- Overview of Mustang
- Geographical Variations of Upper Mustang:
- Cultural Prosperity in Upper Mustang
- Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) and Upper Mustang Tour
- Vehicle for the Upper Mustang Overland Tour
- Permit Requirements:
- How many days are required for the Upper Mustang Overland Jeep Tour?
- Food and Accommodations in Upper Mustang Overland Tour
Upper Mustang overland Tour is a journey to one of the most impressive destinations of Nepal from both points of view- naturally and culturally. The tour can be organized from Kathmandu or Pokhara, and its itinerary ranges from a week to 10 Days. An abundant number of caves, colorful chhortens and monasteries, mani walls, and iconic white-washed houses are major attractions of the tour. Without a doubt, the Upper Mustang Overland tour opens the bundle of mysteries and cultural prosperity.
Overview of Mustang
For a long time, the Upper Mustang region remained unnoticed, and little information could be found as it was closer to Tibet than the country itself. The cultural mysteries, colorful monasteries, and chhortens, festivals, and celebrations along with the breathtaking semi-arid landscape came to be noticed after 1992 AD when the Nepal government started to authorize travelers and trekkers to explore the hidden part of Upper Mustang by issuing a special permit, which is 500 USD per person.
The Mustang region has distinct two parts- the lower Mustang and the Upper Mustang. Lower Mustang lies in the Annapurna Conservation Area Project and the permit there is affordable even by the budget trekkers. The world-renowned Hindu pilgrimage destination Muktinath (3800 meters) is the last point of the Lower Mustang Overland Tour. Ghasa-Lete-Kobang-Marpha-Jomsom-Kagbeni are some of the impressive towns in the Lower Mustang.
The border of Upper Mustang begins from Chhuksang, which is an impressive town beside the Kali Gandaki River. Ahead of it, you will pass through Chele, Samar, Syangbochen, Ghiling, Ghami, Dhakmar, Tsarang, Yara, Ghara, Tangge, Tetang, Lomanthang and Choser are picturesque towns in Upper Mustang.
Upper Mustang was ruled by the king for many years. After the Kingdom ended up in Nepal, it was the same in Upper Mustang. Lomanthang served as the capital of Upper Mustang, which is a stone-walled town. You will see the historical palace there even today but without the crowned King.
Roaming around Lomanthang
Geographical Variations of Upper Mustang:
Upper Mustang's landscape is almost semi-arid, which is also a Himalayan rainshadow area. The landscape begins from 2900 meters and it goes up to 4600 meters altitude, except the Himalayas. People call it a mirror of the Grand Canyons as the landscape is truly amazing. To the higher territory, Upper Mustang serves as a border, known as the Kora La border.
Cultural Prosperity in Upper Mustang
The Lopa groups are the initial habitats of the Upper Mustang. Then there comes Gurung and Thakali. Almost all the people in Upper Mustang are Buddhists especially Tibetan Buddhists. Most of the houses are white-washed and have Buddhist flags on the rooftops.
Various festivals are celebrated in the Upper Mustang. Local people and monks play their traditional musical instruments, sing tribal songs, and perform cultural, and religious dances. The festivals include Tiji Festival, Yartung Festival, Festival and Puja at Ghar Gumba and Luri Gumba, Losar (aka Tibetan New Year), and so on.
A chhorten on the way to Lomanthang
Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) and Upper Mustang Tour
In the 8th century, A Tibetan Lama wanted to build a monastery in Tibet, but he was so disturbed by a demon. Being so much exhausted, the Lama called Guru Rinpoche from Nepal Guru Rinpoche was in Nepal, meditating in caves like Asura Cave, Yanglesho Cave, and Maratika Cave. Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) chased the demon from Tibet, but it came to Nepal-Upper Mustang. While chasing the demon, he killed it by the Vajra and spread the blood on the cliffs. So, the sandy cliffs of Dhakmar are fully red. There is a Lo Ghekar Gompa (Ghar Gompa) built at that time. Similarly, Guru Rinpoche meditated in various caves of Upper Mustang like Chungsi Cave, Dhakmar, and others.
Vehicle for the Upper Mustang Overland Tour
It is recommended to have a 4WD Jeep for the Upper Mustang Overland Tour. Although the road is so great, sometimes, you may face problems with normal cars. Besides that, small buses can go there too. But the best is a private 4WD Jeep, if you want luxury, a Private Land Cruiser Jeep is the best.
Upper Mustang Controlled region requires a permit for non-Nepali citizens, even for Indian citizens, who don't need a visa to enter Nepal.
The upper Mustang Special permit cost is 500 USD per person. There should be at least 2 people to obtain this permit which is issued by the immigration department of Nepal.
How many days are required for the Upper Mustang Overland Jeep Tour?
It depends on your interest in the tour. For a major overview tour of the caves, monasteries, and palaces, we have 10 10-day Upper Mustang Overland Tour from Kathmandu. If you want to shorten it, it is still possible.
Kathmandu-Lomanthang-Upper Mustang-Kathmandu: 10 Days (can be customized)
Pokhara-Upper Mustang-Lomanthang-Pokhara: 7 Days (can be customized in 4 nights 5 days)
Food and Accommodations in Upper Mustang Overland Tour
Food items vary as per location, but the Mustang Overland Tour is a yummy tour route, where you will find mouth-watering typical Nepali dishes, Indian cuisine, and continental food items. Thakali Khana (rice, lentil, curry, pickle) is the best one you should try.
Accommodations vary as well. But there are numerous lodges/hotels with attached bathrooms, hot showers, and warm dining halls. Even in the common lodges, they do have neat and cozy rooms with required warm quilts. Things have changed a lot in the past with added facilities in the guest houses.
For further queries and bookings,
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