Kagbeni, at 2,800 meters above sea level, is a hidden gem of a village and the gateway to Upper Mustang. Foreign tourists are limited in what they may see without a specific authorization. Remains that surround the village and the dwellings which are made of mud and stone, show signs of deterioration here in Kagbeni. Each morning, brooms made of reeds and sticks sweep the cracked, crumbling soil away. Before years, the traders from Lo Manthang, Manang, and Dolpo used to meet at Kagbeni’s main courtyard to exchange commodities and relax before continuing on to other places. Kagbeni is located north of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges, along the Kali Gandaki River. Visitors may now walk from Jomsom to this location in less than 3 hours, despite the fact that getting there used to be a major endeavor before some years.
Kagbeni is heavily place influenced by Tibetan culture. Chortens and prayer wheels lend color to the sandy landscape, while Tibetan flags in blue, white, red, green, and yellow flap in the breeze. Rock faces above the town hold a number of caves where monks used to meditate and pray. The village’s most prominent structure is the red monastery, which is an imposing square construction.Monks will meet you and provide you a tour of the grounds.
The most magnificent view, however, comes towards the village’s end: a breathtaking panoramic view overlooking Lo Manthang and the Upper Mustang plains. You won’t need to buy any additional licenses to enjoy this breathtaking location; most international visitors will be covered by an ACAP and TIMS registration.At this point, where rivers and lands meet, time appears to stand still. Returning my gaze to the village, it is humbling to be in a place with so much apparent history and the stories of those who have passed through. For every traveler, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Things to do while in Kagbeni
In Kagbeni, you’ll discover a variety of guesthouses, the majority of which provide wonderful coffee and baked goods. However, book early because peak seasons attract large crowds, and tour operators and travel companies secure the most popular lodgings months in advance.
The village of Kagbeni welcomes you with its daring beauty, far away from the busy town squares, temples, and dance festivals of Nepal’s towns and cities. Officially, Kagbeni is a hamlet that connects Lower and Upper Mustang by the River Kali Gandaki, situated at the foot of Muktinath Valley. But spiritually, Kagbeni is a Tibetan hamlet lost in the middle of nowhere.The windy barrens of the upper Himalayas have an alluring allure. When you go inside Kagbeni, you won’t find any showy frills or frivolity to hide behind. The chilling beauty of Kagbeni’s stark wildness smacks you in the face for all of its unabashed brilliance, and you’ll be left wanting more and more and you won’t regret visiting this wonderland with the magnificient panoramas tst least once in life.
By: Saru Niraula for Land Nepal