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    Damodar Kunda Overland Jeep Tour Trekking in Upper Mustang
    Sarbesh TimalsenaFeb 3rd 2024

    Located in the Controlled region of Upper Mustang, Damodar Kunda is a Holy Lake that every Hindu devotee dreams of being there at least once in their lifetime. However, due to the geographical difficulties very few people could fulfil their wishes. It is an awesome trip in the Himalayas to the Lake, which is just at the base of Damodar peak, neighboured by the Annapurna Himalayas. Even Buddhist people pay homage to this site as it is also sacred to them and associated with Guru Rinpoche. 

    4WD Jeeps are better choices for the Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Tour Trekking

    Location of Damodar Kunda in Upper Mustang

    The sacred Damodar Kunda (Lake) is located at Lo Ghekar Damodar Kunda Rural Municipality, ward number 5, the controlled region of Upper Mustang. Reaching this lake is an adventurous journey, which can be done by the trek or by the horse. 

    What is the Elevation of Damodar Kunda? 

    The elevation of the Damodar Kunda is 4890 meters; it is a cold and windy place.

    Distance of Damodar Kunda from Jomsom and Charang

    Pokhara to Beni: 96 km

    Beni to Jomsom: 86 km 

    Jomsom-Charang: 43 km

    Charang to Damodar Kunda: 102 km

    Jomsom to Damodar Kunda: 145 km 

    Religious Significance and Pilgrimage Tour to Damodar Kunda

    Damodar Kunda has been mentioned in the Purana (Hindu mythology and Holy book), and is associated to Lord Krishna.

    It is believed that all the sins of human beings will be washed away if you pay homage at the Damodar Kunda (Holy Lake). Especially, it is very significant to the pilgrimage trip for Nepali and Indian pilgrimage seekers.

    Three Kundas (Lakes) in Damodar Kunda:

    -          Chakra Kunda (Lake)

    -          Dudh Kunda (Lake)

    -          Rakta Kunda (Lake)

    Chakra Kunda and Dudh Kunda are located at the same location, whereas Rakta Kunda is located about 300 meters away. People worship at the Lakes, conduct Puja, and take a holy bath. You will see an eye image in a rainbow form is just incredible and spectacular in Chakra Kunda. 

    When Lord Krishna threw his Kush rope  (halfa plant) from his heavenly state-Vrindavan, it fell at the Damodar Kunda. So the Kush plant found at the Damodar Kunda premises is taken as highly sacred. 

    The federal government, province government, and the local government have been supporting to make the trail to Damodar Kunda more accessible and as comfortable as possible. 

    Buddhist devotees call the Damodar Kunda area Urgen Ri, which means the symbol of Guru Rinpoche. One can see the image of the head and feet of Guru Rinpoche in the Himalayas. 

    Due to the elevation and snow, it becomes a bit tough to reach the Damodar Kunda, but the route is being constructed to make it more easy. It is great to make a pilgrimage journey to the Damodar Kunda in July or August too, when other parts of Nepal remain free due to the rain. It is because the Mustang is located in the Himalayan rain shadow area. 

    Walking around the gully of Marpha- Lower Mustang. 

    Damodar Kunda Pilgrimage Tour Trek Route and Technicality

    During the Damodar Kunda Tour Trek, you need to cross a couple of high passes, which is technical enough for breathing. Although you can travel there by Jeep from Ghuma Thanti, you need to walk on a steep downhill route as it is not possible to ride a horse continually. So, high-altitude acclimatization and safety preparation are essentials. The high passes include:

    Kyumu La: 5300 Meters

    Batsyak La: 5450 Meters

    Damodar Kunda: 4890 Meters 

    Sandy cliffs dominate the entire Upper Mustang region. 

    Itinerary-Pokhara-Damodar Kunda-Pokhara Tour Trekking. 7 Days 

    Day 01: Drive Pokhara to Marpha (Jomsom). 

    Day 02: Drive Marpha (Jomsom)-Muktinath and drive to Samar. (If you fly from Pokhara to Jomsom, the journey begins from this day)

    Day 03: Samar-Syangboche-Ghiling-Ghami-Charang-Surkhang-Yra-Ghara-Luri Gumba-Ghuma Thanti.

    Day 04-05: Ghuma Thanti-Damodar Kunda-Tsarang. 

    Day 06: Tsarang-Tatopani. 

    Day 07: Drive Tatopani-Pokhara.

    At the Muktinath Temple, Mustang

    Natural Vistas on the Damodar Kunda Tour Trekking

    - Semi-arid stunning landscape

    - Rugged mountains

    - Deep canyons

    - Unique rock formations

    - High-altitude Lakes

    - Various medicinal herbs like Yarsagumba, Nirmasi, Silajit

    The gateway of Upper Mustang- Kagbeni

    Permits and Regulations for the Damodar Kunda Tour Trekking

    Three types of permits are required for the Damodar Kunda Tour Trek, which applies to all foreigners, including Indian citizens. 

    Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) entry permit 

    Upper Mustang Controlled Region Entry Special Permit

    TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) Card

    There are some regulations that you should strictly follow during the tour/trekking in the Upper Mustang region:

    -          Leave only footprints, not the rubbish in the nature

    -          Do not destroy the natural formation or cultural heritages

    -          Don't use the drone camera for the video (it's forbidden)

    -          Respect nature and natural resources

    Cultural Encounters on Damodar Kunda Tour Trek

    During the tour trek to Damodar Kunda, you will pass through various antique and outstanding villages that preserve cultural heritage sites like monasteries, chhortens, and caves. Upper Mustang is the true epitome of Tibetan Buddhist cultural prosperity you will often see the white-washed houses with the prayer flags on the rooftops. 

    Luri Gompa, Upper Mustang Near Yara Ghara, on the way to Damodar Kunda

    Best Time for the Damodar Kunda Tour Trekking

    March-April-May: Days are warmer and the skies remain clear. It’s the best time to travel with outstanding views of the surrounding landscape, hills, canyons, and the Himalayas.  

    June-July-August: They are the months of monsoon and it usually rains in many parts of Nepal. However, the Mustang region is situated beyond the Himalayas, which is a Himalayan rain shadow area. It’s great to travel/trek to Damodar Kunda in the monsoon time too without any confusion. 

    Note: Sometimes, it may rain during these months, so better to take a raincoat with you and rain boots. 


    December-January-February are extremely cold and freezing and it becomes harsh in the winter. The chilling weather and the snowy route become challenging for the tour trekking. It's better to avoid it if you don't want further challenges or if you are in a group with senior citizens.  

    Special Permits to Upper Mustang and Cost

    As you know, Upper Mustang is a controlled region of Nepal, which is also known as a restricted zone without such permits. You need to obtain special permits from the Immigration Department. Another permit you need to have is an ACAP permit, which is obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board's Office.

    The cost for the Upper Mustang Special Permit is 500 USD per person. To obtain the permit, you should be in a group, of at least 2 people as per the rule set by the Nepal government.  

    What if I can't Walk or travel by horse?

    It's best to do the Damodar Kunda Helicopter Tour, which is the only luxurious option. 

    You may also love to explore Caves and Monasteries in Upper Mustang 

    Ranchung Chungsi Cave Monastery

    Lo Ghekar Monastery-Ghar Gumba 

    Luri Gompa Monastery in Upper Mustang

    For booking and further inquiries, 

    WhatsApp: +977 9851159455 

    Email: [email protected] 


    Sarbesh TimalsenaFeb 3rd 2024

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