Upper Mustang was until recently a separate kingdom,a hidden Trans- Himalayan valley behind the Annapurnas that still retained it’s own king. The journey begins with a flight from Pokhara to the airstrip at Jomosom, a mountain trading post/town in the Kali Gandaki Valley.Initially it is relatively easy ride to enter into the restricted region of Upper Mustang. Upper Mustang borders Tibet and it offers spectacular mountain and high plain scenery. It also provides the opportunity to visit mystical villages and monasteries.Ride with the yaks in the high meadows and rub shoulders with nomads and the local village people alike, taking in their ancient culture and way of life. Mustang is described as a “cold desert“,”a moonscape” “a lost kingdom“, however it is described, it is vastly rich in ancient tradition and mythology that fit so neatly into a huge barren landscape similar to the Tibetan plateau. The people of Mustang are of Tibetan origin and their way of life and spoken language reflects this ancestral lineage. The natural picture is one of red fluted hills, cliffs and pinnacles.
We basically Bike up the Kali Gandaki valley with occasional excursions high above the valley walls. Settlements here are scattered with little sign of cultivation between villages, making them somewhat akin to oasis.Our destination is Lo Mangthang,the town stands as a monument to Lo Manthang’s rich history and cultural heritage that flourished because of its prominent position on the major ancient salt trade route from Tibet to Nepal.A maize of ghompas (religious shrines) and houses surround the kings palace all of which is contained within the eight meters high and 700 meters long boundary wall. Along the periphery of the boundary wall are a series of 14 guard towers, built to protect the town from its many envious enemies of the past.Life here is deeply rooted in religion with chortens, mani walls (inscripted prayer walls) and monasteries in abundance.