Mysterious ancient caves in the Kingdom of Mustang

article-2403094-1B7B1282000005DC-271_964x638Mustang is an ancient kingdom which was part of the Himalayan salt trade route between Tibet and Nepal.  For century’s Tibetan traders in caravans crossed over high passes and roved through deep gorges in order to exchange Tibetan salt and wool for food grains from the middle hills and lowlands of Nepal.  Life in Mustang has changed little over the centuries and is considered a ‘living museum’ of Himalayan life.  It is in this remote region that some incredible man-made caves have been discovered 155 feet up on the sheer cliffs of the Kaligandaki Gorge – one of the deepest gorges in the world.  To explore this mystery Project Mustang was recently carried out by a team including adventure photographer Cory Richards, experienced climber Pete Athans, and archaeologist Mark Aldenderfer.  In an article published last week in the Daily Mail Online the writer Anthony Bond called these man-made caves “one of the World’s greatest archaeological mysteries. Thousands of holes are carved into the fragile, sandy-colored cliff in a gorge so large it dwarfs the Grand Canyon. The astonishing number of caves, some dug into the cliffside, others tunnelled from above are thousands of years old but who built them and why a mystery remains. It is also not known how people climbed into the caves….an estimated 10,000 of these mysterious human-built caves have been found”.  Please follow this link for the full article.

World Discovery  offers a full service trek to Mustang (but not yet to the caves!) – The Hidden Valley – 17 days from £1840.