Tiji Festival Trek is a fascinating annual three-day festival consisting of Tibetan rituals that celebrate the myth of a son who had to save the Mustang kingdom from destruction. The festival is indigenous to Lo-Manthang, Upper Mustang. Over the Mustang Tenchi Festival time monks dressed in elaborate costumes and masks perform dances and rituals that are supposed to drive away evil spirits. The Tiji festival dances are all organized by the Choedhe Monastery, which belongs to the Sakya sect of Buddhism. The monastery is headed by a Rimpoche. About 65 monks from Lo Manthang, Nhenyul and Chhosyer reside in this monastery.
The Rituals and The Festival
The Tenchi festival as a whole celebrates the victory of God over Demon and Good over Evil. During the three days, dance performances by the local monks of Chode monastery take place.
On the 1st day, the monks perform a dance called ‘Tsa Chaam’. This tells the story of the birth of ‘Dorji Sonam’- a reincarnated Buddha to a demon. This demon harassed the kingdom of Mustang and brought in havoc to the country. You can witness the monks enacting the harassment of the said demon on the people of Mustang.
On the 2nd day, the monks perform ‘NgaCham’. During this performance, Dorjee Sonam tries to return the demon to the Buddha realm.
On the 3rd and final day of the festival, the ‘Rha Chham’ dance takes place. On this ceremony, Dorjee Sonam triumphs over the evil demon and banishes him from Mustang.
The monk who plays the role of Dorjee Sonam does this by throwing an effigy. This effigy made from Tsampa (barley) represents the demon ‘Ma Tam Ru Ta’.
This defeat brings peace and prosperity to the land of Mustang. Every year Tiji festival takes place in the hope of spreading peace throughout the world.
Tiji Festival Permit:
Normally Upper Mustang Trekking Permits costs US $ 500 per person for 10 days. But during the Tiji festival we need to take 2 more extra days. 2 extra days will charged extra US $ 50 per day. In order to obtain the permit you need to have at least two members in a group. That means single permit won’t be allowed from the immigration. If you are single traveler, let us know, we can provide permits by joining you with other travelers group. We need your original passport copy to obtain the restricted area permits.
Tiji Festival 2022 Date:
For the Tiji Festival 2022 will be celebrate 27th, 28th & 29th May 2022. Apart from strolling along the stunning and exceptional surroundings of Upper Mustang with the magnificent views of the snow-topped peaks, you can partake on this vibrant and lively festival which will be a lifetime experience.
Tiji Festival Trek Highlights
- You will be a live participant in the whole proceeding of the festival.
- You get to dance and sing the traditional music which has a great influence on Tibetan Buddhism.
- You will traverse through many ridges, walk through boulders and cross different boulders to reach Upper Mustang.
- You will get to explore the historical palaces, its courtyard, and the alleys of Upper Mustang during the festival.
- You can walk in the dry, arid surrounding on the trans-Himalayan Tibetan border.
After arrive in Kathmandu International Airport. Himalayan Trip representative welcome/hello, is probably the first thing you’ll hear when arriving in the capital of Nepal with its chaotic traffic and busyness of people everywhere. We’ll be staying in Thamel in a beautiful boutique hotel, which feels like a quiet oasis in the middle of all chaos. Thamel is the area where most tourists stay and where sightseeing and shops are in the neighbourhood.
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.
Shuttle from your hotel in Kathmandu and take a flight to Pokhara. Your guide will accompany you from this day. You have choice to relax in Pokhara or have a sightseeing or walk around beautiful Phewa Lake. Overnight in Pokhara.
Today we will take an early morning flight to Jomsom which is famous for its apples, strong winds and the landscape. We begin our trek on an open trail alongside a beautiful valley. We pass through Eaklibatti village before reaching Jomsom which is ideally located at the bank of two rivers. The village is beautiful with flat-roofed houses and also has ruins of an old fortress. Overnight in Kagbeni.
The Tiji Festival Trek today starts with a special permit check onwards to the eastern bank of the Kali Gandaki river. You will then climb over several ridges to the north through the scenic wasteland landscape. Following up and down hills to Tangbe village. The village leads through the complex trails amongst the whitewashed settlement. There are artistically made buckwheat, barley, and wheat fields as well as the apple orchards. After trekking for almost 30 minutes you will reach Chhusang village.
The trek goes along a steep barren land, alongside the copper red canyon. The copper red landscape makes Mustang unique. You will hike downhill till you reach the beautiful village Samar. You can stop for lunch here. On your way out of the village, you will pass by the 4 colored Chortens. The Mustang trek continues with uphills and downhills. You will pass the beautiful and sparsely populated villages, through another pass of Yamada La (4010m).
After a final descent, you will reach Syangbochen. Here, almost all the tea houses look similar with whitewashed walls, flat roofs and wood stacked neatly around the perimeter of the roof. You can also see the doors adorned with colorful curtains and religious symbols.
Today’s trek can push you a little. You will trek through wavy terrains across two different passes. You start your trek with an ascend over the Syangbochen Pass at 3850m. From here, you can view the spectacular landscape of Upper Mustang. You will trek downhill to Gelling. You will pass through different chortens on the way.
From here, you slowly ascent to Jaite and onwards to Nyi La Pass at 4020m. Here you can feel the strong, gusty winds of Mustang along with the fluttering of prayer flags. After this you descent to a trail junction. After a final descent, you reach Ghemi. This is a little village with a small Chorten at its entrance.
The trail descends below the blue, grey, and red cliffs across the valley to a large steel bridge across the river Tangmar Chu. Then you will climb to a plateau and pass the longest and most spectacular Mani walls in Nepal. Towards the end of the wall, the trail heads east to the village of Charang. With a maze of fields, willow trees and houses separated by stone walls at the top of the Charang Chu Canyon.
At the end of the village, there are huge Dzong ( Fortress) and red Gompas. These consists of an excellent collection of statues and Thangkas ( rolling painting).
We begin our trek by descending to a canyon and cross a river before beginning our uphill trek to Lo La pass which at 3950m. From the top of the pass we can admire the beautiful Lo Manthang village. From the pass we descend to Lo Manthang which is a beautiful walled village. From here the views of the Himalayas including Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna I, Bhrikuti Peak as well as Damodar Kunda (pond) is quite good. Overnight in Lo-Manthang.
The festival takes you to the Lo-Manthang Royal Palace, which was built 600 years ago. On the first day of the festival, you will learn about the history of the Tiji festival through various performances done by the monks of Chhode Monastery. At a glance, you will see the large thangka painting depicting the Buddhist relics and Guru Rimpoche hung in the white walls of the Royal Palace. You will also get an opportunity to meet the Monarch of Lo Manthang. The traditional dance performance of Tsa Chham tells one-third part of the story of Tiji. Tiji commemorates the victory of Dorjee Sonam, the reincarnation of Lord Buddha, over a demon who is believed to have bought destruction and havoc to residents. You will be amazed by the profligate hats and vibrant gowns worn by the performers. You can also interact with the locals who have gathered here from surrounding villages to witness the marvel.
Overnight stay at teahouse/guesthouse in Lo Manthang.
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.
Lo- Manthang is an outstanding historical and cultural center. Namgyal gompa serves as an important monastery of the local community and also a local court. You will then hike to Tingkhar, a village consisting of around 40 houses which is also the last main village to the northwest of Lo- Manthang. In the eastern valley rests the village of Chosar. This village is also rich in Gompas and is the valley that leads the main trading route to Lhasa.
Here you can visit the tall Champa Lhakhang ‘God house’ and the red Thungchen Gomba. Chyodi Gompa and the entrance hall are also some of the major attraction of this small town. To enhance the architectural beauty of the place, there is a magnificent four-storied building of the Royal Palace. Here the Mustang king offer you Tibetan tea as his hospitality.
After breakfast, start the trek leaving the village and keeping up gently ascending until the trail reaches Day-La after an hour. This location is the last point from where Lo-Manthang can be spotted. The village of Dhi is reached after 3 hours of hike then descend for about an hour down to have a lunch break. After lunch, you will pass a small river and make a short steep climb to Yara village which take about 1 & half hour. Spot the innumerable caves at the stonewalls.
After our breakfast we start to do our hiking up to Luri Gumpa (4060 m) from Yara (3 550 m) , the east of Yara is looking like an eagles host in the peaks of some rough rocks. The cave chorten is overlooking the riverbed of the Puyung Khola. The sanctuary of Luri, the cave of the white chorten on the Naga hill has an open courtyard from which one will enter an empty entrance room where we explore ancient paintings of Padmasabhava and Buddha Sakyamuni. Most interesting are the unique murals of the dome, showing the eight Mahasiddhas. Its believed, that the chorten of Luri, same as that one of Tashi Kabum, dates back to the 13th or 14th century, a period which is older than the reign of Amepal. As well as the Mentsi Lhakang of Chhusang and the different cave sanctuaries northeast of Lo Manthang. Also we visit Luri nunnery which is the bottom of Luri Gompa, there is its female counterpart (mother goddess!).
After breakfast, get up and ready for trek, first few hours through River bank then after crossing River, the trail climbs up till the pass of 3850m then trail lead through grassless, bare hills, Tangge is small village but most of the house are attached each other, on the roof tops can see piles of fry woods, which also reflect the prosperity in their society.
Today will along descend to Chhuksang which takes approx. 9 hrs walk. We start off early leaving the village and crossing a suspension bridge, following a short river route. We then cross the river and steeply climb up passing small passes along the way we reach the hill top. Further, descend down until reaching the village of Chhuksang.
Today we descend down to Muktinath which takes approx. 6 hrs walk. We descend down through the Tetang village. After a steep climb, we come to a view point from where we can have a panoramic view of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Tukuche Himalayan range. Then we descend down crossing a small stream by a suspension bridge to the village of Chhyongar. We then follow the level trail until reaching Muktinath.
Today we leave Muktinath and descend down to Jharkot village where we visit the ancient Sakyamuni Buddhist Monastery and Traditional Medical Center and then to Ekalbhatte and to Jomsom.
Morning walk to Jomsom airport for short scenic flight to reach at picturesque Pokhara valley, during air amazing views of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Himalayan peaks, as the plane land at scenic Pokhara.
A popular and main touristic destinations of Nepal, overlooking massive Annapurna Mountains with serene Phewa Lake where our hotels located, afternoon free for individual activities and souvenir shopping or just relax and enjoy the views.
After breakfast, we will drive to the Pokhara Airport and fly back to Kathmandu. After checking in Hotel. You will have free time in the afternoon, and in the evening; Himalayan Trip will treat you to a farewell dinner in a traditional Nepalese restaurant whilst enjoying a cultural dance.
You may have time to take care of any last minute shopping or sightseeing, as time permits. We hope that you have enjoyed your journey!. Himalayan Trip representative will transfer you to the airport approximately 3 hours ahead of your flight time. We bid you farewell and hope to see you in Nepal again soon!
- Airport pick up and Drop by private car/van/bus.
- 3 nights accommodation in Kathmandu with bed and breakfast basis.
- 2 nights accommodation in Pokhara with bed and breakfast basis.
- Kathmandu Sightseeing by Private guide and private transportation
- Your standard meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the trekking.
- All necessary paper works and conservation entry permits.
- Special Trekking Permit US$ 500 per person for 10 days (the above price includes 10 days valid trekking permit from Kagbeni to Kagbeni. If you would wish to stay more than 10 days in restricted area, you are subjected to extra charge for extra days (US$ 50 per day / per person).
- Annapurna conservation fee
- Pokhara – Jomsom – Pokhara flight fare.
- Kathmandu – Pokhara – Kathmandu by flight.
- All accommodations in lodges/tea houses
- An experienced Government licensed guide and porters (1 porter for 2 peoples).
- Salary, Food, Drinks, Accommodation, Transportation and Insurance for the Guide and Porter.
- Medical supplies (first aid kit will be available).
- Fare well dinner with typical Nepali restaurant
- All government taxes.
Price doesn't Include:
- Lunch and Dinner whilst in Kathmandu & Pokhara.
- All kind drinks (Alcoholic, hot and cold drinks).
- Personal Equipment.
- All entrance fees in Kathmandu cultural tour.
- Personal travel and medical insurance.
- Any kind of personal expense.
- Any others expenses which are not mentioned on Price Includes section.
- Tips for trekking staff, driver (Tipping is expected).
- Any donation to the Monastery.
- Upper Mustang Monastery Entrance fees.
The hours of walking every day depends on the destination and types of trekking you have chosen. Upper Mustang trek require about 5-6 hours trekking every day.
Yes. Himalayan Trip Nepal provides insurance for our own staff. We recommend you to buy insurance in your country. Note: Insurance should cover you for the altitudes you are trekking at (not all do). We recommend World Nomads.
Yes, you can however it depends upon availability. During the festival season, there are many groups trekking together. We can adjust you given that you inform us in advance.
Weather in the mountains is notoriously difficult to predict. Generally, nights are cold, whereas the days are warmer. Winter (January and February) will be a bit colder but the days can be quite beautiful and warm if the sun is out. There will be a bit of snow during the month of January, February and December. The temperature inside the teahouses/lodges are fairly maintained. You can always sit beside a fire to keep yourself warmer. The temperature could be as high as 20 degree c to 15 degree c low during the day time.
During trekking you will be eating in tea houses along the way. If you are on a camping trek, your food will be prepared by cook by setting up tent kitchen along the way.
Yes, bring your own or you can rent it or buy it in Kathmandu. Renting a sleeping bag in Kathmandu will cost you $1 or $2 per day. To buy a new sleeping bag in Kathmandu expect to pay around $150 to $200 for one of medium quality.
Upper mustang is mostly popular for adventurous trekking and lower mustang is famous for natural scenery. Upper part has a trans Himalayan climate which is cool and semi-arid. It is in the rain shadow of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.
To go there, you need to reach Pokhara by flight from Kathmandu, or by bus in a long way through the Prithvi Highway (from 6 to 8 hours, it costs no more than 12$). Then you can go to Jomsom by jeep or by flight (20 minutes) or walking for 3 days. Jomsom is the starting point to explore Lo’s Kingdom.
Required minimum 2 persons to issued the Permit for Upper Mustang Trek. You need restricted area permit $500 per person for 7-10 days and then extra USD 50 / per day and ACAP $20 per person for Upper Mustang Trek. Please contact to Himalayan Trip for the local arrangements.
No, Individual trekers cannot obtain the RAP permit for Upper Mustang themselves. In fact, no one can trek in Upper Mustang alone. Please also note that an individual guide cannot obtain the permit for a trekker. RAP permits must be obtained through a trekking company registered in Nepal.
Submit your review
The trek we did on August 2016 in upper mustang was amazing, beautiful landscapes and nature and wonderful people. Tiji itself an unique festival. Mr. Raju and his team were excellent in guiding us trough the ten days of trek and organising all the logistic aspects of our voyage.