To the gateway of Upper Mustang
After a long crossing of Thorong la pass it is time for another „descent“ phase of the ever-expanding town of Ranipauwa (3680 m asl) (121 trek km) under the temples in Muktinah to the beautiful Tibetan village of Kagbeni (2850 m asl) (131 km trek), which is the last one in Lower Mustang. You can continue farther north to the Upper Mustang only with a special permit. Although the road is very dusty due to the passing jeeps mainly with indian pilgrims and tourists that finished the trek around Annapurnas already in Muktinah, there are many interesting views of a completely different landscape than you could see before the pass in Manang.
Sangdachhe Himal (6403 m asl)
It is a good idea to get up early at the sunrise in Ranipauwa to ascent the first hill and enjoy the view of the mountain giants. On the other side of the valley of Kali Gandaki river rises interesting peak of Sangdachhe Himal (6403 m asl).
Dhaulagiri (8167 m asl)
The main attraction is a stunning peak of Dhaulagiri. It is on the opening slide of the photoreport also with another interesting mountain – Tukuche (6920 m asl).
The view of the newly built gompa in Muktinah and the surrounding hills.
Gompa in Ranipauwa
Even in Ranipauwa there is beautifully colored gompa.
Typical farm house in Mustang
Every free area is designed for drying crops or wood. This is also one of the main reasons why the houses have flat roofs in “Tibetan style".
View of Jharkot
There are a lot of interesting views during the descent lasting less than half an hour from Ranipauwa (fortunately outside the dusty jeep road that winds nearby) to a nice buddhist town of Jharkot.
Jharkot (3524 m asl)
Jharkot is quite large buddhist village situated on a rocky promontory above the valley. If you have time and are you interested in it, you can explore its large red gompa and a lot of interesting chortens.
Autumn forest in Mustang
Small woods in an otherwise totally barren landscape of Lower Mustang look almost like a miracle of nature.
Panorama of Jharkot
After the next twenty minute walk from the hill seems Jharkot, perched above the beautiful autumn colored oasis, already relatively far away.
Autumnal Lower Mustang
Landscape of Lower Mustang is picturesque – there are beautiful terraced fields everywhere where water is present.
Valley of Jhong Kholi
During the next descend there are long passages where the trekking path leads unfortunately along the dusty jeep road. In addition, the landscape is becoming more and more arid with decreasing height. You can see the end of Jhong valley from the outlook point. Deep down – at the confluence with Kali Gandaki is the destination of this stage – the town of Kagbeni.
Oasis before Kagbeni
The path still continues to decline and after ten minutes there is a crossroads, where the shortcut to Jomson omitting Kagbeni separates. Then you walk along the upland plain with view of Dhaulagiri and Tukuche. After 45 minutes you finally reach the beautiful view of the extensive oasis before Kagbeni. The old path shortens the long twists of the old jeep path and it offers quite interesting climbing in some places – especially with a backpack because the road notch made from the old path almost perpendicular wall.
Chorten above Kagbeni
The destination of this stage is approaching. There is not only a beautiful view of the village from the chorten above Kagbeni, but also of the path along which you have descended the last minutes. This photo characterizes the entire part accurately: a jeep, a cloud of dust and the old road cut off by the notch of the new road.
You can decide at chorten above Kagbeni whether descend a few further vertical meters down and explore this beautiful buddhist village or continue further to Jomsom. A lot of tourists, tired after previous busy crossing of Thorong La Pass, are already satisfied with this short only 2,5 hour lasting stage, accommodate in Kagbeni and make only short walks around the neighborhood, which are also worth it.
You can see on the other side of the village road leading further into the Upper Mustang (Mustang trek)
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Article: Jomsom trek
Jomsom trek leading through the valley of Kali Gandaki is basically a part of the trek Around Annapurnas walked from Tatopani to… continue reading
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