Nepal is home to many of the world’s most beautiful and massive mountains. Every trekker dream of visiting Nepal to trek beside the stunning landscape of the snow-capped Himalayas. Trekking in Nepal can provide you with all the sights and experiences you desire. The snowy white and beautiful mountains surround the trekking paths. The locals are friendly with warm hearts. They have a different perspective on life, rich culture, and tradition. Moreover, a magnificent climate that provides a crystal-clear view of the surroundings. These components are another reason that attracts the trekkers to trek to Upper Mustang.
There are many trekking itineraries offered to various mountainous regions. Nepal is popular for its hiking although Upper Mustang Trekking is incomparable. That’s why Lonely Planet listed it as one of the best trekking itineraries in Nepal. As a result, the Upper Mustang Trek has a unique flavor to it. Here are some best reasons, which urge trekkers to embark on it and recommend it to other trekkers.
1. Take A Trip Back In Time To The Last Forbidden Kingdom
Mustang was former the Kingdom of Lo. The region was the ancient trade route between Tibet and India from the 15th to the 17th centuries. The Kingdom of Lo merged with Nepal in the 18th century, but it retained its monarchy until 2007. Lo Manthang, the capital of Lo, has a rich history that represents the King’s Palace. The Palace was built in 1400 with the high walls that protect this medieval capital.
Lo Manthang itself provides ample reason for a trek to the Upper Mustang region. You can, yet, visit many ancient monasteries or gompas going back to the 15th century.
2. Trek to Upper Mustang – For An Authentic Trekking Experience
The mountains are a great aspect of the holiday. It allows them to walk through small settlements and learn about their traditions. Trekking through those tiny villages offers an overview of pastoral life under the shadow of the Himalayas. These villages are predominantly home to the Tibetan and Lo communities. Adding to the reasons to choose this trek, the trek is abundant with opportunities to learn about unique cultures.
Additionally, the Upper Mustang Trek is one of the rare treks that allows you to engage with locals. Most trekking trails in Nepal tend to lose human settlement as you climb higher in elevation.
3. Beautiful Landscapes And Amazing Mountain Vistas.
You are in the middle of the spectacular mountain vistas right from the beginning. The landscapes get more stunning and dazzling as you get closer to the Upper Mustang. The entire walk to the Lo-mangthang will be in the presence of big mountains. You’ll be able to see the massif range of the Himalayas such as Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tilicho, Damodar Himal, and other unknown peaks.
You’ll discover strange terrain structures. Like you’ve never seen before on this wonderful expedition beyond the beautiful highlands. Ascend through clouds and hills to a rocky terrain structure with tunnels on a whitewashed rock wall. Click photographs to capture the best moments of your life during this trip in the red rock hills, which will transport you to the Grand Canyon of Nepal. Explore the kingdom’s rock salt extraction centers, which used to trade salt for food with Tibet.
4. Upper Mustang Trek – A Tea-house Experience With Local Living
Another compelling reason to trek to Upper Mustang is the presence of a teahouse. The Upper Mustang Trek route is one of Nepal’s well-maintained trekking trails. So, one does not have to worry about finding accommodation at the end of a long day. The teahouses are providing lodging and sanctuary on the Upper Mustang Trek, serve as a meeting place for adventure junkies. In picturesque mountain teahouses, trekkers may relax and rejuvenate while meeting friendly locals. Additionally, living at a teahouse allows you to gain insight into Nepali culture. They are essentially run by locals who have converted their homes into commercially viable businesses.
5. Trek to Upper Mustang – Blends of Immense Culture And Traditions
Mustang is the name given to the Tibet-like culture that exists in Nepal’s northern region. The Upper Mustang region is remote and largely unexplored. Mustang is located on the northern bank of the Kali Gandaki River. The upper Mustang region reflects its extensive and still mystifying history.
Many trekkers agree that Mustang is the best destination in Nepal to witness the rich Tibetan culture. The inhabitants speak Tibetan, and their cultures date back thousands of years. Lo Manthang, a historical plateau, is located in the Upper Mustang region. Nepal only conquered this territory at the end of the 18th century, after years as an independent country.
There are still available fossils of the walls in the Upper Mustang region. It was constructed in the past to safeguard the realm from foreign interests. You’ve likely observed that trekking in the Upper Mustang region requires several permits.
It believes that touristic activities have so little impact in this region. So, it helps to preserve the culture that makes the ideal reason to embark on the expedition. The trek not only gets you intimate with nature but also with Tibetan traditions and rituals.
6. Mysterious Caves and Ancient Monasteries
Trekking in Mustang is as much a treasure hunt as it is a trekking adventure. There are more than ten thousand hollowed holes on rocks and grounds. The caves are both man-made and naturally occurring throughout the region. Researchers have discovered wonders of caves built into cliff sides and tunneled in from above. Although research on the mysterious Mustang caves has only been ongoing since 2007. The caves are wonderful to walk through and considered archaeological wonders. As mentioned before, Upper Mustang Trekking is a kind of spiritual journey although it is a trekking holiday.
Mustang is a great source of the best-preserved glory of the past. Ancient religious manuscripts, paintings, and crafts reflect history and culture in magnificent ways.
7. Tiji And Yartung Festival in Upper Mustang
Tiji is an abbreviated version of “TempaChirim,” which means “Supplication for World Peace.” Tiji aka Tenji is a three-day festival that takes place during the second seven-day stretch of May each year. The Tji festival consists of religious ceremonies, colorful costumes, and traditional dance and song depictions of myths and legends.
This fascinating and unique spectacle can witness while trekking in Mustang in May. The inhabitants of Lo celebrate this festival to ward off the poverty of the region. It is a symbol of hope and peace in the region. And it celebrates with the vigor of traditional colorful clothing, constant drumming, and the sweet aroma of camphor saturating the air.
According to legend, a demon that transmitted diseases caused problems in the Mustang region. A hero, however, named Dorje Jono destroyed the demon. Thus, this festival celebrates the occasion of the victory over the devil. You may also undertake the Mustang Tiji festival trek to attend the Tiji festival in Lo Manthang.
Similarly, Yartung marks the festival as heralds of summer. This time, you witness the traditional ideals of Tibetan-influenced Buddhism. You must arrive during the full moon in August to join the locals in celebrating this festival. The locals organize horse races as part of a grand celebration. This is the most thrilling race where many men and women compete.
8. A Fantastic Trek All Year Round
Upper Mustang is good for trekking all year round, either during the winter or disastrous monsoon season. Because it lies in the rain shadow of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range. The nights are cold, while the daytime temperatures are ranging from 0 to 20°C throughout the year. You can do a comfortable trek if you are using proper clothes. Because the trek is available all year round and has no set season. Tea houses remain open and easily accessible for food and lodging needs.
You may also like to read the best time to visit Upper Mustang in detail.
9. Trek Along The Historic Salt Trade Route.
You’ll be following an ancient trade route between Tibet and India, according to your itinerary. There are plenty of Buddhist shrines, monasteries, prayer flags, and other landmarks. Because you have taken the trail that dates back to the 13th century.
10. Moderately Challenging But Ideal For Everyone.
The trek is relatively difficult based on trek grading in Nepal. But it is not difficult, with an average walking time of roughly 5 to 6 hours each day. It is ideal for people who struggle to acclimate at higher altitudes. You will always remain below 4000 meters for the entire trip. Despite its remoteness, you are never far from human settlement, food and water because the trekking route often goes via tea houses.
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So now you have it: the top ten reasons to trek to Upper Mustang. It is important to have special permits due to restricted areas. There are two different permits required for Upper Mustang Trek. One is Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Permit and another is Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit. You can apply for those permits through the registered trekking company in Nepal.
But we include them in our Upper Mustang Trek Cost, for your convenience. The Upper Mustang Trek is more expensive than other treks in Nepal. But it will take you to a unique moment and place because it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.