Trip Facts

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Trip Duration 10 Days
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Trip Difficulty Moderate
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Maximum Altitude 3,710 m
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Best Season To Visit March-May, September-November

Trip Overview

Lower Mustang Loop Trek passes through the world’s deepest gorge i.e. Kali Gandaki, and relish awe-inspiring views of numerous mountains in dry and arid land such as Mount Annapurna, Mount Dhaulagiri, Mount Hiuchuli, Mount Nilgiri, Mount Machhapuchhre, Mount Tukuche.

The trek encompasses the spectacular wild scenery, the southern edges of the Tibetan plateau, unique Tibetan culture, monasteries, fortress, and lively villages. During this trip, you experience the sunrise and sunset views between the mountains. In addition, you get to visit Muktinath, one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage sites in Nepal. Lower Mustang Trek is perfect for those who have limited time, or who would rather not do a very strenuous trek.

Trip Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu

Altitude above sea level: 1,302 m

Driving Time: Approx. 30 minutes, depending on the traffic

Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu or similar

Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International airport, our representative will be awaiting you to cordially welcome you with great hospitality. The representative will be displaying the “Nepal Sanctuary Treks” placard outside the airport terminal.

You will be then escorted and transferred to the hotel in our private vehicle. Further, you will be given a brief description of the activities that will take place during the upcoming trip and a preliminary briefing on hygiene and safety by our representative.

Day 02: Cultural Introductory Tour

Altitude above sea level: 1,302 m

Tour Duration:  Approx. 8 hours

Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu or similar

Meal: Breakfast

9:00 AM: After breakfast, you start a guided cultural tour around Kathmandu Valley. Experience the numerous colours, sounds, and tastes of authentic Kathmandu and its surrounds. Our experienced tour guides will tell you all you need to know and answer all your curiosities regarding those sites.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

You take a short drive to Kathmandu Durbar Square, also called Hanuman Dhoka Durbar. This ancient site used to be the residence of the Nepali royal family and administrators. It incorporates an architecturally extraordinary complex of ancient palaces, temples, courtyards, and shrines dating from the 15th to the 18th century.

The prominent sites of Kathmandu Durbar Square are Kumari Ghar or the house of the living goddess.  Kasthamandap is a huge rest house that is said to have been built with wood from a single tree and is the source of which Kathmandu valley got its name. Other sites around Kathmandu Square are the ferocious Kal Bhairab – the red monkey God- Hanuman, hundreds of erotic carvings, temples, and statues dedicated to different deities.

Swayambhunath

Swayambhunath (monkey temple), is the magnificent ancient religious architecture and center of faith of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its lofty white dome and dazzling golden spire are visible from far and wide. Swayambhunath is the ideal place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. In the shadows of the imposing structure and besides the integrated architecture can be found the daily surge of devotees faithfully offering their prayers to the gods. Upon arriving at the top, you can hear the Buddhist song “Om Mani Padme Hum” resounds everywhere. The candles and the aromatic fragrance of incense that burns constantly create a serene vibe and enormous prayer wheels which encircle the stupa.

PM: Boudhanath

Thereafter, take a short drive towards Boudhanath.  From the moment you step into the sanctuary, you’ll immediately feel the spiritual energy that comes from the place. Boudhanath is one of the biggest stupa in Nepal, built in the 5th century and listed on the world heritage list by UNESCO in 1979. The surrounding area is a central spiritual hub of Tibetan life and culture in Nepal. Observe a beautiful dome-shaped structure stupa surrounded by brilliant colorful prayer flags. It is believed that prayer flags convey mantras and prayers into the universe while fluttering in the wind. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha.

Witness monks draped in maroon robes rolling the prayer wheels, burning incense, and flickering butter candles. Moreover, it’s fascinating to see the people feeding grains and maize to hundreds of pigeons around stupa areas. The devotees turn the prayer wheels & chant, which is humbling to see such dedication to their beliefs.

Delight in the serenity as you hear the Buddhist mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ being chanted by devotees, alongside the echo of music streaming out from the nearby shops.

Pashupatinath

Moving on, visit Pashupatinath temple, a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva located on the bank of Bagmati River. The word Pashupati means “the king of animals” and the temple is famous for its monkeys. You will be visiting the Pashupatinath area to indulge in a spiritual journey.

Pashupatinath is more than just a religious destination. It is a combination of religion, art, and culture. The temple, spread across 246 hectares of land, abounds in temples and monuments. Hundreds of rituals are performed here every day. Witness people performing the religious ritual and funeral pyres burning at open-air cremation. Also, see elaborately dressed holy men meditating outside the temple and pilgrims placing offerings at the shrines. After touring around prominent sites, you will be transferred safely back to your hotel.

Day 03: Flight Kathmandu-Pokhara

Altitude above sea level: (895 m) Pokhara

Flight duration: 25 mins approx.

Accommodation: Mount Kailash Resort or similar

Meal: Breakfast

This morning, you’ll be taken to the domestic airport, then will fly to Pokhara.  If it’s a clear day, then you will be able to see amazing views of Annapurna. After landing in Pokhara you will be escorted to the hotel. You have the rest of the afternoon free to explore the city.

Day 04: Flight Pokhara - Jomsom -Trek Lubra

Altitude above sea level: (2,800 m) Jomsom, (2,972 m) Lubra

Flight duration: 20 mins approx. (PKR-Jomsom)

Trek duration: 3-4 hrs. Approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

This morning, you get up early to catch the short flight to Jomsom one of the main towns in Mustang. The short, spectacular flight takes through the mountains to the fascinating market town of the Mustang area.

From Jomsom you start your trek to Lubra, the hidden village situated in Panda Khola gorge in between Kagbeni and Jomsom. You follow the Kali Gandaki River, meandering amidst the mountains towards Lubra. This authentic 12th-century village is the home of the Bon community, where Bon (pre-Buddhist) religion is still practiced. Upon reaching Lubra you can spend your leisure exploring the Lubra Gompa and village that comprises thatched roof houses packed from mud and stacked from stone

 

Day 05: Trek Lubra-Muktinath

Altitude above sea level: (3,710 m) Muktinath

Trek duration: 3-4 hrs. Approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After breakfast, you start hiking along the ridge with unparalleled sights of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Nilgiri Peak (7,061 m), Tilicho Peak (7,134 m), Annapurna I (8,091 m), and so on. Ascending along the bare hills on a sandy path to Muktinath. Muktinath is an important pilgrimage place for both Hindus and Buddhists alike. Sited in a grove of trees, the holy shrines at Muktinath include a Buddhist gompa and the pagoda-style temple of Jwala Mai containing an image of Vishnu. It is a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists. The Buddhists considered Chumig Gyatsa, which in Tibetan means “A Hundred Waters”.

Day 06: Trek Muktinath- Kagbeni via Jhong

Altitude above sea level: (2,810 m) Kagbeni

Trek duration: 3-4 hrs. Approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After breakfast, you set off for today’s trek to Kagbeni. Situated at the confluence of the Jhong River and the Kali Gandaki River, Kagbeni used to be the main courtyard to exchange commodities and relax before continuing on to other places for the traders from Lo Manthang, Manang, and Dolpo.

Today you follow the less-trodden path through small villages, trying to avoid the busy main road. You hike through the traditional villages of Chhyongkhar, Jhong, and Purang, all culturally part of the Upper Mustang, but you can visit without the need for extra permits.  During the hike, you pass the beautiful fields, framed by mountains between Muktinath and Kagbeni. Observe the livestock grazing in the fields.

The core of Kagbeni is its fortress ruins. In the second half of the 16th century, before the establishment of the village, Muktinath Valley’s king built his son a fortress at the junction point of four trade routes. This strategic place allowed the king to levy taxes on the commodities and animals that passed through the valley.

After arriving in the village, you can have a rest and spend your leisure afternoon exploring the beautiful villages filled with thatched roof houses packed from mud and stacked from stone. It’s worth visiting the old monastery named Kag Chode Thupten Samphel Ling Monastery also known as Red Monastery. The well-known Shakya scholar Tenpai Gyaltsen of Tibet founded the monastery in 1429. The complex also included a school for young Buddhist monks and was a fascinating insight into the significance of the monastery to the area.

Day 07: Hike Kagbeni-Tiri-Drive back to Jomsom

Altitude above sea level: (2,800 m) Jomsom

Hiking duration: 2 hrs. approx.

Driving duration: 1 hr. Approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

A day trip from Kagbeni to Tiri is a wonderful experience one could have while trekking. The trail leads to the village named Tiri in Upper Mustang and was prohibited to foreigners without a proper permit. The village has been recently opened to foreigners since 2007. The forty-minute walk to Tiri is bliss as it takes you to the home of an eight-hundred-year-old nunnery.

The trip started by crossing the Kali Gandaki River. Across the bridge, there comes a trail on the riverside going north, which is not so difficult as soon as you cross the avalanche scree just beyond the bridge. The trail takes you through the fields of wheat, barley and buckwheat which make pleasant company when they flow along the gust of the Kali Gandaki winds. Above the town lay the sacred burial chortens and a wonderful collection of mani prayer stones, and the view from here is just mystifying. You can also climb a little further to reach the nunnery

The trial towards the gompa, is accompanied by numerous cairns, chortens, prayer flags, and goat herder’s stone windbreak- a perfect picnic in Kagbeni. North from here goes the way to Lo Manthang from where you could get a better view of Tangbe and its colorful mixture of green fields and red gompa. The trip isn’t long or difficult, but the view is rewarding and gratifying. Afterward, you head back to Kagbeni and drive back to Jomsom.

Day 08: Flight Jomsom –Pokhara- Kathmandu

Flight Duration: Jomsom-Pokhara (20 minutes), Pokhara-Kathmandu (25-30 minutes)

Accommodation: *** Hotel Manaslu or similar

Meals: Breakfast

After having an early breakfast, walk up to the airport nearby the hotel in Jomsom. Take a last glimpse of the breathtaking Himalayas. You will take a short flight to Pokhara and onto Kathmandu. After check-in at the hotel, spend your afternoon at leisure. You can spend the day resting or catch up on some last-minute shopping or shop for some locally made handicrafts and souvenirs.

Day 09: Buffer Day

Accommodation: *** Hotel Manaslu or similar

Meals: Breakfast

It’s also a spare day in case of bad weather in Jomsom if we could not fly on the scheduled date and time.  After arriving in Kathmandu, you can spend your leisure time on your way.

 

Day 10: Final Departure

Driving Duration HTL-APT: Approx. 30 minutes depending on traffic

Meal: Breakfast

It is time to fly back home, keeping all the terrific experiences of Nepal in mind. The representative from Nepal Sanctuary Treks will transfer you to TIA airport, where you should check in 3 hours prior to your scheduled flight.

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Lower Mustang Loop Trek