Upper Mustang Trek: Exploring The Forbidden Kingdom

Upper Mustang Trek: Exploring The Forbidden Kingdom – Beyond 8,000 meters – Annapurna and Dhaulagiri – near the border of Tibet (China) and Nepal lies the forbidden Kingdom of Mustang. Mustang extends to the Tibetan Plateau. Technically, it is no longer a kingdom. In 2008, Nepal abolished the Mustang monarchy.

Mustang was opened to tourism only in 1992, which means it has survived for a long time, allowing Mustang to keep its culture almost intact.

Upper Mustang Trek: Exploring The Forbidden Kingdom

Upper Mustang Trek: Exploring The Forbidden Kingdom

Ame Pal founded the Lo (Upper Mustang) Kingdom in 1380 and built Lo Manthang, a walled city that served as the capital. Lo means south in Tibetan dialect. The latest Mustang King traces its lineage back 25 generations to Ame Pal.

Trekking To Upper Mustang The Forbidden Kingdom

Around 1795, Mustang became part of Nepal, but maintained its status as a separate kingdom until the 1950s, when it was finally incorporated into Nepal. Records show that David Snellgrove, a British Tibetologist, visited Mustang to study the temple and monastery in 1956, 1960–61 and 1978.

Tibet became part of China in 1950, and the Tibetan government registered it as a Chinese invasion of Tibet. Eventually, Upper Mustang became a base for the CIA and Tibetan guerrillas supported by the Khampas, from where they would attack the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. This continued until the 1970s when Richard Nixon visited China and withdrew support for the Tibetan guerrillas. For these reasons, Mustang remains the “Last Forbidden Kingdom”, and travel to Mustang is highly restricted.

Even before 1850, Nepal imported rock salt, wool, gold dust, horses and yaks from Tibet and exported grain, spices, knives, cloth and handicrafts. Among them, rock salt is the most important import. Mustang offers the easiest route to Tibet. Thus, this trade route became a link between Tibet and Nepal. As good transport, iodized salt from India entered Nepal, gradually reducing the route of this track.

Mustang has desert-like vegetation, which is the most unique in all of Nepal. The Malang desert has a red appearance and the Gandaki River flows through the ocher soil. Due to its height, the wind is constant throughout the day and as a result red cliffs can be found there. The rocky highlands offer opportunities for rock climbing.

Upper Mustang Nepal, The Forbidden Kingdom 2022 — Camera Voyages

Lo Manthang invested the wealth Lo made on the salt trade route into Buddhist art and artifacts. Therefore, Mustang is home to the most revered and ancient Buddhist monuments. The distance from Mustang protects this gompas (monastery) from modern influences.

Local people, with faith in traditional Tibetan culture, still use two earthen gompas: Thubchen and Jamba. Jamba is known to contain at least 1,500 mandalas (Buddhist spiritual diagrams) and is the only monastery painted with this type of mandala.

Mustang is also famous for its mysterious sky caves, about 10,000 of them. These caves are dug into the cliffs of the mountain. Researchers have done some sort of research on these caves, but experts are still not sure who built these caves and for what purpose.

Upper Mustang Trek: Exploring The Forbidden Kingdom

Valuable Buddhist paintings, manuscripts and artifacts have been excavated from some of these caves, along with mummified human bodies. This sky cave has been featured in National Geographic and an archaeological study is underway.

Upper Mustang Trek 2022/2023

In addition to the monastery, you can enjoy the view of the old castle of Mustang. The five-story Lo Manthang Palace, built in 1442 and painted with plaster, is the main palace. The walls around the castle were once a fortress. There are three monasteries, twelve chortens and a mani wall near the palace. The fortress wall has 60 battlements and 25 gates.

Some parts of the castle are still functional. The palace was badly damaged during the 2015 Gorkha earthquake and has now been restored.

Mustang is the second least populated district in Nepal after Manang district. The local population is engaged in agriculture and livestock. Mustang is part of the Annapurna Conservation Area and is divided into four geographical areas: Thak Sastsae, Panchgaon, Barago and Lo Tsho Dyun. The Thakali, Tamang, Bhotia (Tibetan) and Lopa (Bista and Gurung) ethnic groups call Mustang their home. Today, Lo Manthang is the only walled city in all of Nepal.

Recent changes have been rapid. Mud houses were replaced by concrete structures. The hotel is equipped with a television. The Mustang is connected to the Internet, and local stores offer a variety of products, from cigarettes to electronics.

Tours & Treks: Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang trek starts from Pokhara. If you are in Kathmandu, you can drive to Pokhara or take a 25 minute flight.

From Pokhara, you can fly to Jomsom or take a public bus. You can also rent a jeep if you want. After reaching Jomsom, you should travel to Kagbeni, the entrance to Mustang Peak. From Kagbeni, you will climb north to reach the summit of Mustang.

You also need a special restricted area permit to climb to the top of the Mustang. The cost per person for the first 10 days is USD 500 and USD 50 for each additional day.

Upper Mustang Trek: Exploring The Forbidden Kingdom

Additionally, you need an Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) which will cost you around USD 30. SARRC residents can get this permit for NPR 200.

Upper Mustang Trek, The Last Forbidden Kingdom Of Nepal

If you like red wind-eroded cliffs, desert-like terrain, hogbacks, ancient cultures, and mysterious rock-cut caves, you must travel to the top of Mustang.

Discovery World Trekking has been running tours in Upper Mustang for over ten years. Call/Viber/WhatsApp 977-9840055491 or email [email protected] to book your next ride in the mysterious Mustang.

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Pristine Upper Mustang: Explore The Forbidden Himalayan Kingdom!!!

Everest Base Camp (EBC) is one of the world’s most popular treks in the Khumbu region of northeastern Nepal. The EBC trek is also famous for its personal achievements and challenges… In the rainy shadow of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains lies one of the last Tibetan utopias in Nepal, which is not known to the public as Upper Mustang.

With breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks along the way and semi-arid terrain on the moon, traveling in the Himalayas is Mustang-do. A large meteorological population are the Gurung and Thakali, who live near the Gandaki river, 12,800 feet above sea level.

Other ethnic groups such as Kami/Damai, Magar and Thakuri are also part of the population of Mustang district. Even in winter, when conditions worsen, the local population tends to move to lower areas.

Upper Mustang Trek: Exploring The Forbidden Kingdom

Mustang Upper, formerly Lo Kingdom, is the northern part of Mustang District in Gandaki Province. The area includes three rural municipalities of Lo-Manthang, Dalome and Baragung Mukichhetra. During the ascension in September 2022, life in Upper Mustang revolves around ranching, tourism and trade.

Mountain Biking Escapade: The Last Forbidden Kingdom

The more we explored, the more we longed for ancient monasteries, centuries-old sky caves and Tibetan-style villages, from ancient houses to white houses with firewood piled on the roof. Add to that the people in traditional dress tending the cows, horses and mules, unlike anywhere else.

Yes, it is quite expensive to enter this part of Nepal. As the previously restricted government and demilitarized zone – due to the presence of CIA-trained guerrillas – was opened to the world in 1992.

Fortunately, it is one of the most geologically and culturally preserved places on Earth, with all areas isolated from the outside world. It goes without saying that the rewards for your investment and large footprint will multiply tenfold. Here’s how.

The climb is moderate to strenuous, where you will climb from 9,200 to 14,107 feet. The trail is generally in good condition and no technical skill is required beyond putting one foot in front of the other.

Upper Mustang Trek With Drive Back Package Details

Expect 6-8 hours of steep ups and downs mixed with “Nepal flat” (rolling slope). Be careful when clearing scree-covered terrain where paths can become dizzyingly narrow.

The hike (especially the 17-mile one) is worth every step because of the breathtaking scenery with the Himalayan backdrop commanding attention with unique views.

It should be noted that the altitude of this route increases from 9,200 feet to 14,104 feet above sea level. Upper Mustang has a barren lunar landscape. Wind-cut sandstone and irregular moraine terraces define the grassland landscape.

Upper Mustang Trek: Exploring The Forbidden Kingdom

Blessed with a rain shadow, Mustang’s climate in the Himalayas experiences less rainfall than other tropical regions of the country. It is cold and semi-arid.

Day Trek In Upper Mustang, Nepal. 16 Day Trip. Ifmga Guide

Of course, you will have lunch on the way at a tea shop on the way. But there is etiquette for dining at the guest house where you are staying.

Your guide will know the best tea houses and lodges, according to your budget and needs. Double rooms with attached bathrooms cost $4 to $12. Hike through the Upper Mustang, the mysterious valley and last forbidden kingdom of Nepal, while the IFMGA-certified Jyamchang takes you through the majestic Himalayas.

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