Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trekking
Tiji festival of Upper Mustang trekking region is an almost unknown celebration that most of Nepal trekkers never experience. It is normally falls in the month of May and June according to Tibetan lunar calendar. This year outstanding Tiji festival is going to celebrate in the month of May. This year the festival date is 19th May, 20th May and 21st of May 2020. The tourist and trekkers to Upper Mustang region are always keen to participate once for this amazing celebration. We Himalayan Mentor, a local trekking agency offers you to enjoy and be witness to this sacred festival for an unforgettable experience in the high Himalayan remote region of Upper Mustang.
Tiji Festival takes place for celebration at ancient walled city of Lo Manthang in Upper Mustang. A huge mass of Trans Himalayan Tibetan origin group people gather once a year to celebrate Tiji festival. The Tiji festival myth related to deity named Dorje Zon who fights with demon father to save the kingdom from destruction. The Tiji celebration follows wonderful tradition of mask dance reflection of ancient Buddhism teaching of Guru Rinpoche Vajrayana sect.
Historical Description of Teeji (Tenchi festival) Upper Mustang
The Teeji festival also known as Tenchi Festival is the most popular festival of Lo Tsho Dyun. Historically, it started celebrating since the early 15th century. The festival is celebrated over three days to mark the killing of a demon by Dorj Sonny, the demon’s son. Tenchi is derived of the Tibetan word “Tempa Chirim”, meaning a prayer for world peace.
The festival was introduced by Reverent Khenchen Sonam Lhundrup, son of the second King of Mustang. Celebration of the festival discontinued for some years and it was reintroduced again in 1963. According to mythology, one can speak with the power of God. It is celebrated continuously for the prosperity and growth of Buddhism, and to eliminate obstacles from all creatures.
The people of Upper Mustang believe failing to celebrate the festival brings pain , hardship and causes natural calamities to human life.Festival mainly focuses in the flourishing of peace and bring harmony to our vast universe. These kind of virtuous deeds are good factors in bringing peace and prosperity in our universe.
The festival is celebrated on the fifth month of the Tibetan calendar, which unusually come to falls in May.A day before Tenchi festival, monks make various religious cakes and preparation is made.
Every four days the monks perform the Vajra Kilaya Puja and Mahakala Puja in Thupchen Monastery. On the first day,puja is perform the whole day and finishes rituals on the second day before lunch.Rituals are performs in the compound infront of the palace.
On the third day ritual dances are performs wearing various kinds of masks and pious ancient traditional costumes. On the last day religious cakes are thrown towards the direction shown by astrologer. The King of Mustang and other representatives of various VDCs took part on this day.
The festival reflects the rich cultural heritage of Upper Mustang.
Mustang Tiji Festival trekking short itinerary
11 May 2020: Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu airport Nepal.
12 May 2020: Day 02: Full day guided sightseeing around Kathmandu city
13 May 2020: Day 03: Fly from Katmandu to Pokhara, takes 30 minute by STOL flight
14 May 2020: Day 04: Fly to Jomsom (2720m), drive to Kagbeni (2800m- 1 hr)
15 May 2020: Day 05: Trek Kagbeni (2800m) to Chaile (Tsaile 3030m-5-6 hrs)
16 May 2020: Day 06: Trek Chaile (Tsaile 3030m) to Geling (3440m, 6-7 hrs)
17 May 2020: Day 07: Trek Geling (3440m) to Charang or Tsarang (3490m, 6-7 hrs)
18 May 2020: Day 08: Trek Tsarang (3560m) to Lo Manthang (3730m, 4-5 hrs)
19 May 2020: Day 09: Starts Tiji Festival explore around Lo Manthang (3730m)
20 May 2020: Day 10: Enjoy Tiji Festival, explore around Lo Manthang (3730m)
21 May 2020: Day 11: Ends Tiji festival, explore around Lo Manthang (3730m)
22 May 2020: Day 12: Trek Lo Manthang (3730) to Ghami (3460m) (6-7 hrs)
23 May 2020: Day 13: Trek Ghami (3460m) to Samar (3290m, 5-6 hrs)
24 May 2020: Day 14: Trek Samar (3290m) to Kagbeni (2800m, 6-7 hrs)
25 May 2020: Day 15: Trek Kagbeni (2800m) to Jomsom (2720m, 3-4 hrs)
26 May 2020: Day 16: Fly back Jomsom to Pokhara and transfer to hotel
27 May 2020: Day 17: Next day from Pokhara fly to Kathmandu
28 May 2020: Day 18: Transfer to airport for departure or join onward programs
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu airport Nepal.
Up on arrival meet our office representative at airport and transfer to hotel/ after refreshing complete the official formalities/ briefing about the preparation and rest of the day free for your own leisure/overnight at hotel in BB Basis.
Day 02: Guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
Full day guided sightseeing around Kathmandu city tour covers Nepal’s most popular spots- Historical Durbar Square area, Pasupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa & Swyambhunath Stupa which will take you to visit Nepal’s most popular attractions and lunch break will be during the tour at best restaurants available/overnight at hotel in BB Basis.
Day 03: Fly from Katmandu to Pokhara
Fly from Katmandu to Pokhara, takes 30 minute by STOL flight and transfer to hotel for overnight. At hotel in Pokhara be refresh, rest or free for personal activities or visit Lake Side down town market. It is also Nepal’s second touristic town, which is located in the heart of Annapurna region and starting point for many different treks. You can enjoy wonderful views of entire Himamalayn range from the hotel. (Hotel in Pokhara BB Basis)
Day 04: Fly to Jomsom (2720m), drive to Kagbeni (2800m- 1 hr) and overnight at lodge.
Early in the morning transfer to Pokhara airport, catch a breathtaking 35 minute flight to Jomsom. The flight takes you up through the Kali Gandaki deepest gorge, the world’s largest, with its towering snow capped peaks of giant Mt Dhaulagiri (8126m) and Annapurna (8091m). The wonderful mountain region flight to Jomsom will make you to feel like you have reached out to touch the snow capped peaks. The truly magical flight also allows you to view bellow magnificent waterfalls, canyons, terraced fields and bird eye views of beautiful high mountain settled hamlets. Upon arrival in Jomsom, you'll meet with our rest of the trekking staffs, stop for lunch break and drive to Kagbeni for overnight stay at local lodge and rest of the day is free to relax or explore the village you may go to visit popular Kagbeni Monastery. (All meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be served at lodge)
Day 05: Trek Kagbeni (2800m) to Chaile (Tsaile 3030m-5-6 hrs) and overnight at Teahouse Lodge.
Early in the morning after breakfast commences the trek, the trail further Kagbeni check post follows towards Tangbe by dropping rocky Kali Gandaki River bank and climbs steeply to the top of the hill but we will be rewarded with a spectacular view of prayer flags, stupas, and villages. After passing several windy open barren and walking through a canyon, you will arrive at the Upper Mustang Trek’s first village called Tangbe. This Trans Himalayan village is filled with whitewashed houses nestled against each other and is surrounded by beautifully terraced fields of Tibetan barley and buckwheat, small apple orchards and lower part of the village has three elegant chortens and the remnants of an old abandoned fort. After short lunch break as you continue your day hike you may hunt for the black ammonites having fossils of sea shells. This part is also covered by Tethys before Himalayan was formed. After a fantastic day hike you will reach at final stop for overnight at Tea house lodge. (All meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be served at local tea house)
Day 06: Trek Chaile (Tsaile 3030m) to Geling (3440m, 5-6 hrs) and overnight at Teahouse Lodge.
After having wholesome breakfast starts your day hike, the trail further Chaile is gradual climb up a fairly steep surrounded by magnificent views trans Himalayan landscapes. Further across the canyon of Gyagar village near by the trail follow continue towards the first pass of the trail, from the atop of pass you will see spectacular views of far beyond mountain ranges panorama and after crossing the pass trail leads long descent to the Sammar village. You will have short lunch break at the village and again continue the hike up to final destination of the day. Further of Sammar village the trail passes through the many canyons and by late noon you will arrive at gelling village. This is another larger village of Mustang region inhabited by Tibetan origin indigenous people. You may enjoy local cultural activities or by visiting the oldest one monastery of Mustang. Overnight at Tea house lodge. (All meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be served at local tea house)
Day 07: Trek Geling (3440m) to Charang or Tsarang (3490m, 6-7 hrs), Nyi La Pass cross (3950m) and overnight at teahouse lodge.
Again we will continue our onward journey early in the morning after breakfast, the trail further of Geling village follows gentle ascent first by passing via barley field side wise fenced by grove of poplar trees. Along the way first you will encounter another beautiful little village Tama Gaun imposing with chhoorten. Further of village you will rejoin the main trail and turns to quite steep climb up towards the major pass of the trek is called Nyi La Pass (3950m), it is one of the highest point of the whole trail. Just crossing the pass top you will descent down towards the final destination of the day the Tsarang village. The huge five story white dzong and red monastery are perched on the edge of the Kali Gandagi gorge on the east end of the valley. The Tsarang village is surrounded by beautiful barley fields, willow trees and typical houses are separated by rocky wall fence at the top of the large Charang Cho Canyon. Overnight at Tea house lodge. (All meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be served at local tea house)
Day 08: Trek Charang or Tsarang (3560m) to Lo Manthang (3730m, 4-5 hrs) and overnight at teahouse Lodge.
Again we will continue our onward journey early in the morning after breakfast, the trail further of Tsarang village follows steadily up hill climb up via rocky trail to a cairn on a ridge opposite the village of other side. The trail turns north and climbs up gently to a large isolated chhorten which marks the boundary between Charang and Lo. After a short rest break you will hike across a desert like high plain landscape painted in every shade of grey and yellow. Finally, you will reach your destination the whitewashed wall fenced city of Lo Manthang. It is the mail cultural heart of the whole Upper Mustang area and having beautiful King’s Place and Lo Manthang Monastery. After rest for a while you will have time to explore around to see local cultural activities. Overnight at Tea house lodge. (All meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be served at local tea house)
Day 09: Starting day of Tiji Festval- opening ceremony observation and overnight at teahouse lodge.
After having wholesome breakfast get ready your day pack and camera then head to the Tiji festival ground. Enjoy first day opening ceremony of the festival to be a witness of this wonderful celebration. You can see many different village people are gathered from the Upper Mustang region and dressed typically colorful. The special opening ceremony begins with opening of a huge Thanka (traditional Tibetan scroll painting) of Guru Padma Sambhava, patron saint of Tibetan Buddhism. The festive environment filled with sounds of typical musical instruments played by lamas and mask dance show of Tiji myth. After observing and participating the festival back to the teahouse and rest. Overnight at Tea house lodge. (All meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be served at local tea house)
Day 10: Second (main) day of Tiji Festval observation and overnight at teahouse lodge.
The second day of the Tiji Festival celebration begins followed by various events- you will be enjoying and watching typical Buddhism mask dance performance and other interesting events horse racing and a giant tug-of-war. The mask dance is a perfect religious show regarding to Tibetan deities and demos. It is also show about the wheel of life that participants can understand simply how the human being existed religiously and effect of the good and bad karma. You can also see the cultural life style Tibetan origin people are dressed with their traditional custom and women are decorated with colorful jewelries and monks in their robes and dancers in elaborate costumes. After observing and participating the festival back to the lodge and rest. Overnight at Tea house lodge. (All meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be served at local tea house)
Day 11: Third (last) day of Tiji Festval- closing ceremony observation and overnight at teahouse lodge.
The last day of the Tiji festival ends with the ceremonial destruction of the evil remains, represented by some long black yak hair and red torma cakes minced to a dark red gurry. The demons red remnants are set out on an old tiger skin, where-upon they are attacked by bow and arrow, slings and the old guns. The participants of the festival head to the holy lama to get blessing for prosperity and life long live. In addition to the festival, there are many other activities in Lo Manthang from which you can choose. Spend today exploring the intimate alleyways and courtyards of the city, or you can rent a horse and visit some of the other villages in the area. After enjoying interesting day back to the lodge and rest. Overnight at Tea house lodge. (All meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be served at local tea house)
Day 12: Trek Lo Manthang (3730) to Ghami (3460m) (5-6 hrs) and overnight at teahouse lodge.
After witnessing the outstanding Tiji Festival you will have opportunity to explore and visit the Ghar Monastery which is the one of the oldest one active Gompa of Nepal.
The Ghar Gompa is located at Ghami village with covering huge area of around; this stunning monument has preserved many typical paintings and murals. The trail to return back follows ordinary herder’s route towards the Ghami by crossing several valleys, some lush and others barren. Near the end of the hike the trail then makes a long rocky descent down a ravine to a grassy valley, where Gar Ghompa is situated within a group of large trees by a stream. Overnight at Tea house lodge. (All meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be served at local tea house)
Day 13: Trek Ghami (3460m) to Samar (3290m, 5-6 hrs) and overnight at teahouse lodge.
After having breakfast we commence again the return day hike, the trail further of Ghami village follows via same route. You will enjoy much easier walk one the way of coming back passing via beautiful nomad landscapes. Once again trekkers to the Upper Mustang can get many outstanding photographic opportunities to capture the sceneries. Finally you will arrive at Samar for overnight halt. Up on arrival at camp enjoy your hot drinks and meals. Overnight at Tea house lodge. (All meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be served at local tea house)
Day 14: Trek Samar (3290m) to Kagbeni (2800m, 6-7 hrs) and overnight at lodge.
The last day of restricted area trail follows again after having breakfast. Along the way you will be enjoying cool breeze of thin wind of Kali Gandaki River valley once again. You will get many photo capturing landscape sceneries along the return back that you had missed on the way of going up. The fantastic day will pass waling with fun filled environment. Up on arrival at Kagbeni be refresh at lodge and rest. Overnight at Tea house lodge. (All meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be served at local tea house)
Day 15: Trek Kagbeni (2800m) to Jomsom (2720m, 3-4 hrs) or drive and overnight at Lodge.
From Kagbeni you can trek back to Jomsom also which takes about three hours or catch the jeep to Jomsom. Up on arrival at Jomsom have lunch at lodge and rest for awhile and afternoon you may go to explore around the town. It is administrative head quarter of Mustang district. You may go to see natural eco museum or simply hang out enjoying sceneries of snow clad Tilicho peak or local cultural activities. Overnight at Tea house lodge. (All meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be served at local tea house)
Day 16: Fly back Jomsom to Pokhara and transfer to hotel, afternoon personal activities rest/shopping/sightseeing etc. (Hotel in Pokhara BB Basis)
Early in the morning after breakfast transfer to the airport and fly back to Pokhara then transfer to the hotel. You can rest and be refreshed at your hotel or simply go for walking around the Lakeside down town market. The market of Lakeside offers you wide variety shopping stalls souvenirs and many nice restaurants and bars.
Day 17: Fly back from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Next day from Pokhara fly to Kathmandu 30 min by STOL flight, Transfer to hotel, late noon shopping souvenirs around market and typical Nepali dinner party with culture show.
Day 18: Transfer to airport for final departure
Transfer to airport for International departure or if you interested to have onward programs- wildlife safari tour, whitewater rafting/ kayaking, paragliding, sightseeing or visiting main tourist attraction of around please let us know we are happy to organize as you wish.
- Trip Highlights
- Cost Includes/Excludes
- Equipement for Trip
- Useful Information
Tiji Festival trekking Trip Highlights
Whole Package Duration: 18 days
Tiji Festival: Celebration on 19th May, 20th May & 21st May 2020
Trek Duration: 10 Days inside restricted area & 2 days out side stay
Region of Trek: Upper Mustang
Maximum Altitude: 3730 m.
Trekking Grade: General (soft route) to moderate
Mode of Trek: Tea House Lodge to Lodge trek
Food & Accommodation: 3 meals per day prepared by Himalayan Mentor kitchen team
Starting and Ending Point: Pokhara-Jomsom- Pokhara flight to flight
Maximum per day walking: 5-6 hour in average
Transportation: Flight, Vehicle- Jeep, Mini bus or Tourist Bus available
Best of the trek: Tiji festival observation and participation together discovery trekking in Upper Mustang forbidden region. Total Himalayan cultural experience and breathtaking views from on the way of trek, visiting Lost Kingdom Lo Manthang and amazing natural landscape of high plain desert of Upper Mustang trekking region.
Sightseeing Tour: One day guided tour in Kathmandu
Best Time to Do: Spring and Autumn Season
Trip Cost: Please contact us for cost details
Trek Package Cost Includes
- Airport transfers - pick up and drop upon arrival and departure
- Full board basis on the way of trekking- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner -3 meals per day and overnight accommodation at tea house lodge
- 10 days acommodation in tea house lodge trekking
- Transportation- to starting point and flight Kathmandu- Pokhara/ Pokhara-Jomsom/Jomsom-Pokhara and Pokhara- Kathmandu after the trek
- Necessary restricted area trekking permit, conservation and TIMS fee.
- Supporting staffs (trekking guide and porter), as well as their necessary insurance, and accommodation meals allowance and salary
- 3- Nights accommodation in Kathmandu and 2-nights Pokhara in BB basis before and after the trek.
- Wildness First aid kit pack for the trekking.
Trek Package Cost Excludes
- Hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara extra days stay except mentioned in package.
- Food (Lunch & Dinner) before and after the trip in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
- Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, alcoholic beverages, bottled drinks (including cold drinks and mineral), tips for guide, porters, kitchen & camping team etc.
- Travel insurance and emergency evacuation cost.
- Additional costs- extra days stay, incase of flight cancellation due to the natural calamities, bad weather forecast and other unforeseen circumstances
- Personal trekking gear for the trek.
Equipment or clothing required for trip
- 3-4 season sleeping bag with hood
- Thermo rest self-inflating pad or foam mat
- Main luggage- Rucksack or Duffel
- 30 - 40 liter Daypack- to carry water bottles, camera, lunch & extra clothing
- Stuff sacks and plastic bags for keeping your gear dry and organized
- Water bottles with a wide mouth
- A pair adjustable trekking poles
- Insulated plastic mug (optional)
- Pocketknife Swiss army style (optional)
- Toiletries bag for toilet paper, soap, saving items, tooth paste & toothbrush etc
- Running shoes or sandals-to used in camp/ teahouse lodge
- Hiking boots- good quality
- Gaiters- a pair to use to keep boots dry if walking through deep snow or on wet ground
- Woolen or Pile Socks-heavy weight wool to be worn over the liner socks
- Liner Socks-smooth thin liner socks to reduce of getting blisters
- Knee or ankles support pad
Clothing items for trip
- Gore-Tex pants and jacket with hood
- Medium weight down jacket with hood
- Light trekking trouser
- Long sleeve light colored polypropylene shirts
- Polar Tec fleece jacket
- Thermal underwear for both top & bottom
- Polar Tec fleece pant
- Personal under garments
- Quick dry type towel
- Casual wears before after the trek
- Polypropylene liner gloves
- Fleece gloves
- Good quality mittens or gloves
- Warm woolen or fleecy hat/balaclava
- Sun hat or cap with bandana for shading the neck
- Bandana or scarf
- Headlamp for use at night around the camp with extra batteries and spare bulbs
- High quality sunglasses with 100% UV protection
- Dust mask
Other Travel Accessories
- Sunscreen and lip salve SPF 30 or above
- Insect repellant
- Water purification tablets (iodine or chlorine)
- Favorite snack items
- Reading & writing materials, ipod and cards
- Camera, memory card and extra battery
- Passport photo copy & photos
- Insurance certificate copy
- Earplugs (optional)
- Baby wipes (optional)
- Anti bacterial hand gel (optional)
Personal first aid kit pack
- Any personal medications
- Malaria prophylactic tablets
- Antibiotics capsules
- Imodium and anti amoebious, bacterial tablets
- Blister treatment plasts
- Dehydration solution
- Analgesic- Paracetamol, aspirin
- Anti cold tablets
- Diclofenac gel
- Antiseptic cream & throat lozenges
- Diamox for AMS
- Sanitary pad (for women)
- Ear & eye drop