Mustang is a rugged mysterious arid and haunting wilderness region set amid a lunar landscape of wind eroded hills and cliffs.
A Kingdom within a Kingdom, Mustang’s wealth was derived from its position on the Kali Gandaki / Thak Khola trade route to Tibet, the region still retains its own King.
Forbidden to foreigners until 1992 Mustang remains a controlled region which very few people visit, a deliberate policy of cultural and environmental preservation. Our destination is the exotic walled city of Lo Manthang the seat of the King. The Kings Palace is surrounded by a maize of gompas and private houses all enshrined within the city boundary walls. Unmolested Mustang is frozen in time it remains one of the ultimate journeys ever likely to be made in one lifetime. The trek allows us to visit all the major villages on route.
Day 01: Arrival in kathmandu
Our representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Day 02: Sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley.
Day 03: Fly to Pokhara
We take the short but scenic 30 minute flight to Pokhara, enjoying the views of Ganesh, Manaslu and the Annapurnas along the way.
Day 04: Fly to Jomsom & Trek to Kagbeni [2780m]
We take the spectacular early morning flight to Jomsom. We begin our trek to the pretty village of Kagbeni. Just out of Jomsom, we cross a small suspension bridge and then walk along the riverbank of the Kali Gandaki. The trail is flat and quite barren, with craggy rocks and sand littering the trail. We will get magnificent views of huge peaks such as Dhaulagiri, Tukuche and Nilgiri, whilst to the south can be seen the entire Annapurna massif. Kagbeni with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals. At the north end of the village is the police check-post. Here we will complete our paperwork before entering this long forbidden region of Nepal.
Day 05: Trek to Chhuksang [2920m]
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. On the west bank of the river are some caves and Gompa Kang. We stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe. 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.
Day 06: Trek to Samar [3290m]
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. 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.
Day 07: Trek to Geling [3440m]
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.
Day 08: Trek to Ghami (3460 m)
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 (3840 m). The descent from the pass is quite gentle and about half an hour further on we come to a route to Charang.
Day 09: Trek to Charang (3490 m)
We walk through perhaps the driest part of Mustang, and much of our energy will be spent struggling against 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 10: Trek to Lo Manthang [3730m]
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.
Day 11: In & around Lo Manthang
This day is free for exploring the fascinating city of Lo Manthang. 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 palace is an imposing building in the center of the city.
Day 12: Trek to Lo Gekar
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 13: Trek to Ghami [3460m]
We continue our journey on the highland route, crossing alpine meadows before dropping down a steep eroded gully to Dhakmar for lunch. We walk through the pretty valley, climb to a ridge and descend from there back to Ghami.
Day 14: Trek to Chhuksang (2920 m)
Now we must retrace our route back over the Nyi La to Chhuksang.
Day 15: Trek to Jomsom (2710 m)
It’s a long and sad final day, passing back through Kagbeni to Jomsom where we end our trek.
Day 16: Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara
We take a spectacular early morning flight to Pokhara and catch a connecting flight back to Kathmandu.
Day 17: Depart Kathmandu
Our representative will take you to the airport for your flight home.
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