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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This trip was amazing, from the planning stage to the trip itself! Ganga was very responsive to my questions leading up to the trip and helped me prepare properly. Bihm was our guide and from the moment I landed had everything well in hand. He and our

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We did a 14 day Annapurna Circuit trek with Nepal Hiking Team 28 Apr - 12 May 2022. Communication leading up to the trip was fantastic, and we felt we had all the information we needed for this big adventure, one we'd never done the likes of