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Friday, May 1, 2020

Discover the hidden "kingdom" in the Himalayas

Mustang, also known as the old Lo kingdom, is located far away in the Himalayas, surrounded by high mountains above 8,000 Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.

Mustang in Nepal
Around Manthang

Mustang in Nepal borders the Tibetan Plateau, China. For a long time the "Forgotten Kingdom" Mustang was mistaken for the legendary Shangri-La valley described in the novels.

Due to its relatively rugged geographical location, the kingdom of Mustang was truly forgotten until it was rediscovered by adventurers in 1981.

A measure of isolation from ancient times, banning foreigners from entering the territory of the country, Mustang retains its ancient culture almost intact. Mustang is the last place in the world that still preserves the traditional Tibetan culture intact.

It was not until 1992 that the Nepalese government allowed a limited number of foreign tourists to visit the land. The government required special permits and fees for exploring the ancient kingdom of Mustang.

The capital Manthang of the ancient Lo kingdom is home to the Loba people, the first inhabitants of Mustang. Some scholars from many countries argue that this is the best preserved medieval fortress in the world. Worthy being a candidate to become a world heritage.

Mustang in Nepal
A Hindu missionary stands by the Kali Gandaki River before entering the Mustang land 

Mustang in Nepal
Tantric painting of monk Lien Hoa sinh 

Mustang in Nepal
A Tibetan "Amchi" is testing the medicine
Traditionally in Tibet, physicians were officially called "Amchi". They were often the children of doctors in the royal family, of good quality, intelligence, and well-trained since childhood. Amchi cures esoteric remedies from natural plants. In society, Amchi is respected, not only as a doctor but also as chemists, botanists, alchemists and magicians.
Mustang in Nepal
The road in Mustang is under construction linking China with Nepal

For centuries, the Kali Gandaki River valley was the only way to get in and out of Mustang, it was an important route in the trade of salt, cereals, dried meat spices and other commodities between Tibet. , China and India.
Mustang in Nepal
A Hindu missionary is meditating in Ranbyung cave, in a mountain in Himalya range
Ranbyung is one of the oldest and most sacred caves in the Himalayas. Legend has it that, in the eighth century, Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinponche in the West, used to meditate in this cave.

Born in India to a Brahmin family, Lien Hoa sinh followed Buddhism. He passed through Mustang before going to Tibet to teach about Buddhism. Mustang residents are very proud of this fact and they consider Padmasambhava to be the second Buddha.
Mustang in Nepal
In the eighth century, monks at Samye monastery used this mask in a dance created by Padmasambhava.

Mustang in Nepal
The women in Mustang wore baskets filled with grass as fodder for cattle

Mustang in Nepal
Chortens Tower is left in the valley

Mustang in Nepal
Father and son threshing rice with rudimentary tools

The content is made available through reference to The Diplomat, a magazine based in Tokyo, specializing in politics, culture and society in the Asia-Pacific region. The Diplomat began its launch in 2002 and has so far attracted the attention of many commentators, policy makers and in-depth scholars on issues in this area.

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