Mustang, Forbidden Himalayan Kingdom

The following article is from the Summer, 1993 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

A Photographic Exhibition

Mustang is one of the few areas in the Nepal Himalaya that is still relatively untouched by the outside world. It is a vast and barren land located north of the great Dhaulgiri and Annapurna mountain ranges and east of Dolpo. Once part of western Tibet, Mustang joined the Kingdom of Nepal at the end of the eighteenth century but remained an independent principality. The people of Mustang, who call themselves Lobas, are ethnically and culturally Tibetan and are very warm and friendly toward outsiders. They primarily follow the Sakya form of Tibetan Buddhism and many monasteries in Mustang are embellished on the exterior with white and maroon vertical stripes, resembling the great Sakya Temple in Tibet. The treeless landscape of Mustang, with its beautiful vistas of snow-capped peaks and cloudless sky, is similar to that of the Tibetan plateau.


In November, 1992, a group of seven American women formed an expedition to Mustang. Their journey was the subject of a February 1993 LIFE Magazine article. An exhibition of extraordinary photographs taken by the women who were on the trek as well as photographs taken when Prince Joachim of Denmark visited Mustang two years ago, will be held at the Mokotoff Asian Arts Gallery, 584 Broadway, Manhattan, from Sept. 22-Oct. 16. The show will also be on exhibit at the Tibetan Museum, 338 Lighthouse Ave., Staten Island, from Oct. 23-Nov. 21. An opening reception will take place on Oct. 24 with a slide show by Dorothy Reilly, one of the expedition members.

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