Lo Manthang: The Forbidden Kingdom

14, Sep 2020 | nepaltraveller.com

Now open to a limited number of visitors it captivates with its exceptional beauty and historical wonders



The capital of the former forbidden Kingdom of Lo, Lo Manthang is a settlement that was constructed in the 15th century at an elevation of 3800 meters.

It lies on the ancient trade route that runs along the Kali Gandaki River. The city has its nickname 'walled city'. It is believed that the city was founded by Ame Pal who oversaw the construction of the city wall and many of the still-standing structures.


It is also on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Nepal. The city is home to an ethnic tribe called Lhobas.

The settlement is surrounded by a six-meter high earthen wall with square towers or dzong on the corners. The main monuments found within the walls are the palace and monasteries of Tibetan culture from the 15th century and 18th century.

Lo Manthang is largely undiscovered and among the lesser-visited placed in Nepal and was a restricted area until 1992. Although it is now open to tourists, the city accepts only a limited number of visitors. The city can captivate and hypnotize visitors with its exceptional beauty and historical wonders.


There are several chortens and mane walls within the settlement. The Lobas, inhabitants of the Lo Manthang are closely related to the people of western and Central Tibet and observe many of the same ancient festivals, rituals, and ceremonies. The place offers some interesting sites like Gompas, the Royal Palace, narrow streets, and traditional houses beautifully set against the backdrop of mysterious mountains and caves.


The Chosar caves, Kali Gandaki gorge flowing through the caves, Sky caves, Choede Gompa, Tsarang Gompa, mani wall, earthy hues of mud sculptures in and around the city are some of the major attraction of Lo Manthang.

The unusual geological and historical town has many mysterious and undiscovered parts.



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