The small kingdom of Mustang, closed to westerners until 1992, is an enchanting land of windswept vistas, red walled monasteries, and feudal towns. Geographically and culturally more a part of Tibet than Nepal, Mustang contains a wild landscape of eroded cliffs and hidden caves. Lo Manathang—the fortified capital city and home to the king of Mustang—is a 5 days trek from Jomsom. Indeed, the trek to Lo Manthang is through an almost treeless barren landscape, along a steeply undulating rocky trail, from which there are panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and a range of other soaring peaks.
We will explore the city and visit outlying villages to the north of the capital—all of this through a landscape of indescribable vastness and beauty; and home to the infamous Snow Leopard, the endangered Bharal (Blue Sheep), and the mythical Mehti (Abominable Snowman). Rimmed by 20,000+ snowcapped peaks and bathed in hues of orange and red rocks with sporadic fields of vibrant green, yellow and red of barley, maize, and buckwheat, Mustang is a step back to a simpler time. During our visit, we’ll take a chance in meeting the king, a simple and friendly personality.
We will also attend the famous Tiji Festival of Mustang which is a three-day ritual known as "The chasing of the Demons”. Tiji is a myth that tells the story of a deity named Dorje Jono who battles against his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang. The demon father wreaks havoc on Mustang by creating a water shortage which, in this extremely arid land, is the most precious life-sustaining resource. Dorje Jono eventually defeats the demon and banishes him from the land. Throughout the festival the events and story of the myth are re-enacted. The festival is timed to coincide with the end of the dry season (late winter/spring) and ushers in the wetter monsoon season.
Tiji comes from the words "ten che" meaning "the hope of Buddha Dharma prevailing in all worlds" and is a spring renewal festival that also celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Our return is via the rarely visited eastern side of Mustang and the ancient Gompa at Luri. Hidden canyons and stairways lead to the Gompa, which contain unique wall paintings. Scenically unlike any other area in Nepal, a trek into the hidden Kingdom of Mustang is a uniquely rewarding experience.
Day 1, May 22: Arrive Kathmandu. Upon arrival at Kathmandu, meet our representative and transfer to hotel.
Day 2, May 23: Sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley. Explore the Durbar Squares, Hindu Temples, Buddhist Monasteries, arts and architectures of Kathmandu Valley.
Day 3, May 24: Drive to Pokhara. Drive 6 hrs or take 30 minutes optional mountain flight to Pokhara - the capital of nature. Afternoon, visit the local sights.
Day 4, May 25: Flight to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2900 m/9,512 ft)
It's another short flight (25 minutes) from Pokhara to Jomsom, which otherwise is a 7-8 days strenuous trekking. The air route follows the the World's deepest gorge- Kali Gandaki Gorge between Annapurna I (8,091 m) and Ddhaulagiri (8,167 m) mountains. Upon arrival, collect the gears and supplies and trek 3 hours to Kagbeni alongside the Kaligandaki River.
Day 5, May 26: Kagbeni to Chele (3030m/9,938ft, 7 hrs). Leaving town ascend little Chroten with dusty path. Up and down along side of Kaligandaki arrive Tangbe for lunch than still same kind of path cross the Chusang River and cross the bridge on Kaligandaki. Little climb to Chele with good views of walls with red color.
Days 6-7, May 27-28: Chele to Charang (3,650 m/11, 972 ft) its two days trekking to Charang, with 7 hrs daily walk. This day stay with several passes and good views of mountain and colorful landscape, which is water, washed walls. Alpine meadows with animals Chortens, Mani walls and little bhatties.
Day 8, May 29: To Lo Manthang (3,760 m/12,338 ft, 4 hrs). Lo-manthang-the capital of Mustang is situated in the elevation of 3,760m/12,338 ft and is accessible by 4 hrs hiking from Charang. This is the chief destination of our trek. This fortified town is believed to be 600 years old. The wall around the town is believed to protect the town and its dwellers from the evil spirits. Explore the mysterious capital of the lost Kingdom.
Days 9-12, May 30-June 2: Explore Lo-Manthang and Attend the Tiji Festival
-the capital of Mustang is situated in the elevation of 3,760m/12,338 ft and is chief destination of our trek. This fortified town is believed to be 600 years old. The wall around the town is believed to protect the town and its dwellers from the evil spirits. Explore the mysterious capital of the lost Kingdom and attend the Tiji Festival.
Day 13, June 3: To Ghami via Gekar. This is an opportunity to visit two other villages on your return trek. The trail climbs steadily to the pass marked by a cairn, offering a last glimpse of Lomanthang. Crossing a ridge at 4,070m, the trail then bumpily to Gekar. Lo Gekar Gompa is one of the oldest Gompas of Nepal and older than the famed Samye Gompa of Tibet.
Day 14, June 4: To Samar. Today we back track the route we took heading north to Lo Manthang, but we will camp in the quaint town of Samar. 6.5 hours.
Day 15, June 5: To Kagbeni. Again retrace our steps to Kagbeni, where we will leave the restricted area of Mustang. 6 hours.
Day 16, June 6: To Jomsom. A short walk to Jomsom on this day. Time to relax and enjoy the spectacular views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Massifs. 1.5 hours.
Day 17, June 7: Flight to Pokhara to Kathmandu. Get on board for flight to Pokhara and connect to Kathmandu. This is a mountain flight and subject to weather condition.
Day 18-19, June 8-9: Two reserve days, in case you are not lucky with the weather for Jomsom/Pokhara flight. If weather favors and you could fly as planned, you can utilize these reserve days on optional sightseeing or visit to Chitwan National Park.
Day 20, June 10: Depart. Transfer to airport for your international flight back home.
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