With every travel, we grow a little bit. It brings positive changes in us since we see a different culture set in a different natural world. It infuses us with a new perspective to make sense of the world. Of course, fun and adventure are the obvious reasons we travel for. However, sometimes it happens that a destination doesn’t stand up to our expectations, and sometimes we receive much more beyond expectation. Mustang, once a separate kingdom in the north-west of Nepal, assuredly will bring you the latter.
Mustang, meaning fertile land, was once a prohibited area to foreigners up until 1991. It was called the Kingdom of Lo; its status as a monarch was abolished in 2008. The 4-storeyed palace has become a landmark where the erstwhile royal family still resides. Located behind a mountainous barrier, Mustang sits in a rain shadow, thereby making it dry and desert-like.
In fact, Mustang is divided into Upper Mustang and Lower Mustang. It is one of the remotest and most thinly populated regions in Nepal. The landscape, hued in white and red ochre, appears artistically aesthetic. Its crude landscape with deep gorges, high canons, and manmade caves will fill you with awe. Moreover, Lower Mustang is praised for its apple orchards and rhododendron forests. The Muktinath Temple attracts Buddhists and Hindus alike. It is an important pilgrim point held with great reverence.
Be its geography, topography, culture, or history, Mustang is conspicuously unique from the rest of Nepal. The elevation ranges from 1,372 to 8,167 meters. The region is embedded with several peaks over 7,000 meters including the 7th highest peak the Mount Dhaulagiri. Annapurna is another important mountain in the region. Upper Mustang is still strictly regulated, and its isolation from the outside world, it is one of the most preserved regions in the world. The entire district is included within the Annapurna Conservation Area, the largest protected area of Nepal.
Sky Caves is a major attraction of the region. Also known as the Mustang Caves, these are a collection of some 10,000 manmade caves dug into the sides of landmass rising above the valley. They were found to have partially mummified human bodies and skeletons that are as old as 2,000-3,000 years old. Buddhist paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, and numerous artifacts belonging to the 12th-14th century were also discovered.
Tibetan Buddhist culture prevails in the region.
“JUST arrived back from Manaslu Trek, Nepal (this was our 5th trip to Nepal), And visit MERANGDING and ANGPANG villages […]
“I had such a great time while in Nepal. Chandra definitely made enjoyable environment for our such an extremely diverse […]