Upper Mustang Pilgrimage Tour

Description

Upper Mustang Pilgrimage Tour

Upper Mustang is a sacred area of Nepal’s Mustang District situated in the other hidden side of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayan ranges. This area is used to be a Kingdom of Bhote/Thakali community until Nepal is declared a newest secular and Republican Country in 2008. Lo Manthang was the capital of Ex. Mustang Kingdom. Mustang is divided into two parts saying Upper Mustang and Lower Mustang. Visit both with Upper Mustang Pilgrimage Tour. 

The lower part of Mustang is open to everyone for normal tour and trekking to Muktinath, Jomsom and Annapurna circuit. However, Upper Mustang is known to restrict the area of trekking. To get a permit for Upper Mustang Pilgrimage Tour you need to apply for a special permit with the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Home, Immigration department paying a minimum of US$ 500.00 per person for 10 days and 2 person group size which is already included in this packaged price.

The area is restricted because the historical and religious monuments and the natural and geographical diversity are supposed to be protected as their importance is more essential for the nation. Snowy Horizon had organized several Teahouses and group camping trekking in the Upper Mustang Area which lies in the North-West part of Western Region in Nepal beginning from Pokhara-Jomsom flight or overland Journey by 4wd.

Rupakot Holidays has been providing this special package of pilgrimage tour in Nepal called "Upper Mustang Pilgrimage Tour" for your ease. Contact for further details.

12 days upper mustang tour itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu.

Day 2: Full day sightseeing at Bouddhanath stupa & Namobuddha.

Day 3: Drive to Pokhara (5-6 Hours drive).

Day 4: Fly to Jomsom- Drive to Kagbeni(2,900 m) via Muktinath(3,710 m).

Day 5: Drive Kagbeni(2,743 m) to Tsarang (6 - 7 hours).

Day 6: Drive to Lo Manthang (2 - 3 hrs) – Explore Lo Manthang.

Day 7: Explore Chossar & Tingar.

Day 8: Drive to Chuksang(2,980 m) (6 - 7 hrs).

Day 9: Drive to Jomsom.

Day 10: Fly to Pokhara – Drive/ Fly to Kathmandu.

Day 11: Kathmandu – Visit Patan (Ashoka Stupa  & Accheswar Mahavihar[in Pulchowk], Golden Temple & Mahaboudha).

Day 12: Depart Kathmandu.

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu.

Transfer from the airport to the hotel. A representative from our office will be there to receive you at Tribhuvan International Airport. At the hotel, you will be briefed on your itinerary. 

Day 2: Full day sightseeing at Bouddhanath stupa & Namobuddha. 

After an early breakfast, we visit Boudhanath Stupa, one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. A protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, Boudhanath Stupa is regarded as an important centre of Tibetan Buddhism outside Tibet. Buddhists believe that the remains of Kasyapa Buddha (Lord Buddha’s previous incarnation) were interred at the spot where the stupa is built.  Light butter lamps and visit the nearby Tibetan monastery. 

After lunch, we visit Namo Buddha, a hilltop Buddhist shrine located about 40km from the city. Legend has it that Lord Buddha in his previous birth saved a dying tigress and her cubs from starvation by offering to feed them with his own flesh. According to local legend, his bones are enshrined in an old Buddhist stupa that lies at the top of the hill. We visit this stupa, circumambulate around it and light incense and butter lamps. Take pictures and enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. Visit a Tibetan monastery (Thrangu Tashe Yangste Monastery) located nearby. 

Day 3: Drive to Pokhara (5 - 6 Hours drive). 

After an early breakfast, we drive to Pokhara. It takes about 5-6 hours to reach Pokhara by road. At Pokhara, we check into our hotel and call it a day.  Enjoy a leisurely evening stroll by the lakeside (Phewa Lake) if you are not too tired. 

Day 4: Fly to Jomsom - Drive to Kagbeni(2,900 m) via Muktinath(3,710 m).

We wake up early and drive to Muktinath or Chummig Gyatse(Hundred Waters in Tibetan). Sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, this spot is one among the 24 important Tantric Sites. The site is believed to be the home to Dakinis or celestial sky dancers. While ‘Muktinath’ is Lord Vishnu for Hindus, for Buddhist the shrine is dedicated to Avalokiteswara- Boddhisattva of Compassion & Virtue. The idol of Buddhist deity Chenrezig is also placed inside the temple’s sanctum. Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche) meditated at this site on his way to Tibet. A statue, believed to be made by his own hands is enshrined at Marme Lakhang Gompa (near Muktinath Temple). We visit the Jwala Mai Temple (Temple of Fire Goddess) and witness the sacred flames burning continuously fueled by natural gas. Traditional caretakers of Muktinath shrine are the Chummig Gyatse Buddhist nuns, headed by the abbot known as Muktinath Lama.

After paying obeisance at all the shrines we continue driving to Kagbeni, the last village in Lower Mustang and the gateway to Upper Mustang. Kagbeni lies at the confluence of Kali Gandaki and Jhong Rivers and was once an important trading post for traders travelling on the old salt trade route.

Day 5: Drive Kagbeni (2,743 m) to Tsarang (6 - 7 hours).

We wake up early and visit the old 800 years old Sakya monastery and the King’s palace before presenting our documents at the local check-post to enter Upper Mustang. After official formalities, we take the rough road to Upper Mustang. The ride is rough but filled with amazing vistas of arid windswept canyons, striated cliffs and red hills. Padmasambhava is believed to have slayed the demons here when the latter obstructed the building of Samye Monastery in Tibet. Locals believe that the hills in Mustang were dyed red by the demons’ blood.  

We pass through the longest mani wall in Nepal en route and explore Ghar Gompa(3940m), the oldest Gompa in Mustang dating back to the 8th century. The old monastery was built by Padmasambhava to quell demons that were stopping the building of Samye Monastery. We stay overnight at Tsarang, the second largest village in Upper Mustang. 

Day 6: Drive to Lo Manthang (2 - 3 hrs) – Explore Lo Manthang.

From Tsarang, Lo Manthang lies a few hours’ drives away. After reaching Lo Manthang, the ancient capital of Mustang, we check into our hotel/lodge. After refreshments and a brief rest, we explore the walled city. We visit some of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries.  Jampa Lakhang Gompa, built in 1387, is one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in existence. The monastery is decorated with 1500 mandalas and ornamental figures of Buddhist deities. Thubchen Gompa, dating back to the 15th century, was built by the third king of Lo. Dragar Thegchen Ling Gompa is a Sakya monastery built during King Ama Pal’s (the first king of Lo) reign. Choede Gompa has a Monastic School and a museum where old Buddhist artefacts and thousand-year-old relics are exhibited. If the former King- Jigme Palbar Bista, is in residence you might be lucky enough to get invited for tea at his old palace that lies at the centre of the walled city. 

Day 7: Explore Chossar & Tingar.

A day filled with delightful sights and insightful explorations. We explore the stark and beautiful Chossar & Tingar Valleys with their old fortresses, ancient cave dwellings and interesting gompas. We visit the Chosar Monastery, the Jhong Caves, Kangchuling Cave, Namgyal Monastery (the most active monastery in Lo Manthang) and the Summer Palace of the King of Mustang. Afterwards, we return back to our hotel in Lo Manthang. 

Day 8: Drive to Chuksang(2980m) (6-7 hrs)

After an early breakfast, we leave the old walled city and drive to Chuksang. We stop en route to explore the cave monastery of Chungsi Rangbyung. Padmasambhava is believed to have meditated at this cave. Inside the cave are stalagmites in the shape of chortens and murals of Buddha and Avalokiteswara, Buddha of Compassion. Lying at the base of a cliff, a visit to this cave involves an arduous ascent and descent. We stay overnight at Chuksang village.

Day 9: Drive to Jomsom

Passing old settlements and stray herds of sheep or cattle, we take the rough ride back to Jomsom.

Day 10: Fly to Pokhara – Drive/ Fly to Kathmandu.

We take an early morning flight (17 mins) to Pokhara. After reaching Pokhara airport we catch a connecting flight to Kathmandu or return overland via Prithvi Highway. (Note: Flights may be cancelled due to bad weather conditions. Overland transfers will be arranged in such instances.)

Day 11: Kathmandu – Visit Patan (Ashoka Stupa  & Accheswar Mahavihar[in Pulchowk], Golden Temple & Mahaboudha)

After breakfast, we head to the medieval city of Patan, which was designed in the shape of Buddhist Dharma Chakra, the four Ashokan Stupa marking its four cardinal points. We circumambulate around the Ashoka Stupa(one of four stupas built by emperor Ashoka on his visit to Patan) in Pulchowk and climb up to Accheswar Mahavihar. Later we visit Hiranya Varna Mahavihar or Golden Temple and Mahaboudha – a 14th-century Buddhist temple made of terracotta bricks engraved with images of Lord Buddha. Evening, enjoy a complimentary dinner at a traditional Nepali restaurant.

Day 12: Depart Kathmandu

Our representative will drop you at the airport on time to catch your return flight. 

Cost Inclusion

  • 4N Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis in BB plan at Kathmandu
  • 1N Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis in BB plan at Pokhara                 
  • 7N accommodation at a normal lodge/ home stay 
  • One English speaking guide 
  • 3 meals (Breakfast, Lunch & dinner)as specified in itinerary  
  • National park fees
  • TIMS
  • Special permit for Upper Mustang 
  • Airport pick up and drop 
  • All ground transfers as per itinerary (Tourist coach /Private Jeep)
  • Complementary farewell dinner 
  • Domestic Airfare PKR-JOM-PKR & PKR-KTM

Cost Exclusion

  • International Air Fare.
  • Daily Meals (Lunch & Dinner) during Kathmandu 
  • Tips to Guide & Driver
  • Bar Expense
  • Telephone, Laundry and Internet
  • Personnel Insurance
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • All other personal expenses
  • Nepal visa fee

Trip Information

Trekking Code: RH/BC/07

Tour Type: Cultural Tour/Overland Adventure

Tour Type: Sacred Buddhist Sites in Kathmandu & Upper Mustang

Accommodations: Hotel and tea house Lodges

Maximum Altitude: 3840m

Transportation: Flights /private car/4WD Landcruiser/Jeep

Starts & Ends in: Kathmandu

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