Upper Mustang Trek or the Trek to the Forbidden Palace of Lo Manthang is one of the worlds most exclusive trekking trail in the restricted area of Nepal, opened for tourists only in 1992. Mustang, formerly the Kingdom of Lo is a remote and most isolated region of the Himalayas of which the central part the capital, Lo Manthang is surrounded by high stone walls. The capital of Lo Manthang was founded in 1380 AD by Ame Pal who built these high walls. After Prithvi Narayan Shah unified Nepal in 1769 to have only one ruler ruling Nepal, Lo became a dependency but kept its hereditary rulers. This arrangement continued as long as Nepal remained a kingdom, until republican government began in 2008 and Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista ( 1933–2016) lost his title of King of Lo.
The area is a barren landscape and rugged trails known as Caravan Route that was used by the people as a Salt trade route with Tibet. Cave like settlements and houses made of mud bricks give this area an antique and attractive look. People in the area follow strange social system of Polyandry since generations and still continues.
After a sightseeing day in Kathmandu, Upper Mustang Trek starts with a drive to Pokhara from where we fly to Jomsom, famous for its apples and from here we enter the restricted area to Kagbeni and onwards to Upper Mustang Salt trail. The stunning views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri and the 15th century Thugchen Monastery, mani walls, chhortens and the deepest Kali Gandaki Gorge and the well preserved mysterious culture, traditions and lifestyle of the people living in this region makes this trail worth visiting.
Regarding the best time to trek in this area, just have to avoid the cold months of October November December January February March, rest of the months are perfect. Unlike other trekking trails one can trek in rainy months of June July August as well because this trekking region above Kagbeni is under rain shadow area.