March 20, 2023: The arrival of tourists has increased along with a decrease in the snow in Mustang. The decrease in the snow is because the district had become deserted for more than two months. According to Bhabyang Tenzing Gurung, the chairman of Ward 3 of the Damodarkunda Rural Municipality, tourism has increased after the third week of Falgun (February-March).
“After the third week of February, the snow-covered mustang hills start to shrink back to their original size,” he said, “Tourists also come here to enjoy the snowfall that occurs around the 23rd and 24th of February.”
Some tourists who have chosen the Mustang journey go as far as Mukti Nath, while others go to the border with China through the Korala Pass. Mustang, with its diverse geography, is an attractive destination for both religious and trekking tourism. The geographical diversity here appeals to everyone, from the peaks to the hills.
Recently, there has been an increasing trend in the construction of infrastructure in the tourism sector, which has benefited both domestic and foreign tourists. Until a decade ago, travelers visiting the Mukti Nath temple had to stay in tents due to the lack of hotels. However, now there are well-facilitated hotels built all the way from Lete to Mukti Nath.
Ram Kumar Thakali, a local from another place, has revealed that when he visited Mustang in the past, he had to stay in tents and animal sheds. However, now well-equipped hotels have put an end to the necessity of such accommodations. In recent times, locals in villages like Thinli and Syangja have also started operating homestays in Mustang.
Ram Bahadur Gurung, the main organizer of the Annapurna Conservation Program (ACP), stated that the program has contributed significantly to the increase in tourism activity in the Lho Manthang area of Upper Mustang. Lho Manthang, which is now considered a city of clay, is part of the ACP initiative. It contains around 180 homes, including the Royal Palace of the Mustang King, within a single wall.