If You Cannot Make To Tibet Go To Mustang Kagbeni

If you are in Nepal and have craving for Tibetan Culture but can’t make it to Tibet, you don’t need to go any further than Kagbeni. A medieval village in the Lower Mustang that is in many ways more Tibetan than Tibet!

We visited this village in January. There weren’t many tourists during that time. Kagbeni is two hours walk from Jomsom and can also be reached via jeep, truck or motorbike.

The village is designed as a fortress town and was quite important during the famous salt trade times between Tibet and Nepal.

Five Things to do in Kagbeni

1. Wander through the narrow cobbled streets and watch the locals do their daily chores and business. Take pictures!

Local house at Kagbeni | Mustang Nepal
Local house at Kagbeni | Mustang Nepal
Chorten at Kagbeni | Make sure you walk past making it on right-hand side
Chorten at Kagbeni | Make sure you walk past making it on right-hand side
Prayer wheels along the street of Kagbeni | Make sure you rotate them clockwise
Prayer wheels along the street of Kagbeni | Make sure you rotate them clockwise
Local kids enjoying the warm sunshine | Winter vacation in January
Local kids enjoying the warm sunshine | Winter vacation in January
Piles of snow | Poor Calf and Beautiful Chorten at Kagbeni
Piles of snow | Poor Calf and Beautiful Chorten at Kagbeni

2. Visit ‘The Red Monastery’, at the village Gompa, built-in 1429. A small entrance fee should be paid, which we paid to two very young monks. Inside the monastery, you may not take pictures, and they will make sure you comply!

Foreigner taking a picture with two lama kid | Your local guide inside the red monastery
Foreigner taking a picture with two lama kid | Your local guide inside the red monastery
Red Monastery | Lama School in Kagbeni
Red Monastery | Lama School in Kagbeni

3. Take a side trip to Lhungfu Cave, a holy cave visited frequently by Buddhist Pilgrims, which is about two and half hours walk from Kagbeni.

Motor road from Kagbeni toward Jharkot | Easy way to Lhungfu Cave
Motor road from Kagbeni toward Jharkot | Easy way to Lhungfu Cave
301 Caves On Hill Above Jhong Khola Between Kagbeni And Jharkot
301 Caves On Hill Above Jhong Khola Between Kagbeni And Jharkot

4. Visit and/or stay at ‘The Red House Lodge’, probably Kagbeni’s most well-known guesthouse. There is a small private monastery here that houses a huge clay idol of Maitreya.

View from Red House Lodge | Kagbeni
View from Red House Lodge | Kagbeni
Maitreya inside red house lodge kagbeni | One of the oldest lodge in Kagbeni
Maitreya inside red house lodge kagbeni | One of the oldest lodge in Kagbeni
Century old wooden pillar inside the red house lodge | Kagbeni
Century old wooden pillar inside the red house lodge | Kagbeni

5. Relax, eat, drink and enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery, the feel of history and the peace of Kagbeni.

Spectacular fortress view of Kagbeni Village
Spectacular fortress view of Kagbeni Village
View toward Lo Manthang | Kagbeni, the border town in between Upper and Lower Mustang
View toward Lo Manthang | Kagbeni, the border town in between Upper and Lower Mustang
Piles of wood to keep themselves warm during winter | They will light a firewood heater for you in the dinning room.
Piles of wood to keep themselves warm during winter | They will light a firewood heater for you in the dinning room.

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Article by Pradeep Guragain

Pradeep is the co-founder of Magical Nepal. He was born and bred in Nepal and is a seasoned hiker and rider.

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