Kathmandu Pokhara Lower Mustang Overland Tour

  • 8 Days
  • 3700m
Kathmandu Pokhara Lower Mustang Overland Tour

Kathmandu Pokhara Lower Mustang Overland Tour - 8 Days

Trip At Glance


8 days


3800 m(Muktinath)




Trekking, Tour


Hotel/Guest House



Best month

Feb-May/ Sept- Dec



Group Size

Min-2 Max -10

Overview And Highlights

Our Kathmandu - Pokhara - Lower Mustang 8 day Overland Tour from Kathmandu to the sacred site of Muktinath is a religious tour in Nepal. The tour visits the Muktinath (revered by Hindus and Buddhists) in the Annapurna region also introduces you to rural Nepal and explores the Kali Gandaki River system that cut the worlds deepest canyon between the 8000m Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges as the Himalayas rose. In summer dry air over the northern Tibetan plains rises, drawing in cooler air from India and Nepal. This causes the dusty wind that blows up the Kali Gandaki Valley from ~10:00 to 16:00 hours daily. Now, with the completion of the new road to Tibet, jeep tours have largely replaced trekking in the valley. [The road is part of a 435-kilometre corridor connecting Sunauli in India, through Nepal, to the Kora La border crossing into China, north of Lo Manthang.

From Kathmandu drive west through scenic Middle Hill forests and farmland, south of the high peaks, to the holiday playground of Pokhara on Phewa Lake. Explore the lake and city.

Drive to Beni in the lower Kali Gandaki Valley; then follow the river northwards through forests and terraced Hindu farmlands. Several towns were important trading posts when goods were portaged between India and Tibet. Some have interesting architecture. Ghasa marks the southern boundary of the Buddhist Thakali people. The vegetation gradually changes to Juniper trees and scrub alpine bushes and later largely barren high ground. Fields are then irrigated from snow-melt streams.

Kagbeni is the southern-most town of Mustang; for long an independent region of hardy people living in a magnificent yet barren region. They controlled the trade between Tibet and India and rely purely on irrigation systems fed by snow melt for water and crop irrigation. The town is well worth exploring.

A new tarred road leads up to high Muktinath (3800m): which is less windy. The flag bedecked site contains several Hindu and Buddhist temples. It is auspicious for a rare meeting of earth, fire and water. A constant flame of subterranean gas burns next to a small perpetual spring (now protected within a small temple). A trail climbs past the complex to Thorong La and Manang on the Annapurna circuit. Return on the same route.

Outline Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival: Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (1 300m/4 260ft). We will meet and transfer
you to your hotel.

Day 02: A Day in the City: Kathmandu Valley SightseeingORA Day at Leisure

Day 03: Kathmandu Pokhara (880m/2 900ft), 6-7 hrs drive

Day 04: Pokhara to Larjung (2550m/8 360ft), 6-7 hours with village and scenic stops along the way

Day 05: Larjung to Ranipauwa- Muktinath (3700m/12 100ft), 6-7 hours

Day 06: Ranipauwa Beni or Pokhara (

Day to Day Itinerary Expand/Collapse All

Day 1 : Arrival: Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (1 300m/4 260ft)

After completing passport, immigration and visa requirements, we will meet you outside the terminal building (look for your name board) and transfer you to your hotel: afternoon free.Evening: a welcome dinner, introduction to your guide and a briefing on the tour with a check on necessities. Overnight at hotel.

Food Dinner
Accomodation Hotel
Elevation 1300

Day 2 : A Day in the City: Kathmandu Valley SightseeingORA Day at Leisure

Take a day tour to five of the Kathmandu Valleys cultural world heritage sites: Swayambhunath, the famed ldquo;monkey templerdquo;; the cityrsquo;s historical Durbar Square with ancient temples, unique art, architecture, and the chance to see the Kumari (living goddess); Patanrsquo;s Durbar Square; the Hindu temple Pashupatinath and Bouddhanath, the worldrsquo;s largest stupa. A car and driver will take you to each site-entrance and wait for you. (Entry tickets and lunch are not included.)

Food Breakfast
Accomodation Hotel
Elevation 1300

Day 3 : Kathmandu Pokhara (880m/2 900ft), 6-7 hrs

After breakfast, drive to Pokhara along the PrithviRaimarg which offers fascinating glimpses of rural Nepals Middle Hill scenery and along major rivers such as the TrisuliNadi, which rises in Tibet north east of Kathmandu. The route passes through the lower Gorkha region (beneath Manaslu), south of the epicentre of the first of the 2015 earthquakes.
Transfer to your hotel. An afternoon City Tour includes: Devis waterfall and Shivas Cave. Enjoy an evening cruise on tranquil Lake Phewa before dinner. Overnight in Pokhara.

Food Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accomodation Hotel
Elevation 880

Day 4 : Pokhara to Larjung (2550m/8 360ft): 6-7 hours

(with lunch and scenic stops en-route)

Pokhara Nayapul (1070m)

After an early breakfast, drive northwest over hills through forest and farmland on a switchback route to Nayapul (starting point for several short Annapurna treks).

Nayapul Kushma Beni (830m)

Swing southwest down the Modi Khola (carrying glacial water from the Annapurna Sanctuary) to Kushma above its confluence with the Kali GandakiNadi. Enter the Kali Gandaki valley (for the rest of the trip) and drive to Beni, once an important trading station on the route to Tibet. It stands at the confluence of the Myagdi Khola (that drains the ice fields off Dhaulagiri I and V) and the Kali GandakiNadi.

The people in the lowlands are mainly Brahmins, Chhetris, Gurungs and Magars who share similar lifestyles but speak different languages - as well as Nepali. Most are Hindus but some, in more isolated villages, still worship the older local gods and practise Bouml;n and Tantric rights.

Beni Tatopani (1200m)

Drive north, up the Kali Gandakis west bank, to Tiplyang. The hills are lush with forest and terraced fields. Crops include rice (three crops a year), maize, wheat and greens for local use. Cross to the east bank and continue, past waterfalls, to re-cross the river at Ghar Khola (start of the forest trail to Poon Hill) and on to Tatopani(hot springs).

Tatopani Larjung (2550m/8 360ft)

From Tatopani northwards the forests begin to thin; the trees change to pines as far as Larjung. Drive to Dana, (former capital of the region), with impressive buildings some with carved balconies. Nearby, at a point below a line drawn from Dhaulagiri I (8167m) to Annapurna I (8 091m), the river altitude is ~2 500m: ~5600m below Annapurna I making this the deepest gorge on earth (followed by the Cotahuasi Canyon in Peru at 3 350m). A walkway takes you to a viewpoint above the narrowed channel.
At RukseChhahara there is an impressive waterfall with swimming holes above a well placed restaurant.Before reaching Kabre, the river channel is forced to narrow, forcing water to race, noisily, through a hard-rocky defile.

Ghasa marks the southern boundary of the Buddhist Thakali peoples Kabre Dadadistrict. Chortens mark the entrance to the village. From here northwards, rainfall decreases and the terrain becomes more arid. Beyond Ghasa, the river bends to the NW before curving to the NE and broadening to ~1km. A reduced gradient causes ribbon-flows of water to meander through the stony bed in low season.

If time permits, Kalopanihas a museum worth visiting.There is also a short (stretch your legs) hike to a viewpoint above the village that offersgreat views that include Annapurna I, the three Nilgiri peaks, Tukuche and Dhaulagiri I.

Larjung and its satellite villages are worth exploring. Ancient Buddhist retreat caves dot the cliffs, a nunnery overlooks the river and there is a Bouml;n monastery nearby. Apple orchards now appear. Overnight in Larjung.

Food Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accomodation Lodge
Elevation 2550

Day 5 : Larjung to Ranipauwa (3700m/12 100ft): 6-7 hours

Larjung Tukuche (2590m/8 500ft)

In these high regions the vegetation reduces to juniper trees and low shrubs that can survive the harsh dry winters - with Kobang roughly the upper limit. The sprawling river rises a mere 200m between Larjung and Kagbeni and crops are irrigated from side streams of snowmelt. Buckwheat, millet, barley, potatoes, tomatoes, turnips and greens are grown alongside sheltered fruit orchards.

Tukuche was once an important trading post on the route from India to Tibet with incoming salt, wool and turquoise being exchanged for grain, rice, cloth, cigarettes and European goods. [By the 1950s, the availability of Indian salt with iodine (that prevents goitres) plus the Chinese thrust into Tibet reduced trade.] The town has many fine buildings and boasts 200 year old family distillery producing apple, apricot and orange brandies.

Tukuche Marpha (2670m/8 757ft)

Between Tukuche and Marpha the valley narrows: east of the river, Chhairo is a Tibetan refugee village.

Marpha is a Thakali village, away from the road, with paved walkways, underground drainage and whitewashed houses with firewood stacked on flat roofs. The 200 year old Potala-style SamtenlingGompa rises above the village. Power is provided by a nearby 260KW hydroelectric plant. A horticultural research station was set up in the 1960s. New strains of apple, peach, plum, apricot and walnut varieties have been developed that thrive in the high, dry atmosphere of the region. Solar power produces dried fruits.

Marpha Jomsom (2720m/8 920ft)

Continue north to Jomsom, the drab, windy administrative centre of the region with an airport and large military base. The Eco Museum includes exhibits of herbal medicine; the ancient and
remarkable backbone of health care for Nepals high region scattered communities.

Jomsom Kagbeni (2810m/9 216ft)

The terrain now forces the road to cross to the east bank of the river for the drive to Kagbeni. To the west, the mountains rise steeply to Dolpo, a vast arid region in the rain shadow behind the Dhaulagiri range whose landscape continues into Tibet. It covers 15% of Nepals land area, is home to ~5000 people; and offers spectacular high altitude trekking even during the monsoon months. Pass Ekle Bhatti (one house village; now larger) before Kagbeni.

Kagbeni Ranipauwa (3700m/12 100ft)

Kagbeni is the southernmost town of Mustang whose arid landscape, like Dolpo, is essentially Tibetan. It lies at the confluence of the Kali Gandaki and Thorong Khola which irrigates its lush fields and orchards. [Thorong La is the high pass (5 416m) from Manang on the Annapurna trail.

Mustang became an independent kingdom around 1380 and its current Raja is a descendant of its founder. Fortress-like mud and stone villages shield the inhabitants from the daily wind and dust and are built where ancient water courses can be utilised to channel snowmelt to irrigate fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat, greens and fruit trees during the short growing season. The hardy Lopa people of the capital, Lo Manthang (3 810m), long controlled the trade route from Tibet to India. It is now one of Nepal’s (five) restricted trekking regions (and, like Dolpo, requires a $500 trekking permit for 10 days).

For a taste of the region, enjoy lunch and explore ancient Kagbenis narrow streets, flat-roofed buildings and the Monastery. Both Buddhism and the older religion are in evidence throughout this region.

From Kagbeni a seven km tarred road has been completed to Ranipauwa and Muktinath. The journey
is likely to be accompanied by countless motorbikes! Pass Khingar but stop to explore Jharkot (3550m), perched on a rocky outcrop with an imposing gompa. Ancient Buddhist retreat caves dot barren eroded cliffs across the valley.

Ranipauwa is the dusty village closest to the sacred site of Muktinath and offers varied accommodation to trekkers and pilgrims. Handicrafts, yak woollen garments and carpets are Muktinath (3800m/12 450ft) The holy site of Muktinath, a 15 minute walk north of Ranipauwa draws Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims from afar. For Hindus it is the next most auspicious place after Pashupatinath in Kathmandu. The site is auspicious for the rare meeting of earth, fire and water. A constant flame of naturally burning subterranean gas burns next to a small spring (housed within a tiny temple). Nearby, two pools of spring water stand in front of a Hindu temple around which are 108 brass water spouts in the shape of cows heads. Further temples stand within the large treed enclosure (including Banyans, Peepul and Poplar trees): all beneath countless strings of prayer flags. [The number 108 is considered sacred in the Dharmic Religions that originate in the Indian subcontinent, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Food Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accomodation Lodge
Elevation 3700

Day 6 : Ranipauwa Beni or Pokhara (880m/2 900ft), 7-8 hrs

After breakfast begin the return drive to Beni or Pokhara (depending on road conditions and time).

Food Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accomodation Lodge
Elevation 880

Day 7 : Beni or Pokhara Kathmandu (1300m/4 260ft), 6-9 hours

After breakfast drive back to Kathmandu. Rest of day free. Evening farewell dinner.

Food Dinner
Accomodation Hotel
Elevation 1300

Day 8 : Final Departure

Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight to your next destination.

Food Breakfast

What Is Included ?

  • All the airport/ Hotel transfers
  • Three Star Hotel in Kathmandu, Thamel for 3 night with the bed and breakfast
  • Well come and farewell dinner
  • Three star Hotel in Pokhara Lakeside for 1/2 night with the Bed and breakfast
  • Full day Kathmandu city tour on private transport English speaking government license holder tour guide
  • All the road transportations by comfortable private 4W drive
  • Full day Pokhara city tour on Private transport
  • Tourist stander Accommodation in Larjung and Muktinath
  • Guide for whole Trip,
  • Guide meals, Accommodation, salary, insurance for whole trip

What Is Excluded?

  • Kathmandu city tour monument fees
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu Pokhara, whole trip except welcome and farewell dinner
  • Nepal Visa fee
  • Air fare domestic and international
  • All the soft and alcoholic drinks
  • Mineral water
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance and evacuation
  • Tipping guide and Driver

Altitude Graph

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