Tiji Festival is celebrated in Lo-Manthang (Upper Mustang) of Nepal. It is the most important spiritual festival or ceremony which is influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. Tiji Festival is a three days long festival celebrated to mark the victory of Buddha’s incarnation over a demon that caused serious trouble in the ancient time. The ritual is known as the ‘ Chasing of Demons ‘.
A unique dance is performed by the monks during the ceremony. The dance enacts all the troubles caused by the demon and is accompanied with the music of traditional drums, bells and horns. Most importantly the dance displays the incarnation of Buddha and the victory of Buddha’s incarnation over the demon. On a deeper understanding, the celebration of the festival every year symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.
Upper Mustang Tiji Festival trek also allows trekkers to explore the long restricted area of Upper Mustang – Lo Manthang. The region’s amazing landscapes is characterized by eroded canyons and sandstone pillars, arid and dry high valleys, colorful rock formations, ancient and historical monuments, caves with archaeological inscriptions all of which giving the sensational feeling of stepping back in time. The panorama of world’s well known mountain ranges, Annapurna-Dhaulagiri massif and several other snow topped high peaks can be enjoyed during the trek. Most importantly the trek is an opportunity to experience the culture of the traditional Tibetan influenced villages.
- Day 1: Arrival at Kathmandu (1350m) and transfer to hotel
- Day 2: Sightseeing and trek preparation
- Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (820m / 6 hrs Drive)
- Day 4: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (2800m / 25 min flight) & trek to Kagbeni (2810m / 3-4 hrs trek)
- Day 5: Trek from Kagbeni to Chele (3080m / 7-8 hrs trek)
- Day 6: Trek from Chele to Syangboche (3800m / 5-6 hrs trek)
- Day 7: Trek from Syangboche to Ghami (3490m / 5-6 hrs trek)
- Day 8: Trek from Ghami to Tsarang (3620m / 5-6 hrs trek)
- Day 9: Trek from Tsarang to Lo Manthang (3820m / 3-4 hrs trek)
- Day 10: First day - Observe Tiji Festival Lo Manthang
- Day 11: Second day - Observe Tiji Festival Lo Manthang
- Day 12: Final day - Observe Tiji Festival Lo Manthang
- Day 13: Trek from Lo Manthang to Ghami (5-6 hrs trek)
- Day 14: Trek from Ghami to Chuksang (2900m / 5-6 hrs trek)
- Day 15: Trek from Chuksang to Muktinath (3800m / 6-7 hrs Trek)
- Day 16: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (5-6 hrs trek)
- Day 17: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara (25 min flight) - Full day leisure in Pokhara
- Day 18: Fly from Pokhara back to Kathmandu
- Day 19: Sightseeing in Kathmandu
- Day 20: Transfer to international airport for departure
Day 01 (03 May 2019): Arrival at Kathmandu (1350m) and transfer to hotel
Beyond Borders representative will receive you at the airport. You will be taken to the hotel for check in and get the rest of the day free to rest after your flight. In the evening we have a welcome dinner where your guide will give a more detailed briefing of your upcoming weeks.
Day 02 (04 May 2019): Sightseeing and trek preparation
After breakfast we take a walk through the local market, through the winding, narrow alleys all the way to Kathmandu Durbar Square which is one of the most impressive world heritage sites in the valley with its old pagoda temples and palace. Afternoon is free for preparation for the trek.
Day 03 (05 May 2019): Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (820m / 6 hrs Drive)
After breakfast we leave Kathmandu and take a drive along Prithivi Highway towards Pokhara. The drive journey will take about six hours. The beautiful drive journey also allows us to enjoy the sceneries and the daily lifestyle of local people residing along the roadside areas. After arriving at Pokhara we are greeted with great views of Macchapuchhre (Mt. Fish-Tail), Manaslu and other surrounding high snow capped peaks. We check-in to our hotel and rest.
Day 04 (06 May 2019): Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (2800m / 25 min flight) & trek to Kagbeni (2810m / 3-4 hrs trek)
Today we will take an early morning flight to Jomsom. After landing at Jomsom we will get ready to begin our trek. Leaving Jomsom we will follow an open trail that goes alongside a beautiful valley. Our trek passes through the small settlement of Eaklibatti before we reach Kagbeni for the overnight stay. At Kagbeni there is a checkpost of ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) where we have to register our trekking permits before we head further towards Upper Mustang.
Day 05 (07 May 2019): Trek from Kagbeni to Chele (3080m / 6-7 hrs trek)
After breakfast we head towards the check post for registration. After special permit check we head following the sandy and windy trails that goes upward and downward. We trek passing through the village of Tangbe as we cross the narrow alleys with white washed houses. Our trek continues as we head towards Chhusang and from there our trail crosses the huge red chunk of conglomerate which was deposited from the cliff hanging above. From there we head towards Chele village.
Day 06 (08 May 2019): Trek from Chele to Syangboche (3800m / 5-6 hrs trek)
Today we leave Chele and follow the steep ascending trail that goes along the side of a steep canyon to a pass – Taklam La Pass at 3624 meters. From the top we can enjoy great views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda. From the top we descend towards a small village of Samar. Our trail from there climbs to a ridge before descending down to a stream. Our trail continues to pass along the several streams and juniper trees as we head towards Syangboche.
Day 07 (09 May 2019): Trek from Syangboche to Ghami (3490m / 5-6 hrs trek)
After we have our breakfast at Syangboche, we continue to trek uphill towards Yamda La pass at 3850 meters. Our trail passes through avenue of poplar trees and fields of Barley. Soon we climb to reach another pass – Nyi Pass at 4010 meters. From the top of the pass we descend down to reach the village of Ghami for our overnight stay.
Day 08 (10 May 2019): Trek from Ghami to Tsarang (3620m / 5-6 hrs trek)
From Ghami our trek heads for the crossing of Ghami river. After crossing the river our trek is along the loose soil trail. Most of today’s trek is along the driest part of Mustang region. We trek along the trail that goes along a long Mani wall made by followers of Buddhism. Soon we will arrive at the village of Tsarang. Tsarang village is well known for houses separated by stone walls, maze fields and willow trees. There is a huge white dzong and red gompa at Tsarang.
Day 09 (11 May 2019): Trek from Tsarang to Lo Manthang (3820m / 3-4 hrs trek)
After breakfast we will take some time exploring around the interesting village of Tsarang. Then we will begin our trek towards Lo Manthang. Our trail is a gently ascending trek up towards a large isolated chorten which marks the boundary between Tsarang and Lo. From there our trail broadens and we get our first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. We will arrive at Lo Manthang for Lunch and then we can make exploration around Lo Manthang.
Day 10 (12 May 2019): First day - Observe Tiji Festival Lo Manthang
Today is the first day of the festival so there will be a huge celebration. An ancient and large Thanka painting is unrolled down the entire south wall of the square. The Thanka painting portrays Guru Rimpoche or Padma Sambhava who brought this ceremony in the 8th century. A total of 11 lamas dressed in maroon and gold, wearing high red hats come from the palace and take their seats beneath the Thanka painting. Then the monks and the lamas commence the sacred chanting. Later we will witness the masked dance which reveals the myth of Tiji Festival. Dorje Jono, the incarnation of Buddha repels the demon through the power of his magical dancing. When the dance is over Dorje Jono kills the demons only after which the people are relieved of misfortunes, water becomes plentiful for cultivation and peace is restored.
Day 11 (13 May 2019): Second day - Observe Tiji Festival Lo Manthang
Today is the second day of Tiji Festival. Numbers of Loba will arrive for the ceremony from the outlying hamlets. The small square will be full of people wearing traditional dresses. Even the Royal of Mustang will be attending today’s ceremony. The theatre of the festival then becomes a blur of costumes and masks that includes the twelve-foot horns, snow leopard, snow pigeons, the dogs, yaks, the drunks and rajas, gold cups of wheat, butter cakes, snow peaks, the dying glacier, the desert ruins, wind, dust and sun.
Day 12 (14 May 2019): Final day - Observe Tiji Festival Lo Manthang
Today is the final day of Tiji Festival. Tiji Festival ends with the ceremonial destruction of the remains of evil. The demons are set out on an old tiger skin, where upon they are attacked by bow and arrows, slings and old guns. The remains of the devil are over-turned upon the ground. The day brings the festival to the end as it displays all the mythological stories. People are now happy for good days to follow. With good feelings we have now witnessed the Upper Mustang Tiji Festival for a life time experience.
Day 13 (15 May 2019): Trek from Lo Manthang to Ghami (5-6 hrs trek)
After experiencing the amazing Tiji Festival, we begin our return journey from Lo Manthang following the upper highland trail. The upper route offers jaw dropping views of Lo Manthang and Tsarang valley with snow topped peaks in the background. Our trek continues as we cross alpine meadows before descending down through eroded gully to Dhakmar. From there a rather easy trekking is followed by a climb over a ridge and then gently descend to arrive back to Ghami.
Day 14 (16 May 2019): Trek from Ghami to Chuksang (2900m / 5-6 hrs trek)
Today we leave Ghami and follow the trail heading towards Chuksang. Our trek is over a broad trail with several ascends and descends. We pass through desert like places where we can see small thorny bushes. Soon our trail goes along the riverside followed by a gentle uphill trekking. We will cross the bridge over Kali Gandaki River and then trek to arrive at Chuksang.
Day 15 (17 May 2019): Trek from Chuksang to Muktinath (3800m / 6-7 hrs Trek)
After breakfast we leave Chuksang and follow a gently ascending trail that winds up to desert like places. During today’s trek we can enjoy beautiful desert landscapes, Old Tibetan styled villages, sacred caves, agricultural fields, apple gardens, yak and sheep herds as we approach Muktinath. Muktinath is holy temple and a religious site for both Hindus and Buddhists. We will spend the overnight here at Muktinath.
Day 16 (18 May 2019): Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (5-6 hrs trek)
Today is the last day of our trek. After breakfast we leave Muktinath and follow a rather easy trail heading towards Jomsom. Our trail is a gentle climb towards Eklebhatti at Kali Gandaki river valley. From there our trail goes along the wide and windy valley for a couple of hours. Our trek continues as we gently descend in the latter period to finally arrive at Jomsom – the end point of the trek.
Day 17 (19 May 2019): Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara (25 min flight) - Full day leisure in Pokhara
We will take an early morning flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. The scenic flight will be of around twenty five minutes. After landing at Pokhara you will be transferred to the hotel and then you are free to enjoy your leisure time in the beautiful city. Boating at Phewa lake can be very relaxing after the completion of the trek. Moreover there are several adventure activities such as Paragliding, Zip-lining, Bunge jumping, ultra flights and likewise, one can enjoy in Pokhara.
Day 18 (20 May 2019): Fly from Pokhara back to Kathmandu
After breakfast we will take a scenic flight from Pokhara and fly back to Kathmandu. After landing at Kathmandu, you will be transferred to the hotel. Feel free to roam around the busy streets of Thamel where you can find many souvenir shops and perhaps buy souvenirs from Nepal to your loved ones back home. The abundance of restaurants and bars in Thamel really allows foreigners and local people to spend quality time in Kathmandu.
Day 19 (21 May 2019): Sightseeing in Kathmandu
After breakfast we visit the old city of Bhaktapur with a city guide and we make a city walk to admire the four squares which today are world heritage sites. From our hotel it takes around 45 minutes to reach there. On the way back we visit Pashupatinath Hindu temple and the holy Buddhist stupa in Boudha, which of both are world heritage sites.
Day 20 (22 May 2019): Transfer to International Airport for departure
Our representative will drop you at the international airport as per your flight schedule.
Dates & Cost
- National park entry fees, conservation fees, trekking permit, TIMS permit
- Mustang special permit
- All ground transportation as per the program
- 3* twin bed sharing hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara on BB basis
- Welcome dinner in a typical traditional Nepali restaurant
- Sightseeings in Kathmandu with guide
- All entrance fees for activities mentioned in the program
- All government and local taxes
- All entrance fee in Upper Mustang and jeep or horse used for excursions in the program
- Sleepingbag and inner linen during the trek
- Tea-house accommodation or tented camp as per the trek
- Meals (lunch, dinner, breakfast) during trek
- An accomplished trekking group leader and assistant guides
- All-inclusive medical kit
- Mustang trekking map
- Local staff insurance
- Porter service
- Nepali visa fees
- All personal expenses including food while in Kathmandu and Pokhara
- International flight fares
- Water, non alcoholic/alcoholic drinks
- Medical examination or emergency rescues
- Staff tipping
- Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu on early arrival
- Travel or medical insurance
- Optional tours and sightseeing or any activities during free time
- Other personal expenses – laundry, battery charges, shower etc.