PROGRAM BASED ON 13 DAYS IN RESTRICTED AREA
Day 01 : Drive or fly Kathmandu/Pokhara â€“ Overnight Pokhara
Day 02 : POKHARA-JOMSOM-KAGBENI (2800 m â€“ 8 km â€“ approx. 3 hrs walk)
Fly to Jomsom 2,700 m - meet your staff and the trek begins by crossing the second bridge north of the airstrip to the old part of Jomsom, where the bank, post office and German Bakery are located. The trail heads north on the east bank of the wide stony Kali Gandaki. Keeping on the east side, continue past the side valley of the Panga Khola and around a bluff to the small settlement of Eklobhatti. From here another bend in the river takes you to Kagbeni and entry to the forbidden land.
Day 03 : KAGBENI-CHHUKSANG - 2,920 m â€“ 14 kms â€“ 5 hrs walk (RAD01)
Complete the formalities, proceed out of Kagbeni north past the mani wall and check point. Almost immediately the path climbs quite steeply up into a jumble of gullies and small towers, zigzagging to a viewpoint over Kagbeni with Nilgiri providing a dazzling white fluted backdrop. The trail keeps to the east bank, climbing and descending to avoid the many river crossings necessary if taking the stony flat plain route used by horse riders and locals. After 2 hrs the trail starts to climb steeply northeast to cross a vertical-walled bluff ahead. Soon a few of the upper cultivated fields of Tangbe are visible. From Tangbe the trail again climbs to a high point around 3,100 m. From here the route ahead unfolds, a stunning view towards a great red canyon walls where the river enters a narrow defile. Then the trail drops steeply and undulates along the east bank of the Kali Gandaki for one and half hrs to the village of Chhuksang.
Day 04 : CHHUKSANG-SAMAR 3,290 M â€“ 13 km - approx. 5 hrs. walk(RAD2)
The trek now leaves Kali Gandaki valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to Chele at 3030 . There is now a change from Manangi culture of the give 'Gurung' villages to the Tibetan culture of Lo. Most Lo houses have sheep horns above their doorways and you will see many twigs in the shape of a cross with threads in five colours woven in a diamond shaped pattern. They are called zor and are supposed to capture evil spirits that threaten the population. Being now in a region of Tibetan influence, many people also keep ferocious Tibetan mastiff dogs you need to be careful. The trail makes a long, gradual descent to some chortens on a ridge, then descends further on a pleasant trail to Samar surrounded by a grove of poplar trees at 3,290 m. The Annapurna Himal, still dominated by Nilgiri is visible far to the south. Camp
Day 05 : SAMAR-GEILING 3,440 M â€“ 14 KM â€“ approx. 5 hrs. walk(RAD3)
From Samar trip climbs up to a ridge and then descends into a large gorge past a chorten painted in red, black, yellow and white â€“ all pigments made from local rocks. The trail enters another valley filled with juniper trees, crosses a stream, then climbs up to a ridge 3,800 m. The trail climbs gently from Shyngmochen to a pass at 3,700 m and enters another huge east-west valley. There is a trail junction here. From here we take the right trail and descend to Geiling with its poplar trees and extensive fields of barley. CAMP
Day 06 : GEILING-TRAMAR - 3,600 m â€“ 14 KM â€“ approx. 5 hrs. walk(RAD4)
Today we cross the bridge and then trail leads to a zig zag path that rose to the entrance of a deep, walled-in valley. Trail now leads up to the valley between red and pink cliffs. Ahead of us stretched a wall three hundred yeards long which was gaily painted in red and yellow. You will encounter a long prayer wall sealed in its sides were thousands of flat slabs of stone carved with the ritual prayer, 'O mani padme hum' , and the incovation 'A sha sa ma ha'. â€“ sunset from Tramar is just stunning. Tramar means Red Cliff. Camp
Day 07 : TRAMAR-LOMANTHANG 3,700 M â€“ 15 KM â€“ approx. 6hrs walk(RAD5)
Today we cross a pass called Marang La (4,125) and then continue to Lo Manthang through famous Monstery of Lo Gekar â€“ Monastery of Lo Gekhar is a jewel. It is built over a smaller shrine, and five rooms are decorated from floor to ceiling with carved and painted stones set in small wooden frames. Holy Bhodisatva had come long, long ago to the Land of Lo, which was then full of demons. Seizing one of these demons, he had dismembered it and thrown its heart deep into the ravines of Mustang ; later a monastery by the name of Gekar was built at this spot. Finally we will reach the walled city of Lo Manthang. Camp
Day 08 : EXPLORE LO MANTHANG (RAD06)
There are four major temples within the city walls. The tall Champa Lhakang is said to date from the 1420s and is accessible only on the second storey. Inside the temple is a huge painted clay statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha, sitting on a pedestal that occupies the entire ground floor. The red Thugchen gompa, near the centre of the city, is a massive assembly hall supported by huge wooden columns dateing from the same period as Champa Lhakang. There are statues of the deity Sakyamuni surrounded by Avalokitesvara. Vaisravana (the god of wealth) and Padmasambhava. The other two temples are within the monastic quarter, which is the domain of several large, growling Tibetan mastiffs. The main temple is the Chodey Gompa, which contains dozens of beautifully crafted small bronze, brass and copper statues, many said to have been cast in Lo Manthang itself. Raja's place is an imposing four-storey building in the centre of the city. It is the home of the present raja.
Day 09 : LO MANTHANG & EASTERN VALLEY, NYPHU, GHARPHU : 5/6 hrs round trip (RAD07)
Leaving Lo Manthang at the northeast corner by the chorten and new healthpost, the trail drops into the small valley north of the town. After corssing the river, the trail climbs out, still going easterly, then countours around north above an area of extensive cultivation which stretches to the Mustang Khola. One hour later a long mani wall and isolated derelict building are reached. At this point the trail seems to disappear. In fact erosion has caused the path to collapse into the river bed and exposed a water pipe. Still following the west bank of the Mustang Khola, the route crosses an area of cultivation above a small village 2 hrs walk from Lo Manthang. Ahead to the right can be seen the dramatic cave village of Chosar and the red monastery of Nyphu set into the rock face. The trail reaches a chorten and rounds a bend opposite Chosar to display the village and monastery of Gharphu ahead on the east side of the Mustang Khola. This is reached by crossing two bridges close to Gharphu, 3,760 m.
From Gharphu the path leads round below the cliffs to Nyphu, where the red gompa is built out from a vertical rock face and partly set in a cave behind the walls. Beware of local dogs.
Day 10 : LO MANTHANG & WESTERN VALLEY, NAMGYAL & TINGKAR
From the northerly corner of the wall a track leads west, staying on the south side of the river for about one and half hour. the trail then drops, becoming quite rocky, to cross the river. There is no bridge here. It climbs again towards the fields and joins another path from the east, leading up towards Namgyal Monastery, 1 hr.(itâ€™s a monastery of victory'). Namgyal, in a spectacular setting atop a desolate ridge, is the newest and most active gompa in Lo. Other trails lead up the valley to Phuwa, one and half hour and Tingkar, 1 hr. from here. Tingkar is the site of the raja's summer palace.
Day 11 : LO MANTHANG-DRI â€“ 3,290 m â€“ 17 KM â€“ 6 hrs walk (RAD09)
Today we set out to Dri, this is the main trading centre of Mustang; its inhabitants live on the trade with Tibet, and some of the land's wealthiest merchants have their home here. Camp
Day 12 : DRI-LORI GOMPA â€“ 6 HRS RETURN (RAD10)
Today we visit the most unusual monasteries in Mustang, This was Lori, a centre of a sect that has many followers in Bhutan, the land of the Dragon. The prosence of this monastery in Lo was explained by the fact that a king of Lo married a Bhutanese woman, and to please her he built Lori. Camp
Day 13 : DRI-TANGE â€“ 2,940 m â€“ 18 KM â€“ 7 hrs. walk (RAD 11)
Today we walk down to Tange, the views in the north are fantastic as the panorama unfolds between Tsarang and Lo Manthang. To the south you can see the stunning view of Dhaulagiri. Camp
Day 14 : TANGE-CHHUKSANG â€“ approx. 8 hrs. walk (RAD 12)
Today is a long day walk to Chhuksang. Camp
Day 15 : CHHUKSANG-MUKTINATH OR KAGBENI(RAD13)
Day 16 : MUKTINATH/KAGBENI-THINI/JOMSOM
Walk to Jomsom to catch a flight back to Pokhara. Overnight Hotel
Day 17 : Fly or drive back to Kathmandu
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