Upper Mustang Trek – Tiji Festival Special

Arrival City


Departure City


Lodging level

Accommodation: Hotel & Lodge (Tea House)


3 Course Meals

Trip Grade

Moderate to fairly challenging

Maximun Altitude



Hidden kingdom of Lo Manthang

Witness the ancient and colorful festival of Tiji


Trekking & Sightseeing


Trekking to exceptionally beautiful place during an exceptionally wonderful Festival.

This trek takes you to the once hidden kingdom of Lo and offers you a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the ancient and colorful festival of Tiji. The region of Mustang lies north of the main Himalayan range in the area known as the Trans-Himalaya. Called by the locals Lo, Mustang was only opened to trekkers in March 1992. The Tibetan influenced area, north of Kagbeni is known as Upper Mustang. A vast, dry and arid high valley, it has a barren desert-like appearance similar to the Tibetan Plateau and is characterized by eroded canyons and colorful stratified rock formations. It was once an important route for crossing the Himalaya between Tibet and Nepal, and many of the old salt caravans passed through Mustang. It is this area which we will trek to, discovering the wonders of the architecture, language, culture and traditions which are almost purely Tibetan in this once-upon-a-time mystical kingdom.

Once you reach Lo Manthang, you get to witness Tiji Festival one of the most sacred and colorful festivals in this whole region. The festival features a three-day ritual known as ‘chasing of demons’. Monks donning masks and colorful costumes enact the story of Dorje Jono who fought against his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from falling apart. The festival is held annually at the onset of Spring season. As Spring season symbolizes regeneration of life, this festival is also about hope, revival and affirmation of life.

The festival is held at the walled city of Lo Manthang (3730m), the capital of Mustang. Lo Manthang is also home to Mustang’s former King Jigme Dorjee Palbar Bista who lost his royal title in 2008 after Nepal became a republic. But he is still highly regarded and respected by the locals. He and his family still occupy the royal palace situated at the center of the city square.


You will be greeted by a panoramic view of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below once you fly in the sky of Kathmandu. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities.

Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely Boudhanath- the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal, Pashupatinath- most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. At Patan Durbar Square, we will delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square. Overnight at Hotel. .

You drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara for 6/7 hours along the scenic highway. After reaching Pokhara you will be transferred to your hotel. If time avails, you may go for a boat ride in the tranquil Fewa Lake in the evening.

We take a spectacular early morning flight to Jomsom (famous for its apples) where we meet our trek crew at a tiny airstrip. After some initial preparation of loads, we begin our trek to the pretty village of Kagbeni. Just out of Jomsom we cross a small suspension bridge and then walk along the riverbank of the Kali Gandaki. The trail is flat and quite barren, with craggy rocks and sand littering the trail. This makes it very easy going. We will get magnificent views of huge peaks such as Dhaulagiri, Tukuche and Nilgiri, whilst to the south can be seen the entire Annapurna massif. Kagbeni with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, fields of wheat and barley and a large red Gompa, give us a preview of scenes that we would come across in Upper Mustang. At the north end of the village is the police check-post. Here we will complete our paperwork before entering this long-forbidden region of Nepal.

It is possible to trek right up the river valley, but we use a combination of the high trail and the riverbank pathways. The trail then widens significantly revealing an endless stretch of sand but the path is kept interesting by the passing of mule trains bearing goods from Mustang and Tibet. On the west bank of the river are some caves and Gompa Kang. Unlike most monasteries in Upper Mustang which are of the Sakyapa sect, Gompa Kang is of the Nyingmapa sect. We stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe, where we come across the first black, white and red Chortens that typify Upper Mustang. The little town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys among white washed houses, fields of buck wheat and barley and apple orchards. Nilgiri Peak continues to dominate the southern skyline. Chhuksang village is only about 2 hrs’ walk beyond Tangbe at the confluence of the Narshing Khola and the Kali Gandaki. There are three separate parts to this village and some ruined castle walls on the surrounding cliffs. Across the river from Chhuksang are some spectacular red eroded cliffs above the mouths of some inaccessible caves.

There is a distinct change here, not only in the topography, but also in the culture, lifestyle and people, and the settlements become more scattered, smaller and more basic. The people of Lo or Mustang practice agriculture. But due to lack of rain and fertile soil, cultivation is limited to sheltered plots of land. This spots the brown landscape with patches of green. Continuing north, we reach the river. A steel bridge spans the river just in front of a tunnel and north from here the Kali Gandaki becomes impassable on foot. The trek now leaves the valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to the village of Chele. Watch out for the ferocious Tibetan mastiffs here, which are chained to many of the houses. From Chele you climb a steep spur and then continue ascending along the side of a spectacular steep canyon to a pass. Beyond the pass we descend on a pleasant trail to Samar, situated in a grove of poplar trees. This is a major place to stop for horse and mule caravans.

We climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a Chorten before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. We then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, we descend along a ridge to Shyangmochen, a tiny settlement with a few tea shops. Nearby is Rangbyung, a cave containing stalagmites which have formed in the shape of Chorten and one of the holiest places in Mustang. The trail climbs gently from Shyangmochen and we enter another huge valley before descending to Geling, with its extensive fields of barley. Like in all settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses in Geling are constructed using mud and stones. The roofs are made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles.

descent from the pass is quite gentle and about half an hour further on we come to a trail junction; the right trail is the direct route to Charang, the left trail leads to Ghami. Ghami is a large, white-washed village sheltered by overhanging cliffs.

Trek to Ghami (3520m) – 3/4 hrs From Geling, the trail climbs gently through fields, up the center of the valley, passing above the settlement of Tama Gun and an imposing Chorten. We then begin a taxing climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La (3840m). The Day 9 Trek to Charang (3560m) – 3/4 hrs Today’s walk is through perhaps the driest part of Mustang, and much of our energy will be spent negotiating the loose, dry soil. However, the magnificent views of the countryside, from the gentle contours of the north to the rugged mountains in the east and west, more than compensates for the hard climb. Finally, we come to Charang, a large spread-out village at the top of the Charang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village are a huge dzong [fortress] and a red gompa which houses an excellent collection of statues and thangkas. .

We spend part of the morning exploring the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery, before setting out for Lo Manthang. We climb gently above the valley to a large isolated Chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo Manthang. The trail then broadens and eventually we get our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance so we circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north-east corner. The festival starts from today..

We spend part of the morning exploring the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery, before setting out for Lo Manthang. We climb gently above the valley to a large isolated Chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo Manthang. The trail then broadens and eventually we get our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance so we circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north-east corner. The festival starts from today..

Tiji festival is a three-day ritual known as "The chasing of the Demons" that center on the Tiji myth. The myth tells of a deity named Dorje Jono who defeats his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. Tiji is a celebration and reaffirmation of this ancient myth. It also signifies the end of the dry winter/spring season and welcomes the monsoon season (the growing season for Mustang). Tiji comes from the word "ten che" meaing ‘the hope of Buddha Dharma prevailing in all worlds’ and is effectively a spring renewal festival. In our free time, we can explore the fascinating city of Lo Manthang. The city contains about 150 houses, as well as residences for its many lamas. There are four major temples within the city and one of these, Champa Lhakang, contains a huge clay statue of Buddha as well as elaborates mandalas painted on the walls. The king's palace is an imposing building in the center of the city and is occupied by the current King and Queen. Although his duties are largely ceremonial, the King is respected by the people. Throughout the kingdom, the villagers continue to seek his advice regarding many issues. It is possible to hire horses to visit these valleys, but this short tour will incur extra costs.

We begin our return journey from Lo Manthang, taking the upper highland route. This highland route offers dramatic views of Lo Manthang and the Charang Valley, with snow clad peaks in the background. Just past the settlement of Lo Gekar, we reach the oldest monastery in Mustang, the Ghar Gompa.

Now we must retrace our route back to Jomsom, where we end our trek. In the evening, we celebrate with the Sherpas and porters, whom we have come to know so well over the last 2 weeks.

Exit Restricted Area. It's a long and sad final day, passing back through Kagbeni to Jomsom where we end our trek. It's now time for us to take a nice hot shower. In the evening, we celebrate with the Sherpas and porters, whom we have come to know so well over the last 2 weeks.

You take a spectacular early morning flight along the Kali Gandaki gorge to Pokhara. After reaching Pokhara you will have city tour and boating in Phewa lake.

You take a thirty-minute flight to Kathmandu from Pokhara airport. During the flight, you get to savor the most mesmerizing views of glorious Manaslu and the snow-capped Annapurna mountains range.

Our Nepali support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. On the other hand, if you prefer to stay longer, you can go for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking etc).

General Information

Trip grade: moderate to fairly challenging

This is a long Upper Mustang trek that goes right into the remotest corner of high mountain country and over a high pass. Physically quite tiring, it involves approx. 6–8 hours of trekking along rocky ridges. No previous experience is required. You should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercise and enjoy walking in the high-altitude conditions.



Trekking in Nepalis categorized in three different types based on their way of organization (Camping Trek, Tea House Trek and GAP Trek). Mustang Trek is organized in two ways (Tea House Trek and GAP Trek) due to the abundance of accommodation facilities available in the region.

  1. Tea House Trek: This trek includes services like guide, food, accommodation in local Tea Houses and porters.
  2. GAP Trek: This trek includes services like Guide (G), Accommodation (A) in the Tea Houses, and Porters (P). Food bills are to be paid directly by the client.



Upper Mustang Trekking doesn’t need tremendous logistics in terms of accommodation as you will find plenty of clean and friendly lodges along the trail. You often have to share rooms but you can also stay in single rooms where possible. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. A few have electric blanket, hot bags (luxury lodges) and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in a comfortable local lodge each day. The Guide coordinates with the local lodge owners to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot always be booked in advance).

Please remember that some of them are very basic and a sense of adventure is necessary.



LODGE TREK: Meals are included in our price and are taken in lodges available along the trail. You can find a considerable variety of Nepali (rice, curry & lentil, momo, noodles, chapatis etc.) and Western food (pizza, pasta, sandwich, chips, porridge, toast, pancake, soup etc.) as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, and beer). The Guide suggests you the best option as per the availability.

GAP Trek: You will have to make your own eating arrangements in the lodges available along the trail. Expect to spend around $25-$30 a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.



On GAP trek and Lodge trek, you will be provided filtered water about 3-4 liters per person per day. The good thing about such water is it doesn’t smell chlorine. We normally use Sawyer Filters. However, you can also buy bottled water in tea houses. You can also bring water purification pills in case you want to drink water from local taps.



Money requirement depends largely on type of trek style, duration and trekking region.
For a two-week Upper Mustang trek, you can take about $200-$300, more if you intend to get more table drinks (alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking (a few smaller shops are available along the trail in some areas), souvenirs, battery charge, internet, hot shower (available in some places) etc. If you are on ‘GAP’ trek style you need to pay for all your meals. Approximately $25-$30 a day should be enough to cover your meals. We pay for your accommodation at mountain hut (teahouse) along the trail and bear all the expenses of staffs assigned by us, plus extra bar bills, snacks, hot shower, battery charge, internet etc.



You can change money at a bank or the money exchange counter in cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara. Many Tourist class Hotels have money exchange facilities. These days, there is availability of ATMs everywhere in Kathmandu, Pokhara and some major trekking hubs.



Tips are appreciated by your support team after the completion of your trekking in Nepal. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise that you can allocate 5- 10 % of the total tour cost as tips. It is recommended that you talk to the members and hand it over individually as per the hierarchy on the last day of the trek.



If you opt to join our ‘fixed departure trip’, you are likely to be joining people from different countries of any age group except minors. The size of group varies, minimum no of persons required to operate a trip is 2 people and the maximum is 15 people.
For a Private Booking, any number size from 1 pax to 20 pax is acceptable and can be comfortably organized. We go for special planning for handling group size bigger than 20 pax.



We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements:

1) Western leader

2) Trained Nepali Trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable)

3) Sherpa Guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)

The Sherpa guide (commonly called Sirdar) will be accompanied by a crew of porters. We provide 1 porter for 2 members.



You will fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, and from Pokhara you will further take a flight to Jomsom. The starting point of the Upper Mustang trek is Jomsom. On your return, you will fly from Jomsom to Pokhara. You can choose between flying or driving back from Pokhara to Kathmandu. We will arrange the transportation from your hotel to the airport (Kathmandu). There will be a price reduction if you choose to travel between Kathmandu and Pokhara by private car or tourist bus.



There are a plenty of telephone facilities in the Upper Mustang trek. You can also use Ncell and NTC network (both for internet and mobile network) but they don’t work properly in some places as you go higher. If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, we can provide you a mobile satellite phone (rental charge on request). 



During the Upper Mustang trek, your main luggage will be carried by porter. Please keep your luggage as light as possible around 12 to 15 kgs for flight safety and porter welfare as per IPPG standard. You simply carry a daypack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket etc. You can leave your valuable items at your hotel in Kathmandu/Pokhara while trekking. Many hotels have a locker system and provide a deposit slip for the valuables kept under the hotel’s safekeeping.



Lodge/ Tea House Trek, GAP Trek

A typical day while trekking in Nepal consists of about 7-8 hours of activity. Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the day’s walk. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days, we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day’s adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.



You will need walking boots, sleeping bag (4 seasons/ -20C rated), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack. Comprehensive list of equipment will be provided once you book your trip. It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu.



There are numerous suppliers of trekking gears in Kathmandu supplying genuine branded items or imitations depending on your choice and price. You can get anything from down jackets and sleeping bags to socks or thermal wears that you need for your trek. They might not be the best but good enough for the trek considering the price.



Security of our clients is our foremost priority. All our guides are licensed by Nepal Government. Our guides and support crew are carefully chosen for your trips. They will ensure your safety and security throughout your trip.
During your Upper Mustang trek, you will be sleeping in local teahouses. You have to take precautions yourself at all times. Never leave your baggage unattended and keep your lodge room locked when you go out.



 You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a “meeting and greeting” service at airport. You just pass the customs desk and come out of the terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard with either ‘Explore Himalaya’ or your name written on it. Our airport representative or tour officer will greet you and welcome you with a garland.



We ensure liability as indicated in itinerary and list of services. If the holiday is cut short or completed earlier than the projected period upon client’s wish, we shall not be responsible or make refund against unutilized days or services. Clients need to pay for hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases.



 The best seasons to trek in the Mustang region are autumn (from mid-September till November) and spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher every day. At high elevations, the nights are cold (between -10 C and 5 C), but the days are sunny and hot (between 10 C and 30 C). The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon and disappearing at night. March, April, October, and November are the most popular and favored months for traveling. As Mustang is located in the rain shadow area, it is possible to trek during the early monsoon, but flights between Pokhara and Jomsom are usually disturbed by heavy monsoon clouds. Trekking during the winter is also possible. However, it is much colder than in the autumn and spring.



The itinerary for this Upper Mustang trek is a standard itinerary. Depending on the prevailing situation while on trek, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original.



As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.

The main health consideration during the Upper Mustang trek is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days. To avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), people take pills called ‘Diamox’. You can also use these pills after consulting with your doctor and purchase them in Kathmandu. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and handle the low oxygen rate.

If you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint, we highly recommend you consult your doctor about your suitability for trekking in high altitude areas before booking. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions.



We supply a medical bag with standard medicines prescribed by trekking doctors and a user’s manual. Since our staffs/guides are not qualified for suggesting medications to western clients, we would request you to use the medicines upon your own risk. It is safer and more reliable if you have your own medicine kit and not depend on what we have.



All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. You can also get “On Arrival Visa” at entry points. For doing Annapurna Trek, you can come with a 30 day visa which costs US $ 50. You should have a passport size photo to get it at airport upon arrival. Some countries’ nationals need to get visa prior their arrival. Please check http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa for detailed information.



Our trips are available on both fixed departure and private basis. If you are looking for a group to join this Upper Mustang trek, please check our ‘Fixed departures’ link for availability, dates and price. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues, you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 1 & maximum 20 at a time).

If you want to do something that is not included in our trip list, we are ready to tailor your trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to meet your needs.



We take your safety and security very seriously, and make sure that nothing untoward happen to you. However, if anything serious like sickness or a casualty occurs, we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. As you are responsible for all the expenses incurred in evacuation, please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it.



Before joining this short Upper Mustang trek, we recommend you take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation. Our staff will collect your insurance details before you leave for the trek.



We are among the few companies in Nepal to receive Travelife Certificate Award https://www.travelife.info for our long-term efforts in sustainable practices.


1.Care for porters and staffs

We ensure that all the porters and other staffs going into high altitude conditions during Upper Mustang trek are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. All our porters carry less than 30 kg and underage porters are strictly prohibited in our operations. We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG – www.ippg.net)


2.Environmental Responsibility

Wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of Nepal. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize our impact as much as possible.

As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have campfires and use LPG gas or kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. We don’t use plastic bottles. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far eco-friendlier alternative.
Garbage disposal is another major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear strewn with litter. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. Our staff carry garbage bag with them all the time and collect our garbage and other litters they find on trail, and dispose them on the designated area. We also volunteer to bring garbage down to Lukla while returning back. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.


3.Social Responsibility

Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) has been conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal.

Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agro practices and culture preservation. A certain amount of your trip money goes to these projects. For more details on our CSR initiatives, please visit https://www.explorehimalaya.com/csr/

    The Trip Cost Includes
    • Lodge trek with guide, accommodation & porters only (Standard rooms on sharing)
    • All meals during Teahouse trek only
    • Transfer from Kathmandu to Pokhara by private vehicles
    • Domestic Airfares: Pokhara/Kathmandu
    • Domestic Airfares: Pokhara/Jomsom/Pokhara
    • English speaking local expert guide, porters (2 members= 1 porter: 15 kg only per member)
    • Annapurna Conservation Area Permit fees (ACAP)
    • Trekkers’ Information Management System fees (TIMS)
    • Upper Mustang restricted area permit
    • 3 nights hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on twin sharing with breakfast
    • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Pokhara on twin sharing with breakfast
    • Sightseeing tour with English Speaking local guide
    • Entrance fees to sightseeing monuments
    • Airport transfers and tour transfers in private vehicle
    • Insurance for all staff & porters
    • Equipment & clothing for all staff & porters
    • First aid kit (carried by guide)

    The Trip Cost Excludes
    • Nepal Visa fees
    • International flight and airport taxes
    • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara
    • Personal expenses (like, communication, laundry, bar bills, internet, camera/mobile battery recharge, hot water/shower on trek, extra meals, snacks while walking etc.)
    • Personal gears & clothing
    • Tips for guide, porters, drivers, local staff etc.
    • Personal insurance and medical expenses
    • Any expenses incurred in emergency evacuation/rescue due to any unforeseen reasons
    • Any other services other than mentioned under “Price Includes”

Pay Now


Your booking of this Upper Mustang - Tiji Festival trek will be confirmed by email once we receive your deposit of $500 and the signed copy of booking form and contract. The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 months prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.


If you cancel your booking, the following scale of charges will apply: • 2 months before departure – Loss of deposit (US$ 500) • 29 days to 2 months before departure – 30% of total trip cost • 10 to 28 days before departure – 60% of total trip cost • Less than 10 days before departure – 100% of total trip cost


In addition to your trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan etc. You may want to try water rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tour. You may as well take a trip to Tibet or Bhutan, whichever seems more appealing to you.


It is fundamental to acknowledge that this is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken only as a guideline. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall provide suitable alternatives which could be decided upon mutual agreement. If an agreement cannot be made, Explore Himalaya shall only be responsible for refunds after deducting the expenses already incurred. If you have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us at enquiry@explorehimalaya.com or directly by phone: +977-1-4518100. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours.


Mustang “The forbidden kingdom” lies in Gandaki province in northern Nepal. Mustang is bordered by Tibetan plateau, and the tallest mountains like Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, including several other peaks above 7,000 meters are also situated here. Mustang, spread in an area of 3,573 sq. km, is one of the districts of Nepal, and the entire district is within Annapurna Conservation Area, which is the largest protected area of Nepal. Jomsom is the headquarter of Mustang. Mustang is known as the lost Kingdom of Tibet because in old time it used to be long to Tibetan Empire. Mustang trekking is possible in every season.



The climate experienced in Mustang trekking is cool and semi-arid (dry but having slightly more rain than an arid region or climate). The average annual temperature of the region is about 10.9 °C during the day. Mustang lies in the rain shadow area of the Annapurna region. In this climate we find unique animals like; snow leopard, musk deer, and Tibetan gazelle. In this region we mostly find medical herbs. Above the elevation of 5,000 meters, there are rhododendron anthopogon, potentilla biflora, and saxifraga. Above the elevation of 5,800 meters, there is almost no vegetation because of extreme cold. Near the area of Jomsom, the forest covers end, and it is very limited in the Upper Mustang region, which falls in the Alpine climatic area.



Dhaulagiri (8167m)
Dhaulagiri is the seventh highest mountain in the world at 8167 meters (26,795 ft) above sea level, and the highest mountain within the borders of a single country (Nepal). Dhaulagiri came from the Sanskrit word “dhaula” (dhawala) means dazzling, white, beautiful and “giri” means mountains. It was first climbed on 13 May 1960 by a Swiss/Austrian/Nepali expedition.

Nilgiri (7061m)
Nilgiri is a range of three peaks in the Annapurna massif in Nepal. It is composed of Nilgiri North (7061 m), Nilgiri Central (6940 m) and Nilgiri South (6839 m). It was first climbed in October 1962 by The Netherlands Himalayan Expedition; the team leader was a famous French climber, Lionel Terray. The first ascents on Nilgiri South and Nilgiri Central were made by Japanese climbers in 1978 and 1979 respectively.

Tilicho Peak (7134m)
Tilicho peak is a mountain near the Annapurnas. The peak was first discovered by Europeans in 1950.The first ascent was made in 1978 by the French climber Emanuel Schmutz using the northwest shoulder.

Yakwakang Peak (6462m)
Yakwakang peak is the nearest peak from Muktinath. It is also the pass way to upper Mustang. Yakwakang peak gives stunning view of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Annapurna.

Tukuche (6031m)
Tukuche peak lies in the western part of Nepal. Entire Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range is divided by world’s deepest Kali Gandaki Gorge and the peak Tukuche. It is exactly standing in front of Annapurna Massif and Mt. Dhaulagiri I – just above from beautiful hidden valley.

Damodar Himal (6004m)
Damodar Himal on the northern edge of the Annapurna Conservation area. It is a small section of the Annapurna Circuit across the Thorang La Pass.



Jomsom is the headquarter of Mustang. It is the major gateway for Upper Mustang. It connects both banks of the Kali Gandaki River. It is mainly occupied by the native Thakali people. Maximum people start their Upper Mustang trek to Lo Manthang from Jomsom. There are a monastery and a museum in Jomsom. Mountain Biking is famous as a daily activity for tourist in Jomsom.

Marpha is popularly known as “the town of apple”. The village name Marpha is made of two words “mar” and “pha”, in which “mar” means hardworking and “pha” means people. Mainly Thakali people live in this Place. The place is famous for apples, people do farming of apple and they produce different varieties of apples. People enjoy apple dishes on the to Upper Mustang trek

Muktinath Temple
Mukitnath temple is one of the popular and religious temples in the world. It situates on the lap of the Thorong la mountain. The temple is especially for Hindus as well as Buddhists. It is a holy place among four Dhams of Hindus. It is the temple of Lord Bishnu. People take both from 108 waterspouts and two kundas (ponds) with the hope of fulfilling their wishes. Buddhists believe it to be a place where Guru Rimpoche came to meditate. This is the religious place of Mustang trekking.

Damodar Kunda
Damodar Kunda is a holy and religious place to Hindus, which is located in Upper Mustang. People believe that when they bath in the Kunda they will be free from their sins. The kunda has awesome views, lush valley, stunning landscapes, monasteries, and natural beauty of Damodar Himal. Many people visit this place during the full moon of August every year to enjoy a big festival.

Thubchen Gompa
Thubchen Gompa is a popular monastery in Mustang. It is located in Upper Mustang. It is beautiful monastery with many gorgeous painting on walls and roof. There is several terracotta (brownish-red clay) figures of various gods and goddesses.

Chhertosum (Marpha Hill)
Chhertosum is a short hike from Marpha; it takes 4-5 hrs walk to reach there. The main attractions are the numerous yaks and high altitude pastures (land covered with grass). It is a gateway to Dhaulagiri Base Camp. There are many monasteries like Nyingma monastery. Nyingma monastery is painted onto the cliff face, some small stones chortens on the ledges below.

Lo-Manthang is the preserved destination, and it is the capital of Mustang. In past it was restricted for tourists to travel. Lo Manthang is mainly known for its former Royal place, monasteries, and tall whitewashed mud-brick walls. This region is all about barren landscape and wonderful scenery. Lo-Manthang is the highest point of Upper Mustang trek.



Upper Mustang consists of two distinct regions: the southern region, with five villages inhabited by people related to the Mananges; and the northern region (the ancient kingdom of Lo), where the language, culture, and traditions are almost purely Tibetan. Despite their isolation, the people of Lo are worldly, well-traveled, and resourceful. They are essentially Tibetans and are skillful traders, travelers, and merchants. The people of Mustang are peace-loving and generous. Buddhism has flourished here for a thousand years and has been the main religion of the people of Mustang ever since. The main festival celebrated by the people of Mustang is Tiji festival. It is a three-day ritual known as “The Chasing of the Demons” that center on the Tiji myth. The myth tells of a deity named Dorje Jono who defeats his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. Tiji is a celebration and reaffirmation of this ancient myth. It also signifies the end of the dry winter/spring season and welcomes the monsoon season (the growing season for Mustang).

Thakali lives in the Thak Khola region of Mustang districts. Thakalis were Buddhists, who followed the Bon culture. Thakalis outside their homeland have been following a distinct form of Tibetan Buddhism, while Thakalis in southern Nepal practice Buddhism with bit of Hindu flavor. Mustang trekking trail is followed by Thakali village. Those in Mustang remain much more traditionally Buddhists. Thakalis have their own Thakali language and own culture with distinct rituals during birth, marriage and death.



Tiji festival is one of the main festivals celebrated every year, in the month of April or May, by the people of Mustang. Tiji festival is influenced by the Tibetan Buddhism and has an important role in the culture of Mustang. All festivals of Mustang are celebrated according to Tibetan calendar. Tiji is held normally in the month of April or May.

Lhosar is a New Year festival. Lhosar Festival in Nepal is often called the festival of highlanders as most of the communities which have ethnic belonging to the mountains such as Sherpas, Gurung, Tamang, Thakali etc. celebrate it. The festival is celebrated on the month of January and February.

Duk Chu 
Duk Chu is a festival of highlanders where monks perform and play ‘Nha’ or hand-drum. In this festival, monks dance and pray for a prosperous next year in Lo Manthang.  It is celebrated on the month of November and December.

Saka Lugka
It is also one of the main festivals of Mustang’s inhabitants.  Saka Lugka is celebrated on the month of February and March. Saka Lugka means “Rise for timely rains and a good harvest”.



Anuj Pandey

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