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Things to do in Mustang

Abhishek Subedi June 20, 2020

Mustang is popular as a mystique valley and the last forbidden Kingdom of Nepal. It is also known as ”Mini Tibet” of Nepal. This heavenly place has many things to offer and you can do many things on the Mustang Trip. This place has become a popular place for a trek and liked by many over the past years. Mustang lies at an altitude of 3,840 meters in the North-West part of Nepal. Annapurna and Nilgiri mountain range extends across the northern part. This beautiful land has two major divisions which are Upper Mustang and Lower Mustang. Upper Mustang is popular for adventurous trekking while the lower Mustang is famous for its natural scenery. The place is rich in vegetation. Apple fields and rhododendron forests add to the beauty of Mustang. Later over the years, road construction began. And, now there are many things that you can do like tours, biking and of course the age-old tradition of horse riding. 

Things to do in Mustang

Upper Mustang trek offers a chance to explore the thousand years old monastery, caves, local tribes, and scenic beauties of landscapes. In the past, Mustang district used to be the best place for trekking on foot or riding horses. Plus, a route that directs to Tibet. Along the entire journey to Mustang, the travelers can enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, local villages, and historical Buddhist shrines. 

1. Walk through Jomsom

The trek to Mustang starts after landing at Jomsom Airport. You can also drive to Kagbeni from Pokhara to Marpha and Jomsom. Flying from the middle of the two 8000m peaks the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri is a great experience. This place is at an altitude of 2800 m.It spreads over the banks of Kali Gandaki. It also happens to be the area’s base camp. It has a remote station, a police headquarters, a bank, a doctor’s facility.

Things to do in Mustang

Jomsom has a landing strip from where the flights take off and land. It serves 6-8 flights every day. The strong winds that blow up the valley prevent flights from taking off from Jomsom after 11 a.m. It is also a place to use as a base for exploring the upper part of the Kali Gandaki region. There are many accommodation options including a new high-class resort complex. You can walk around this place to witness the daily activities of the mountain people.

2. Explore Marpha

Marpha lies in the Trans-Himalayan rain shadow zone and remains pretty much untouched by an intense storm of lower belts.  It is also known as the town of Apple Orchards. For the most part, the town is a settlement area of the Mawatan Thakalis. Its economy is dependent upon farming, animals, tourism, and work in outside nations. Marpha is unique for its many-storied old stone houses, built by hand.

Things to do in Mustang

It is also famous for the delicious apples grown in the lush valley that follows between the Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri Himalayan ranges. While these are some of the intriguing factors, one of the coolest things that catch everyone’s attention is the stacks of split firewood. You can see those stacks lined at the edges of the flat roofs of every house in town.

3. Try Local Cuisines

Thakali food is a famous meal throughout the country which you can enjoy at its home place- Mustang. You can also enjoy the different local products of apples such as wine, beer, dried items, etc. All the travelers try some local cuisines of upper mustang like Tibetan bread, Khapse, Marpha, local tea mixed with salt and butter during the trek.

Things to do in Mustang

4. Celebrate Tiji Festival

Another attraction of the Mustang region is the Tiji festival influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. During this festival, you can experience cultural art and dance. This program is for three days. It is the best place to take part in the Tibetan Buddhist culture along with their music. If you travel to Mustang in May, you will get an opportunity to celebrate this festival. Make sure to explore forgotten Buddhist culture of the 15th century.

Things to do in Mustang

5.  Day Trip to Chhosar

There are pony treks or jeep drives to visit the caves and monasteries of Chhoser Village. You can visit the 2500 years old Jhong Cave which holds great historical importance. It has five stories with more than 40 separate rooms from where you can see the impressive great cliffs. Besides that, you can visit monasteries and a village called Gherpu. Day excursion for sightseeing to Lo Manthang and Chhoser is also the major attraction and things to do in Upper Mustang trek.

Things to do in Mustang

6. Discover Lo Manthang 

The major attraction to explore in the walled city of Mustang is the Royal Palace of Lo Manthang and old monasteries built in the early 15th century. Ngonga Chode, Dragkar-Thegchen Ling monastery, Jampa gonpa, Thupchen gonpa are the four major monasteries inside the former kingdom of Lo. Exploring these old monuments is one of the interesting things to do in Mustang. Also, if you are lucky you can witness the Bon Buddhist practices and their cultural activities.

Things to do in Mustang

7. Visit Chungsi Cave

Chungsi Cave is the popular cave of the traditional salt trading route of Mustang. This cave is of religious, historical, and medical importance. It attracts many tourists from all around the world. Close to this monastery, there is a monastery also for Meditation.

8. Visit Monastery and Chorten

Each village has at least one monastery and many Chortens. You can see them while traveling the upper Mustang. This is a restricted area because of the historical and religious monuments. The natural and geographical diversity are under protection because of their cultural and historical significance.

9. Horse Riding Tour in Upper Mustang

Upper Mustang is an ideal and popular destination for horse riding tours in Nepal. Horse riding is one of the unique things to do on the high Himalayan desert of Upper Mustang. The locals organize an excursion day tour from Lo Manthang to Chhoser in a horse during the upper mustang trek. Horses are tourist-friendly and you can ride them slowly.

10. Witness the Nepali Grand Canyon from Chele

You will have to walk about 45 minutes uphill to reach Chele after crossing a small metal bridge over Kaligandaki River. Near the village, there is an amazing place to see which is very like the grand canyon of the USA. Stop and take time to grasp the beauty of nature and do not forget to take pictures for memories. This is definitely one of the things to do in Mustang.

Things to do in Mustang
Mustang Khola past Chele

11. Explore Sky Caves in Chhusang

Chusang village is a small settlement located on the upper mustang trekking route. The village rests in between Tangbe and Chele. It has a colorful surrounding with the gigantic red, orange and silver gray cliffs. And the place has the remnants of cave dwellings and the ancient history of the place. You can see a huge organic apple garden at Tangbe on the way to Chusang and other farming lands too. It is an active farming community.

Things to do in Mustang

12. Pilgrimage tour to Muktinath

Muktinath temple is the heavenly place for Hindus and Buddhists. Muktinath is one of the sacred spots among four “Dhams” of Hindu situated in the mountain area.The most reasonable time to visit Muktinath is from March to June. The climate conditions would not be safe to travel in different months. The adventure goes through many archeological locales and sanctuaries. The 108 water taps and continuous glowing fire is another fascination of this temple.

Things to do in Mustang

Mustang is one of the must visit places in Nepal where you can experience the true life of mountain people. It is one of the last surviving examples of mountain lifestyle and culture of Nepal. There are many travel agencies who can help you organize your Mustang trip.

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