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In the northern region of central Nepal, amidst development and destruction, modern and traditional, historical and contemporary, there lies a juncture of struggle and joy. In such a juncture, remnants of both past and present elements converge. Here, old cultures meet alongside new ways of life. Traditional attire is encountered, yet new opportunities blossom. This juncture of experience is nestled in the Mustang district, transcended along with Tibet. Here, remnants of history are found in every footstep. Lines drawn from the past, worthy of both sorrow and pride, are encountered in the layers of the earthen walls. Amidst Lo Manthang, the civilization flourished in the 15th century, with walls and monasteries standing as silent witnesses to the challenges of time. This time, in this special episode of Nepal Eighth Wonder, we are taking you to Lo Manthang, ascending to the Kora La Pass at 4660 meters above sea level. On such a historical journey, where we are about to create a record of being the first ever to take an EV-SUV there. 

Kathmandu. Here, everything seems crowded, yet there’s a unique charm to it. It’s a place where there’s no beginning or end, and the number of people coming and going from here is never halted. Especially on the road leading to Mugling, which connects various parts of Nepal with Kathmandu. After escaping this crowd for a few days, we were heading towards a journey where we would all have a new experience. Imagining new challenges, new perspectives, and the beauty of new destinations, we soon reached Malekhu in just a few moments, leaving the capital behind. And upon reaching Malekhu, we took our first break from this journey.

After having breakfast in Malekhu, we continued our journey with renewed enthusiasm. We were eagerly anticipating the experience of travelling with Seres 3. Alongside, we were also getting acquainted with rapidly advancing technology, such as electric vehicles, which are becoming capable of traveling across various terrains in Nepal. This itself was both a challenge and an achievement.

The development of EVs in the form of alternatives has become essential for sustainable development and environmental conservation, as reliance on finite resources like fossil fuels exacerbates pollution and contributes to climate change. This development is happening worldwide, including in countries like Nepal, where even reaching basic infrastructure can take time. Ultimately, the question arises: can EV truly find its place in such locations? This journey is an attempt to seek answers to that very question.

We didn’t have to wait long to charge the vehicle, so we set off on our journey again. As we progressed further from Kurintar, we could see the Trishuli River meandering alongside the highway. We were traveling along the banks of the river itself. Gradually descending from Rasuwa, Trishuli merges with Gandaki. Trishuli is one of the rivers that flows near Kathmandu.

After reaching Muglin, situated at the confluence of the Marsyangdi and Trishuli Rivers, we diverted towards the Prithvi Highway to head towards Pokhara. The Prithvi Highway connects Kathmandu and Pokhara via destinations like Kathmandu, Dhading, Chitwan, Tanahun, and finally reaching Kaski district. It links Kathmandu and Pokhara, approximately 200 kilometers apart. Despite the journey not being overly long, we opted for a leisurely pace, allowing us to enjoy the scenic route.

We arrived in Pokhara when it was all dark. Pokhara is a familiar place for all of us, yet every time Pokhara appears stunning in its way. Perhaps it’s the magic of Pokhara’s environment. Even arriving at night, Pokhara had a different vibe. There was a delightful buzz in the air. The shimmering lake and the picturesque lakeside offered an enchanting view, making Pokhara captivating as ever.

Kora La Border at around 4660m above sea level
Kora La Border at around 4660m above sea level

On the first day of our journey, we decided to relax in Pokhara. Pokhara is a very familiar destination in itself. Perhaps the charm and vibrancy of Pokhara cannot be found elsewhere. It’s not just a favourite place for everyone, but Pokhara is also a beloved destination for all. There are so many places to explore here that it’s not easy to cover them all. Besides the lakes, Pokhara also connects other natural beauties, making it a unique city. Once you come to Pokhara, you can’t leave disappointed. Above all, our first day of the journey was spent at the Majestic Lake Front Hotel. Situated on the lakeside, this hotel offers all kinds of facilities. With comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, a bar, and excellent dining facilities, the management truly enhanced the charm of our journey. This marked the end of our first day in Pokhara, which also marked the beginning of a grand journey. We were extremely excited about the journey ahead.

As the sun rises in the vicinity of Fewa Lake, it witnesses the birth of countless tales spun by the drifting boats. The air in Pokhara carries a sense of romance. How can one resist the allure of Pokhara when it fills the heart with such immense joy? The second day of our journey began in this enchanting city. We were equally excited, just as those boats tethered to the shore, eagerly waiting to embark on an endless journey, fueled by the same enthusiasm that kept us moving forward.

We found a comfortable atmosphere in the hospitality of Hotel Majestic Lake Front. Starting our journey with such hospitality made the beginning of our trip feel pleasant. However, we didn’t just stay confined to that atmosphere. After having breakfast and relaxing for a while, we packed up and prepared to head out. The desire for new and quick experiences was evident in everyone’s faces, adding a spark to our team’s enthusiasm. The weather was favourable, and life seemed to have caught pace with a new journey ahead.

The rapid changes brought by the passage of time have not left us unaffected. Nepal has not remained untouched by the global wave of development. Nowadays, we see vehicles powered by electricity running on the roads. Additionally, there is a growing awareness about climate change. With the collaboration of renewable energy, including solar power, we too have become advocates of modernity. During our journey, we encountered various modern and traditional technologies, which made us appreciate the diversity of practices. This journey with E-SUV was both unique and enlightening for all of us. It raised many questions in our minds regarding the capacity and adaptability of E-SUV, to which perhaps this journey will provide answers. As we travelled from Pokhara to Baglung, we were amazed by the sights along the way. The combination of cool breeze and gentle sunlight was particularly delightful. After spending some time in Pokhara, we finally reached Lumle and took our first rest.

After having our meal in Lumle and continuing further, we witnessed the development of roads and settlements amidst geographical challenges. The scorching sun didn’t fully relent, so we continued our journey under its glare. The journey presented a mix of sun and shade at different points. The road section up to Baglung was of high quality. Pokhara, being a well-known tourist destination, lacked any amenities. Despite the dense natural surroundings, the development we witnessed here was commendable. As we traveled from Pokhara, one could see the Seti Gandaki River running alongside the road. The presence of warm to temperate climate and lush green forests added to the charm of the surroundings.

After leaving Lumle, we crossed into the Kaski District and entered the Parbat District. The weather was extremely pleasant, especially surrounded by the hills and the Himalayas. The cool breeze and warmth were very inviting. Another favourite aspect of Nepal is precisely this. There is such geographic diversity that you can experience different weather and environments within a few hours of travel. 

Seres 3 on the way to Lomanthang
Seres 3 on the way to Lomanthang

Located within the mountain district between Baglung and Pokhara, Kusma has long been a renowned destination. However, Kusma has now managed to carve out its own identity. Many associate Kusma with bungee jumping. The special credit for this goes to The Cliff located in Kusma.

When we arrive at The Cliff in Kusma, we always feel like we’re at home. Here, there are 9 deluxe cottages with AC and Wi-Fi, and there are other quality accommodations available as well. If you’re coming for a few days, we trust that The Cliff will provide an enjoyable experience. This place attracts both domestic and international tourists with activities like bungee jumping, swinging, cycling, and more. After visiting The Cliff, our journey’s second day also came to a satisfying end.

Our stay at The Cliff was extremely comfortable. Here, everyone, from adventure sports enthusiasts to those seeking tranquillity, can find excellent facilities. For those who prefer a peaceful environment, there are serene surroundings, while for those craving adventure, there are plenty of adventure activities available. Now, new adventure activities like wall climbing and flying fox have been added to the list of adventure options.

We had previously experienced various adventure sports here as well. That’s why this time we opted for cycling. Cycling on regular roads is something everyone does. However, strapping ourselves into harnesses and cycling between two cliffs like that greatly increased the adrenaline rush in our bodies.

Chortens near Dhakmar on the way to Lomanthang
Chortens near Dhakmar on the way to Lomanthang

After having breakfast in the morning, we set out from Kusma’s The Cliff. As we opened the car’s windows, we were greeted by a series of organised activities happening there. In those activities, we observed various forms of life struggles. What was the purpose of those struggles? And what was their significance? Facing these questions was natural. Perhaps, there could be faults in various environments as well. Blaming only those faults doesn’t entirely suffice. Hence, we were mere spectators of those human activities. After traveling for some time, we reached Mal Dhunga. From there, the road diverges into two paths—one leading towards Muktinath and the other towards Dhorpatan. We decided to take the path leading to Muktinath.

We traveled on deteriorated road sections from time to time. However, with the Seres 3, the journey became much easier to overcome such challenges. With a ground clearance of 190 millimeters, the Seres 3 proved to be fully capable of navigating roads like these. While we didn’t encounter particularly difficult situations during our journey, we found the trip comfortable and manageable throughout. Now, we were quickly approaching Beni Bazaar. Along our journey, the Kali Gandaki River accompanied us. From here, our journey continued along the banks of the Kali Gandaki River.

Here, the Kali Gandaki and Myagdi rivers merge, which is why this place is called Beni. There used to be a lot of people living in Beni, Myagdi district. After having food in Beni, we didn’t wander much. After that, we headed towards the road to Jomsom from Beni.

In our journey, we observed ongoing road construction. Development isn’t something to be postponed for the future; it’s happening right now. The primary obstacle to development in Nepal is said to be its geography. When it comes to constructing basic infrastructure like roads, it becomes challenging, and that’s where the contribution of local people becomes crucial. From breaking rocks to carrying heavy loads on their backs, the labor of these strong shoulders contributes significantly. We are sincerely grateful to all these individuals. Amid their toil, a civilization is gradually emerging into the light of progress.

As we progressed, the road became increasingly challenging. The Seres 3, which had previously tackled such challenges, continued to succeed. When considering the use of EVs, the question arises: Is Nepal’s road infrastructure suitable for electric vehicles, compared to other countries? Will its future be different or similar to theirs? These are questions that remain unanswered. However, regardless of the direction EV adoption takes globally, its future in Nepal seems promising. And as for our journey, it reflects the uncertainty surrounding EVs. We all have our biases towards EVs, some positive and some negative. But the main objective of this journey is to broaden those biases and foster positive changes.

Seres 3 - First EV to reach Korala Border.
Seres 3 – First EV to reach Korala Border.

When we reached Rupse Waterfall, we felt the Mustang was near. The road there is equally challenging. As we continued to advance on that difficult path, we found ourselves living the motto “GO LIMITLESS GO ANYWHERE” firsthand. Viewing the scorching sun from that terrain left us speechless. Many things have changed in those years. The main reason for the change is time. Over the years, the understanding of embarking on a journey from this very road felt fresh to us. There may be some human factors contributing to this change. However, regardless of the circumstances, when we finally reached Lete of Mustang in the evening, we felt relieved. After an entire day of continuous travel, reaching the Kalopani Guest House provided us with much-needed relief.

After waking up at Lete, we could see the majestic peaks of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Nilgiri right in front of us. Every year, when the water falls from Kalibarahan, it turns the rocks black upon touching them. Due to this, the name of this place has become Kalopani. Along with the beautiful natural surroundings, our stay at Kalopani Guest House was incredibly comfortable.

We particularly felt that Kalopani Guest House had excellent management and facilities. They provide ample parking space for those arriving on motorbikes in the Mustang region. We remember how we had to carry fuel while coming here last year. But this time it was not our concern. We left our vehicles on charge throughout the night without any concerns about fuel. Everyone enjoyed their time in their way at that place. After a while, we prepared to move forward from Lete. We bid farewell to Ram Dai and his family at Kalopani Guest House and began our journey on the fourth day.

Mustang district, perhaps the name itself is quite sufficient to describe the beauty of that place. If there is a beauty without adornment, it might be Mustang. We felt like we were experiencing a bit of a desert environment. Spread over 3,573 square kilometers, this district is considered a paradise for nature lovers. It encompasses a range of altitudes from 2,010 meters above sea level to 8,167 meters, offering a diverse landscape. From the breathtaking views of beautiful snow-capped peaks to the rocky terrain resembling a desert, Mustang presents a rare sight that can hardly be found in any other district. It’s perhaps this rarity that makes Mustang so beloved to all of us.

Places like Kagbeni, Marpha, and Muktinath attract a large number of tourists every year. Similarly, in recent years, Upper Mustang has also been making a positive impact on tourists. Located in the northern part of central Nepal, Mustang borders Tibet to the north. As a result, the influence of Tibet can be observed in various aspects such as lifestyle, language, culture, and religion. This influence has been steadily growing since the region opened up for trekking and tourism several decades ago.

The majestic Himalayas towering over the Kali Gandaki River on one side and the rugged terrain surrounding it made the journey there truly worthwhile. After several trips, we reached another familiar destination, Marpha. Marpha is also known as the “Apple Capital.” The beautifully crafted stone houses and the neatly arranged apple orchards added to its charm. The monasteries, chortens, and stupas nestled among these houses didn’t leave the spiritual aspect unexplored.

Marpha also houses a large monastery that serves as the spiritual center for the local community. With around 434 households, Marpha provides accommodation and dining facilities for travelers heading to Muktinath, Jomsom, and the Annapurna Circuit. After spending some time exploring Marpha, we proceeded towards Jomsom.

After having breakfast in Lete, we had our lunch in Jomsom. Jomsom is also a significant place in Mustang district. It can be reached directly from Kathmandu or Pokhara via air routes. Due to its accessibility, Jomsom holds importance for local residents as well. As we explored the market of Jomsom, we couldn’t help but appreciate its vibrant atmosphere. After enjoying the charm of Jomsom for some time, we continued our journey towards Kagbeni.

We were delighted to experience the blend of Tibetan and Buddhist cultures up close. Understanding this culture and civilization is not possible until you come here. As we headed towards Kagbeni from Jomsom, we were greeted by dry rocky hills. The greenery gradually diminished, and the rocky formations of the hills became more prominent. The path from Jomsom to Kagbeni offers stunning views of the Himalayas in its unique rocky landscape. As we proceeded, we reached a checkpoint where necessary information was provided. Traveling on this route with Seres 3 made the journey hassle-free. There were no charging stations along the way, which posed a slight risk. We relied solely on the charge we had on our devices from the previous day. If we aim to create a conducive environment for the development of e-vehicles, charging stations at various locations become imperative.

Seres 3 at Syangmochen, way to Lomanthang
Seres 3 at Syangmochen, way to Lomanthang

Our journey this time was a unique blend. We were heading to a place steeped in history, where the tales of centuries echo through time. We embarked on this journey with an e-vehicle, representing modernity amidst ancient stories. The fusion of history and modernity intrigued us greatly, and we eagerly anticipated experiencing it firsthand. This journey felt like a historical pilgrimage in itself, and being a part of it filled us with pride. Continuing, we reached Kagbeni, from where the road diverged, one leading towards the renowned religious site Muktinath and the other towards Lo Manthang.

The place where the Kali Gandaki and Muktinath rivers meet is called Kagbeni. After Jomsom, Kagbeni had dense houses. There were traditional houses seen here as well. Muktinath lies between Kagbeni and Lomanthang. Even though till now we traveled on the same route now the road has diverged. We embarked on another journey to reach the royal capital of Mustang ‘Lo Manthang’. Hence we choose another road. 

We generally rely on vehicles powered by fuel for transportation. Additionally, from an economic perspective, one of the most imported items in Nepal is fuel. The consumption of our fuel is so significant that even a slight change from one source to another poses a deep challenge. Therefore, this is a process that occurs gradually, often through small steps. The moment when one can travel without relying on fuel might seem like an unimaginable moment. However, eventually, that moment was transforming into a joyous one.

The weather was gradually changing as we ascended. We could feel the shift in weather as we climbed higher. This journey taught us courage. What seemed impossible became possible, and we began to see the possibility of change. As we crossed one pass after another, we reminisced about past journeys. We found ourselves back in the enchanting environment of Mustang, relishing the opportunity to experience its beauty once again. It wasn’t just about the greenery or foliage; it was the way the landscape, the open sky, and the colours blended harmoniously to create a beautiful scene. Starting from Lete, we reached Marpha, Jomsom, and Kagbeni. This was our fourth day of the journey, and we continued onward, exploring the beauty of Chhusang. Thus, we concluded our fourth day’s journey in Chhusang.

Chhusang is surrounded by red cliffs, creating a natural amphitheatre. It’s a small village on the way to Lomanthang, situated along the banks of the Kali Gandaki River. Upon reaching Chhusang, we also observed plots of land set aside for agriculture. In those areas, potatoes and buckwheat are commonly grown. However, due to unfavourable weather conditions, we noticed some of the fields lying fallow. We also spotted caves in the cliffs, adding to the unique landscape and leaving us amazed by the natural beauty and distinctiveness of the surroundings.

After reaching Chhusang, the weather started to change. As the local day began, we quickly realized that animal husbandry and agriculture were the main economic activities in the area. The traditional mud houses and chortens adorned the landscape, adding to its beauty. It took us some time to clean our vehicle. After cleaning Seres 3 was shining and we left Chhusang descending onto the road flanked by natural cliffs.

It was like a section of ruins left for excavation, the part where we were traveling. Everything remained undisturbed, with nothing distorted. All elements were left intact, and no one had caused any harm. Nature has the inherent capability to be beautiful on its own, but human activities that disturb it must be controlled. Otherwise, the beauty we are creating today may not last forever.

Perhaps the most significant change is the passage of time itself. Time’s cycle keeps changing, along with everything else. Here, the development of infrastructure and technology follows suit. However, the destruction of anything also occurs in proportion. The balance of all things varies. The construction of roads that can accommodate vehicles in this region is a significant change. But it’s wrong to see destruction in the name of development. If a place like Mustang, with its deep history and culture, is preserved and developed in harmony with its essence, then that is true progress. History and culture are the foundation of any civilization. If that foundation is lost, what remains of development? Therefore, along with the changing times, development needs to encompass not only progress but also a meaningful dimension.

Seres 3 above Lomanthang
Seres 3 above Lomanthang

In recent years, with the increasing focus on climate change and environmental pollution, the concept of sustainability has gained significant attention. We have been hearing a lot about sustainability. Assessing the potential impacts of any development on future generations is a key aspect of sustainability. If any development can be envisioned for the future, then it tends to adopt a sustainable approach. In the field of transportation, sustainability means using less fuel and minimizing environmental impact. That’s why the electric vehicle market is growing globally. We also considered all these factors and embarked on a journey to set a small but significant example. This journey was not just an adventure but also a responsibility.

We embarked on this journey without realizing the challenges we would face on the road. In Nepal, infrastructure development for electric vehicles has not progressed as rapidly. However, the experience with the Seres 3 battery backup astonished us. Even in such remote areas, we were able to travel without any significant hindrance. It was quite comfortable. We encountered other obstacles on the road, too, especially along the route to Mustang. This journey was a dream come true for us Nepalis. We hoped for a trip as wonderful as the journey to Lo Manthang.

Taking the first step to introduce something new and different is always the most challenging. However, the rule of the journey is to keep moving forward. No destination on a journey is permanent; everything is temporary. Therefore, until you move forward, there won’t be ease. The road may seem both smooth and rough. But don’t halt the journey. Whatever needs to be achieved will only come by continuing forward.

The towering, red-colored cliffs against the backdrop of the majestic Annapurna Himalayan range greeted us as we journeyed that day. The weather seemed to be in perfect harmony with us, offering us the opportunity to behold beautiful scenery. The journey was still ahead, with more adventures awaiting. Sometimes it felt like the journey could never end, but we couldn’t help but feel a sense of anticipation for what lay ahead. Whether it was encountering cascading waterfalls along the trail or traversing through dry, dusty sections, these sights rejuvenated tired travelers like us. Ultimately, it’s these moments that rejuvenate weary travelers and leave them with memories, without any complaints or regrets.

Away from the hustle and bustle, as we journeyed on for a few days, we found ourselves in such serene places where we felt truly at ease. Planning a trip to Mustang in Nepal seems improbable when you’re born and in your youth. Yet, our plan had succeeded beautifully. Sharing this moment with everyone, being able to capture sweet memories, it was a delightful experience. Amidst halting moments and losing ourselves in those sights, we continued our journey. Leaving behind the places we visited, we moved on, sometimes reaching somewhere new. In terms of experience and reality, we found ourselves somewhere, every step of the way.

The concept of “Go Anywhere Go Limitless” had been endorsed by Seres 3. Any discovery impacts human life in some way, and we are aware of how innovations are affecting our lives. The problem with vehicles running on fuel is air pollution. Electric vehicles (EVs) offer an alternative to this. EVs have zero tailpipe emissions. Several countries have completely phased out vehicles running on fuel over a long period of time. Although transitioning to EVs entirely may be challenging in Nepal right now, gradually moving towards it would be beneficial from both environmental and economic perspectives.

This journey with EV revealed to us the magic of technology, while another aspect showcased glimpses of history. Our encounters on this journey was with various civilizations and cultures, without much blending with modernization. Places like Tibet, being nearby, offer a blend of cultures over here. We could witness a blend of ancient cultures and Buddhist stupas, as well as encounter charming villages. The anciently constructed stupas and the backdrop of the Himalayas were mesmerizing. We could glimpse some remnants of ancient history in the lifestyle, language, and daily practices. Despite having its own distinct identity, this place is frequented by tourists from various corners of the world to experience and immerse themselves in its unique culture and civilization.

The village we saw in this vast desert-like land is called Ghami. Ghami is also an ancient village deeply influenced by Tibetan and Buddhist cultures. The houses here are made of mud, clay, and straw. Moreover, the prayer flags fluttering atop the houses provided a spiritual charm to the village. As we continued forward, the narrow and winding path gradually led to Dhakmar and Sarang. We chose the path towards Sarang, leaving Ghami behind. The road we traveled on was constructed amidst red natural rock formations, which owe their color to the presence of iron oxide. This blend of history, nature, and engineering marvel was unique and visually stunning.

Situated at an altitude of 3560 meters above sea level, Sarang lies on a high plateau. As we journeyed towards Sarang, we encountered many ancient chortens, symbols of the Buddhist faith, scattered throughout the narrow streets. The houses, constructed from the same mud and clay, seemed to welcome us with open arms, and the atmosphere was filled with joy and warmth. The colorful prayer flags fluttering in the breeze added a touch of sweetness to the surroundings. The old houses, chortens, and monasteries we saw here narrated their history, dating back many centuries. The attire and language of the locals showcased the distinct cultural heritage of the region. Each visit to Sarang left us mesmerized, and eager to delve deeper into its traditions, culture, and religion.

Seres 3 & Prayer flags at Lomanthang.
Seres 3 & Prayer flags at Lomanthang.

The passage of time often brings us face to face with our past, urging us to reflect on the experiences that have shaped us. The unique attire, language, and religion of the locals were fascinating to us, prompting our efforts to understand and appreciate their way of life. Occasionally, we felt the need to pause and assimilate all that we had witnessed in Sarang. The long journey we had embarked upon proved to be rewarding, and these moments of rest along the way provided us with much-needed respite.

As we followed in the footsteps of those who had gone before us, we couldn’t help but feel the presence of absence here. Absence fills the air, knocking on the door of daily life. Yet, the struggle of the people here persisted. It wasn’t with heavy hearts, but with a resilient spirit, often seen in their carefree smiles amidst adversity. Nearby, there stood a monastery, nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, its environment exuding tranquillity. It seemed to convey the message that life is about living. We realized that to impact others, we must first impact ourselves. After a brief respite, we bid farewell to Sarang and set our sights on Lo Manthang, the Last Forbidden Kingdom.

After crossing Sarang, we entered that part of Nepal which had been restricted for many years. Entry was prohibited for several decades. When we entered Lo Manthang, known by names such as the Last Kingdom and Royal Capital, we were greeted by the shining examples of historical civilization.

Lo Manthang is a civilization trapped within the confines of time’s impact. Located in the northern region of central Nepal, this kingdom was ruled by local kings until a certain period. Geographically isolated, this region retains its ancient state, having been settled in ancient times. Covering an area of ​​727 square kilometers, Lo Manthang is inhabited by the Loba people. The term “Loba” refers to the indigenous people, who are considered descendants of Tibetans due to their origin. Beyond Lo Manthang lies Tibet itself. Therefore, Tibetan culture has directly influenced Lo Manthang.

The remnants found in Lo Manthang lead us back to the 15th century. Only since 1992 has this place been open to foreign tourists. For this reason, Lo Manthang is also known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom. Until Nepal transitioned from monarchy to democracy, the small region was ruled by its king. The tradition persists that the royal court of Lo Manthang can still be visited today, a relic from the 15th century. The white-washed, nine-cornered palace with four stories still stands preserved in its original state.

After arriving in Lo Manthang, one can observe a distinct aura of Buddhism different from other places. The presence of chortens and monasteries scattered throughout the area captivates the mind of any visitor. Built around the 15th century, Jampa Gompa, Thubchen Gompa, Chode Gompa, and Choprang Gompa are also located here. The colourful prayer flags inscribed with Tibetan mantras fluttering in the wind create a mesmerising sight that cannot be easily forgotten. 

Located at an altitude of 3480 meters above sea level, the people of this area mainly rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Witnessing the juxtaposition of vast history on one side and the challenging daily life on the other, we experienced a mixed array of emotions upon arriving in Lo Manthang.

Our main destination wasn’t too far ahead. Despite the varied ups and downs in our journey’s purpose, reaching there brought us immense joy and satisfaction.

Having spent some time with the locals, we had the opportunity to learn more about their religion and culture. Lomanthang, with its rich history, and diverse cultural heritage has the potential to be listed as a World Heritage Site. We had been trekking since the first day of our journey, and now we were only 21 kilometers away from Korala Pass, situated at an altitude of 4660 meters above sea level, marking the border between Nepal and Tibet. Along the way to Korala Pass, we encountered rivers transformed into ice due to the freezing temperatures. The icy road made it challenging for vehicles to pass, and we even had to request assistance from the armed police stationed in the area for support.

The vast landscape of Upper Mustang
The vast landscape of Upper Mustang

Even after traveling so far, we were still able to receive assistance from the armed police officers. We are always grateful for their contributions, ensuring our safety and support throughout our journey. This region also stands out in terms of its geographical features, with its connection to the Tibetan Plateau presenting another significant potential for development in collaboration with China. Strategic passes like Kerung, Khasa, and Purang, if developed in association with China, could hold immense importance. Our current destination was Korala Pass, located in a region akin to the vast desert lands. Making it to Korala Pass and becoming the first to be the first one to take e-SUV was our main goal from the very first day of our journey.

With such a long journey spanning several days, experiencing the ups and downs of the terrain, the alternating shades of sunlight and shade, and the lush greenery of the desert, we finally reach the border between Nepal and Tibet, the Korala Pass. And we were successful to be the first to take any e-SUV along to reach there, creating a world record.

Indeed, standing at that altitude with one foot in China and the other in Nepal was an experience that left a lasting impression. If this pass were to be operationalized, it would undoubtedly have a significant impact on the lives of people in areas like Lomanthang, Kagbeni, Marpha, and most parts of Mustang. It would deepen the cultural and bilateral relations between the two nations. Just as our successful journey on the e-service platform paved the way for us to explore and experience new dimensions, we hoped that this place would also offer us the opportunity to blend our culture with modernity and savor the taste of progress.

On our journey to Lomanthang, all the way to Korala Pass, we encountered many experiences. We found ourselves in a region so different, where a distinct culture, unique customs, and a different way of life thrived. To get close to those lives, to embrace the ideals brought forth by their experiences, to learn and teach the endless lessons of struggle, to understand Tibetan culture, and to find Nepal’s footprint there, to establish a foundation to explore life in a geography like the desert, and to grasp modernity and history within the same circle, were all profoundly fulfilling aspects of this journey. Despite the difficult paths, challenging goals, and arduous destinations, the sweet fruit of perseverance and courage was evident upon reaching Lomanthang. After days of this journey, we finally left our mark. This is an achievement for all of us. This is the achievement of Seres 3, the achievement of Lomanthang’s civilization, and your achievement and ours. We are extremely grateful to our sponsors and viewers for the success of this special moment. Thank you very much for your support and love. Soon, we will meet again in another episode. Please stay tuned for that. Until then, bid farewell to this journey.

Photos: Sushant Chand
Article: Puspa Devkota