Where is Upper Mustang?
Upper Mustang is the former Buddhist kingdom of the Himalayas and the capital of 'Lo' Mustang was 'Lo-Manthang', an ancient forbidden kingdom in the Himalayas, one of the most amazing Himalayan deserts on Earth. It is located beyond the Annapurna Mountain to the North of the Mustang district and bordering Tibet and home to century-old sky caves and monasteries, magical grand valleys and a rich Buddhist realm.
What is the history of Upper Mustang (Little Tibet)?
Once upon Mustang was under the rule of the Yarlung dynasty of central Tibet and later on, Mustang was under the rule of Western Tibet Ngari.
The legendary history of Upper Mustang was begun after 1380 AD, when Ame Pal, a warier and Buddhist devout from Western Tibet made Mustang an independent Kingdom. He defeated the local warlords and constructed a walled capital Lo-Manthang and extended Lo’s rule to Purang and Western Tibet.
At the end of the sixteenth century, Lo-Kingdom came under the power of Ladakh, and around 1760, the kingdom of Jumla in western Nepal finally succeed in making Lo it is vassal. Mustang was forced to pay levies (taxes) to the Kingdom of Jumla and came under their extended Kingdom.
In 1795 Jumla was defeated by the Gorkhas and the Kingdom of Lo (Mustang) transferred its allegiances to Gorkha, which by then was the capital of a unified Nepal.
In 1855 Lo supported Nepal against the Tibetans. The King of Nepal thus allowed the King of Mustang to keep his title of ‘Raja of Mustang’ although he had little politely power.
The economy of Lo, Bahragaon and Panchgaon suffered since the Thakalis gained control over the salt trade along the Kali Gandaki in 1862.
In 1951 introduction of constitutional monarchy in Nepal resulted in Mustang becoming a district and took away much of the King’s power.
Following the Chinese exaction of full control over Tibet in 1959, the Khampa guerillas based their resistance movement in Lo and the Nepalese government declared the Mustang District as a restricted area.
Arise of parliamentary democracy in 1990, the new government of Nepal decided to reopen Upper Mustang partially for the foreigners, and since 1992 Upper Mustang opened to foreigners with taking special permits from the Department of Immigration of Nepal. In the same year, the Annapurna conservation area was extended to include Upper Mustang.
Can you tell us about Lo Manthang?
Lo Manthang was the capital city of the former Kingdom of ‘Lo’. In the 1380s, King Ame Pal established the ‘Kingdom of Lo’ and Mustang became an independent Kingdom. He also walled the city Lo Manthang, and there are about 180 houses including some of the largest and finest Tibetan Buddhist Gompas in Nepal.
Traditionally, Lo Manthang had a single entrance, through which only King, Queen, and Khempo Abbot were allowed to ride whereas other public must walk to pay their respects to Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion. King Jigme Palbar Bista is the 25th descendent of Ame Pal living is still taking a somewhat ceremonial role among Mustangies ‘Lobas’.
Within the walled Lo Manthang, there are about 180 houses with narrow streets including four major Gompas of Lo Manthang, the 14th century, brick-red Jampa Lhakhang, 15th-century Thubchen Gompa (Assembly hall), Chhoede Gompa (Khempo’s residence) and Choprang Gompa.
Do we see birdlife in Upper Mustang?
Hill and rock pigeons, crag martins, rose finches, pied wagtails, rock buntings, black redstarts, impeyan pheasants, grandala, snowcock and white-capped river chats, Himalayan griffin, lammergeiers, golden eagles (and many more).
Do we see wildlife in Upper Mustang?
Snow leopards, black bear, marmot, lynx, black wolf (chango), Himalayan woolly hare, blue sheep, red fox, pikas (and more).
How can I book the Upper Mustang overland Jeep tour?
Once you confirmed the trip, we need a photocopy of your passport and along with a 20 percent down payment of the total price for advance flight tickets and hotel booking and permit process. The outstanding balance can be paid once you arrive in Kathmandu.
How can I enter Nepal?
As Nepal is one of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in South Asia, several airlines have direct and non-stop flights from the Middle East and Asia to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. There are direct flights from London, Paris, Frankfurt, Doha, Osaka, Shanghai, Moscow, Bangkok, Singapore, Hongkong, Karachi, Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, Paro, Dhaka, Lhasa, and Varanasi.
Can I do the Upper Mustang Jeep tour?
The Upper Mustang 4WD safari tour is suitable for any adventure lovers looking for something a little more exciting and amazing overland drive.
When should I come for the Upper Mustang Jeep tours?
The best season for the Upper Mustang overland tour is from October to December and March to August.
Do I need to stay in Katmandu?
Kathmandu valley, one of the historical cities as well as the capital of Nepal, at least, you need to spend two nights in Kathmandu before and after your trip. In our program, we are providing you with standard accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara on a bed and breakfast basis.
Can I join with group?
Yes, you can join one of our existing groups, we guarantee a series of fixed group departures dates for the Upper Mustang overland tour. We can arrange a small group trekking trip to suit your requirements. Please contact us for group departure dates.
Do I need to join with group?
It is not necessary that you need to follow our fixed group departures dates, because a private trip departs every day upon your request which is best suited to couples, families, and small groups of friends. We are happy to organize your holiday according to your selecting the starting date.
What kind of equipment do I need to bring with me?
Check complete Upper Mustang 4WD safari holiday package packing list clothing and footwear below.
- Warm jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable
- Hiking pants (breathable, wind and waterproof)
- Hiking shorts (breathable, wind and waterproof)
- Thermal trouser
- Full sleeve shirt (woollen and cotton)
- Bandana or headscarf
- Regular underwear
- Woollen hat & Sun hat
- Comfortable trainers
- Socks (Woolen & Cotton)
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Small day-pack & Medium rucksack
- Large duffel bag
- Padlocks for duffel-kit bags
- Sleeping bag
- Water purification tablets
- Sewing-repair kit
- Water bottles
- Quick-drying towel
- Multi-purpose soap
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Reading book
- Tissue / toilet roll
- Anti-bacterial handwash
What kind of meals I can have during the trip?
All Meals on a full board basis will be provided during the overland tour. Freshly cooked food is served at all times (western, continental and Nepali meals are available in all places). Three meals a day will be provided.
Do I have a pre-departure meeting?
Yes, at first, our staff will receive you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel and our tour leader will brief you regarding the trip. The briefing will cover the itinerary and introduce your tour Leader.
Is someone going to meet me at the airport? Are transfers included?
Definitely, our Airport Representative will come to the airport to pick you up. We will be displaying a placard of our company with your name on it. Airport transfer is included.
Can I customize the Upper Mustang Jeep tour with Helicopter options?
We can customize this Upper Mustang Jeep tour, choose the number of days, drive directly from Lo Monthang to Jomsom or include other Mustang stops or extra days. You may also want to continue the jeep trip from Jomsom to Pokhara.
We offer charter helicopter tours out of Lo Manthang to Jomsom, Pokhara or Kathmandu, or to Annapurna Base Camp and then back to Jomsom, Pokhara or Kathmandu.
We can tailor-make your trip to include the TIJI FESTIVAL (Lama Dance in Lo Manthang) in May if dates fit.
Not enough of Nepal?
We can suggest trips to the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara, Bandipur, Gorkha, the Annapurna Foothills, Chitwan and Bardia National Parks. Spend a night at The Old Inn Bandipur (or Three Mountain Lodge on luxury trips) en route to the drive to Pokhara, where you might spend several nights at Temple Tree Resort and Spa or Kuti Resort and Spa. Refreshed, drive to Chitwan National Park, spending at least 2 nights at either Parkland hotel or Green Park Resort with jungle activities.