Mustang district in Nepal is known to be the district behind Himalayas because it is located in trans-Himalayan zone besides Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range. Having said that, the lowest elevation itself is 2010 m and highest7061 m.Geographically this district encompasses world highest pass Thorung pass (5416 m), deepest George AndhaGalchi and home to Four mountains above 6000-meter height. Thisdistrict carries significance values tothe various tourism activities because ofhaving its diverse landscape, unique culture and famous religious shrine. Which are famous for trekking, mountain biking,adventure ride, jeep safari and pilgrimage. The entire district comes under the Annapurna Area Conservation Project (ACAP) however, it further divided two regions Upper Mustang (restricted zone) and Lower Mustang (non-restricted zone).
Attractions: – Diverse high altitude landscape, authentic culture and religious shrines are its primary attractions within this district.
Muktinath temple is the holy shrine to both Buddhism and Hinduism. Located on the foot hill of Thorong mountain at the height of 3710m is one of the highest altitude temple on earth. This temple is surrounded by 108 fresh flowing water fountains from back courtyard and Two ponds from front entrance. It is believed that taking bath and deep in those fountains and pond purify the soul by removing sins and offering salvation. According, to Hinduism scriptures when Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyakashipu in his Narasimha (half lion and half human) incarnation, his anger did not control recalling the torture faced by Prhalad (his favorite devotee) from his father demon Hiranyakashipu. Many other gods tried to calm down Narashimhaanger but did not success. Finally, Lord Narashimhacalmed down by his favorite devotee Prhaladand prayed Lord Vishnu’s incarnation to liberate his father from his all sins in this particular place.
The Incarnated god Narashimha pleased by the prey of his devotee Prahalad and liberated his father form the all sins. Since then this zone is called as Mokshya (liberate) Khetra(zone), or place of salvation. Where the temple Lord Vishun has been built in pagoda style and worshipped since ancient times. This temple is also a one of the Eight scared shrines of Lord Vishu the others are Badrinath, Tirupati, Pushkar, Sriramhgam, Naimisharanya, Srirangam and Thotadri. Likewise Buddhist call it chumming Gyatsa (scared lace of the Dakinis goddess known as sky dancers) Both religion take this temple as the symbol of five elements fire, earth, sky, water and wind. Situated at the trekking rout of thorong pass this temple receives many travelers other than pilgrimage.
Jomsom,the headquarter of Mustang district is a beautiful town located along with the bank of holy Kaligandaki river at an altitude of 2800m. The soaring peaks Mt. Nilgiri and Mt. Dhaulagiri stands as a background to this windy town. Thakali(ethnic group) known to be the hospitable by origins are the main inhabitants of thistown. This town is not only the commercial and administrative hub but also oneand only connecting point by air from Pokhara and Kathmandu where, many tourists and pilgrimage commence their onwards journey form here. The nearest other touristic place form this town are Marfa, Kagbeni and Muktinath respectively. Khartummela is famous here in Jomsom.
Situated at the altitude of 3000m on the lap of mount Nilgiri is the pristine cliff lake around 5.5 kilometers in distance form Jomsom. The trekking rout passes form Thini village and Dumba village takes approximately 2 hours to reach this lake form Jomsom. This lake is known as Buddhist lake because once upon a time the color of lake turned into red and bring back to its natural color by performing Tibetan rituals ceremony by Lamas. Having pristine water, the view gets more mesmerizing during sunny days as the nearby landscape mirror into its clear water.
DamodarKundais a holy Hindu shrine situated at the height of 4890m form sea level in upper mustang. Every year during the full moon day of August a religious fail is held. This place encompasses perfect panoramic view of Annapurna Himalaya range, Tibetan plateau and different high altitude valleys. Situated at the alpine area this place remains cold and windy most of the times. According to the Hindu holy books this lake got named after form the Lord Krishna.
Kagben is the small beautiful villageget way to upper mustang, situated at the bank of Kaligandairiver at an altitude of 2800m.It is believed that Kagbeni named after the Kagbhusundi in Ramanaya era where they meditated in this place with reference to the saptarishi’s advice. This place is also called medieval village because it played important role during salt trading era. Now, this historical place consists of ethnic community of Gurung and Thakuri tribes along with many beautiful historical monasteries. Its’ terrain is dominated by confluence of Kaligandaki and Jhong river. Being the meting point of these two rivers it has significance value among Hindus. It is said offering Shraddha (Pinda) in the bank of Kalignadaki and Jhong river confluence, the ancestor get salvation to their departed soul. So, many Hindu pilgrimage perform Shraddha puja here. Normally Hindu pilgrimage visit this place at first in their Muktinath journey.
The capital of forbidden kingdom Lo-mangthang is rich in natural biodiversity, Tibetan traditions, rituals and culture. This lies in upper mustang in an elevation of 3700m. It’s doorsteps to tourists open only after 1992. The region is entirely isolated having barren picturesque landscapes. This is also the last human settlement of Mustang district. Falling under the rain shadow zone cold wind normally blow through canyon, gorge to the plains. Tiji is the main festival which is celebrated for three days every year in Tibetan style. It is said this festival is celebrated after the legend son who was credited to save this kingdom form destruction. Tourism attractions within this area are amchi museum, karajhong fort, various Buddhists monasteries, royal place, walled city with chorten etc.
The entire mustang district is drainage though the Kaligandaki river. This river flow in between two giant Himalayan ranges Annapurna and Dhaulagiri over eight-thousand-meter height. While flowing form the higher altitude area to the lower belts, it has to flow through cliffs, valleys and gorge. The cleaved by kaligaknkai river between Lete to Dana village is considered as the world deepest gorge on earth.
Sky caves found in the different parts of the upper Mustang are the solid proof of human civilization in this area since ages. In this deserted windy landscape of various remote parts, it is believed that there are more than 10000 manmade sky caves as archeological mystery. These caves used as hiding spots during war, military lookout post, storage unit and meditation chamber form different era. Today these caves are the attractions points of many travelers.
Deserted Vegetation Around Himalayas
Major area within Mustang district is covered by barren and grassland. Trekking, riding or cycling to these areas gives mystic felling to everyone. Major trekking routes into this trans Himalaya encompasses the barren landscape, eroded cliffs, moraine valleys which gives traveler fascinating experience. Exploring and experiencing alpine region is an interesting as well as challenging. People may be the victim of high altitude sickness so person travelling into this area should be very careful about the acclimatization process. Life into these mountain is harddue to various reasons as opposite to the beauty of its heavenly landscape. Very limited land is suitable for cultivation and in addition to that only limited corps can be grown due to alpine climate.
Trekking to Upper Mustang for Foreigners
The door of upper mustang was opened to international tourists only after `1992. This alpine region is very fragile in terms of environmental and socio-cultural point of view. The government of Nepal has put this region under restricted zone where, only limited international tourists get permit to visit this place. According to the rule total of 1000 tourists are allowed to visit this place annually. The permit fee is $ 700 for seven days’ trip. If the trip extends above seven days additional $ 70 must be paid on daily basis. Most of the parts within this district falls under rain shadow zone thus, can be visit during monsoon too.
Accessibility to Mustang District
Mustang district is connected by air and land transportation. An airport at Jomsom has daily scheduled flights form Pokhara and Kathmandu. Helicopter tour and services are also provided by different private airlines. This district is connected by unpaved road Beni – Jomsom(85 Km) from the south and Jomosm – Korala (112 Km) to the northern boarder of autonomous of Tibet. Furthermore, this district is connected by the famous trekking trails Thorolgla and Tilicho rout form Manang district and Dolpa – Ghami/Kagbeni form Dolpa district.
Hotels and Accommodation in Mustang District
|1||Hotels in Lete||12|
|2||Hotels in Marpha||15|
|3||Hotels in Jomsom||24|
|4||Hotels in Kagbeni||10|
|5||Hotels in Muktinath||14|
|6||Hotels in Chusang||9|
|7||Hotels in Ghami||6|
|8||Hotels in Charang||6|
|9||Hotels in Lomangthang||6|
Source report mapping report -2014, Mustang District
Famous Trekking Trails in Mustang
- Thorongla – Muktinath
- Tilicho – Jomsom
- Kagbeni – Dolpa
- Ghami – Dolpa
- Chusang – DamodarKunda
- Surkhang – DamodarKunda
- Lomangthang – Korala
- Dhaulagiri base camp
- Dhaulagiri Icefall
Major Activities Done in Mustang district
- Mountain bicycling
- Jeep safari
- Adventure ride
- Observation of different traditions, rituals and festivals