Mustang : Secret kingdom of the Himalayas

A Tibetan enclave on Nepalese territory, Mustang was, still just a short time ago, the last Himalayan kingdom totally inaccessible to foreigners. Today, the opening up is limited to 600 visitors per year, those sufficiently well off to cover the costs of the expedition and the high price of the trekking permit. A hermit kingdom vassal to Nepal, Mustang, which once served as the major trade route between Tibet and India, has more suffered than chosen this anachronistic isolation. Both for China and for Nepal this small country was considered to be a sensitive zone : from 1959 to 1973 it served as a rear base for the Tibetan guerrillas’ struggle against the occupying China…Even though the monarchy officiallly ceased to exist on October 7, 2008, by order of the new republic of Nepal, the former king still enjoys today considerable power and prestige. Very pious, he devotes himself to long prayers each morning in his private chapel. But above all, he never starts the day without walking seven times around the walls of the capital Lo Mantang, in order to bring down upon it the good graces of the divinities….