Project Himalaya Mt. Kang Guru (6981m) Expedition

Posted Oct 31st, 2008 under Climbing & Expeditions, Trekking & Hiking,

Project Himalaya‘s seven member Kang Guru expedition team left Kathmandu for their expedition on 19th October 2008. The expedition is led by Philip James Crampton (UK).

The names of the other team members are:
1. Robert M. Shaver (USA)
2. Karl Peter Adolfsson (Sweden)
3. Paula Veronica C. Cabrera (Venezuela)
4. Rusty Joe Schlessman (USA)
5. Damien J.G. Francois (Belgium)
6. Anne-Mari Hyrylainen (Finland)

Explore Himalaya is the base organizer of this expedition. The team is supported by climbing Sherpas: Tarkey Sherpa, Namgyal Sherpa and Pasang Gombu Sherpa.

Trekking Points in the Langtang Region

Posted Oct 15th, 2008 under Trekking & Hiking,

The region that lies in the central part of Nepal and near or northern parts from Kathmandu includes famous areas – Gosaikunda, Helambu and Langtang that are magnificently mysterious, beautiful and explorative. Following trekking points fall on these areas. Details of other important trekking points in this region are already mentioned in the trekking itineraries on our websites –

LANGTANG TREKKING
LANGTANG Village

Langtang (3480m) is a proper village with shingle roofs, traditional latticed windows and stone walls. The deep-sided cultural valley greets the visitors to see sunsets with Kangchenpo/Fluted Peak turning pink or occasionally crimson. Few other peaks are also spectacular from the valley. Around Langtang village, Mondo and Pablu kharkas remain energetic for scrambling up.

BAMBOO VILLAGE

Bamboo/Langmoche Khola (1980) walls pitilessly tighten above you and the violent boulder-choked khola (stream) steepens to a death-to-kayakers grade. In the dappled shade the less optimistic could call the barely sunned gorge forbidding or gloomy, but with good hosts, warm fires and copious food it takes on a different perspective.

GHODA TABELA

Ghoda Tabela/Qurpu-nesa/Tara (2950m) means horse grazing area, settling of Langtang and star respectively. Strangely no village name refers to the other striking feature around here-the incredible waterfalls.

LANGTANG NATIONAL PARK

The national park, established in 1971, was first of its kind in Nepal. The buffer zone, created in 1996, of the national park covers five kilometers area includes Syabru, Tarkeghyang and Sarmathang. The park straddles the Himalayan range and so encompasses diverse ecosystems from rainforest to alpine. It shelters snow leopard and at least two other endangered species – musk deer and red panda – which have already had specially protected reserves created for them.

KANGJA LA

The Kangja La (5122m), also spelt Ganja La, is the highest pass over the Jugal Range which can be interestingly trekked. The other pass is Gosaikunda’s Lauribina (4600m). The crossing is spectacularly alpine; you can literally touch the glacier ice and a bit of scrambling is involved, so it definitely deserves the wild level. Panoramic Langtang sea of the magnificent mountains can be viewed from the area.

KYANGJIN GOMPA

Kyangjin (3900m), cresting a minor ridge, is erroneously called Kyangjin Gompa. The Gompa’s name is Gyaltsthan. The valley is perfect musk deer country where an army post has been set up.

TILMAN’S PASS

Tilman’s Col is a challenging alternative exit of Langtang Valley, an isolated route for mountaineers. After crossing the heavily glaciated pass the difficulties don’t end passing through down steep and rough terrain to Panch Pokhari (Five Lakes). Up the Pangrima Valley are three other possible points to cross the Jugal Himalaya range.

BARBAL

Barbal (2300m) lies amid thickening forest of maple trees with singing and squawking of birds, and apple orchard.  It is the place of wild animals and birds such as barking deer, green parrots and pheasants.

LANGTANG GOMPA

It is located at the area of Thangshyap (3200m) just nearby Langtang Village. Fields begin here all belonging to Langtang Village. Gompa, related to Lama praying temple for, is occasionally open. Any Lama worth his butter in Langtang or Helambu can mystically drill holes in rock and around his gompa you can find several of these mysterious holes. Another feature here is garnets. Towering above to the north-left, are a couple of peaks called Langtang Lirung, the sacred peak where ill spirits are prayed for making climbing successful.

BASE CAMPs

There are popular two base camps in the region. Base Camp, 4350m (Kangja La) has few flat spaces for tents. This area has a pool called Yeshekupedakta. And another Base Camp, 4600m (Poldar) with camping spots and two routes that involve scrambling up is highly challenging. It is a large flat area fed by glacier waters. Between base camp and glacier camp are several more several rough camping spots leading to ridges.

CHERKHO

Cherko or Tsergo Ri (4984m) is situated like an island of enlightenment among a sea of ice and mountains. It is also the most strenuous and is better attempted after being at Kyangjin for a couple of days. There are several routes up. The quickest and most brutal is via Tarche Pesa and the west pur.An alternative route traverses from just below the first set of huts to the sacked kore of Digyabsa. There are several more choices including the kore of Yala.

KYIMOSHUNG

Climbing these twin peaks (Kyangjin, 4350m and Kyimoshung 4620m) is a must for even the shortest of visits to Kyngjin. The walls of the mountain are so steep that the snow avalanches off to form the glacier below rather than collecting up the sides of the bowl. To the south-east, Cherko squats just left of the savagely beautiful. Past the saddle to the east is a slightly higher point of 4670m; jagged ridge continues to get higher.

DRAG RI

This is an area worthy of exploration. Just beyond the first swath of scree entering from the right/north are some grassier slopes with a faint trail. Heading up, the grazing runs out but it is possible, though quite steep, to reach a rounded summit of spectacular views.

PANGSANG BHANJYANG

Pangsang Bhanjyang, 3856m, is the open pass marked by stone guardians and prayer flags. The new views include the Manaslu range and parts of Annapurna. To the north, the magnificent Ganesh Himal begins to come into view while to the immediate west complicated creased ridges descend to become the middle hills of the Ganesh range. To the south, ridge after blue-ridge of hills extends towards Kathmandu. From just south of the pass most of the route to the Singla (4000m), the highest point of the high ridge that runs east west of the north-south ridge, is visible. Singla provides a stunning sunset and sunrise panorama along with views of Machhapuchhre.

GONGUR BHANJYANG

Gongur Bhanjyang, 2950m, is the saddle pass often used by groups as a camping or lunch spot. East leads to the kharka previously visible while dropping west leads to many villages and the valley floor. The standard trekking route is the straight, flat option. There are also some interesting rock formations reminiscent of the faces photographed in the Honey-hunters of Nepal, a 1988 national Geographic article and book available in Kathmandu.

BHALCHHE/PHALJE

Bhalchhe, 2050m, extensive fields, remains at the distance of 3 to 4 hours from the saddle. This is a typical Tamang village complete with shit-lined trails, throngs of kids and woman who beg for cigarettes. Stoned stepping down trails reaches through an old stupa, various villages, Sattobhatti, 1380m, to Trishuli river.

TRISHULI

Although the closest road and bus is at Betrawati the slightly longer walk to Trishuwali is also rewarding. The river, which is not far away from Kathmandu, is famous for rafting. Among various communities in the area, Tamang dwellings by the sides of the river always stand for unique and tremendous heritage of the typical culture.

For enquiries on Trekking in Langtang send us an email at enquiry@explorehimalaya.com

Trekking Points in the Annapurna Region

Posted Sep 12th, 2008 under Tourism News, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

Pokhara, a valley of natural beauty is beautifully located on the shadow of Annapurna Himalaya ranges. In no other place do mountains rise so quickly. In this area, within 30 km, the elevation rises from 1000 m to over 7500 m. The Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu ranges, each with peaks over 8000 m, can be seen from the valley.

Annapurna Treks including Base Camp and Circuit trekking are very popular in Nepal. Seventy per cent of the visitors who come to Nepal travel to the Annapurna areas near by beautiful Pokhara. The Annapurna treks will be even more interesting in spring as the whole forest along the trail turns red, pink and white with rhododendron flowers. This wonder trip can be done anytime of the year except during the monsoons [July thru August].

The trail takes the visitors through fascinating traditional villages of Nepal’s ethnic communities of the Gurung, Magar, and Thakali who will greet you very warmly if one cares to stop for a conversation. The hike continues through dense rhododendron forest with towering snowy peaks in the background.

The return walk is even more fascinating as the trek winds around different ridges towards Ghorepani, where you behold breathtaking views of an early morning sunrise where a red halo seeps through glistening gaps over the snow capped peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains. The sceneries observed throughout the trek embellish the Himalayan landscape where mind’s eye defines the natural splendor as an experience that can be never elapsed.

BIRETHANTI
Birethanti (1050m) is the root for starting trek in the region. Being very close to Pokhara, there is ACAP office at Birethanti from where entry permit is issued. It is a place pleasant enough to stay by the side of beautiful big streams. This route leads to both Ghorepani to Jomsom and Ghandruk to Chomrong and Annapurna Sanctuary.

GHOREPANI
Ghorepani (2750m), the famous down pilgrimage, is widely popular to watch the sunrise across a spectacular Himalayan panorama from the summit of Poon Hill (3193m). Poon Hill is situated 450 m above this village. Tens of thousands trekkers pass through Ghorepani to view sun rise from Poon Hill with breathtaking views stretching to Dhaulagiri (8167m) and Annapurna ranges. Poon is a Magar family and the hill was named after them. It is a junction for Ghandruk and Chomrong, and for Jomsom and Muktinath.

GHANDRUK
Ghandruk (1939m), the picturesque town of slate-roofed Gurung people who are traditionally Buddhist is the headquarters of Annupurna Conservation Area. It gently goes uphill through cultural Gurung hamlets which take you to the foot [Base Camp, 4130m] of Mt. Annapurna, one of the most magnificent peaks in the world.  Ghandruk is a kind of Thamel in Kathmandu. There are many hotels and lodges in a traditional way. [There is now an alternative route of journey that begins from Pokhara heading towards Phedi on about 45 minutes drive through Pokhara-Baglung Highway. It gently goes uphill through cultural Gurung villages to a plateau of Ghandruk.]

JOMSOM
Jomsom (2710m), capital of Mustang district and there is Nepal Army School of High Altitude Mountain Warfare. It has a small landing and take-off airport. The Mustang Eco Museum, impressive collection of various themes, is well worth a visit. Amchi, a traditional herbal medicine doctor uses the extensive herb garden planted around the museum. The trekking route from Ghorepani to Jomsom passes gracefully through very popular points such as Tatopani (hot water), Lete & Kalopani (black water), Dhaulagiri Ice-Fall, Tukuche, and Marpha. There are very good hotels and resorts available and many more services needed for tourists.

MUKTINATH
Following Kagbeni, Jharkot and Ranipauwa from Jomsom., Muktinath (3800m), Hindu pilgrimage with walled temple complex of Muktinath (liberating/salvation God), is shrine for both Hindus and Buddhists for centuries. It is the second most holy place in Nepal after Pashupatinath. Beneath the alter in Jwala Mai temple, a nun lifts the grubby curtain to reveal, deep within the cavity, a thin blue flame of natural gas burning from a hole that also emits a trickle of water. Vishnu Temple with its courtyard of 108 brass water spouts stands in the centre of the complex. It is believed that bathing under the freezing water of 108 spouts brings salvation to Hindu. Marme Lhakang, Buddhist temple with the sacred grove of poplars which is said to have sprouted from the walking sticks left by the 84 great magicians on their way to Tibet, is just beyond Vishnu Temple. Gompa Sarwa, another Buddhist shrine also known as Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava was a Buddhist saint who passed in the 8th century leaving his foot prints in a stone outside the temple closure, is very famous.

CHOMRONG
Chomrong (2170m) is the right place from where we can see Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Peak) as its exact name. The peaks that surround Annapurna Sanctuary look very impressive from Chomrong, an excellent place for relaxing and enjoying the scenery.

ANNAPURNA SANCTUARY
Annapurna Sanctuary lies as a natural amphitheater at the location from the top of the trail that begins in Chomrong and follows the Modikhola. This valley is as magical as its name with 10 peaks of 6000-8000m rising from it. Annapurna Base Camp/Chelo Gya (4130m), Machhapuchhre Base Camp/Khili Dung (3700m) and Tharpu Chuli (Tent Peak) Base Camp, are lying magnificently at this area. Three Annapurna peaks, Hiun Chuli and Gangapurna add grace to this area.

HONGDE AIRPORT
Hongde Airport is located at Chame (2670m), district headquarters of Manang district with a large white gate with a corrugated iron roof as an entrance. It has all the trappings of an administrative centre including various services and facilities.

PHEDI
Thurung Phedi (4450m) is a place to stay if you are suffering from the high altitude. This route comes from Manang and leads to Muktinath. The foot of the Thurung literally means one very large lodge and a smaller one below.

MANANG
Manang (3540m) is a valley from where the views of the Annapurna, Gangapurna and the glacial lake (Tilicho) below it are spectacular. Lamjung, Annapurna II, Annapurna IV, the false peak of Annapurna III and the Gangapurna above the glacier are the peaks from left to right. Some 200 or so flat-roofed houses are tightly packed together with prayer flags on long poles. Manang Gompa is in the centre of Town.

TILICHO LAKE
Tilicho lake (4,949 m) is one of the highest lakes in the world. Mountain lakes are known to geographers as “tarns” if they are caused by glacial activity. Tarns are found mostly in the upper reaches of the Himalaya, above 5,500 meters. Due to the extremely mountainous surrounding terrain and the difficulties associated with reaching the area, this lake is rarely visited by outsiders.

THORUNG LA
Thurung La (5416m), one of the world’s highest passes, lies ahead of Manang. It is the place to take commemorative photograph of themselves. Two peaks – Yakwa Kang (6482m) and Khatung Kang (6488m) – rise up from the saddle of the pass. This is the pass to head towards Muktinath. Views of the mountains lining the Kaligandaki Valley and Dhaulagiri (8167m) are very panoramic.

BESHISAHAR
Besisahar (820m) is the capital of Lamjung district, known as the centre of ethnic cultures. It lies at the end of the road. This district is adjoined to historical Gorkha district which was the beginner of present Nepal. This trek route also reaches to Thurung La Pass.

NAR PHU VALLEY
A fantastic journey in a wild and unexplored area located north of Annapurna: the Nar Phu Valley, adjoined to Tibet. This trek is perfect for travelers who want to discover the Annapurna circuit as well as explore an untouched valley. A rough and wild trek, this trek takes you to the exotic Nar Phu valley that lies in the remote corner of the Annapurna region. Opened to visitors only in the year 2003, the Nar Phu valley remains untouched by modernity. The inhabitants, who roughly comprises of about 350 Nepalese Tibetans, have retained their age old practices. Most of them are engaged in yak herding and farming.

Dolpo Travel Guide

Posted Aug 10th, 2008 under Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

Dolpo located in western Nepal is considered to be one of the most remote places and known for its many isolated high Himalayan valleys. Deep in the Himalayan mountains, this hidden Trans- Himalayan region is quite peaceful. The landscape here is dry and arid, filled with ancient caves and nomadic lifestyle with big herds of yak, sheep and mountain goats. Even in the monsoon season, this region has blue sky and splendid mountain views as it lies in the rain shadow area. Surrounded by snowy peaks including that of Dhaulagiri (8167mt.), Kanjiroba (6883m) and Annapurnas, this region has one of the deepest lake in the world. Phoksundo lake, spread over an area of 200 sq.km, is surrounded by rocky cliffs and its turquoise fresh water, which is a complete wilderness setting. The region is sub divided into two parts ‘Upper Dolpo’ and ‘ Lower Dolpo’. Trekking to both the areas undoubtedly gives you a lifetime experience as this trek is very daring and challenging.

Photo Credit: Daniel Jenth

Climate, Flora & Fauna
Temperate to Alpine vegetation are found changing with elevation in this region. Usually the weather remains fine during spring season (March-May) although high passes still remains covered with winter snow. This region lies in rain shadow with desert-like barren tundra, barely getting 250 mm of annual rainfall. Monsoon rainfalls from June till September and the weather usually remain clear as it receive much less rain being generally high, dry, windy and cold even in summer. The dolpo area in particular, has rich variety of flora as it is filled with ground orchids, edelweiss, corydalis, campanulas, anemones, forget-me-nots, impatiens and roses. At the higher part of the regions, larkspurs, geraniums, poppies, sedums and saxifrages proliferate are found.Common vegetation in this region is primarily from the legume family, such as the spiny caragana and astragalus, and lonicera from the honeysuckle family.The region is the habitat of Himalayan black bear, Blue sheep, Himalayan tahr, spotted leopards, Jackal, wolves, exclusive snow leopard, rare cats and huge birds’ Himalayan griffon and other migratory birds. Yaks, horses, mountain goats, zos and asses are commonly found.

Kanjiroba Massif
Situated in the remote Dolpo region, west of Nepal, Kanjiroba massif is another major attraction of the region to the visitor. The Kanjiroba Himal provides you a panoramic backdrop to complete your experience. It truly provides a lifetime experience to those who are longing for a challenging and adventurous trek in the remote Himalaya. It offers a spectacular view of neighboring peaks such asTripura Hiunchuli (Hanging Glacier Peak) – 6,553m ,Tso Karpo – 6,518m Palta Thumba (Milchberg) – 6,126m ,Kangmara -5960m,Kanjeralwa – 6612m,Kanjiroba (main) – 6883m.

People & Places
Dolpo consists of an ethnic group called Bhotias with Tibetan origins, who are either adherents of Buddhist or the Bon religion (a Shamanistic religion that pre-dates Buddhism). The Dolpo-pa (people of Dolpo) are unique in their cultural and social tradition. The people living around the region are Bhotia and they have close ties with the people of Tibet. They are gradually becoming Hindus and Buddhist, adding Chhetri, Gurung, Sherpa etc surnames to their Tibetan names. They speak kaike language which is believed to exist only in Dolpo, as the Dolpo-pa are from Tibetan origins they speak Tibetan language too. Normally, people are farmers, traders and shepherds, often all in one because this is the only way to survive. Agriculture on a large scale is impossible because fertile land is scarce and most of them are depended on animal husbandry and trade. ‘Losar’ a Tibetan new year is their main festival which is celebrated on 18th of February and lasts till 14th to 16th of February. Another ceremony they generally celebrate is ‘Yul-lha’ ceremony which is a ritual to appease Gods.

Nepalgunj
It is situated in the western region, which is famous for the adventurous treks to Dolpo, Jumla and Mount Kailash. Nepalgunj is a district headquarters of Banke District in the Bheri region of Mid Western Nepal. It is the industrial and transport hub for western, mid-western and far-western regions of Nepal. Nepalgunj has a diverse culture as there are many ethnic groups living around. The region consists of highest percentage of Muslim religion.

Jumla
Located in west Nepal, Jumla is the zonal headquarter of the Karnali zone. Compared with other areas, the development process in the region is slow and tourism is yet to pick up. This zone is regarded as one of the world’s highest rice growing area. The people in the region are Thakuris, a Chhetri sect that has the highest social, political and religious standing. The origin of Nepali language is Sinja of Jumla. Therefore, the Nepali dialect “Khas Bhasa” is still spoken among the people in this region.

Shey-Phoksundo Lake
Shey-Phoksundo Lake is one of Nepal’s most spectacular and second largest lake. This lake is considered sacrosanct by the locals of Dolpo. The lake is 4.8km long, 1.8km wide and said to be 650m deep. It spreads in an area of 3627m. Ringed by snow-capped mountains and fresh turquoise water, this lake is purely a jewel of Dolpo. There is no aquatic life in the lake, which makes the water brilliantly clear. View of this lake truly gives you a satisfying lifetime experience.

Shey-Phoksundo National Park
The largest National Park of Nepal ‘Shey-Phoksundo’ is situated in Dolpo district, near Phoksundo lake which spreads in an area of 3555Sq Km. It was established in the year 1984 with an objective to preserve the unique Himalayan ecosystem with its typical Tibetan type of flora and fauna, and to protect endangered species such as the snow leopard and musk deer. Much of the park lies north of the Great Himalayan Range, locally represented by Kanjiroba Himal, at the southern edge of the trans-Himalayan region of the Tibetan Plateau. The park has 20 mammals, 176 species of birds, a total of 28 species of butterflies and various varieties one of wild flower.

Crystal Mountain ‘
Crystal Mountain’, one of the sacred mountains and the major attraction of Dolpo lies beyond the Tso Kava Le lake which is several days’ walk north of this lake. This mountain is known as She-Re Drugda translated to Crystal Mountain. Locally, it is known as “Shey”. According to the local people, there is a legend of this mountain which gives the origin of being sacredness. There are lots of marvelous sites around this sacred mountain as there are pilgrims at each place, ‘Dorjee cave’ where Senge Yeshi retreated for nine years and gained the highest attainment of enlightenment. ‘Chod Ten’ stupa where ‘Chod’ means ‘to offer’ and ‘Ten’ means an ‘offer to depend on’ is one of the most precious objects in the Gomoche Monastery which is located around the sacred crystal mountain, yet there are lots of interesting places to visit.

Photo Credit: Daniel Jenth

The Major Treks

Upper Dolpo
It offers an exploration to the Western Himalayan terrain, the people, their culture and their rugged yet beautiful surroundings. Trekking in this remote region is certainly challenging with high mountain passes and difficult terrain which leaves a fruitful experience worth taking the adventure.
Link

Dolpo to Jomsom (Lower Dolpo)
This trek truly provides an opportunity to experience the life in the remote highland. Lying in the western Himalayan region, battered by the high winds, arid and dry landscape, unbearable cold in the winter months and almost cut off from the development of the outside world, this region is a living example of a tough struggle against the harsh force of nature. The trail passes through some high mountain passes and scarcely spread local villages, with beautiful mountains towering above in the background.
Link

Lower Dolpo (Dolpo-Tarap- Shey-Phoksundo)
Lying north to the Himalayan mountain range is a high altitude arid land known as Dolpo to the rest of the world. Battered by the high speed gale of the mountains this arid land is true Himalayan wilderness. Blessed by the unprecedented natural beauty this region provides an opportunity to witness the nomadic lifestyle of the few men who dared to live in this harsh land.

Caravan Trek to Dolpo
This trek offers you to experience the whole surrounding of dolpo region. Those who are seeking for a challenging and adventurous trek in a remote area are highly recommended to visit this part of the country. The trek starts from Juphal and ends in Juphal. The trial passes through ethnic Thakuri villages in a high and remote alpine area, where you will witness and experience the lifestyle of people who are battling against the harsh force of nature. The route goes through high passes like Numala and Bagala and very remote area of the country, and finally ends to gorgeous Shey Phoksundo Lake (3627m). Eventually, we head back to Juphal.

Best time to visit
The appropriate time to visit this region is between March-May and June-September.

Photo Gallery
Dolpo Photo Gallery

In and Around Jomsom

Posted Mar 5th, 2008 under Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

IN AND AROUND JOMSOM
Jomsom is a small town in the upper Kaligandaki valley in Nepal, at an altitude of 2770 m.Jomsom is the capital of the Mustang district and lies on the Annapurna Circuit .An excursion around Jomsom, on the bank of Kali Gandaki River, dominated by the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks gives a truly rewarding experience. It is the only area offering green landscapes, high mountains, turquoise lake, holy temples, monasteries and roaring rivers. From here one can enjoy the views of the Nilgiri peaks as well as Dhaulagiri, the sixth highest mountain in the world. The views are enchanting as the Nilgiri (7,061 m) and Dhaulagiri (8,167m) ranges reflect the golden rays of the rising and setting sun. The entire panorama is filled with a golden, glittering light, which forms a dramatic contrast.Being the district headquarters, it is primarily an administrative and commercial center with government officials and merchants rubbing shoulders with the local inhabitants of the region, known as Thakalis. A training unit of Alpine troops of the Nepalese army is also stationed there.Many visitors find their most lasting impression of Nepal from visits to places like Jomsom and its exhilarating spiritual environment. Jomsom area is not only the most popular trekking destination in Nepal but also the gateway to Upper Mustang – “Kingdom” within the Hindu Kingdom of Nepal. Jomsom is also the gateway to The Muktinath shrine that holds great religious significance to both Buddhists and Hindus. Muktinath is the most popular site in Jomsom. Visiting this sacred site, one will be able to get a complete picture of Buddhist and Hindu religious, culture, tradition and custom of local people.

Mustang:
Mustang region is also known as the Forbidden Kingdom. Mustang has a long, rich and complex history that makes it one of the most interesting parts of Nepal. It lies in western Nepal and, is officially the name of the district. It is located along the banks of the Kali Gandaki River. It is divided into two parts namely, Lower Mustang and Upper Mustang.

Lower Mustang:
Jomsom, the dazzling place, is in the lower Mustang and the major part is the upper Mustang River. Lower Mustang covers the part of lower valley along the Kali Gandaki River. Jomsom is the gateway to Upper Mustang and is also the gateway to The Muktinath shrine. Traveling to Jomsom will take you down to the memory lane of ancient kingdom of Mustang.

Upper Mustang:
It is an ancient Himalayan Kingdom behind the mountains. Upper Mustang consists of two distinct regions the southern region with five villages inhabited by people related to the Manangis and the northern region (the ancient kingdom of Lo) where the language culture and traditions are almost purely .The house and temple are constructed of stone and mostly mud bricks that are sun baked in all over the region.
The region is geographically and culturally part of Tibet and has a long rich and complex history, thus offering the natural, beautiful desert landscape, monasteries and crumbling castles,  the villages with multi -storied houses,  Lho-Monthang, the walled capital of this kingdom and life styles unaffected by the outside modern world.

Muktinath:
Muktinath, a sacred place both for Hindu as well as Buddhist, is located at an altitude of 3,710 meters at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass (part of the Himalayas), Mustang district. The Hindus call the place Mukti Kshetra, which literally means the “place of salvation”, while Buddhists call it Valley Chumming Gyatsa (in Tibetan language it means the place of 108 waterspouts).In Muktinath there is a rock fissure, from which water and natural gas is pouring. The gas burns in a very tiny flame, but there is natural combination of all four elements: earth, water, air and fire at one spot. Because of this, pilgrims are coming over 3000years to this holy place. .
The Muktinath temple is situated on a high mountain range. It is one of the most ancient Hindu Temple of God Vishnu.The 108 spouts, fashioned in the shape of cows’ heads, pour forth water that is considered to be holy. This water is channeled from a stream running above the temple. The temple is built in Tibetan style and contains huge brass idols of Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma and Kali.
During the festival of Janai Purnima, Hindu devotees gather here to pay homage to lord Muktinath. The visitors get lodging facilities at Dharmasala and Maharani Pouwa. There are two temples of note, a dilapidated temple with the idols of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati, and a Narsingh temple where rituals are performed according to both Hindu and Buddhist customs There is also a Buddhist gompa (monastery), and a pagoda-type temple dedicated to Jwala Mai (goddess of fire) is situated about hundred meters south of Muktinath.

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