Lo Manthang (3,800m) is isolated Tibetan settlement was founded in 1380 and Capital ancient city of Upper Mustang. It is 90 kilometer from Jomsom. City was one of the kingdoms when Nepal was in monarchy system. The village is covered by wall so that Lo Manthang is also called walled city of Upper Mustang. Area is inhabited by an estimated 900 Lhobas peoples. Further to Korala is about 20 kilometer which is Tibetan boarder. Local peoples are still trading goods via this route from Tibet. Formally this immigration is not yet open.
Lo Manthang culturally rich as Tibetan origin. Area is mostly hold by ethnic group Lhobas, which cultures are similar as Tibetan. About twelve caves discovered near Lo Manthang village which are ancient Buddhist paintings and set in sheer cliffs at 14,000 feet. Silver and gold painting contain in Tibetan script shows dates of 13th century. Most of the paintings are in Newari influence. Decorative caves are rich in art and painting depicting various forms of Buddha. Many Buddhist Stupas found inside the caves.
Wheat and barley field, mud brick local houses and desert land in Upper Mustang
Tourists reach Lo Manthang and Upper Mustang area to explore ancient Buddhist cultures, thousand years old monasteries, cultures, peoples and beautiful scenery. Area is beautiful as high altitude desert with pocket of green. All the local houses are built out of mud brick. Area of Upper Mustang and Lo Manthan is restricted. Special permit from department of immigration of Nepal have to obtain for foreigners other than Nepali. Cost of the permit is minimum USD 500 per person, that valid for 10 days. USD 50 per day per person addition cost if stay more than 10 days inside the area. Tourist cannot issue permit of this area as individually, only registered trekking company are allow issuing restricted area permit of Upper Mustang.
Plateau landscape and ruins valley, Lo Manthang village of Upper Mustang
How to get Lo Manthang
Get Lo Manthang by trekking: it is 17 days standard itinerary including arrival and departure days, trekking, stay in Kathmandu for preparation and Pokhara. The real trekking days are 11 and it starts from Jomsom after flying from Pokhara. Explore on the way ad stay extra days in Lo Manthang for exploring more. It also ends at Jomsom and fly back to Pokhara. Find more details about it.
Lo Manthang by 4wheel Jeep: Upper Mustang is connected now with road from Beni via Jomsom and Kagbeni. Entirely build road is rough and it is up to Nepal Tibet boarder, further 20 kilometer from Lo Manthang. It is totally about 450 kilometer to reach Lo Manthang from Kathmandu. This can be easy 13 days program that is including Kathmandu to Kathmandu and including your arrival departure days. Details here>
4wheel Jeep and road to Lo Manthang Upper Mustang