MUSTANG- THE LAST FORBIDDEN KINGDOM OF NEPAL

Tripoto
Mustang formerly known as the Kingdom of Lo is one of the seventy seven districts of Nepal. Mustang is divided into two major parts the lower mustang and the upper mustang. Before 1992 the upper mustang was a demilitarized area and was forbidden to visit for foreigners.This makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world, with a majority of the population still speaking traditional Tibetic languages. Tibetan culture has been preserved by the relative isolation of the region from the outside world.

GETTING THERE :

There are two modes of transportation available to reach mustang.
(i) Road : It takes 10 hours approx to reach mustang from pokhara. There is no pitch road available. Traveller's have the choice of either taking a local bus from pokhara or hiring a private taxi for reaching there.
(ii) Air : Travellers can also take a flight from pokhara to reach mustang. It takes 25 min from pokhara to reach jomsom through flight.Flights are taking off daily from pokhara to jomsom.

However there is one more way to reach mustang that is through trekking. The trekking starts from pokhara.

Places to Visit :

Mustang is known for its ancient Tibetan culture and practices. For knowing mustang properly the upper mustang trek is highly recommended. The trekking for upper mustang starts from jomsom and is usually for 7-10 days. An Upper Mustang trek is same as to trekking in Tibet, as in nature it is a division of the Tibetan highland.

Cave : There are lots of in Upper Mustang. Some of them are well travel around while some are still strange to the outer globe. Chhoser cave is amazing, with 50 plus individual rooms and 4 individual level, all of which are linked by a ladder. In the history people lived in the cave, rather than in villages. You have to purchase a ticket to enter the cave and a domestic guide will accompany you on your cave trip.

Lo manthang : Lo Manthang, the last big settlement in the Mustang North, is the capital of Upper Mustang. It is generally called as the “City of Clay” and “City of wall”. In the past, to save the Kingdom of Lo, a big wall was built around the village, and everyone was needed to construct their homes within this wall. Lo Manthang was separated into 4 quarters.

Now, as the population grows, there is no ample area inside the wall and you can find several new homes outside the wall. Today, a large resort is also under construction under the administration of former crown price of Lo Manthang.

Muktinath Temple : Muktinath is a holy pilgrimage place for both Buddhist and Hindu devotees and is the beginning point of the salt trading route. At a height of estimated 3,700 metres above sea level, this place is seen as the holiest location on planet. According to Hindu mythology, the universe is a combination of 5 elements, and all the 5 elements exist in Muktinath.

The important temple is for Lord Vishnu, which is the big attraction of Mukitnath. For Buddhists there is a Samba Gompa. Further, there is nonstop flame inside Jwalamai Temple. Muktinath North at Damodar Kunda, ammonites can be found.

Monastries :
Upper Mustang is often addressed as “little Tibet”. Monasteries are a vital part of daily life in this place, and there are many of them – each town has their own cultural diversity. In Lo Manthang itself, there are 3 old monasteries, with the oldest one, known as The God House, being seven hundred years old.

Naturally, there are remarkable stories behind the monasteries. Your hotel in Lo Mangtang will provide you a free domestic guide for the day – a best window in the domestic culture – and can also arrange a meeting with the King of Lo Manthang. Exactly, with the changing polities of the Nepal, he is longer viewed by the administration as a King but to the domestic people, he remains Royal.


Photo of Mustang, Nepal by Nikhil Agrawal
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