“Manang – Mustang”: A best Trekking Destination of Nepal

Mustang is an olden prohibited kingdom, bordered by the Tibetan Plateau and sheltered by some of the world’s tallest peaks, jointly with 8000-meter tall Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Strict regulations of tourists here have aided in maintaining Tibetan traditions. Upper Mustang was a controlled demilitarized area until 1992, which makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world due to its relative isolation from the outside world, with a mass of the population still speaking traditional Tibetic languages. The forename “Mustang” is derived from the Tibetan word meaning, “Plain of Aspiration.” Upper Mustang was only opened to a foreigner in 1992 (annual quota at present of 1,000 people). It is an accepted area for trekking and can be visited year-round (regardless of season).

Throughout the Manang Mustang Trekking, you experience the Himalayas, Himalayan locality with cultural and ritual offerings. Mustang welcomes you with ritual sculpture with the head of Yak. The Marpha valley with a delightful apple garden welcomes you to the unique Apple Distillery. Tibetan Refugee Camp, Muktinath temple, Thakali Museum, Kaligandaki River with fossils are other highlights of the Manang Mustang Trekking which we explore. Jomsom valley with Thakali Hospitality to Chitwan jungle activities Himalayan Thunder Treks team organizes trip notable with adventurous, memorable, and safe. We know how, when, and where to make a move explore Nepalese Himalaya with a cultural touch.

Upper Mustang restricted :

Upper Mustang was a controlled demilitarized area until 1992, which makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world due to its relative isolation from the outside world, with a bulk of the population still speaking traditional Tibetian languages.

10 Facts about Upper Mustang:

  1. Mustang was a misplaced kingdom of Tibet and although it is part of Nepal now, traditions and cultures stay purely Tibetan. From the 15th century to the 17th century, its strategic position granted Mustang control over the trade connecting the Himalayas and India. At the end of the 18th century, the kingdom was annexed by Nepal. Most tourists take a trip by foot over largely the same trade route used in the 15th century.
  2. Residing in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri, life in Mustang revolves in the order of tourism, animal husbandry, and trade.
  3. The organizational center of Mustang is at Jomsom which has had an airport since 1962 and has become the central tourist entry point since Mustang was open to western tourists in 1992.
  4. The biodiversity of the region – entire hillsides swipe with pink and red rhododendron forest bursting with birdsong.
  5. Cultural trails in the province take into the homes of Gurungs in the lowlands, the hospitality of Thakalis in the order of Jomsom, Manang is in the east, and Tibetans in the arid north.
  6. The mystical ‘Kingdom of Lo’ or Upper Mustang, the final example of living Tibetan culture in Nepal, used to be a division of the Tibetan empire and is therefore closely connected to Tibet. Tibetan Buddhism is still being practiced in a very pure form and villages are built in the Tibetan style even these days.
  7. Lo Mangthang is a medieval urban, surrounded by a huge town wall. Entering Lo Mangthang leads into a dissimilar world. In Lo Mangthang, travelers can discover the palace of the king, a huge 4 story high building. Besides, there are a few gorgeous big monasteries, for case the Thugchen Gompa, built in the 15th century.
  8. Upper Mustang trek offers a possibility to explore the thousand years of an old monastery, caves, local tribes, and scenic beauty of the different landscapes.
  9. The trek to Upper Mustang passes from side to side an almost tree-less barren landscape, a steep rocky trail up and downhill and panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and several additional peaks.
  10. Another attraction of the Mustang section is the Tiji Festival influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. The Mustagi people have their own way of relative’s life, which is quite surprising for many outsiders. All the brothers in the family are married to a single girl, which you may identify as a practice of polyandry.

Top attraction of Mustang:

  1. Muktinath Temple
  2. Jomsom Muktinath Trek
  3. Kali Gandaki Revier
  4. Ghar Gompa
  5. Red cliffs

Five main destinations while visit in mustang:

  1. Mysterious caves and the palaces: Mustang’s civilization dates back about 3,000 years. In Lo Manthang, in Upper Mustang, there is a plethora of cave carved out high up in the dirty hills. These ‘sky caves’ are mysterious, leaving guests wondering about the lives of locals in primordial Mustang. There is still no consensus on who carved out these caves, and why or when. These caves are the most important tourist attractions and rich sources of research into the religious and social lives of the locals of Mustang. According to the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), there are concerning a hundred such caves in Mustang. Thupchhan Chhimi Gurung, an 89-year-old local from Lo Manthang, says that the caves were constructed as hideaway from gangs incoming from Tibet in ancient times.
  2. Dhumba—the heart-shaped lake: Dhumba lake is just about an hour’s walk from Jomsom, the headquarters of Mustang. It is located in Sambe village in Gharpajhong Rural Municipality, at an altitude of 2,862m above sea level, and is known as the ‘heart-shaped lake’. The lake is 130m wide, 160m long and 10m deep. It takes about 15 minutes to complete one rotation of the lake on foot. Thumb Lake overlooks Thorong Peak and Nilgiri North to the east, Manapathi to the west, and Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak to the south, and Thini village to the north. 
  3. Mustang Eco Museum: This museum is located just beside Jomsom Airport and features significant art facts of Tibetan culture, the life story of the famed Japanese monk “Ekai Kawaguchi” known for his explorations in Mustang and Tibet, a photograph of the many tribes of Mustang, and their tools and utensils. In another section of the museum, there are photographs of Mustang’s geology, along with and shaligrams and rare rocks. Shaligrams are fossilized seashells which indicate the fact that this arid mountainous desert state was once underwater.
  4. Thini Home Stay: Thini is known as the place of origin of the Thakali tribe. The village, also known as Sumpa, is a closely-clustered settlement of 110 households that overlook mountains such as Nilgiri North and South, and Tilicho lake. The Kaligandaki River flows from below the hill where Thini rests. In Thini, apple farming dominates the traditional crops of potatoes, buckwheat, wheat, and maize. A community homestay came into operation in Thini three years ago.
  5. Yaruju ViewPoint: The viewpoint falls along the way to Tilicho Lake from Thini village. There is a motorable highway up to Yaruju, and guests can reach there from Thini in about three hours. Yaruju gives you perhaps the best view of Jomsom to the south and the apple rural community of Marpha to the north and almost all parts of Upper Mustang. It takes about two days walk to arrive at Tilicho from Yaruju, but the local management is currently extending the road up to Namulekh. Once construction is complete, visitors can reach Tilicho in a single day.

Conclusion: Mustang is one of the many isolated regions of Nepal. Trek to Mustang is an unusual privilege. In a mountainous adjoining of Mustang, you get to do various things.

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Priyanka Mandal
Priyanka Mandal is a Web Developer. She is fascinated with writing and share her knowledge among the readers. She does her best writing on the latest technology & education.
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