Trekking Club team expedition to a Hidden Himalaya Kingdom of Mustang (Lo Country)
Mustang Kingdom is a territorial autonomy of Nepal , but geographically it can me defines as Tibet. It lies in a mountain valley at a height of 4000 meters above sea level surrounded by Himalayan peaks. The Lo Country is a medieval-like land in the upper reaches of Kali-Gandaki river, with a very poor vegetation. Most of the people here are Buddhist by faith (“bon”) celebrating a really authentic festivals.
Up to 1992 the territory was barred to the visitors, but even nowadays it is not so easy to get there – a tourists flow is governmentally limited. A few years ago it was only Mustang’s king who signed an every tourist entry visa. There are no roads here and all the people and cargo transfers have to be done by foot and by mules.
The monasteries are still the only centers of life in Lo country, where all the mane actions take place: they are the schools as well as hospitals and meeting place.
Our expedition ended in May, 2007, and at that moment we were the only Kazak people visited Mustang. The pedestrian part of the journey from Jomosom village up to Mustang’s capital Lo Mantang took 17 days. But we were fully rewarded at the end by watching of an amazing exorcism festival that took place at a durbar square of Lo Mantang for 3 days.
The country is still keeping its secrets…and the main for us is an existence of a living caves cut in vertical rocks at a height of 1 km or more above the foot…Who made the, who lived there and why? This are the points to be cleared in the next expedition.