Upper Mustang Trek Highlights
- Stunning Landscape: Upper Mustang is known for its dramatic and otherworldly landscape. The region is characterized by deep canyons, towering cliffs, and striking rock formations carved by wind and water over centuries. The barren hills, rugged mountains, and wide open spaces create a surreal and mesmerizing environment.
- Himalayan Peaks: The region offers panoramic views of several majestic Himalayan peaks, including Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and many others. These snow-capped mountains form a stunning backdrop against the stark and arid landscape of Upper Mustang, creating a picturesque vista at every turn.
- Ancient Caves and Monasteries: Upper Mustang is renowned for its ancient caves and monasteries. The region is home to numerous caves that were once used as dwellings by monks and hermits. Some of these caves are adorned with intricate Buddhist murals, while others contain ancient manuscripts and artifacts. The monasteries, such as the renowned Lo Gekar Monastery and Tsarang Monastery, are architectural marvels and important pilgrimage sites.
- Lo Manthang: The walled city of Lo Manthang is the cultural heart of the Upper Mustang. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former capital of the Kingdom of Lo. The city is characterized by its unique mud-brick buildings, narrow alleys, and the imposing 15th-century royal palace. The preserved Tibetan Buddhist traditions, colorful festivals, and warm hospitality of the local people make Lo Manthang an enchanting destination.
- Forbidden Kingdom: Until 1992, Upper Mustang was restricted to foreign visitors, earning it the nickname "The Last Forbidden Kingdom." This isolation helped preserve the region's distinct culture, traditions, and heritage. Exploring Upper Mustang feels like stepping back in time, offering a glimpse into a traditional Tibetan Buddhist way of life that has remained relatively untouched for centuries.
- Tiji Festival: One of the most celebrated events in the Upper Mustang is the Tiji Festival. This three-day religious festival is held annually in Lo Manthang and showcases vibrant masked dances, rituals, and performances that depict the triumph of good over evil. The festival attracts both locals and tourists, creating a festive and vibrant atmosphere in the region.
- Hospitality and Culture: The people of Upper Mustang are known for their warm hospitality and deeply ingrained Tibetan Buddhist culture. Interacting with the locals, experiencing their way of life, and participating in traditional rituals can be a truly enriching experience. The genuine kindness and generosity of the people add to the overall beauty of the region.
Upper Mustang Trek Overview:
The Upper Mustang trek takes you to the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang, the lost Tibetan Kingdom, and one of the most astonishing valleys that exist in Nepal. Mustang literally hides behind the soaring snowy range of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. This ancient kingdom of Mustang was opened to the outside world only in 1992.
Mustang has very successfully managed to retain its culture without any influence from the outside world and modernization. Without a doubt, its people have accomplished preserving this magnificent trans-Himalayan kingdom.
Upper Mustang Trek is a journey of remarkable contrasts with vast and barren Tibetan landscapes, century-old cliff-hanging monasteries, cultured settlements with lush rice fields, and timeless traditions. Upper Mustang, a forbidden kingdom and a source of the world's deepest gorge, Kali Gandaki is simply phenomenal.
In terms of difficulty, the upper Mustang is attainable for anyone with reasonable fitness. In fact, now anyone can drive to this sensational hidden valley. The Upper Mustang trekking permit may seem expensive as it costs $500 for 10 days permit but it's worth visiting. it's a special opportunity which you may probably have it only once.
“Nepal's Treasured Beauty and Marvel - The Forbidden Kingdom of Nepal"
The Upper Mustang trek is indeed a great opportunity to explore the restricted kingdom of Nepal. It's an adventure from the very first day when you fly through the world's deepest valley to Jomsom airport. Popularly known as a desert of Nepal, Upper Mustang indeed has a mystical presence. However, every village in the upper Mustang is more like a mirage that appears lush green in the middle of nowhere.
Every year in the month of May Mustang celebrates one of their major festival called the Tiji Festival. It's a prayer for 'Peace'. Both local and international tourists visit Upper Mustang during this festival.
The Beauty of Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang is a region of breathtaking beauty and cultural significance. Nestled in the rain shadow of the mighty Himalayas, the Upper Mustang is a hidden gem with a unique landscape, rich history, and vibrant Tibetan Buddhist culture.
The beauty of Upper Mustang, often referred to as the "Last Forbidden Kingdom," is a captivating blend of natural grandeur and rich cultural heritage. Nestled within the rugged landscapes of the Himalayas in Nepal, this unique region boasts a surreal and arid terrain with its ancient Tibetan-influenced culture and architecture.
The dramatic vistas of towering red cliffs, canyons, and wind-sculpted rock formations are fascinating. Further, it is complemented by the striking contrast of vibrant green oasis-like villages set against the glaring, desert-like backdrop. The ancient walled city of Lo Manthang, with its unique medieval design, still stands the test of time.
The ancient monasteries and the narrow maze-like alleyways demonstrate the historical and cultural treasures of the Upper Mustang. All these make Upper Mustang a destination of unparalleled charm and intrigue for trekkers and explorers alike.
Upper Mustang is certainly a unique experience of being in a once-forbidden kingdom. Its untouched beauty and preserved traditions make it a must-visit destination for those seeking a blend of natural splendor and cultural immersion.
UPPER MUSTANG PERMITS AND RESTRICTIONS:
The formidable kingdom of Lo, The Upper Mustang is a restricted area, located in the remote Himalayan region of Nepal. Since Upper Mustang was open to the outside world in 1992, only a small number of treks are permitted each year which makes it a very exclusive trekking destination.
Being a restricted area there are a few restrictions and limitations for Foreign Trekkers:
- First, Foreign Trekkers are forbidden to trek alone. Nepal immigration doesn’t issue special permits for a single individual traveler. The minimum no of foreign travelers must be at least 2.
- Second, all foreign trekkers must be affiliated with a local travel company to visit Upper Mustang. If you book through any of the local travel agencies, they will arrange everything for you.
- Finally, the SPECIAL PERMITS.
Permits required for the Upper Mustang trek include:
- All trekkers require a SPECIAL TREKKING PERMIT (Restricted Area Permit) which costs $500 per trekker and is issued by the Nepal Immigration office. The most crucial thing to know is, that special permits are only issued for a minimum of 10 days of permit validity. However, anyone can extend further but you can't lessen the minimum number of days.
This literally means, that even if you travel to Upper Mustang for 5 days you will still need a 10-day validity permit that costs you $500. If by any chance you wish to extend your days in Upper Mustang past 10 days then an additional $50 per day per trekker will be charged.
- Additional permits are, ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) permits. Since Upper Mustang falls in Annapurna Conservation Area Project you would require a national park permit.
- Next is the TIMS (Trekking Information Management System) permit – all together, ACAP and TIMS will cost you an extra $50 per trekker. TIMS permit was discontinued during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. There are plans to require the permit again starting in 2024, but the details are not yet finalized. So it's still uncertain if or how the permit will be enforced in the future.
However, the cost of ACAP and TIMS permits for trekkers from the SAARC ( South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries is around NPR. 1300 per trekker, this price guideline is subject to change sometimes over certain immigration amendments. The number of days for these permits is not restricted to the limited number of days like Special permits. All of this, however, will be organized by Nepal Pyramids before you arrive in Kathmandu.
People also search for: