Trek to upper Mustang - an exploration of the fascinating medieval Himalayan Kingdom.
Mustang Trip: then and now
Mustang trek is an exploration of the concealed valleys of upper Mustang in Nepal. Interestingly it nestled between Tibet and the Himalayas - a place different from the rest of the world. The wall city of Lomanthang used to be a part of Tibetan kingdom of Gungthang until 1830s. The early history of Lomanthang is embellished in myths and legends rather then the recorded facts. Even though the upper Mustang is changing it still surprises the visitors with its stunning vista and the stubborn way it cling to its unique culture. Indeed the culture is fighting back, crumbing art works are being restored. Crumbing monasteries have been rebuilt and refilled with the sound of bald-headed children in robes studying the ancient Buddhist ways.
There are around 275 houses in Lo Mangthang having four castes. The royal caste, the everyday folk, the blacksmiths and the butchers and millers. The whole Lo manthang village has solar electricity now a days. Decorative style small herb garden of various holy decorations, flapping flags and of course stacked firewood. There was a time when it was the mandatory of certain family to supply the firewood for the royal family. Sky burial and polyandry are still remain practice in this upper mustang region.
It is believed that Guru Rinpoche had fought with demon among the Mustang's snow capped mountain, desert canyons, and grassland. Once Guru Rinpoche killed the demon, it is said he scattered the demon’s body parts across Mustang valley. Consequently its blood formed the towering red cliffs and its intestines tumbled near to Ghami where people have later on build the stone prayer wall. Thus the longest prayer wall in Nepal, on top of the demon’s intestines.
Upper Mustang trekking
Upper Mustang trekking in Nepal was officially opened in 1992. Particularly limited numbers of trekkers are only allowed each year. Thus to protect and conserve the local Tibetan tradition and the fragile environment. Mustang trek unfolds the fabled forbidden kingdom's vast and arid valleys, eroded canyons, yak caravans. Further more the colourful - painted mud brick houses next to majestic mountain of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri ranges .
Surprising this Upper Mustang trekking trip is one of the best trek to do even in the monsoon season in Nepal. Hence it lies in the rain shadow, north of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, completely sheltered from the monsoon. We take return Pokhara Jomsom Pokhara flight to avoid the lower rainy section hike in Annapurna region. The best advantage of doing this cultural trek in monsoon time is that the village are full of local people busy at their every day works. Further more the whole region are in bloom which makes really a fabulous contrast with the wind eroded hills, red cliffs and snow capped mountains on the back ground – a great vista. Thus upper Mustang trek is once in a lifetime destination to explore the fascinating medieval walled kingdom of Lo Manthang.