Upper Mustang Overland Tour

  • Duration
    14 days
  • Trip Grade
  • Max Altitude
    3600 Meters
  • Group Size
    Min 2 Pax.
  • Best Time
    March to May and Sept to Dec

Trip Overview

The former kingdom of Lo in Upper Mustang is a mesmerizing region that is heavily concentrated with traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture that remains one of the most pure forms of Tibetan Buddhism on the planet that spans millennia and goes back centuries. The Upper Mustang Overland Tour is a perfect leisurely excursion of Upper Mustang that presents a new alternative way of touring the region. It is perfect for people who want to explore the region via a vehicle and want to skip out on long hours of trekking and hiking. The Upper Mustang Overland Tours is also ideal for people who are short on time and want to experience the mystical region’s best elements and aspects the quickest way possible. Experience the wonders of Upper Mustang while travelling on a luxurious jeep and see fleeting sights of natural beauty and local people all while seated on a comfortable vehicle. The guided tour through the region includes some of the most stunning and variegated valleys of corroded hills and mountains with spectacular Himalayan view accompanied by rich ethnic villages and far-off isolated settlements on the crevasses and foothills of tall Himals. Start off the journey with a beautiful and enriching Kathmandu City Tour and then commence the journey from Pokhara- the adventure capital of the country, driving around petrified mounds of large limestone and calcium boulders and ash-white hills that are dotted with red houses and chortens decorated with prayer flags as you move deeper into the region. The Upper Mustang Overland Tour takes you to various monasteries and Gompas that are located at different settings, and lets you fully immerse yourself in the tale and legends of the region’s history, its present culture and the people’s customs and rituals that are deeply tied to their ancestral traditions and preserved remarkably well till date.

Explore the ethereal Ghar Gompa, walk on ancient village surroundings and get to see the Buddhist culture’s beautiful dexterity and artistic integrity closely as you follow the path on your vehicle going from village to village and from one site to the next. Delve into the religious ambiance of the holy Muktinath Temple and wander around the mystical Luri Caves that is situated on the desert-like terrain that consists of distinctly tall and fascinating rock-formations. Visit monasteries where ancient tantric practices and shamanistic rituals were performed and practiced at ancient times. It is a fun and exciting adventure tour that does not lack in amazing landscape, barren ridges, deep canyons, eroded cliffs and moraine valleys. The Upper Mustang Overland Tour is a one-of-its-kind package that truly captures the beautiful elements of what makes Mustang so appealing and presents them in a comfortable and gracious way. The journey and its many marvelous features are sure to leave you spell-bound!

So come join us in this wonderfully adept adventure tour of one of the most outstanding and religiously attractive regions of the country and let yourself enjoy Mustang’s sheltered tranquility and pious sacerdotal Tibetan culture in the best way possible!

Itinerary Expand all

Day 01 - Arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu

You may arrive at the airport at any time. Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by Nepal Hiking Team’s representative who will be there to welcome you and will help you get transferred to your hotel. The representative will also explain further plans and programs to you. You may check into your hotel and enjoy your time there. Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 02 - Kathmandu Valley Sight Seeing Tour

At around 10 am, the sightseeing tour of the Kathmandu valley will start, mainly maundering around the cultural heritage sites of the city listed under the World Heritage List by UNESCO. The highlights of the tour include the Kathmandu Durbar Square, the Swayambhunath Temple, the Bouddhanath Stupa and the Pashupatinath Temple. The Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most religiously reverent temples dedicated to Lord Shiva; and we can sometimes observe the cremation ritual of the Hindu people by the bank of the holy river Bagmati at the temple as well. The Bouddhanath is one of the largest Buddhist Mandala in the country. The Swayambhunath is a beautiful stupa situated atop a hill and is also known as “the Monkey Temple”. The Kathmandu Durbar Square holds old monarchial palaces of the Malla kings who ruled over the city in ancient times, along with many architecturally intricate buildings and temples. Many of the buildings in the Kathmandu Durbar Square were heavily damaged during the 2015 earthquake, but their reconstruction work is underway. The Cultural Heritage Sites of the city offer great insight into the country’s history and religious aspect. Touring the heritage sites is a fascinating experience where the prominent Newa architecture of the city presents a completely different and unique take on Nepali art. The sculptures and carvings on the buildings and the temples are beautiful and reflect Nepal’s dexterity beautifully. After all, Kathmandu city is also called “the City of Gods and Goddesses”, and getting to see the city’s culturally and historically significant sites is a great way to get acquainted to the country’s ambiance. After the tour, we will be heading back to the hotel. Overnight at Hotel, breakfast included.

Day 03 - Kathmandu to Pokhara (910m/2985ft), Duration: 6 hours

After breakfast, you shall be driven to Pokhara, the second largest city of Nepal. The drive presents you the opportunity to see wonderful landscapes of terraced farmlands- green and wet with the sowing of rice and barley by the farmers, the frisky rush of the meandering rivers by the highway and the isolated valleys low-lying among the gargantuan hills and rocky gorges. The journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara takes about 6 hours, and upon arrival at Pokhara, we shall check into a hotel, which the city has an abundance of. In the evening, you shall be able to enjoy the respite of a beautiful boat-ride at Fewa Lake and on a clear day, you can see the lucid reflection of Mount Machhapuchhre and the Annapurna Range on the crystalline surface of water as well. Overnight Hotel, breakfast in included.

Day 04 - Pokhara to Kagbeni, Duration: 8 hours

A beautiful drive to Kagbeni commences in the morning, where the journey is filled with amazing landscapes. The village of Kagbeni is located in the valley of the Kali Gandaki River and it is usually the entry point to Mustang. That is why Kagbeni is also called the main gate to Upper Mustang. Kagbeni used to be a check post for traders in Nepal. There is a check point at Kagbeni that controls groups departing for Muktinath and Mustang. Trekkers are required to show their permits here for further entry.  As you drive further into Kagbeni, you will notice the difference in the change of the landscape from lush green winding hills to hills that become consistently barren and ashy white. The Tibetan culture and its features also become quite prominent at Kagbeni, and it feels more and more like Tibet itself. The village of Kagbeni is designed as a fortress town, and was quite important during the famous salt trade times between Tibet and Nepal. Upon arriving at Kagbeni, you can wander around the village’s cobbled streets laden with prayer wheels on the walls of the chortens and small Gompas. At Kagbeni, you can also visit “the Red Monastery” that has red washed walls and is a giant block of a building built around 1429. The village’s solidarity is felt on the dry watered-grey color of its environment and the highly oxidized hills. Overnight stay at the guesthouse at Kagbeni, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 05 - Kagbeni to Charang (Tsarang), (3500m/11482ft)

Driving from Kagbeni to Charang (Tsarang) is a journey of white hills and a terrain that resembles the badlands. Tsarang lies just south of the walled town of Lo Manthang- the capital of the Kingdom of Mustang. Dotted with numerous stupa structures, a monastery and a Dzong (fortress), Tsarang is a village made up of several buildings and structures. Upon your arrival at Tsarang, you will also be visiting the monastery at the village. The monastery’s inner walls are painted with murals depicting the deities of the Medicine Buddha Mandala. These depictions and rituals of the Medicine Buddha are special objects of devotion in the Kingdom of Mustang and can be found in the temples of almost every Mustang village. Overnight stay at the guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 06 - Charang – Hike to the Luri Cave – return

From Charang, you will have a hike to the Luri Cave. The Luri Gompa lies south-east of Lo Manthang and is considered an ancient cave system that has very little known about its establishment. The Luri Cave is pitted with sandstone cliffs and bluffs fluted by wind and weather into fantastical formations, like serried, tapered pillars or organ pipes. These cliffs are pitted with caves, and such a cave forms the inner sanctum of the Luri Gompa, a small jewel of Buddhist art. The Luri Gompa is a Cave Monastery that sits high above the crumbling landscape like an eagle’s nest. It is also sometimes referred to “the Sky Cave”. One of the last cave monasteries in Lo Manthang and Tibet, the Luri Gompa has no written records that exist regarding its construction. Covered with a red wash, perched on a ledge on a one hundred-meter high cliff, the Gompa stands out against the sand and bone-colored sandstone pillars. Affiliated with the Kagyu sect of Buddhism, the Gompa dates all the back to the 13th-14th century.  A part of the Luri Gompa is visible from the valley below; its mud-brick superstructure perched on a ledge on one of the sandstone pillars. At first, it seems like the entrance to the cave is obtained only by scaling the pillar itself, but a winding footpath climbs one hundred meters to a door in a lower cave, inside which is a notched log that climbs to the Gompa itself. The treasures of the Gompa lie in its inner chambers that are hollowed-out or enlarged rooms with smooth walls. Natural light trickles in through a small window, making the space look ethereal. After exploring the cave, you will be returning back to Tsarang. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 07 - Charang to Lo Manthang - 3600m/13 km

From Tsarang, you will be driving to the capital of the Mustang Kingdom- Lo Manthang. The drive consists of beautifully unique acreages of badland-like terrain with high corroded hills. Once you arrive at Lo Manthang, you can explore the village on foot. Lo Manthang has a lot to explore and offers a marvelous taste of Tibetan Buddhist tradition and custom that is considered one of the best preserved traditions on the planet. Occupied by ethnic Lhoba and Bon people, Lo Manthang is noted for its tall white washed mud brick walls, Gompas and the Raja’s Palace- a nine-cornered, five story structure built around 1400. You will visit Lo Manthang’s monasteries, the King’s palace as well as many other places of significance. Particularly, there are four major temples at Lo Manthang: the Jampa Lhakhang or the Jampa Gompa- the oldest, built in the early 15th century and also known as the “God House”; the Thubchen Gompa- a huge, red assembly hall and gompa built in the late 15th century and located just southwest of the Jampa Gompa; the Chodey Gompa- now the main city gompa; and the Choprang Gompa- which is popularly known as the “New Gompa”. Recently, a series of at least twelve caves were discovered north of Annapurna near the village as well, decorated with ancient Buddhist paintings and set in sheer cliffs at 14,000 feet elevation. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 08 - Lo Manthang – Explore the Chosar Cave and the Chosar Village – Return to Charang

You can either walk or drive to the Chosar Village today from Lo Manthang. The Chosar village is a quaint village of stone walls and bone-white hills. While there, you can also visit the Chosar caves. From Lo Manthang, the canyon trail continues past dry gullies to the ancient ruined fortress, across a bridge through small cultivated areas to reach Chosar. The sight of the deep-red Nyphu Gompa at Chosar comes into view, its structure built into the rock face like an elegant architectural manifest. The ethereal white-washed hills that surround the village looks like they have been carved out of petrified milk and fudge. A range of spectacular mountains mark the border with Tibet in the foreground, and small gurgling streams like the trail. The valley itself used to be the main trading point ad lay on the trading route between Tibet and Lhasa and Chosar is peppered with the ruins of old fortresses strategically guarding the valley. After exploring around the village and the Chosar caves, you will drive back to Charang. Overnight at guesthouse, Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 09 - Charang – Hike to Ghar Gompa – Return to Charang

On this day, we will be hiking to the famous Ghar Gompa from Charang. The Ghar Gompa, that lies approximately 3 hours away from Charang, is the oldest monastery in Mustang. It dates back to the 8th century and was built by Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. The Gompa is said to cover the heart of Balmo, the ogress conquered by Guru Rinpoche after a mythical battle in the 8th century. It lies just past the settlement of Lo Gekar. Ghar Gompa is decorated magnificently with paintings that display intricate stories and legends of Gods and Demons. The entrance of the Gompa is flanked by the Four Guardian Kings and the inside of the gompa is filled with excellent painted carved stones and statues of Guru Rinpoche, Palden Lhamo on horseback and Vajrapani. There are many Tsa Tsa carvings as well surrounding the prayer wheels on the side of Ghar Gompa. After exploring around the Gompa, we will then hike back to Charang. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 10 - Charang to Chhusang

A pleasant drive from Charang to Chhusang is a matter of more desert-like terrain with frequent dotting of colorfully corroded hills. A village located between Tangbe and Chele, Chhusang lies at the junction of Narsingha River and the Kali Gandaki. Surrounded by gigantic red, orange and silvery grey cliffs spotted with cave dwellings, the village of Chhusang consists of three different hamlets. An active farming community, the hamlets of the Narsingha River is used for irrigation. Mush like the rest of Mustang, Chhusang has a very strong Tibetan influenced society blending with Nepali culture. Still untouched and isolated, it remains secluded and flourishes in the perseverance of its tradition. The people here are very slowly moving towards modernization. Till a few years ago, the only way to get to Chhusang was on foot and the only way to transport goods was by pony or yak caravans. Life is peaceful and serene at the village and moves on slowly like it has always done over the years. You can explore the village and see sights of amazing rock formations. Overnight stay at the guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 11 - Chhusang to Muktinath

Driving to Muktinath includes a journey that is speckled with a sparse green of light vegetation on frequent intervals along the road. En route to Muktinath, you will also stop to visit the Jarkot Monastery. You will have a great time exploring the Muktinath temple, which is one of the most famous highlights of the region. Muktinath is a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists located in Muktinath Valley at an altitude of 3,710 meters at the foot of the Thorung La mountain pass. Muktinath’s literal translation in Hindu means “the Place of Liberation or Moksha“. Although the temple of Muktinath has a Vaishnava origin, it is also revered in Buddhism. For Tibetan Buddhists, Muktinath is a very important place of Dakinis, goddesses known as “Sky Dancers”, and the temple is one of the 24 Tantric places. The small temple of Muktinath contains a human-sized golden statue of Lord Vishnu as Shree Mukti Narayana. In addition to the statue, the temple also has a bronze image of BhooDevi (The Earth-Goddess form of Lakshmi), the Goddess Saraswoti and the princess Janaki (Sita). Statues of Garuda (the mount of Lord Vishnu) are also present. The statue of Lava-Kusa, the sons of Lord Rama and Sita are beautifully sculpted and present a daringly haunting ambiance to the temple. You can also explore the wall of 108 faucets behind the temple that spouts ice-cold water of the Kali Gandaki River from bull-headed mouths. Overnight stay at the guesthouse at Muktinath, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 12 - Muktinath to Pokhara, Duration: 8 hours

Leaving behind the gentry of rocky hills, we will drive back to Pokhara from Muktinath. The winding road back presents changing terrains and fascinating landscapes of layered moulds and rice plantations. The contrasting colors of the land under the blue sky present a melancholic feel to the journey. Overnight stay at the Hotel in Pokhara.

Day 13 - Pokhara to Kathmandu

A scenic drive along the highway cut beside the hills and serpentine rivers makes the journey back to Kathmandu from Pokhara enjoyable. Occasional small villages and markets make appearances along the road and it’s a lovely feat to see the passing destinations behind as you approach the capital again. Overnight stay at the hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 14 - Farewell

Approximately three hours before your scheduled flight, you will be dropped off at the airport by one of Nepal Hiking Team’s representatives from where you will depart.

Cost Includes

  • All ground transportation by private AC vehicle including airport transfer.
  • Three night accommodation with breakfast at a 3 star category hotel in Katmandu.
  • Two night accommodation with breakfast at a 3 star category hotel in Katmandu.
  • Full board meals with tea/coffee (breakfast, lunch, dinner) during the trek
  • Best available twin sharing lodge to lodge accommodation during the trek. We provide attached bathroom wherever possible.
  • An experienced English-speaking trek guide including his salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging
  • Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bag, Nepal Hiking Team duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map (down jacket and sleeping bag are to be returned after trip completion)
  • All necessary paper work and permits (ACAP, Special trekking permit) please bring 3 passport size photos for permit
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • All government and local taxes

Cost Excludes

  • Meals not specified in the 'Meal Inclusions' in the itinerary'
  • Travel insurance
  • International airfare
  • Nepal entry visa
  • Cold drinks, water, snacks and other personal expenses
  • Hot shower during the trek
  • Personal trekking equipments
  • Horse/Pony during the trek.
  • WiFi internet/phone call
  • Tips and gratuities for trekking staff and drivers

Cost & Dates

Group tours are unavailable for this trip, however, you can opt for the private trip. The private trips are available on any date of your choice at any time of the year. Let us know about your preferred travel dates and we shall organize it as per your convenience. Get in touch with your query now.

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