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Nepal - Lower Mustang and Muktinath | Mid Life Adventures
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Nepal – Lower Mustang and Muktinath

Lower Mustang Valley, Nepal (10 Days / 9 Nights)

Nepal – Lower Mustang and Muktinath

from $2,850 (USD)

per person

Join Mid Life Adventures on Royal Enfield ‘Himalaya’ adventure bikes to spectacular Nepal where the ice – cold, mighty Himalayas meet the lush green tropical region of the Terai plains.

Staying in hotels and local guest houses, our 1600 km, 10 day tour departing Kathmandu, takes you through the rain shadow part of the wind-swept desert landscape of the Himalayas with views of implausible gorges, high passes and enormous vistas passing through authentic vibrant and colourful Tibetan villages, barren ridges, eroded cliffs and Moraine valleys. Its landscape is unrivalled for it has a stupendous wilderness, pristine scenery, snow-capped peaks, spectacular monasteries and caves.

Every Day, a Spectacular Picturesque Backdrop

Exploring the terrain of a land is best done on a motorcycle and Nepal is a country with innumerable types of terrain. Nepal is also where the ice – cold, mighty Himalayas meet the lush green tropical region of the Terai plains. For the past few years Nepal has become a popular destination for motorcyclist around the world as it offers views of the magnificent Himalayas, colourful and vibrant cultures, ancient temples and monasteries, jungle safari in search of the elusive tiger and more…

This ride is one of the ultimate rides in the rain shadow part of the wind-swept desert landscape of the Himalayas with views of implausible gorges, high passes and enormous vistas passing through authentic Tibetan villages, barren ridges, eroded cliffs and Moraine valleys.

Tour at a Glance

Period
September - December
Duration
10 Days / 9 Nights
Riding Days
8 Days
Accomodation
Hotels, Guest Houses (Lodges)
Motorbike
Royal Enfield Bullet / Royal Enfield Himalayas
Level of Difficulty
High
Fitness level
Tough
Average Daily Distance
160km (approx.)
Total Distance
1,600km (approx.)
Cost
from $2,850 (USD) Airfare not included
Cost
from $350 (USD) Single Room Supplement

Highlights

Ride to the remotest, hard-core routes of Nepal

Witness some of the worlds’ tallest mountains from your handlebars

Authentic cultural and nature experience

Enjoy and encounter the heart-warming population of the Himalayas

Licence

Yes, you need a Licence to go on this adventure. Also you need a valid License to obtain travel insurance.

What Your Tour Includes

All ground transfers to and from airport / hotel / airport in a private deluxe a/c vehicle accompanied by representative

Welcome and farewell dinners with transfer in a private deluxe a/c vehicle accompanied by representative

Motorcycle hire and fuel

Accommodation (twin sharing in comfort hotels/similar/lodges) neat and clean

All meals: breakfast and dinner in hotel, lunch in local restaurants on the road

Medical kit

Services of an experienced Road Captain on a bike and backup support of a trained Mechanic, inc. cost for their meals, accommodations and daily allowances

Support vehicles (if riders suffer from a sore @$$, they may jump into our backup jeep to relax!!)

Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Fee of USD $20.00 per person. (Subject to change without prior notice)

TIMS Card (Trekkers Information Management System Card of USD $10.00 per person. (Subject to change without prior notice)

All toll taxes for the bikes and the backup vehicle and also government taxes

Excluded

International flights

Any medical / travel / personal insurance coverage, evacuation and/or medical expenses

Insurance for or against accidents, loss of life, theft etc.

Personal riding gear

Personal medication

Nepal entry visa fee (Available on arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu)

Adventure Activities in Pokhara and other Jungle activates in Chitwan

Any tips for the guide, driver, staff and mechanic

Costs incurred or expenses arising due to natural calamities, strikes, breakdowns and any other unforeseen calamities beyond the control of Motorcycle Expeditions (P) Ltd and its associates.

Personal expenses such as bar bills, phone calls, laundry, extra mileage and any extra costs incurred due to natural calamities, flight delays etc.

Any items not mentioned in included section

10 Days / 9 Nights
18+ Age
  • Departure
    Kathmandu
  • Departure Time
    September - December
1

Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu (1370 m) / Welcome Dinner

Upon arrival met by representative at the airport and later board the waiting vehicle and drive to Hotel in a private deluxe a/c vehicle accompanied by the representative.

Kathmandu: The city stands at an elevation of Approximately 1,370 meters (4,500 ft) in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal. It is surrounded by four major mountains: Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun, and Chandragiri. Kathmandu Valley is part of three districts (Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur), has the highest population density in the country, and is home to about a twelfth of Nepal's population. Historically, the Kathmandu Valley and adjoining areas were known as Nepal Mandala. Upon arrival at the hotel guest will be welcomed with the welcome drink and the rooms will be assigned.

Rest of the day is free to relax and explore around the hotel.

18:00 Hrs: A short briefing about the ride will be carried out at the hotel lobby followed by questions and answers related to the ride. Later, board the waiting vehicle and proceed for a welcome dinner at typical Nepali Restaurant (Bhojan Griha.)

After dinner, board the waiting vehicle and drive to Hotel.

Overnight at Kathmandu.

2

Day 2 - Kathmandu to Chitwan (220m/200kms/5hrs)

07:00AM Breakfast 08:00AM met by the road captain and the rest of the team at the hotel lobby and ride to Sauraha, Chitwan.

We negotiate the traffic out of the Kathmandu city and ride out of the valley at the cross section of the ring road at Kalanki and then set out for check post at Nagdhunga, just past Thankot. From here, the road twists and turns as we negotiate the traffic and descend to Naubise, 26 kilometer marker (about 17 kilometers from Nagdhunga).

Upon arrival at Naubise we stop for a while at a local tea shop for tea. Continue ride Then the road becomes much larger and a much more smoother enjoyable ride on the highway to Kurintar, 103 kilometres from Kathmandu. Another two kilometres brings us to the Manokamana temple. We continue riding to Mugling, the junction where the highway bifurcates, South to Chitwan and West to Pokhara.

Head south towards Narayanghat for about 36kms to arrive at the bypass cross section. This section of the highway is currently undergoing construction so it‘s pretty dusty most of the stretch. From the bypass cross section take right and ride for 39kms to arrive at Danda. This is the entrance to the west end of the Chitwan National Park. Take left and ride through the Tharu villages and dirt track for another 9kms of interesting landscape. You will see the cultivated lands and the homes of the indigenous people of the area before arriving at Nana Holiday Homes. Rest of the day is free to relax or explore around the villages and the Narayani River flowing nearby.

Overnight at Chitwan west-end Day.

3

Day 3 – Chitwan to Pokhara (827m/180kms/4hrs)

After breakfast, start ride to Pokhara. Firstly we have to retrace the same road till the one horn rhino junction from where we will be joining the main highway know as East to West Highway. Upon arrival at the rhino chock take left and continue riding till we arrive to Narayangarh.

Upon arrival at Narayangarh we take right from the main junction and continue riding 45 kilometers till we arrive to Mugling.

Upon arrival at Mugling junction here the highway bifurcates, east to Kathmandu and West to Pokhara. Head west by crossing the bridge and follow the Marshyangdi river for a while and then slowly ascend through terraced agricultural lands and small road side villages. At the outskirts of Pokhara, we are greeted with views of the Annapurna Mountain range including the famous Fish Tail Mountain.

Pokhara stands at 884 m above sea level, about 700 m lower than Kathmandu Valley. In Kathmandu Valley the high temples are all around you, in Pokhara it is the mountains. Only foothills separate Pokhara form the full height of the Himalayas, and the magnificent 8000m. peaks of the Annapurna range. Pokhara is a vacation paradise with its crystal clear lakes and fantastic views of the Annapurna range including the Fish Tail Mountain. Upon arrival at Pokhara check in to the hotel and rest of the day is free to relax or explore around the lakeside bazaar.

Overnight at Pokhara.

4

Day 4 – Pokhara to Kalopani (2450m/130kms/5hrs)

After an early breakfast, leave Pokhara and ride towards Beni (approx. 70 Kilometres) on the Baglung Highway. This section of the ride provides fantastic mountain vistas, picturesque terraced farmlands and an opportunity to walk on one of Nepal‘s famous suspension bridges. At Mal Dhunga, leave the main highway by taking the right trail and follow a dusty gravelled path all the way to Beni, the district headquarters of Myagdi District in Dhaulagiri Zone. It is located on the confluence of Kali Ghandaki and Myagdi rivers at an altitude of 799 meters and is a bustling town lined with stores, restaurants, hotels and various government offices. From here, the road is unpaved and dusty with potholes in several places. Unpaved, gravelled rough road poses a real challenge for riders and makes it more difficult with the occasional river crossings. Ascend gradually through the Kali Gandiki gorge, the deepest gorge in the world.

There is a continuous change in the topography with every twist and turn until our arrival at Tatopani. Steeply ascend to Ghasa (6600 ft./ 2012m) and continue the ride on a dusty and one of the difficult section of the road towards Jomsom via the Thakali villages of Tukuche and Kalopani. En-route, there are fantastic views of the Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Tukuche (6920m), and Nilgiri (7061m).

As we pass between the Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna mountain range, a dramatic change in vegetation is witnessed from green forests, to dry arid desert. It takes gradual acclimatising with the surrounding. The Thakali‘s are the dominant tribe of the valley, related to the Gurung and Magars of the southern slopes. As soon as we pass Ghasa we will come to a place known as Dhaiku where we have to cross the bridge. After riding approximately for 10 kilometres via Lete we will come to our today‘s destination Kalapani. Kalapani is scaled to be at 2530 meters. One can enjoy a very beautiful view of Mt. Nilgiri and Mt. Tukuche Upon Arrival at Kalopani check in to the lodge and rest of the evening is free to relax and explore around the Kalapani village.

Overnight at Kalopani.

5

Day 5 – Kalopani to Muktinath via Jomsom (3710m/55kms/4hrs)

After an early breakfast, set out on the trail by following the Kali Gandaki River and passing the Thakali and Magar Villages to Marpha. On the way we will be passing through Kokhethanti village and Tukuche village to get to Marpha. Marpha is known to be the one of the oldest and most famous village.

Marpha situated at an elevation of 2670 meters. Marpha is famous for its apple orchards and apple products. This large Thakali village exhibits the typical ThakKhola architecture of flat roofs and narrow paved alleys and passageways. It also has a monastery.

After a short break at Marpha continue the ride towards Jomsom through the dusty gravelled ―off road passing smaller settlements and apple orchards. There are excellent views of Mt. Nilgiri and the Kali Gandaki River flows on the right-hand side of the trail.

Jomsom(2713 m) is more correctly known as Dzongsam or New Fort. It spreads over both the banks of the Kali Ghandaki. The towering peaks of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri form an attractive backdrop. Being the district headquarters, it is primarily an administrative and commercial center with government officials and merchants rubbing shoulders with the local inhabitants of the region, known as the Thakalis. Jomsom is the Administrative center of the Mustang region and the gateway to the Annapurna region. A land of mystique, the rugged peaks of the Annapurna, Nilgiri and Dhaulagari gaze down in their awesome splendour at weathered landscapes that contrast with the deep river ravines over noisy riverbeds. Jomsom is a mixture of hard work, social frivolity tempered by culture founded on deep religious traditions. It has the only airport that operates daily scheduled flights to Pokhara in the early mornings before the winds build up.

From here continue ride passing through the village, past the High Altitude Mountain Warfare School of the Royal Nepal Army and through several restaurants, bhattis and a hospital. We pass through the old Jomsom village which boasts of several lodges, restaurants school and government offices. At the end of the village the valley opens wide, take the left side of the trail just after crossing the three ruined chortenand continue on the east bank of the Kali Ghandaki River.

After about 20 minutes, arrive at Ekklaibhatti a small village with few lodges. There are two trail here. The left will lead to Kagbeni while the right one leads to Muktinath. We take the right trail and continue to ascend slowly to the settlement of Jharkot, which has a fort ―Kot‖. From here, another 15 minutes ride on the desert plateau brings us to Muktinath.

Upon arrival at Muktinath check in to the guest house Late PM: Visit Muktinath Temple.

The Muktinath Temple is a sacred place both for Hindus and Buddhists and is located at an altitude of 3,710 meters at the foot of the Thorong La (5416 m Pass), Mustang district, Nepal. The site is close to the village of Ranipauwa, which sometimes mistakenly is called Muktinath as well. The Hindus call this sacred place MuktiKshetra, which literally means ―Place of Salvation". This temple is considered to be the 105th among the available 108 DivyaDesam. The ancient name of this place, before the Buddhist origin was known as ThiruSaligramam.

In Muktinath-ChumigGyatsa all the elements are represented and for this and reasons unseen, yogis from both religions do their meditation at Muktinath. For Tibetan Buddhists, Muktinath (ChumigGyatsa) is a place of Dakinis (goddess known as Sky Dancers). It is of great importance for Buddhists asChumigGyatsa is one of the 24 Tantric places. There are many stories which tell of Vishnu turning into stone and all of them are closely connected to the holy Kali Ghandaki River.

According to contemporary geologists, the Salagrama – silas (found at the banks and river bed of the holy river Kali Ghandaki) are fossils of a prehistoric insect. This insect is mentioned in the BhavisyaPurana. Therein, Tulasi, the sacred plant so dear to Vishnu, cursed Vishnu to become a stone during one act of their eternal lila. Vishnu said, “To fulfill your curse, I will become a stone (Salagrama-sila) and will always live on the banks of the Ghandaki River. The millions of Vajrakita worms that live at that place will adorn those stones with the signs of my chakra by carving them with their sharp teeth”.

After the sightseeing tour of Muktinath Temple descend down to the Ranipauwa (Main Bazaar of Muktinath).

Rest of the day is free to relax or explore around the town.

Overnight at Muktinath.

6

Day 6 – Muktinath to Tatopani via Kagbeni (1200m/77kms/5hrs)

After leisurely breakfast ride down to Kagbeni (2,800m) which is the gateway to Upper Mustang. (Note: The Kaligandaki Valley becomes increasingly windy during the day as the winds blows south to north and makes it difficult for travellers. Kagbeni at an altitude of 2840m is a fascinating medieval village with closely packed mud brick houses, dark alleys and imposing chortens lies along the Around Annapurna Trekking route and is the gateway to Upper Mustang.

The village stands in a little green oasis dominated by its red monastery. Though the village has a very medieval look, it can provide all the modern amenities that a traveler requires. This is the only village after Jomsom where there is an internet facility for communication with the outside world. This village also boasts of a Monastery. The monks here are of the yellow hat or the GelukpaSect and have only recently opened their monastery to visitors with a legitimate entrance fee of Rs 100, which they collect for the maintenance of their school. After spending some time at Kagbeni continue ride to Jomsom (approx. 11 Km) but we continue further 25 kilometres, about 1 ½ hour slow ride to Kalopanivia Marpha Village. Here we stop for Lunch.

Marpha at an elevation of 2,670 meters.Marpha is famous for its apple orchards and apple products. This large Thakali village exhibits the typical ThakKhola architecture of flat roofs and narrow paved alleys and passageways. It also has a monastery. After lunch ride another 1 to 1 ½ hour to Kalopani. Upon arrival at Kalopani we continue our ride to Tatopani via Ghasa, Pairathaplo and Dana. From Ghasa most of the ride is downhill.

Tato‖ means 'hot' and ―Pani‖ means 'water', a name earned courtesy of the hot springs and is a popular place for trekker‘s to relax and dip their weary bodies in the natural hot springs. Upon arrival at Tatopani check in to the lodge and rest of the evening is free to relax and explore around the Tatopani village.

Overnight at Tatopani.

7

Day 7 – Tatopani to Pokhara via Beni (827m/115kms/4hrs)

After breakfast retrace the route till Pokhara.

Lunch at Beni / Nayapul. Upon arrival at Pokhara check in to the hotel and rest of the day is free to relax and explore around the lake Bazaar.

Overnight at Pokhara.

8

Day 8 – Pokhara to Nuwakot (1000m/195kms/5hrs)

After breakfast met by the road captain at the hotel lobby and later ride 196Kms to Nuwakot. This day‘s ride is mostly on the Pokhara/Kathmandu highway and we ride 90Kms to Mugling. From Mugling head north towards Kathmandu and arrive at Galchi (55Kms), a nondescript roadside village located at the cross section and the road on the left follows the Trishuli River into the Trishuli Bazaar. The route from here is a fine newly built pitched track. The red clay hillside makes a sharp contrast with the blue of the Trishuli River. There is an increase in traffic of motorcycle riders during holidays as many revilers are seen picnicking along the river banks.

The beauty of the area is not easily forgotten. The rolling hills, the Trishuli River, ethnic villages, suspension bridges all make it a very interesting ride. A little after Bahun Besi, the small village of Kosh kade is located on the other side of the suspension bridge which is

the venue for annual Bullfighting festival that takes place during Maghe Sakranti festival in January. In an about 45mins of scenic ride arrive at the suspension bridge and enter a busy and populated settlement of Devi Ghat. Then continue for another kilometer to meet up with the main road from Trishuli Bazaar. From here,the road is black topped and riding along a path lined with pine trees for another 10 kilometers brings us to the famous Trishuli Bazaar. The name, Nuwakot, is made up of two words 'nawa' and 'kort'. Nawa means nine in Nepali and 'kort' means sacred religious site at the top of hill. The district accordingly has 9 nine hills over which various deities are said to dwell thus overseeing and protecting Nuwakot. This has led Nuwakot often being called "City of nine hills". The place has carried a long history of the entire country Nepal.

Upon arrival at Nuwakot check in to the hotel Rest of the day is free to relax and explore around.

Overnight at Nuwakot.

9

Day 9 - Nuwakot to Kathmandu (1370m/72kms/3hrs)

AM: sightseeing tour of Nuwakot Durbar (Palance) and surrounding.

Well talking about Nuwakot Durbar (Palae). The palace is at the top of a hill, 7 kilometres away from the headquarters of Nuwakot district. The hills are full of huge jungle. Nuwakot Durbar is also known as ―Saat Talle Durbar‖ means seven storied palace. Nuwakot Durbar is one of the historic with ancient wood carving and sculptures that aged back to seventeenth century were fabulous piece of artefact. Beside Nuwakot durbarthere was Rani

Mahal where dancers used to dance for the kings. As the palace has been converted to museum, it is open for all to see that past life of the royals. Each floor of the palace has got its own distinctive character. Nuwakot district itself has got very unique and rare structure.

This district is moon shaped in the map of Nepal. The Trishuli River will make you feel calm and relaxed with its fresh air and melodious flow. The river also hides the most valuable metallic mineral, the river roars at night which can be heard from the very distance. It gives such a heavenly pleasure that anyone can have sound sleep and lost in the dreams of

mysterious Nuwakot District. After a quick breakfast, we head out towards Kathmandu. The route from here is on a dirt track. The red clay makes a sharp contrast with the blue of the Trishuli River. The road, at places, is full of pot holes caused by the big trucks and buses that ply this route and so

riding is a bit difficult. A dust mask is essential by the constant traffic. There is an increase in traffic of motorcycle riders during holidays as many revilers are seen picnicking along the river banks.

The beauty of the area is not easily forgotten. The rolling hills, the Trishuli River, ethnic villages, suspension bridges all make it a very interesting ride. A little after Bahun Besi, the small village of Kosh kade is located on the other side of the suspension bridge which is the venue for annual Bullfighting festival that takes place during Maghe Sakranti festival in January. After about 1 ½ hours of dirt track, the end of this stretch of road is a steep, uneven descent till the suspension bridge. Enter a busy and populated settlement of Devi Ghat and then set out for another kilometre to meet up with the main road from Trishuli Bazaar.

From here, the road is black topped and riding along a path lined with pine trees for another 10 kilometres brings us to the famous Trishuli Bazaar and a great place for a much deserved lunch break.

After lunch, the 72 kilometre ride to Kathmandu is an interesting one. Firstly, we retrace our ride for about 10 minutes through the hustle and bustle of the Trishuli Bazaar and then take the road to Kakani. Firstly, it is a steep winding descent but the scenery is fantastic. Deep forested areas, with clear flowing streams and waterfalls provide visitors of what Nepal is all about. The Langtang himal from ―TADI‖ in the far distance, is a beauty to behold.

The riders wind their way up the narrow forested mountain road enjoying the view of the mountains, the colourful landscape and the small roadside settlements where time seems to stand still. As one comes to the top of the ridge at Rani Pauwa, there are signs that points to the trout farms which have been a blessing in disguise for the economy of the region. The cool mountain air, the cold waters of fast flowing mountain streams has been ideal for trout farming and people all the way from Kathmandu come here on weekends to enjoy this delicacy. The farms here supply much of the requirements of the restaurants and hotels of the Kathmandu City. Deep friend trout with ―Piro Golbheda ko Achar‖ (hot and spicy tomato pickle) is just what the doctor recommends and is accompanied by a salad of fresh radish and carrots, another favourite from this region.

The route from Rani Pauwa slowly descends via Kakani to Balaju. The sunset over Mt. Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Dorji Lakpa etc. from Kakani is magnificent. En-route, there are steep bends and descents and so the riders need to be extra careful with the oncoming traffic from Kathmandu. The army check post below Nagarjung checks everyone for any illegal plants or animals. As one descends into the Kathmandu valley, the view of the Kathmandu City, a cluster of dense concrete jungle greets us and we mill into the traffic at Gongabu to slowly negotiate our way towards our hotel.

Upon arrival check in at your hotel.

PM: Farewell dinner at one of the local restaurant outside the hotel. (will suggest later)

Overnight at Kathmandu.

10

Day 10 – Final Departure (1370m)

After breakfast free time until flight time.

Later met by the representative and drive to the airport for departure flights.