Upper Mustang Trek
Trek to the Upper Mustang is the most distinct of any trekking in Nepal. Often referred to as the ‘Mini Tibet of Nepal’, it takes us through the vast swathes of tree-less, desert-like landscapes where the only source of greenery are the sporadic patches of shrubs—a contrast to any other part of the country. This desolate place is a land beyond the Himalayas, often touted as ‘the last Forbidden Kingdom’, and is a hub of Tibetan culture and way of life preserved safely for centuries—untainted and unblemished by any foreign elements.
There is no single place on earth where a desert vegetation is this charming being both historically and culturally affluent. Upper Mustang has preserved the unique Tibetan Buddhist culture for centuries. Hundred of years old Buddhist monasteries and stupas litter here and there in the arid landscape where settlements are even more ancient. Cliffs of titanic size loom over the desert valley holding the spectacular sight of ancient man-made cave structures. It was the last region of Nepal which used to recognise a monarch as its leader and was banned for foreign visitors until 1992. In addition to that, not a single new settlement could be found in the entirety of this region keeping the region authentically Tibetan, and indeed, even to the Nepalese their culture seems exotic and their tradition fascinating.
A desolate place shunned by greeneries of all the neighbouring regions it might be but it a paradise protected by the walls of the Great Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains; where the mighty Kaligandaki river flows freely at leisure; where one of the most ancient civilization still exists. This is the land beyond the Himalayas, a place that welcomes its visitors smilingly with open arms.