Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is an exceptional trip a remote part of Nepal high in the Himalayan desert, where a Tibetan King and his subjects are celebrating the victory of good triumphing over evil. The people of Mustang believe that similar to the ancient Tibetan-Buddhist myth, the Tiji festival brings hope and peace and wards off evil forces and suffering. The Tiji festival coincides with the end of the dry winter season and the beginning of the wetter monsoon season, the harvesting season for Mustang.
Tiji is a three-day festival known as "the chasing of the Demons". Tiji is based on the myth of a deity named Dorje Jono who fought against his demonic father who was cursing Lo Manthang with famine (Mustang is a very dry place). Dorje Jono eventually triumphed over the demon and banished him from the land, saving the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. Throughout the Tiji festival the story of the myth is re-enacted. Tiji comes from the word ten che meaning ‘the hope of Buddha Dharma prevailing in the world'.
In Lo Manthang, ancient lifestyle, traditions and art and culture are still intact. The people of Lo have many religious festivals, but the yearly Tiji is the most important festival of the year and they have been celebrating since the 15th century. In the days prior to the Tiji Festival, the trails from the surrounding villages to Lo Manthang are packed with local people arriving in mule caravans arriving to celebrate their annual festival.
During the three-day Tiji festival, a chosen monk representing Dorge Shunu performs masked dances to the beating of drums while chanting fills the air. Through the power of Tiji festival dances, he is able to defeat the demons and thereby bring peace and prosperity to the kingdom. The present king of Mustang, now 25th in the lineage, Jigme Dadul Palbar Bista, also attends the festival dressed in traditional attire.
Upper Mustang covers about 2600 sq km of rugged dry land in the rain shadow north of the Himalayan range (Annapurna and Dhaulagiri) and is a home to a mere 6000 people. The kingdom of Lo Manthang remains semi-independent and still has a king. It is one of the last strongholds of authentic Tibetan culture in the world. The medieval capital of Lo Manthang is a walled city of palaces of local nobilities and magnificent monasteries. The remains of massive, rambling forts are reminders of the time when Lo Manthang was a rich walled kingdom; during the salt trade of the15th and 16th centuries Lo Munthang flourished as an important link between Tibet and India.
The trek enters Upper Mustang at Kagbeni, a quaint medieval town nestled among apple orchards and encircled by snowy mountains. Every village in Mustang has a monastery. Buddhist monasteries and nunneries are built into the forbidding cliffs and mountain ledges of this starkly beautiful arid Tibetan plateau.
Day 1 : April 24 , 2016 Arrival in Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel
Day 2 : April 25 , 2016 Preparation Day in Kathmandu
Day 3 : April 26 , 2016 Drive to Pokhara, 6hrs, Evening is free at Pokhara's lakeside.
Day 4 : April 27 , 2016 Fly to Jomsom and Trek to Kagbeni, 3-4 hrs, 2897m. Overnight at guesthouse
Day 5 : April 28 , 2016 Trek to Chele, 6 hrs, 3050m. Overnight stay at guesthouse
Day 6 : April 29 , 2016 Trek to Syanbochens, 3475m, 6-7 hr. Overnight stay at guesthouse
Day 7 : April 30 , 2016 Trek to Ghaymi, 3520m, 5-6 hrs. Overnight stay at guesthouse
Day 8 : May 01 , 2016 Trek to Tsarang 3500m, 4-5 hrs. Overnight stay at guesthouse
Day 9 : May 02 , 2016 Trek to Lo Manthang, 3730m, via Lho-Gekar and Ghar Gompa.
Day 10 : May 03 , 2016 Tiji Festival day 1
Day 11 : May 04, 2016 Tiji Festival day 2
Day 12 : May 05, 2016 Tiji Festival Day 3
Day 13 : May 06, 2016 Trek to Drakmar, 3810m, 6 hrs. Overnight stay at guesthouse
Day 14 : May 07, 2016 Trek to Ghiling, 3806m, 5-6hrs. Overnight stay at guesthouse
Day 15 : May 08, 2016 Trek to Chhusangs, 3050m, 6 hr. Overnight stay at guesthouse
Day 16 : May 09, 2014 Trek to Jomsom, 2700m, 6 hr. Overnight stay at guesthouse
Day 17 : May 10, 2016 Fly to Pokhara and relax the rest of the day
Day 18 : May 11, 2016 Drive to Kathmandu 1300m: 7-8 hrs
Day 19 : May 12, 2016 Free Day in Kathmandu
Day 20 : May 13, 2016 Departure from Kathmandu
Tiji Festival Trek is a Tea House/Lodge Trek
Accommodation is included in the cost of your package. Annapurna Foothills Treks takes great care to arrange the most comfortable accommodation possible throughout your stay.
In Kathmandu, our clients enjoy four nights in Hotel Shakti or Hotel Norbu Linka before and after heading into the remote regions.
Until recently you could only come to Upper Mustang with a fully organized camping trek. However, nowadays some villagers have opened up small guesthouses with plenty of character and good food. The family run lodges are a great place to get to know the Mustang culture. In Tibetan culture, the kitchen is the center of the house, and functions more like a living room. You will be made very welcome into their kitchens where you can learn a lot about their lifestyle!
Spending Money per Day
Although it depends on your spending habits, you should allocate US$ 10 - 15 per meal in Kathmandu. On the trek, your meals are included, but you may wish to purchase extras which are not included in your package, such as chocolate bars, Coca Cola or a beer. US$10 - 15 a day should be enough, but keep in mind the cost of all items increases proportionately with the distance from the trail head.
While trekking, it is important to keep hydrated; you should drink at least 3 liters of water each day. In some places there are Euro-guard filters, so all you need is your own water bottle and you can refill it easily. We suggest you bring a supply of water purification tablets in case Euro-guard water is not available. We request that you avoid using bottled mineral water, as the bottles are not easily disposed of.
If you have a reasonable level of fitness, this trek should be more than manageable. The altitude becomes more noticeable the higher we go, so we walk at a slow pace and take plenty of breaks to rest and acclimatize.
When travelling in remote mountain regions, uncertainties such as weather, health problems and natural disasters require a certain amount of flexibility. While our goal is to follow the itinerary, that is not our first priority;your safety is always our first priority. Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expeditions request your cooperation to accept the decisions and advice of our trusted and experienced guides if they deem it necessary to change or cancel any part of the itinerary due to safety concerns.
It is strongly recommended to be sufficiently protected when you go into remote areas. You need specialized travel insurance that covers emergency evacuation, injury, lost baggage, liability and medical treatment. Make sure the insurance covers all the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal. Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expeditions Pvt. Ltd. can organize the appropriate medical response based on your policy.
Destination : Nepal
Duration : 20 Days
Price : US $2150 p/p
Trip Grade : Moderate
Group Size:2 - 12 Persons
Transport:By Road / Air
Hotel in Kathmandu:4 nights B&B plan (Bed & Breakfast)
Hotel in Pokhara:2 nights B&B plan (Bed & Breakfast)
Accommodation during trek:local lodges 14 days (13 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 13 dinners, tea, coffee and twin-share rooms with beds with comfortable foam mattress and pillows included)
Was really impressed with the speed at which they organised a tour for me, and the quality of the tour itself. The director - Ngima - was very responsive and really helpful, meeting me the day before my tour and introducing me to my guide the day of the tour.…Phillippa
Just got back from an awesome trip to Nepal, kindly arranged by Ngima Sherpa from Annapurna Foothills Treks. The organisation of the trip was absolutely flawless, and I can't remember having any problems during my whole month long stay. My Sherpa Dendi (as featured in the new Everest movie),is a…Neil Murphy
My boyfriend and I wanted to trek in Nepal so I found Annapurna Foothills details online - they were amazing from start to finish. Ngima, the Managing Director was really helpful over email in planning the trip and flexible to help us fit in everything we wanted to. Our guide…Meriel Flint