Mustang Tiji Festival Tour

  • Activity Nepal Tour
  • Duration 16 Days
  • Transportation Jeep
  • Grade Moderate
  • Group Size 5-6

About Mustang Tiji Festival Tour

The Mustang Tiji Festival is a three-day-long ancient religious festival still practiced today in the mustang region of Nepal. During this festival, the dancers dressed in colorful clothes and masks dance around the temple. The theme of the dance is the victory of good over evil, which corresponds to the agricultural cycles in the region. There are multiple masks for each dance, each with a different meaning. The dances are performed by members of the Loba community and residents from surrounding villages. The festival features social dances as well as cultural dances between the dancers and other members of the community.

Tiji Festival Trekking Overview

The Tiji festival is celebrated in the Lo Manthang, the capital of the former Kingdom of Lo (also called Mustang) in northern Nepal. Based on Tibetan Buddhism, the dance is believed to have originated during the 17th century. It is dedicated to a deity, Dorje Jono, who represents the struggle between good and evil. The festival derives its name from the word Tiji (meaning ‘prayer for world peace), though it is also known as the ‘Chasing of the Demons’ festival and takes place in May or June each year. The astrologers determine the exact dates for the Tiji festival.

Following a lengthy trek through one of Nepal’s most remote regions, you will be rewarded with a spectacular display of ritual dancing during Tiji festival trekking. The climax comes with the Dance of the Unknown Soldier performed by Lamas, who wear masks and costumes to represent demons expelled from Tibet by Guru Rinpoche. A plethora of other traditional dances will be performed over several days, during which normal village activities are suspended and women excluded from some events. After enjoying this unique cultural experience, it’s possible to travel south from Jomsom through picturesque villages before returning to Pokhara. As mentioned before, the festival is three days long, and each day has its meaning and significance.

  • On the first day, various dances, including that of a demoness who danced with a goat’s head.
  • On the second day, a Lama dances with a sword.
  • On the third day, monks dance in prayer for rain.

Itinerary

After you arrive in Kathmandu, our tour agency representatives will come to pick you up. From there, you will be taken to your respective hotel, where you will meet your guide and give you a brief description of your trek.
Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, take a STOL flight for 30 minutes, and transfer to your hotel overnight. At Pokhara's hotel, you can refresh yourself, take a break, do some personal activities at your leisure, or visit the downtown lakeside market. It is also Nepal's second-largest tourist city, in the heart of the Annapurna region, and is the starting point for various trekking. You can enjoy a magnificent view of the entire Himama line chain from Pokhara. Move to Pokhara Airport early in the morning and enjoy a breathtaking 35-minute flight to Jomsom. The plane passes through the deepest canyon of the world's largest Kali Gandaki, with the huge snow-capped mountains of Dhaulagiri (8126m) and Annapurna (8091m). A great flight to the mountains to Jomsom makes you feel like reaching for a snow-capped peak. In a truly magical flight, you'll get a bird's-eye view of the beautiful settlements that settle in magnificent waterfalls, canyons, terraced fields, and mountains.
Upon arriving in Jomsom, meet the rest of the trekking staff, have lunch and drive to Kagbeni. There, we will stay overnight at a local lodge. For the rest of the day, you can relax and explore the popular village of Kagbeni Abbey.
Early in the morning, after breakfast, trekking begins, descending the rocky banks of the Kali Gandaki River and steeply climbing to the top of the hill to follow the Kagbeni check post towards Tambe. On the way, we can see spectacular stupas and village views. After walking through some of the windswept open wastelands and walking through the canyons, you will arrive at the first village of Upper Mustang Trek called Tambe. This trans-Himalayan village is surrounded by white-painted houses nestled together, beautiful stepped fields of Tibetan barley and besides, a small apple orchard, and three elegant stupas and ruins of an old ruined fort at the bottom of the village. Tethys also covered this part before the formation of the Himalayas. After a great day hike, you'll arrive at your final destination for your stay at Teahouse Lodge.
After having a healthy breakfast, your day hike begins. The road to Chaile gradually climbs a reasonably steep uphill, surrounded by spectacular views of the Himalayan landscape. Continue across the canyon of Gyagar village near the trail and continue towards the first pass of the trail. You can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view from the top of the pass far beyond the mountains. After crossing the pass path, a long downhill lead to the village of Saint-Mar. Take a short lunch break in the village and continue trekking to your final destination for the day. Continuing from the village of Sammar, the trail passes through many canyons and arrives at the village of Gelling in the late afternoon. This is another major village in the Mustang region, where indigenous people from Tibet live. Enjoy local cultural activities and visit Mustang's oldest monastery.
Again, continue the journey early in the morning after breakfast. Further away from the village of Gering, the trail initially follows a gentle slope through a barley field surrounded by poplar groves. Along the way, you first encounter another beautiful little village, Tama Gaun, with Chhoorten. Further away from the village, it rejoins the main trail and turns into a fairly steep uphill to one of the highest points on the trail, the Nyi La Pass (3950m), the main trekking pass. Cross the top of the pass and get off at the final destination of the day, the village of Tsarang. A huge five-story white dzong and red monastery on the edge of the Kali Gandaki Valley at the eastern end of the valley. The village of Tsarang is surrounded by beautiful barley fields, meadows, and typical houses, separated by a rock wall fence at the top of the Charancho Valley.
After breakfast, we will continue our journey early in the morning. Further away from the village of Tsarang, follow a rocky path uphill to Cairn on the opposite ridge of the opposite village. The trail turns north and slowly climbs towards the largely isolated stupa that marks the border between Charan and Rho. After a short break, hike the desert-like plateau landscape painted in all shades of gray and yellow. Finally, you will arrive at your destination, the town of Lo Manthang, surrounded by whitewashed walls. It is the cultural center of the entire Upper Stang region, with the beautiful Kings Place and Lo Manthang Monastery. After a short break, you'll have time to explore the surrounding area and see local cultural activities.
After a healthy breakfast, prepare your daypack and camera before heading to the Tigi Festival venue. Enjoy the opening ceremony on the festival's first day and witness this wonderful celebration. You can see how many villagers from the Upper Mustang region usually wear colorful clothes. The special opening ceremony begins with the opening of the giant Thangka (a painting of a traditional Tibetan scroll) by the patron saint of Tibetan Buddhism, Guru Padmasambhava. The festive environment is filled with the sounds of typical musical instruments played by Rama and the masked dance show of Tigi mythology. After seeing and participating in the festival, we will return to the teahouse and take a break.
The second day of the Tiji Festival begins, followed by various events. You can enjoy watching typical Buddhist mask dance performances and other interesting events, horse racing, and huge tug of war. Mask Dance is a perfect religious show related to Tibetan gods and demonstrations. It is also a show about the circle of life where participants can easily understand how humans exist religiously and how good and bad karma work. You can also see the cultural lifestyle of Tibetan people dressed in traditional customs, women adorned with colorful jewels, monks in robes, and dancers in elaborate costumes. After observing and attending the festival, return to the lodge for a break.
The final day of the Tiji Festival ends with the ritual destruction of evil debris, represented by long black yak hair crushed by dark red cucumbers and red tormo cake. The devil's red wreckage is placed on the skin of an old tiger and then attacked with a bow and arrow, a slingshot, and an old gun. Festival participants go to the Holy Lama for the blessing of prosperity and longevity. Besides the festival, Lo Manthang has many activities. Spend the day exploring the town's cozy paths and courtyards or hiring horses to visit other villages in the area. After an interesting day, return to the lodge for a break.
After witnessing the stunning Tigi Festival, you'll have the opportunity to explore and visit the Gal Monastery, one of Nepal's oldest active gompas. Ghar Gompa is located in the village of Gami and covers the vast area surrounding it. This impressive monument preserves many typical paintings and murals. On the way back, you'll cross some valleys, some lush, others barren, and follow the normal shepherd's route to Gami. Towards the end of the trek, the trail descends the canyon into a long rocky descent, with Gar Gompa heading for a grassy valley in a tall tree blocked by a stream.
After breakfast, we will resume trekking on the way back and continue trekking to Gami village on the same route. You will enjoy a much easier walk on your way home, passing through the beautiful nomadic landscape. Again, the trekker to Upper Stang has many great photo opportunities for landscape photography. Finally, arrive at Samar and stay overnight.
After breakfast, the last day of the restricted area trail continues again. On the way, enjoy the cool breeze of the Kali Gandaki River basin again. On the way back, we will catch many scenic shots we missed on the way. A wonderful day goes by in a fun environment. When you arrive at Kagbeni, refresh and rest at the lodge.
You will return to Jomsom from Kagbeni on the 15th day. This will take about 3 hours. Alternatively, you can go to Jomsom by jeep. When you arrive at Jomsom, have lunch at the lodge and rest for a while. You can explore the city in the afternoon. It is an administrative district of Mustang County. Visit the natural ecomuseum and enjoy the snow-covered landscape of Tiricho Peak and local cultural activities.
Early in the morning, after breakfast, we will move to the airport, return to Pokhara, and move to the hotel. Take a break at the hotel to refresh yourself or take a walk-in downtown Lakeside Market. The Lakeside Market is full of food stalls, souvenirs, excellent restaurants, and bars. Later, with a 30-minute flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu, you'll fly to your hotel on a STOL flight, buy souvenirs at the market late at noon, and host a typical Nepalese dinner party with a cultural show.
On this day, you will end your trip by departing to your respective destination from Kathmandu international airport.

What's included in the tours

  • Pickup on arrival
  • Drop on departure
  • An experienced guide who will take care of you and guide you throughout the trek
  • A porter, if required
  • Domestic airfare
  • Accommodation
  • Four proper meals per day during the trek
  • Brief Kathmandu tour
  • Salaries, lodging, and meals of your guide and porter
  • All potential local tax, vat, office service charges, other surcharges, etc.

What's not included

  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa for entering Nepal
  • Personal trekking supplies
  • Expenses for other miscellaneous things

faqs

Why is the TIJI Festival celebrated?

Tigi is a fascinating annual three-day festival consisting of Tibetan rituals celebrating the myth of a boy who had to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction.

What is the Mustang toilet facility?
What kind of shower facilities do you have during the trekking?
What is the best time for this tour?

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Mustang Tiji Festival Tour

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