About Damodar Kunda Trek - Pilgrimage tour in Upper Mustang 2024

Damodar Kunda Trek

Damodar Kunda is a sacred pilgrimage site located in the Mustang district of Nepal. It is situated at an altitude of about 4,890 meters (16,040 feet) in the Upper Mustang region, which lies in the Himalayas. Damodar Kunda is considered a highly revered site by both Hindus and Buddhists.Damodar Kunda Trek is the combination of Upper Mustang Trek and Damodar Kunda Trekking in Nepal. In Damodar Kunda Trekking, we see the Damodar Kunda (lake) is famous for the Hindu religion; it is situated rain shadow of the High Himalayas north of the Annapurna range. The elevation of the Damodar Kunda is just 4890 meters; it is a cold and windy place. We will recommend you visit during the full moon of August every year because there is a big festival every year. Many pilgrimages of Hinduism in Nepal and Buddhists in Nepal see the full moon in August. Usually, you can visit from April to September every year. So festival time will be great for visiting Damodar Kund. From Damodar Kund, the views are great from some viewpoints a bit higher than the lakes, just a short climb up some of the hills. The Tibetan plateau & Damodar Himal are to the north and the Annapurna Himalayan is massive to the south. The Damodar lakes are located three-day walk northeast of the main Mustang trekking route & very close to the Tibetan border. Damodar Kunda lies on a restricted upper mustang between Kagbeni and Muktinath.

The name "Damodar Kunda" is derived from two words. "Damodar" refers to Lord Krishna, a Hindu deity, and "Kunda" means a holy pond or lake. The site consists of two main lakes, namely the Damodar Kunda and the Rohini Kunda, along with several smaller ponds. The lakes are believed to have spiritual significance and are considered sacred by devotees.For Hindus, Damodar Kunda holds great religious significance. It is believed that taking a dip in the holy waters of the lakes can cleanse one's sins and provide spiritual liberation. Devotees often visit the site during the auspicious month of August to perform religious rituals and offer prayers.Buddhists also hold Damodar Kunda in high regard. It is considered as one of the important pilgrimage sites associated with Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhist pilgrims visit the lakes to seek blessings and meditate in the serene surroundings.Damodar Kunda Trekking covers Damodar Himal, a mountain range in Nepal Himalayas, in the Mustang district. Includes Muktinath Himal (6,706m), Bhrikuti Peak (6,364m).There are 65 peaks in this Himal range. Marshyangdi River takes its origin from this range. If you're planning a trip to the elusive and infamous Damodar Kund Trek, here are some priceless bits of information that could be the difference between life and death, a negatively eventful pilgrimage, and a relatively straightforward trek and pilgrimage.

Damodar Kund (Lake) is situated in a basin in the Damodar Himal and flows southward through a rain shadow valley on the eastern edge of the Annapurna Range. There are two versions of the Origin of the Kali Gandaki River; one will say the river comes from a lake near the Tibetan border by the name of Damodar-Kund northeast of Muktinath (a 2-3 day trip per foot away). Others will say the river appears from a crack of the Dongmar mountain northwest of Lo Mantang (which is much further north than the first description) and that the waters of Damodar Kund are unique to themselves. There are several lakes, the area being locally called "Charang, the land of hilly lakes."

Reaching Damodar Kunda is not an easy task due to its remote location and challenging terrain. The journey usually involves trekking through rugged mountain trails and high passes. The Upper Mustang region requires a special permit for entry, and it is advisable to undertake the journey with a registered trekking agency or guide.The beauty of the Himalayan landscape, the spiritual significance of Damodar Kunda, and the unique cultural experiences of the Upper Mustang region make it a popular destination for adventure seekers and religious pilgrims alike.The Damodar lakes are located three-day walk northeast of the main Damodar Kunda Trek route and very close to the border with Tibet. From Damodar Kund, the views are great from some viewpoints a bit higher than the lakes, just a short climb up some of the hills. The Tibetan plateau & Damodar Himal are to the north and the Annapurna Himalayan is massive to the south. The Damodar Kund (lake) walk is not as tricky as Upper Mustang Trek but is quite a long walking distance and only sometimes a bit steep and almost flat. The only problem is the altitude, and I have been aware of this while working out the itinerary.

Note: If you are not satisfied with this itinerary and other details, please contact us to make the itinerary and further detail as per your need.

 

Highlights

  • Explore Kathmandu and Pokhara City.
  • Buddhist Monastery, Chorten and Mani walls.
  • Tibetan lifestyle in refugee camps and the mystic Landscape. 
  • Snow-capped peaks. 
  • Damodar Kunda, possible for festival observers if the trip is on the full moon in August?
  • Ancient and isolated villages.
  • Lo Mangthang valley.
  • Mixed culture and purely Tibetan culture. 
  • The pilgrimage site of Muktinath. 
  • Explore Pokhara City.

Day to Day Itinerary

Meet by our Himalayan Asia Treks representative in airport and transfer to the hotel. Our representative assists to check in hotel process and give short brief about program. You can take rest and fresh. You can walk in evening in Thamel (tourist hub of Kathmandu).
Overnight in Kathmandu.  

  • Accommodation: Three Star Hotel.
  • Location: Kathmandu.
  • Altitude: 1350m.

In the morning after breakfast, we introduced your trek guide / leader. It will provide an opportunity to know your guide/leader and can ask questions about treks. After discussing with trek guide/leader, we start sightseeing tour: Swayambhunath Stupa, Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple. We provide private vehicle and guide for city sightseeing tour, you have time to shopping for trekking gear.
Overnight in Kathmandu.

  • Meals: Breakfast.
  • Accommodation: Three Star Hotel.
  • Location: Kathmandu.
  • Altitude: 1350m.

 If we fly from Kathmandu, your guide will come at hotel for transfer Pokhara. It will take 25 min by domestic airlines. If we go by bus it will take 7 hrs by tourist bus.
Overnight in Pokhara.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Three Star Hotel.
  • Location: Pokhara.

After taking breakfast, transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Jomsom of 20 minutes over the mountains with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, brings you at Jomsom, the district headquarter of Mustang. Jomsom is also major village on the Kaligandaki area linking the age old trans-Himalayan salt trade route to Tibet. From Jomsom onwards it is very windy in the afternoon, continue on the path on the Kali Gandaki river bed for 3 hours and finally reached Ekle Bhatti village . In Kagbeni a major tributary , Kak Khola coming from Muktinath , meets Mustang Khola from there the river is called the Kali Gandaki .
Overnight in Eklebhatti .

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tea House/ Lodge.
  • Location: Eklebhatti .
  • Altitude: 2810m.

After doing the formalities of showing your restricted area trekking permit in Kagbeni we start our trekking because in Mustang there is heavy wind which gets up later in the day, blowing dust and sand around. The climb from Kagbeni to Chele passes through beautiful village of Tangbe, which offers white washed traditional houses and fields of barley, buckwheat’s and apple orchards. On the way we enjoy good views of Nilgiri mountain .Passing several ridges we cross a stream after Chhusang village, leave the Kaligandaki valley behind and climb further to the village of Chele. From Chele we start observing the typical Tibetan settlements of Upper Mustang .
Overnight in Chele.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tea House/ Lodge.
  • Location: Chele.
  • Altitude: 3050m.

After taking breakfast, we start our trek through a forest of small trees and green bushes which are able to survive in the narrow gorge because the high vertical walls keep them cool and sufficiently moist. Soon the valley broadens out and we can see walls built in front of caves which are temporary homes for the herders whose animals graze here. Sometimes it is possible to see the rare blue mountain sheep in this area. After about one hour we are on a pass offering a good view towards Samar, the Kali Gandaki valley and snow-capped peaks in the distance. After Samar we cross a side-valley, descending to its base and crossing over a creek, before we trek all the way up again on the other side.From Samar is a red painted cave monastery, which looks as if it has been stuck on to the vertical wall. This is Rangchyungchorten(the chorten that formed itself’), one of the most sacred places in Mustang.The walk to Syangboche can seem never-ending. It is fairly easy, but a constant climb with the destination nowhere in sight, until, finally, a cluster of houses appears. It is much colder in Syangboche.
Overnight in Syangboche.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tea House/ Lodge.
  • Location: Syangboche.
  • Altitude: 3800m.

After taking breakfast we start our trekking. Today we pass three high passes with in 15 min. Yanda La, and passed a distinctive red chorten painted with Buddhism’s eight auspicious symbols and terraced valley with groups of yellowish trees appears and above the village of Ghelung are two red Gompas. Unlike other villages in Mustang, where the houses are built close together and look fortress-like, Ghelung is spread out wide on a patch of green grass and gives the impression of being a fairly affluent little community. Rising above the village are barren, brown hills and we can see the Nyi La pass straight ahead. The path descends gradually towards the Ghami La pass and on the way we see a rundown, deserted village downstream. Another broad valley comes in from the left-hand side and in its centre is Ghami, Mustang’s third largest town, which is high above the river and surrounded by fields.
Overnight in Ghemi.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tea House/ Lodge.
  • Location: Ghemi.
  • Altitude: 3520m.

We see the Mustang’s longest Mani wall(1000m) long and decorated with simple in well with the surrounding scenery outside the Ghemi. There is also a group of chortens standing in front of the red wall which forms the end of the valley. The architecture here is like a carvings, blending organic extension of nature. According to legend when the famous Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) came to the area and fought and destroyed a demon, its intestines landed at the site where the Mani wall stands, its lungs near the red cliffs behind and its heart at the spot where Mustang’s oldest monastery, Lo Gekar, was built. A steady climb takes us up a 3820m pass, after which a lunar-looking desert stretches to the horizon. The first indication of human presence we see next is the Tsarangchorten – the large red-painted Stupa is in the middle of the landscape and further down the monastery and the palace of Tsarang can be distinguished in the fields. A broad road leads to Tsarang, Mustang’s second town.
Overnight in Tsarang.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tea House/ Lodge.
  • Location: Tsarang.
  • Altitude: 3560m.

After taking breakfast, trekking begins on flat terrain and the view, apart from a chorten and a few caves, is unrelieved barrenness. After crossing a pass and waking through two rocks forming a natural gate we have finally arrived at Lo Mangthang.
Overnight in Lo Mangthang. 

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tea House/ Lodge.
  • Location: Lo Mangthang.
  • Altitude: 3800m.

After taking breakfast, we explore the surrounding areas, visit Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar. Namgyal Gompa situated on a hill top serves as an important monastery of the local community and also as a local court. After visiting Namgyal Gompa, continue to the Tingkhar, the last main village of northwest of Lo- Mangthang and back to hotel.
 Overnight in Lo- Mangthang.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tea House/ Lodge.
  • Location: Lo Mangthang.
  • Altitude: 3800m.

After taking breakfast, we trek towards Yara. Today, we walk some ascends and descends with stunning view and feel experience of suspension bridge in the Kaligandaki river and Dhie village . After walking 6 hours, we will reach Yara.
Overnight in Camp in Yara with Tent House. 


  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tent House /Camping.
  • Location: Yara.
  • Altitude: 4000m.

After taking breakfast, we move towards Thati. Thati means a rest house for public in public area. We will pass Luri Cave monastery.The trail follows the barren valley after crossing 5100meter pass.After pass Luri Cave monastery, We stayed at tent in Thanti.
Overnight in Camp in Thanti with Tent House. 

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tent House /Camping.
  • Location: Ghuma Thanti.
  • Altitude: 4850m.

After taking breakfast, the trail follows up and down hill and cross another 5000m pass and will see Damodar Kunda which is our final destination of Damodar Kunda Trek . Today we face some ups and downs.
Overnight in Damodar Kunda with tent.


  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tent House /Camping.
  • Location: Damodar Kunda.
  • Altitude: 5400m.

Today , we will explore Damodar Kunda which is known as sacred place for Hindu and Buddhist followers also. From Damodar Kunda , you can see amazing view of snow capped mountain . 
Overnight in Damodar Kunda with tent.


  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tent House /Camping.
  • Location: Damodar Kunda.
  • Altitude: 4890m.

After taking breakfast, we return back same way towards Thati. We will make lunch on the way and take lunch and hike ups and down. 
Overnight in Thati.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tent House /Camping.
  • Location: Thati.
  • Altitude: 4850m.

After taking breakfast, we return back same way towards Yara. The trail follow downhill until reaching Yara Village.

Overnight in Yara village.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tea House/ Lodge.
  • Location: Yara Village.
  • Altitude: 4000m.

At early morning , we start our journey towards Tange. We face little bit difficult today. We descend towards Dechhyang Khola (origin is Damodar Kunda) and can found Shaligram ( Hindu people believed Shaligram is the symbol of lord Vishnu). On the way we can see many Chortens. Overnight in Tange.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tea House/ Lodge.
  • Location: Tange.
  • Altitude: 3240m.

Today also, we start our trek at early morning. When we pass the Tange village, there are river and small pass. The trail goes down and reach Tetang village. From this village, we can see stunning view of Nilgiri Peak, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche peak and other peak.

Overnight in Tetang. 

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tea House/ Lodge.
  • Location: Tetang.
  • Altitude: 3040m.

Today we take breakfast and start our journey towards Muktinath. On the way , in villageyou can see beautiful Mani walls. We ascend and descend and reached Chhyongar village, before reaching this village , we pass a beautiful suspension bridge. We reached at Muktinath and explore Muktinath temple area where we can found 108 brass water spurts.

Overnight in Muktinath.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tea House/ Lodge.
  • Location: Muktinath.
  • Altitude: 3800m.

It's a final day, passing back through beautiful village Jharkot and views of Kagbeni to Jomsom where we end our trek. It's now time for us to take a nice hot shower. In the evening, you celebrate with your guide and Sherpa and exchange your good experiences what you had on the trekking. Or you can visit Marpha village (near Jomsom), where you can see apple orchids.

Overnight in Jomsom.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Tea House/ Lodge.
  • Location: Jomsom.
  • Altitude: 2710m.

We take a spectacular early morning flight along the Kali Gandaki gorge to Pokhara and rest of the day relax in Pokhara .This day you be free or if you want you may do Pokhara valley sightseeing in Pokhara.

Over night in Pokhara.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Three Star Hotel.
  • Location: Pokhara.

Take breakfast at the hotel and then your guide will take you by taxi/car to tourist bus station and then at 7:30AM drive back to Kathmandu.

  • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Three Star Hotel.
  • Location: Kathmandu.
  • Meals: Breakfast.

What's Included

  • Accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara in best Three star hotel. 
  • Daily Breakfast.
  • Ground transportation (Airport pick up and drop, sightseeing by private).
  • Entrance fees in entrance fees in Kathmandu and Pokhara sightseeing place.
  • Three times meals at trekking route.
  • Flight fare of Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara-Kathmandu.
  • Accommodation in Tea house or lodge in trekking route.
  • Government licensed English speaking guide.
  • Porter (one porter for two person and carry 20 kg).
  • All necessary paper work like Permit and TIMS card (Trekkers information management system).
  • Travel and rescue arrangement.
  • Twenty four call assistance by our office representative.
  • Farewell dinner in typical Nepali restaurant.
  • Meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Any type of insurance.
  • Any type of international  flight fare.
  • Personal nature expenses like bar bills, water, tea coffee, shower, laundry, wi fi in trekking route.
  • Tips.
  • Any extra cost which is not mentioned in Cost includes column.
  • Extra day for natural calamities like flood, landslide, flight cancellation.

Useful Information

Things to know before Damodar Kunda Trek 

Before embarking on the Damodar Kunda Trek, there are several things you should know to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. Here are some important points to consider:
  • Location: Damodar Kunda is a sacred lake situated in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal, at an altitude of around 5,400 meters (17,717 feet). It lies in a remote and restricted area, so proper permits are required to access this region.
  • Altitude and Acclimatization: The Damodar Kunda Trek takes you to high altitudes, and it is crucial to acclimatize properly to avoid altitude sickness. Gradual ascent and planned rest days are essential to allow your body to adjust to the altitude.
  • Physical Fitness: The Damodar Kunda Trek is a challenging journey that involves long hours of walking in rugged terrains and high altitudes. Prior physical fitness preparation, including cardiovascular exercises, hiking, and endurance training, is recommended.
  • Permits and Documentation: To enter the Upper Mustang region, you need to obtain special permits, including the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP), Restricted Area Permit (RAP), and Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) card. Make sure to arrange these permits in advance through a registered trekking agency.
  • Weather and Best Time to Visit: The weather in the Upper Mustang region can be unpredictable, with strong winds and cold temperatures. The best time to undertake the Damodar Kunda Trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons when the weather is relatively stable and clear.
  • Accommodation and Facilities: Due to its remote location, the infrastructure along the Damodar Kunda Trek is limited. Tea houses and basic lodges are available along the route, but the facilities may be basic, with shared bathrooms and limited amenities. It's advisable to carry essential trekking gear and a good-quality sleeping bag.
  • Experienced Guide and Porter: The Damodar Kunda Trek involves crossing high passes, navigating challenging terrain, and dealing with potential altitude-related issues. Hiring an experienced guide and porter is highly recommended for safety and assistance throughout the trek.
  • Packing List: Some essential items to pack for the Damodar Kunda Trek include appropriate clothing for cold weather, sturdy trekking boots, a down jacket, thermal layers, a hat, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, a first aid kit, water purification tablets, trekking poles, and a good-quality backpack.
  • Respect for Local Culture: The Upper Mustang region is culturally rich and has its own unique traditions and customs. It's important to respect the local culture, traditions, and religious sites, and to be mindful of the local sensitivities and restrictions.
  • Trekking Insurance: It's highly recommended to have comprehensive travel and trekking insurance that covers medical emergencies, evacuation, and trip cancellations. Make sure to carefully read the policy and understand its terms and conditions.

What do I need for trekking?/ Packing list :

  • Day pack (rucksack)
  • Light weight and warm trousers.
  • Socks.
  • Sun hats and gloves.
  • Full- sleeves t shirt.
  • Warm jackets.
  • Waterproof jacket, trousers and bag cover.
  • Light weight cotton clothing.
  • Waterproof or windcheater jacket.
  • Knee supports.
  • Sun glasses.
  • Sun cream and lip protector.
  • A one liter hard Water bottle.
  • Batteries
  • Flash light
  • Down jacket
  •  Sleeping bag and duffel bag will provide by our company have to return.
  • Trekking shoes or boots.
  • A pair of sandals.