Upper Mustang Buddhist Tour

Duration: 10 Days(5)of 5 reviews

Overview

  • Duration 10 Days
  • Difficulty Level Moderate
  • Max. Altitude 3,840m | 12,598ft
  • Trip Start and End Kathmandu
  • Trip Area Upper Mustang
  • Best Season Spring and Autumn

Highlights

  • Exploring knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism(Vajrayana)
  • Ancient monasteries dating back up to the 8th Century
  • Insights into locals' lifestyles
  • Muktinath, a holy site for the Buddhists and Hindus
  • Amazing views of the mountains i.e. Annapurna ( 8,091m / 26,545 ft), Nilgiri (7,061m / 23,166 ft), Dhaulagiri ( 8,167m / 26,795ft),  Throrong Peak (5,416m / 17,769ft)
  • Visit the monastery of Pharping (Meditation location of Padmasambhava) while in Kathmandu
  • Shija Jhong Sky Cave (5-storey structure built inside high cliffs)

Mustang is also known as the 'Last Forbidden Kingdom'. It is one of the remote and iconic areas of Nepal. This place is divided into two different parts i.e. Lower and Upper Mustang

The region was opened to explore for foreign nationals only in 1992 AD. Lo Manthang is the capital of Mustang.

About the Upper Mustang Buddhist Tour

Upper Mustang Buddhist Tour helps to explore the undisturbed Tibetan Buddhist culture, with ancient monasteries, traditional villages, and sky caves located on the edge of high cliffs.  In addition, Upper Mustang is located north of Annapurna and at an average altitude of 4,000m / 13,123ft. The region is in the Annapurna Conservation Area and is geologically and culturally part of the Tibetan plateau.

This Buddhist tour will take you through the number of ancient monasteries built from the 8th century to till date. The trip will help to explore the knowledge of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. Throughout the journey, you will explore several stories and the history of  Mustang. This visit will help to engage with the locals and understand their lifestyle, their culture, festivals, foods, and traditions.

Moreover, Vajrayana Buddhism, the form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet, provides a great variety of special practices, meditations, and rituals to accomplish the goals of pursuing kindness and finally enlightening all living beings.

The major stories and glimpses you will find in the region are especially of Padmasambhava and Guru Rinpoche. It is believed that when the world was having a crisis with Buddhism, they peacefully meditated in the hidden Upper Mustang.

This excursion is one of the best trips at reasonable costs for travelers who want to know and learn about Tibetan Buddhism.

Permits Required for Upper Mustang

  • Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP):
    Entering into the ACAP is priced at $30 per person. The permit grants a single entry and remains valid for the entire tour.

  • Restricted Area Permit (RAP):
    Reaching the Upper Mustang is priced at $500 per person for 10 days with an additional $50 per day for extended stays.

Best season for the Upper Mustang Buddhist Tour

Spring is the best time for this religious tour. During May in the spring, Upper Mustang celebrates its biggest festivals (Tiji). The festival is celebrated for 3 days on the premises of the former king of Mustang’s palace. Locals from far and wide visit Lo Manthang to participate in the festival. This will allow us to understand the Tibetan Buddhist culture and engage with locals simultaneously.

Autumn is another best time to travel to Upper Mustang however, the days are windy and nights are cold. The tour can be operated in Monsoon but is a relatively quiet and wet experience with limited views. In winter, Upper Mustang receives heavy snowfall which results in cold and inferior vision.

Book Upper Mustang Buddhist Tour

If you are looking to book this tour, you can simply click here or contact info@himalayanst.com. To get in touch with experts on WhatsApp Ramkrishna (+977-9851083619 | Call or WhatsApp) or Naresh (+977-9869489596 | Call or WhatsApp). 

Itinerary

Show Detail ItineraryClose Detail Itinerary

Arrive in Kathmandu. Our representative will meet and welcome you to the hotel. Transfer to hotel.

The next morning after breakfast, you will drive to Pharping’s monastery accompanied by an expert Buddhist guide. This drive will cover about 18km. The Pharping monastery also includes the (Asura & Yanglesho) caves.

It is believed that Guru Padmasambhava used to mediate in Asura cave during winter and Yanglesho cave during summer. You can enroll in meditation and observe the life of silent monks in the monastery. After the visit, drive back to your hotel.

On the first flight, you will be flying to Pokhara on the third day. You will meet the guide in Pokhara and take about a 6-7 hour private jeep drive to Marpha. This day after reaching the destination. You will be enrolled in exploring the Marpha monastery and Chhairo Gompa along with the apple orchids. These Monasteries are not specific with the original dates or origin, though they carry a huge significance in the heart of Buddhists of Marpha.

Moreover, the village is a chunk of streets and Mustang architectural houses which marks the major attraction. Also, the whole village is one of the biggest apple gardens in Nepal. You can try the region's winery, apples, and many more foods.
 

After the morning diet, our drive to the destination Ghami starts. We will start seeing the diverse landscape of Mustang on this particular day. The high red, orange, and white cliffs are what you expect to see. Moreover, we will pass by smaller hidden villages and then reach Chhuksang which is the first entry check post of Upper Mustang.

Chhuksang is the first village with sky caves to be observed. Along with that, you will also be seeing the panoramic views of Kaligandaki Gorge. Visiting the caves and the suspension bridges around, you will then head toward Ghami village which is around 3 hours drive from Chhuksang.

After reaching Ghami, you check in at the hotel. In a while, you will be visiting ​​Lo Geme Shad Drup Darkeling Gompa. This is a 14th-century monastery, currently in the condition of requiring renovation. The first glimpse of this ancient monastery will give you the proper idea of 14th-century Vajrayana Buddhism.

Early morning after breakfast you will drive to Dhakmar. The village is dominated by red cliffs and rocks. Also, you will see proper sky caves in Dhakmar. You can walk up to the sky caves and see the inter-connected rooms inside.

After Dhakmar, you will be moving to Ghar Gompa. Ghar Gompa was built in the 8th century by the famous Tibetan Guru Rinpoche. Finally, after a 2-hour drive, you will reach Lo Manthang.  

In Lo Manthang, you will be exploring the three major monasteries (Chhoede. Jampa, Thupchen), and the Royal Palace. However, nowadays visitors are not allowed to enter the Palace. The three monasteries are the major significant center for Tibetan Buddhism in Lo Manthang. In fact, Chhoede was built in the 13th, Jampa in the 14th, and Thupchen in the 15th centuries. The total day tour will be about 8-9 hours.

This morning after breakfast, you will drive to Chhoser (3,857m / 12,654). The drive will be for  30-45 minutes. Chhoser is one of the ancient and remote villages in the Mustang region. You will explore the two major monasteries there; Lo Nyifu Gompa and Lo Garfu Gompa. Lo Nyifu was built into a cliff in the 14th century while Lo Garfu Gompa is a white-washed structure built along the rock wall in the 14th century. 

Specially, Chhoser is famous for its Sky caves; Shija Jhong. The 5-storey structure with so many interconnected rooms were built inside high cliffs around 3,000 years ago. This cave system was once home to the entire village of Chhoser. Villagers resided in these caves for generations, living a traditional lifestyle high above the valley floor. Drive back to Lo Manthang.

Traveling through Baarah gaun (12 villages), you will return to Kagbeni. Driving down towards Kagbeni, the route will cover around 7-8 hours of drive. You will explore the Muktinath Temple (a religious site for Hindus and Buddhists).

Inside the Muktinath Temple complex, the eternal flame of Jwala Mai Temple symbolizes the holy union of earth, air, and water.  It is believed that the flame has been burning continuously for centuries.

Furthermore, in Kagbeni you will visit Kag Chhode Gompa, built in the 14th century. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche meditated in this place, too.
 

Traveling down to Pokhara. As you travel down to Pokhara, you can stop and get yourself fresh in Tatopani. Tatopani (1,200m / 3,937ft) is a village famous for its natural hot springs that provide a wellness experience.  The journey will take around 7-8 hours.

Early morning after breakfast, fly back to Kathmandu as per the flight schedule.

    On the farewell day, we will bid goodbye to you and drop you at the Tribhuvan International Airport depending upon the flight schedule.

    Not satisfied with this regular itinerary?

    Are you thinking to plan your custom trip now.

    Cost Details

    Included

    • 3-star Hotel Stay while in Kathmandu and Pokhara as per the itinerary

    • Private Surface transfer from Pokhara to Pokhara 

    • Three meals a day during the tour (Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner)

    • Twin-sharing lodge-to-lodge accommodation during the journey

    • Highly experienced government-licensed Buddhism Expert guide

    • Accident insurance for all staff

    • Trekking map, cap, and trip achievement certificate

    • First aid medical kit and an oximeter to check pulse, heart rate, and oxygen saturation at higher altitudes

    • ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit) and Upper Mustang RAP (Restricted Area Permit)

    • The worst case helps with all  rescue and evacuation arrangements

    • Entry fee for sightseeing/monument as per itinerary

    • Round Trip Domestic flight ticket (Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu)

    • Government taxes and office service charge

    Excluded

    • Single supplement Fee: $750

    • Nepal Visa

    • Personal travel insurance

    • International Airfare

    • Snacks, drinks, and other personal expenses

    • Tips and gratuities to trekking staff

    • Anything not mentioned in the cost inclusion section

    Departure Dates

    These are the fixed departures for the Upper Mustang Buddhist Tour in 2024. However, we are also flexible to your dates managing a private trip. 

    Showing Dates
    Start: FridayJun 14, 2024
    End: SundayJun 23, 2024
    Price US $1799Status: Available
     
    Start: SaturdayJun 22, 2024
    End: MondayJul 01, 2024
    Price US $1799Status: Available
     

    Useful Info

    Accommodation and Local Cuisine

    Accommodations are offered in each village through simple lodges. The low population density, high cost of transportation, and remote location of Upper Mustang make lodging there quite pricey. The food tastes good and is varied. It comprises a hearty and nourishing blend of Indian, Tibetan, and Nepali food. 

    Cultural Immersion

    Tourists can participate in the local way of life. The tour takes to past Nepali Sherpa, Thakali, and Tibetan Sherpa settlements. Interacting with the locals understanding the historical context, and stories, exploring monastic tradition, and spiritual practices, and discovering the vibrant Tibetan Buddhist rituals performed in monasteries. You will see their use of prayer flags and an antique wall in Lo-manthang. 

    Packaging List

    Documents: Passport, Travel Insurance, Flights tickets, and Permits.
    Footwear: Hiking boots, slippers, or sandals.
    Clothing: clothes for the cold and higher altitudes.
    Accessories: Your regular or necessary accessories.

    Altitude Difference

    As per the itinerary:
    Kathmandu (1,400m / 4,600ft)
    Marpha (2,650m / 8,694ft)
    Ghami (3,560m / 11,680ft)
    Lo Manthang (3,840m / 12,598ft)
    Kagbeni (2,804m / 9,199ft)
    Pokhara (822m / 2,696ft)

    Do’s and Don’ts

    1. Choose the most convenient time to depart

    2. Pick a trustworthy trekking or tour company

    3. The secret is to pack efficiently

    4. Bring with you any required documentation.

    5. It is imperative to provide proper hydration of the body when ascending to elevated terrain

    6. Your trip will be more pleasurable if you have the right personal equipment.

    7. Be mindful of the locals' customs and traditions

    8. Before shooting pictures or films of residents, get their permission

    9. See the world through new eyes, not just to see it.

    10. Put rubbish in its proper place and refrain from littering

    11. Have respect towards the local people and their culture.

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