Mustang — the forbidden kingdom of Tibetan culture 12 days12 days






12 days


Choose travel dates
  • 20 april - 1 may
  • 5 - 17 october

Запретное королевство тибетской культуры


Is the full-fledged member of the Russian Geographical Society (Moscow Branch), famous traveler, ecotourism guru, cultural expert in South Asia and Africa, friend of the royal Mustang family, who shot a wonderful documentary about this kingdom.

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  • Day 1. Arrival in Kathmandu

    Arrival to Tribhuvan International Airport, named after the former king of Nepal. Shortly before landing, the velvety green hilly valley of the Kathmandu valley opens to the gaze, framed from the north by glittering glaciers of the Himalayan ranges.

    The first thing you will hear in Nepal is the traditional Namaste greeting, literally meaning “I greet God in your person.”

    Nepalese entry visa is issued at Kathmandu Airport ($ 25 and 2 photos 3 × 4).

    Accomodation in Samsara Resort.

  • Day 2. Flight Kathmandu –Pokhara

    Accommodation at Mom’s Garden Japanese-style hotel, located at 5-minute walk from Phewa Lake.

  • Day 3. Pokhara - Jomsom - Kagbeni

    Another half an hour of flight — we arrive toJomsom, the capital of the “lost Tibetan kingdom” Mustang, known toits inhabitants as Lo and lying along the Kali-Gandaki river near the Tibetan border.
    Mustang is a virgin, untouched by the Chinese invasion and cultural genocide, the “organic” part of the Tibetan plateau, which is administratively part of the Kingdom of Nepal. Mustang up to this dayis «and wild, and wonderful.» The story of Lo is a myth and a mystery. A thousand years ago, the great Tibetan poet and yogi Milarepawalked and meditated here, after which we will walk along the steep slopes, where little has changed since then.

    Here we will meet more than one merchant of various souvenirs, including so calledsaligrams — fossilized ammonite remains of the Jurassic period. They can be bought or, with the same success, collected by oneself along the path along the Kali-Gandaki gorge. These black stones with sea mollusks imprinted in them 130 million years ago prove that once, in immemorial times, there was an ocean in the place of the Himalayas.

    Jomsom is located at an altitude of 2700 m above the gorge of 500 m. It takes 3-5 hours * from Jomsom to Kagbeni, an island of greenery around the medieval city of sand color, at an altitude of 2810 m. Here the white huts huddle together, and their inhabitants walk in traditional Tibetan clothes — time stands still … Kagbeni is the northernmost point of the Mustang, which can be reached without special permission and a communications officer. Five days’ walk north from Kagbeni is the fortress city Lo Mantang- the historical capital and spiritual abode of the kingdom Lo, which gave it both its names: Lo and Mustang (distorted Mantang).

    *Note. The indicated length of the trek is the average number of running hours in a given area, necessary to cover a given distance with an average normal walking pace.

  • Day 4. Kagbeni - Chuksang Trek (2920 m)

    After passing through the checkpoint at the northern edge of Kagbeni, we step onto the path leading to the Upper Mustang, which has been closed for so long and so exquisitely amazing, with harsh but stunning beauty.

    Walking northward along the east bank of Kali Gandaki, bypassing the caves and gompaKang (Tibetan temple and monastery) seen across the river (on the west bank), we reach the city of Tangbe, which lies along the coast at an altitude of 2,990 m. Here we are met by Tibetan stupas (“chorten“), an intricate labyrinth of streets, walkways between the painted white houses, apple orchards, buckwheat, barley and wheat fields.

    About one and a half hours of walking behind Tangbe, at an altitude of 2920 m lies the village of Chuksang. On the surrounding cliffs we will see the ruins of the castle, and across the river — reddish sheer cliffs that resemble organ pipes, over inaccessible caves. 5 villages of this region (Chele, Gyakar, Chuksang, Tangbe and Tetang) are inhabited by the Gurungs, closer to the inhabitants of Manang, than to the other ethnic groups of the region.

  • Day 5. Trek Chuksang - Samar (3520 m)

    Moving north along Kali-Gandaki, we reach a tunnel formed naturally by the way through which the river flows through this section. Directly in front of it, a steel bridge is hung above the river, and further to the north, Kali-Gandaki becomes impassable on foot, although some people sometimes make this way on horseback through a steep and narrow canyon, dangerous because of rockfalls. High on the red cliffs there are many ancient caves.

    The trail leaves the Kali-Gandaki valley and goes steeply up to Chele (3030 m) — a small village among the fields of wheat and barley. Here there is a change of cultures: from the Gurung culture to the Tibetan culture of Lo. Above the doorways of most houses, horns hang in Lo, and twigs in the shape of crosses with five-colored threads tied to them are placed everywhere (zor, designed to drive away evil spirits). Residents hold Tibetan mastiffs. In the houses — Tibetan wooden ovens, porcelain. Most of the materials and decoration items are also from Tibet.

    The ascent from Chele along a steep spur leads us to a stone pyramid at an altitude of 3080 m, from which a view of Gyakar opens through a large canyon. Gyakar and its fields are fenced with a long earthen wall.

    The ascent continues on a steep slope of an impressive canyon to the pass and another stone pyramid at an altitude of 3480 m. Then the path gradually descends to the next group of chortens and turns into a pleasant path leading to Samar (3290 m).

  • Day 6. Trek Samar - ChungsiGompa - Syangbochen, transfer to Gami

    The apogee of this day is a tour of the cave of Padmasambhava, the great Indian saint who brought Buddhism to Tibet.

  • Day 7. Trek Gami (3680 m.) - LogyaKar

    Gompa Gar – the oldest Buddhist monastery in all of Tibet!

    «Gompa Gar» means «house-monastery» and is so called because its construction resembles a house, with separate small rooms. The gompa is decorated with paintings, statues and several large prayer wheels. Primary deities are placed on a brass altar inside a dark alcove. Hundreds of painted carved stones in wooden frames on the walls are the real treasure of the Gar Gompa. There are no settlements nearby, but near the gompa there are places where monks and pilgrims can shelter from the wind.

    Jeep transfer to Lo Mantang

    From the ridge at an altitude of 3850 m, we can see the plateau Lo Mantang (3730 m) and the walled city of Lo. The only entrance to it is on the northeast corner of the wall, which in terms of resembles a thick Latin letter L. At the city gates we will see children and adults gathered here to play and gossip. There are about 150 densely standing houses in the city, numerous residences of lamas, a palace, a monastery, several temples and two gompas, while a school, a first-aid post, a police checkpoint and several important chortens are taken out of the city wall.

  • Day 8. Lo Mantang

    4 main temples of Lo are locked. Residents consider it necessary to control access to them. Key keeper and the keys themselves are reachable only at certain times. But fortunately, lamas are benevolent to foreigners, and therefore we will be able to study the Lo temples not only outside, but inside as well.

    The high temple of MaitreyaChampaLhakang (“lhakang” means “house of God”) was built in the 20s of the XIV century and keeps the painted clay statue of Maitreya — the future Buddha, sitting on a pedestal occupying the entire lower floor. On the walls are massive mandalas *, preserved much better than the paintings in the Tangchengompa.

    It is believed that the red gompaTangchen was built at the same time whithChampaLhakang and the frescoes in it were painted by the same painters. There are statues of Shakyamuni (one of the names of the Buddha), Avalokiteshvara (personification of the ideal of compassion), Vaishravana (the god of wealth) and Padmasambhava (one of the fathers of Buddhism in Tibet). One wall of the temple is completely destroyed. In the hall at the entrance — statues of four Lokapala, defenders of the four cardinal points.

    Two more temples are located in the monastery quarter. Chief among them is the Chodigompa, containing dozens of elegant bronze, brass and copper figurines.

    * Mandala — a flat symmetrical image of the three-dimensional world, used for meditation.

    Audience with the king.

    The four-story Raja Palace is located in the center of the city and is the seat of the current King of Mustang and Queen, or Rani, a representative of the aristocratic family of Lhasa (the capital of Tibet). Raja is an active rider and keeps a stable of the best horses in Lo. Although the duties of Raja are, in a sense, ceremonial in nature, he is honored, and the people of Lo consult with him on a variety of issues.

    We will also visit local medical school practicing authentic Tibetan treatments — specialists of the “grass school”.

  • Day 9. Jeep Lo - Mantang – Jomsom

    Jomsom is the administrative center of the Mustang district. Previously, this territory was considered a separate kingdom, but now it is only the upper Mustang and is called the Kingdom of Lo. Here the culture and life of Tibetans, who fled here from China, flourishes. Jomsom is important because it has an airport, and this is practically the only way to get here, to an altitude of about 3000 m.

    Nepalese army training center is located in Jomsom.

  • Day 10. Flight Jomsom - Kathmandu

    Evening rest after the flight.

  • Day 11. Bhaktapur, Bodnath, Copan Monastery

    In the afternoon we explore the ancient city of Bhaktapur. It is also known as Badgaon, or «holy city.» It is the third largest city in the Kathmandu valley, the cluster of unique historical and aesthetic value monuments of ancient architecture.

    It is difficult to list all the masterpieces of art awaiting in Bhaktapur. The Lion Gate and the Palace of the 17th century with its 55 windows, the Bell of the Barking Dogs, made in 1737, erotic scenes on the bas-reliefs of the temples, are just some of them.

    Stupa Bodnath

    In the center of the complex is a large Buddhist stupa, around which there are dozens of Tibetan monasteries of different schools and directions.

    Bodnath is considered the main center of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. The stupa was built in the 6th century and is often mentioned in historical documents. In the ancient times the path from Tibet to India layed through Bodnathand many pilgrims stayed here.

    The stupa represents a spatial mandala, the base symbolizes the earth, a hemispherical arch — water, a spire of 13 steps (according to the number of steps to Nirvana) — fire, an umbrella — air, and the crowning belvedere — the sky.

    The stupa descends from top to bottom with terraces, on each of which there are also small stupas. The stupa is surrounded by a fence on which prayer drums are located around the entire circumference. Thus, the stupa can be bypassed around the fence, rotating the drums, and along the terraces of each level.

    Around the stupa in a circle are four-storey houses accommodating souvenir shops and restaurants.

    In the famous B. Bertolucci’s movie “Little Buddha” one of the central scenes takes place near the Bodnath stupa.

    Leisure time can be used to purchase products of traditional handicrafts, which the Nepalese capital abounds in.

  • Day 12. Departure from Kathmandu.

    Departure from Kathmandu

Cost включая разрешение в Мустанг - 500 USD

  • FlightKathmandu — Pokhara;
  • Flight Pokhara — Jomsom;
  • Accommodation in the specified hotels in the cities and lodges in the trek;
  • Full board in the trek, breakfasts in the cities;
  • All transfers and internal routing;
  • Special entry permits to enter the Mustang;
  • Services of a local guide and porters;
  • Excursion programs;
  • Boat rental on the Phewa lake;
  • Services of a qualified guide;
  • External flights;
  • Entry visa to Nepal — at the airport upon arrival.
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