The Beauty of Marpha | Upper Mustang Trekking

  • Hemanta Budhathoki
  • Last Updated on Jul 22, 2024

Table of Contents

Marpha is one of the best places to visit in Nepal, where you will be astonished, rejoiced, and mesmerized by its beauty. You can also discover pieces of yourselves that may have been lost somewhere along the way. Marpha has deliberately worked to preserve its unique traditional heritage and architecture, unlike other villages in the Mustang district along the Annapurna Circuit.

Location and Meaning of MARPHA

The beautiful and picturesque Marpha village is located at an altitude of 2650m in the Kali Gandaki Valley of the lower Mustang region. The name Marpha itself is a wonder which consists of two words “mar” meaning hard-working, and “pha” meaning people, combined to form the word - Marpha. The village is not only known for its beauty of nature but also, its beautiful culture and heritage. The homes in Marpha are made from stone and their doors and windows are sketched by cherry wood panels and sharp red lines bordering rustic white stone. 

How to get the Beautiful MARPHA Village

You can reach Marpha either by domestic flight or by road. Marpha is on the way to the Upper Mustang and the ending point of Annapurna circuit trekking. You can take a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom which is only a 15 minutes flight, then walk to Marpha (another half an hour). Or, hop on one of the local buses or local jeep taxi that bound up the dusty and perilous road. If you’re doing Upper Mustang Tour or other treks along the famous Annapurna Circuit, you can visit Marpha and stay overnight. You can reach Marpha from Jomsom, and you can reward yourself with brandy and pie made from the famous Marpha apple after your long haul. If you are on a trek, you can reach Marpha from Beni in four days.

The Main Attraction of MARPHA Village 

The Beautiful Marpha Village
The beautiful village, Marpha, itself is an attraction to many tourists in Nepal. Marpha is beautifully portrayed by traditional flat mud roofed house with bundles of firewood neatly piled upon it. Some of the unique features of Marpha include traditionally wooden carved windows, long main spotless flagstones, beautiful prayer flags, and paved alleys. 

Horticulture Farm
A horticultural farm was established in the village in 1966 and introduced local families to the apple production. This is one of the reasons why the area is now well-known for its delicious apple farm throughout the nation. 

Narrow Streets of Marpha
Narrow streets of Marpha is one of the beauty and most walking trail in this village. Clean stoned walking street of this village clearly shows typical ness of the local Takali cultures. All the hotels, local shops and meeting station of local peoples are inside of this walking stress. This street is one of the photogenes place inside Annapurna region.    
Streets of Marpha village

Visit Local Distillery
Tourists can tour a local distillery to learn how brandy is made from apples. The local brandy is getting quite popular all over the country. You can also sample cider, or pick up some dried apples for the road with permission. 

Rhisum Gompa
Rhisum Gompa is a big, triangular-shaped white stone smeared red and white that sits on a slope of a hill about 50 m high to the north of the village. This place presents you with an excellent view of the entire Marpha village

Visit Ekai Kawaguchi’s Home
You can visit the museum anointed after Japanese Zen monk Ekai Kawaguchi. According to locals, Ekai Kawaguchi, a Japanese monk, stayed for three months in 1900 on his way to Tibet via Dolpo. It is said that Ekai Kawaguchi studied the sacred texts of kangyur and Tengyur in the chapel of this house during his stay here.

Samtelling Gompa/ Tashi Lakhang Gompa
The view of the Marpha village is stunning from Tashi Lakhang Gompa. The gompa was built over 200 years ago and it belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism. It also has a huge courtyard like other typical houses found in Marpha. The famous Mani Rimdu festival is celebrated in this courtyard in autumn. 

Mamti Cave
Mamti cave lies in the southern part of the Marpha village. It is a small cave inside which you can witness is a bronze statue of Padmasambhava with stone slates encrypted with Tibetan writings. You can visit Mamti cave anytime as it opens all the time. And the cave has steel steps to make your climb easier. 

Where to Stay in Marpha Village

You can find several lodges here. The lodges are perfect as you can find delicious food, an open dining room, and warm hospitality. You can find these lodges along the way, but reservations are recommended during the active season. Marpha is Thakali settlement and find best Thakali foods here.
one of the Hotel in Marpha with their typically made their doors and windows 

Best Time to Travel in Upper Mustang Trek 

Any time of the year is appropriate to visit the beautiful Marpha village. The autumn months of September to November and the spring months from March to May offer the best trekking situations. You can find that the temperatures are moderate and clear here. And the transparent views of the beautiful snow-capped mountains will mesmerize you. You can also celebrate and participate in the Tibetan new year of “losar” between February and March. The famous Mani Rimdu festival is also celebrated in autumn. During this time of the year, the place is vibrant and is excellent for the exploration of Marpha. You can select Upper Mustang Trek or tour and visit Marpha village along the way too.

Hemanta Budhathoki

Hemanta Budhathoki

Hemanta Budhathoki is team leader of Nepal Highland Trekking and travel company. 

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