The Mustang region has long mystified visitors with its remoteness and seemingly impossible landscapes that consist of desert-like areas, verdant forests and steep hills, all within the foot of towering peaks.
On the way to Jomsom
Jomsom is the gateway to the Muktinath region. It connects this once isolated region to Pokhara and beyond via air and road. A bus ride to Jomsom from Pokhara will take you through verdant forests and meandering roads which twist and cut through steep hills and arid plains.
With its cobbled street and stone houses, Jomsom has a quaint charm to it. The district headquarter of Mustang district, this town teems with activity during peak seasons. While there, do not forget to sample the local Thakali thali; this renowned platter is native to this region. Also made locally is apple whiskey. Made from apples grown at nearby Marpha, this fruity and fiery beverage will help you cut the cold.
For those who wish to trek to Muktinath, a 6-7 days itinerary can be followed which will take you, on foot, to places like Marpha, Ghansa and Kagbeni. The trek starts from Tatopani in Beni and will encompass sprawling villages and arid landscapes which evokes a sense of awe and desolation at once. Every year just before Dashain, relatives and kins gather to this village to pay homage to those who have passed away.
The village of Lete will be your first pitsop on the way to Muktinath if you wish to traverse the region on foot. This area is with covered with dense alpine forests and hillocks which adds character to the pillaring massifs which lie just beyond.
After the treacherous yet beautiful journey, whether by foot or vehicle, you will reach Muktinath. The temple lies on top of a hillock and sees pilgrims most time of the year. The temple is legendary in its religious significance, and finds place in sacred Hindu texts like the Vishnu Puran.