Upper Mustang Trek
Posted in the California Forum
Since: Jun 09
#1 Nov 20, 2012
Upper Mustang Trekking
KagbeniUpper Mustang Trek is located north of Annapurna and at an average altitude of 4,000m is geologically and culturally part of the Tibetan plateau. The valleys are arid and dry with colorful rock formations containing many cave dwellings high up in the cliffs.
Upper Mustang is a restricted area and up till 1992 it was forbidden for foreign visitors to enter the kingdom. Nowadays foreigners are allowed, but to enter Upper Mustang they have to buy a permit of US$ 500 (to be arranged through a trekking agency and valid for 10 days, each additional day costs US$ 50). there are still very few people (about 700 trekkers each year) visiting Upper Mustang as a result it is one of the few places left where one can see undisturbed Tibetan culture.
Trek To Upper Mustang start from Jomsom which fly 25 minutes from Pokhara. After arrive Jomsom You follow the famous Kali Gandaki River upstream, partly walking in the river to Kagbeni. From Kagbeni the restricted area of Upper Mustang starts. However, it is worthwhile to pay a visit to the famous pilgrim destination of Muktinath before heading north into Upper Mustang. From Kagbeni the trek goes north wards, after 4, 5 days trek, you will reach Lo Mangtang. Spend one extra day in Lomanthan and return. When you return there are partly different way via Dhakmar, crossing 2 passes of around 4,200 m. Close to Dhakmar you can find the oldest Tibetan monastery in the world, the Lo Gekar Monastery. Lo Gekar Monastery was built in the 8th century by the famous Tibetan magician Guru Rinpoche. He had to kill a powerful demon first and the blood of the demon has painted the rocks around Dhakmar bright red.
Mustang is a remote semi-independent Tibetan Kingdom with a walled capital called Lo Manthang. Upper Mustang was once part of Tibet and was used by the salt caravans crossing the Himalaya into Nepal. It became an independent kingdom in 1380 and the current royal family can trace their lineage back to this time. In 1960ís Mustang was a strong hold for Tibetan Khampa guerrillas fighting the occupying Chinese forces? CIA supported these fighters and secretly trained some of them in the US.
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