Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 July 2016 09:40 Written by Sandesh Thursday, 13 October 2011 07:16
Mustang means ‘fertile land’ in Tibetan language – ‘mun tan’. This place is situated in the north-central border of Nepal with China. It lies across the great himalayas of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna range, leaps to the altitude of 1372 to 8167 m from sea level. That is why Mustang is also called as “Himal pari ko desh” (country across the mountains). It is famous for the holy Muktinath temple, apple farms and its spectacular landscape surrounded by high snowy mountains from all directions.
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From Beni its 5 days’ trekking or 7 hours of drive to Jomsom, through a very thirilling motorway cut into the high hills along upstreams of Kaligandaki river. Direct flight from Pokhara to Jomsom is another easiest and fastest way to reach this place. Breathtaking sceneries, hundreds of waterfalls, suspension bridges are encountered throughout the journey which makes the journey more adventurous. Geologically very complex and typical high hills standing approximately in 90 degree angle block the light till noon, which makes the environs humid. Its like being in an open long tunnel without cover. Its quite amazing that reaching high up to 3800 m altitude at Jomsom from Beni, only 899 m altitude, takes such a short distance of only 75 km of roadway. Due to this reason of extreme inclination, dramatic changes in the terrain and varied gradients of landscape is felt in a short period of time. Sudden encounter with temperate forests full of coniferous woods followed by alpine zone might be the welcome gate to the high altitude region where the real Mustang starts.
On reaching Ghansa it feels like being in the real mountain along with typical mountain people. These people are distinctly different, when they speak and how they appear. Ghansa is a couple of hour drive away from Jomsom. Tukuche, Kalopani, Lete, Marpha are some of those famous places on the way to Jomsom. Spectacular mountain views, beautiful terrain, innumerable apple farms, high speeed windchills, shorter trees mostly shrubs, were all new experience to my eyes. Jomsom is popularly known as the wind valley, due to its powerful and high speed wind rushing everyday during afternoon. It is heard that wind is so strong that even stones are swept away. Fortunately, this extremity was not encountered.
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Kagbeni, on the other hand, beholds its luring landscape wherever you turn all around in 360 degree. Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri mountains lies to the south, which is a strange experience itself. Its interesting that when the sun rises, its from just behind the south-eastern Himalayas. On following the steep roadways through those reddish firm hills arrives on the top where the Muktinath temple is situated. The temple lies among the artificially planted dense surroundings of tall trees, including pipal trees. Otherwise, at this altitude occurence of such rich vegetations are not possible. Just head above are huge snowy mountains from where arise glaciers which is the source of great Kaligandaki river. Therefore, this icy and crystal clear water flowing after melting of snow, is believed to be pure and holy water. People were seen running and having shower in the freezing cold water flowing through 108 taps. Thousands of people visit this place specially during this autumn season, when the weather is most favourable. This journey has become one of the most adventurous and with full of excitement. Its completely an another world right across the Himalayas. Windy valley Jomsom, Awesome Kagbeni, Incredible Muktinath and Much more. Wow!! what a wonderful land!!
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