Mustang Tiji Festival Trek focuses on Tiji Festival which is an old festival followed since long back. It is not only performed by the occupants of the Upper Mustang but also is famous among all the travelers from around the world. The festival is celebrated on 14th, 15th, and 16th of May. It is known as the most important and colorful festival of Upper Mustang.
Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is the Trek into the kingdom of Mustang which is undoubtedly the unforgettable experience you will have in Nepal. Mustang has been able to lure the outer world from the past several years due to its extreme topographical variation and cultural diversity. The walled city of Lo Manthang, the unofficial capital of Mustang, remains Kingdom which was a part of the Tibetan Kingdom of Gungthang until the 1830’s.
The Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is an exotic tour to unspoil and ancient Tibetan villages, rare medieval Buddhist arts, the fascinating culture and the unique beauty of the Himalayan desert. Tiji Festival, one of the popular colorful Buddhist festivals is celebrated more than five hundred years ago in Mustang. The Tiji Festival in Mustang is a three-day ritual known as “The chasing of the Demons,” and it is centered on the Tiji myth. Tiji tells the story of a deity named Dorje Jono who battle against his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. The festival is celebrated to pray God for water and good crops. During the festival, the monks dress in traditional manner and masks and dance which supposedly to drive the evil spirits away. Villagers from all over the ancient kingdom of Lo Manthang come to watch the dancing and to participate in the Tiji festival. A trek into this forbidden kingdom of vast, arid valleys, eroded canyons, ochre valley, and yak caravans, colorful-painted mud brick houses on the back dropped of majestic mountain of Nilgiri, Tukche, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri makes your medieval walled kingdom Mustang trekking an exceptional one. After a flight to Jomsom, the journey of enjoying the natural diversity of the Sherpa villages of Kagbeni, Chele, Ghiling, and Chharang to Lo-Manthang starts. You will hike through deep canyons and amongst stunning rock formations backed by snow-capped peaks. You will visit homes, villages, and active monasteries set in ethereal landscapes on the fringe of the Tibetan Plateau. Forbidden & isolated from the rest of the World, Mustang Tiji Festival can evolve its own distinctive culture and tradition which is so precious & unique. Throughout the festival, the events and story of the myth are re-enacted. During the Mustang Tiji Festival Trek, you’ll witness the extraordinary and unexpected things that will be hard to believe but true in Mustang. After enjoying the Tiji festival trek of Mustang, we will trek back to Ghami, Samar, Kagbeni and lastly to Jomsom for the returning flight to Pokhara.
People who wish to visit Mustang need to pay a special permit fee and apply from any of the government registered Trekking agencies in Nepal. The Mustang Tiji festival generally held at the end of dry winter/spring season effectively a spring renewal festival and will usher in the wetter monsoon season (the growing season for Mustang). Mustang Tiji festival Trek of Nepal is the unique privilege to witness the same color, costume, dancing, and ritual that were displayed by these people in this place more than six hundred years ago.
Duration: 18 Days from arrival to departure Nepal
Trek Grade: Moderate
Festival Date: May 2019
Accommodation: Hotel in Kathmandu & Tea house during trek
Group Size: Min.2 pax
Max altitude: 4320 m
Mode of Travel: Drive/Flight: Pokhara/ Flight Jomsom
We will meet you at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and transfer to your hotel. When you have had your time to settle in and freshen up, you will be invited to visit our office for a briefing about your program. You will have meeting with your trekking guide and discuss about the equipment needed for the trekking. We will process and finish all the trekking permits and documentation works. If you arrive at night we will have same discussion in next day morning after your breakfast.
After breakfast you will leave for a full day sightseeing tour around Kathmandu valley. You can visit sacred Pashupatinath Temple and Swyambhunath, very ancient and essentially enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage sites. The biggest Buddhist Stupa at Boudhnath and the fine arts and historical architecture of Kathmandu Durbar Square reflecting the ancient Nepalese culture are highlighted on our guided tour. On return to your hotel you will have time to explore the local popular streets.
We will drive you to the Domestic Airport for 25 minutes flight to Pokhara. Or if you wish you can take a Tourist bus to Pokhara about 4-5 hour drive exploring & enjoying with scenic beauty all the way around. Pokhara offers magnificent views of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhare and others. In the evening, a boating trip on Phewa Lake will be followed where you can enjoy the spectacular views of Annapurna Himalaya Range. Visit Bindavasini Temple lying in middle of the lake and enjoy the lakeside.
We will take a flight early in the morning to Jomsom of about 25min with spectacular views of Mountains. From here onwards it is very windy in the afternoon; trail is quite barren with craggy rocks and sand and is mostly flat. The picturesque peaks of Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche Peak and Dhampus are spectacular all the way. You walk on gently undulating trails to reach Kagbeni. Kagbeni provides you with a taste of scenes to come in upper Mustang, with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, green fields of wheat and barley.
Next day journey starts with a special permit check up onwards to the riverbank of Kali Gandaki up stream. We enter upper Mustang and follow the east bank of the river over a series of small ridges. The trail leads us through the scenic picturesque villages surrounded by fields of wheat, barley and buckwheat, interspersed with small apple orchards. We trek forward crossing the river heading up to the huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above forming a tunnel through which the Kali Gandaki follows. The trek now leaves the Kali Gandaki valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to Chele.
The climb continues along steep, treeless and dry terrain, along the side of a spectacular deep canyon to pass a cairn of rock. Climb above Samar and descend into a large gorge and go into another valley along the surrounding of cool streams and junipers trees, crossing a stream and climbs up to a ridge at 3800m. We climb to Taklam La Pass (3,624m/11,923 ft) through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda. Nyi Pass is the highest point of the trek thus far and the southern boundary of Lo. The trail then drops steeply to the whitewashed buildings of Ghiling.
The track descends below the blue, grey and red cliffs across the valley to a steel bridge across the Tangmar Chu. Then climb to a plateau and passes the longest and most spectacular Mani walls in Nepal. From the end of the wall the trail heads east to the village of Charang (Tsarang) with a maze of fields, willow trees and houses separated by stone walls at the top of the Charang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village, are huge Dzong [fortress] and a red Gompa which houses an excellent collection of statues and Thankas as well as many large paintings of seated Buddha’s.
The trail descends about 125m from Charang, crosses the Tsarang Chu and follows the track to a cairn on a ridge opposite the village at 3580m, then enters the Tholung village. Then the trail further ascends gently to the 3,850m windy pass of Lo, from where you can see the Lo-Manthang Valley (3700m), views of the walled city appear magnificent with its hills on the Tibetan Border. A short descent leads onto the plain of Aspiration and then the trail crosses a stream and climbs up onto the plateau of Lo-Manthang.
Early in the afternoon, horns resounded, announcing the two twelve-foot copper dunchens, with their elephantine blurting, followed by two double-reeled horns, all accompanied by drum and cymbals.
Next, an ancient and enormous Thanka three stories high was unrolled down the entire south wall of the square. The Thanka portrayed Padma Sambhava or (Guru Rimpoche) who brought this ceremony to Tibet in the 8th century.”
Late afternoon, in high wind and blowing dust, eleven lamas in maroon and gold, wearing high red hats, came from the palace and take their places along the wall beneath the thanka, with Tashi Tenzing on the elevated seat just in the center. The masked dancers start the portrayal of the Tiji myth then Dorje Jono repels the demon through the power of his magical dancing. As the dances end, Dorje Jono kills the demon, after which his people are relieved of their plague of misfortunes, water becomes plentiful once more, and the balance and harmony of existence are restored.
On the second day of Tiji, We’ll see Tibetan women in their traditional clothing and colorful jewelry, monks in their robes and dancers in elaborate costumes. The King of Mustang “wears a whole crown of tiny river pearls set off by dozens of large red coralline tones interspersed with matched ornaments of turquoise. The costumes and masks, the twelve-foot horns, the gold cups of wheat, the butter cakes, the snow peaks and wind and dust and sun, the mehti, snow leopard, snow pigeons, saligrams, the dying glacier and the desert ruins, the drunks and rajas and foreigners, the dogs and yaks.
On the third day, Tiji 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 poor devils remains are over- turned upon the ground, each time to a wild cannonade from the old muzzle-loaders and a wave of cheers and smoke.
We will make our return take via highland rouge crossing the alpine meadows. After Lo Gekar, the trail climbs steeply to a cairn on a pass at 4000m, offering a last glimpse of Lo Manthang. Cross the Chogo La (4325m), the highest point on this trek. The trail makes descend beside a stream visiting ancient Ghar Gompa more than 1200 years old and meet the Guru Rimponche. Gompa is famous for its rock paintings and the legend of fulfilling our good wishes. The trail then drops steeply to the whitewashed buildings of Ghemi. Ghemi is surrounded by large fields most of which are barren.
Today we continue down the valley to Ghiling in dusty and windy trail. The trail leads passing through the arid plateau and crops field in between, the walks may not be pleasant on the back as we suffer the wind on face in Kali Gandaki wind valley. Arrive Samar; it is small village with nice terraces and people follow the Tibetan lifestyle and tradition here.
We will mostly walk along the bank of Kali Gandaki River with the views of natural vegetation and apple orchards to Kagbeni. Spend the night enjoying the ancient and uniqueness of the Kagbeni village.
the last day of the trekking is easy day and flat working in the river bank. Trail passes through Eklebhatti and continues working to Jomsom. Arrive at Jomsom; celebrate the last day of the trekking with the trekking crew.
An early morning we will take a short picturesque flight to Pokhara. The view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains and world’s deepest gorge, Kali Gandaki are stunning. Relax whole day in Hotel or wander around Lake Side with fascinating mountains panorama view and nature charming.
Take a flight or drive by tourist bus/Private car to Kathmandu. At the evening you can have your last night in Nepal enjoying the Nepali cultural dinner show, taking some beautiful snaps and making up your mind for the returning journey. You can have a greetings exchanging among friends and with all Nepalese people.
We will take you to the International Airport for your convenience. Wish you a happy journey in the traditional and cultural way of us Nepalese and Good-Bye with a hope to see you again.
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