Mustang, Nepal - A Remnant of Forbidden Kingdom
By Holiday Dragons
Located at an elevation of 3,840 m, Mustang retains a rugged and mystical reputation. The name “Mustang” is derived from the Tibetan word meaning, “Plain of Aspiration.” It lies in the North-West part of Nepal and covers an area of 3,573 km2.
Mustang is an ancient forbidden kingdom, bordered by the Tibetan Plateau and sheltered by some of world’s tallest peaks, including 8000-meter tall Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Strict regulations of tourists here have aided in maintaining Tibetan traditions. The Holy temple of Muktinath is also located at Mustang.
Agriculture and animal husbandry are the main occupations. The entire district is included within the Annapurna Conservation Area, the largest protected area of Nepal. As the region is situated on the borders of Tibet, and presents a unique rain-shadow terrain guarded by the mighty Himalayas, trekking in Mustang region during the summer an appealing prospect.
Things to do
Upper Mustang Trek provides travellers with an extraordinary opportunity. Travellers will experience the authentic presence of the “highlanders” or the mountain people. Treks here gives travellers a great example of how treks in Tibet can feel. Upper Mustang lies in the rain shadow of the Himalaya. Hence, travellers can enjoy clear, bright and dry trek even during the wet summer of Nepal. Most of the locals migrate to Lower Mustang or further down to avoid the cold and harsh winter hence trek at winter is not advised. The highest elevation travellers can reach on this trek is 3840m. This trek famous as a tea house trek as well because the region has many tea houses run by the locals of the region.
Muktinath Trek takes travellers to Muktinath of lower Mustang. It takes travellers through amazingly serene villages along with sights of waterfalls, jungles, and stark, barren landscapes. On the way, travellers can also explore the deepest gorge of the world- Kali Gandaki gorge as well as the lovely landscapes and mesmerising views of the Himalayas.
Lower Mustang Trek is accessible and doable throughout the year. It experiences a dry summer and not so cold winter. Hence, it is the perfect trekking destination at any time of the year. Trekkers while enjoying their nights at the beautiful and comfortable tea houses along the trails can also go through beautiful forests of Rhododendrons, Magnolia on the way. They can also explore the traditional, old villages.
Day Hike to the Canyon Visitors can do a day hike from Chele to visit this marvelous place. It is only 45 minutes uphill from Chele to reach the place. After crossing a small metal bridge over Kali Gandaki River, travellers can see the magnificent canyon. Kaligandaki River originates in Mustang district. This river makes the second deepest gorge of the country.