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Planning for Muktinath / Mustang Road Trip in Nepal?? Check this.

No doubt the Muktinath (Lower Mustang) Road trip in Nepal offers an great riding experience which takes a rider through the stunning valleys of the Mustang valley and jaw dropping mountain views, it also makes you hit the newly constructed dirt road along the popular trekking route in the Annapurna Conservation Area. Motorcycle Adventure redefined.

The core team at xKmph.com had done the trip twice to give an overview of the trip and how to do it on your own without depending on the very costly Trip Organizers. This article is the result of the various questions that riders have been asking us over the last one year. We can say this trip is becoming popular among the Indian Adventure Motorcyclists.

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However there are some rules that one has to follow before heading towards the route. Your questions Answered…

Trip Overview of the Muktinath (Mustang Valley) Road Trip:

You will be riding through the Annapurna Conservation Area which is really beautiful and at the same time too dusty and bumpy, perfect for labeling the ride  for a short adventure trip. The offroad section is around 220kms.

Entering Nepal (Overland Crossings):

There are many entry points through which you can enter Nepal overland. The commonly used are 1.  Panitanki/Kakarbhitta border near Siliguri (WB) 2. Raxaul/Birgunj border in Bihar 3. SunauliBorder near Gorakhpur (UP) 4. Nepalganj ( India-Nepal International border) near Rupaidiha (UP) 5. Banbasa/Mahendranagar Border (UK).

However, we would suggest you to cross through Panitanki, Raxaul or Sunauli border as the road infrastructure in the Indian Side is better than the Nepal Side and it will be easier to save your energy for the Muktinath/Mustang trip.

Entry Permits for Indians & India Registered Motorcycles :

Indians do not need any  entry permits/visa to enter the Himalayan Kingdom, Nepal. However a temporary import duty is needed to ride an India Registered  Motorcycle in Nepal. In Nepal its called Bhansar. The amount is approx 75INR/day (NRs. 113/Day). However, Bhansar is granted for maximum 7 days at the border (Immigration office). It has to be extended (if needed depending on your trip) at the Customs (Import/Export) Building in Kathmandu Airport or any of the border. The Airport is easier for extension.

Please note that all cash transactions in these offices are done in Nepali Rupees. Also all forms are in Nepali so you have to hire a person to fill them up. At the borders they charge around INR20-30.00 per form and in Kathmandu its NRs. 500.00 per vehicle (as they have to feed the data in Computer and take print out and process the same).

Carry your Driving License, Voter card, Motorcycle Registration, Tax, Insurance, Pollution documents and 4 copies of recent passport size photos.

Also Note: You can renew your Bhansar only on the last date of its validaty. You go the next day, be ready to pay a fine 10times the rate thats NRs. 1130/day fine. However you can protest. (xKmph Team was not aware of this rule. We were riding for 2 days without the tax as we got late in Muktinath Area. They were charging two days fine, however on protesting they charged just one day fine). The officials in Airport report at their desk around 12 PM.

Permits for Muktinath / Mustang for Indians and Motorcycles :

People are allowed to ride/visit on their own upto Muktinath Area which is the Lower part of the Mustang District also known as Lower Mustang and it falls in the Annapurna Conservation Area. There is a fee to enter the  Annapurna Conservation Area which is available from Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) which is located at Dam Side, Pokhra.

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For Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACP) the fee is NRs. 200.00 for Indians (and SAARC Countries) and NRs. 2000.00 for other nationals.

After that one has to register for the “Trekkers’ Information management System (TIMS)” card which has to be made from another section in the same office building (at our time it was at the reception area). Charge NRs. 600.00.

These permits has to be stamped at various check points that falls between Beni & Muktinath. ACP at  Ghasa & Puthang (Jomsom). TIMS card to be stamped at Tatopani and later at Jomsom.

In Ghasa they will stop for Road Permit for motorcycle thats around NRs. 600.00 . Our team had visited twice, once we were charged. The other time it was not charged. So no exact information is available. However be ready for it.

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Muktinath (Mustang Valley) Road Trip Route:

The route from India depends from where you are starting, however we are giving an overview which will be approximately same for all. The Route given as per start time 6 AM everyday.

Pohkra – Beni – Tatopani – Ghasa – Lete – Marpha – Jomsom – Muktinath. Back through the same route.

Pokhra to Beni is around 80 kms. Road condition is good. From Beni the offroad starts. Beni to Muktinath is around 110Kms.

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Sample routes:

Muktinath (Mustang Valley) Road Trip Route 1 from Siliguri-
Day 1 : Siliguri to Mugling
Day 2 : Mugling to Pokhra
Day 3 : Pokhra get permits and continue upto Tatopani/Ghasa (if permits are in your hand by 11AM)
Day 4 : Tatopani/Ghasa – Jomsom – Muktinath
Day 5 : Muktinath – Pokhra
Day 6 : Pokhra – Kathmandu
Day 7 : Kathmandu (extend your Bike Temp Import papers)
Day 8 : Kathmandu to Siliguri.

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Muktinath (Mustang Valley) Road Trip Route 2 from Siliguri-
Day 1 : Siliguri to Kathmandu
Day 2 : Kathmandu
Day 3 : Kathmandu (extend your Bike Temp Import papers)
Day 4 : Kathmandu to Pokhra (apply for permits after reaching Pokhra)
Day 5 : Pokhra – Jomsom
Day 6 : Jomsom – Pokhra / Beni
Day 7 : Beni – Pokhra (spend some time in Pokhra)
Day 8 : Pokhra to Siliguri.

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Muktinath (Mustang Valley) Road Trip Route from Kolkata-
Day 1 : Kolkata to Patna
Day 2 : Patna – Muzaffarpur – Birgunj (Indo-Nepal border) – Mugling
Day 3 : Mugling – Pokhra get permits and continue upto Tatopani/Ghasa (if permits are in your hand by 11AM)
Day 4 : Tatopani/Ghasa – Jomsom – Muktinath
Day 5 : Muktinath – Pokhra
Day 6 : Pokhra – Kathmandu
Day 7 : Kathmandu (extend your Bike Temp Import papers)
Day 8 : Kathmandu in and around
Day 9 : Kathmandu – Hetauda – Birgunj (Indo-Nepal border) – Muzaffarpur/Patna
Day 10 : Muzaffarpur/Patna – Kolkata

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The above trip route may change depending on various situation like your riding style, Speed, weather conditions etc. You may also visit Chitwan National Park while returning from Pokhra.

Stays along the Muktinath (Mustang Valley) Road Trip Route:

Accomodatiion is easyly availabe along the whole route. The best places to stay for the night will be Tatopani, Ghasa, Jomsom, Muktinath. Most of the lodges/guest houses are reasonably priced (approx INR 1000.00/night for a double bed). Ask for the fooding, at few places fooding is included with the stay. WIFI  is also available at all the standard hotels.

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Muktinath Temple, Mustang

You may read our Trip Log to get an overview of the Muktinath/Mustang Road Trip.

Acing the unknown Biking Terrain of Himalayan Range

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