Upper Mustang: Exploring the Hidden Kingdom of the Himalayas

Nestled in the remote and mystical land of the Himalayas, Upper Mustang is a hidden gem that offers a unique and extraordinary trekking experience. Located in the rain shadow of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, this ancient kingdom was once a vibrant hub of Tibetan culture and trade. Today, Upper Mustang remains a preserved enclave, allowing trekkers to immerse themselves in its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and distinct Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

Upper Mustang has a rich historical and cultural heritage that sets it apart from other trekking destinations in Nepal. The region was once part of the ancient Kingdom of Lo, which flourished as an important trading route between Tibet and India. As a result, Upper Mustang bears a strong Tibetan influence, evident in its architecture, art, and religious practices. The area is dotted with centuries-old monasteries, caves adorned with ancient murals, and traditional villages that have retained their distinct Tibetan character. Exploring Upper Mustang offers a glimpse into a bygone era, where traditions, rituals, and a way of life have been preserved over the centuries.

The landscapes of Upper Mustang are nothing short of breathtaking. The trek takes you through arid desert-like terrain, deep canyons, and dramatic rock formations, presenting a stark contrast to the lush green valleys of other regions in Nepal. The towering peaks of Nilgiri, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri provide a stunning backdrop, while the Kali Gandaki River carves its way through the deep gorges. Along the trail, trekkers encounter colorful prayer flags fluttering in the wind, barren hillsides painted with hues of red and ocher, and ancient caves that speak volumes about the region’s fascinating geological history.

Upper Mustang is a restricted area, and special permits are required to explore its hidden treasures. This controlled access has preserved the region’s pristine beauty, traditional way of life, and fragile ecosystem. The limited number of trekkers allowed each year ensures a sense of exclusivity and tranquility, as well as the opportunity to interact closely with the local inhabitants. Trekkers must be prepared for the arid climate, high altitude, and strong winds that characterize the region, but the rewards of exploring this lesser-known corner of Nepal are immeasurable.

Upper Mustang is deeply rooted in Tibetan Buddhism, and its monasteries are centers of spiritual life and cultural celebrations. The region is renowned for its vibrant festivals, where masked dances, music, and religious rituals come alive. The Tiji Festival, celebrated in Lo Manthang, is a major highlight, featuring ancient ceremonies and performances depicting the triumph of good over evil. The opportunity to witness and participate in these festivities provides a profound insight into the spiritual beliefs and cultural practices that have shaped the lives of the people of Upper Mustang for centuries.

Trekking in Restricted  Area / Annapurna Region

Group size of the Trek
Minimum 2 person
Maximum 15 person

Trek features :

  1. Mixed culture ; Buddhist & Tibetian culture
  2. cultural heritage site for Buddhism
  3. Views of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges.
  4. Different types of orchids and alpine forests and bushes.
  5. Old Tibetan monastery, famous pilgrimage Temple Muktinath just at the roots of the mountain.
  6. World’s deepest gorge (Dana 1400m.) between the Dhaulagiri (8167m) & Annapurna 1 (8091m.).
  7. Beautiful waterfalls (Rupchechhahara).
  8. Hot spring on the way.

Grade : Medium & Hard

Elevation: Max. 3780 Meters. (Lo- Mangthang )

Accommodation : Tea House/ Tented camp

Food: Continental

Equipment List

The requirement of equipment is diffrent for each trek. these are common requirment of personnel things for most of our treks. Please feel free to ask for advice we will provide you the best suggestion.

Clothing and Equipment Check List

  1. Pair of T-shirts and half pants
  2. Fleece jacket and warm Trousers
  3. Raincoats & water proof pants
  4. Down jacket
  5. Thermal underwear
  6. Windproof jacket
  7. Fleece/wool warm hat
  8. Baseball hat or sun hat
  9. Snow & sun  glasses
  10. Fleece gloves
  11. Socks – 3/4 pairs
  12. Socks- woolen
  13. Trekking shoes
  14. Ligh sport shoes
  15. Small rucksack for daypack
  16. Waterbottle (metal )
  17. Kit Bag medium size
  18. Trekking poles (optional)
  19. Sleeping bag down ( -5-10 degree)
  20. Flash light & batteries

Personal things

  1. Small kit bag (valuable things can put inside , pocket knife )
  2. Sun Cream & lip care cream
  3. Moist towels for personal hygiene

Upper Mustang Itinerary

Option 1:

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu airport (1350m.) , pick up then transfer to Hotel.

Day 2: Full day Sight seeing around Kathmandu Valley.

Day 3: Drive or flight to Pokhara (915m.) then transfer to Hotel

Trek start: Trekking (14 days)

Day 1: Fly to Jomsom then trek to Kagbeni (2800 m.) 3 hours.

Restricted area start

Day 2: Trek to Tsaile(3050m.) 5-6hrs, gradual , steep ups & downs.

Day 3: Trek to Syammochen (3800m.) 6-7 hrs, Steep trail, cross Vena -La 3860m , desert land with beautiful views.

Day 4: Trek to Ghami (3520 m.), 6-7hrs, Pleasant trail,cross the passes ; Nyi-la 4010m & Ghami la 3765m -gradual & steep ups & downs.

Day 5: Trek to T-Sarang (3560m,), 6-7 hrs. cross the Mane wall and steep ups Choyo la 3870m then beautiful view of the Tsarang valley gradual down.

Day 6: Trek to Lo_Manthang (3780m.), 5-6 hours , gradual ,steep ups & downs, passing though Sungda chhorten , Sungda -la 3910m., windy pass .

Day 7: Rest day, exploration surrounding the Lo Mangthang, meet with former king , visit Chhoser cave etc.

Day 8: Trek to Yara (3650m.) 6-7 hrs, gradul , steep ups & downs, beautiful landscape

Day 9: Trek to Ghara visit Luri- Gumba (historic place to visit ) and back to Yara (there is no any guest house at Ghara)

Day 10: Trek to Tange (3240m.) 5-6 hrs, gradual , steep ups & downs with scenic view.

Day 11: Trek to Chhuksang (2980m.), 9-10 hrs , steep ups to Paha then steep downs.

Day 12: Trek to Muktinath (3760m) 5-6 hours , gradual ,steep ups & downs , beautiful landscape along trail passing Gyu-La 4077m.

Restricted area end

Day 13: Trek to Jomsom (2700m) , 5 hours , gradual & steep down hills , along with kaligandaki river.

Day 14: Fly back to pokhara (850m.), free day at pokhara

Trek End

Day 18: Drive or flight to Kathmandu., farewell dinner in Nepali restaurant.

Day 19: Fly back to own destination or extra activities.

Option 2:

Drive from pokhara to Beni by public bus / car to Beni then drive by jeep/bus to Tatopani (hot spring) 6-7 hours drives -1190m., o/n at guest house.
Drive to Ghasa by jeep/ bus then change the bus / jeep to Kagbeni (2800m.), o/n at guest house.
Trek to Tsaile(2875m.) 5-6hrs, gradual up, o/n at guest house.
Trek to Geling(3520m.) 5-6hrs, Steep trail & desert land with beautiful views , o/n at guest house.
Trek to Tsarang(3580m.),5-6hrs, Pleasant trail, cross the pass at 3600m & gentle down o/n at guest house.
Trek to Lo_Mangthang(3780m.),Gradual ups & downs, o/n at guest house.
Rest day, Exploration surrounding the Lo Mangthang o/n at guest house.
Trek to Yara(3650m.), 6 hrs o/n tented camp.
Trek to Bas Khola – 5 to 6 hrs and o/n at tented camp.
Trek to Damodar Kund (Lake) 4890m – 5 to 6 hrs and o/n at tented camp.
Trek to Dhechang Khola – 5 to 6 hrs and o/n at tented camp.
Trek to Tange(3240m.)- 5 to 6 hrs and o/n at tented camp.
Trek to Tetang (3040m.)– 5-6 hrs and o/n at tented camp.
Trek to Muktinath (3800m.) via Gyu La (4070m.)- 6 hrs and o/n at guest house
Drive to Tatopani (1190m.) 6-7 hrs.
Drive to Pokhara (850m.) 6-7 hrs.

Upper Mustang Includes/Excludes

Upper Mustang cost Includes

  • Price Include :
  • Pick & Drop to Airport / Hotel in Kathmandu & required places
  • Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing with Tour guide.
  • Food (Breakfast , lunch & dinner with tea -coffee ) in Trekking guest houses .
  • Accommodation in trekking area guest houses twin sharing bases on the trek .
  • English speaking Government licenses holder trekking guide & Supporters
  • Staff food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment and medicine are included in trekking.
  • Primary First Aid Kits (For the first aid treatment purpose such as bandage , some medicine......)
  • Trekking permits & TIMS for Conservation area /Restricted area & all the necessary official documents for trek.
  • Transport ; trek start to ending point by private car/van/ Bus.

Upper Mustang cost Excludes

  • Nepal entry visa fee and necessary documets
  • Flight fare domestic and international .
  • Food in Kathmandu or other cities .
  • Airport Tax in Domestic & International Airpot & other taxes.
  • Personal insurance , equipment ,medical and travel insurance during the trek
  • Entrance fees for sightseeing/Monument /donation and some personal expenses.
  • Helicopter rescue charge in case of Emergency .
  • Staff tips and other personal expenses
  • Expenses burden due to Natural disaster ; such as bad weather , land slide

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Upper Mustang: Exploring the Hidden Kingdom of the Himalayas