21 Days/20 Nights
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 day 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 DorjeJono 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. DorjeJono 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 01: Arrive Kathmandu.
Upon arrival at Kathmandu, meet our representative and transfer to hotel.
Day 02: Sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley.
Explore the Durbar Squares, Hindu Temples, Buddhist Monasteries, arts and architectures of Kathmandu Valley.
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara.
Drive 6 hours or take an optional 30 minutes mountain flight to Pokhara. In the afternoon, visit the local sights in Pokhara.
Day 04: Flight to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2900m/9,512 ft)
It's another short flight (25 minutes) from Pokhara to Jomsom, which otherwise would require7-8 days of strenuous trekking. The air route follows the World's deepest gorge- the Kali Gandaki Gorge between Annapurna I (8,091m) and Ddhaulagiri (8,167m) mountains. Upon arrival, collect our gear and supplies and trek 3 hours to Kagbeni alongside the Kaligandaki River.
Day 05: Kagbeni to Chele (3030m/9,938ft, 7 hrs)
Leaving town we ascend little Chrotenvia a dusty path. We travel up and down alongsidetheKaligandakiRiver and arrive at Tangbe for lunch. Following the same path we cross the Chusang River and then cross the bridge on Kaligandaki. We then have a small climb to Chele with good views of the red cliffs.
Day 06-07: Chele to Charang (3,650m/11, 972 ft)
It is a two day trek to Charang, with 7 hours of walking each day.Over the two days we will cross several mountain passes and enjoy good views of the mountains and their colorful landscape. We will see Alpine meadows with animals and pass by manyChortens, Mani walls and little bhatties
Day 08: To Lo Manthang (3,760m/12,338 ft, 4 hrs)
Lo-Manthang-the capital of Mustang is situated at an elevation of 3,760m/12,338ft and is reachable by a 4 hour hike from Charang. This is the chief destination of our trek. We will have opportunity to explore this mysterious capital of the lost Kingdom.
Day 09-Day 13: Explore Lo-Manthang and Attend the Tiji Festival
This fortified town is believed to be 600 years old. The wall around the town is said to protect the town and its dwellers from the evil spirits. For the next several days we will explore this mysterious capital of the lost Kingdom and attend the Tiji Festival.
Day 14: 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. After crossing a ridge at 4,070m, the trail then proceeds to Gekar. Lo GekarGompa is one of the oldest Gompas of Nepal, even older than the famed SamyeGompa of Tibet.
Day 15: To Samar
Today we back track on the route we took heading north to Lo Manthang, but this time we will camp in the quaint town of Samar. This will be approximately a 6.5 hour walk.
Day 16: To Kagbeni
Again retrace our steps to Kagbeni, where we will leave the restricted area of Mustang. 6 hours.
Day 17: To Jomsom
Today is a short walk (1.5 hours)to Jomsom. There will be time to relax and enjoy the spectacular views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Massifs.
Day 18: Flight to Pokhara to Kathmandu
Get on board for flight to Pokhara and connect to Kathmandu. Note: this is a mountain flight and subject to weather conditions
Day 19-20: Two reserve days, in case you are not lucky with the weather for the Jomsom/Pokhara flightsIf weather favors us and we can fly as planned, we can utilize these reserve days for optional sightseeing or a visit to Chitwan National Park.
Day 21: Depart
Transfer to airport for your international flight back home.