Five Reasons to Choose Mustang for your Next Trek.
Trekking to Mustang is a rare privilege. Today, it has become one of the most visited tourist regions in Nepal. The fact that it is home to the holy temple of Mukti Nath which is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus is a crucial factor behind the region’s popularity. If you are on a tight schedule, you can easily access Mustang by flight or bus and complete the tour within 4-5 days. But, like we just said, trekking to Mustang is a rare privilege.
Here, we have presented the top five reasons to visit Mustang for your next trek.
You can travel here almost any time of the year.
Most treks in Nepal take place during the autumn and spring seasons. However, since the Mustang Region lies to the north of the Himalayans and falls in their rain shadow, it doesn’t receive monsoon rain like other parts of the country do. That’s why, you won’t have to trek through muddy, slippery, and landslide-prone trails during monsoon in Mustang. Also, perfect mountain views are guaranteed. Also, if you prepare well enough and take enough warm clothes, it is completely possible to trek through the lower and middle areas of the Mustang. Although, it’s not recommended to trek to Upper Mustang in winter as the region goes into hibernation mode.
Visiting the holy MuktiNath temple.
At an elevation of 3,710 meters is the holy MuktiNath Temple. Dedicated to the Hindu god of Narayan, the temple is an important religious site for both Hindus and Buddhists. It is believed that whoever visits the temple will receive moksha (freedom from the cycle of rebirth impelled as the Law of Karma). Although the temple is not as architecturally stunning as the ones you will see in Kathmandu Valley, visiting it will be a good excursion. You can hike there and get back to Kagbeni within a day.
Trekking to Upper Mustang.
Trekking in Upper Mustang is almost identical to trekking in Tibet. Geographically, the region is a part of the Tibetan plateau, and the culture and lifestyle here are heavily influenced by that of Tibet. Here, you can experience the way of life of the authentic Nepalese people, who were not in any touch with the rest of Nepal for hundreds of years. The region even had an officially recognized king until a decade ago. It will be a truly amazing experience to visit the walled kingdom of Lo Manthang and the ancient royal palace. You can even go on a pony ride for fun.
Experiencing the Tiji Festival.
The famous Tiji festival is an abbreviation of the word “TempaChirim” which refers to “Prayer for World Peace”.Tiji falls on the second week of May every year and lasts for three days. Held in Lo Manthang, the festival celebrates amazing and unique Tibetan rituals. There are several myths tied to the celebration of the festival. For instance, one is that a reincarnation of Buddha emerged victorious against a fearmongering demon. If you happen to trek during May, you will be able to experience incredible cultural experiences coupled with adventurous trekking.
Discovering the mysterious caves.
The Mysterious Sky Caves in Mustang make trekking more of a treasure hunt that an actual trekking adventure. It is a collection of some 10,000 man-made caves dug into the sides of the valley. These caves lie on the steep valley walls near Kali Gandaki River. Situated 155 feet from the ground, these caves are 2,000 years old. Inside these caves are hundreds of artifacts like paintings, sculptures, and paintings that make these caves one of the world’s biggest archaeological mysteries. Researchers still haven’t been able to discover who built these, why, and how did people even climb them.
Historic Gompas and monasteries.
While trekking in the Mustang Region, you will come across several monasteries and gompas. It will be safe to say that trekking here will not be an adventurous journey, but a cultural, religious, and spiritual one as well. Several of these religious Buddhist sites are more than a hundred years old and house ancient artifacts like manuscripts, images, and art. The Namgyal Monastery, Tsarang Monastery, Lo-Gakal Monastery, Nyiphuk Monastery, Ghiling Monastery, Gonpa-Kang Monastery, Chooser Cave, Luri Cave, and Ghar Gompa are some monasteries that you can visit during your Mustang trek.
Visit apple orchards and eat apple pie.
A half-day trek from Jomsom will take you to the picturesque Marpha Village. The village is famed for its apple orchards and the trail that will lead you towards it is clean, stone-paved, and pretty. The village is also nothing short of impeccable beauty as it is surrounded by green, irrigated orchards. Here, you can visit these orchards, eat some apple pies and drink some Marpha.