Mustang lying in the rain shadow of the Himalayas is perhaps the last enclave of pristine Tibetan culture. Forbidden & isolated from the rest of the World it was able to evolve its own distinctive culture and traditional which is so rich & unique. Lo-Mustang, the capital is walled city ruled by religious king. Untouched by modern civilization, life in Mustang goes on as it has for centuries in unhurried pace. A trek into the kingdom of Mustang is an unforgettable experience.
Mustang is the arid region at the end of the Kali Gandaki, beyond the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Lower Mustang is inhabited by people related to the Manangis whilst in northern Mustang (the ancient Kingdom of Lo), language and traditions are almost purely Tibetan. With a rich and complex history with written records dating back to the 8th century Lo, like Dolpo, was once a part of the western Tibetan region of Ngari and maintained its status as a separate principality until 1951.It is a land of barley fields and pasture and vast expanses of gray and yellow rolling hills eroded by the wind that howl across the area most afternoons. Sun baked bricks of pale mud are used for almost all construction, including the walls and palace of Manthang.
The region of Tibetan influence north of Kagbeni Village is generally referred to as Upper Mustang. The ancient Kingdom of Mustang – the capital Lo Manthan was attached to Tibet in the 14th century, Although it retained its identity as an autonomous dynasty throughout the centuries - is a walled city with their own present King – Jigme Prabal Bista and the people still remain predominantly Tibetan. Still somewhat restricted (special permits are required) the trek to Lo Manthan (3730 m) refers to the arid Tibet-like region at the northern end of Kali Gandaki. The trek to Lo Manthan is through an almost treeless barren landscape. Strong winds usually howl across the area in the afternoon, generally subsiding at night. Annexed by Nepal in 17 century, but untouched by the outside world or the Chinese Cultural revolution, 14th century monasteries still remain active to preserve this magnificent Trans-Himalayan kingdom, with their unrivalled Buddhist shrines with cliff hanging monasteries, thankas, mandalas and deities and cave dwelling people. In this wild lunar landscape of unreal color and beauty, ruggedly carved mountains reach up to deep blue skies, while icy peaks glimmer majestically to the south. Vast and barren ridges extend to the northern horizon making one feel like an insignificant dot on a timeless landscape.
A small Annapurna kingdom consisting of 3 cities, among which Lo Mantang, the capital city, 24 villages, 8 monasteries, with a population of 8,000 people. The name Mustang is a western corruption of Mastang. The kingdom is a vassal of both Nepal (who took over the suzerainty of Jumla in 1795) and Tibet. The ruler is Tibetan and is the Raja of Mustang (in Nepalese) or the Lo Gyelpo (King of Lo, in Tibetan). The Raja owns the 3 cities and the government is assured by 7 noble families, who are the only families to have the right to marry in the royal family.
The Kingdom of Mustang
consists only in 3 towns, among them Lo Mantang, the capital, and 24 smaller villages, in addition to 8 monasteries. The kingdom is also called Mastang and its sovereign is a subject of the king of Nepal (since 1795) and of Tibet. The sovereign is Tibetan and has the title of Raja in Nepalese and Lo Gyelpo (King of Lo) in Tibetan. The government is in the hands of seven noble families who are the only people with the right to marry into the royal house. In the beginning of the century the Raja was Jamian Pelbar, who died in 1905, and who was succeeded by Angun Tenzing Trandul. After the 1947 revolution this last abdicated and was succeeded by his son Angdu Nyingpo; after the premature death of this king in 1958 his father took back the throne but abdicated again in his other son Jigme Dorje randul, the 26th sovereign, still ruling