In this trip we visit exclusive places such as the beautiful Guru Rinpoche cave, and the oldest Buddhist monastery in Nepal. This trip is a combination of jeep and hiking (with moderate intensity), to discover unique and the old monasteries. Mustang is a magical place where nature and culture work together to keep a very old tradition alive. We will practice meditation together in the stunning nature and sacred Buddhist & Bön places. Mustang was and still is an enchanted region where nature and culture intermingled to keep a very old tradition alive. Culturally, geographically, and historically Tibetan, but within the borders of Nepal, it has become a time capsule of Tibetan heritage and a place where the rich tradition of Tibetan Buddhism is carried on to this. The essence of Mustang’s beauty is within the contrast between the desert-like landscape and the richness of the culture.
|1||Reception at Kathmandu International airport|
|2||Drive towards Pokhara|
|3||Fly to Jomsom|
|4||Drive to Chhusang|
|5||Drive to Tsarang|
|6||Visit Lo Ghekar|
|7||Visit Lo Mantang|
|9||Travel back to Lo Manthang on horse|
|10||Drive to Syangboche|
|11||Hike to Samar|
|12||Drive to Muktinath|
|15||Fly back to Pokhara|
|16||Drive back to Kathmandu|
We pick you up and bring you to the hotel near Buddha area.
The best time to visit the Boudha stupa is in the late afternoon, when the elderly Tibetan a Nepali Buddhist people stroll down to the stupa to light butter lamps, spin prayer wheels, chant mantras, socialize and stroll clockwise around the monument as part of their daily spiritual life.
Around the stupa are also many shops where you can find more Buddhist orientated gifts.
In the evening we will have a welcome dinner on a nice roof terrace from where we are going to have a stunning stupa view. The briefing of our trip will also be been given after lunch.
Driving distance Kathmandu to Pokhara – 7 hours
After breakfast, we will begin our journey by bus to Pokhara.
We will have lunch along the way.
It is a nice drive along the Trisuli River.
We will pass many local villages where you can see more of the Nepali culture.
When we reach Pokhara, we will check-in to our hotel and then have time to take a rest.
You can choose to take a swim, or to walk around at the beautiful Phewa Lake that is close to the hotel. In the evening you are free to take dinner in the hotel or in one of the many restaurants in Pokhara.
From Pokhara we fly to lower Mustang, Jomsom, this is a 30-minute flight. There, we start the first part of our travel through Mustang. We walk along the Kali Gandaki River up to Kagbeni, an easy walk of 2 hours.
Driving distance: Kagbeni to Chhusang – 1 hour 30 minutes
From Kagbeni we travel with the jeep to Chhusang. This is the place where the first traditional chorten group of Mustang is located. Today there is only one chorten left, but a very beautiful one.
The chorten is decorated with stucco reliefs of elephants, horses, peacocks and garuda figures.
Driving distance: Chhusang to Tsarang – 1 hour 30 minutes
From Chhusang we travel with the jeep to Tsarang. We will make a stop in Ghemi, the third-largest village in upper Mustang. We will make a short walk through the village.
In Tsarang we will visit the old city. Tsarang was the former capital of Mustang. Here we visit the Ngor-Sakaya monastery, which has a large collection thangkas, old paintings and buddha statues.
There is also a nunnery and school in this town, we have the opportunity to see their daily routine.
From Tsarang we have a nice walk of three hours, to what is supposed to be one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries, founded by Guru Rinpoche.
After our visit at the oldest monastery, we will walk back to Tsarang, passing the town of Lo Gekar.
We can enjoy the stunning nature of this area.
From Tsarang to Lo Mantang, the current capital of Mustang, we will have a walk of 5 hours gentle walk through the Tholung Valley.
We pass one of the most beautiful chörten of Mustang, Sumda Chörten.
The nature is a desert-like landscape. Then we reach the impressive city Lo Manthang, surrounded by a huge wall. Today we take time to have a first impression of this old, and nice city with many chortens, and gompa’s.
From Lo Manthang will have a gentle walk of two hours and a half to Garphu. Garphu is a hidden jewel.
This was also the main trading route to Lhasa, a route used over the centuries by pilgrims, apostles and traders.
We are here around 5 kilometers from the Tibetan border.
We take here time to visit Nyiphu – Jhong Cave – Nupchokling cave temple.
We return from Garphu to Lo Manthang with horses.
We cross the white river and after 30 minutes we reach Lo Manthang again. In Lo Manthang there are four very beautiful temples, Jampa Lhakhang, Thubchen Gompa, Chöde Gompa. and Choprang Gompa.
From Lo Manthang we travel with the jeep to Syangboche. On our way we make a stop in Gilling, called ‘the island of virtues’.
Here we visit the Tashi Chölong Gompa, which contains many tantric wall paintings, as Hevajra, Chakrasamvara, and Vajrayogini. Above is the chapel of the protecting deities, but here women are not allowed to enter.
From here we drive over the Syangboche La pass (3850 meters) and reach then Syangboche.
Today we make a wonderful hiking from Syangboche to Samar, with a stop at Ranchyung Cave Chorten, one of the highlights of this travel.
In total our walking will take about 5 hours.
We will sleep in the town Samar in a local lodge.
Samar was originally calls Sad-mar, what means “red earth”. Actually, the environment looks a little bit like the canyons in the US.
From the road of Syangboche we walk into a steep narrowing ravine. After a while the gorge joins another which we ascend until a large flat rock indicates a series of steep steps up to the prayer flagged Rangchyang cave.
This sanctuary is dedicated to Padmasambhava, the great sage who brought Buddhism to Tibet, who used the place for meditations during when coming back from Western Tibet in the 8 the century.
It is a very huge cave and is watched over by a lama, who sleeps there.
The center of the cave is dominated by an impressive rock with four big images of Buddha Sakyamuni, Padmasambhava, Buddha Amitabha and Avoliketsvhara.
Also, Atisha, an important Indian scholar, has meditated here in the cave.
At the front of the cave, there are 184 images of Padmasambhava, painted in golden color. We take time to wander around, to meditate and talk with the local lama.
Driving distance: Samar – Muktinath – 4 hours 30 minutes
Today we travel from Samar to Muktinath by jeep.
The holy ground of Muktinath, is one of the most important pilgrim places in Nepal for Hindus and Buddhist people. In the spiritual area above the town we will find temples of both religions.
There is a Nyingmpa Monastery called ‘the temple of the holy fire’, where a natural phenomenon is housed.
Some natural gas, coming out of the earth, is forming blue flames at different places, just above a spring. This auspicious combination of earth, fire and water is responsible for the religious importance of muktinath.
The temple also has beautiful statues of Padmashambhava, Manjushri and Avoliketshavara.
Also here is a temple, the Marme Lakhang, “temple of lights”, dedicated at Padmashambhava, who visit Muktinath in the 8 the century.
From Muktinath will have a gentle walk of three hours and a half to Lubra.
Lubra is a traditional village hidden in the side valley of the Panga Khola.
Lubra has managed to preserve the Bön religion since the 12 the century and still has two Bön monasteries.
In Lubra we will visit the Yung Drung Puntsoling Monastery, which belongs to the Bön religion.
This monastery is built in the 11 the century and contains interesting wall paintings and statues.
Here we find a statue of Kundu Zangpo, who holds in his hand a left turning swastika.
This monastery holds many mandalas, old wall paintings, and statues.
From Lubra will have a gentle walk of three hours and a half to Jomsom.
In Jomsom we will visit a very old Labyrinth, for both Hinduism and Buddhism, the labyrinth is seen as a path of contemplation for those seeking divine wisdom or peace.”
Here we also visit the Mustang Eco Museum, where they display herbal medicine and a chapel
Today we take the early flight from Jomsom to Pokhara.
We will cross the Annapurna Range, an amazing flight over the Himalaya’s.
We arrive early morning in Pokhara, the second biggest city of Nepal.
There is for everybody something to do around Pokhara:
You are free to spend your day as you wish.
Today we will take the bus back from Pokhara to Kathmandu.
We will have a stop on the way to eat lunch.
Depending on the traffic we arrive in time in Kathmandu to do some last shopping.In the evening we have a farewell dinner together in a nice restaurant in Thamel.
Today our special journey ends.
We will drop you off at the airport
(Note: only KTM and Pokhara is Single – we can’t promise in Mustang – depend on how busy it is in Mustang)