Damodar Kunda and the Upper Mustang Valley Trek - Asian Heritage

Damodar Kunda and the Upper Mustang Valley Trek

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16 Days
Availability : All Years
Tribhuvan International Airport
Kathmandu
Min Age : 15+
Max People : 10
Tour Details

Damodar Kunda and the Upper Mustang Valley Trek take you through Mustang, which is a remote and semi-independent Tibetan kingdom. It lies in the northern part of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Mountains and is one of the last fortresses of undisturbed Tibetan culture in the world. Only opened to Westerners in 1992, the Damodar Kunda with the Upper Mustang Valley Trek takes you to the capital, Lo-Manthang, in the fascinating Upper Mustang region.

It is indeed a challenging trek due to the high altitude, exposed terrain, and continuous strong winds. Lo-Mangthang, a walled city, is the capital of Mustang, situated at an elevation of nearly 3800 meters. It lies in the central part of northern Nepal and at the top of the Kali Gandaki River. The entire region is famous for its inaccessible caves, chortens, monasteries, and barren desert-like conditions. Hidden behind the majestic Himalayan ranges, Mustang is a truly beautiful trekking zone.

 

Highlights of Damodar Kunda and the Upper Mustang Valley Trek:

  • Explore ancient monasteries, mani walls, and chortens.
  • Enjoy a night in Lo Manthang and learn about the Tibetan culture and lifestyle of the locals.
  • Visit the holy Damodar Kunda Lake.
  • Spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges like Annapurna and Nilgiri, Tilicho, Bhrikuti peaks, etc.
  • Explore the trans-Himalayan region, the Upper Mustang.

 

SPECIAL OFFER: KATHMANDU TO POKHARA PACKAGE

The Damodar Kunda with Upper Mustang Valley trek starts in Pokhara, from where you take a flight to Jomsom before trekking through Kagbeni, Chuksang, Syanbochen, Dhakmar, Lo-Manthang, Yara, Baskhola, Damodar Kunda, Tyange, Chhusang, and Muktinath

Price Includes

  • All land transportation by private vehicle.
  • 1-night stay at Hotel Crystal Palace or a similar one in Pokhara, breakfast included.
  • 12-night stay throughout the trek in a local lodge with a full-board basis.
  • 3-night stay in a tent on a full-board basis.
  • The hotel accommodations are basic twin-sharing.
  • Flight tickets Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara.
  • National park entrance fee, trekking permit and TIMS card.
  • All porter services (can carry 18 kilo of luggage and share between two clients; both clients are suggested to bring 9 kilo of luggage each).
  • An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trek guide.
  • Staff costs include their salary, insurance, equipment and accommodation.
  • All government and local taxes.
  • First-aid kit.

Price Excludes

  • Expenses of a personal nature like internet, telephone, Wi-fi, Laundry, hot shower, etc.
  • Beverage bills in all places.
  • Tipping (tips).
  • Travel insurance.
  • International flights.
  • Donations at temples, schools, monasteries.
  • Emergency rescue or evacuation.
  • Personal hiking gear.
  • Any other items that are not mentioned in the package.
Itinerary

Day 1Flight To Jomsom (2743m), (25 miniutes) and Trek to Kagbeni (2743m), (2-3 hours)

In the morning, you will start your day with a 25-minute flight from Pokhara to Jomsom. The early part of the flight to Jomsom is extremely breathtaking. Under clear weather conditions, one can witness the Annapurna (8091m), the Dhaulagiri (8167m), and many more radiant peaks peeking out from the clouds. After landing in Jomsom, you can have your breakfast and begin your trek.

The trek heads towards Kagbeni, following the Kali Gandaki River. The trail is rough and barren, but mostly flat. You will enjoy lovely views of mountains such as Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. Kagbeni, a medieval-looking town that lies on the banks of two rivers, is an interesting windswept village that is situated on the main age-old Trans Himalayan salt trade route to Tibet via the Upper Mustang area.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 2 Kagbeni to Chuksang (2900m), (7-8 hour hike)

Today, you will commence your trek from Kagbeni. After walking for some time, you will see the caves on the west-hand side and the Gompa Kang. You will have a good climb to Tangebe (3060m), a labyrinth of narrow alleyways. Here you will find the typical Mustang chortens painted in black, white, and red colors.

Now, Chuksang is just an hour’s walk from here. The value of Chuksang has increased because of the presence of its three separate parts and ruined castle walls on the nearby cliffs, which is the center of attraction for the people arriving in this place.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 3Chuksang to Syangbochen (3820m), (7-8-hour hike)

With the dream of reaching the extremely new world near Nepal—the Tibet border—you will start trekking from Chuksang to the beautiful place of Syangbochen via Chelle. You will pass through Summer Pass on the way, where at the end you will find two walking paths. The upper path leads to Syangbochen via Vena, and the lower path leads to Milarepa Cave. The more adventurous path will be the lower one.

As you explore, you’ll see horses and donkeys carrying heavy loads on their backs, secured by ropes around their bodies. These animals play a vital role in transporting goods across the rugged terrain of the region. You will reach Syangbochen by walking for the whole day. Syangbochen is a tiny Tibetan-style village with some small shops and houses.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 4Syangbochen to Dhakmar (3820m), (7-8-hour hike)

In the early morning, you can have a beautiful view of Dhaulagiri (8167m) standing with other surrounding mountains from Syangbochen. After having breakfast, you will start walking from Dhakmar to the beautiful village named Ghami, passing Syangmochen Pass at 3850 m altitude. After a lunch break in Ghami, you’ll explore the local monastery.

Immerse yourself in the culture and learn about the traditions of the people. From Ghami, you continue walking to Dhakmar. Dhakmar is a Himalayan village with a different landscape. All around the place are red, muddy rocks. Nearby, the Buddhist prayer flags are fluttering due to the gushing wind.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 5Dhakmar to Lo-Manthang (5236m), (8-9-hour hike)

Today, after breakfast, your trek to Lo-Manthang starts. On the way, you have to walk through Dhakmar Pass. The pass is magnificent. There are natural rocks that look like frozen ice and architecture that looks like it was made by human beings. From the pass, you will reach the Ghar Monastery, which has a red color and stands for 1200 years of historical importance. After lunch in Ghar, you will continue your trekking to Lo Manthang. Lo Manthang was formerly the walled capital of the Lo Kingdom. Lo is culturally and linguistically Tibetan, covering two-thirds of the northern Mustang District.

This is the homeland of the Thakali people, who speak a different language and have a synthesis of Tibetan and Nepalese culture. The village is noted for its tall whitewashed mud-brick walls, gompas, and the King’s Palace, a nine-cornered, five-story structure built around 1400. There are four major temples: Jampa Lhakhang, or Jampa Gompa; the oldest, built in the early 15th century and also known as the “God House.”

Thubchen Gompa is a huge, red assembly hall gompa, built in the late 15th century and located just southwest of Jampa Gompa. Chodey Gompa is now the main city gompa. Lastly, the Choprang Gompa, which is popularly known as the “New Gompa,” The presence of the architecture in the almost treeless barren landscape combined presents a colorful mosaic made up principally of earthen reds, yellows, and browns. The mosaic has increased the value of this destination.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Lo Manthang

Day 6 Sightseeing around Lo-Manthang

Today is your sightseeing day in and around Lo-Manthang. The city contains about 150 houses, as well as residences for many lamas. You will start your day at Zhong Cave and Tshosher Monastery (a 1000-year-old Tibetan monastery) by hiring either a horse or a Jeep.

After returning from these places, you will start the local sightseeing, which includes the king’s palace, monastery, local surroundings, and village. The current King and Queen occupy the imposing King’s Palace at the center of the city. While the king’s duties are largely ceremonial, he commands respect from the people. Throughout the kingdom, the villagers continue to seek his advice regarding many issues.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 7Lo-Mangthang to Yara (3596m), (7-8-hour hike)

After having a locally available breakfast, you will leave the beautiful Lo-Manthang and commence walking for Yara. The trail steadily climbs two small passes before plunging through a spectacular canyon to Dhi village. You will have your lunch here. From Dhi, you continue walking along the riverbed to Yara.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 8Yara to Baskhola (5074m), (6-7-hour hike)

Today, your trekking starts in Baskhola. The environment of Baskhola is very panoramic, with sandy, brown-colored rocks. This place is today’s destination. Our staff will manage tents for the overnight stays, and the cook will cook Nepali food for you and the other staff.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in a tent.

Day 9Baskhola to Damodar Kunda (5200m), (6-7-hour hike)

After filling breakfast, you will continue your trekking to the sacred place “Damodar Kunda.” Damodar Kunda is located in a remote Himalayan district in the lap of the high Himalayas of the Upper Mustang in western Nepal. In the column of Barah Puran, Lord Krishna says that who pays a visit to this Kunda and takes a deep bath, they will be freed from all their sins.

It is also mentioned in the Puran that two sons of Kubers were suffering from their wrongdoing and sins, which they had committed at their previous birth, but Lord Krishna suggested they take a bath in this Kunda, and immediately after taking the bath, they were released from all their sins.

A common name for the three lakes, Brahma Kunda, Rudra Kunda, and Ananta Kunda, is Damodar Kunda. There is also a large Kusha meadow. As the motherland of Shaligram, this shrine is of utmost importance for all Hindus on earth. The Gandaki River is believed to originate from this holy lake.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in a tent.

Day 10Damodar Kunda to Baskhola (5074m), (3-4-hour hike)

After having breakfast at the camp, you will go local sightseeing and view the panoramic beauty of the lake. Return to the camp and have your lunch before you start trekking down to Baskhola. Today is your last camping day.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in a tent.

DAY 11Baskhola to Yara (3596m), (5-6-hour hike)

After having your breakfast, you commence your trek to Yara.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in a tent.

Day 12 Yara to Tyange (3060m), (7-8-hour hike)

When leaving the beautiful Yara, you will start walking for Tyange. You will walk on a long plateau before descending to a river crossing and climbing up to a pass at 3860m. After that, you have to ascend and then descend before meeting another plateau to reach Tyange Village.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in a tent.

Day 13Tyange to Chhusang (2980m), (8-9-hour hike)

While trekking from Tyange to Chhusang, you will start walking down to a river crossing before climbing up to a pass at 4,100m named Pa. The views on the north are increasingly fantastic as the panorama unfolds between Tsarang, Lo, and the northern border. Finally, the summit of the pass is reached at 4050m. To the south is the first stunning view of Dhaulagiri, while prayer flags adorn the pass. Half an hour from the pass is the only water source in this section, known by the locals as Ba Ha.

After some rest, you will continue walking. The trail opens out, and to the south, one can see the impressive V-shaped Kali Gandaki valley as it cuts between the Annapurnas, Nilgiris, and Dhaulagiri. From here, a spectacular descent begins, and after that, the path flattens out on a plateau and splints in two. The right fork leads to Chuksang, whereas the left one leads to Tetang. You will choose the right one and reach Chhusang.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 14Chhusang to Muktinath (3800m), (6-7-hour hike)

The trail goes up the Narsing Chu to the nice village of Tetang. The village has two parts, and the walls of the outer houses are over 10 meters high with few windows, giving it a fortress-like appearance. The nearby second part of the village has the remains of a fort, again with high fortress-like walls.

The trail heads up, across a plateau area, and turns east into a narrow river valley, eventually reaching a pass at 4030m where superb views of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges can be seen. Then, we go down to Jhong and cross the Jhong River before climbing up to Muktinath. After ascending for some hours, we reach Muktinath.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 15Muktinath to Jomsom (3495m), (5-6-hour hike)

In the morning, you will have a sightseeing tour of the very famous Hindu temple Muktinath, where lots of pilgrims come to worship their god. You will start descending towards Jomsom to catch the flight to Pokhara the next morning.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 16 Jomsom to Pokhara (25 minute flight)

You will have an early breakfast in the lodge, and you will head towards the airport to catch the flight to Pokhara, a lake paradise city. It will take about 30 minutes to reach Pokhara. During the flight, you can see many mountains as well as the trail down to Tatopani/Ghorepani.

Check into a hotel in Pokhara and have a full day to stroll around the city of Pokhara. You can enjoy roaming around the lakeside as well as having fun by boating on the Phewa Lake and witnessing the view and shadow of Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, and Dhaulagiri Mountains on the water of the Phewa Lake. This marks the end of Damodar Kunda with the Upper Mustang Valley trek.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay in the Hotel Crystal Palace or a similar one.

Pokhara View

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