|Waypoints from a Garmin Geko GPS receiver. Mystique is the guesthouse in Lo-Manthang. Maps made with ESRI ArcGIS software|
North of Lo-Manthang, the terrain looks dry, wild, and forbidding. But humans have inhabited this area for at least 2500 years, indicating there was sufficient water for agriculture and animal husbandry. The cliffs around the valley are riddled with caves, some of which were used for human occupation hundreds of years ago. Many were tombs and contain religious relics dating back to the origins of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Nyiphug Namdrol Norbuling Monastery is north of the town of Chhoser and is partly built into the mountain. We rented horses for the 8 km. trip north out of Lo-Manthang. Our Sherpa guides walked, but we wimpy lowlanders opted for the bumpy luxury transportation.
|Ancient books wrapped in silk|
|Modern notebooks at a study table|
|Buddha backed by a modern commercial decorative cloth (or tablecloth?)|
|View from a cave above Nyiphug Gompa|
For trekkers the dreaded road from Pokhara to Lo Manthang to Tibet is not yet as bad as some people make out (it only exists in small sections and is completely off-road). However, once it is finished and the trading route to China is fully open there’s little doubt the Kingdom of Lo will disappear into folklore and package tours much like the Annapurna Circuit of 10 years ago.
|Returning to Lo-Manthang|