For Westerners, the Himalayas has long been thought of as a place of extremes, sought out by wanderers and explorers, pushing themselves to both their physical and spiritual limits. Embark on your own journey with Pelorus, on a challenging trekking experience through The Forbidden Kingdom, visiting the transcendent places that have captured the imagination of intrepid travellers for decades, though so few have had the privilege of visiting.
- When to go
- Mar-May, Sep-Oct
- From Price
- £22,000 PP
- Ideal Length
- 12 Nights
- Embark on an unforgettable trek from Jomsom through the Himalayas and into the mystical Lo Manthang, previously known as The Forbidden Kingdom
- Traverse through arid deserts, ancient caves, and snow-capped mountain peaks before setting up camp under the starry night sky
- Explore the bustling, colourful city of Kathmandu and on to the mountain villages beyond, where Buddhist temples and sacred ceremonies await
- Experience the traditional way of life with visits to yak herders and local communities, indulging in ancient healing therapies and connecting with nature
Kathmandu has long been regarded as one of the far corners of the world, with author Rudyard Kipling writing: “The wildest dreams of Kew are the facts of Kathmandu.” For centuries, the city was forbidden to outsiders but, since opening its doors to the world in the early 1950s, it has quickly become a sought-after destination and has transformed into a bustling, colourful city that juxtaposes medieval and modern Nepal.
After arriving in Kathmandu and checking into your hotel, you will be able to explore the architectural splendour of the Kathmandu Valley at your leisure. Drive to Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage site where, if lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Kumari, Nepal’s Living Goddess who resides here in the Kumari Ghar. Then, swap four wheels for three as you take an exciting rickshaw (tricycle) ride through the narrow buzzing streets of the spice and vegetable market.
In the evening, make your way to the Pashupatinath temple, visiting the “Aarati” viewing area to witness the highly sacred and auspicious ceremony performed by the temple priests to honour Lord Shiva.
After breakfast, leave Kathmandu by a private chartered helicopter to Jomsom. En route, take in the incredible views as you soar over Kali Gandaki, the deepest gorge in the world with great views of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.
Jomsom is an incredible destination and one of the very few places in Nepal where you can marvel at the Himalayan peaks from such a close range, while remaining at a safe altitude of 8,800ft. Giant peaks like Nilgiri, Tilicho, and Dhaulagiri seem so close you could reach out and touch them.
Check in to Shinta Mani Mustang, before spending the afternoon walking around Jomsom, getting to know the traditional Mustangi culture, from Tibetan Buddhism to the unique language, customs, and traditions.
Awake early on your second day here to embark on a hike across the Nilgiri Himal. Your expert guide will lead you across these beautiful peaks in the Annapurna massif, before you arrive at Chhyama Lake for a picnic lunch.
Muktinath and Kagbeni
Today, you will drive to Muktinath, one of the holiest places for Hindus. One of the world’s highest temples, it lies at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass in Mustang and is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Get lost among the chanting and ringing of bells as you feel the peaceful and spiritual ambience.
On your return to Jomsom, stop at Kagbeni, a Tibetan village that is the only gateway to Upper Mustang. Enjoy lunch here before meandering through the narrow streets between the traditional houses constructed from mud, adorned with colourful prayer flags.
The Treck Begins
Driving from Jomsom to Jhong, keep an eye out for the magnificent ancient fort built here on the edge of a ridge. From here, the trek begins as you start your route to the remote lands of Mustang in the direction of Green Camp. The further along the route you go, the fewer settlements you will encounter, replaced instead by breathtaking panoramic views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and the Tukuche Himalayan range. If you’re trekking during spring, you’ll also enjoy the sights and fragrant scent of rhododendron flowers along the trail.
After restoring your energy at Green Camp, continue the trek further up to Khampa Camp passing through rhododendron forests and little springs. For those that would like to take the load of their own two legs, swap to four and ascend on horseback.
Tangyye & Luri Gumb
On the final day of walking, you will trek to Tanggye village, passing the nomadic camps of Zimbu and Baha Bhanjyang, before taking respite at a local lodge in Tanggye.
Tangyye is an incredible old village that begs to be explored, so spend the morning wandering the streets before hopping into your vehicle and making your way to Luri Gumb.
Tangyye & Luri Gumb
On the beautifully scenic drive to Luri Monastery, one of the most significant sites in Mustang, you’ll pass impressive canyon ridges. The monastery sits majestically on steep rock cliffs, about 100 meters high, with natural sandstone pillars that leave visitors in awe. Descend into the inner chamber where you’ll see an impressive Chorten (Buddhist shrine) in the centre adorned with painted figures. Built in the 14th century, it is considered very sacred in Tibetan Buddhism and contains some of the earliest mural paintings.
Post breakfast, explore Lo Manthang on horseback or by car, descending into Chhoser caves (ancient meditation and retreat caves) and Niphu monastery, a 12th-century Buddhist monastery.
The following day, awake with the sun to spend time at a yak herders’ camp where you will meet some of the resident nomads. Living at these high altitudes, they spend their days tending to their herd, milking the yaks, and using their wool and hides for clothing and other purposes. Their simple but fulfilling life is deeply connected to nature and inspiring to those who visit, focusing on a sense of peace and feeling grounded.
After a full day of discoveries, spend the evening walking around the city for a unique experience that will see you passing by the King’s Palace (founded in 1441), two large Chortens, narrow streets lined with traditional mud-brick houses, prayer flags fluttering in the breeze, and stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains.
After an incredible time in the mountains, the journey directs back to Kathmandu. An easier descent than on foot, you’ll take an extraordinary heli ride flying between the walls of Fishtail and Annapurna South, overlooking the towering Annapurna peak, Gangapurna, and the lake town of Pokhara. Following your arrival at your hotel, unwind in the spa and indulge in one of the many excellent wellness treatments offered by the resort.
Tomorrow marks your last day in Nepal, so immerse yourself in the local culture on a visit to Bhaktapur – one of the three ancient Kingdoms of Nepal. Regarded as the home of traditional Nepali culture, customs, and unique arts of wood and pottery, explore some of their traditional healing therapies such as astrological consultation, singing bowl therapy, yoga, or ayurvedic massages.
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