You should know all about Upper Mustang Trek

  • Updated on Jun 23, 2023
  • Govinda Gurung

There is no other place like Upper Mustang in all of Nepal. Due to its significant semi-arid landscape and unique Tibetan heritage, it sits a world apart even though it borders one of the most well-known trekking regions in the nation. A trek here is also unlike any other in Nepal because it places the same importance on cultural exploration and breathtaking scenery. Due to restrictions, only a small number of tourists visit the upper Mustang region each year. Since it is in a rain shadow, the area is one of the best for trekking and tours, even during the rainy season.

Compared to the Everest base camp, Annapurna base camp, Manaslu trek, Langtang Valley, and p, this Upper Mustang trekking route is the most unusual and thrilling. The people of the Upper Mustang live in a very different way from the rest of the world in terms of lifestyle, language, foods, clothing, and even the homes they live in. But why are millions of people so enamored with Upper Mustang Trekking every year? What makes it so distinctive and alluring? They each have unique worldviews as well as a vibrant culture and tradition. In addition, it has a wonderful climate that offers a clear view of the surroundings. These features are yet an additional attraction that draws hikers to Upper Mustang.

You travel with the Upper Mustang excursion to explore the Tibetan plateaus near Mustang. This journey provides you with an amazing travel experience everywhere. You will be astounded by the remote geography and prosperous cultural settlements. You can encounter the towering Annapurna ranges up close here. Additionally, you gain knowledge of a genuine mountain lifestyle with a one-hundred-year history.  This trekking route combines Dalome and Lo-Manthang, two of the most well-known rural municipalities in the Mustang region. Let's learn more about the Upper Mustang Trek now.

Table of Content


Wall City in Upper Mustang is called Lo-manthang. When visiting Upper Mustang, this is the main attraction. Even after Nepal was united into one country, it was still ruled by a local king. Upper Mustang's capital is Lo-manthang. The main draws in this area are the ancient Buddhist paintings, monasteries, historical caves, picturesque plateau landscapes, and Himalayan views. This tiny city has a vibrant Tibetan culture. There are also Tibetan-style homes, a stupa, and memories to discover here. It is necessary to spend a full day or two taking walking or horseback riding tours in this location. Tea houses that meet tourist standards offer lodging and meals to both domestic and foreign tourists. 

Desert-like landscape – the cold desert

Upper Mustang's desert-like scenery is amazing considering it is located in the Himalayas. Only in Mustang can one experience the sand and windy trails with prayer flags blowing flawlessly on the chilly desert and Chortens and other small monuments standing along the trail.

Inimitable History

Despite the fact that the culture and language of Mustang have been greatly influenced by Tibetan culture, the region once had its own independent kingdom. In charge of the trade routes between the Himalayas and India from the 15th to the 17th century, Mustang was an ancient salt trade route. In 1795, Nepal invaded Mustang, and it later became a part of Nepal's empire.

Beautiful Landscapes And Amazing Mountain Vistas.

Right from the start, you are surrounded by stunning mountain vistas. As you get closer to the Upper Mustang, the scenery becomes even more breathtaking and brilliant. There will be large mountains along the entire route to Lo-mang thang.

The massif range of the Himalayas, including Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tilicho, Damodar Himal, and other unidentified peaks, will be visible. You'll find unusual terrain features. unlike anything you've ever witnessed on this amazing expedition past the stunning highlands.

Ascend through the mists and hills to a rocky outcrop with tunnels on a wall of whitewashed rock. During this trip through the red rock hills, which will transport you to the Grand Canyon of Nepal, take pictures to preserve the best moments of your life. Visit the kingdom's rock salt extraction facilities next, which were once used to exchange salt for food with Tibet.

The Last Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang

The primary reason you shouldn't pass up the chance to visit Upper Mustang is because of its uniqueness. It is the Last Forbidden Kingdom, Upper Mustang. It was only accessible to travelers after 1992 due to its isolation. Up until 1950, Mustang was a distinct kingdom within the borders of Nepal. 

In the historic capital of Lo-Manthang, at a height of 3840 meters, resides the final king (Raja) of Upper Mustang. The Upper Mustang Trek's highest vantage point is Lo-Manthang. The myths and legends surrounding Lo's early history are enhanced. As a result, Upper Mustang is the world's most protected and restricted area. 

Related trek in Mustang Region

Rare Flora and Fauna in Upper Mustang

The elusive snow leopard and the numerous musk deer reside in Upper Mustang. The Himalayan Yak, a domesticated long-haired cattle used for transportation and milk (which is used to make butter tea, a rich delicacy popular in the region), can be found, though it may be difficult to see a snow leopard. This area is also well-known for its Himalayan alpine terrain with a variety of herbal plant species that the locals frequently use for a variety of purposes, including incense and medicine, among others.

Your previous trekking experiences

The difficulty of the Upper Mustang trek also depends on your prior experience. It will undoubtedly be more difficult for inexperienced trekkers than it will be for hikers accustomed to multi-day excursions at such altitudes. A moderate level of fitness will help trekkers in any incident, though.

Distance and duration of the trek

The Upper Mustang trek from Jomsom to Lo Manthangand back to Jomsom via Muktinath covers about 125 km/77.6 miles when hikers walk 5 to 6 hours per day for eleven or more trekking days.

Tiji Festival, Yartung Festival, and Horse racing

The two most well-known festivals in Upper Mustang are Tiji and Yartung Festivals. Due to the Tiji Festival's fame, you can even choose to go on a Tiji Festival Trek. In May, there is a festival called Tiji. A fascinating myth serves as the centerpiece of this three-day festival. According to history, a demon who spread disease caused problems in the Mustang region. However, the demon was vanquished by the hero Dorje Jono. This festival thus symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Yartung also remembers the celebration to say goodbye to summer. This time, you practice traditional Tibetan-influenced Buddhist values. To participate in this festival with the locals, you must travel during the full moon in August. The locals arrange horse races as part of a large celebration.

Local tribes and rich & unique culture

The secret paradise on Earth is in Mustang. Additionally, their local way of life and culture are unexplored. The local tribes and their rich & distinctive culture are thus the next reason to visit Upper Mustang. Mustang, which is near the border, displays ancient history and art with Tibetan influences. Upper Mustang is a part of the Loba ethnic group. They resemble the Tibetans in every way, including lifestyle and language. Their history can be traced back to the eighth century when the Yalung Dynasty brought Buddhism to Tibet. Mustang received its traditions and religion from Tibet. The Tibetan dialect Mustangis refers to themselves as Loba or Lowa. The four major religious holidays they observe are Gine, Gensu, Gelung, and Nayuene. The entire Upper Mustang is made happier by these celebrations. 

Mysterious Caves and Ancient Monasteries

In addition to being an adventure, trekking in Mustang is also a treasure hunt. More than ten thousand holes in the ground and rocks have been hollowed out. Both man-made and natural caves can be found all over the area. Amazing caverns that were tunneled in from above and built into cliffsides have been found by researchers.

The mysterious Mustang caves, however, have only been the subject of research since 2007. The caves are beautiful to explore and are regarded as archaeological wonders. Although it is a trekking vacation, Upper Mustang Trekking is a spiritual journey. The best-preserved glories of the past can be found in abundance in Mustang. Ancient religious texts, artwork, and crafts beautifully reflect history and culture.

Restricted Area

The Upper Mustang was a restricted demilitarized area before 1992. This is the reason; Upper Mustang is one of the most preserved regions in the world. Nowadays, visitors would require to have issued special permits for Upper Mustang Restricted Area. As well as Annapurna Conservation Area Permit to legally visit this region.

Mani Wall

During your trek in Upper Mustang, you will also have the opportunity to see the magnificent Mani Wall. These Mani partitions. You will likely concentrate on the longest Mani Wall in all of Nepal once you have passed through the Tsarang tracks and reached the steel scaffold of Tangmar Chu.

The Lobas

Upper Mustang's general populace refers to themselves as "Lobas" (People from Lo). Particular similarities exist between their way of life and the Tibetans'. Most Lobas reside in a two-story open focal yard with an army of horses and ranch workers on the ground floor. When you enter their house, you will see soul traps made from sheep's horns and twigs arranged in the shape of a cross with strings of five different colors woven into the design of a precious stone. These soul traps, also known as Zor, are used to catch evil spirits and drive them away.

Town of Tsarang

Tsarang, which has a five-story white Dzong and an ochre Gompa, is a verifiable location located at an elevation of 3575 meters. The previous royal residence, constructed in 1378, once housed Mustang's top library. It contains the gold-leafed supplication book despite everything. There will be a buildup of preserved snow panthers that are warding off evil spirits.

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