Travelling to Mustang: An Adventure to Remember

Cut off from all the blessings and curses of modernity, my trip to Mustang was memorable in every way. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.

11, Jan 2023 |

Despite the fact that our mind wanders to many thoughts, adventure keeps us in the moment. With no future to care about and past to reflect on, it shouts, “Just Live in the Moment!”

Mustang is an excellent destination for trekkers as well as pilgrims. I wanted to behold the beauty of the mountains away from the hustle and bustle of life in Kathmandu. I decided to embark on a trip to Mustang, a corner of Nepal still cut off from much of modernity. For this very reason, it has preserved its natural beauty and traditional culture so well.

We reached Pokhara but we did not know where to stay in Pokhara. Since Nabraj Sir, my teacher, had been to Pokhara many times before, we looked around for the hotel where he had stayed the last time, but he forgot the name of the hotel. So, it was difficult for us to find it. Finally, we found a hotel and arranged to stay there. Pokhara is a town on the edge of Phewa Lake, which is the starting point for many Himalayan treks. Therefore, we went to Phewa Lake. I was afraid to go in the water, but after reaching Phewa Lake, I wanted to ride the boat. As I didn’t know how to swim, I was scared, but after putting on a life jacket, my fears were significantly reduced. I wanted to visit the Tal Barahi temple.

The cosy atmosphere was a perfect start to my journey. As I breathed in the crisp night air, I was excited with the anticipation of the days ahead. We woke up early in the morning and jumped on the jeep to start the journey. The journey via Pokhara to Mustang is full of awe and wonder. You witnessed nature at its finest with waterfalls and tiny streams tumbling down the green hills throughout the journey. If the weather is clear, you would see sublime views of snow-capped mountains too. Being stuck on a long road trip gave me a chance to see life in villages. After a full 7 hours of jeep travel on a narrow, bumpy road, we arrived at our first destination, Tatopani (Hot Spring). The pond itself was small, but attractive with natural hot water. 

After some time, we continued our trip from Tatopani to Muktinath along Kali Gandaki River. I enjoyed the clear weather with the panoramic view of the mountains. We headed towards Jomsom, Mustang.  The road is very scary. There is a small and scary road near the waterfall. I saw two buses filled with people coming from opposite sides of that small road. One bus went near the top of the landslide area. I thought that the bus would fall in front of my eyes. My heart went cold and I could not even look at it. Fortunately, the bus crossed safely.  I was amazed at the courage of the bus driver and wished that nothing would happen to anyone. We continued our journey and reached Rupse Falls mid-way. Passers by the Rupse Falls splashed the sparkling water that was falling from a height of 300 meters. The melodious sound of the waterfall made me forget all my stress for a while. Near the Rupse falls, we saw the roaring Kaligandaki flowing down the gorge, the sight of which added to the adventure of my trip.  On the way, we stopped the jeep and went to look for Shaligram in the riverbank of Kaligandaki. Seeing that river flowing with clean water, I could not sit without touching the water. So, I played with it for a long time. After that, we reached the ferry. We saw the view of a clean mountain. We stopped the car at that place, took many photos and resumed our journey. Mustang is quite a distance from Pokhara, but the road conditions are very scary. The roads could be blocked anytime due to landslides. They were always packed with buses of public transport. I salute drivers as well as passengers for their courage. 

After an unbelievable journey, we finally reached Jomsom and searched for a hotel for the night. Finally, we found a hotel. After reaching there, we freshened up.  After that, we went to search for Shaligrams, but we did not have any idea about where to find them. On the way, we met an old man. He was a local. He was ready to help us find Shaligrams. I was so excited to search for Shaligrams. That man showed me one black Shaligram. I requested him to sell it to us but he refused and told us that this Shaligram is for his daughter's friend. Moreover, he showed us the area to search for Shaligrams. He found one and gave it to me. He taught me how to search for them. After a few minutes, I found two Shaligrams. By that time, it was already late at night. When we returned, the man showed us the place where we could find many more Shaligrams and where we could buy them. He said that tomorrow morning he will go to Kathmandu but, before that, I could help him find Shaligrams. We saw his helpful nature, gave him some money, and returned to the hotel.

After enduring a freezing night, we went to the Muktinath Temple the next morning. It is a beautiful place situated at 3750 meters in the Annapurna range. It is known for attracting many pilgrims. Decorated with colourful flags, the temple offers panoramic views of the Himalayas. I was amazed to see the beauty of the flags fluttering in the wind. Sitting on a bench near the temple, I saw many men and women- old and young- bathing in the temple in up to 108 taps. I was surprised to see old men and women bathing happily in such cold water and I also wanted to take a bath too. But, I went there without any preparation so I could not take a bath. But people, who came with me, took a bath even though they were not prepared. I saw women faced many problems in bathing and changing clothes.  Upon closer inspection, I had a revelation. Why did only women suffer from this problem and not men? While walking around the temple grounds, I was awestruck by a large Holy Buddha statue on a platform overlooking the landscape. The image of the Buddha sitting firmly in the air instilled in me a deep sense of resilience to overcome whatever negativity that came to my mind. I saw that statue before the inauguration. I arrived on Thursday and, the next day, the president came there for its inauguration. 

On the way from Muktinath to Jomsom, we saw a big Shaligram. We went there and took some photos. I was amazed to see that. After that, we went to Kali Gandaki river bank to search for some more Shaligrams. One of my Indian friends bought lots of Shaligrams from the nearby river. We ate lunch and headed back into the jeep to visit the historical village of Marpha. Marpha is surrounded by mountains. It has many beautiful, broad-roofed houses. The exterior of the houses had aesthetic appeal to them. The settlement is enclosed with dense apple orchards. The road within this village is clean and the roads are mostly laid with stone. After visiting the city on foot there, we enjoyed delicious fresh apple juice and took in the beauty of the town hidden in the Himalayan cliffs.

After visiting Mustang, we were heading back to Pokhara. When I saw one scooter with 2 people come back to us, my heart stopped. I was amazed by how he could control the scooter even in the rough roads in the dark of the night. We could not continue our journey at night. So, we stayed at Tatopani. Along with the rocky ride, my head hit the roof of the jeep many times and I got tired. It was a very pleasant feeling when my tired body fell onto a warm bed. Waking up at Tatopani (Hot Spring) on the last day of my trip, I felt refreshed and relaxed in the hot water of the spring. After some time, we continued our trip back to Pokhara. Arriving at Pokhara, we got a flight and returned back to Kathmandu. We resumed back to our busy, old life.

My time in Mustang was truly unforgettable. I was touched by the great sense of the small-village community. Their food, the weather, and the mountain views all made me want to stay there forever, and never come back again.

Photos and Text By: Naina Tamang

Also Read: 

8 Magnificent Things To Experience In Mustang

Mountain Biking To Lower Mustang Valley

The Scenes Of Muktinath: A Journey

Top 7 Adventurous Things To Do In Pokhara


join our newsLetter

powered by : nepal traveller digital publication pvt. ltd

developed by : Web House Nepal