Talk about remote. The region of Mustang lies behind the Himalayas on the Tibetan plateau. Nowadays this region is more accessible than ever thanks to the 18 minute flight from Pokhara and jeep roads meaning Muktinath, Kagbeni and even Lo Mantang are within reach.
Once known as the Kingdom of Lo, the Upper Mustang region of Nepal was famously off limits to all foreigners until the 1990’s. However, even now Mustang remains a restricted area beyond Kagbeni and special, rather costly permits are still required for anyone who wishes to explore these other wordly landscapes. For many, the lure of the fabled walled city of Lo Manthang has been the goal. That it required days of arduous trekking over high passes to reach meant that for many, forbidden or otherwise, reaching Lo Manthang was simply a pipe dream. Of course the permit cost deters many also, but all of this keeps Mustang special and special it is. This unforgiving, high altitude mountain desert is quite unlike any other part of Nepal as it lies behind the Himalayas on the Tibetan Plateau. Protected from the monsoon by the Himalayas means that this is an arid landscape carved by the winds of Central Asia. Weirdly shaped eroded cliffs coloured by striking earth pigmentation in variations of ochre, red, amber, blue and brown suggest that this could be Mars. Scattered, white-painted villages, Tibetan monasteries and ancient wayside inns, a legacy of hundreds of years of cross-border trading, just seem to blend perfectly with the hostile, barren mountainscapes of Mustang.
Anyway, enough waffle…..here’s a slide show…..a more intimate portrait and insight into the Kingdom of Lo
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