How to go to Mustang
Mustang the district beyond the mountains! Lying to the North of Annapurna region, Mustang lies in the Trans-Himalayan zone, near to the Tibetan border on the Northern side. The rugged terrains and mountains looming over the valleys below carved by the ferocious Kali-Gandaki River, Mustang is one of the most famous trekking destinations in Nepal. Not only is Mustang famous among the foreigners, but Mustang is also famous among the Hindu Pilgrims. Thousands of Hindu devotes from Nepal and India visit the Muktinath shrine every year, and the banks of Kaligandaki river in a famous place called Kagbeni. Kagbeni is also the gateway to Upper Mustang, once a forbidden Kingdom ‘the Kingdom of Lho’.
Lying to the western end of Manang district, Mustang is a major part of the world-renowned Annapurna circuit and very famous for Annapurna base camp trekking. The shorter version the circuit usually terminates in Jomsom, the headquarters of Mustang. Also known as the Windy City, as per its high-velocity winds.
How to get there (Mustang/Muktinath)?
Mustang, Muktinath reason is one of the very easily accessible trekking destination. You can reach the footsteps of Muktinath temples in a comfort of a four-wheeler or a little less comfort but enough adventure on your two-wheeler. Yet, you cannot take your own four-wheeler into Mustang, but you can take it up-to Beni, and from there you can take Jeeps or Bus to Muktinath. Beni is about 300 km from Kathmandu. Buses and Micro buses are available from Gongabu Bus Park which costs about 800 Rupees.
From Beni, you can take a local bus to Jomsom that leaves at specific time period, or you can take buses and jeep to Ghasa, from where you have to change the bus and then take another one to Jomsom. From Jomsom you have to change another bus. The tentative fares from Beni-Jomsom are listed below.
Beni to Ghasa- 390 Nrs
Ghasa to Jomsom- 410 Nrs
Jomsom to Muktinath – 300 Nrs
Jomsom is about 72 km from Beni and Muktinath is around 21 km from which make it a total of about 93 km of trip from Beni to Muktinath, which usually takes all day long because of the state of road and also the occupancy of bus seats.
But personally I prefer to walk from Lete to Muktinath, enjoying the view along the way. If Lete to Muktinath is far enough for some, then at least Jomsom- Muktinath trek offers some picturesque scenery as well. A walk from Lete offers amazing views and traditional Thakali settlements, beautiful villages along the way, the village of Marpha, the home of the famous Mustang Apple Brandy. And a nice spot to enjoy on the way back home would be ‘Tatopani’, a relaxing retreat on hotspring after tiring trip to Mustang.
The routes along the way have ample hotels, especially around Jomsom and Muktinath, there are plenty of good hotels.
How much does it cost?
The cost mostly depends on how one spends, but on a budget around 8000 should be enough for a trip and back.
Summerize Steps on Getting Mustang on Vehicles
1. Day 1 Kathmandu to Pokhara or Kathamndu to Beni [Our Recommendation is to stop at Beni rather than Pokhara so catch up the early local bus next morning]
2. Day 2: Pokhara to Jomsom or Beni to Jomsom
3. Day 3: Jomsom to Muktinath and Muktinath to Jomsom
4. Day 4 Jomsom to Pokhara or Jomsom to Beni [Our Recommendation is to stop at Pokhara so that you will get a chance to spend the evening at Pokhara]
5 Day 5: Pokhara to Kathmandu or Beni to Kathmandu.