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North Central Region, Nepal
Mustang is the former Kingdom lies on the north-central part of Nepal, bordering Tibet between Dolpo district and Manang district. It is the hinterland enriched with mainly barren ridges, deep canyons, eroded cliffs and Moraine valleys. Mustang Kingdom’s status came to end in 2008 and today’s Mustang is far influence by Tibet. The last official and current unofficial King (Gyelpo) is Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista.
Mustang Region is conserved by Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and the life of Mustang revolves around tourism and trade. The population of Mustang District comprises of Thakalis, Gurung or in traditional Mustang, primarily Tibetan. Jomsom, headquarter and administrative center of Mustang Region serve domestic flight that link Mustang with other part of country. Mustang region is full of some of Nepal’s oldest Buddhist Monasteries, ancient and isolated villages with quaint white washed houses. Mustang has been isolated from the outside World although Jomsom has had an airport since 1962 and has become the main tourist entry point since it was opened to western tourism in 1992.
Mustang is largely dry and arid positioned in the rain shadow area and experience very less rainfall. It lies hidden behind the Himalayan giants of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna at the very roof of Asia on the arid Tibetan plateau. Its landscape is unrivaled for it has a stupendous wilderness, pristine scenery and snow capped peaks.
The population of Mustang District was nearly fourteen thousand at 2011 census which spread between three towns and approximately thirty smaller settlements.
Mustang was once an independent kingdom, although closely tied by language and culture to Tibet. Mustang was annexed by Nepal at the end of 18th century and later ceased to exist on October 2008 by order of the Government of Nepal. Mustang Region is also known as Hidden Treasure and home to old ancient Buddhist monasteries.
Tourism in Mustang
Mustang lifestyle is highly affected by Tourism as lot more people are depended on tourists. Trekking in fabled forbidden kingdom of vast, arid valleys, eroded canyons, ochre valley, yak caravans, medieval ancient monasteries, sacred temple, diverse cultures and traditions along with majestic mountain views lures many travelers from all the world to Mustang Region.