Govt. Regd. No: 62248/065/066
SM

Upper Mustang Trek / The Hidden Kingdom

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Cost Includes / excludes
  • Map

Overview

The Upper Mustang is region is located beyond the great Himalayan range in the western part of Nepal. Many foreigners who come to Nepal for trekking would want to include Upper Mustang Trek in their itinerary as it provides them with the opportunity to peek at the ancient Buddhist and Tibetan culture that is still prevalent in the region. The major attractions of the Upper Mustang Trek also known as the Mustang Exploration are undoubtedly the ancient monasteries, some of which were built several hundreds of years ago, and the numerous caves that lie scattered in the region. The culture at Upper Mustang is a beautiful amalgamation of Tibetan and Buddhist traditions. In the past, it was an independent state with a separate King ruling the region. Lo-Manthang is still considered as the Kingdom of Upper Mustang. The other features of the Upper Mustang Trek are the holy temple of Muktinath and the magnificent views of the great Himalayan Range in the Mustang and Annapurna region.
The existing culture of the people of the upper Mustang region greatly resembles to the Tibetan cultures exercised by the Buddhists. Going to the Upper Mustang as part of the trek is one of the great ways to experience the charm of the old Himalayan Mountains and the accompanying desert valleys. Several old and new monasteries and ancient caves fall along the trekking trail. And it comes as a no surprise that the word Mustang comes from two Tibetan words “mun” and “tan” roughly translated as the "fertile plain". Until recently, Mustang had enjoyed its status as an independent state with Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista being the last king of the region. It, however, lost its independent status in October 2008 when the Nepal government passed a ruling to that effect.
Mustang, however, had largely remained in oblivion and was under sort of anonymity even amongst the domestic tourists until the government of Nepal granted access to the western tourists in October, 1991. However, the government still places several restrictions on the number of tourists entering the secluded Himalayan province. The government takes special measures to protect its ancient culture from being influenced by the west. Special permit passes are required to gain entry into the region for the prospective tourists.
The fascinating trek kicks off with a trip to Pokhara from Kathmandu, the capital city. Over a period of 17 days, the trip and trek encompasses several places which include Jomsom, Kagbeni, Lo-Manthang, among others. Tourists will also have the chance to explore the Kali Gandaki River Valley, which is considered as the deepest gorge in the world.

Itinerary outline


Day 01: Arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Kathmandu
Day 02: Trek preparation and sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara (910m) 6 hrs
Day 04: Fly to Jomsom (2700m) & trek to Kagbeni (2800m) 3 hrs
Day 05: Trek to Chele (3110m) 5 - 6 hrs
Day 06: Trek to Ghiling (3500m) 5 - 6 hrs
Day 07: Trek to Charang (3620m) 4 hrs
Day 08: Trek to Lo-Manthang (3840m) 3 hrs
Day 09: Exploration of Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar 4 - 6 hrs
Day 10: Trek to Drakmar (3820m) 6-7 hrs
Day 11: Trek to Syangmochen (3800m) 5 - 6 hrs
Day 12: Trek to Chhusang (2980m) 6 hrs
Day 13: Trek to Muktinath (3800m) 7 hrs
Day 14: Trek to Jomsom (2700m) 6 hrs
Day 15: Morning flight back to Pokhara 25- min
Day 16: Drive back to Kathmandu 6 hrs
Day 17: Departure to TIA, “Farewell!"

(We encourage you to extend your views in case if you want to change the itinerary)

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Kathmandu
You will be welcomed by our team members at the Airport and then be ushered to the Hotel. Our travel representatives and team members will explain briefly about the travel itinerary upon your arrival in the Capital. You will be staying at a hotel in Kathmandu the first day.

Day 02: Sightseeing around Kathmandu Valley
On the second day we will be visiting around the Kathmandu Valley exploring the beautiful monuments, world heritages, temples and other sites. The tourist area of Thamel is also quite popular among the tourists. Overnight stay at a hotel.

Day 03: Drive to Pokhara (910 meters) 6 hrs
On the third day, you will be traveling to Pokhara (around 200km) via Prithivi Highway. The bus will depart at 7 AM in the morning. It will be a 6-hr drive with beautiful scenery all along the way. You will arrive at Pokhara in the late afternoon. Overnight stay at a hotel.

Day 04: Fly to Jomsom (2700 meters) & trek to Kagbeni (2800m) 3 hrs
The real itinerary will take place on the fourth day when you will board a flight to Jomsom from Pokhara Airport. The flight itself promises to be an exciting prospect as the aircraft flies along the sky with beautiful views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. After reaching Jomsom, the trek formally starts with a short trekking to Kagbeni, the main gateway to Upper Mustang. Kagbeni is situated at an altitude of (2800m). Overnight stay at a guesthouse.

Day 05: Trek to Chele (3110 meters) 5 - 6 hrs
The trail leads up towards the east bank of the Kaligandaki River and a couple of hours trek leads to Tangbe village. The village is a combination of narrow alleys with white houses, buckwheat and barley fields intercepted with the apple orchards. The Nilgiri peak, which dominates the southern skyline of Kagbeni, will accompany you through the trek with a majestic view. After Tangbe, around two hours of trek leads to Chhusang village. The trek will now leave the Kali Gandaki Valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to Chele. Overnight stay at a guesthouse.

Day 06: Trek to Ghiling (3500 meters) 5 - 6 hrs
The trekking trail now becomes steeper with increasing altitude. It, however, offers some of the spectacular views along the way of the barren land, naked hills, rugged terrain and the enchanting ambience of Mustang and the adjoining regions. The Annapurna mountain range, still dominated by Nilgiri, is also visible far to the South. Further trek up the Samar village and then a gradual descend leads to Shyangboche. The final destination for day six is the Ghiling Village where you will stay overnight at a guesthouse.

Day 07: Trek to Charang (3620 meters) 4 hrs
From Ghiling village, the trail climbs gently up to an interesting pass NYI La and descends below the blue, gray and red cliffs. Climbing over another pass at 3,600 meters, the route makes a long and gentle descent to Charang village. The village has several Tibetan Monasteries which are the source of attraction to the Buddhist tourists. The village is also popular for traditional Thankas as well as other kinds of paintings. Overnight stay at a guesthouse.

Day 08: Trek to Lo-Manthang (3840 meters) 3 hrs
Trek to Lo-Manthang also brings along with the opportunity to visit two other villages on the way. Lo-Gekar Gompa is older than Samye Gompa in Tibet and is considered one of the oldest Gompas of Nepal. Trek from Lo-Gekar to Lo-Manthang is mild with some minor climbing. Lo-Manthang, also considered as the Kingdom of Upper Mustang, the destination for day eight where you will be staying overnight at a guesthouse.

Day 09: Exploration of Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar 4 - 6 hrs
It takes around 2 hours trek to reach Namgyal Gompa from Lo-Manthang. Namgyal Gompa is located atop a small hill which serves as an important monastery for the local community. The trek then continues until Tingkhar village which comprises around 40 houses. After visiting Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar, you will again return to Lo-Manthang. Overnight stay at a guesthouse.

Day 10: Trek to Drakmar (3820 meters) 6-7 hrs
From Lo-Manthang the trail climbs steadily up a ridge at 4070m and continues climbing to the Chogo La until 4210m, the highest point on the trek. The trail then makes a short, steep descent and crosses the Charang River and reaches to Ghar Gompa, a small monastery. After climbing another ridge, crossing a valley and then a gradual descend leads you to Drakmar, destination for overnight stay at a guesthouse.

Day 11: Trek to Syangmochen (3800 meters) 5 - 6 hrs
The trail now descends passing the stone walls and fields of Drakmar. Descending further down, you will reach to Jaite (3820m) and Chhung-Kah. The trail then reaches to Tama Village (3710m) and continues descending until Syangmochen. Overnight stay at a guesthouse.

Day 12: Trek to Chhusang (2980 meters) 6 hrs
From Syangmochen, the trail descends continually. The destination for day twelve is Chhusang Village and there are two ways to reach Chhusang. An alternative route passes along the Samar Village and the Ranchung Cave which takes 30-minutes longer than the original trail. Overnight stay at a guesthouse.

Day 13: Trek to Muktinath (3800 Meters) 7 hrs
Day thirteen is special for it takes us to one of the hallowed and sacred pilgrimage destination for Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims, the Muktinath Temple. The Hindu shrine of Muktinath and other red-painted Buddhist Monasteries offer a majestic view. The trail to Muktinath is attractive as it entails crossing small streams, passing suspension bridges and walking through several villages. This route is also very popular for the availability of fossil stone “Saligram”. Overnight stay at a guesthouse.

Day 14: Trek to Jomsom (3700 meters) 6 hrs
As Muktinath is one of most important destinations for Hindus pilgrims, we will visit the temple in the morning. For Hindu pilgrims, Muktinath is more commonly known as "Muktikhsetra" or the region of liberation/salvation. There are 108 water spouts inside the temple premises where people take holy bath. Muktinath also offers magnificent views of Dhaulagiri mountain range. Downhill trek will now begin from Muktinath, as we come across Kaligandaki Valley and Kagbeni village along the way. The last day of the trek will be celebrated in Jomsom along with all the trekking staffs. Overnight stay at a guesthouse.

Day 15: Flight back to Pokhara
Upon arrival at Pokhara, the day is free for sightseeing around Pokhara Valley. Wonderful lakes, caves, temples and the night life around Lakeside is enough to keep tourists interested in this lake town. Overnight stay at a hotel, inclusive of breakfast

Day 16: Drive back to Kathmandu 6 hrs
On the penultimate day of the tour, you will drive back to the Capital city and stay overnight at a hotel, inclusive of breakfast.

Day 17: Departure to TIA “Farewell!"
On the 17th day the tour package ends and you will return to your country via the international Airport in Kathmandu.

Cost Includes / excludes

Cost includes:

  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • Accommodations
  • Farewell dinner
  • All accommodation and meals during the trek
  • A full day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu valley including tour guide and entrance fees
  • Domestic flights (Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara) and airport departure taxes
  • Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu transport via Tourist bus
  • An experienced English-speaking trek leader, assistant trek leader and Sherpa porters to carry luggage including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging
  • Necessary trekking equipment
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • All necessary paper work and permits (Upper Mustang special trekking permit

Cost excludes:

  • Nepal Visa fee
  • International airfare to and from Kathmandu
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Extra night accommodation/s in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from the mountain(due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu(and also in the case you return early from the mountain than the scheduled itinerary)
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower etc)
  • Tips for guides and porters

Route Map:

Facts of the Trip

Duration: 17 Days

Seasons: Spring/Autumn

Starting Point: Kathmandu

End Point: Kathmandu

Departure: Upon request

Max. Altitude: 3810 m

Trip Highlights

  • It is known as the hidden kingdom trek and the last forbidden himalayan kingdom of Nepal.
  • Crossing many suspension bridges decorated with colorful flags.
  • Passing through the pretty village of Kagbeni.
  • Trek through pilgrimage centre of Muktinath, holy shrine for both Buddhists and Hindus
  • Spectacular views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, & Nilgiri Himal ranges
  • It is also called as a mini tibet of Nepal.
  • Many red Chortans.
  • Pristine Tibetan Culture
  • Ghami, a large white washed village sheltered by overhanging cliffs.
  • Longest Mani walls in Upper Mustang.
  • A mystic valley & mountain deserts.
  • The common wild life, blue sheep.
  • Spiritual gate before entering the village with Red Gompas
  • The huge Five Storey White Zong (Fortress).
  • View of walled city, Lo Manthang, a tiny kingdom ruled by a king.
  • Buddhist Prayer flags & Mani wheels.
  • Ancient Monasteries & Gharpu Monastery.
  • Mountain goats in the high meadows
  • Ghar Gompa, the oldest monastery.
  • Chungsi cave Monastery. 
  • Comfortable accommodation facilities, camp life and local cuisine.