Experience an exhilarating adventure in the arid western regions of the Annapurna region with the Upper Mustang Overland Tour. Upper Mustang is a magnificent jewel to add to your travel extravaganza. It is nestled in the alpine valley sculpted by the Kaligandaki River.
Travelers esteem Upper Mustang as the most incredible destination to experience Tibetan-Buddhist customs and traditions. The overland tour takes you to the ancient kingdom of Lo-Manthang, which was long a forbidden territory. The people in the region are accustomed to their traditional way of life and are untouched by modern eccentrics! The Upper Mustang District and the restricted part of the Annapurna conservation area cover a large portion of Lo Manthang's stunning ambiance!
The 13 Days Upper Mustang Overland Tour allows you to immerse yourself entirely in the history and folklore of the region, its contemporary culture, customs, and ceremonies, which are incredibly rooted in their traditional practices and have been preserved to this day in a stunningly sustainable manner.
This tour is not just for fun; it's also an efficient approach to learning about the locals' way of life. The Thakalis, Gurung, and Tibetan cultures are diverse and constitute living art in and of themselves. In just one visit to the Upper Mustang, we learn about the region's aesthetic perspective and the multifaceted cultural richness of the locals.
With its high cliffs and rock formations around the valley in the rain shadow region, Upper Mustang has spectacular geography unlike any other. The whitewashed dwellings strew around the Kali Gandaki river valley look as though they have gotten frozen in time when you enter the higher altitudes of Mustang.
The overland route makes pit stops at various temples, gompas, Mani walls, and chortens, a significant part of Tibetan Buddhist practice. Another pleasure of the journey is interacting with the local Bon and Lhopa communities. To top it off, the massive Annapurna rage and other Nepalese Himalayas will grace you with their magnificence throughout the journey.
In retrospect, the tour enamors you with breathtaking views of rivers, mountains, streams, woods, old stone monuments, and houses full of magnificent landscapes that perfectly capture the grandeur of Northern Nepal.
Discover the territory beyond the Himalayas lying on the border of the Tibetan Plateau with Outfitter Nepal's 13 days Upper Mustang tour. Explore the intact century-old socio-cultural practices, historically significant archeological sites, and stunning scenery throughout the rain shadow region!
Best Features of the Upper Mustang Overland Tour
- Explore well-known destinations such as Tatopani Hot Springs, Marpha, Jomsom, Kagbeni, Lo Manthang, and Muktinath.
- Enjoy the breathtaking view of Kaligandaki, the deepest gorge in the world.
- Stay in pleasant towns surrounded by Chortens, monasteries, gompas, and religious shrines.
- Drive through the Upper Mustang and Annapurna Conservation Area's restricted area.
- Explore the Muktinath Temple, its surroundings, and nearby monasteries and gompas.
- Discover more about the La Pa Tibetan ethnic group and the local Tibetan tribe.
- Visit numerous historical sites, including the hidden kingdom of Lo Manthang.
- Beautiful panoramas of mountains like Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tilicho, and Annapurna I.
- Get a chance to participate in the Tiji Celebration, the most auspicious festival in Upper Mustang.
- Wander through rhododendron, oak, and pine trees with an opportunity to spot various quirky species.
Upper Mustang Overland Tour Itinerary
From Kathmandu, the tour begins with a jeep ride to Pokhara. We will then travel to Jomsom from Pokhara. The administrative center of Mustang, Jomsom, serves as the public face of the region and its tourism. You will take a seat in an overland jeep safari that will take you through many historical and cultural towns in Mustang. The tour then takes you to the Kingdom of Upper Mustang, also known as Lo Manthang. The tour will take you through the several historically significant and culturally significant villages of Mustang. With a full day of exposure to the ancient city's customs, traditions, and way of life, the safari will then take you to Muktinath temple.
By jeep, the upper Mustang travels through the Kaligandaki Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world, to reach Kagbeni. We even get to enjoy the natural hot spring at Tatopani, relish every bite of juicy apples at Marpha, and finally enter the ancient kingdom of Lo Manthang. The rocky valley of Lo Manthang winds opposite the hill, from south to north, and toward the Tibetan border.
Road distances from Kathmandu to Pokhara are 200 km, Pokhara to Jomsom is 155 km, and Jomsom to Lomanthang is 60 km. Driving through the mountain range with its many vistas is an excellent experience during the tour. The distances between the destinations may seem high, but we will be touring around for 13 days. So, the everyday distance we cover will be pretty low, and we will spend more time exploring than on the road!
The Mystical Jomsom
Jomsom is a tourism hub for culturally rich Mustang. Additionally, it serves as the entry point to the Mustang region. The ethereal views of the Himalayas and the magnificent natural diversity of the Mustang are captivating experiences. Pine trees and illuminating vistas of the hills and mountains beautify the environment. The vast majority of people practice Buddhism in Jomsom. Gumbas and stone temples are plentiful in Jomsom, making your tour experience a spiritual venture.
One of-a-Kind Himalayan Views
You will witness some of the most alluring and mystical views of various Himalayan ranges as soon as the tour departs from Pokhara. With the Chure range and Kaligandaki flowing in between, the Annapurna, Fishtail, Tukuche Peak, Thorung Peak, Annapurna I, Nilgiri, and Dhaulagiri mountains would also be visible. You will see the valley's surrounding towering cliffs and rock formations in the background. Visitors will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, thanks to the Annapurna Conservation Area, to experience the mysterious geographical mysticism of the Mustang region.
Fossilized Shaligram Stones at Kaligandaki River
The presence of Shaligram stones is the most defining characteristic of the Kaligandaki River. The stone is renowned for its uniqueness and beauty, a golden black stone with fossilized spacing inside. Shaligram is believed to be a component of Lord Bishnu and is a significant part of Hindu culture. One of the holiest stones in Hindu mythology, Shaligram is revered as Lord Vishnu. The devotees believe that Shaligram devotion grants you the ability to battle the evil within you and bring about a great deal of inner serenity.
The ancient kingdom of Lo Manthang
Founded in the 1300s, the walled capital of the ancient kingdom of Lo opened for tourists in 1992. This enigmatic location is undiscovered and remains far from accessible to modern tourism. Lo Manthang became a dependent but retained its hereditary kings when the Shahs of Gorkha united Nepal from the smaller kingdoms they had conquered throughout the 18th century. This arrangement persisted as long as Nepal was a monarchy, which it was until 2008. When the republican government took power in Nepal and Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista, the monarch, was stripped of his throne. And Lo Manthang was incorporated into Mustang's Village Development Committee.
The Royal Palace, constructed some 600 years ago, is one of Lo Manthang's most notable features, along with its gompas and tall whitewashed mud-brick walls. Jampa Lhakhang or Jampa Gompa, popularly known as "God House," is one of the gompas in Lo Manthang and is the oldest. It was constructed in the early 15th century. The next one is Thubchen Gompa, erected in the late 15th century and situated southwest of Jampa Gompa. Chodey Gompa is currently the primary gompa, while Choprang Gompa is referred to as the "New Gompa."
In Lo Manthang, a group of at least twelve are set on sheer cliffs at 14,000 feet, north of Annapurna, close to the town, and embellished with ancient Buddhist artwork has just been found. These paintings, believed to date from the 13th century, exhibit the Newari culture's impact. Those paintings include ink-written Tibetan letters, silver and gold, and pre-Christian pottery fragments.
Additionally, archaeologists have uncovered ancient paintings, monuments, stone arts, and manuscripts from the old kingdom, in addition to partially mummified bodies that date back several hundred years. This is the ultimate maneuver to draw in contemporary tourists who want to see and learn about ancient history and culture.
The Unique Festival of Tiji
The Mustang locals strongly regard the Tiji celebration as the most auspicious festival in the Upper Mustang. Tiji is a holiday commemorating the triumph of good over evil. Tiji is observed as a victory of good over evil. According to legend, a demon was causing havoc and destroying the Mustang region by spreading disease, killing innocent people, and stealing the water. To reclaim all the water and prevent Mustang from being extinct, Dorje Jono engaged in battle with this demon and ultimately defeated him. Tiji is commemorated and celebrated with prayer chants and vibrant dances as a reminder of that momentous day.
The three-day Tiji celebration typically occurs in the middle of May. The "Choedhe" monastery's monks perform ritual dances during the occasion. Through a series of dancing, the performance depicts significant events. On the first day, the "Tsha Chham" dance describes the persecution of the Ma Tam Ru Ta demon. Similarly, on the second day, the "Nga Chham" depicts the birth of the second son of the demon, Dorjee Sonnu. Likewise, on the final day, the dance represents an attempt to bring the demon back to the Buddha's realm.
The Himalayan Temple of Muktinath
At the height of roughly 3,749 meters, the well-known temple of Lord Muktinath is located 18 kilometers northeast of Jomsom. Muktinath is a highly revered holy site for both Hindus and Buddhists, and it is placed on the foothill of Thorang La Pass. It is one of the oldest temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the Vaishnava tradition in Nepal. The temple is well-known among the Hindu devotees as Mukti Kshetra, which translates to "place of salvation."
The ever-burning candle (akhanda diyo) at the temple is seen as a symbol of peace and harmony. It is said that going here at least once in your life will free you from the anguish and misery of this world. It is one of Nepal's eight holiest religious sites.
Traverse the Himalayas by Road
With an overland upper Mustang tour, you can travel a distance that would take days if you were trekking! What makes it extra unique is that you will not miss any famous attractions! The road may be rugged at times after Kagbeni, but, definitely worth it! You will not have to move your leg muscles at all. You can take in the stunning natural scenery of the Himalayas, valleys, gorges, peaks, rivers, and streams. Even better, you'll have the opportunity to tour the long-lost Tibetan Kingdom of Mustang while you journey through the gorges of Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri. The drive to Upper Mustang is risk-free, exciting, and nevertheless worthwhile! During your stay, you'll feel an exhilarating and joyful experience.
Experience Rich and Unique Culture
Mustang region natives have unique lifestyle ideals and expectations of modern life. Similarly, their primary sources of income are trade, tourism, and animal husbandry. Likewise, the majority of Tibetans speak Tibetan and practice Buddhism. The Thakalis are an ethnic group well renowned for their distinctive customs, cuisine, and culture. Thakali cuisine is famous all over Nepal. They have their own unique culture and lifestyle. Experience the culture first had with upper Mustang Overland Tour.
Apple Gardens at Marpha
Marpha is a haven for heritage and modernity, where these two elements co-exist peacefully. The apples of Marpha are pretty famous among frequent Nepal travelers! Several apple orchards are in full bloom during the blooming season, making the village extremely beautiful. These apples are the main ingredients to make the renowned Marpha brandies and jams.
Tatopani Hot Spring
Tatopani has a natural hot spring that is reputed to be therapeutic. It is believed that if you dip yourself in the spring, you will be free of skin diseases. Whether true or not, taking a moment to yourself in a natural spa is a relaxing experience.
Mustang Overland Jeep Tour Cost
For a group of 5 or more visitors, the standard Outfitter Upper Mustang package goes to be about US$ 2350. Likewise, for a small group of travelers between the ranges of 2 to 4, the package costs about US$ 1950. This is the standard package from Outfitter Nepal. We can also help you customize your itinerary for the trip. The cost of the package changes accordingly. Contact us at any time!
Travel Upper Mustang with Outfitter Nepal
We are a dependable and trustworthy tour company with more than two decades of experience in the Himalayan region! You will travel with a group of seasoned experts skilled at guiding tourists in Nepal's Himalayas. From the start of the tour until its conclusion, they will handle all of your necessary duties. Thus, you will get to learn a lot more!
The Upper Mustang Overland Tour is possible at any time of the year. All guests are welcome to explore the enchanted Upper Mustang, and reservations are accepted all year long. With Outfitter Nepal, you can visit the region at any time of the year based on your convenience!