TIJI FESTIVAL UPPER MUSTANG
TIJI FESTIVAL UPPER MUSTANG
Talk With Expert
Tiji Festival is one of the auspicious festivals celebrated by the people of the Upper Mustang region of Nepal. The festival celebrates the mark of victory of good over evil. There is great folklore behind the celebration of this festival which is states that the deity named Dorje Jono, also known as Dorje Phurba, Vajrakila, or Vajrakumar, saved the village which is now called Mustang from a grave demon that was spreading the diseases and took away all water. His victory is celebrated with colorful dances and prayer chants.
The celebration of the Tiji festival however did not start until the 17th century when the then King of Mustang King Samdup Rabten invited Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga Sonam to Lo Manthang. He stayed in the Chhode Monastry in Lo Manthang. He performed the special Vajrakila rituals to eliminate the negativity from Mustang and for the wellbeing of the entire being. Since then the monks of Chhode Monastry perform this festival every year for three days in the Mustang Royal Palace courtyard. It is performed in the third Tibetan month, May. As the Tiji festival is the lunar festival every year the dates vary.
The colorful dresses and masks are worn by the monks as they swirl on the rhythm of the traditional horns, drums, and prayer chants for the three-day performance. The ritual is all about re-enacting the battle fought between Dorje Jono and the demon that was terrorizing the villagers with drought and diseases.
Upper Mustang is the tucked-away remote area of Nepal which is very close to the Tibetan border. Mustang was once an independent kingdom and its language and culture are quite similar to that of Tibet’s. It was annexed by Nepal at the end of the 18th century and it became part of the Kingdom of Nepal.
The religious ceremony of the Tiji Festival is said to bring peace and luck to its observers. The Tiji festival is a symbol of hope, strength, and peace. Many pilgrims start their journey before the festival to the Lo Manthang. The explosion of muskets marks the end of the rough dry winter and welcomes the spring and concludes the celebration. The Tiji festival depicts the rich culture and tradition of this Forbidden Kingdom which was hidden for a long period.
DAY 1: Arival in KathmanduOur team representative will welcome you at the airport and will escort you to the hotel. You can have a day to yourself or you can choose to explore the local market.
DAY 2: Sightseeing in KathmanduOur team representative will brief you about the trek. Shortly after the briefing, you can explore the beautiful capital city. Kathmandu city is home to seven world heritage sites. With our team you can explore the three national heritage sites: Boudhnath, Swoyambhunath, and Pashupatinath.
DAY 3: Fly to Pokhara (884m, 20 minutes)The next morning we will take the flight to Pokhara, you can also opt to drive to Pokhara. It will take 7 to 8 hours to reach Pokhara by driving. Our team representative will escort you to the hotel. Either one will give you a blissful journey with the scenic view of the spectacular mountains and landscapes along the way. Upon reaching Pokhara you can explore the second-largest city in Nepal. You can enjoy the walk along with the shoes of Phewa Lake with the marvelous views of the Macchapuchre(6993m), the entire Annapurna range(8156m), and Dhaulagiri (8167m).
DAY 4: Fly to Jomsom (27290m, 25 minutes) trek to Kagbeni (2800m, 3hr)The next morning we will take the flight to Jomsom. You will enjoy the mesmerizing flight for 25 minutes. Jomsom is the administrative headquarters of Mustang. Our trek will start from Jomsom following the little windy paths of Kali Gandaki River we pass the tiny settlement called Ekle Bhatti. Kagbeni lies at the junction of Kali Gandaki and Jhong Khola. There are several impressive Buddhist monasteries in Kagbeni. The clay khenis or ghost eaters guard the gates at each end of the Kagbeni village. We spend overnight in Kagbeni.
DAY 5: Trek Kagbeni (2800m) to Chele (3100m, 5-6hr)The police checkpoint at the northern end of the village marks the starting point of the restricted area. We need to have our permits stamped by the officials so we can commence our journey to the forbidden kingdom. We take the trails along the Kali Gandaki River crossing Chhuksang village. You can see the massive red chunk of conglomerate fallen from the cliffs above which has formed a tunnel and through which the Kali Gandaki flows. As we move along leaving the Kali Gandaki valley behind us we reach Chele. We spend overnight in Chele.
DAY 6: Trek Chele (3100m) to Syangboche (3850m, 6-7hr)We continue our trek walking through the plateaus of Thaklam La witnessing the stunning peak of Tilicho Peak and Yakawa Kang we reach the Samar village as we cross the Dajori La. We then descend steeply to the stream and passing up and down the terrains we cross Bhena La and Beg La before it takes us to Syangboche. We can also take the detour through the incredible canyons to explore the Rangchung cave which is also known as Chungsi cave where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated. We spend overnight in Syangboche.
DAY 7: Trek Syangboche (3850m) to Charang (3500m, 7-8hr)Trek to Charang starts with the uphill climb to Shyangboche La. Along the way, we see the typical Tibetan houses with chhortens painted in red, yellow, black, and white. We climb the Nyi La before we climb down to the Ghami Khola. As we cross the uphill past the longest Mani wall in Nepal we begin the pleasant descent to Charang. We spend overnight in Charang.
DAY 8: Trek Charang (3500m) to Lo Manthang (3840m, 4-5hr)After crossing the splendid landscapes which are desert-like and climb across Lo La we finally get a glimpse of the ancient city of Lo Manthang. We can see the four-storied palace, the home of the last King of Mustang, Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista. We reach the city's only entrance as we descend through the plateau. We will enjoy the Tiji Festival, which will begin this day. We spend overnight in Lo Manthang.
DAY 9: Lo Manthang (3840m)You can explore the Chhosar valley as there is so much to see. We will take the jeep excursion to the Jhong Cave complex and explore the fascinating Tibetan Buddhist Gomba and fine sculpture that is built within the tall walls. We can visit the Jampa Lhakhang, Thubcnem Lhkhang, Chprang Gomba, and Chhoede Gomba, also the Royal Palace. And then we watch the masked monks perform the rituals in the Tiji Festival in Chhoede Gompa. We spend overnight in Lo Manthang.
DAY 10: Lo Manthang (3840m)Today will also be filled with adventures as we visit the King's summer palace Thhingkar or Mustang's largest monastery which is nestled on the hillside above the Namgyal village and also known as the monastery of Triumph. Given the time we can climb the hill of the northern side of the valley to get the delightful panoramic view of the entire city. In the afternoon we stay at Lo Manthang and watch the final rituals of the Tiji Festival outside the Royal Palace which will be then taken outside the city walls where the demons are banished between the loud cries and muskets fire. We spend overnight in Lo Manthang,
DAY 11: Trek Lo Manthang (3840m) to Dhakmar (3820m, 6-7hr)The trail continues as we climb to the Chhogo La (4230m) which is also the highest point in the trek and then we easily climb down to Ghar Gompa. Ghar Gompa was built in the 8th century is one of the active old Gompas of Nepal. It is said that anyone who makes a wish here will have it fulfilled. Walking further we cross the Mui La before we reach Dhakmar. Legend has it the dramatic cliffs above the village dotted with the cave dwellings were the stains of the blood of demoness named Balmo that was defeated by Guru Rinpoche in the duel. We spend overnight in Dhakmar.
DAY 12: Trek Dhakmar (3820m) to Ghiling (3570m, 5-6hr)The trails further are much easier as we pass by the Ghami village and its magnificent 305-meter long mani walls. We then cross Nyi La to reach Ghilling. We spend overnight in Ghilling.
DAY 13: Trek Ghiling (3570m) to Chhuksang (3050m, 5-6hr)We take our trek further to the Syangboche La. We retrace back to Bhena La and Beg La while viewing the delightful snowy Himalayan Peaks to reach Samar village. Walking some more hours we descent down to the downstream by Chele and reach Chhuksang. We spend overnight in Chhuksang.
DAY 14: Trek Chhuksang (3050m) to Jomsom (2720m, 6-7hr)We take the trail back to the path of Kali Gandaki River and return to Kagbeni. The upper Mustang trails end her and our special permit also expires here. We take the Annapurna circuit and head to Jomsom. We spend overnight in Jomsom.
DAY 15: Fly to Pokhara (884m, 20hr)Early in the morning, we will take a flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. You will again enjoy this amazing flight filled with the picturesque beauty of the Himalayan and the incredible landscapes. Our team will pick you from the airport and escort you to the hotel in the lakeside city. You spend overnight in Pokhara.
DAY 16: Drive to Kathmandu (7-8hr)We head back to Kathmandu early in the morning by a tourist bus. The 200 km drive through Prithvi Highway is filled with unforgettable scenes, it would be better if you can sit on the left side of the bus. The evening in Kathmandu will be celebrated with a farewell dinner.
DAY 17: DepartureOur team representative will drop you to the airport at the scheduled time. We hope to see you again.
- Attending the colorful and culturally rich festival
- Exploring the long forbidden kingdom of Mustang
- Visiting the Chhosar cave
- Visiting Nepal’s old monasteries and Ghar Ghomba
- Exploring the unique culture and tradition of Mustang
- Chance to witness the great ritual
- Trekking through the stunning high altitude landscapes
- The magnificent beauty of the Himalayan range on the trails
- Great escape for tranquility and peace
- Explore Nepal Tibet border
- Destination: Nepal
- Region: Lo Manthang
- Max people: 2-30 People
- Transportation: Domestic flights and tourist bus
- Min altitude: 884m
- Max altitude: 4230m
- Season: May
- Duration: 17 days
- Trek hours: 5-7 hours each day
WHAT IS INCLUDED
WHAT IS EXCLUDED
Here are some necessary trekking apparatus that can be required for accomplishing your trek effortlessly. They are shortlisted below.