Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trek

Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trek
Activity
Trekking
Destination
Nepal
  • Trip Grade
    Easy To Moderate 
  • Max Altitude
    4210 m
  • Group Size
    Min - 2 Pax 
  • Meals
    Inclusive 
  • Accommodation
    Hotel/Teahouses 
  • Best Time
    March to May and Sept - Nov 
Featured Trip
All Inclusive Price: $2,150USD

Trip Overview

Tiji Festival is the most auspicious ceremony in the Upper Mustang region. According to ancient mythology, this festival celebrates God’s triumph over the demonic spirits.

This three-day annual festival is celebrated according to the Tibetan lunar calendar. Although the festival dates change every year, it is often held during the long stretch of May.

You can witness the local monks wear unique costumes and masks to perform several dances and rituals during the festival. With these sacred performances, the local monks are believed to drive the evil spirits away from the village. Chode Monastery organizes all the dances and rituals of the Tiji Festival.

Highlights of Mustang Tiji Festival Trek

  • Explore the centuries-old heritage sites of Kathmandu Valley
  • Take a long, adventurous drive to Pokhara and travel around the lakeside city
  • Begin the adventure with a breathtaking flight to Jomsom, the capital of the Mustang district
  • Relish the marvelous mountain views, including Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Nilgiri
  • Set foot in Lo Manthang  — the walled capital of the Kingdom of Lo
  • Visit the mesmerizing sky caves and ancient monasteries of Mustang
  • Witness the most auspicious Tiji Festival

History and Rituals of Tiji Festival

The Tiji Festival glorifies the triumph of good over evil. The history of this iconic festival dates a long way back. According to ancient mythology, the celebration of Tiji started after Dorje Jono, a deity in Vajrayana Buddhism, defeated a demon to spare the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction.

The people of Upper Mustang did not celebrate the Tiji Festival until the 17th century. It was celebrated after Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga performed a sacred Vajrakila ritual in Chode Gompa to banish the negative energies from Mustang.

Since then, the local monks of Chode Gompa have been performing religious dances and rituals every year. In the beginning, this festival was performed in the twelfth month of the Tibetan calendar. Nowadays, it is celebrated in the third month of the Tibetan calendar, i.e., May in the regular calendar.

The festival extends for three days in the courtyard of the Royal Palace at Lo Manthang. In 2022, the Tiji Festival will be celebrated from May 27th to 29th.

On the very 1st day of the Tiji Festival, the monks of Chode Gompa perform a religious dance called ‘Tsa Chaam.’ This performance re-enacts the harassment of the demon named Ma Tam Ru Ta. According to Buddhist tradition, the monks who perform this sacred dance receive Vajrakila’s empowerment.

On the 2nd day of the Tiji Festival, the monks perform another dance called ‘NgaCham.’ It resembles the birth (or rebirth) of Dorje Soman, whose demon father watches the performance from under a blanket in the middle of the royal square. The performance includes terrifying manifestations that signify the souls he meets on his way to the rebirth through the Bardo (the transition after death and before one’s next birth).

On the 3rd day of the Tiji Festival, they perform the ‘Rha Chham’ dance. At this particular ceremony, Dorje Sonam claims victory over the evil demon and dispels him from Mustang once and for all. This triumph resembles the advent of peace and prosperity to the remote land of Mustang.

What Are the Dates for the Upper Mustang Tiji Festival 2022?

The Tiji Festival is celebrated every year according to the Tibetan lunar calendar. Initially, this auspicious festival was celebrated at the end of the 12th month of the Tibetan calendar. Nowadays, the locals of the Upper Mustang celebrate this festival in the third month of the Tibetan lunar calendar (which happens to be May).

The Tiji Festival 2022 will be celebrated over three days, from May 27th to May 29th.

Is the Tiji Festival Celebrated in Any Other Regions of Nepal?

No. The Tiji Festival exclusively takes place in the walled capital of the Kingdom of Lo. It is not celebrated anywhere else in the country.

When Should I Arrive in Kathmandu If I Choose to Join This Trip?

Since the Tiji Festival in 2022 begins on 27th May, we will officially start our trip on May 20th. On this day, we will go for a full-day heritage tour and make the necessary trek preparations.

Hence, if you want to join this trek, you should arrive in Kathmandu by May 19, 2022. Likewise, you’ll be departing from Kathmandu on June 4, 2022.

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport (KTM) Kathmandu

Day 02: Trek Preparation and Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour

Day 03: Drive to Pokhara (910m/3020ft) Duration: 6 hrs

Day 04: Fly to Jomsom (2700m/8855ft) & Trek to Kagbeni (2800m/9185ft) Duration: 3 hrs

Day 05: Trek to Chele (3110m/10200ft) Duration: 5 - 6 hrs

Day 06: Trek to Geling (3500m/11480ft) Duration: 5 - 6 hrs

Day 07: Trek to Charang (3620m/11875ft) Duration: 4 hrs

Day 08: Trek to Lo - Manthang (3840m/12595ft) Duration: 3 hrs

Day 09: 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/Departure

Cost Includes

  • 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 paperwork 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

Cost Excludes

  • 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 the US $ 50 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, multiple-entry tourist visas for 90 days can be obtained by paying the 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 equipment
  • Tips and gratuities for trekking staff and drivers

Cost & Dates

  • Small Group Journey
  • Private Journey

Start Dates are your arrival date in Nepal and End Dates are the returning date from Nepal.

The set departure dates listed are specially quoted and specified for group joining option. Let us know if the set departure dates are not suitable for you- another dates which are suitable for you can certainly be added by us.

Upcoming Trip Departure

  • Guaranteed - Trip is Guaranteed to run
  • Available - Trip is available to run if minimum group size is filled
  • Limited - Only few space available
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Private trips are available on any date of your choice at any time of the year. Let us know about your preferred travel dates and we shall organize it as per your convenience. Get in touch with us via bellow contact us form.

Reviews

Nicky N Prasad, Australia I had always wanted to do the Everest Trek, and when I finally had the opportunity, I was delighted with enthusiasm! I think I am also fortunate to have been in the company of Nepal Hiking Team because they gave me no reason whatsoever to companion about anything at all. Every service I received was top-notch, and I was always provided the best available services, from the food and guesthouses to the porter and guiding services. My guide was Paban, and he was very proficient at his work. He made sure that I was comfortable and had everything I needed. The trip was terrific, and I am so glad I was with NHT! Their prompt responses, their kind gestures, and the best organization of the trip had me convinced that I was with the professionals from the very beginning. My recommendation goes to Nepal Hiking Team for being one of Nepal's most reliant tour agencies!  
Jayadatta Narasipura, USA Dear Ganga and the entire team, We, Narasipura family would like to thank you and your team for making once in a lifetime experience possible. All three of us loved every minute we spent in the Himalayas and Nepal. After my EBC trek, I wanted to experience Himalayas again with my family. Your team made it possible. Every day, we knew what to expect because Paban explained us on previous evening and in the morning. In seven days, we trekked in the lush green forest, saw numerous waterfalls, were inside the clouds, refreshed ourselves in the river and stream water, took multiple breaks with tea, coffee. Even though it was very hard, especially from 3rd to 5th day, we managed to get over the fatigue to continue because of Paban, Gokul and Ganesh’s help and encouragement. They used to tell us to take it easy (Aaramse jayenke) then we can do it, no need to rush. Paban modified the plan/itinerary based on the time of the day and our physical condition. We always ended the day before 5pm. Paban was flexible and booked the best teahouses, he made our trek very enjoyable. On fourth day, we were scheduled to trek to Upper Sinuwa. He changed it, we stayed at Lower Sinuwa. Because of 4th day’s change of plan, he modified fifth day trek too. Every day, as soon as we woke up, we started off with a hot cup of coffee or tea, they served to us without fail. Enjoying first few minutes of the day looking the sunrise in the mountains with a hot drink was so peaceful and relaxing. At the end of every day, we had fun, talking, playing cards, and having delicious dinner with fresh fruits as dessert. It was a beautiful experience. Paban, Gokul and Ganesh treated us royally and with respect, we are grateful to them. Spending last two days of our trek in the Machapuchare and Annapurna basecamps were a bliss, surrounded by the Annapurna mountain range was just amazing, and unbelievable. On the last day of the trip, we loved the cultural tour of the three cities, we were mesmerized by the artwork. Hope we can come back and enjoy Nepal again. We appreciate everything you did for us to accomplish our dream trek. Datta Trip done between 9th to 18th May 2022
Richard, UK "After extensive research regarding which trekking company to entrust with helping me with my dream holiday I chose The Nepal Hiking Team. This was for a number of reasons.
  1. Ganga and his team were super flexible, quick to respond, and allowed me to build a bespoke holiday that suited my schedule.
  2. When things went wrong at my end, they were quick to come up with solutions to help me out
  3. They understood this was a once in a lifetime experience for me, and answered my many and varied questions.
Once I arrived in Nepal it was immediately clear I had made the right decision. I was picked up from the airport, and driven to the hotel where I met Ganga and my guide Dinesh. Dinesh checked that the equipment I had brought with me was suitable, and NHT provided me a down jacket. The next day we flew out of Kathmandu, to EBC and Island Peak. Dinesh looked after me for the next 12 days in the mountains. He is an expert on the local area. Point at any mountain, and he can tell you how high it is and what its name is. He has travelled extensively over the area for more than 8 years, and he uses this knowledge to enrich your holiday experience. Every hotel you stay in, he knows the owners, and ensures you get a comfortable room. Need your washing done, or a hot shower? He will recommend where (and where not!) to get it done. When you are walking the trails he can tell you how much further you have to go, what bits will be difficult, and which easier. If you are looking to book with Nepal Hiking, and are lucky enough to have Dinesh as a guide then you are going to have a fabulous trip"
Walt Risley, USA When searching for a trekking company I wanted to go with a local group. All the reviews for Nepal Hiking Team were excellent so I choose them. From start to finish they had their act together. Initial correspondence and any email questions were answered by Ganga, the man in charge, by the next day. They kept me up to date with everything I needed as far as entry into Nepal. Picked me up from the airport and got me to my hotel without an issue. I joined a couple from Canada for the trek. Our guide Prakash never left our side from breakfast to dinner. He expedited the flight to and from Lukla which would have been a hectic process without him. Since all of us were in our 50s he established early that we would be in no rush. Whether we got to our next location at 2pm or 4pm didn’t matter. I would rather be outside enjoying the trek than in early playing cards. I felt safe and looked after with him. This trek is tough. It’s much steeper than I anticipated and the altitude change from place to place does not reflect the ascents and descents which on some days doubles the heights you actually do. They ascents into Tengbouche and at Dugla pass are particularly tough but at a slow steady pace they are doable by any who are reasonably fit. Once at the guest house the service didn’t end there. Prakash took care of all our needs. Making sure we had enough to eat and enough water. He wouldn’t leave our side until we turned in for the night which was often quite early. His personality was very soothing. We could not have accomplished what we did without him or our 2 porters. While English was not their strength, they would carry our gear ahead of us to the next location and often double back to see if we needed help and were more than happy to help with our day packs. They also accompanied us on some of the acclimation hikes in case some or one of us wanted to climb higher, splitting us up. After the trek everything was taken care of. I needed a PCR COVID test for a tour in Abu Dahbi the day after I left Kathmandu and Ganga arranged for a nurse to administer it to me in the hotel. Seamless. It’s a long review but I really can’t say enough about these guys, especially for the price. For all the service we got it was amazingly reasonable. Would definitely use this company on any return trip to Nepal and highly recommend!     You can also read this review on trip advisor.
Nicola Ross, Australia The Annapurna circuit trek was one of the best treks I’ve ever experienced. I completed it with my sister (we are both in our early sixties) on a private tour in April 2022. It was very well organized by Nepal Hiking Team, a very professional organization. Nina provided wonderful advice on the trip initially. Our guide, Hari was experienced, attentive, capable, and kind. He made the trip a success for us, along with Nomoratz, our porter, who carried our gear with such good humour. The Himalayas are the most majestic mountain range in the world. The trek was very strenuous and challenging, (more for me than my sister) but was such a wonderful experience. We have learned so much about Hinduism and Buddhism and have developed a great affection and respect for the Nepalese people. They are wonderful hosts with a rich culture we have enjoyed learning about. I highly recommend this company, our guide, and porter if you are considering trekking in Nepal. This country offers real adventure, beauty, and cultural experiences to those who venture here. See this review on TripAdvisor (click here)