Upper MUSTANG CULTURAL TREK
Duration : 21days
Difficulty : Medium
Max Altitude : Almost 4000m
Accomodation : Hotel/Lodge
Start Date : 30july, 14August 2022
Price per Person: 2485€
Upper Mustang Trek is one of the most beautiful and famous cultural trek in Nepal. Upper Mustang trek in Nepal was officially opened in 1992. Particularly limited numbers of trekkers are only allowed each year. Thus to protect and conserve the local Tibetan tradition and the fragile environment. This trekking offers a very impressive trekking experience with a semi-arid valley. It is located in Mustang district upper corner of deepest gorge Kali Gandaki gorge, Annapurna Circuit. Here, you will trek through a semi- desert landscape with spires and cliff-top villages surrounded by verdant fields. You can enjoy the panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna Dhaulagiri and Damodar mountain range. This region is cold in winter and windy and dusty through the year. Once Upper Mustang known for the Last Forbidden Kingdom because tourists were not allowed to enter this region until 1992. This region is isolated from the rest of the world as it has unique structure of landscapes with traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture and Bon religion at Lubra. On this trek you will explore the hidden world of the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Lo-Manthang and the lifestyle of true mountain residents, who for hundreds of years and little contact with the rest of Nepal. Till 1950, Mustang was a separate kingdom of Buddhist and still recognized as historical capital Lo-Manthang and the Raja, the last king of Mustang has still a home at Lo. Culturally and geographically, Upper Mustang is more similar to Tibet than Nepal and known for desert beauty.
Upper Mustang lying in Leeward side (rain shadow) of Himalayan range, is suitable for trekking even during monsoons and is not so much difficult as the highest approach is almost 4,000mtrs but challenging. Officially, this region is one of Nepal’s restricted area, hence to access into this region, it requires a special trekking permit. Summer, Autumn and Winter are the best seasons to visit Upper Mustang and spending your holiday in upper mustang make your lifetime memorable.
There are some festivals to see in the Upper Mustang. They are:
- Tiji festival and
- Yartung festival.
- Tiji festival:
This festival is celebrated at Lo-Manthang for three days in the mid-May every year during the full moon. This is a fascinating festival consisting of Tibetan rituals celebrate the myth of a son who had to save the Mustang Kingdom from destruction. This festival is celebrated with performing masked dance dressed on colorful costumes to chase away the evil spirits. Tiji festival is organized by Choedhe Monastery and about 65 monks perform dances.
On the 1st day of the festival, monks perform ‘Tsa Chaam’ dance which tells the story of the birth of ‘Dorje Sonam’-reincarnation of Buddha to a Demon. On second day, the monks perform ‘Ngacham’ dance and Dorje tries to return the Demon to the Buddha realm. And on the third day monks perform ‘Rachham’ dance and banishes the demon from the Mustang.
- Yartung festival:
This festival is celebrated all over Mustang, especially on Lo-Manthang and Muktinath during August and September in every year.This festival is also celebrated for three days with riding horse, drinking and dancing by local Gurung and Thakali people. On the first day, they have the local king’s activities take place, the lamas and monks on second day and local peoples on the third day. Horse riding competition between man and women is the most attractive event on this festival. They use to say Yartung Mela that Yartung means Sumer and Mela means festival and Yartung Mela means to send off the summer. They celebrate this festival at the end of harvesting their crops and stored the cereal at home. The senior respectable priest called Lama, sets the day for celebrating this festival, finding the most auspicious day on their local calendar and keeping in mind the view of completion of the harvesting crops. In fact, this festival for making offerings to Buddha and receive blessings from the village chief as well as senior citizens for an auspicious journey.
The starting and ending point of this trek is Jomsom. On the first day and second day of your arrival in Nepal, you will visit Kathmandu city and prepare for trek. Next day you will fly/drive to Pokhara and roam out around Fewa lake. And the next day, you will fly to Jomsom and start trekking from the following day heading towards Upper Mustang region. Fly between Pokhara and Jomsom saves your time and avoid the arduous bus or jeep journey by land.
- Visit a small Buddhist kingdom that until relatively recently was closed to the outside world.
- Attractive Tibetan-style villages with a strong, well preserved Tibetan culture and intriguing long-abandoned cliff dwellings and ancient cave monasteries.
- A dramatic desert landscape with incredible ‘organ-pipe’ cliffs, set against a backdrop of the mighty snow-capped Himalaya.
- While on trek stay in charming teahouses, small hotels and lodges
- hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara and a combination of teahouses and lodges on trek.
WHY WAS THE UPPER MUSTANG REGION RESTRICTED?
Upper Mustang Permit Cost in Summary:
Minimum of two trekkers (2clients) is compulsory for any restricted area in Nepal for issuing the special permits. A company and a local staff is must and in no way you can organize any restricted area trek through independent guide or a porter.
- Restricted Permit Cost: $500 per person for 10 days. If longer is required, an additional $50 per day is charged
- ACAP Permit: $20 per person.