Trekking in Upper Mustang, Beside the Himalayan Treks
Mustang region was remote and forbidden to travellers until 1991. The trek to the kingdom of Mustang, lying behind the main mountain range is in the rain shadow area, out into the plateau, north of Jomsom and Pokhara. The local life goes on undisturbed and untouched as it has for centuries in Lomanthang (the capital ad old walled town). The numerous gompas and prayers flags perform their eternal rituals. A trip into Mustang is bound to be one of self-realisation inspired by the all-encompassing teaching of Tibetan Buddhism.
Upper mustang trekking is recognising the special nature of this old and tiny kingdom, the Nepalese have imposed a surcharge for anyone wishing to trek past Kagbeni on the border of Upper Mustang. With legal trekking groups only allowed in for the first time in March 1992, you would be part of a small privileged minority to visit this remote outpost of Nepal. Mustang is the old kingdom of Lo. Actually the capital of the Mustang district is Jomsom, but the real Tibetan-style district lies north of Kagbeni and is usually referred to as Upper Mustang. The real capital, Lo Manthang, where the present king lives, is a fantastic square-walled town sitting on the 'Plain of Prayers'. Mustang has an average elevation of 13,200ft / 4,023m and is located to the north of the mountain giants of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna and is therefore north of the main Himalayan range and geographically is part of the highlands of Tibet. It is a vast high arid valley, characterised by eroded canyons, colourful stratified rock formations and has a barren, desert like appearance.