Upper Mustang is definitely one of the best trekking destinations of the world. The place allowed the international visitor after 1992. Before 1992 the place was considered as restricted area. Being a restricted area the place was isolated from the outside world and developed its own culture and tradition closely related with Tibet. Lately, Mustang is getting a touch of modernization as it holds luxury hotels to tea houses while people are preserving their culture and traditions side by side. The place is gaining popularity yet isolated and less explored. You can either do Upper Mustang Trek or enjoy your journey by Jeep tour as lately there is motor able road to Lo Mangthang. How to get there?
Firstly, you have to reach a small town called Jomsom. Jomsom can reach by flight or by road. From Jomsom you will follow the ancient salt trade route to Lo Mangthang. On route to Jomsom you will come across beautiful city called Pokhara. If you wish to catch a flight then you have to catch from domestic terminal of Pokhara. After 1992 visitors need restricted area permit in order to visit the Forbidden Kingdom of Lo. Being restricted area, the place is considered as most preserved region in the world as the majority of population speaks Tibetan languages too. As you ascend through the trail you will experience a dramatic change in the landscape. The vibrant greenery go through dry and arid landscape creating strange ambience.
Pokhara is a city on side of Lake Phewa in central Nepal, also known as the gateway to Annapurna base camp trekking, and ending point for Annapurna Circuit trekking the two very popular trail in the Himalayas of Nepal. The two-story pagoda, Tal Barahi Temple, is located on a lake island. The Lakeside district on the east coast is home to yoga centers and restaurants. The great destination for weekend getaway or for longer relaxing vacation is best known for the majestic views of Annapurna range. The gentle beauty of Pokhara is a source of inspiration for many travel writers. The uncontaminated air, spectacular background of snow-capped mountains, blue lakes and surrounding greenery make it a “jewel of the Himalayas”, a place of stunning natural beauty.
Following the Trans Himalayan route of mountain, the landscape has distinctive Tibetan feel to it. The culture, tradition, people and Chorten, Mani walls, prayer flags and more. The white wash houses and narrow alleys, unusual colorful rock formation, cave dwellings, monasteries takes you back in time. The dry and arid landscape in the rain shadow of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri Mountains hold monasteries dating back to 12-14 century. The deep gorges, the Sija Jong cave chiseled by hand, ancient monasteries takes you to an era when people used trade salt between Tibet and Nepal. The caves used to be place to reside, mediate and more by the inhabitants back in time. The mystery Sija dzong cave, Chusi cave dwellings high up in the cliffs which are manmade and about 5-6 storey high. Entering cave with steep ladder up the cave passing from storey to storey you will see these caves harvest secrets from the past.
In conclusion, the charm of Upper Mustang draws the attention from people, the place is in risk and have a chance to lose its originality. Therefore, a responsible tourism and conservation of culture has been crucial. Sustainable tourism must be practiced, however the locals and the travel company locally based in Nepal are taking initiatives and is a shared commitment between them. However, if the government of Nepal take some initiative, which helps people of the region to grow economically and motivate them in order to practice and preserve the cultural richness they have and pass on to future generations.