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Plan Your Next Trip To Mustang, Nepal
Shimmering blue lakes atop mountains, a continuous silver stretch of the Himalayas, fluttering prayer flags, chanting monks, and pagoda-style temples are images that are conjured up when you hear the word Nepal. But that’s a very small portion of what the country has to offer.
The most well-known cities of Nepal are popular for a good reason: Kathmandu is known for various temples, monasteries, and stupas; Pokhara for adventure sports, lakes, and beautiful landscape; and Lalitpur for Patan Darbar square and vibrant festivals.
But travellers who want to avoid crowds and tourist traps during their Nepal sightseeing tour can seek out some of the lesser-known attractions such as (1) Siddha Gufa at Bandipur, where you can explore the largest cave in Nepal; (2) Bardia National Park, where you can spot elephants, rhinoceroses, and the Royal Bengal Tiger; and (3) Rinchenling Gompa in the Limi Valley, the second oldest monastery of Nepal.
Take you next break in Mustang, Nepal
If you’re looking for an offbeat destination as part of your Nepal sightseeing tour, then take out a few days to travel to Mustang. It’s hard to name a place with more authentic culture than that of the Mustang region. This barren but expressive land is unlike the rest of Nepal as it shares geographical similarities to the Tibetan plateau. However, the place is untouched by modern preservatives and is a unique corner of the Nepalese Himalaya. It is also the closest you’ll come face-to-face with Mt. Everest.
The Mustang region is divided into two: Lower Mustang and Upper Mustang.
Upper Mustang was a restricted walled city until 1992, which makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world; a majority of the population still speaks in traditional languages, which is why trekking here needs special permission. Their isolation can also be seen in their architecture. The stone-flagged streets and homes with narrow lanes look like one-of-a-kind, forcing you to spend one more day in the former Kingdome of Lo. The last king, the Raja of Mustang, still has his home (the royal palace) in this ancient capital known as Lo Manthang.
How to reach Upper Mustang
Hiring a jeep is the most convenient way to reach upper Mustang. It is easier and faster, allowing you more time and energy to explore the exact location. You can also take a helicopter ride but it can be a little heavy on the wallet. Adventure seekers can trek to Mustang, which is obviously laborious but an adventure on its own.
Lower Mustang is a part of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, which has the largest protected biodiversity area in Nepal. In lower Mustang, you can visit Muktinath Temple, which is of great religious importance to Hindus. Don’t miss out on the sacred fire that emerges naturally from the ground. Even if you don't make it to one of the gompas or temples, you'll still feel a strong sense of culture through the people, the food, and the surroundings as you explore this beautiful region. Lower Mustang is also a place where Jurassic-era fossils can be found lying around. So keep your eyes on the ground while you trek, you might find a whole piece if you’re lucky.
How to reach Lower Mustang
The easiest and the most convenient way to reach Jomsom (starting point of Mustang) is to take a flight, which operates daily from Pokhara. There is also a cost-effective way to travel, which is to take a bus from Pokhara to Jomsom. Hop on to another bus or hire a jeep to take you to Muktinath (lower Mustang). The journey takes an entire day to reach the destination but the amazing scenery makes it less tiresome. Or you can simply trek from Pokhara to Lower Mustang.
Best time to visit:
Lower Mustang: All year round
Upper Mustang: Spring (March-May); autumn (September- November)
Make this year memorable with a Nepal sightseeing tour to Mustang and discover a place like no other.
About the Author:
TourGenie is a travel technology company in Sikkim, India, specializing in tours to Northeast India, Nepal, and Bhutan. TourGenie’s expert travel crew constantly works to make every journey a comfortable and memorable one. It also arranges educational and corporate tours. With an aim to “Simplify Travel”, it has introduced TourGenie Customer Relationship Management—an online software for travel agents.
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