Tiji festival is a colourful and meaningful festival celebrated in Upper Mustang by the locals who follow the Tibetan Buddhist culture. Secluded from rest of the world, the region has successfully been able to preserve their culture and tradition intact. Tiji festival is actually celebrated from three days every year in the beginning of the harvest season. People celebrate this festival with a belief to chase away the demons. During this festival, people wear their traditional colourful dresses and chant their auspicious prayers. As per a mythology, a deity named Dorje Jono had to fight a battle against his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from any kind of destruction. The word “Tiji” has been derived from “ten che” whose literal meaning is hope of dharma that is prevailing in the entire world. It is the message spread by Guru Rinpoche centuries ago.
During the festival, people gather together and people depict themselves in different characters. The demons and deity and created using the colourful dresses and hideous masks. The drama of deity winning over demon is shown and the demons are chased away from the place. People sing and perform their cultural dances. They chant prayers and remember their god. The myth of Dorje Jono and his demon father is also depicted through a drama. The festival is also remarkable as it is a symbol of togetherness. People come together to celebrate with joy and treasure their unique custom.
Mustang Tiji Festival trek is actually an Upper Mustang Trek but if you coincide your trekking dates with the festive season then the same journey becomes the Mustang Tiji festival Trek. Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is a super combo of mysterious landscape in the backdrop of beautiful Himalayas. Travelling along the high walled Mustang villages, living the centuries back lifestyle practiced by the people is an awesome experience. The wild and barren landscape is suffocating but the beauty of wilderness is unexplainable.
The dates for Tiji festival this year has already been announced. Tiji Festival, 2017 will be celebrated in Lo Manthang on 22nd, 23rd and 24th May in 2017. So, if you find this combination of Upper mustang trek and Tiji festival interesting, reserve your dates with Nepal Hiking Team.
- Day 1: Arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) Kathmandu
- Day 2: Trek Preparation and Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour
- Day 3: Drive to Pokhara (910m/3020ft) Duration: 6 hrs
- Day 4: Fly to Jomsom (2700m/8855ft) & Trek to Kagbeni (2800m/9185ft) Duration: 3 hrs
- Day 5: Trek to Chele (3110m/10200ft) Duration: 5 - 6 hrs
- Day 6: Trek to Geling (3500m/11480ft) Duration: 5 - 6 hrs
- Day 7: Trek to Charang (3620m/11875ft) Duration: 4 hrs
- Day 8: Trek to Lo - Manthang (3840m/12595ft) Duration: 3 hrs
- Day 9: Lo – Manthang (3730 m) – the celebration of the first day of Tiji festival
- Day 10: Second day of Tiji festival
- Day 11: Final day of the festival Tiji/Visit Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar and return 4 - 6 hrs
- Day 12: Trek to Drakmar (3820m/12530ft) Duration: 6-7 hrs
- Day 13: Trek to Shyangmochen (3800m/12465ft) Duration: 5 - 6 hrs
- Day 14: Trek to Chhusang (2980m/9775ft) Duration: 6 hrs
- Day 15: Chhusang to Jomsom (2700/8856ft) Duration: 6-7 hrs
- Day 16: Fly back to Pokhara
- Day 17: Pokhara to Kathmandu
- Day 18: Farewell
- All airport/hotel transfers by private vehicle
- Three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Kathmandu
- Two night accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Pokhara
- Guided sightseeing in Kathmandu with a tour guide and all temples/monuments entrance fees
- Round trip flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and Jomsom to Pokhara including departure taxes
- Meals with tea/coffee (breakfast, lunch, dinner) during the trek
- Best available twin sharing lodge to lodge accommodation during the trek
- An experienced English-speaking (trekking guide), porter to carry luggage (2 trekkers: 1 porter) including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging
- Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bag, Nepal Hiking Team duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map (down jacket and sleeping bag are to be returned after trip completion)
- All necessary paper work and permits (ACAP, Special trekking permit), please bring 3 passport size photos for permit
- Surface transfer from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist bus
- A comprehensive medical kit
- All government and local taxes
- Meals not specified in the ‘Meal Inclusions’ in the itinerary’
- Travel insurance
- International airfare
- Nepal entry visa: you can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (a multiple-entry tourist visa good for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, multiple-entry tourist visas for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. Please bring 2 copies of passport-size photos.)
- Cold drinks, water, snacks and other personal expenses
- Hot shower during the trek
- Personal trekking equipments
- Tips and gratuities for trekking staff and drivers
Day 1: Arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) Kathmandu
You will be picked up at the airport by our staff and transferred to a hotel for check in. Our airport representative will explain you the details of program further. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Trek Preparation and Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour
Enjoy a sightseeing tour to the UNESCO listed cultural heritage sites in Kathmandu. Visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa and Pasupatinath Temple. Enjoy the artistic palace, art, culture, paintings and history of Nepal. Overnight at hotel, breakfast included.
Day 3: Drive to Pokhara (910m/3020ft) Duration: 6 hrs
Early in the morning, our guide will pick you up from your hotel for a drive to Pokhara. After a 6 hours scenic drive, we reach Pokhara. You will be transferred to a hotel for check in. In the evening, you can enjoy boating on the Fewa Lake or see the reflection of the Mount Machhapuchhre and Annapurna Range on serene water of the lake. Overnight at hotel, breakfast included.
Day 4: Fly to Jomsom (2700m/8855ft) & Trek to Kagbeni (2800m/9185ft) Duration: 3 hrs
Early in morning, we take a flight to Jomsom. After a 20 minutes amazing flight above the beautiful landscapes, we reach Jomsom and start our trek to Kagbeni. We take a gradual path along the Kaligandaki bank and continue to Kagbeni. Kagbeni lies at an elevation of 2800m and is a main gate to Upper Mustang. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 5: Trek to Chele (3110m/10200ft) Duration: 5 - 6 hrs
We start our trek to Chele along the east bank of Kaligandaki river. Seclude and unique landscapes along this sandy trial are mind blowing. We continue uphill and downhill to Tangbe village. The view of Nilgiri peak from this village is amazing. We pass white washed houses, crop fields and apple orchards and continue to Chhusang village. We cross the river and continue our climb up to a huge red lump of agglomerate which falls from the cliff above. We leave Kali Gandaki valley and climb a steep rocky canyon to Chele. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 6: Trek to Geling (3500m/11480ft) Duration: 5 - 6 hrs
We continue our climb along steep, treeless terrain along the side of a steep canyon to a pass and a cairn of rock at (3540m). We make a long gradual descend to Samar village and climb up above Samar village to a ridge. We further descend into a large gorge and continue to a valley field. We cross a stream and climb up a ridge at (3800m). We continue our climb up and cross yet another pass. We follow the ridge and descend to Shyangmochen. We further climb to a pass at (3770m) and descend to Geling Village. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 7: Trek to Charang (3620m/11875ft) Duration: 4 hrs
Our trail climbs gently up to a pass called NYI La and descends below to a valley. We cross a steel bridge over the Tangmar Chu (river) and follow the way to the longest Mani wall in Mustang. We climb a pass at 3,600m and make a long gentle descend to Charang village. We visit a huge five-storey white Dzong and red Gompa which are the major attractions of the village. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 8: Trek to Lo - Manthang (3840m/12595ft) Duration: 3 hrs
Our trail climbs up steadily to Lo-Gekar Gompa, one of the oldest Gompa of Nepal. We continue our trek with a sight of the walled city of Lo all along the trial. We make a short descent, cross a stream and climb up into the plateau of Lo-Manthang. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 9: Lo – Manthang (3730 m) – the celebration of the first day of Tiji festival
Today is the first day of Tiji Festival. We spend our day observing the dances and celebrations. Horse racing and a giant tug-of-war are the major attractions. Tibetan women in their traditional clothing with colorful jewelry, monks in their robes and dancers in elaborate costumes make the entire environment vivid and vibrant. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 10: Second day of Tiji festival
We can enjoy a colorful ceremony accompanied by an unusual dance of Tibetan lamas. It is done to chase away all the hungry and evil spirits from the village. We can see many people across the region participating in this ritual of purification and renewal. After the observation, we can explore the intimate alleyways and courtyards of the city or simply rent a horse and visit some of the other villages in the area. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 11: Final day of the festival Tiji/Visit Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar and return 4 - 6 hrs
Today, we walk to Namgyal Gompa, a monastery that lies on a hilltop. It is an important monastery that serves as a local court to the local community people. After our visit to the monastery, we continue our tour to Tingkhar, the last village to the northwest of Lomanthang. In the evening, we return back to Lomanthang and continue the celebration of Tiji festival. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 12: Trek to Drakmar (3820m/12530ft) Duration: 6-7 hrs
Today, our trail climbs up steadily. We climb a ridge at 4070m and continue to the Chogo La at 4210m, the highest point of our trek. Then we make a short and steep descent and cross the Charang River. We climb up to Lo Gekar and continue to Ghar Gompa, a small monastery. We climb up a ridge, cross a valley along some alpine meadows and drop down a steep eroded path to Drakmar. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 13: Trek to Shyangmochen (3800m/12465ft) Duration: 5 - 6 hrs
Our trail descends as we pass the stone walls and fields of Drakmar and then climbs up to a ridge. We descend to the lower part of Ghami and then to Jaite (3820m). We further descend to Chhung-Kah and follow the trial to Tama Gaon (3710m). We continue our descend until we reach Shyangmochen. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 14: Trek to Chhusang (2980m/9775ft) Duration: 6 hrs
We follow a stream all the way down to Chhusang. We can also take an alternative route to Samar by visiting Ranchung Cave which is 30-minutes longer than the usual route. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 15: Chhusang to Jomsom (2700/8856ft) Duration: 6-7 hrs
We start our trek early in the morning and continue to Kagbeni. After completing the upper Mustang trails, we join the normal route and head on to Jomsom for an overnight halt. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 16: Fly back to Pokhara
We take an early morning flight back to Pokhara. Overnight at hotel, breakfast included.
Day 17: Pokhara to Kathmandu
Today we drive back to Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel, breakfast included.
Day 18: Farewell
Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight, a representative from Nepal Hiking Team will escort you to the airport for your onward journey.
If the above itinerary does not meet your needs, we can design individualized travel plans based on your preferences.