Upper Mustang is the Buddhist Kingdom of Nepal which is also called the Kingdom of Lo. Lo Mangthang the capital of the Upper Mustang is the endpoint of the trek. It is located at a high altitude of 3800m between the Annapurna range and the Dhaulagiri Range. The palace of the last King of the Mustang is also located at the capital of trek Lo Mangthang. It is located in the Himalayan rain shadow, so this region is dry throughout the year. It was isolated from the outside world until 1992. Therefore, the region is still unexplored.
Ludak Village which came in the way to Lo Mangthang is one of the attractions of trek. The word ‘Lu’ means snake and ‘Dak’ means stone. From this village, we can see the shapes of snakes engraved in hills around. Therefore, the name of the place become Ludak. All the visitor came in this trek are welcome in the traditional way by local people providing delicious food, clean environment and interacting in the English language which helps the visitor to learn about the unique Tibetan Buddhist Culture in detail.
This region lies in the Northern area of Nepal and borders with the region of Tibet. Most of the people living in this area follow the Tibetan Buddhist culture. This area will let you experience the Tibetan Buddhist culture followed by the Himalayan people living in Nepal. The majority of people living in this area still speak the traditional Tibetan Language. The unique festival celebrated in this area is Tiji Festival(3 days festival to celebrated victory among Demons). This area is recognized for hundred years’ old Buddhist monasteries and cryptic ancient rock caves.
Best Time to Trek in Upper Mustang
March, April, and May is considered as a favorable time for Upper Mustang trek because the weather during this time is neither too hot nor too cold.
Trekking to Upper Mustang begins from the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu and ends at Kathmandu. It is 12995KM far from the capital of Nepal. It is 16 days long trip which costs around US$1500 per person. The actual Trek start from Jomsom which is also called the gateway to the Forbidden Kingdom of Nepal, Upper Mustang.
From Jomsom, you will move further towards Kagbeni. With a few ascends and descends, you will reach Lo-Manthang where you can visit the ancient caves, monasteries etc. Being the restricted trekking regions in Nepal, the trail is challenging; however, it is equally wonderful, too.
|Welcome to Kathmandu(1300m)
|6-7- hours’ drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara(830m)
|Flight from Pokhara to Jomsom(2780m) which takes around 25-minutes
Start 3-hour trek from Jomsom to Kagbeni(2800m)
|7-hours trek from Kagbeni to Chele(3050m)
|6-hours trek from Chele to Sangboche(3735m)
|5-hours trek from Sangboche to Ghami(4010m)
|4-hours trek from Ghami to Charang La Pass(3870m)
|5-hours trek from Charang to Lo Manthang(3800m)
|Exploring the surrounding of Lo Manthang and the Palace of the last king of Mustang
|6-7-hours trek from Lo Manthang to Drakmar(3800m)
|5-6-hours trek back from Drakmar to Ghiling(3860m)
|5-6-hours trek back from Ghiling to Chhusang(3050m)
|5-6-hours trek back from Chhusang to Jomsom
|Flight to Pokhara from Jomsom which takes 20 minutes
|6-7 hours’ drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Upper Mustang Trek Permits
Upper Mustang is a restricted area, so those who want to trek in this area must take special permits. There must be a minimum two number of people in order to get the permits. The following permit must be taken from the respective office to trek around Upper Mustang:
- Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit which costs US$500 per person for 10 days. If you want to spend the extra time you have to pay US$50 per person for each extra day.
- Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit which cost NRP3000 for foreigners, NPP1000 for SAARC nation, and NRP100 for Nepali.
-Article Written by: Anita Khatri for Land Nepal