Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek - 23 Days

Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek

Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek is renowned for Hindu religion, the trek goes through mystique Upper Mustang to Damodar Kunda is located under rain shadow is of High Himalayas north of Annapurna range. The elevation of the Damodar Kunda is just 4890 meters; it is cold and windy place. Wilderness Excursion recommends to visit Damodar Kunda during the full moon of August. Every year, there is a big festival is celebrated there many pilgrimages Hindu and Buddhist visit full moon of August. Usually, you can visit April to September every year. Festival time will be great for visit Damodar Kund. From Damodar Kund, the views are great from some viewpoints a bit higher than the lakes, just a short climb up some of the hills. The Tibetan plateau & Damodar Himal to the north and the Annapurna Himalayan massive to the south. The Damodar lakes are located three days walk north east of the main Mustang trekking route and very close to Tibetan border. Damodar Kunda lies on restricted upper mustang between Kagbeni and Muktinath.

Damodar Himal, mountain range in Nepal Himalayas, in MUSTANG district. Includes Muktinath Himal (6,706m), Bhrikuti Peak (6,364m). There are 65 peaks in this Himal range. Kali Gandaki River takes origin from this range. If you're planning a trip to the illusive and infamous Damodar Kund here are some priceless bits of information that could be the difference between life and death, and negatively eventful pilgrimage and a relatively clear trek and pilgrimage.

Damodar Kund (Lake) situated in a basin in the Damodar Himal and flows southward through a rain shadow valley on the eastern edge of the Annapurna Range. The are two versions of the Origin of the Kali Gandaki river; One will say, the river comes from a lake near the Tibetan border by the name of Damodar-kund north east of Muktinath (a 2-3 day trip per foot away). Others will say the river appears from a crack of the Dongmar mountain north west of Lo Mantang (what is much further north than the first description) and that the waters of Damodar kund are unique to themselves. There are several lakes, the area being locally called "Charang the land of hilly lakes."

The walk to the Damodar Kund (lake) is not so difficult but quite long walking distance and only sometimes a bit steep and almost flat. Only problem is the altitude and we have been aware of this while working out the itinerary for you. Don't take unnecessary chances, for some there is a need to worry about the altitude. However, with some for-thought if you feel you may be at risk in high altitude, with such things as breathing problems, heart problems, over-weight - blood pressure, get headaches, please see your health professional before attempting the walk. If you're healthy and fit but still worried about Altitude Sickness before leaving Katmandu arrange a Gamo Bag - Air pressure bag. The highest camp is at the Damodar Kunda just 4890 meters.

Outline Itinerary:
Day 01: Meet & greet in Kathmandu airport.
Day 02: Trip preparation, get permits and sightseeing (optional)
Day 03: Take a scenic flight to Pokhara.
Day 04: Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2800m)
Day 05: Trek from Kagbeni to Tsaile (3100m), 6 hours.
Day 06: Trek to Syangmochen (3800m), 7 hours (via Samar)
Day 07: Trek to Tsarang (3560m), 7 hours (via Geling, Ghami).
Day 08: Trek to Lo-Manthang (3840m), 4 hours.
Day 09: Excursion to Chhoser (eastern valley).
Day 10: Trek to Yara (3900m), 6 hours (via Dhi).
Day 11: Trek to Ghuma Thanti (4800m), 7 hours (via Luri Cave).
Day 12: Trek to Damodar Kunda (4890m), 10 hours.
Day 13: Exploring surrounding beauty and nature.
Day 14: Trek from Damodar Kunda to Ghuma Thanti, 7 hours.
Day 15: Trek to Yara (3900m), 7 hours.
Day 16: Trek to Tangye (3240m), 8 hours.
Day 17: Trek from Tangya to Tetang (3040m). 9 hours (via Paha).
Day 18: Trek from Tetang to Muktinath (3700m), 7 hours.
Day 19: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2720m), 5 hours.
Day 20: Buffer day.
Day 21: Fly back to Pokhara (820m).
Day 22: Fly to Kathmandu.
Day 23: Further destination.

Day 01: Meet & greet in Kathmandu airport.
Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), our office staff will greet you and transfer to Hotel. Welcome drink and short briefing, relax. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 02: Trip preparation, get permits and sightseeing (optional)
Stay in Kathmandu for official process, you prepare for your trek or you could do sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley with our Tour Guide by private car/van, guided tour can be arranged on your request. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 03: Take a scenic flight to Pokhara.
After breakfast in Kathmandu, we take scenic morning flight to Pokhara from Kathmandu, Half day Sightseeing in Pokhara with our Trekking Guide. Overnight in Pokhara.

Day 04: Fly to Jomsom (2720m) from Pokhara and trek to Kagbeni (2800m).
Early in the morning we fly from Pokhara to Jomsom with viewing a scenic and majestic Himalayan Ranges just above the deepest Kaligandaki gorge and after arrival in Jomsom, we meet with our support staffs and will have a breakfast. After breakfast, we prepare our trail goes along the Kaligandaki River passing the Jomsom’s main village. Then, we walk on the wide bank of the Kaligandaki and move on in the wind. We have a short glimpse of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri Himal. On this bank ammonite fossils are often found. From the trail on the bank, we make a small ascent and go down again, and then we reach Eklebatti. We will have our lunch there. After lunch, we continue slightly ascends and level trail until reaching Kagbeni Village, which is doorway to upper Mustang. We will visit the peculiar colors and shapes of the Chhorten and Kani in the village and ancient Sakya-Pa Sect Buddhist Monastery. From the top of monastery, we have a great view of Nilgiri Himal, Tilicho Peak and other snow-capped mountains as well as scenic terraced field. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 05: Trek to Tsaile 3100m/6 hours (via Tangbe/ Chuksang).
In the morning after breakfast, we check in our restricted area permit and we are taking first step into Upper Mustang. The route will continue on the left bank of Kaligandaki with small ups and downs along the Kaligandaki River. After a long walk, we cross small stream and climb up on the terraced hill; we will come to Tangbe, the first Mustang village where the village has a medieval atmosphere. We will have our lunch here, and then we continue the trail traversing upward and will reach Chhusang village. From Chhusang, we will go back again to the river shore and move in the upstream direction of the Kaligandaki. When there is an iron bridge where Kaligandaki River runs through a tunnel built in the huge rock that blocks the river shores and just above the bridge, there is 16 small caves. After cross the bridge, we make a steep ascent onto the terrace ahead and we will reach Tsaile from where we can see the zigzagging Kaligandaki and Nilgiri Himal further in the interior. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 06: Trek to Syangmochen 3800m/7 hours (via Samar).
Morning after breakfast, we leave the village and climb up the unstable pebble road and will come to a plateau. We keep climbing the gentle slope and enter an area with the big canyons. We follow the trail that cut out of the cliff and after passing the canyons we will reach a small pass. Then, we move to a gentle mountain flank and continue the slightly descent and will reach Samar village surrounded by a poplar grove. We will have our lunch here. After lunch, we descend steeply to a stream, then climb up and descend steeply to another stream, then climb up to a plateau. We keep climbing up the right fork to the Chungsi-La and countering through the amazing canyons until reaching Ranchung Cave whose large stalactites resemble Rangchung (self-arisen; ie not man-made) chhorten. The Buddhist saint Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated here in 8th century during his traveling in Mustang. Himalayan griffons nest in the surrounding cliffs. After visiting the cave, we climb gradually past pasture to Syangmochen. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 07: Trek to Tsarang (3560m), 7 hours (via Geling, Ghami).
In the morning after breakfast, we climb up to a small pass where there is a colorfully painted square chhorten. We will see a large valley of Ghiling spreading out in front of us. We continue descending to the right towards Ghiling, cross a stream and move on along the stone walls in the farm fields. Here are two ancient monasteries and big huge chhortens and we will visit it. After visit the monasteries, we walk through the big village and climb up the gentle slope with shrubberies and will join in mail trail. From here, a long ascent continues to Nyi-La. When we cross over this pass, we will enter the center of the Mustang, which used to be called the Lo Region. We descend the gentle slope and go around the valley ahead towards the left. We will be overlooking Ghami village and we descend steep zigzag slope and will reach the village. We will have our lunch here. After lunch, we leave the village and cross a river using the suspension bridge. We climb onto the terrace and pass along the longest Mani Wall in Mustang. The effect of the erosion on the cliff ahead attracts attention by its strange forms and the varieties of colors such as red, blue, white, etc. it is like a Mandala painted on the cliff. The trail goes around to the right and a steep ascent start in rocky gully, then traverses to the Tsarang-La. On the top of the pass we find a big stone pile and the Annapurna Himal in back looks beautiful. The, we keep walking a long and gentle descent until reaching Tsarang Village. There is a huge Chhorten in the entrance of the village. This village is long greenery settlement and can see farm fields spread out and surrounded by stone walls. We also can see the Gompa, which is painted in stripes of Red, White and Black as well as can see the prominent five-storied Old Palace. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 08: Trek to Lo-Manthang (3840m), 4 hours.
In the morning after breakfast, we will visit the Old Palace and Ancient Buddhist Monastery which is said to be that the Tibetan Buddhism flourished in Upper Mustang from this Monastery. Then, we descend to the gorge of the Tsarang Khola, making a big traverse upstream and cross by an Iron Bridge over the River. We ascend to about the same height as Tsarang on the rocky gully. Now we enter the valley and the dirt road turns north and climbs gently to a large isolated Chhorten that marks the boundary between Tsarang and Lo-Manthang. The road crosses a stream, and then becomes a wide thoroughfare traveling across a desert-like landscape painted in every hue of grey and yellow. Finally we arrive in Lo-La from where we can see the first view of the wall city of Lo-Manthang and the player flags are flapping in the wind. A short dusty descent leads onto the plain of aspiration; the, the trail crosses a stream by wooden bridge. Now we climb up onto the plateu of Lo-Manthang, crossing an irrigation canal at the southern wall of the city of Lo-Manthang. In the evening, we meet with King of Lo and visit the insight city as well as ancient Buddhist Monasteries. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 09: Explore to the Lo-Manthang & excursion Chhoser Village.
Today, we will explore eastern valley of Lo-Manthang is Chhoser, the site of Garphu and Nyaphu Gompas and some fascinating cave-dwelling structures. This is the main trading route to Lhasa. The ruins of numerous forts along the trail lend credence to this ovservation. First we descend to the small stream and cross by a wooden bridge. Then we ascend for a while and continue along the level trail until reaching Garphu and Nyaphu village. We visit the scenic Monastery situated inside the Cliff and Cave with numerous rooms, then we return back from the opposite side of the valley after passing old villages. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 10: Trek to Yara (3900m), 6 hours (via Dhi),
We start our trek after breakfast; we leave the village and keep by gently ascending until we reach Day-La with dusty trail from where the last view of the Lo-Manthang. We continue our trail for a while and follow the left trail after skipping the trail to reach Tsarang. The trail gently climbs on the ridge viewing the scenic landscapes until reaching small pass. Then, we climb down a steep and dusty descent in the narrow path. We again come to a wide plateau and descend rocky gully and knee crunching trail until reaching Dhi village. We will have lunch here. After lunch we cross by a suspension bridge over the Kaligandaki River and make a short steep climb. Then, we follow along the upstream of Puyung Khola viewing the unbelievable landscapes and innumerable caves at the stone walls until reaching Yara village. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 11: Trek to Ghuma Thanti (4800m), 7 hours (via Luri Cave)
Today, we climb up to reach Luri Cave Monastery and visit that interesting Cave Monastery. After that, we follow the barren valley after crossing 5100meter pass; today we prepare pack lunch due to no appropriate cooking possibilities on the trek. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 12: Trek from Ghuma Thanti to Damodar Kunda (4890m), 9 hours.
In this day, we start after breakfast, the trail continues with ups and downs. After crossing another 5600meter pass we will reach High Altitude Damodar Kunda. We need to make lunch pack due to no appropriate cooking possibilities in the trail. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 13: Exploring the high altitude Damodar Kunda and surrounding.

Day 14: Trek to Ghuma Thanti (4800m), 8 hours
Today, we return back all the same way passing over the 5600m high pass. The trail again ups and down same like before. We will make our lunch in some small stream in the trail. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 15: Trek from Ghuma Thanti to Yara (3900m), 7 hours.
In this also we come back all the same route which before we climb up. The trail continues downhill until reaching Yara Village. We prepare our lunch on the trail. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 16: Trek to Tangye (3240m), 8 hours.
Today is also difficult and long day for us. Therefore we start really early in the morning. We first have short and steep ascent and then long flat way trail. Then the trail continues steep down to Dechhyang Khola which origin is from Damodar Kunda. It takes about 30 minutes. We find everywhere Saligrames (the black fossils of marine animals). Then the trail steeply ascents and leads us to the top of the pass where we have our packed lunch break, so we need to make pack lunch in Yara due to no appropriate cooking possibilities in the trail. After lunch, the trail goes up and down and then we are on a huge plateau and cross it for reaching to Tangya village. We can see several big Chhortens. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 17: Trek to Tetang 3040m/10 hours (via Paha)
Today is also long day again. Therefore we start again really early in the morning. We leave the village, cross the suspension bridge and follow the short river route. After crossing the river, we steeply climb up to reach a small pass. Then the trail goes straight to Paha (shelter house) where we make our lunch. Here is small water tap for drinking water. After the lunch break we continue crossing many small passes until we reach the top of the hill. It takes about 2 hours. Then the trail steeply descends and we encounter strong winds until we reach Tetang village. We have a superb view of Nilgiri Himal, Dhaulagiri I, Tukuche Peak, and other snow peaks during the trail. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 18: Trek from Tetang to Muktinath 3700m/6 hours.
In the morning after breakfast, we follow our trail through the village after passing the scenic Mani walls. Then, we climb up to the wide valley. After walking the plateau, we keep ascending until reaching small pass from where we can see the high mountains and picturesque view of Muktinath. Then, we drop down to the small stream and cross by a suspension bridge. After that, we enter in the village of Chhyongar and follow the level trail until reaching Muktinath passing Kani/gate. In the evening, we explore to secret place for Hindus and Tibetan Buddhist in about 30 minutes in its compound. We can visit the 108 brass water spouts, Muktinath temple stands enshrining Vishnu, a Hindu god. When we visit to Muktinath Temple at once, we are free/salvation of escape from the cycle of birth and rebirth. Below the temple there is another Buddhist monastery where the combination of earth-water-fire that gives for Muktinath’s great religious significance. And we can also see the magnificent view of Nilgiri Himal and Daulagiri I. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 19: Trek to Jomsom (2720m), 5 hours.
In the morning after breakfast, we leave the village and drop down to Jharkot village where we visit the ancient Sakyamuni Buddhist Monastery and Traditional Medical Center. Then, we follow the dusty road trail for a while and choose short cut left trail until reaching Eklebatti where we have our lunch. After lunch, we follow again dusty and strong wind road level trail along the Kaligandaki River to reach Jomsom. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 20: Buffer day, in case of extra day needed.

Day 21: Fly back to Pokhara (820m).
Early in the morning after breakfast, we fly back to Pokhara which takes about 25 minutes approximately, then, transfer to Hotel in Pokhara. After lunch, we visit in and around the valley. Overnight in Pokhara.

Day 22: Fly to Kathmandu.
Take flight to Kathmandu domestic airport pick up by private car/van and transfer to Hotel. Refreshment and Relax. Farewell dinner with Wilderness Excursion staffs.

Day 23: Further destination.

Trip Cost Includes

  • Airport pick and drop off by private car or van depending on group size.
  • Kathmandu Valley guided tour in UNESCO listed World Heritage Sites.
  • Authentic Nepalese and Newari farewell dinner with live culture stage show.
  • 3 Nights deluxe room in Hotel Radisson with buffet breakfast on double occupancy basis in Kathmandu.
  • 2 nights room in peace, clean standard hotel in Pokhara with bed and breakfast basis.
  • 1 Government registered, experienced, English speaking local friendly guide.
  • 1 Chef to cook our meal during the trek.
  • Assistant guide to support group and help the potters as per group size.
  • Sherpa porters to carry your main packs and camping gear.
  • Pokhara – Jomsom - Pokhara by domestic flight worth of US$ 222.00 per person.
  • Kathmandu - Pokhara - Kathmandu by flight.
  • Tent accommodation in twin occupancy basis.
  • All 3 Times meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner during the trekking.
  • Tea, coffee, cookies, appetizer during the trekking.
  • Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit, ACAP Permit.
  • Airport taxes of domestic flights.
  • Equipment, meals and accommodation of your guide and porters.
  • Salary and insurances of all your trekking crew.
  • All government tax, vat, and Office Service charges.

Trip Cost Excludes

  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara except breakfast and farewell dinner
  • All bar bills and beverages like coke, fanta, sprite, mineral water.
  • Personal nature expenses, toiletries, hot shower, laundry, internet and phone calls.
  • Personal travel insurance and rescue operation charge in case of emergency.
  • Expenses of extra adventure, extra permit fees if the trip is extended.
  • Advance deposit transfer service charge.
  • Additional fees to visit monasteries in Lo Manthang and Chhoser (NPR 1000/1000 per person)
  • Gratitude and tips for your guide and porters.

Packing List and Equipment for Mustang Damodar Kunda Trek

Footwear

  • A waterproof trekking boot with suitable ankle support that have been worn-in prior to the trek,
  • Trail shoes or trainer or casual shoes, for walking or strolling around(optional)
  • 2-3 Pairs of warm socks for colder areas depending on trekking duration.
  • Gaiters, in case of rain or snow
  • Sandal, crocs or flip flop to take shower and walk around,
  • 2-3 pair of smooth thin wool, nylon or Capilene Liner socks to be worn next to the skin. This reduces the incidence of blisters and hot-spots and makes the outer sock last longer before needing to be changed. They should fit well with your heavyweight socks.

Leg wears

  • Trekking/hiking casual trousers and short, Thermal leggings for colder areas
  • Long skirt for women as an alternative to trousers and Waterproof trousers.

Body

  • Selection of hiking/trekking T-shirts, and long sleeved shirts, preferably not cotton
  • Thermal and warm shirts, possibly fleece shirt for colder areas.
  • Fleece jacket or warm wool jumper
  • Hard shell jacket with hood and hard shell pants if trekking in colder months/winter.
  • Windbreaker or waterproof jacket for higher altitudes
  • Down jacket (optional for cold nights and mornings; can be hired in Kathmandu cheaply).
  • Underwear 4-5. Comfortable underwear is essential. Pack both cotton and polyester in case of problems (Friction).

Head/Hands

  • Wool or fleece hat, or balaclava
  • Hat or cap for sun protection while trekking
  • Sunglasses or goggles, genuine UV protection sunglasses preferable
  • Warm gloves
  • Buff and higher and colder place, not very important for this Trek.
  • Large handkerchief/bandana for neck
  • Head lamp/torch with spare batteries.
  • Sun/cold creams,
  • Personal Trekking Equipment
  • Strong rucksack or large hold all to be carried by porters
  • Day sack to carry valuables such as passport, cash, camera, travel documents personally
  • Plastic bags or stuff sacks to store/separate trekking gear inside your main bag, Personal first aid kit to include essential items, Adjustable 3 section trekking pole
  • 3-4 season sleeping bag, Camera and memory cards, charger, tripod if necessary, towel and toiletries, rain cover for yourself and luggage, multi-purpose hiking pocket knife.

Optional items

  • Binoculars, Books or an eBook, Altimeter, Compass and GPS.
  • Playing cards, backgammon and chess set etc.
  • Tablets or smart phones, there are mobile networks in most trekking areas of Nepal.
  • Pocket trekking map,
  • Small light note books, pen/pencil for journal writing.

For water

  • Two water bottles one liter each is fine or preferably camel bag water bottle. Water treatment tablets: Iodine, Dioxide tablets, Taste neutralizer tablets remove iodine taste if necessary. Vacuum flask and a cup preferably is doing teahouse.

Pee Bottle (Optional) but very useful.
Pee funnel for women (optional) Lightweight urinary director.
Hand/foot warmers (Optional) Recommended if you easily get cold hands and feet 1-3 pairs.

Personal first aid kit (small and simple) Aspirin, Moleskin, Adhesive tape, Band-Aids. Scissor, Blade,

Drugs/medications/prescriptions Climbers should bring Mupirocin (Bactroban) cream, excellent topical antibiotic for scrapes and cuts. Cirprofloxin (Cipro) 500mg tablets for travelers' diarrhea and for urinary tract infections. Loperamide (Lomotil) or Immodium for diarrhea. Acetazolamide (Diamox) 125 or 250mg tablets for alltitude sickness. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200mg tablets for altitude headaches, sprains, aches, etc. Excedrin for headaches. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 325mg tablets for stomach sensitivity.
This above list is only anadvice for you. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands. If you have questions please email at: info@wildernessexcursion.com

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Kristel de Bruyne,
Belgium

Annapurna Base Camp Trek 2017 Review

We had an amazing 12 day trek to Annapurna Base Camp in April 2017. Our communication upfront with Pradip went very easy and we got some good information. We met up in Kathmandu to make the payment and we left for Pokhara as we want to spend few relaxing days there before starting the trek to Annapurna Base Camp. We met our guide in Pokhara before we leave and began the trek. Our guide did his very best to make sure everything was arranged well! We had an amazing time in Annapurna Base Camp; we would ...

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Trip Facts

  • Max Altitude: 4890m
  • Group Size: Min 2 Pax
  • Difficulty: Medium Hard
  • Best Season: Spring & Autumn

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