Nar Phu to Upper Mustang Trek

Nar Phu to Upper Mustang Trek

TripGrade: Strenuous
Strenuous Trekking Grade is both moderate and difficult. Even in this grade, treks reach around 5000-5500 meters. You will have to walk generally for 6-7 hours each day. Strenuous treks require good physical condition and acclimatization. If some problems seem to appear, you have to walk down and take some hot drinks or soup ( + rest). You may be affected rapidly if you have high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease or complicated medical conditions. Advise is required from your doctor before starting these kinds of treks.

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Duration:

25 Days

Country:
Max Altitude:

Throng – La Top (5416m)

Group Size

Min 2 Pax

Trial Access:

Private Vehicle / Flight

Best Season:

    Nar Phu to Upper Mustang Trek is a combination of the Nar Phu Valley and the Mustang trek. First of all, you begin your trek by approaching the remote fortified Tibetan villages in the Nar Phu Valley. It is located on the eastern side of the Annapurna Circuit. You further proceed on an exploratory trek to the Mustang region. Nar Phu Upper Mustang Trek will take you across a rugged and beautiful landscape.

    For your information, this is the ancient trade routes over a high pass to Upper Mustang where you can have the experience of staying with the nomads.

    *Nomads are those people who frequently keep changing their habitat for a living and doing trades.

    Initially, this region was virgin land. But now, few explorers have stepped up at this region. Therefore, you will be mesmerized by the untouched beauty of this region.

    During this trek, you will walk along the eastern-winter route from Lo and explore the recently discovered Buddhist caves. These caves are located in such a fascinating way, that they seem as if they have been built in the sky.

    On the way, you will also visit some quaint. Additionally, you will encounter beautiful but remotely located villages like Dhi, Ghara, Tange, and Yara along with the renowned Luri and Tashi Kabum cave Gompas.

    Nar Phu was still unexplored a few years back. Therefore has a smaller presence of trekkers in this region. But, now it is open for trekking.

    This area is predominantly inhabited by ethnic Tibetans, who have been traders for so many generations. As a result, they have always lived an isolated life.

    Phu is an interesting fortified village perched on a hill at the intersection of many glacial valleys. It is backed by high Himalayan peaks. Likewise, Nar is an interesting and bustling village of slightly more modern ‘Bhotias’, or Nepali Tibetans. In comparison, both the places are equally stunning and beautiful. The trek through the Kingdom of Lo along the Kali Gandaki is a timeless and breathtaking journey. Kali Gandaki is the deepest river gorge in the world.

    The trail from Lo goes through a hidden Tibetan Buddhist enclave which was forbidden to foreigners, until recently. Taking the most remote routes, we venture deep into the land of the last nomads of Mustang (perhaps Nepal).

    The nomads still live their traditional migratory lifestyle on the high plateaus bordering Tibet. Nearby, we will also explore the forgotten Tibetan Buddhist cave monasteries. It has some of the most exquisite murals of the Tibetan Buddhist world, dating back to ancient times.

    This region is marked with sculpted canyons and amazing rock formations. In addition, it has the presence of some of the very medieval age villages, ruined fortresses, royal palaces, unexplored Neolithic cave complexes, Tibetan Buddhist Gompas(Monasteries).

    Apart from that, the ever imposing snow-capped mountain peaks is a very alluring view to watch. It really looks like a thumb sticking up into the Tibetan plateau.

    Upper Mustang and its walled capital, Lo Manthang, is a remote but starkly beautiful region. It is home to Buddhism as well as the remnants of the older, mystical Bon religion.

    In the 50s and the 60s, some fearless Himalayan travelers and pilgrims dared to step into this region. Since then, only the most enthusiastic travelers have visited this region.

    Your journey follows along some of the least known routes to the more isolated villages in this sun-drenched region. It often takes the rocky Kali Gandaki river-bed. And at other times, trek along the fantastic trails high above Kali Gandaki. Finally, coming down through marvelously sculpted and multi-hued gorges.

    Why Nar Phu to Upper Mustang Trek

    • Kali Gandaki, the deepest river gorge in the world.
    • Teri La Pass- one of the challenging passes.
    • Explore unexplored Neolithic cave.
    • Stunning view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Range.
    • Warm hospitality and culture of Bhottias.
    • Outstanding scenery with terracotta rock walls, polychromatic canyons and spectacular forms of erosions.

    Trip Outline

    Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m)
    Day 02: Sightseeing of Kathmandu
    Day 03: Drive to Jagat (1320m) 7/8 Hrs
    Day 04: Trek to Dharapani (1870m) 6/7 Hrs Walk
    Day 05: Trek to Koto /Kyupar (2615M) 6/7 Hrs Walk
    Day 06: Trek to Meta (3560m) 7/8 hrs Walk
    Day 07: Trek to Kyang (3830m) 4/5 Hrs Walk
    Day 08: Trek to Phu (4080m) 3/4 Hrs Walk
    Day 09: Rest day at Phu
    Day 10: Trek to Junam (3620m) 5/6 Hrs Walk
    Day 11: Trek to Nar Village (4110m) 2/3 Hrs Walk
    Day 12: Trek to Mustang (Tangge)
    Day 13: Trek to Dhi
    Day 15: Trek to Ghara (Visit Luri Gompa)
    Day 16: Trek Canyon Camp
    Day 17: Trek to Lo Manthang
    Day 18: Day trip to Chhosar and Tingkar
    Day 19: Trek to Nomad Camp (4280m)
    Day 20: Trek to Tsarang
    Day 21: Trek to Ghemi (via Lo Ghekar)
    Day 22: Drive to Jomsom
    Day 23: Flight to Pokhara
    Day 24: Fly / Drive to Kathmandu
    Day 25: Depart Kathmandu to reach another destination or fly back home with memories of the trek

    Starting Price

    USD 3249 per person

    Group Discount : Available

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    Itinerary

    Arrival on: Kathmandu

    Departure from: Kathmandu

    Day 1

    Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m)

    Arrive at Kathmandu after a scenic flight over the mountains. Meet the representative of Adventure Mission Nepal Treks & Expedition (AMN) and transfer to Hotel. Rest of the time enjoy strolling the surrounding area.

    Day 2

    Sightseeing of Kathmandu

    After breakfast at the hotel, a tour guide will take you to the historical and cultural places of Kathmandu. The Kathmandu city presents a fabulous mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and western influence in the valley. There will be a half day guided tour to the famous and biggest Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Boudhanath, Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath.

    Day 3

    Drive to Jagat (1320m) 7/8 Hrs

    We will start early for our scenic drive from Kathmandu along the Trishuli and Marshyangdi Rivers, to the starting part of our trek on the Annapurna circuit. It will take us approximately 7/8 hours of driving, part of it along the newly built Annapurna road, to reach lovely, cobbled village of Jagat, situated on a shelf which comes out into the precipitous Marshyangdi valley. It is not the same as before because the new road passes through it and yet it has its own share of charm. We spend the night at a lodge here.

    Day 4

    Trek to Dharapani (1870m) 6/7 Hrs Walk

    Hiking further north along the new dirt road for a short while we climb up slowly, looking across the river to large waterfalls plummeting from the steep canyon walls. An hour later we reach the newly-bustling Chamje, a distinctive, 'wild west' village of traditional-style teahouses with the quintessential saddled local horses. Descending to the Marshyangdi River, we cross a long suspension bridge and then start the steep climb towards Tal. The rocky trail through lush forest and past small tea-houses undulates and hugs the cliff-side, offering remarkable views into the narrow and deep canyon to our left.

    After an hour or so we'll reach the small teahouses located almost midway to Sattale, and after the last steep climb, we are at top of the Tal hill. We'll pass through the entrance Mane chorten of scenic Tal and hike briefly along the banks of the river before reaching the village. Tal means lake, and the area here was formed when the valley was blocked by a landslide and a dam was naturally formed. The lake has long gone now but the name still continues. The present village of Tal sits on the river flats surrounded by a wide plain with waterfalls to the right. Tal is the first village of the Lower Manang region and thus the culture is more Tibetan than Hindu here.

    Another half an hour of walking on the pebbled riverbed and also above it, we climb on rock steps built into the cliff-side to yet another bridge and cross the Marshyangdi again on another suspension bridge. Soon we reach Dharapani, a distinctive and typical Tibetan village with prayer flags fluttering in the wind; now busier than it used to be after the new road was built. Across the river, at the start of the trail leading to the Manaslu region, sits the village and the old, colorful Gompa.

    Day 5

    Trek to Koto /Kyupar (2615M) 6/7 Hrs Walk

    Trekking northwards on the main Annapurna Circuit trail; we will soon arrive at a long suspension bridge over the Marshyangdi River which we need to cross to reach the small village of Karte, re-crossing it soon afterward. We continue along a high, winding, stunning cliff-side trail past several small teahouses at Khotro also known as karte, and then taking the zigzag path down the steep trail before crossing the Marshyangdi River yet again. (The trail is changing because of the new road being built). We carry on with the climb through the pine and oak forests. On the way, we cross a line of older-styled lodges at Bagarchhap and then pass through a smaller hamlet, Danagyu before coming to a thundering waterfall, where we turn left and head up the high trail to Koto. After an hour of walking through lovely, open forests, we reach a clearing at the top of the trail and a charming Tibetan teahouse in upper Timang where we will stop for a break. From here you can have a breathtaking view of Manaslu.

    After walking for nearly an hour, going past the soccer field and through the evergreen forests, we will reach Late Marang, a small hamlet and from there we will move to a wonderful Gurung village of Timang, where we might see the villagers harvesting their crops of buckwheat or stuffing local sausages. Heading back down through the village, we descend to the valley bottom, turn left and reach Koto Kyupar, our base for the trek up to Nar Phu. From here we can look straight up at nearby Annapurna II, a heart-stopping sight. Koto Kyupar is the gateway to Nar Phu, a small, impressive hamlet at the bottom of the deep gorge that we will take on tomorrow

    Day 6

    Trek to Meta (3560m) 7/8 hrs Walk

    We start early as we have a long and a somewhat difficult day before us. Just past the check post, we take the long suspension bridge to cross the river. We will be then walking to the Nar Phu valley and hike up through beautiful woods above Phu .The trail takes us through some beautiful woods and past several small cave shelters and a Dharmasala, or pilgrims' rest house. As we step out of a narrow canyon, the trail actually passes under a wide waterfall just before the Dharmasala, from which point the woods become thinner and the vistas wider.

    There is always a chance that we might camp at Dharmasala; but then can also continue on and make the steep climb up the valley along a small, scenic trail to the high pastures. This is the Kharka of Meta, 3560m, the non-permanent winter settlement of Nar. Here there is every chance that we will share the campsite with a few yaks.

    Day 7

    Trek to Kyang (3830m) 4/5 Hrs walk

    Today’s trek is supposed to be one of the loveliest walks in the Himalayas. This is because of the fact that the area is strewn with natural beauty. The place looks beautiful because of the presence of the white rocks, low shrubs and juniper, scattered evergreens, delicate brick-red and orange leafed bushes, crumbling shelves of flat slate, white sandy trails and old gnarled trees. We are in the presence of such imposing and spectacular mountains that you are compelled to hold your breath for a second. The Phu Kosi accompanies the trail but from far below.

    An hour past Meta, Junam is the second semi-permanent settlement, one where "Khampas" from Tibet sometimes take shelter. Above the Kharka to the right looms a massive glacier, which falls jaggedly down to the high pastures above us. All of this is truly amazing. The next seasonal settlement is Chako, formerly a Khampa settlement, where grass lies tied in bunches to dry on all the rooftops and prayer flags flutter in the breeze. People still use the yak caravan from Phu and pass by through Chako on their way down to Manang to re-supply, which gives the trekkers an idea how the people in ancient times traveled from Tibet. Many more ups and downs take us to the campsite at Kyang, the extensive winter settlement of Phu, on a plateau high above the river

    Day 8

    Trek to Phu (4080m) 3/4 Hrs Walk

    Walking down the steep slope to the river, we trek for a while along the river bank and past the 'submarine' rock, passing some small possible campsites along the way. Today, we come across some of the unique, colorful chortens for which Nar and Phu are rightly famous. We have to rock-hop carefully across a small glacial stream before reaching a larger one with a bridge only half covered with large slabs of slate.

    Another hour and a half of trekking through scenic canyon lands and gorges, we reach Pupigyal Kwe. This is the entry to Phu and is guarded by a huge monolith. This ancient gate provides us with our first view of the three villages of Phu, as well as an old "dzong." One can also see the remains of two forts, all in ruins now, yet giving an impressive picture atop the flatlands before Phu. Just before the Crossover Bridge to Phu, a line of wonderful chortens color the landscape and lead the way to the main village of Phu, perched high up on a hill, in an amphitheater style.

    Day 9

    Rest day at Phu

    Reaching Phu took some days and after all this hard work; it is now time to enjoy the treasure that nature has spread out for us here. We will spend an extra day here to relax, explore and enjoy the beauty spread out all around us. We would also interact with the local Phu residents and perhaps do some exploring up the wide valley systems above us. From this place, Tibet is two long days away, so a bit too far for a visit but we might walk up the valley to the summer grazing settlement, or 'Kharka' at Ngoru, a three hour's walk past the Gompa.

    A walk west up past Phu towards the chortens on the hillside provides some incredible vistas and views. Looking down over Phu you can see the surrounding fields, forts, valleys and peaks. Phu itself is an incredibly interesting village. It is basically a Tibetan village, and a day is well spent interacting with the villagers as they continue with their daily chores like spinning wool, pounding mustard seeds into a paste for oil, or other countless activities that take up a day in Tibetan villages. For photographers, this is the perfect place to click away to glory as the deep blue skies look even better and the blue sheep on the surrounding hillsides give a perfect opportunity to capture them in your camera. A wander through the village will give you an overview of the Tibetan lifestyle and the hospitality of the people will be perhaps offered in the form of a local “Raksi” or rice/barley liquor or butter salt tea. Don’t forget to taste one of these!

    Day 10

    Trek to Junam (3620m) 5/6 Hrs Walk

    Back through Phu Village, we descend to the river and retrace our steps back to Junam Kharka, a lovely spot as any for our campsite for the evening.

    Day 11

    Trek to Nar Village (4110m) 2/3 Hrs Walk

    Another of those classic Himalayan trekking days, as we trek down to the old bridge spanning a deep, contoured and narrow gorge and then all the way back up again. From here the scenery is heavenly. Below us, you can see the Gyalbu Kumbum built in 1650, and the Satte Gompa, both now empty. After crossing this, we finally reach the Nar gates at the top of the hill, and pass by yet another line of wonderfully painted, bamboo-topped chortens and a large, tiered chorten before turning the corner and being rewarded with magnificent views of Nar. With the rolling patterns of the surrounding barley and mustard fields, four old, colorful and traditional Gompas and the snow-peaks looming overhead it is a sight worth walking for. We arrive early, so will have some lunch in the sun before doing some exploring.

    In reality, Nar is not too far from the main Annapurna trail, but in essence, it feels centuries away and is about as charming as they come. With comparison to Phu, Nar is a bit more social and lively, and the village 'square' is full of chatting women with their back-strap looms weaving rugs and blankets, pounding mustard seeds for oil, or spinning the ever-present wool while catching up on the news. The children in Nar seem to be always out in the streets, presumably preferring this life to the classroom! Each family in Nar seems to have at least one son or daughter in a gompa, and many live at home or visit frequently, so there is the resonating sound of cymbals, chanting and drums echoing throughout the village.

    Other Nar villagers may be involved in other miscellaneous activities like printing prayer flags, carpentry, collecting firewood from the forest and carrying large loads with a head-strap back up to the house, harvesting the crops, tending the yaks, sheep and goats or spinning the prayer wheels in the center of town. Once you climb the prayer-flag festooned hill above Nar, it is a delight to watch the wonderful view in the sun, sheltered from the chilling and ever-present afternoon winds.

    Day 12

    Trek to Mustang (Tangge)

    We've got six adventurous exploratory days in front of us as we trek through the remote valleys, trod the ancient trade routes to Tibet which are now used by locals for grazing their animals; cross over a very high pass and finally reach Tangge, one of Mustang's most scenic villages located just off the main Mustang trekking route. We'll follow the Labse Khola and cross the formidable 5595 meter Teri La Pass as we get close to Mustang. From here we then follow the Yak Khola for a bit before climbing again. Several high ridges later we descend into Mustang's patchwork of villages below us, and finally spot the magical, whitewashed village of Tangge built on a terraced hillside. Climbing slightly to the main trail, we pass the line of red, yellow, white and blue-grey chortens and the long mani wall with four carved figures on each.

    Tangge is a small hamlet of just twenty houses where you can see many sheep, goats and large mastiff and the largest chorten in Mustang, that is over 50 feet high. There was a massive mudslide some years ago which wiped out many of the houses and barley fields on both banks; prior to which there were over a hundred houses in Tangge . We put up camp here and enjoy the beauty of the night in this small mountain village.

    Day 13

    Trek to Dhi

    Leaving Tangge behind, we head towards the northeast. We climb up briefly and are out of the village. We continue on an undulating trail through a fantastic landscape that looks like a painting, colored by ochre, weatherworn rocks sculpted by centuries of wind and water erosion. We stay high, climbing gradually until we reach a small pass which we call the Dhe La (4245m), decorated by a cairn of Saligrams, a tribute to the Hindu God Vishnu and the local gods. A short descent through another contorted landscape, past the tri-colored chortens; we land up at one of the remotest villages of Dhi that is beautiful in all its isolation. The inhabitants are planning to leave their village in a few years to relocate just northwest of here as there are serious water issues in Dhi. Still, it's a lively village with an old Gompa to explore, and the villagers are friendly and welcoming as trekkers here are few and far between.

    Day 14

    Trek to Yara

    We're trekking along an infrequently used route on the far eastern periphery of Mustang, leaving Dhe and heading west along a somewhat rough trail. We start a climb and get out of the village; pass over more eroded gullies and stay on a high trail for a while, soon passing through an old mudslide which resembles a muddy glacier. To our right a distant trail heads east to Damodar Kunda and ancient clusters of cave dwellings appear dramatically in the cliff faces far above us. The trail crosses a small river and has a few ups and downs before it descends rather steeply to the riverbed below at just over 3400 meters. We wander down the small Dichang Khola, collecting Saligrams as we go and jumping or wading across for an hour. To our right, near the end of the river is a settlement called Phangyakawa (where the people of Dhi want to resettle). It is a steep, switchbacking trail which we ascend.

    Upon reaching the plateau, we can spend some time to admire the scenery and take photos. We cross the plateau on an infrequently used trail, fantastic landscapes all around us, and eventually spot the lovely, green village of Yara below, across the Puyung Khola. We descend to the rocky river bottom, cross the river and head for the village. We camp for the night in the courtyard of a local guest-house in the lower section of Yara, a bustling campsite full of Mustangi life. Have a walk above the village in the afternoon, lovely with the sun shining through the willow leaves which brighten the village.

    Day 15

    Trek to Ghara (Visit Luri Gompa)

    After breakfast, heading northeast out of Yara, we pass fantastic, sculpted canyons with the remains of a network of ancient caves, now eroded enough to be inaccessible. We have a walk of less than an hour along the rocky riverbed strewn with saligrams to the Tashi Kumbum cave complex, accessible via a narrow ledge of a trail. Tashi Kumbum is a newly discovered group of six cave dwellings dating from the 15th century, with fantastic Buddhist murals and a large exquisitely painted chorten. Gary McCue, who went there over fifteen years ago, wrote that the approach is very difficult/dangerous although though only an hour from Yara.

    There is a strong Bhutanese influence here as one of the earlier Kings of Lo married a Bhutanese princess; thus the Druk-pa impact. The main Luri Gompa is situated down near the riverbed; the teacher, with the kids in tow, will lead us on a crumbling trail up to the upper prayer-room and the fifteenth century 'Kabum Stupa', made of highly polished stucco and painted with intricately detailed Newari-styled Buddhist frescos of the Kagyupa saints Tilopa, Naropa and Marpa. Historians estimate them to be from the 13th or 14th century and linked to the Tashi Kumbum caves, one group of connected cave dwellings that are dotted throughout this particular region. Unfortunately, or fortunately, most have been rendered inaccessible due to the intense erosion in Mustang, so they will remain hidden throughout history.

    It's an easy half an hour hike from Luri to the beautiful, lively village of Ghara. We will be staying the night at a place just above the village, in a walled enclosure with the village tap just below. There may be villagers visiting us, both adults and kids, all of whom will bring some of their ubiquitous Saligrams and Mustangi artifacts to display. We'll be treated to a mesmerizing mountain panorama just down the valley towards the Kali Gandaki both at sunset and sunrise.

    Day 16

    Trek Canyon Camp

    Today we have to walk for almost 6/7 hours, so we should be ready with our refilled water bottles and a packed lunch to sustain us on the way. It's a steep climb from behind the village along a dusty trail, past several cave dwellings. We walk for well over an hour to reach the top of the Ghara La at 4380 meters. While we are climbing, we look down onto the red and white striped Luri Gompa and the patchwork of terraced fields of barley surrounding Ghara & Yara villages. Trekking around several hillsides, staying high, we soon climb down to the green doksa of Kepuchhimi at the bottom of the valley, a stream running through it. Crossing the stone doksas, we have to climb on a trail of hardened mud back up to the plateau where we are again in view of the sculpted rocks and canyons surrounding us. More of the scenic contouring and two small cairns later we reach the steep descent down to the camp. We'll have lunch overlooking the border of Tibet ahead of us and then start on the switchbacks going down the 500-meter descent to the pebbly riverbed below. Another half an hour of walking along the small Chaka Khola, we trek downstream that brings us to our lovely Canyon Camp.

    Day 17

    Trek to Lo Manthang

    Our adventure continues as we trek through a magical world of salt drips, narrow canyons, pebbly floodplains and soaring cliffs. It is 10/15 minutes downstream to the first Sumdo or river junction. From here we take a sharp left to enter into the narrow canyon of the Chuchu Gompa Khola, which soon widens into a large, pebbly plain. The right fork heads to the 14th-15th century Chos Sung Gompa. This is out of bounds for camping but which has been mentioned by Peter Matheissen in his book, 'East of Lo Monthang.' This ancient Gompa houses some of the most significant Buddhist artwork in Mustang. Unfortunately, the main cave entrance has now crumbled away and is inaccessible. The nomads to the north hold the key to the main Gompa.

    We have to cross a number of streams in this part of the trek, so it is best advised to hike in your sandals for the next hour. The valley is awe-inspiring, a feast of mustard yellow, red and orange rocks shining from the gurgling natural springs as it narrows and widens, the horns of blue sheep marking our path. The canyon narrows around us as we hike. We've entered a lost world of contorted canyons, muted earth-tones and narrow passages, the wonderful place called Mustang. This place is mineral rich which is manifested in the mustard and blood-orange stained rocks, and we also start to see salt drips suspended from the rock faces indicating the origins of the salt trade in this region which had incidentally made Mustang a very healthy town.

    Soon we reach another river intersection where we hike up the hill and take the small bridge high over the river. This part of the trek is narrow and high and possibly we will have to unload the horses just before the small bridge. At this sumdo or the junction, the rivers merge and take the form of the Kali Gandaki River as it heads almost directly south. Further along the clear river, trekking along the riverside past the mustard-stained Tumu Khola that intersects our river from the right, we pass an incredible complex of caves gompas. These were explored a few years back by members of an international research and climbing expedition. There are several other caves built into the cliffs along today's trail, a testament to an ancient cave-dwelling civilization. This also proves the inhabitation of the monks who later used them as meditation retreats.

    Heading up the Nhichung Khola we pass Namaru Dikha Kharka as we trek on sun-baked plateaus and climb up the stone steps, on the way crossing the river a few times. Just below our trail is the hot springs that are not too hot but warm enough to relax your tired feet. Finally, we reach the ancient walls of the fabled city of Lo high on the plateau ahead of us. We head directly west following the gurgling, willow-shaded Dokpolo Khola for about an hour until we reach the Lo Monthang. This is a beautiful green passage with grassy river banks underfoot, stone walls bordering the river, and backed by the snow-peaks bordering Tibet, the ruins of the once-imposing Lo Dzong.

    We have reached the fabled walled city of Lo, with a single entrance through which only the King, Queen and Kempo (Abbot) are allowed to ride. All others must walk, to pay their respects to Chenrizig, the Buddha of Compassion. King Jigme Palbar Bista, called 'Lo Gyelbu' by the Mustangis, still resides at his four-storied palace inside the city walls; that is when he’s not in Kathmandu. He is an avid horseman and keeps his own stable of horses, some of the best in Mustang. These days, the king plays a somewhat ceremonial role although he is well loved and respected throughout Mustang. The present king is the 25th descendant of Ame Pal.

    There are four major must-see attractions in the walled city of Lo Manthang; the brick-red Jampa Lhakhang Gompa that was built in 1387 that houses a striking 50 feet Jampa(Future), Buddha. This was incidentally the largest clay statue in entire Nepal till a few years ago. Then there is the 15th-century Thubchen Gompa rightly called the Great Assembly Hall with pillars as high as 30 feet and also considered the second oldest Gompa with beautiful and artistically made murals in the Dukhang. Third in the line is the Chhoede Gompa, the house of the Kempo and also a monastic school and the fourth is the Choprang Gompa. There are approximately 180 houses within the walled city and the residents still practice a purely Tibetan way of living. Rumors are also ripe that the footprints of the mystical and the elusive Yeti have been found here.

    Day 18

    Day trip to Chhosar and Tingkar

    Leaving Lo behind, we walk along a wide, canyon trail, past dry gullies and an ancient, ruined fortress, crossing a bridge and through fields, we finally reach the cave village of Chosar, with the deep-red Nyphu Gompa built into the rock face visible from far off. We'll need to cross two bridges to arrive at the Gompa, located at 3760 meters. There will be plenty of time for photographs before we circle the chorten-topped bend, where we get views of Gharphu Gompa on the east banks of the Mustang Khola. Past the Gompa is an incredible cave-dwelling site called Jhong Cave. This you have to reach by climbing ladders and passing through small tunnels. It is very exciting as this cave dwelling is reputed to be 2500 years old. In front of us, a range of spectacular snow-peaks mark the border with Tibet, and around us, gurgling streams and green meadows line our trail. If we take the long loop, we can stop at Nyamdo Gompa, cross over a small pass and then head back down the western valley to Lo.

    The western valley leads to Namgyal Gompa (the Monastery of Victory). It is located on top of a desolate ridge and is the newest and most active Gompa in Lo. The village of Namgyal spreads out past the Gompa. Just past the Gompa is the large, sprawling village of Thinggar, where the King has his summer palace. There is a new Gompa here, where we can attend the prayer ceremony if we are present at the right time. This is the place where we can meet most of the villagers! There are also many ancient ruins surrounding the village that include some monasteries and old fortresses perhaps. Further on, we reach Kimaling village, which is an attractive, white-washed village. Kimaling Gompa is below the village, towards the exit as we head towards Phuwa and its Gompa on the way down towards Lo. There are breathtaking views of Namgyal Gompa to behold that is backed by snow-peaks behind us as we wander up the valley, and white peaks in front of us bordering Tibet. We go back to the hotel for overnight stay.

    Day 19

    Trek to Nomad Camp (4280m)

    Leaving mystical Lo behind, we turn right out of the gate of Lo, cross a small bridge and head towards the high grazing plateaus of the nomads. Horses roam freely amongst the crumbling walls and fields that surround Lo. We trek along the southern walls surrounding the city and hike for a few hours, following the valley bed, past the ruins of ancient fortresses and Gompas. We climb the hill ahead of us, look back to the city-complex of Lo behind us, and then climb down into the green valley below where the 'last nomads of Lo' are now settled for most of the year.

    We walk over the hill to the north to visit the other nomadic settlements in the afternoon. All these nomads use to live in the Tibetan borderlands northeast of Lo Monthang. But many families have shifted partially from their nomadic lifestyle and have settled in this place about fifteen years ago to have better access to supplies, schools and medical facilities in Lo Monthang. From the hill between the camps, standing near the prayer flag, you can look right down to the walled city of Lo Monthang which is an amazing view. Locals from Lo Monthang might come to the doksas to collect the sheep and goat dung that the nomads don't use. We can buy exquisite textiles from the nomads if we like.

    Day 20

    Trek to Tsarang

    Heading directly down the valley, we soon intersect the mail trail from Tsarang that leads to Lo and head south past the huge newly re-constructed chorten along the trail. A few hours of easy trekking brings us to the fortified village of Tsarang, meaning 'cock's crest'. As the name signifies, it is a village perched on the edge of a remarkable canyon. We walk between high walls to the south of the village, green with poplar and willow trees, and stop for a look at the Tsarang Gompa and its ruins, strikingly built on a rock face. We stay at the guest house, run by a relative of the King. From this vantage point, the Palace and Gompa are visible in the near distance.

    This is a rather small hamlet with just around 80 houses and a population of nearly 400 people. It is located atop the Tsarang Khola canyon and is considered to be one of the capitals of the Kingdom of Lo in the 14th century. The houses are separated by stone walls and form a tunnel-like path. The main street is lined with a new irrigation ditch and the willow groves give a fabulous green hue to this ever bustling village.

    The village boasts of an active market area and its own independent hydro-electric power plant. It also has a number of guest houses for the people visiting this place. Tsarang Dzong is an omnipresent feature of this village. This Tibetan styled fortified 5-story palace was built in 1378. The village also boasts of the massive Tsarang Gompa, built in 1385 that houses a huge library.

    The palace has a wonderful, old prayer room with a gold-printed prayer book and a fascinating collection of statues, thankas and large Buddha paintings that the visitors can see. Tsarang Gompa is adorned with fantastic 15th-century frescos on the assembly hall walls; don't miss the older prayer room in the back, once an 'Ani Gompa', or a nunnery.

    Day 21

    Trek to Ghemi (via Lo Ghekar)

    Today we take up a path that is less trodden as we head up the Marang valley to the renowned Lo Gekar, or Ghar Gompa. After leaving Tsarang, we trek east above the Tsarang Khola, with Marang village above us to the right located just above the river. Walking on the left banks of the river, after a couple of hours, we will come across the imposing chortens of Lo Gekar. Lo Ghekar, 'Pure Virtue of Joy', sits majestically in the valley above us. Ghar Gompa, built in the 8th century, is one of the oldest Gompas of Nepal. It belongs to the Nyimgma sect and is connected by legend to Samye Gompa in Tibet as well as to the ubiquitous Guru Rimpoche. The name means 'House Gompa' after the style of architecture. It boasts of exemplary frescoes as well as wonderfully carved and painted mani stones. Surrounding the gompa are massive, block-like chortens of a unique style and strings of colorful prayer flags fluttering in the winds of Mustang.

    After a visit to the prayer rooms of the Gompa, we climb up to an easy series of passes, the MUi La at 4130m and its second ridge at 4175 meters above sea level. At this point we will stop for a break, facing the Himalayan peaks at a distance. The verdant beauty of the Dhakmar Valley takes your breath away. After this break, we climb down through the canyon to the dwellings and the lush green pasturelands below. After a 20 minutes descent, we reach the sprawling and bustling Dhakmar village that has a predominant red canyon wall as well as ancient cave dwellings.

    Following the small stream through the lower part of the village, green with old willows and more recently planted poplars, we continue hiking through a scenic, green valley, stopping occasionally for passing herds of sheep and goats. After crossing the small bridge, looming ahead of us is a cluster of gigantic, ancient chortens, backed by dramatic, sculpted cliff-faces, an awesome sight. The trail looks across the valley to ochre, blue and steel-grey cliffs, and leads us past tri-colored chortens and the longest and most spectacular mani wall in Mustang.

    We descend steeply, cross the new bridge and then climb up to Ghemi (3570m), built along the steep edges of the cliff as are many fortified villages in Mustang. There are actually the ruins of an old fortress somewhere in Ghemi, which was largely abandoned until the Khampa fighters set up a Magar (war camp) here and brought new life and wealth to the village. We'll wander a bit through this interesting village, passing the mani walls and prayer wheels, looking out for the key-keeper to open the Ghemi Gompa for us.

    Day 22

    Drive to Jomsom

    We will be trying out the new road this year and drive on the scenic route through the lower sections of Mustang, partly on the road and partly along the rocky Kali Gandaki riverbed, to Kagbeni and then continue towards the district headquarters of Mustang, We are greeted by the sound of jingling horse bells as the Mustangi people pass by with their quaint looking pony caravans, and the beautiful textiles that are woven by hand looms in the traditional style. These are readily available for sale. You can also buy Yak tails to adorn your horses or dust your house. Enroute to Jomsom we can take in the beautiful view of Mount Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri and the surrounding peaks. We arrive in Jomsom by afternoon after a lovely trek through this untouched part of Nepal which will leave an indelible impact on our minds and souls.

    Day 23

    Flight to Pokhara

    Since Jomsom lies at the mountainous region so there is always an early flight to Pokhara as in the morning the days are clear and also the flight duration is about 20 minutes. Similarly, Pokhara is also known as “city of Lake” and is one of the most popular places for the foreigners after Kathmandu. There are lots of interesting things to see in Pokhara. So when you are in Pokhara don’t miss to visit the popular landmarks of Pokhara.

    Day 24

    Fly / Drive to Kathmandu

    Fly or drive to Kathmandu.

    Day 25

    Depart Kathmandu to reach another destination or fly back home with memories of the trek

    You can depart from Kathmandu to your home country or extend the trip and head for another trip within or outside Nepal

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    Accommodation

    Himalayan Trekkers promises to manage the best, most comfortable and preferable accommodation.

    Generally, in cities like Kathmandu,  we arrange basic three-star facilities. If available, you can opt for a more budget-friendly option or upgrade to a more luxurious hotel by paying a little extra. 

    Although all the places might not have all the modern facilities, we will make sure to arrange safe and comfortable accommodation. In general, hygienic and safe tea houses/local lodges/ home-stays with all the basic facilities are arranged. But you can, if possible, personalize according to your preference. 

    If your itinerary includes camping or you choose to experience camping during your travel, a proper camping-site will be pre-decided. If required, we also provide the basic equipment which is refundable. Please check the Gear-List and Requirement List for more information.

    Meals

    Breakfast is usually included with your B&B Accommodation within the cost that is evident.
    For other meals in the city, you would have to pay separately. Often in the cities, you can choose from many different cuisines and varied food services. We can always help you find the right place to fit your taste.

    In more remote areas, usually, there are not many options. But you can always find hygienic and well-prepared food. Moreover, almost all the meals during the trek are included in the cost. We can help you make changes according to your preference and budget, but only if choices are available!
    On top of that, Himalayan Trekkers also organizes Welcome and Farewell Dinners as a symbol of warm greetings.

    Please go through the detailed itinerary for more information. We are always there to help you travel to your heart’s content.


    Inclusion

    Whats Included

    • TIMS
    • Permit
    • Entry Fees
    • Airport Pick-up and Drop
    • Transportation as per itinerary
    • Guide, Driver, and Porter
    • Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with Tea)
    • Accommodation
    • First-Aid Kit
    • Welcome/Farewell Dinner
    • All Taxes

    Whats Not Included

    • International airfares and airport tax
    • Nepal Entry Visa Fees (USD 25/40/100- 15/30/100 Days, Cash On Arrival)
    • Trekking Equipment
    • Personal expenses such as laundry, liquor, room service, phone bills, bar bills, etc.
    • Tips to Guide, Porter, and Driver
    • Your Travel Insurance
    • Any cost occurs from any unfavorable condition such as landslide, bad weather, flight cancellation etc.


    GearList

    Gears required for the trek vary upon destination and season. Trekking shoes, down jacket, sleeping bag, hiking poles are the essential ones. Besides these – the following list is suggested:

    Head

    • Sun hat or scarf
    • Sun glasses
    • Sunscream
    • Lip Balm.

    Feet

    • Thin & Warm Socks - 2 pairs
    • Sandals
    • Trekking Shoes on the trek
    • Comfortable Shoes in cities

    Body

    • Warm gloves
    • T-shirts
    • Light jackets and pullovers
    • Wind – stopper jacket
    • Undergarments
    • Hiking shorts
    • Cotton/woolen pants or trousers

    Accessories

    • Earplug
    • Electronics gadgets of your choice
    • Spare Battery
    • Notebook, pen, guidebook and map
    • Tour/Trekking Bag
    • Hiking Poles
    • Sleeping Bag
    • Down jacket
    • Toiletries (toilet paper, toothbrush/paste, nail cutter, anti-bacterial hand wash

    Reviews

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    Regardless of any kind of adventure tour or treks, whether it be a tailor-made multi-country tour, luxury vacation, or even an adventure day trips — we ensure that it will be exactly the way you imagined. With our tailor-made itinerary or your customized trip, we guarantee a service that you will never forget. Please feel free to email us any time at info@himalayantrekkers.com

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