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Lower Mustang Trek

Abhishek Subedi June 11, 2020

Lower Mustang Trek is an amazing experience as you make your way along the deepest gorge of the World that is Kali Gandaki gorge to the dry and barren lands. You can admire the fascinating views of the mountains like Annapurna Panorama, Mt Dhaulagiri, Mt Himchuli, Mt Nilgiri, Mt Machhapuchhre, Mt Tukuche and many more.  The Lower Mustang Trek occupies the southern edges of Tibetan Plateaus- wild, dry and barren. The first fascinating experience of the journey is the mesmerizing sunrise view from Poon Hill.  Lower Mustang Trek is not just about its unique wild landscapes and deepest gorge of the world but it is also about the vibrant villages that you pass along the way, sunrise and sunset view amidst the mountains, unique cultural encounter, biological diversity and the famous spiritual hub of Hindus and Buddhists that is Muktinath.

Lower Mustang Trek

 It also offers many more attractions along the way such as taking bath in the natural hot water spring in Tatopani which may act as an ailment to all the tiredness from your walk till the day. The travellers will also pass through some amazing villages like Ghasa, Marpha, Kagbeni, Jomsom and many more. The cultural encounter and interaction with locals is an amazing way to get some insights about people, lifestyle, culture and tradition. Likewise, Jomsom is a buzzling settlement in the areas that consists of many hotels, shops, banks and other government offices. The major highlight of this trek is Muktinath. Muktinath is a popular spiritual hub that attracts many Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims around the world every year. Muktinath temple is actually a symbol of harmony that two religions namely Hinduism and Buddhism share. The eternal flame that burns here with the help of natural gas is an attraction that leaves everyone in wonder.

Day 1 Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara

The journey starts from the Kathmandu valley from where the bus ride of about 5 to 6 hours will take you to the beautiful city of Pokhara. Through this ride travellers can enjoy the scenic views of beautiful river valleys, alongside terraced fields of barley and rice and over green hills blanketed with lush vegetation. When you arrive at the Pokhara valley there you will witness the beautiful lakes, hills and mountain ranges. The travellers will enjoy the evening here and stay here for a night. 

Day 2 Drive to Nayapul and Trek to Tikhedhunga

The travellers will begin their day with the ride from Pokhara to Nayapul. After a short walk along the banks of the Modi Khola, you will reach Birethanti, a large village with many shops and teahouses. From here, the trail continues through the village and follows the north bank of the Burundi Khola. The path climbs steadily up the side of the valley to Hille at 1495 metres and after a short climb you will reach Tikhedhunga at 1570 metres. This trek is relatively short and easy, a prelude to the trekking experience in the Annapurna region.

Day 3 Trek to Ghorepani

From Tikhedhunga the trail crosses a stream on a suspension bridge near the campsite at Tikhedhunga. The trail ascends a steep stone staircase (which has about 3300 steps) to the large Magar village of Ulleri at 2080m. Above the village, the trail climbs gently through pastures and cultivated fields. The trail crosses two beautiful and clear streams before making a short and final climb to the Nangethanti. Thanthi is the Nepali word meaning ”rest house”. During the winter season you can experience the trail covered with the white and soft snow. From Nangethanti you will continue your climb towards the Ghorepani at 2850 metres from here you can indulge yourself in the spectacular panoramic views of Dhaulagiri I, Nilgiri, Annapurna I, Himchuli and more.

Day 4 Hike up to Poon Hill and onto Tatopani

The trek starts early in the morning and you will continue to hike towards the Poon Hill 3210 metres. From here you will see a superb view of the sunrise and panoramic view of the Himalaya, including Mt Dhaulagiri, Mt Annapurna South, Mt Fishtail and others. You will continue to descend to Ghorepani and trek towards Tatopani.

Day 5 Trek to Ghasa

The trek now starts up the Kali Gandaki valley, which is known to be the deepest gorge in the world. Here you will enjoy a beautiful days’ walking along the Kali Gandaki riverside, gradually ascending into sub- tropical vegetation. From there you will cross the Bhalu Khola  on the high suspension bridges before arriving at Dana. Around 30 minutes from Dana you will  see a very high waterfall; Rupse Chhahara which translates as ”beautiful waterfall”). You will continue your walk through the steepest and narrowest part of the Kali Gandaki, where much of the route is cut through solid rock. From here, you will again cross the river on a 120 meter long bridge to the east side. You will continue on to Ghasa, an ethnic Thakali village and this marks the southernmost limit of Tibetan Buddhism in the valley.

Day 6 Trek to Tukuche

The trail follows the Kali Gandaki River, passing through a narrow gorge before reaching Thakali traditional villages. This trial will let you cross the gorge and river numerous via long suspension bridges, which offer great photography opportunities. You will pass a couple of villages such as Lete, Kalopani and Kokhethati. On the way you can see the top of Dhaulagiri Mountain peeking over the west side. The trek ends in the beautiful village of Tukuche.

Day 7 Trek to Kagbeni

An easy and lovely days’ walking where you will first see the village of Khobang, which has narrow alleyways and tunnel connecting houses. You can make a short side trip to the Kanti Gompa. Then the route continues to Marpha, one of the most important places for Apple. You can see a wine brandy distillery here and walk through the orange orchard street. You will continue your trek for another 2 hours before reaching the final destination. Here you will take a rest for a bit and walk continue along the Kaligandaki river passing through Eklai Bhatti.

Lower Mustang Trek

Day 8 Trek to Muktinath

The main highlight of the trek, Muktinath which is an important pilgrimage place for both Hindu and Buddhist. You will first walk through Khingar and then onto Jharkot which is an impressive fortress-like village. Then continue your hike to the first part of Muktinath which is also known as Ranipauwa, where you will stay the night. During the free time you can explore the area and see some of the holy and sacred places like an eternal flame coming from natural gas next to a spring which is considered holy as well.

Day 9 Trek to Jomsom

Muktinath is one of the most important sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindu as well as Buddhists pilgrims. Travellers begin their day with a visit to Muktinath temple. From here you can appreciate the wonderful perspectives on Dhaulagiri.  There are water gushes which channel into the stream running over the sanctuary. There is additionally a Buddhist Monastery close by.  From here a path slides through the town of Jharkot where you can investigate the Jharkot religious community; this is both a Tibetan homegrown clinical focus and an old post. The hike proceeded back to Jomsom . The perspectives on the Kali Gandaki valley and Kagbeni town en route are genuinely overpowering. We pass by Ekle Bhatti and lastly show up at Jomsom.

Lower Mustang Trek
Beautiful mountain landscape of Muktinath village in lower Mustang District, Nepal.

Day 10 Jomsom to Pokhara

The travellers will take a flight back to Pokhara.  The remaining afternoon can be spent exploring the beautiful landscapes, lakes and hills of the city. You can also roam around the market area of the Pokhara in the night and get yourself immersed in the limelight of the city.

Day 11 Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu

It is time to bid farewell to the Pokhara valley and take a bus ride back to the Kathmandu valley. You can enjoy the beautiful landscapes, river valleys and clear sky through the window of the bus before reaching the city. 

From this beautiful Lower Mustang Trek you can enjoy the majestic and stunning panoramic views of the Himalayas, deep gorges and Tibetan Buddhist villages with the ancient religion, tradition and culture.

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