There are various reasons to do the Upper Mustang Trek; because the Upper Mustang is the land of wonder and mystery; trekking to this wonderful and mysterious land is named the Upper Mustang Trek. Upper Mustang used to be the isolated Himalayan Kingdom till 2016 BS (Bikram Sambat); the ruling king was Gigmae Dorje Palbar Bista. And it was unified since then to the greater Nepal. Still, there is the king and he is kind of supreme of the region; and needs to be in the special ceremonies as the head of the region.
This wonderland used to be untouched by modernization and commercialization but nowadays it is becoming commercial and modern. Because there is a road connection with the modern cities like Jomsom, Beni, Pokhara, and Kathmandu. However, still, some part of this amazing region is very far away from modern lifestyle and technology. So that still there are the many reasons to do Upper Mustang Trek once in your lifetime.
Mustang is the trans-Himalayan land and laying in the shadows of Mount Annapurna and Mount Dhaulagiri. These two mountains are considered the top 14 world’s highest peaks. And this area is surrounded by other many snowy peaks as well, due to the weather and atmosphere this region has the different landscapes as well. The completely different atmosphere and landscapes are the reasons why you should do Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal.
The Upper Mustang trek was opened in 1990 because this region was forbidden for foreigners and still this is a restricted trekking area and requires a special permit. Also, mandatory to have a minimum of two people in a group and led by the license holder trekking guide. These all things make this trek a wonderful and lifetime trek for hiking lovers and here are the 10 reasons to do Upper Mustang Trek in Nepal.
Diverse Landscape and breathtaking mountain view
Upper Mustang is a region with a diverse landscape, where you can find greenery on the lower Mustang and very dry and no tree land in the upper Mustang. So the diverse landscapes are one of the reasons why you must do trekking to there once in your life. The windy Mustang valley has a landscape that you can not find in the other parts of Nepal. Beautiful barren land with some dots of greenery, in some parts of Mustang where living people; makes this is the holiday I will remember in my whole life.
On the other hand, the outstanding mountain views such as Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Nilgiri, and many more snowy peaks are just out of your imagination. The combination of the gigantic mountain peaks and stunning geographies are the first reasons to do Upper Mustang Trek. Because you will have the opportunity to witness these elements are the point that makes Upper Mustang is the land of wonders and mystery
Unique culture and tradition
Upper Mustang is a part of Nepal, and although the people are similar to Tibetan and they are following the Tibetan culture. So that the Unique culture and the tradition are the reasons why you should do Upper Mustang Trek. The living people of Mustang are Thakali, Bhote, Gurung, Serchen, Bista, etc and they all have their own unique types of cultures and lifestyles. These cultures and traditions are centuries-old and they follow as same as centuries ago.
When someone died the Lama check what their body should do? Aagni (to burn), (Gamin)to bury, (Bayu) to give wind bird, and (Pani) to put in water. One of the most unique and special cultures and traditions of the Upper Mustang is giving the dead body to the vulture as following the ritual determined by the Lama. Similarly, they will follow the culture and tradition as the main lama determines what to do for a dead person.
When we study Himalayan Buddhism and the first name will come to the Upper Mustang because this was the holy land and traveled by the great Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmashamvaba) And who built the first Buddhist Monastery that was in Upper Mustang and at the Lo Gyaker (Ghar Gumba Monastery). Since then many monasteries are built in Mustang and they are very historical and chronological.
Visiting the Upper Mustang is exploring those beautiful historical monuments located thereby. Those monasteries are examples and universities for the Buddhist people to observe and learn about Himalayan Buddhism. Most of the monasteries are 1200 to 1000 years old and the statues and other materials inside those monasteries are very antique.
Tiji Festival and Yartung festival – Reasons to do Upper Mustang Trek at the sametime
Tiji festival is one of the most popular festivals in Upper Mustang, this festival will celebrate annually and celebrated for 3 days. The walled city of Lo Manthang is the place where this festival will commemorate and all the local people from nearby will travel there to glimpse this festival. Nowadays even foreign travelers also travel there during this festival and usually, this celebration will take part between May and June.
Yartung is another celebration that celebrates in Mustang by the local Mustangi community and this festival will celebrate in Muktinath. This is also three days celebration celebrated at the end of the summer season as they say goodbye to the summer. The main attractions of this festival are the horse race, Achary (Aero) Monks dance, singing and dancing by the local peoples.
Last forbidden Himalayan Kingdom
Upper Mustang used to be the isolated Himalayan Kingdom till 2016BS and still, they have the king, and people will respect and follow the king. The King will be the head of the attraction of the special ceremonies such as the Tiji Festival and Yartung. In the history of Nepal, Mustang Kingdom is the last Himalayan empire.
In the Lomanthng, the capital of mustang there is still a royal palace standing in the middle of the Lomanthang Village. This mighty royal palace and other royal palaces in the villages like Ghami and Tsarang represent the Upper Mustang is the last kingdom of Nepal. The recent king Jigmi Palder Bista died……. and now his son represents the King of the Mustang.
Home of the Buddhist religion
Mustang consists the real Buddhism in Nepal, there are huge historical monasteries in each village. The monastery in Ghiling village has its own specialty and this monastery only allows the ladies. Monastery in Tsarang has the history of the upper mustang area. And the monastery in Low Gyakar the Ghar Gumba Monastery is the oldest monastery in Nepal.
Along the way, there are the many Buddhist stupas, Mani walls, and hanging prayer flags. The monasteries, stupas, Mani walls, and prayer flags represent the value and significance of Buddhism in the Mustang. In mustang, there are all the four sects of Buddhism standing Nigmapa, Gelugpa, Kagupa, and Sakyapa. Even a part of the Mustang is preserving the Bon religion too. So the Upper Mustang is the paradise of Himalayan Buddhism.
The Mani Wall opposite side of the Ghami and near Dhakmar is the longest Mani Wall in Nepal. Meaningful Buddhist stupas along the way such as at Tsarang, Dhakmar, Ghami, Syangbochen, Ghiling, Chhoser, and other villages are the evidence that Buddhist religion is the major religion of Upper Mustang. Therefore, observing the Buddhist religion, culture, and traditions is one of the best reasons to do the Upper Mustang Trek.
There are many mysterious caves in the Upper Mustang. When we enter the land of the upper part of Mustang; the distinct landscapes and caves in those landscapes; make your trip to Mustang completely different than a trip to other parts of Nepal. Caves are looks man-made but it’s mysterious how they built such a cave in that kind of place.
The most popular Caves in Upper Mustang are Zhong Cave, Tangbe Cave, Koncholing Cave, and cave monasteries in there. It’s said that the Zhong cave has 108 caves inside the cave and those all are interconnected and well manage. Inside the cave, we can see the water reserves to the food reserve places. In the history of Mustang, these caves are built when China attracted over Tibet; and people from Tibet came to Mustang and stayed thereby.
Koncholing Cave is a cave monastery located in the human isolated part of Mustang. The painting inside the cave shows us the Buddhism in the Himalayan region belongs to the ancient period. Similarly, there are other many caves and monasteries discovered by a research team from the Himalayan foundation USA. And hope there are many more caves in the Upper Mustang and Dolpa region.
One of the best summer season treks
Nepal is the Kingdom of the Mountains and home to mountaineers. Here are hundreds of world-class trekking trails such as – Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Upper Mustang Trek, Dolpa Trek, and many more. So that every year thousands of trekkers from all around the world visit Nepal to do one of the treks. The best time to do all the trekking in Nepal is in the spring and autumn seasons.
But the Upper Mustang Trek is a kind of three seasons trek; this trek can do in the spring, autumn, and monsoon seasons too. So the Upper Mustang Trek is one of the summer season treks in Nepal; this is the best summer season trek. This trek is best in the summer season because this land is located in the shadow of the two world’s highest peaks Mt. Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.
Altitude – Easiness is the reasons to do Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang Trek is a trek for all the people who want to explore the nature and culture of the Himalayan region. Because Upper Mustang trekking route is under 4000m and the highest pass during this trek is 4200m. If you are dreaming to do a trek in Nepal then the altitude is not a problem to fulfill your Himalayan journey because there is the Upper Mustang Trek for you. So the altitude is another factor that you can do Upper Mustang Trek.
Although, this trek starts with an elevation of 2800m in Jomsom and walks between 3000m to 4000m above sea level. Even you can start this trek in the lower elevation like 1100m in Tatopani Myagti. In my trekking career, I did this trek with a 3 years old German boy and his family. And good thing is that he successfully accomplished this trek at that time. Similarly, I did this trek with an 81 years Dutch lady and she also successfully finished this trek. So that the altitude is not the reason to avoid Upper Mustang Trek.
Can be combined with other popular trekking trails
Upper Mustang Trek can combine with other many famous trekking routes inside the Annapurna Conservation Area. Trekking like Terila Pass, Thorong La Pass, Mesokantala Pass, Ghorepani Poon Hill, Annapurna Base Camp, Khopra Danda, and Mardi Himal Trek. Among these trekking routes, the Terila Pass trek with Upper Mustang is a very tough and heavy trek.
Thorong La Pass or Annapurna Circuit Trek is also possible to add with Upper Mustang Trek; the best option to combine these two treks is first to do the Thorong La Pass and then Mustang Trek. The same options go for Mesokantala Trek, first pass the Mesokantala and then trek to Mustang. But trekking trails like Poon Hill, ABC, Khopra, and Mardi Himal are can do after exploring the Upper Mustang. So that the many options to make a longer version of the trek is one of the reasons to do the Upper Mustang Trek.
Conclusion – Reasons to do Upper Mustang Trek
The natural and cultural beauty are the points to explore this region. And Upper Mustang has these things, that is why Upper Mustang Trek is the great trek inside the Trans-Himalayan Land. Up listed various factors that are the reasons for doing Upper Mustang Trek. Not only these are the reasons, but there are also many other points why you should do this trek. To have the best trekking experience you have to choose the best time and the need to follow the best Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary. The cost-wise this trek is a bit more expensive than other treks. You know that the best things are more costly and difficult to achieve too. So mark your journey to Upper Mustang for one of the best trekking experiences in the Himalayans of Nepal.