A Journey in Lower Mustang: Jomsom – Kagbeni – Muktinath

A Journey in Lower Mustang: Jomsom – Kagbeni – Muktinath

“Jomsomai bazaar maa 12 baje hawa sarara”, a famous song from the Pokahreli Band Nepathya, describes the main market place in Jomsom (2700m) – the district headquarters of Mustang. Jomsom indeed is a place to be in the mornings until noon. The street vendors are all out in the center of the city, selling their best products. Fruits and vegetables (among them the famous Mustangi apples), the classic Marpha (apple brandy), hand-made handicrafts and hundreds of other what-nots are carefully placed on the stalls, glittering on the gentle sun and fresh breeze, and waiting to be bought. Yak hearders are leading their furry animals through the main street and out of the town for food, their bells producing a melodious Himalayan symphony. As headquarters of the district and a fairly visited place, Jomsom has everything – an airport, a hospital, excellent hotels (both more luxurious and budget options), restaurants serving delicious food for all tastes and last but not least spectacular views of Mount Nilgiri, for which you have a feeling that it is just above the town. Jomsom is also a starting point for many trekking trails, among which the one to the ancient village of Kagbeni and Muktinath. Mustang is a fascinating area with a landscape very similar to the one of Tibet, one of a highaltitude desert. However, unlike in Tibet where travelers have to go through a lot of restrictions and travel only in tourist groups, individual travelers are welcomed in Mustang. Mustang has remained an autonomous kingdom even after the fall of the monarchy in Nepal, partly thanks to its seclusion from the rest of the...