Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek - 17 Days

  • Duration 18 Days
  • Difficulty Level Moderate
  • Destination Nepal
  • Trip Type Lodge Based & Camping Trekking
  • Best Season March to November
  • Group Size 2 to 16
  • Maximum Altitude 4,890 m

Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek in Nepal explores a restricted area that boasts distinct dry arid landscapes and spiritual cultures. Our 17-day trek to Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda is different from any other trek in Nepal. It is one of the less-visited treks because of the isolation to see the centuries-old monasteries.

Trek to the trans-Himalayan region during Upper Mustang and Damodar Kunda gives plenty of opportunities to explore the ancient Tibetan Buddhist cultural heritage, landscape and monasteries.

If you are looking for a less-crowded trekking package in Nepal, the Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek is the best option. You trek to the lost forbidden kingdom, Lo Manthang (3,840 m), and the holy Damodar Lake (4,890 m).

Trekking to Lo Manthang, the upper part of Mustang, is itself an excellent venture. Visiting the holy Damodar Lake is an exceptional part of the journey. So far, the Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek is one of our favourite off-the-beaten treks in Nepal. It is a teahouse plus a camping trek. We do teahouse up to Yara and switch into camping from there to Damodar Kunda until we return to Yara.

During the trek, you spend the night in remote settlement areas. The locals are highly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, and their traditions and culture resemble a lot to Tibetans. Along the Mustang Damodar Kunda trekking routes, you come across ancient monasteries, chortens, and mani walls.

Introduction of Damodar Kunda (Lake) in the Upper Mustang Region

Damodar Kunda (4,890 m) is a holy lake situated at the lap of Damodar Himal in the Upper Mustang region. The lake flows southward through the rainshadow valley at the eastern edge of the Annapurna range.

This lake has huge religious values, as per Hindu mythology. We all believe that all our sins go away after taking a bath in the lake. During the full moon in August, pilgrims visit this lake, lighting up the festivity in the area.

The outline you can see during the Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek

  • Explore the retired trans-Himalayan region, Upper Mustang
  • Enjoy off-beat, adventurous, less-crowded trekking 
  • Get to see diverse landscapes, from lush valleys to arid, barren hills
  • Cross many passes and remote villages 
  • Come across centuries-old monasteries, mani walls, and chortens
  • The trail crosses many passes 
  • Spend the night in Lo Manthang and get to see the lifestyle of the locals, highly influenced by Tibetan culture
  • Explore the holy Damodar Kunda (lake)
  • Enjoy the teahouse and camping trek
  • Witness breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountains like Annapurna range, Nilgiri, Tilicho Peak, Bhrikuti Peak, etc

Views during Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trekking Route

The Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek offers breathtaking views of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna regions. The trek offers gorgeous scenery of lush valleys and further presents the arid, barren views of the Mustang region. Along the way, we also get to see remarkable views of gorges and sky caves.

Himalayan mountains like Annapurna I (8,091 m) and Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) are seen during the trek. Other peaks are Tilicho Peak (7,134 m), Nilgiri Peak (7,061 m), Bhrikuti Peak (6,476 m) during the Upper Mustang and Damodar Kunda Trek.

How difficult is Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek?

Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trekking is considered a difficult trek in Nepal. This trek is ideally recommended for those trekkers with some previous trekking experience. But trekkers who have no previous experience can also do this Upper Mustang Trek. The trekking route is off-beat and requires 6 to 7 hours of walking every day. You cross some passes on the way to Lo Manthang. There are numerous steep and rugged sections along the way.

Training for Trek to Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Route

To prepare for the trek to Upper Mustang Damodar Kundu, you can go on short hikes around you. The Upper Mustang and Damodar Kunda Trek demand stamina and long-distance walking ability. Activities like running, cycling, and swimming are also great for preparing for the Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek.

Why our upper Mustang Damodar Kunda trek package for 2024 is special?

We offer the best Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek itinerary and cost for 2024. Our experienced crew has extensive knowledge about the trail, so you can expect a very informative and smooth venture. Likewise, our team members are very friendly and helpful.

You will have a hassle-free Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trekking with us. Moreover, our transparent policy and no hidden charges with an easy booking system make it easier for travellers to make the booking.

Itinerary

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We pick you up from Kathmandu airport as per your flight landing time on your arrival day. Our airport representative will assist you in check-in at the hotel and leave you to freshen up. 

You meet with our manager to brief the program, settle the payments, address your needs and introduce your trekking guide in the evening. 

  • AccommodationHotel
  • Maximum Altitude1,310 m

Meet our tour guide in your hotel lobby. He or she will take you on a guided city tour. You'll visit historical sites such as Boudhnath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square, and the famous Monkey Temple. We then prepare for the trek with the trek guide. There will be a short briefing session followed by final packing.

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Maximum Altitude1,310 m

Your trekking guide will meet you at the hotel lobby and walk to the tourist bus station. The journey offers the beautiful scenery of landscape as well as mountains. You reach Pokhara by afternoon. Check-in the hotel for a refresh. Then you can visit the Phewa Lake and explore the Lakeside Market. Free evening. 

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Maximum Altitude820 m

After breakfast, we drive to the Pokhara airport and take an early flight to Jomsom. It is a short but scenic flight to Jomsom airport. You can see Mount Dhaulagiri, Mount Annapurna I, Mount Fishtail with surrounding Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges from the plane window. After landing at Jomsom airport, we ride on a local jeep to Chhuksang village for our first night in the mountain. The drive offers phenomenal mountain landscapes. 

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,050 m

Our trek begins from Chhuksang. We trek following a riverbank of Kali Gandaki River. On the way, we can see sky caves among the cliff walls. A steep ascent leads us to Chele village, and we continue ascending to Chotare Lopcha pass (3,625 m). The views from this place are wonderful. We then walk on a winding path to Samar village.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,660 m

From Samar, we descend and cross a stream to ascend to Samar La (4,000 m) pass. From Samar La top, the views of Lapcha Pass, Lhakpa Pass, and the Ghiling village are mind-blowing. From here, we pass by Chyangsi Cave and reach Ghiling village.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,570 m

We leave Ghiling after our breakfast to start our trek to reach Dhamkar. Today, we cross several passes like Ghami La and Nhi La on our hike. Further, we walk alongside stone walls to reach the fields of Dhakmar village. On the way, we pass by many stupas and chortens. Dhakmar village offers beautiful mountain views.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,740 m

The trekking route ascends further to Tsarang village. We cross alpine meadows and pass by the Ghar Gompa. This monastery is more than 1200 years old. We then cross Chongo La pass and descend to Gekar. Walking through farming fields, we reach Tsarang. The trail continues passing by numerous chortens and mani walls to Lo Manthang. 

First, we cross a steel bridge and pass by Marang village. From here, ascend to Lo La Pass enjoying splendid views of Tilicho Peak, Nilgiri, and Bhrikuti Peak. From the Lo La pass, the route descends to our last destination of the day, Lo Manthang.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,840 m

We spend an extra day in Lo Manthang and take this time to explore the village and nearby areas. We hike to Garphu and Nyapu gompas. And then we explore some caves and follow the trading route to Lhasa. We get to see numerous ruins of forts.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,840 m

We leave Lo Manthang by taking a short climb up to a glacial valley with views of the reddish brown historical walled city during the return Some unforgettable images of the Lo as we slowly move on. On reaching the ridge we are greeted by some stunning views as we trek along the ridge for around an hour There is a descent down to the village of Dhi where we take lunch. It is a good day, the air is fresh with the meadows and farming fields near the riverside. After lunch, we cross the river to follow a path along the left bank to reach our overnight destination Yara.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,610 m

The trail ascends to Luri Cave Monastery. We explore this fascinating monastery and follow a barren valley crossing a 5,100-meter pass. The trail soon leads us to Ghuma Thanti for a night's stay.

  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude4,685 m

From Ghuma Thanthi, the trail continues to ascend and descend. Today, we cross another 5,600 meters high pass to reach Damodar Kunda. The top of the pass offers excellent views.

  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude4,890 m

We take a rest day at Damodar Kunda and explore this holy lake. We explore the nearby areas and relax.

  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude4,890 m

  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude4,685 m

We retrace the path back to Yara. From here, we take a local jeep and driver to Jomsom. We spend the night in a comfortable teahouse in Jomsom.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude2,710 m

Our last day of the venture flies back to Pokhara from Jomsom. From here, we take another flight back to Kathmandu. The remaining day is free in Kathmandu. 

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Maximum Altitude1,310 m

Our team will drop you off at the airport and bid you our last goodbye.

  • MealsBreakfast

This is our standard and recommended itinerary. If this itinerary doesn’t suit you, we can customize your trip per your interests and time frame. Click for the Tailor-Made program

Includes

  • All grounded transportation as per itinerary by private car
  • Three nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu inclusive of breakfast
  • One night accommodation in Pokhara inclusive of breakfast
  • Pokhara/Jomsom/Pokhara flight tickets inclusive of domestic airport taxes
  • Pokhara to Kathmandu flight ticket inclusive of domestic airport taxes
  • Three times meals (Breakfast/lunch/dinner) and accommodations during the trekking
  • One highly experienced English-speaking & friendly trekking guide and required porter including their expenses
  • All camping expenses from Yara to Damodar Kunda and back to Yara
  • Mustang trekking special permit fee (Mustang region is in a restricted zone, we need a special permit to visit this area)
  • Annapurna conservation fees. Please bring two passport-size photos for the permit. 
  • Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trekking map
  • Nepal Gateway Company T-shirt 
  • Local fresh fruit
  • First aid kit
  • Evacuation assistance if needed
  • Government taxes
  • Office service charge

Excludes

  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu & Pokhara
  • Your travel insurance
  • Nepal entry visa. Please bring two passport-size photos.
  • Your international flight ticket to/from Kathmandu
  • Your personal nature expenses, equipment and medical kit
  • All kinds of hot and cold drinks and alcoholic beverages in trekking
  • Hot shower, internet and phone call unless it is free
  • Tipping to field staff. (Tipping is not mandatory but expected)

Dates & Price

Date StatusPrice 
Start DateStart: WednesdayJuly 17, 2024End DateEnd: SaturdayAugust 03, 2024StatusAvailablePriceUS$2240
Start DateStart: WednesdayJuly 24, 2024End DateEnd: SaturdayAugust 10, 2024StatusAvailablePriceUS$2240
Start DateStart: WednesdayJuly 31, 2024End DateEnd: SaturdayAugust 17, 2024StatusAvailablePriceUS$2240

These are our fixed departure dates. The trip starting and ending date are the arrival and departure day to/from Kathmandu. The dates and price are specified for joining group. 
For Private Trip

Useful Info

Altitude Sickness during Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trekking Route

Despite a long trek, Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda trekking route sees around 4,800 meters rise in elevation only. It's not a low altitude but also not a very high altitude (usually other famous treks go above 5,000 to 5,500 meters). 

Our Upper Mustang and Damodar Kunda trek itinerary lets trekkers rest and get used to the elevation. We do not rush while trekking, so the chances of altitude sickness are quite low. 

Because everybody is different and may react to the change in elevation differently, we cannot guarantee a 100% altitude sickness-free journey. However, we can ensure prompt action to symptoms and a safe journey. 

Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trekking Permit Cost

To do Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda trekking, the trekkers need two permits - a restricted area permit for Upper Mustang and an ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) permit. As Damodar Kunda is located in the Upper Mustang, these two permits are enough. 

Upper Mustang & Damodar Kunda permit cost:

Restricted permit: USD500 per person for the first 10 days and USD 50 per day after that

ACAP permit: NPR 3000.00 per person

Best Time to Trek to Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Region

Upper Mustang is a part of the rain shadow area in the Himalayas. Therefore, the region does not receive rainfall in the monsoon season, which makes it a perfect time for the trek. Likewise, spring and autumn are the other two seasons to have wonderful trekking in the Upper Mustang. 

March to the first week of December are the best months for the trek to Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda region.. If you wish to see the arid Himalayan landscape, then we recommend trekking from June to September. These months have a pleasant climate and stable weather. The bright, clear sky and stunning views make the venture phenomenal.

After the first week of December, the temperature begins to fall below -20°C. The locals drop down to lower altitudes with their cattle to spend the winter. We do not advise trekking in winter in the Upper Mustang. 

Best time to visit Upper Mustang to celebrate the Tiji festival

If you have heard about the Tiji festival and wish to see it, then trek in May. To not miss the best parts, check the date of the Tiji festival and book your trek accordingly. This festival is celebrated according to the Tibetan lunar calendar. The monks fixed the date. 

You can get in touch with us to book the trek at the right time. We can tailor-make the itinerary for you that will cover all three days of the festival in Lo Manthang. 

Last Minute Booking for Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek

Book this trek at the last minute with us and get to enjoy trekking in the Upper Mustang without any worries. Our team will handle and arrange all the things for the journey. Send us your inquiry for more information. Do know that to book any trek at the last minute, you have to send us the full package cost. 

Travel Tips for Trek to Upper Mustang Damodar Kunda Route

Accommodation: You stay overnight in teahouses during this trek. The tea houses are simple and good enough to spend the night. Do not expect any extra services like other trekking routes. We book you the best available twin-shared rooms along the trekking route.

Food: Nepali and Tibetan dishes are mainly found for meals. The meals are served as per the menu of the teahouses. Do carry some snacks to last while trekking. 

ATM: If you are thinking of withdrawing cash on the trail, then drop this thought and get it in Kathmandu to use while trekking. The Upper Mustang trek route has no ATM.

Charging: Charging facilities are provided in the tea houses. You have to pay a little extra money for the service. Carry a solar charger or spare batteries. 

Luggage: All the trekkers have a 10-kg weight limit to pack their trekking essentials in the duffel bag. These bags are carried by our porters. You can carry a daypack on you. 

Personal Expenses: Apart from the package cost, you'll need additional money for your travel insurance, international flights, tipping, shopping, etc. Similarly, you should also budget USD 15 for each day on a trek to use services like internet, charging & hot showers not covered in the package cost. 

Travel Insurance: We advise travel insurance to our guests. If a medical emergency occurs, we need to evacuate you to the nearby hospital, and without travel insurance, it's tough to provide a prompt response. 

FAQs

  • Q1. How to visit Damodar Kunda?

    You can trek to Damodar Kunda. From Kathmandu, drive or fly to Pokhara and take another short flight to Jomsom. From here, you begin trekking toward Damodar Kunda. Another great way to reach Damodar Kunda is by helicopter. You can fly to Damodar Kunda and return on the same day.

  • Damodar Kunda is situated in Upper Mustang at 4,890 m. The lake is located at the Damodar Himal (6,706 m) and flows southward via the rain shadow valley on the easter edge of the Annapurna range.

  • To reach Upper Mustang, you have to fly to Jomsom from Pokhara and trek all the way up to Lo Manthang. Or, you can also do an overland tour or rent a bike to travel in the Upper Mustang.

  • Due to the region's proximity to Tibet, Upper Mustang is a restricted area. It has an open border with Tibet, and to reduce the illegal activities, the Nepal government has declared Upper Mustang a restricted area.

  • Upper Mustang is famous for its arid landscapes, the lost forbidden kingdom, and the ancient trade route. The region boasts Tibet-like terrain and sceneries. Moreover, one can trek in the upper Mustang even in the rainy season.

  • If you have previous trekking experience, then you can do the Upper Mustang and Damodar Kunda trekking. This trek is for fit individuals who can work 6 to 7 hours a day on off-beat trails.

  • No, you cannot do the Upper Mustang and Damodar Kunda trek alone because it is a restricted area in Nepal. And as per the rules of the government, only trekkers in a group of at least people are allowed to trek in Upper Mustang, and that too has to be done with a registered Nepali trekking company.

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