The Upper Mustang
Upper Mustang ‘Lo’ is the formerly Buddhist Kingdom of Himalaya and capital of ‘Lo’ Mustang was ‘Lo-Manthang’ an ancient forbidden kingdom of Himalaya is one of the most wonderful Himalayan deserts on the earth. It is located beyond the Annapurna Mountain to the North of Mustang district and bordering with Tibet and home of century-old sky caves and monasteries, the magical grand canyons, and prosperous Buddhist realm.
History of Upper Mustang and Lo (Mustang) Kingdom
Once upon Mustang was under the rule of Yarlung dynasty of central Tibet and later on Mustang was under the rule of Western Tibet Ngari.
The legendary history of Upper Mustang was begun after 1380 AD, when Ame Pal, a warier and Buddhist devout from Western Tibet made Mustang as an independent Kingdom. He defeated the local warlords and constructed a walled capital Lo-Manthang and extended Lo’s rule to Purang and Western Tibet.
At the end of the sixteenth century, Lo-Kingdom came under the power of Ladakh, and around 1760, the kingdom of Jumla in western Nepal finally succeed in making Lo its vassal.Mustang was forced to pay levies (taxes) to the Kingdom of Jumla and came under their extended Kingdom.
In 1795 Jumla was defeated by the Gorkhas and the Kingdom of Lo (Mustang) transferred its allegiances to Gorkha, which by then was the capital of a unified Nepal.
In 1855 Lo supported Nepal against the Tibetans. The King of Nepal thus allowed the King of Mustang to keep his title of ‘Raja of Mustang’ although he had little politely power.
The economy of Lo, Bahragaon, and Panchgaon suffered since the Thakalis gained control over the salt trade along the Kali Gandaki in 1862.
In 1951 introduction of constitutional monarchy in Nepal resulted Mustang became a district and took away much of the King’s power.
Following the Chinese exaction of full control over Tibet in 1959, the Khampa guerillas based their resistance movement in Lo and Nepalese government declared the Mustang District as a restricted area.
Arise of parliamentary democracy in 1990, the new government of Nepal decided to reopen Upper Mustang partially for the foreigners and since 1992 Upper Mustang open to foreigners with taking special permit from the Department of Immigration of Nepal.In the same year, the Annapurna conservation area was extended to include Upper Mustang.
Lo Manthang was capital city of formerly Kingdom of ‘Lo’. In the 1380’s, King Ame Pal established ‘Kingdom of Lo’ and Mustang became an independent Kingdom. He also walled the city Lo Manthang, and there are about 180 houses including some of largest and finest Tibetan Buddhist Gompas in Nepal.
Traditionally, Lo Manthang had a single entrance, through which only King, Queen and Khempo Abbot were allowed to ride whereas other public must walk to pay their respects to Chenrenzig, the Buddha of compassion. King Jigme Palbar Bista is the 25th descendent of Ame Pal living is still taking as a somewhat ceremonial role among Mustangies ‘Lobas’.
Within the walled Lo Manthang there abput 180 houses with narrow street including four major Gompas of Lo Manthang, the 14th century, bricke-red Jampa Lhakhnag, 15th century Thubchen Gompa (Assembly hall), Chhoede Gompa (Khempo’s residence) and Choprang Gompa.
Our Upper Mustang trek takes you into the hidden former Buddhist kingdom of Himalaya Upper Mustang. In this trek, we venture deep into the ‘Sky Caves’, ancient Buddhist Monasteries, Tibetan style Buddhist culture of ‘Lobas’.
Situated in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri range, Mustang is one of the most alluring beautiful regions of Nepal. The grand canyons, an amazing rock formation, royal palaces, traditional whitewashed Tibetan style houses with firewood tucked on roofs, century-old fortresses, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, friendly people, snow-capped peaks, and wide barren landscapes characterizing this region.
Upper Mustang and its walled capital, Lo Manthang is a remote and beautiful region, where Tibetan Buddhism and pre-Buddhist Bon religion prospering harmoniously. Both of this religion is practiced in purest form no elsewhere in the world.
Himalayan Companion’s Upper Mustang trek begins with a scenic mountain flight from Pokhara to Jomsom. The flight is an adventure in itself flying through the deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki, which runs between the Dhaulagiri and the Nilgiri mountains. Beyond Jomsom, Upper Mustang trek is winds through the amazing desert landscape scenery of Kaligandaki gorge, around the side of enormous Mountains, over the high pass to walled town Lo Manthang a capital of the former kingdom of ‘Lo’. Visiting the ancient caves of Dhakmar with its blood-red cliff and Gar Gompa surrounded by Mani walls and Chortens is an amazing experience of Upper Mustang Trek.
Frequently ask question for Upper Mustang Trek
Where can I buy Upper Mustang trekking Map?
Once you booked the trip with Himalayan Companion, we will provide you required Upper trekking Map in Kathmandu.
How long is Upper Mustang trek itinerary?
Generally, Upper Mustang Trek is undertaken with the timeframe of 17 Night 18 days from your arrival day in Nepal to Depart from Nepal. Based on your interest and budget it can be customized.
What is the Upper Mustang trek altitude?
The maximum altitude of Upper Mustang trek is 4200 m, which is not higher like Everest and Annapurna trekking.
Which is the best season for Upper Mustang Trek?
Upper Mustang area is located in the rain-shadowed area of Nepal; so it can be undertaken whole year except winter. However, spring (March June) and autumn (Sept-November) is the best season for Upper Mustang trekking.
Where can I get the Mustang Trekking Permit?
Mustang trekking permits only issued by government registered Trekking Agencies in Nepal, Rugged Trails Nepal is one of it.Hence, once you confirm with Himalayan Companion we will arrange all the government procedure.
Can I trek alone to Upper Mustang?
Upper Mustang is restricted region of Nepal and you can’t trek alone to Upper Mustang, there must be minimum 2 people.
Upper Mustang trekking permit cost?
Upper Mustang trekking permit cost 500 $ per person for 10 days and 50 $ for extra per day.
How is the Upper Mustang trekking route?
Upper Mustang trekking starts after a scenic fly from Pokhara to Jomsom, then you trek along the Kaligandaki Valley, surpassing amazing landscapes, Tibetan cultures, chorten, and monasteries on the trail.