Situated at an altitude of 2,800m, Kagbeni is a unique village of Baarah Gaun (twelve villages) region in Lower Mustang. It lies on the popular Annapurna Circuit Trek and is a gateway to Upper Mustang. It is a fascinating medieval village with closely packed mud-brick houses, dark alleys, and imposing Chhortens. The village stands in a little green oasis dominated by its red monastery.
The “Kag” of “Kagbeni” used to be “Ghag” meaning center and hence, is a center of nearby villages of Jomsom to south and Muktinath to the east. “Beni” in Nepali means confluence of two rivers, and indeed Kagbeni lies on the banks of the confluence of Kali Gandaki and Jhong Rivers. It is also a hub for traders from Lo Manthang, Manang and Dolpo, where they exchange the merchandise and rest before traveling to other regions.
The whole culture and ambiance of Kagbeni have a great Tibetan influence. There are chhortens and prayer wheels that add color to the dusty panorama of Kagbeni; blue, white, red, green, and yellow colored Tibetan flag flaps vigorously as the winds blow making the view even more appealing.
THINGS TO DO IN KAGBENI
Explore this medieval settlement
Kagbeni is an ancient settlement dating back to hundreds of years, and there are still ruins surrounding the settlements.
Side Hiking to Lhungfu Cave
Lhungfu Cave is a sacred site for Buddhists and is a constant destination for pilgrims of different place. It is located close to Phalyak, and Dhakarjhong town at a distance of around two and half-hours stroll from Kagbeni.
Visit Kag Chode Thupten Samphel Ling Gompa
The gompa is one of the important Shakya Pa sect monasteries in the Baarah Gaun region.
Take a stroll of Kag Khar Ruined Palace
It is the ruined palace of Kag Khar dynasty that used to have 108 rooms.
Have a good look at Kheni
When it was founded Kagbeni was surrounded by a defensive wall. About a century ago, two Khenis (the ghost eaters) representing a man and a woman replaced the human guards. These grotesque primitive figures, reflecting age-old animist beliefs, welcome visitors to the village.
Visit Devthen Chhorten
It is located near the secondary school in the south-west direction of Kagbeni which was built by Guru Rimpoche to protect the village form ghost.
Maitreya Chapel of Red House Lodge
Red House Lodge is the famous lodge of Kagbeni, and this very popular building owns a small private monastery, Maitreya Chapel.
Getting towards Phudzeling
It is an important archaeological excavation site that has discovered some important findings in Mustang archeology.
Be a part of festivals
There are four annual festivals in Kagbeni; Chhonngu (New Year) in January, Dhajyang in April/May, Fangel in August, and Yartung. These festival are vibrant and joyous that goes on for days.
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