It started in early November, month before 2017 came to an end. I was in home leave from my work. With my colleagues I planned to visit Mustang district. Usually when I plan for a trip it is not a short trip rather an adventurous and memorable journey that brings me closer to the nature and my Country. Nepal is a Country that stands out for the panoramic Mountains, rivers and gorges, flora and fauna, wildlife, culture and vistas that can be visited some time in a year as you turn on new pages of your life and move out from hustle and bustle of day to day hectic life.
This is how it began. Mustang district is kingdom bordered by Tibetan plateau and sheltered by one of the world’s tallest peaks Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Dhaulagiri. It lies in Dhaulagiri zone and it’s headquarter is Jomsom. We were altogether three of us. We boarded a flight to Pokhara. Once our aircraft landed at airport in Pokhara. We were taken to a hotel where we had an overnight stay and we spent time chatting about our next destination which we would travel the next day in the morning. The staffs and the hotel services were comforting. We were already feeling the changes about the surroundings, beautiful lake side views of Pokhara city. But before hitting the bed we were optimistic about rest of the journey. Next day after early breakfast we took a flight to Jomsom. The aircraft showed outside view of Annapurna1 and Dhaulagiri1. Once the airplane landed and we emerged outside temperature was cold. After a meal it was time to explore the wide barren Mustang valley and river beds. On the way we came across suspension bridges, we stopped once in a while along the passes and took our photos and videos in our mobile phones. We stopped at tea houses had tea and snacks. It is good if you carry your own granola bars. One of the reasons we want to visit Mustang was mountain bike riding besides the sightseeing and coming close to local people, culture and their lifestyle. We zipped up wind cheaters and rode back down the Mountains. It was more than what met the eyes as we crisscrossed along the roads and back to our suspension bridge. We continued to ride to charming Kagbeni village in the Upper Mustang located in the Valley of Kali Gandaki River, where we would spend some nights. We continued on our trail to Muktinath temple the next day. The ride was bumpy but Muktinath temple which is also considered a Shakti peetha for many religious Hindus, its journey was fulfilling and the goddess gave us the required strength to continue with the rest of our journey.
We also climbed the high pass and goat trails, rode on horse backs. Although the climb was initially challenging, the snowy landscapes made our adventure exciting. We were making snow balls and throwing to one another. Mt. Dhaulagiri was also a breathtaking view. The mysterious landscapes of Mustang including Lo-Manthang, Charang and Gami village is also a major trekking destination. We observed the Tiji festival dances celebrated to ward off evil spirits. Gradually, our Mustang valley journey came to an end. We left the Mustang valley and through Kagbeni we arrived at Jomsom. On the way, we tasted Mustang’s local food, juicy apples, dried apples and also few shots of Marpha Brandy made from local apples of Mustang. Finally, from Jomsom after spending some long but memorable period of our lives we flew to Pokhara. There we spend few time squandering and took a flight to Kathmandu. We departed to our homes from Tribhuvan International airport carrying loads of strenuous yet unbeatable experience of Mustang valley. Sometimes, we imagine getting into our dreams and exploring beyond our knowledge. The journey to Mustang Valley is one of them.
· Kaligandaki River makes the second deepest gorge of the Country.
· It is famous for adventure sports such as cycling, rock climbing, trekking and horse riding.
· Beautiful valleys and Himalayan ranges
· Snow fall mostly in winter season.
· It has one of the famous pilgrimage site Muktinath temple.
Best time to visit Mustang – summer season in month of May and period between October and November.
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