Upper Mustang Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour

$2337

Description

Tour Timeline

Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu

Day 2: Full day sightseeing at Bouddhanath stupa & Namobuddha

Day 3: Drive to Pokhara (5-6 Hours drive)

Day 4: Fly to Jomsom- Drive to Kagbeni(2900m) via Muktinath(3710m)

Day 5: Drive Kagbeni(2743m) to Tsarang (6-7 hours)

Day 6: Drive to Lo Manthang (2-3 hrs) – Explore Lo Manthang

Day 7: Explore Chossar & Tingar

Day 8: Drive to Chuksang(2980m) (6-7 hrs)

Day 9: Drive to Jomsom

Day 10: Fly to Pokhara –Drive/ Fly to Kathmandu

Day 11: Kathmandu – Visit Patan (Ashoka Stupa  & Accheswar Mahavihar[in Pulchowk], Golden Temple & Mahaboudha)

Day 12: Depart Kathmandu

Trip Dossier

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu

Transfer from airport to hotel. A representative from our office will be there to receive you at the Tribhuvan International Airport. At the hotel, you will be briefed on your itinerary. 

Day 2: Full day sightseeing at Bouddhanath stupa & Namobuddha  

After an early breakfast we visit Boudhanath Stupa, one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. A protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, Boudhanath Stupa is regarded as an important centre of Tibetan Buddhism outside Tibet. Buddhists believe that the remains of Kasyapa Buddha (Lord Buddha’s previous incarnation) were interred at the spot where the stupa is built.  Light butter lamps and visit the nearby Tibetan monastery. 

After lunch, we visit Namo Buddha, a hilltop Buddhist shrine located about 40km from the city. Legend has it that Lord Buddha in his previous birth saved a dying tigress and her cubs from starvation by offering to feed them with his own flesh. According to local legend his bones are enshrined in an old Buddhist stupa that lies at the top of the hill. We visit this stupa, circumambulate around it and light incense and butter lamps. Take pictures and enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. Visit a Tibetan monastery (Thrangu Tashe Yangste Monastery) located nearby. 

Day 3: Drive to Pokhara (5-6 Hours drive) 

After an early breakfast, we drive to Pokhara. It takes about 5-6 hours to reach Pokhara by road. At Pokhara we check into our hotel and call it a day.  Enjoy a leisurely evening stroll by the lakeside (Phewa Lake) if you are not too tired. 

Day 4: Fly to Jomsom- Drive to Kagbeni(2900m) via Muktinath(3710m) 

We wake up early and drive to Muktinath or Chummig Gyatse(Hundred Waters in Tibetan). Sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, this spot is one among the 24 important Tantric Sites. The site is believed to be the home to Dakinis or celestial sky dancers. While ‘Muktinath’ is Lord Vishnu for Hindus, for Buddhist the shrine is dedicated to Avalokiteswara- Boddhisattva of Compassion & Virtue. The idol of Buddhist deity Chenrezig is also placed inside the temple’s sanctum. Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche) meditated at this site on his way to Tibet. A statue, believed to be made by his own hands is enshrined at Marme Lakhang Gompa (near Muktinath Temple). We visit the Jwala Mai Temple (Temple of Fire Goddess) and witness the sacred flames burning continuously fueled by natural gas. Traditional caretakers of Muktinath shrine are the Chummig Gyatse Buddhist nuns, headed by the abbot known as Muktinath Lama.

After paying obeisance at all the shrines we continue driving to Kagbeni, the last village in Lower Mustang and the gateway to Upper Mustang. Kagbeni lies at the confluence of Kali Gandaki and Jhong Rivers and was once an important trading post for traders traveling on the old salt trade route.

Day 5: Drive Kagbeni (2743m) to Tsarang (6-7 hours)

We wake up early and visit the old 800 years old Sakya monastery and the King’s palace before presenting our documents at the local check-post to enter Upper Mustang. After official formalities we take the rough road to Upper Mustang. The ride is rough but filled with amazing vistas of arid windswept canyons, striated cliffs and red hills. Padmasambhava is believed to have slayed the demons here when the latter obstructed the building of Samye Monastery in Tibet. Locals believe that the hills in Mustang were dyed red by the demons’ blood.  

We pass through the longest mani wall in Nepal en route and explore Ghar Gompa(3940m), the oldest Gompa in Mustang dating back to the 8th century. The old monastery was built by Padmasambhava to quell demons that were stopping the building of Samye Monastery. We stay overnight at Tsarang, the second largest village in Upper Mustang. 

Day 6: Drive to Lo Manthang (2-3 hrs)– Explore Lo Manthang

From Tsarang, Lo Manthang lies a few hours’ drive away. After reaching Lo Manthang, the ancient capital of Mustang, we check into our hotel/lodge. After refreshments and a brief rest we explore the walled city. We visit some of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries.  Jampa Lakhang Gompa, built in 1387, is one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in existence. The monastery is decorated with 1500 mandalas and ornamental figures of Buddhist deities. Thubchen Gompa, dating back to the 15th century, was built by the third king of Lo. Dragar Thegchen Ling Gompa is a Sakya monastery built during King Ama Pal’s (the first king of Lo) reign. Choede Gompa has a Monastic School and a museum where old Buddhist artifacts and thousand-year old relics are exhibited. If the former King- Jigme Palbar Bista, is in residence you might be lucky enough to get invited for tea at his old palace that lies at the centre of the walled city. 

Day 7: Explore Chossar & Tingar

A day filled with delightful sights and insightful explorations. We explore the stark and beautiful Chossar & Tingar Valleys with their old fortresses, ancient cave dwellings and interesting gompas. We visit the Chosar Monastery, the Jhong Caves, Kangchuling Cave, Namgyal Monastery (the most active monastery in Lo Manthang) and the Summer Palace of the King of Mustang. Afterwards we return back to our hotel in Lo Manthang. 

Day 8: Drive to Chuksang(2980m) (6-7 hrs)

After an early breakfast we leave the old walled city and drive to Chuksang. We stop en route to explore the cave monastery of Chungsi Rangbyung. Padmasambhava is believed to have meditated at this cave. Inside the cave are stalagmites in the shape of chortens and murals of Buddha and Avalokiteswara, Buddha of Compassion. Lying at the base of a cliff, a visit to this cave involves an arduous ascent and descent. We stay overnight at Chuksang village.

Day 9: Drive to Jomsom

Passing old settlements and stray herds of sheep or cattle, we take the rough ride back to Jomsom .

Day 10: Fly to Pokhara –Drive/ Fly to Kathmandu

We take an early morning flight (17 mins) to Pokhara. After reaching Pokhara airport we catch a connecting flight to Kathmandu or return overland via Prithvi Highway. (Note: Flights may be canceled due to bad weather conditions. Overland transfers will be arranged in such instances.)

Day 11: Kathmandu – Visit Patan (Ashoka Stupa  & Accheswar Mahavihar[in Pulchowk], Golden Temple & Mahaboudha)

After breakfast we head to the medieval city of Patan, which was designed in the shape of Buddhist Dharma Chakra, the four Ashokan Stupa marking its four cardinal points. We circumambulate around the Ashoka Stupa(one of four stupas built by emperor Ashoka on his visit to Patan) in Pulchowk and climb up to Accheswar Mahavihar. Later we visit Hiranya Varna Mahavihar or Golden Temple and Mahaboudha – a 14th century Buddhist temple made of terracotta bricks engraved with images of Lord Buddha. Evening, enjoy a complimentary dinner at a traditional Nepali restaurant

Day 12: Depart Kathmandu

Our representative will drop you at the airport on time to catch your return flight. 

Cost Inclusion/Exclusion

Cost Inclusion

  • 4N Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis in BB plan at Kathmandu
  • 1N Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis in BB plan at Pokhara                 
  • 7N accommodation at a normal lodge/ home stay 
  • One English speaking guide 
  • 3 meals (Breakfast, Lunch & dinner)as specified in itinerary  
  • National park fees
  • TIMS
  • Special permit for Upper Mustang 
  • Airport pick up and drop 
  • All ground transfers as per itinerary (Tourist coach /Private Jeep)
  • Complementary farewell dinner 
  • Domestic Airfare PKR-JOM-PKR & PKR-KTM

Cost Exclusion

  • International Air Fare
  • Domestic Air Fare 
  • Daily Meals (Lunch & Dinner) during Kathmandu 
  • Tips to Guide & Driver
  • Bar Expense
  • Telephone, Laundry and Internet
  • Personnel Insurance
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • All other personal expenses
  • Nepal visa fee

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