Scenically and ethnologically, the region Mustang with its barren high valleys looks more like a part of Tibet. Here, the landscape has hardly changed its face for centuries. The visits to the ancient places Kagbeni and Muktinath as well as to the surrounding caves, monasteries, chortens and stupas provide intensive insights into a deeply Buddhist cultural landscape that seems almost medieval. The numerous pass crossings are rewarded by breathtaking views of Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Annapurna (8091 m), Nilgiri (7061 m) and other ice-armored mountain giants. In Muktinath, we find a temple complex which belongs to the most important pilgrimage site of the Nepalese Himalayas for Hindus and Buddhists. It’s said to be The Place of Liberation: by visiting this temple and by bathing in the ice-cold water of its 108 holy stone faucets one gets completely purified and liberated from karma. Reaching Kagbeni, we find another village nearby which is known as a gateway to the Upper Mustang, The Forbidden Kingdom of Lo, that was closed for foreigners until 1992. Kagbeni maintains the characteristic appearance of a fortress town and is culturally very rich. The village played a significant role during the "Salt Trade" era that flourished between Tibet and India. Kagbeni offers breathtaking landscapes over the Kali Gandaki River Valley and Upper Mustang. Alongside the river, we can find numerous ancient caves, where for centuries Buddhist lamas used to meditate. Here, we can move on to another rare and unique experience: try finding some Shaligram - a sacred stone, that it’s said is the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu itself and has strong power.The river itself carries a powerful energy that can be used for transformation, letting go of the old and destructive as well as for purification. In Kagbeni, yogis, monks and visitors meditate inside of the ancient monastery Kag Chode Thupten Samphel Ling Gompa, that was founded in 1429. Surrounded by ancient frescoes and fine woodwork, precious statues, and holy scriptures, the monastery offers the opportunity to learn more about the ancient practices of the monks that live there and find inner stillness. All in all, Mustang is a unique and untouched land that offers healing and powerful spaces for us to explore and deepen our meditative and yogic practices.
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