Lumbini - Lomangthang (Upper Mustang)
Lumbini - Lomangthang (Upper Mustang)

Lumbini - Lomangthang (Upper Mustang)

From Lumbini ‘Birth Place of Lord Buddha’ to Mud City Lo Manthang, upper Mustang

 

Experience spirituality in deep

Highlight on the rail

Lumbini ‘Birth Place of Lord Buddha, low land culture and landscape, Midhill culture and landscape, diversity of ethnicity, Marpa ‘Apple Orchards, Muktinath ‘Place for Salvation’, Jhong cave, Lo Manthang ’walled city, Windy pass, High mountain arid landscape, Mountain culture, farming villages

Altitude Variation: Lumbini 150 M to Lo Manthang 3850M

Major Language: Awadi, Nepali, Magar, Thakali, and Tibetan

Ethnic groups: Muslim, Aryan, Magar, Newa, Gurung, Thakali, Tibetan 

River System: Kali Gandaki

Mountain system: Dhaulagiri range and Annapurna Range

Major Mountain Peak: Dhaulagiri ‘1’ 8167 M, Annapurna ‘1’8,091m, Nilgiri, Machapuchere (Fishtail), Annapurna South, Himchuli

Kali Gandaki Gorge or Andha Galchi Is the deepest gorge in the world.

 

Program in detail

This trip starts from the Southern border town of Lumbini where Lord Buddha ‘Light of Asia’ was born in 627 BC in the Tarai plains of southern Nepal, testified by the inscription on the pillar erected by Emperor Asoka in 249 BC. Lord Buddha has influenced many around the world for nonviolence, tolerance, and companionship. Born as Prince Siddhartha Gautam at age of 27 he left the palace and family in search of peace and a solution for all our suffering.

At Lumbini Pilgrimage from around the world comes to pay homage to Lord Buddha. At Lumbini we will spend time exploring different monasteries, visit scared Maya Devi temple, Asoka pillar Peace Pagoda, Kudan (where His father built the place for Prince Siddhartha to stay after being Buddha), and other historical palaces to know about Buddha and his teaching. The evening stroll around the Lumbini garden will bring peace and joy and a tender feeling of love and companionship among every visitor.

We will explore surrounding villages, farmland, and local surroundings to witness unique living, language, and culture. After visiting different aspects connected to Lord Buddha, his life, and local surroundings we move towards the north, gradually climbing height.  The landscape changes as each 500 M we gain, after an hour drive more chill beautiful mid-hill landscape retrieves us from plain heat.  As a change in altitude, we start seeing changes in vegetation as well as people, customs, and language.

 From Mirmi, the confluence of River Kali Gandaki and Adhai Khola, we move upstream Kali Gandaki river in streamers to cross over to Parbat (Hill) district. The name Parbat is a hill district connecting mountains with plains. After spending a day in Parbat we move upstream Gandaki River towards Beni, gateway to mystical Mustang.

Beni 899 M is a growing town at the confluence of the Kali Gandaki River and the Myagdi River is a famous trading route linking Tibet and Nepal.  From Beni after crossing Kali Gandaki Gorge or Andha Galchi (the deepest gorge in the world) which separates two 8000m High Mountain ranges in the world Mt Annapurna range with Mt Dhaulagiri range we feel we have walked through the other side of the mountain. On the other side as we travel through we could feel more in a dry atmosphere with the constant wind while crossing through beautiful apple orchards and farmland of lower mustang.

Marpha village is famous for its unique setting, walking narrow alley Marpha gives the feel of walking ancient towns around the world, the monastery in Marpha offers a wide view of Mt Annapurna. The walking view of Mt. Dhaulagiri is another major attraction of Mustang.  The district headquarters of Mustang Jomsom offers visitors modern facilities, air connections, and a splendid Nilgiri Mountain range view. From Jomsom, our journey moves towards Upper Mustang, also known as the last Forbidden City, the mud kingdom, and through many other names such as windy valley, salt route, and others. 

Upper Mustang is the ancient Himalayan Kingdom at the Trans Himalayan region at the top of the Kali Gandaki River with an average altitude of 4,000m. This journey to Upper Mustang takes us back to the time, to an ancient kingdom, a mystical town where people practice ancient civilization.  A restricted kingdom till 1992 for foreigners and a faraway place for most Nepalese is now easily accessible through the road to Upper Mustang, the walled city of Lo- Manthang.

 Here more we explore more we see of Mustang, - the hand-carved caves in rocks were once humans used to live to protect themselves from cold and from advancing robbers, how people lives life behind the mountains in a rain shadow area, a destination where wind continuously blows, a place known as “fertile plain” and also as an alpine desert, and a place is known as Tibetan plateau. When we walk through the streets of mustang, the meaning of fertile land is seen as a vast area of cultivated land that produces enough food for locals as well as to export/ exchange for other requirements. The natural system of streams and rivers supplies water – the lifeblood of people to their doorstep. These living hamlets depend upon nature for their daily living, beautiful yet difficult destination due to its geographical location and constantly blowing wind as it says the winds take your prayer to Buddhist paradise.

After traveling by jeep and foot across from Southern border town to Northern border town, then reaching back to tourist town Pokhara you will feel how far you have been and how beautiful the place is. More you reflect on memories of different places you have been to than you realize how beautiful a place was and how lucky you are to be able to visit such a nature and people in such a short duration of time.

Alternatively, we travel up to Muktinath as traveling to Upper Mustang requires a special permit. Muktinath is a combination of two separate words. Mukti means savior/nirvana and Nath means god/ master. Devotees visit Muktinath Temple for Moksha, or freedom, from the continuous spiritual cycle of birth and rebirth. Mukti Kshetra in Nepali meaning Place of Salvation in Nepali – and Chumig Gyatsa in Tibetan meaning Hundred Waters). Muktinath is frequented by Hindus and Tibetan year-round. Muktinath temple is surrounded by an outer courtyard where there are auspicious 108 water foundations. It is believed that sacred water, the origin of the Gandaki River system in Nepal will wash away past sin and deeds. Muktinath Temple is one of few places on Earth where we will come across all five elements of life together: Earth, Fire, Water, Sky, and Air.

Trip Duration:20-30 days

Best season: spring-fall

Accommodation Monastery, Camping and Tea House

Program (Duration can be adjusted be between 20- 30 days)

Day 1-3: Arrival in program venue (Kathmandu)

Day 4-6: Lumbini (Walking and Jeep)

Day 7-8: Parbat and surrounding (Walking and Jeep)

Day 9-11: Lower Mustang (Walking and Jeep)

Day 11-18: Upper Mustang (Walking and Jeep)

Day 19-20: Lower Mustang (Walking and Jeep)

Day 21-23: Pokhara

Day 24-26: Kathmandu

 

Program (Duration can be adjusted be between 18 -25 days)

Day 1-3: Arrival in program venue (Kathmandu)

Day 4-6: Lumbini (Walking and Jeep)

Day 7-8: Parbat and surrounding (Walking and Jeep)

Day 9-15: Lower Mustang (Walking and Jeep) – School in Nature

Day 16-19: Pokhara

Day 20-22: Kathmandu

 

Note: For Upper Mustang required special permit (500 USD each /min 2 people) for travelers from all countries except Nepalese)

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