Pedaling across the Forbidden Kingdom

Mustang is the Last forbidden kingdom in Nepal which was restricted for tourist and visitors till 1992. Mustang described as a mystique valley, allows the travelers to witness heavenly beautiful Trans-Himalaya landscape, and ancient Tibetan Buddhist shrines such as Stupas, Chhortens, Kaanis, Prayers walls, and centuries old monasteries. Once you start your pedaling your MTB across the once forbidden kingdom you may feel like going back to the ancient Tibetan time and submerge yourself in the fresh wind, the culture, the myths and the high mountains altogether.

MTB Bike, peddling across the high himalaya dessert, Mustang nepal.

Mustang is almost treeless barren landscape, vegetation dessert area. This is a perfect location for MTB lovers to pedals in the spectacular desert single track trails landscape. The Mustang has its strange beauties which you may feel during MTB rides such as delightful long-abandoned cliff and caves dwellings, magnificent views and dramatic high altitude Himalayan. Now, we have to find some awesome biking trails with our passion and unique knowledge of the area of Upper Mustang; this is where The Mustang Madness happens.

The high himalaya dessert, Mustang nepal.

Once again The Mustang Madness is coming back with the new aspiration and some great experience from last year. So we’ve managed to carve out a spectacular route technical descents, fast, flowy single-track trails in hidden valley and a most remote area of the world.

MTB Bike, MTB in Mustang, Mtb in high himalaya dessert, the mustang madness, Mtb in forbidden kingdom, Mtb in nepal.

The Mustang Madness is a seven staged semi-technical adventurous mountain bike event in the once forbidden kingdom in Upper Mustang. In this event, the riders have to ride on their MTM in awesome single track village trails and covering a Total of 220 km in the high Himalayan desert and the elevation which is scaling up to 4200m altitude in upper Mustang. The mountain biking race starts off from Kagbeni, which is a highlight location in the Annapurna circuit leads through Muktinath, Chele, and Lo-manthang before descending to Beni, that’s the ending point of the race. Moreover, the MTB bike ride will take you through Paha Pass at 4200m, which is the highest point in the MTB Mustang Madness event.

Mustang Madness 2016, MTB with a view.

If you’re looking for something truly unique, then this location and particularly the event “the Mustang Madness” is designed for Mtb riders and as a tour in once Forbidden Kingdom of Nepal where most riders would never get the chance ride.

MTB ride in the upper Mustang offers some technical single tracks along with ultimate downhill ride full of adrenaline and a few upward climbs providing an ultimate MTB event to make a beautiful image in your memories and have a deep imprint on your souls which you never forget.

MTB trails of Mustang Madness

Downhill, MTB Bike, Mustang trails

The Exotic beauty of Mustang has hard to find trails from steep uphill to chill downhill. The MTB trails of Mustang include river crossing, so one need to be ready to ride or carry the bike on, with continuation to the ride. Crew experience says that despite any dynamics of trails, the rare scenic charm with snow capped high Himalayas no-doughtily will drop some charm in the moments of the engaged member or riders, leaving them to love their life.

Unpolished jeep trails and the most found single tracks show the wonderful Mustang is still less visited despite its rare exquisiteness. Riders need to be familiar with these single and jeep trails either on push uphill or cool downhill. 7 stages of MTB Race have a gap in between as we care riders more than just waiting for winner timing. On each stage, we ride from one village to other village or town. Starting the race from kagbeni, the last stage ends on tatopani through Muktinath, Chelee Town, Ghami village, large village Lo Manthang with a palace of Mustang King & Queen, remote area Tenge with Tibetan flavour and Marpha as well view don’t miss Kali Gandaki valley, Mt. Dhaulagiri & Nilgiri.

MTB trails of Mustang

Although the detailed document of each stage will be handled to you, it is a smart to have navigational skill on. The MTB Mustang Race is on 4200m high altitude with evening rest at about 3500m height level. So start knowing what your body needs to get adjusted and continue being strong till the race completes. Although all stages are on the own different level, stage 5 & 6 are seen on little more difficulty with the push or carry your bike on steep uphill of around 15 minutes and 2-3 hrs on respective stages. Despite marvellous nature view the cultured taste of each village or town we step on, will we leave us fascinating and refreshing.

Win or lose is a part of a game, so more than rank it is important to complete the race. Start caring ourselves, uplifting your stamina level by run and cycling as passion. Along with all these, the MTB Race being a self-evaluating own riding capability, it is not good to not grab the opportunity.

Mustang and it’s Culture

Mustang is a hidden paradise of natural beauty, Tibetan arts, culture and ancient history. Which is situate in the high altitude of 3,840 meters, and surrounded by the beautiful high Trans-Himalaya’s Annapurna and Nilgiri mountain ranges.  Basically, Mustang is differentiated into two parts i.e. Lower Mustang & Upper Mustang. Lower Mustang is fully dessert vegetation area with beautiful scenic views and the some of Nepal’s oldest Buddhist Monasteries, ancient and isolated villages. Similarly, the upper Mustang belongs to Thakalis or Tibetan culture and traditions. Though the Language and culture are more closely similar to the Tibet’s.

Lo Manthang Castle, upper Mustang and its culture.

The Mustang is highly influenced by Tibetan cultures and traditions because Mustang was a lost kingdom of Tibet. Although now it is a politically part of Nepal, the traditions and cultures remain same as purely Tibetan. In the eighth century, during the Yarlung Dynasty, Buddhism reached Tibet. From Tibet, its cultures and religions are spread further to Mustang.

A group of senior monks gather for a ceremony on a field outside of Lo Manthang. mustang and its culture,

The population of Mustang called as Loba or Lowa which is a Tibetan dialect. The Loba (Lo Pa) people are ethnic Tibetan and practice a form of Buddhism from the Sakya lineage. They are very close to the Tibetans regarding culture, language and follows Buddhism religion. There is also a sect of the rare Bon religion here and the Bon priests practice along with Tibetan lamas at the local festival. They celebrate four major religious festivals: Gine, Gensu, Gelung, and Nayuene. But the Tiji festival is more popular in Mustang. Its three-day festival consisting of Tibetan rituals known as “The chasing of the Demons”. Also in Mustang, you may also find Nepali culture and religions in many areas celebrate different festivals.

Crowd gathers to witness a dance perfomance at Tiji festival in Mustang and its culture

Another interesting topic in Loba culture is marriage. Quite commonly, a Loba woman will be married to several men, a practice is known as polyandry. This is done due to the idea that there is less chance of a woman becoming a widow if she has many husbands. This is a unique feature of the Loba, but nowadays in new modern time that is slowly diminishing. The younger Loba want to discard it, but the older generation feels it is necessary. The old cultures and religions are more influenced by modern time as the as the time goes on the Tibetan cultures or Loba’s are continuously decreasing.

Elderly women sit in Lo Manthang to spin prayer wheels and pray together. This is a daily communal ritual for most retired Loba, mustang and its culture

Until 1992 the Mustang was strictly restricted for outsiders and only a small numbers of tourist or visitors permits allowed to visit. Due to long time isolation and low interactions from the outer world; the valley is gone hidden and the Mustang known as the Forbidden Kingdom. Hence that’s why there’s Tibetan arts, cultures, traditions and ancient villages are well preserved. But tourism to the Upper Mustang is still regulated and Foreigners need a specific special permit to enter the kingdom.

mustang and its culture

For those who have interest in different religions, cultures, mythology, and ancient arts then you must visit Mustang. when enters to this region the peoples feel like going back into the ancient Tibetan time and completely submerge yourself in the peaceful heaven on earth.

Page 1 of 3123