About Upper Mustang Trekking
The Upper Mustang trek is a remote Kingdom of Nepal and northern site of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Mountains and is one of the last bastions of undisturbed Tibetan culture in the world. It brings you into the hidden world of the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang, also called Lo. Lo used to be part of the Tibetan empire and is therefore closely tied to Tibet in culture, language and geography.
This trek takes you to the capital Lo-Mangthang in the fascinating upper Mustang region. The regions isolation from the outside world has contributed to a highly preserved Tibetan culture and unspoiled nature. Mustang lies in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri massif creating a ruggedly arid land surrounded by rocks in all kinds of colours and impressive formations. This barren landscape is dotted with settlements of white washed houses, barley fields and chortens festooned with prayer flags which adds a splash of colour to the landscape.
Hidden behind the majestic Himalaya ranges, Mustang is a route best known for mountain biking too. To do trekking or mountain biking in the Upper Mustang region you need special area trekking permits
Officially, Mustang is the name of the district along the Kali Gandaki river valley from the Tibetan border south to Ghasa.
The headquarters of the Mustang district is Jomsom; which is one of the most popular trekking destinations among trekkers in the Annapurna region.
Upper Mustang consists of two distinct regions: the south region with five villages inhabited by people related to the Managis; and the northern region (the ancient kingdom of Lo), where the language, culture and traditions are almost purely Tibetan, the capital of Lo is named Manthang, which translates from Tibetan as ‘plain of aspiration’ many texts refer to the capital as Lo Manthang, but this is not strictly correct. Other texts spell the name of the kingdom as Lho, but this is a transliteration of the Tibetan word for ‘south’ and is also incorrect. Thus the portion of the upper Mustang district north of Samar is Lo and its capital is Mustang the king of Lo is the Lo Gyelbu, though I use the Nepali term raja here.
There is some confusion with existing maps and texts and there are many complex issues relating to the development of upper Mustang and the procedures under which trekkers are allowed to visit the area.