Tiji Festival in Mustang Nepal- Book your Trek for Tiji 2025/2026

Tiji festival Mustang

Tiji Festival in Mustang

The Tiji festival in Mustang is the most exciting and new, mainly celebrated in the upper Mustang. Samdup Rabten Mustang started this festival during the 17th century. He invited the king of other districts to come to Lo Manthang. After that, many kings gather in Lo Manthang to perform a special ritual in the Chhode monastery.

People offer prayers and rituals for the well-being of all living beings and people from the negative energy. Since then, people and monks have performed these Chhode monastery rituals. They serve his festival for three days, including the religious dance. During the 17th century, people celebrated Tiji in the twelfth month of the Tibetan calendar, whereas nowadays, Tiji falls in the third month of the Tibetan month.

The exciting part of the Tiji festival in Mustang is the Tsowo dance, which starts three months before the main Tiji festival. Earlier on this festival, the Mustang royal family members and all the users’ villagers participated in the dance and enjoyed it. Another essential part of the Tiji festival is the traditional meditation practice. Mediation during the Tiji festival is practiced in two different ways: – the first one is the peaceful dance by the subjugation of negative energy, and the second one is the actual mediation in the middle of the mountain ranges.

 

History of the Tiji Festival in Mustang, Nepal

There are different stories about the significance of the Tiji festival. People started celebrating the Tiji festival since Dorje Shonu killed the deity and saved the lives of people. Since then, Tiji has been very popular in Nepal and some parts of India. Padmasambhava, a Buddhist monk, started this tradition in Tibet in the 8th century. After that time, people began celebrating Tiji in the Tibetan way. Padmasambhava taught the dance moves to the monks of Chhode and Rinpoche monastery. Monks are dressed in a different form of the incarnation of Lord Buddha to perform this dance. However, the trekking season made the Tiji festival more famous in the 17th century.

Every year, thousands of people visit the Chhode monastery to pray for the well-being of their family and friends. People from all over Mustang come to offer their prayers in Chhode monastery.

The ritual dance of the Tiji is three stages; the first stage is the dance of 15 steps. The second stage of the dance shows the generation of deities of the two steps, and the last stage is the dance to clear the eternal negative views and to provide the festival’s auspiciousness. The dancer performs different positions and gestures to show the mediation process. Each small and big dance step during the Tiji festival in Mustang has its meaning. People believe the steps taken during the Tiji dance cleared the obstacles in people’s lives. Mustang area is a remote area on the side of Tibet. The wide Himalayan range and the snowy trail add beauty while celebrating the Tiji festival.


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    How to get there?

    People of the Mustang region celebrate the Tiji festival, which is also the top destination of the people. To get to Mustang Valley, you must arrive at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, where our team will pick you up and escort you to the hotel. The next day, you will fly to Pokhara, which has extraordinary views of the high mountains and cultural places. After getting to Pokhara, you will have a short break; after that, you will fly to Jomsom. Jomsom is also popularly known as the gateway to Mustang.

    Flight to Jomsom or drive

    An alternative flight to Jomsom is the 10-hour road drive via Kali Gandaki. You will also have an aerial view of Kali Gandaki on the way. After landing at Jomsom, you will be starting your actual trek. The route to Mustang goes through the barren landscape. On the way, you will also see the ancient Wall Town, the upper Mustang. It takes three days from the Jomsom to reach the upper Mustang. It would help if you crossed many villages, including Kagbeni, Chele, Zhalte, Syangboche, Dhakmar, Lo Gear, and Charang, to reach Lo Manthang.

    Both local people and tourists are very fond of the Tiji festival. Most tourists find the dance very fascinating. Therefore, you will have enough time to explore nature and the culture during your stay. The festive hike to Lo Manthang is a delightful trek that is gaining the attention of many people. Mustang is a beautiful place in the northern corner of the great Annapurna range. On this festive trek to Lo Manthang, you will get a clear view of the mesmerizing view of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Muktinath is widely famous for its numerous Buddhist monasteries and historic buildings. Muktinath temple is the highest-altitude temple in the world.

    Trekking to  Tiji Festival Mustang in Nepal

    Tiji festival is the main festival for the people in Mustang. Monks in the monastery dance with a lot of power and eagerness. The dance moves represent the forms of the incarnation of Lord Buddha for establishing peace in the world. Tiji festival shows the victory of god over the Demon. People have celebrated Tiji in Mustang since the 17th century, and it has gained much popularity among tourists. People from all around the world come to enjoy this festival and observe the Tibetan culture.

    During the three days of the Tiji festival, the head of the monastery chooses the dancers among the monks of Chhode Monastery, considering various factors. Monks decorate the monastery with colorful thanka pictures, and the monastery’s route includes Buddhist flags. On the day of the Tiji festival, the whole Mustang chants songs and prays at once.

    On the first day of Tiji, villages on lo Manthang are crowded with people from the nearby villages at the tourist. It was challenging to walk the barren landscape, but now, small jeeps can go to Chhode monastery. Tiji is the most awaited festival for the people of Lo Manthang; they clean their houses and prepare various food items. For trekking who wants to trek Mustang, the middle of May is perfect. During the Tiji festive trek to Lo Manthang, you can observe the Mustang’s topography and beauty variation. You must book your trek early as May is the peak season for trekking to Mustang.

     

    Altitude Sickness during Tiji Festival Trek

    People perform rituals in the Buddhist monastery of the upper Mustang region, so it is pretty standard to have altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is a medical condition in which your body does not get enough oxygen. This problem mostly happens while trekking in higher altitude areas. Altitude sickness is not that scary, and the risk can be prevented by taking some precautions. It would help if you did the Tiji festive trek with proper acclimation and healthy food.

    It would help if you took necessary precautions while trekking to the upper Mustang for the Tiji festival; you have to avoid stiff drinks and slow the pace of the trek in a high-altitude place. People of all ages with good physical ability can go on the Tiji festive trek. Your most elevated point on this trek is 4,200 meters. If you have a positive attitude, you can do this trek easily.

    Tiji is the Most exciting festival in the Himalayas.

    This festival is exciting in the Mustang region. Tiji festival lasts for about three days. These three days are full of dance culture and exploring the culture. The rituals of the Tiji festival are ancient Tibetan culture. People remember the savior of the Mustang kingdom from the great destruction. Tiji comes from the Tibetan word “tempa Chirim,” meaning “devote or prayer for world peace.” All the people and the monks pray to god for the well-being of their families and loved ones.

    However, some people also believe that the significance of the Tiji festival is the victory of “Dorje Sonnu,” the incarnation of Lord Buddha over the Demon. The Demon was a massive creature that fed on human beings and caused destruction in people’s lives. The Tiji festival takes place in the middle of May and lasts for three days. The monks of Chhode Monastery perform different rites and rituals.

    Dance is the central part of celebrating the Tiji festival, so Buddhist monks perform different forms of dance during the Tiji festival. “Tsa Chham” and “Nga Chham” are the traditional dances performed by the monks during the Tiji festival. People perform Tiji’s rituals only in the Chhode monastery. However, Rinpoche monastery, being the head and old monastery, supervises Chhode, a much smaller monastery. At least sixty-five monks are required to perform the dance and the rituals.

    The Rituals and the Festival

    Almost all the festivals in Nepal have specific historical and cultural significance. Rituals make the festival enjoyable and meaningful. Tiji festival celebrates the victory of good over evil and spreads positive thoughts among people. Since Tiji lasts for three days, here are the rituals of Tiji festivals.

    • Day 1

    Day one is the opening day of the Tiji festival; people gather to celebrate and enjoy Tiji at Chhode Monastery. Monks perform the traditional dance “Tsa Chaam.” This dance shows in the story of Dorji Son Am. Monks dress as the different incarnations of Lord Buddha. While dancing, the monks chase away the demons.

    • Day 2

    Day 2 is widely known as the dance of Nga Chaam. People make different types of food and distribute it to monks. People also hold feasts in their houses and enjoy the second day of Tiji.

    • Day 3

    Day 3 is the final day of the Tiji festival. On this day, monks perform the most sacred dance, “Rha Chham.” Damp Hu and Dhayngrya are the musical instruments used in this dance. People believe “Rha Chham” bans deities and evil energy. One monk dresses up as Dorje Sonam and leads this dance. Lastly, in the evening, ending rituals are practiced, and people provide Prasad to the people and offer prayer to the god.


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      Tiji Festival Trek Highlights

      • You will learn a new culture and participate in the Tiji festival’s rituals.
      • I am observing and knowing the importance of traditional dance and music to the people there.
      • The trail from Jomsom to the upper Mustang is very adventurous, as various boulders are coming.
      • Exploring the Mustang Valley and visiting temples and monasteries during the festival is relieving.
      • Tiji festival is the most important and sacred festival in the Mustang region, and different somewhat spiritual beliefs can be observed during this festival.
      • Tibet greatly influences the Tiji festival’s rituals, as Mustang is often called mini Tibet.
      • The surroundings of Chhode Monastery are full of landscapes and cultural sites.
      • Enjoying the Tiji festival in the middle of the mountain ranges is exhilarating.
      • Mustang is primarily famous for the apple and apple wine, Marpha.
      • Muktinath temple is the highest altitude temple in the world, and in addition, it is the holiest place for pilgrimage.
      • I was going through the deepest gorge in the world, Kali Gandaki, and getting an aerial view of the great city of Pokhara.

      Tiji Festival Permit:

      Generally, a ten-day itinerary costs per person for the upper Mustang trek. However, during the Tiji festival, since you will be spending only three days, it will cost US$150. US$50 increase daily if you want to extend your trek on the upper Mustang. Upper Mustang is the only place where single trekkers are not allowed; you must have at least two people in your group to get the permit. You will need a password copy (if foreign), a citizenship copy (for Nepalese), and photos. You can get this permit from the Kathmandu Tourism Board or Pokhara.

      Tiji Festival 2025/2026 Date:

      This year, 2025, the Tiji festival will be celebrated from May 24th to 25th and 26th. During these three days, you will explore the mountains, culture, snow, and lifestyle of local people. If you are lucky enough, you can observe the snowfall in the mountains.

       

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