Nepal, a land of diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage, hides within its borders the mystical Upper Mustang region. Often referred to as the “Last Forbidden Kingdom,” Upper Mustang beckons adventure seekers to unravel its secrets. In this immersive 14-day trek, our team, led by the experienced guide Kapil, assisted by the dedicated porter Namaraj, embarked on a captivating journey through the heart of Mustang. Accompanied by enthusiastic clients from Hiking Himalayas Treks, we ventured into a land where ancient monasteries, rugged terrains, and warm hospitality awaited.
Day 1-2: Arrival in Kathmandu and Briefing:
The adventure began in the vibrant city of Kathmandu, where the team assembled, filled with anticipation. Amidst the bustling streets and ancient temples, Kapil briefed us on the intricacies of the trek, emphasizing safety and cultural sensitivities. The group bonded over a traditional Nepali dinner, laying the foundation for the camaraderie that would grow stronger over the next two weeks.
Day 3-4: Flight to Pokhara and Trek to Kagbeni:
An early morning flight took us to Pokhara, offering mesmerizing views of the Himalayas. From Pokhara, a short trek led us to Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang. The Kali Gandaki Gorge, flanked by the imposing Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, served as a dramatic backdrop, setting the stage for the adventure ahead.
Day 5-7: Kagbeni to Chele and Exploration of Ancient Caves:
Our journey unfolded as we traversed through barren landscapes, quaint villages, and rocky terrains. The trek from Kagbeni to Chele unveiled the stark beauty of Upper Mustang. In Chele, we explored ancient caves adorned with mystical wall paintings, narrating tales of Buddhism and the region’s historical significance.
Day 8-10: Geling, Charang, and Lo Manthang:
The trek continued through Geling and Charang, each day revealing a new facet of Mustang’s charm. Villages with whitewashed houses and intricately carved windows punctuated the arid landscape. The arrival in Lo Manthang, the walled city, felt like stepping into a different era. The Royal Palace, Thubchen Monastery, and the local markets offered a glimpse into the Mustangi way of life.
Day 11-12: Chhoser and the Ghar Gompa:
A side trip to Chhoser brought us to the heart of Mustang’s cultural and economic practices. Traditional salt mining, a livelihood for many locals, unfolded before us. The Ghar Gompa, nestled into the cliffs, became a symbol of spiritual resilience, offering a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. As we interacted with the locals, the warmth of their hospitality left an indelible mark on our journey.
Day 13-14: Return Journey and Farewell:
The return journey was a blend of nostalgia and appreciation for the experiences shared. We revisited familiar trails, now seen through a lens of retrospection. Kagbeni welcomed us back, and a scenic flight to Pokhara marked the end of the trek. In Kathmandu, a farewell dinner became a celebration of the friendships forged, the challenges overcome, and the beauty witnessed.
The Upper Mustang trek with Kapil, Porter Namaraj, and Hiking Himalayas Treks transcended the realms of a typical adventure. It was a cultural immersion, a physical challenge, and a spiritual awakening. The landscapes of Mustang, with their stark beauty, ancient monasteries, and the resilient spirit of the people, made this journey more than just a trek. It was an odyssey into a hidden kingdom, leaving an indelible mark on our souls. As we bid farewell to Mustang, the memories lingered, echoing the sentiment that true adventure is not just in reaching the destination but in savoring the journey itself.