Lower Mustang with Lupra Village Trek
Lower Mustang, as its name describes, is the lower part of the Mustang region and lies within the Annapurna Conservation Area, which is the largest conservation area project of Nepal. This semi-arid barren land offers an experience of traveling around the area of Upper Mustang with lower permit fee in comparison to the Upper Mustang which needs at least 10 days trekking within the area to redeem the price paid for its costly permit. However, travelers can experience the culture, landscape, and scenic beauty in this short trekking period which is fair. A side visit to Muktinath Temple adds a spiritualness in the trip.
- Walk the trail of Lower Mustang enjoying the landscapes and local vegetation of this rain shadow zone.
- Visit Muktinath Temple, one of the holiest temples for Hindus and Buddhists.
- View the north face of Mt. Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.
- Experience local culture and lifestyles of Gurung and Thakali people.
- Visit the Bon Po Monastery located in a hidden village of Lupra.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu.
Welcome to Kathmandu. You will be received by one of our office representatives at the TIA exit section and escort you to your hotel afterward.
Depending on your arrival time, you will have the chance to stroll around the places nearby your hotel on your own.
Day 02: Permits preparation and trip briefing day.
Today you will have a free day in Kathmandu while your specialist will take time to arrange permits for your trek. You will have time to explore around the Kathmandu valley on your own or enjoy the cultural tour with an experienced tour guide arranged by Trek Guiders.
In the evening, you will be met by your specialist in your hotel lobby. S/he will introduce you to your guide for the trek and brief you shortly about your trek, things to do/ not to do, and any optional activities you may enjoy during the trip. You can ask any queries or share feelings with your specialist during the briefing.
Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
Depending on your flight time, you will be picked up by your trek guide in your hotel for flight to Pokhara. Starting driving from your hotel 1.5 hours prior to the flight time, you will need to report the domestic airport at least 1 hour prior to flight time to complete baggage checking and other formalities.
Upon reaching Pokhara, you will be directly transferred to your hotel where you can relax sometime and walk out to explore the Lakeside market and Phewa Lake. Enjoy some boating with your guide who can explain his experience of trekking and his numerous visits in Pokhara and other places. You may learn some Nepali phrases to greet the locals too from him.
Day 04: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (2720m). Trek to Kagbeni (2858m)
After an early morning breakfast, drive to Pokhara airport with your guide for your half an hour flight to Jomsom. Jomsom is the headquarter of Mustang District and is primarily an administrative and commercial center with government officials and merchants rubbing shoulders with the local residents of the region, known as Thakalis. A company of the Nepalese Army is also stationed here. Jomsom can also be accessed by road which will be around 8 hours drive from Pokhara. Good to choose drive option if you have extra days for your trip.
From Jomsom, you will be walking just around 3.5 hours today to reach Kagbeni. Walking along the windy path of Kali Gandaki River, you will reach a small beautiful village named Ekle Bhatti where you can have some rest with lunch. Continue further for around 1 hour to reach Kagbeni, which is located on the bank of two rivers. Here you can see old houses, Buddhist monasteries, and some Hindu temples too.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 05: Trek from Kagbeni to Jharkot (3550m)
After breakfast at Kagbeni, continue towards the trail to Muktinath, which is one of the toughest trails of your trip. This is a steep uphill climb to Jharkot which is around 3 - 4 hours walk from Kagbeni. Jharkot is a small and beautiful village located on the way towards the holy temple of Muktinath. You may get tired of continuous uphill hiking. So, get some time to rest at your lodge at Jharkot along with lunch.
In the afternoon, you can roam around this fortified village and interact with locals to learn about their lifestyle and culture. You can visit an ancient monastery which is believed to be more than 5 centuries old. You can also see the classes of Tibetan Medicine going on in this Monastery school.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 06: Day trip to Muktinath Temple (3800m)
Muktinath is known for its cold springs, ancient fossils, and holy shrine—a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists. In a temple called Jwala Mai nearby, you can view two tiny blue flames that burn incessantly from a hole that also emits water, believed to be burned by God. Take a trip to visit this temple with a belief of purification and salvation and have a day here for relaxation before you return back to your lodge at Jharkot.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 07: Trek from Jharkot to Jomsom via Lupra village (2790m)
While returning back from your trip after your breakfast at Jharkot, take a slightly different route via Lupra village to Jomsom instead of retracing the same way back via Kagbeni. Lupra village is a hidden village located in Panda Khola gorge in between Kagbeni and Jomsom. The trail here is free from crowds as Lupra is rarely visited by the tourists doing the Mustang and Annapurna Circuit trail. You can visit the ancient Bon Po monastery here which can be seen in very limited places of Upper Mustang and Dolpo region. Bon Po is believed to be older than Buddhism and is not represented by many monasteries these days.
After spending some quality time in Lupra village, continue your trail to Jomsom where you will be staying for an overnight. Get prepared for next day flight back to Pokhara.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 08: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara.
Early morning, you will fly back to Pokhara. Upon reaching Pokhara, the day is free to be spent on leisure exploring the market or undertake some adventure activities like Paragliding (time and weather permitting).
Day 09: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu.
Sometimes, the weather in Jomsom won't be favorable to undertake flight to Pokhara. This is for the security and safety of the passengers. In case if you won't get to return back to Pokhara the previous day, today will have a good chance of having a flight without affecting your flight back to Kathmandu. That's the reason why your return to Kathmandu was not placed on the same day before. You will be catching the afternoon flight back to Kathmandu today.
Upon reaching Kathmandu, the day is free for last minute shopping or relaxation.
Day 10: Depart Kathmandu.
You will be picked up from your hotel 3.5 hours prior to your international flight time by one of our office representatives to escort you to the TIA. Trip concludes !!
Commencing this trip
Starting from Pokhara, you can either directly take a half an hour flight to Jomsom or take a jeep ride there depending on your time, budget, and interest. The most preferred mode of transportation to reach Jomsom from Pokhara is the flight option but if you wish to take a jeep or bus ride, you will need to allocate a whole day for reaching Jomsom and start trek next day only. The jeep trail is off-road that will give you a bumpy ride.
The trail to Muktinath from Jomsom will be a classic route via Muktinath road visiting famous Kagbeni en-route. Returning back to Jomsom via Lupra will give you an experience of lonely way free from crowds with a chance to visit the ancient Bon Po Monastery and pre-Buddhist culture. From Jomsom, you will again take a flight back to Pokhara and then to Kathmandu to conclude your trip.
Best time to do this trip
The most suitable time to do this trip is from March until June when the weather is much favorable for the Jomsom sector flights. The clear sky and better visibility will provide you with the magnificent views of the mountains. This trek can also be done in autumn but sometimes the flight to/ from Jomsom can get affected if the weather gets unfavorable for flight. Best to have a few days extra as buffer days for flight contingencies.
Trekking during monsoon is not recommended as the views will get really limited making it a dull trip. Moreover, the flights will also get disturbed and the surface traveling via jeep will also get risky due to the muddy road and road blockage due to landslides.