Tiji Festival is one of the most colorful festivals celebrated in the Mustang region of Nepal and has been successful in inviting many culture enthusiasts to the country with its unique features. Celebrated in Lo Manthang, the capital city of the former Kingdom of Mustang, Tiji Festival holds the virtue of the pure form of Tibetan Buddhism practiced in Upper Mustang.
Tiji festival also called as “Teeji” is an annual festival native to Lo Manthang, upper Mustang village of Nepal. This three day festival is hugely popular among the Buddhists living there. This ritual known as “the chasing of the Demons’ honors the victory of Lord Buddha’s reincarnation- Dorje Sonnu over a demon called Man Tam Ru. Man Tam Ru supposedly ate human flesh and caused storms and droughts in the kingdom, who was finally killed by Dorje Sonnu over 500 years ago. Since then, this festival is celebrated every year in the honor of Dorje Sonnu. During this festival monks usually wear their traditional dress along with the mask and dances to drive away the spirit of Man Tam Ru away to save the kingdom of Mustang from destruction. Villagers from all over the ancient kingdom come to watch and to participate in this festival. Moreover, this festival is also celebrated asking god for good crops and water.
During this festival, you can see the town filled with monks in robes and masks dancing and spelling Mantras over the onlookers. Throughout the festival, the story of the myth are reenacted so that spectators can easily understand the rituals. One thing is sure that during this festival, you will witness so extraordinary and unexpected that you dare not believe your eyes. After enjoying the 3 day long Tiji festival, we trace our way back to Ghami, Sama, Kagbeni and lastly to Jomsom and return back to Pokhara with mind full of memories.
So, if you want to witness this colorful festival then you can do so in April and May. Join us for this special trip as we are always ready to provide you comfort, safety and security in each and every step. We assure yo that you are definitely going to enjoy the festival while learning the culture and tradition behind it.
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be warmly greeted by our team who will then take you to your hotel. Enjoy a stroll in the nearby market. Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu is known as the center of cultural and archeological values. Most of the popular and most visited sites in Kathmandu, which are also listed as world heritages in UNESCO, are Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, and Swayambunath along with three Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan. You will visit some of these prominent sites to get to know and experience the culture, tradition, architectures, and historical facts of the ancient Kathmandu valley. Overnight in hotel.
Early morning, drive to Pokhara via a tourist bus, which will take about 7 to 8 hours to reach. En route, we will get plenty of the beautiful Nepalese scenery composed of lush hills and many streams and rivers along with highway side settlements bustling with the daily activities of the locals. On reaching, stroll around the lakeside street and enjoy the astonishing view of the Annapurna massif and Machhapuchhre (6997m). Overnight at a hotel in Pokhara.
A short flight through the deepest gorge in Nepal, Kali Gandaki River, takes us Jomsom. The windy town is the headquarters of Jomsom district and features a desert-like terrain, completely different than the typical Nepalese landscape. After a short rest in Jomsom, we trek to Kagbeni following the trails of Kali Gandaki River. Overnight in Kagbeni.
Leaving Kagbeni, we enter the restricted area of Mustang as we ascend along the sandy trails of Kali Gandaki River. On the way, there will be lots of mules carrying goods to transfer to the remote areas of Mustang. We walk past several monasteries and caves as we walk enjoying the landscape filled with barren rocky hills. Accompanied by the peak of Nilgiri (7061m), we make our way to Chele through several small settlements. Overnight in Chele.
We climb on to a subdivision and ascend along the steep canyon to cross two passes, Taklam La (3624m) and Dajori La (3735m). We then descend on the ridge until we reach Samar. Then we trek on a cliff and visit Chungsi Cave, situated above the gorge of Syambochen Khola. We then make a steep climb to reach Syambochen. Overnight in Syambochen.
We climb uphill towards Geling where huge barley fields are seen. Then ascend to cross Nyi La (4010m), which hosts a distant view of Annapurna I (8091m) and Nilgiri (7061m) peaks. Continuing the gentle trails downhill from Nyi La, we reach the village of Ghami, where we cross the longest Mani wall of Mustang before heading towards the red cliffs of Dhakmar. We then make a gradual descend to Charang, a large village situated on the top of Charang Chu Canyon. In the evening, we will visit the 400 year’s old Gelup Sect monastery in Charang. Overnight in Charang.
Today we start climbing alongside Charang Khola, which takes us to the ancient monastery, Ghar Gompa. Ghar Gompa is one of the most sacred monasteries in Upper Mustang and hosts the scriptures of Guru Padmasambhava. Then ascending alongside the ridge, enjoying the colorful desert hills, we make our way towards the walled capital of the former Kingdom of Lo i.e. Lo Manthang, where the Tiji Festival takes place. Overnight in Lo Manthang.
Start Tiji Festival, day trip around Lo-Manthang area (Chosar, Chonup, Namgyal by horse. Enjoy the first day of the festival. An ancient three-story high Thanka is shown at the south wall of the square which showcases Padmasambhava who started the festival in the 8th century. Eleven monks in maroon and gold attire, wearing high red hats come from the palace and take their places along the wall beneath the Thanka. The monks come from various places to chant sacred mantras. A masked dance starts to show the incarnation of Buddha and repel the demon through the dance. This dance resembles peace, harmony, and purity. In the spare time, we will also visit the monasteries of Choser, Chonup, and Namyal on a horse. Overnight in Lo Manthang.
Numerous Loba people arrive from different hamlets and the small square is packed with women and children in traditional dresses. The royal family of the former Kingdom of Mustang joins the festival. The masks, dresses, 12 feet horns, the gold cup of wheat, snow leopard, pigeon, Saligram, and so on are brought into the festival. Overnight in Lo Manthang.
Tiji ends with the ceremonial destruction of the evil. The demons are set out on the old tiger skin and are attacked by bow, arrow, and old guns. The day brings the festival to end by performing all the spiritual folklore. People of Upper Mustang finally feel relieved and they believe now there will be only good days after all the reign of the devil has been ended. Overnight in Lo Manthang.
Leaving Lo Manthan behind, we head towards Drakmar via Ghar Gumba. We start with a gradual ascend and later descend gently on a quiet trail through the Rocky Mountains and sand dunes. The trail is filled with colorful deserts leading us to climb a ridge to reach an alley to Dhakmar. Overnight in Dhakmar.
Descend along a stream and past the village fields before climbing a ridge to reach Upper Ghemi. Walk down to Lower Ghemi to cross Nyi La (4010m). Descend past the settlements of Jhaite, Chhunggar, and Tamagaon, and then climb to a large Chorten near the ridge below Syambochen La (3850m). Ascend and walk down to Syambochen for the overnight stay.
Retrace the upward trail through Yamdo La (3860m) and Bhena La (3860m) to reach Samar. After a short walk, we ascend to cross Dajori La (3735m) and Taklam La (3624) to reach Chele. We then trek downhill to cross Kali Gandaki River on a bridge and follow it downstream towards Chhuksang. Encounter the amazing place and surrounding around you. Overnight in Chhuksang
Retracing our trail through the Gurung village of Tangbe, we descend through the riverbed of Kali Gandaki to reach Kagbeni. Enjoying the dry yet picture-perfect landscape in the backdrop, we reach Kagbeni, bidding goodbye to Upper Mustang. Overnight in Kagbeni.
Today we start the day with a short walk to reach Jomsom. Then we take a mountain flight back to Pokhara flying over the Himalayas. Upon reaching, feel free to explore the amazing places of Pokhara. You can visit the World Peace Pagoda, Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, Mahendra Cave, and Davis Falls, among other major attractions of Pokhara. You can also enjoy a boat ride in Phewa Lake. Overnight in Pokhara.
Today the trek ends as we drive back to Kathmandu. You can show gratitude to the team members through tips or incentives. Enjoy the landscape with the feeling of accomplishment. Rest upon reaching the hotel, and later you can stroll around the city. Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.
We bid farewell to you after a quick team photo. You will be dropped at the airport prior to your flight time.