Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trek 2023

Duration: 17 Days   |   Based on 1 Review Trip MapPhotosDownload

Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is a unique and amazing three-day festival celebrated in Lo Manthang, the capital city of the forbidden land.

The Tiji festival 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 Dorge Jono who must battle against his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from bad destruction. The Demon father wreaks havoc on Mustang by creating a water shortage which, in this extremely arid land, is the most precious life-sustaining resource. Dorje Jono eventually defeats the demon and banishes him from the land.
Tiji is a celebration and reaffirmation of this myth. Throughout the festival, the events and stories of the myth are re-enacted. The festival is timed to coincide with the end of the dry season and ushers in the wetter monsoon season.

Tiji comes from the words TenChe meaning the hope of Buddhism prevailing in all worlds and it is a spring renewal festival that also celebrates the victory of good over evil. In 1964, Michel Peissel was the first westerner/outsider to observe the Tiji Festival. At this time, the Mustang region was still completely closed off to foreigners and he had to obtain special permission from the government of Nepal in order to enter the region. Despite his arrival on the last day of the celebration, he was unaware of the observance of Tiji, the experience left a lasting impression on him. The scenes I witnessed were so extraordinary and so unexpected that I dared not believe my eyes and even today I have some trouble believing in the reality of what I saw that day. 

We are a leading company for the Mustang Tiji festival trek and every year we organize one special trip to Lo Manthang during this festival. This year the festival is starting on 16th May 2023 and ending on 18th May 2023.

Highlights

  • Witness a unique Tiji Festival, a three-day ritual known as The chasing of the Demons, celebrates in Lo-Manthang, the capital of Upper Mustang 
  • Explore the ancient kingdom of Lo Manthang 
  • Explore the arid desert-like landscapes with spires and cliffs
  • Visit the unique caves, ancient monasteries, Gumbas and Chortens 
  • Get an insight into the local culture and tradition, predominantly Tibetan Buddhism
  • Walkthrough the world’s deepest gorge Kali Gandaki Gorge
  • Witness the astounding views of tall mountains, including Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and others

Outline Itinerary

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Day 01:Arrive at Kathmandu (1,350m) TIA Airport

Upon your arrival at Kathmandu airport, you will have a warm reception meeting and greeting from us, then drive to the hotel. We will collect all of your passport copies and 2 photographs each of you for making permit and necessary documents for trekking in next day. In the evening, short trekking briefing about Mustang Tiji festival trek and introduction with our trekking guide and porters. Stay overnight at a hotel.

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BB
  • Place:Kathmandu
  • Maximum Altitude:1,350m

Rest day, pack your things or enjoy a full day guided city tour of Kathmandu valley visiting enlisted world heritage sites: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Swoyambunath temple known as Monkey temple as well, Pashupatinath temple and Boudhanath Stupa. In the evening, join our welcome dinner party at a typical Nepali restaurant with an authentic Nepalese set with live culture show. Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BB
  • Place:Kathmandu
  • Maximum Altitude:1,350m

Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, about 6 hours scenic drive to Pokhara by tourist coach through villages, rivers and terraced rice fields with some panoramic view though it is in far distant. Stay overnight at the hotel. 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BB
  • Place:Pokhara
  • Maximum Altitude:8,10m

Early in the morning 30 minutes scenic flight to Jomsom, then 3 hours trek to Kagbeni along the bank of Kali Gandaki. The trail is mostly flat. No big ascend and descend. Kagbeni is a getaway to enter into Upper Mustang where you could visit the old mud fortress and monastery. Overnight at guest house.  

  • Accommodation:Guesthouse
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Jomsom-Kagbeni
  • Maximum Altitude:2,750m

Waking 3 hours all on the flat trail to Chusang, and have lunch there, then continue 1-hour trekking on flat trail following the Kali Gandaki river, and finally, an hour steep ascent to Chele and stay overnight there at guest house.

  • Accommodation:Guesthouse
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Chele
  • Maximum Altitude:3,050m

This is a bit long and hard day trekking than the previous trekking. We mostly have ascent uphill for 3 hours to Samar and we will have lunch there, though this is too early for lunch but after Samar there is no good lunch place. Again from Samar again 2 hours mostly ascents uphill to Venna and continues ascents up to Syanbochen pass, then 40 minutes descend down to Syangbochen stop place. It depends on your physical conditions. If you feel tired, you could stop for overnight at Syanbochen rather than going to Geling. Again to Geling, it takes 1 and half hours, 30 minutes uphill ascents and 1 hours descents down to Geling. Overnight at guest house. 

  • Accommodation:Guesthouse
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Syangbochen or Geling
  • Maximum Altitude:3,570m

It is about 7 hours trek, first 2 hours ascents uphill to Nyi La pass and from there enjoy the wonderful Panoramic Himalayan view including Annapurna and Nilgiri, then descends to Ghermi for 1 and half hours and have lunch and stay overnight there at guest house. 

  • Accommodation:Guesthouse
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Ghermi
  • Maximum Altitude:3,565m

Short trekking day, normally ascends and descends walk to Tsarang. Lunch and explore Tsarang village, monastery and Dzong, and stay overnight there at guest house.

  • Accommodation:Guesthouse
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Tsarang
  • Maximum Altitude:3,730m

Trek from Tsarang the capital city of Upper Mustang where Tiji festival is held. Overnight at guest house. 

  • Accommodation:Guesthouse
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Lo-Manthang
  • Maximum Altitude:3,730m

Today is the first day of the Tiji Festival in Lo-Manthang, we attend the event on time. Overnight at guesthouse. 

  • Accommodation:Guesthouse
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Lo-Manthang
  • Maximum Altitude:3,730m

Today is the second day of the Tiji Festival in Lo-Manthang, we continue enjoying the event. Overnight at guesthouse. 

  • Accommodation:Guesthouse
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Lo-Manthang
  • Maximum Altitude:3,730m

Today is the final day of the amazing Tiji festival, witness the final ceremony of the festival.  Overight at the guesthouse. 

  • Accommodation:Guesthouse
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Lo-Manthang
  • Maximum Altitude:3,730m

The trek descends to Tsarang for 3 hours ,then lunch at Tsarang, then continues descends down to Germi for 3 hours to Germi for overnight stay there at guest house. 

  • Accommodation:Guesthouse
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Ghermi
  • Maximum Altitude:3,530m

Today, we shortcut our trek and drive from Gharmi to Jomsom via Samar and Kagbeni. On the way, we can visit the Muktinath temple if you want! Reach Jomsom, check in a hotel. Overnight at a bit better hotel in Jomsom. 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Samar
  • Maximum Altitude:2,750m

In the morning fly back to Pokhara and have a free day to walk around the lakeside in Pokhara. Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BB
  • Place:Pokhara
  • Maximum Altitude:8,10m

About six hours drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu or take a 30 minutes flight to Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu. 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BB
  • Place:Kathmandu
  • Maximum Altitude:1,350m

After breakfast, one of our tour leaders will drop you off at the international airport, farewell and fly home. See you again someday in the future.   

    Inclusion

    • All Airport/hotel transfers by private coach.
    • All hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara with breakfast as per itinerary.
    • Welcome dinner in Kathmandu.
    • All tea house or guest house accommodation and meals during the trek.
    • A full day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu valley.
    • Domestic flights (Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara) and airport departure taxes.
    • Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu transport via Tourist bus.
    • An experienced English-speaking trek leader (trekking guide) and Sherpa porters to carry luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter) including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging.
    • A comprehensive medical kit.
    • All necessary paper work and permits (National park permit, TIMS).
    • And, our agency service charges.
    • Nepal Visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs).
    • International airfare to and from Kathmandu.
    • Excess baggage charges.
    • Extra night accommodation/s in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from the mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled Itinerary.
    • Lunch and dinners in Kathmandu (and also in the case you return early from the mountain than the scheduled Itinerary).
    • Travel and rescue Insurance.
    • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower etc).
    • Tips for guides and porters.


     

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    Useful Information

    In the early 7th Century the land of Lo-Manthang mainly Lo Tshu Dhyun was highly influenced by Lhasa the capital of Tibet. The land was granted to the retainer of the Ghunthang king of western Tibet. In the late 1300s, a warrior Ame Pal (the very first king of Lo-Manthang Mustang) from Tibet defeated the local warlords to unite the kingdom and established his capital at Lo-Manthang.

    The Kingdom of Lo-Manthang situated at an altitude of 3780 meters is an independent kingdom having allegiance to the democratic republic of Nepal. Though the people call themselves Lobas- people from Lo, they are very much Tibetan and practice a sophisticated culture and economy. The royal palace in an imposing 5 – story building in the center of the walled town, is the home of King – Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista. He is a former king of Lo-Manthang and still respected by the people and consulted about many issues by villagers throughout Lo. Despite the apparent squalors of Lo-Manthang, the town is prosperous and maintains a strong sense of community.

    Lo-Manthang is a restricted region and opened for foreigners only in 1992 AD and only 5000 tourists per year are allowed to visit this enchanting Kingdom. The rules apply that every trekker must join a registered trekking company while they are trekking into the Lo-Manthang region and pay a restricted area permit fee of USD 500 per person which is valid for 10 days from the date of entry and if trekkers would like to visit other areas north of Lo-Manthang such as the Garphu, Nyphu and Chosar Gompas then an additional USD 200 per person is levied. 

    FAQs

    Is previous trekking experience really necessary?

    As the Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is a moderate-level trek, previous trekking experience is not really necessary but again previous hiking or trekking experience is always a plus. Every day we walk for about 4 to 6 hours with some break, so your fitness level for the Mustang Tiji Festival trek should be such that you are comfortable walking all day through up and down hills and barren landscapes.  

    Is there any age limits for the Mustang Tiji Festival Trek?

    No, there is no age limit for the Mustang Tiji Festival trek, as long as you are healthy, willing, and comfortable to walk for 4 to 6 hours, you are welcome for the Tiji Festival trek to Lo-Manathang, Upper Mustang.

    Are the kids able to join the Mustang Tiji Festival Trek?

    Mustang Tiji festival trek is suitable for the kids as well but Nepal law requires that children under the age of 18 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian while trekking. And if you are planning for a family trek, we would like to suggest you book a private trek and schedule a few extra days.

    What is the best fitness program to prepare for this Trek?

    Well, no need to have any special fitness training to do the Mustang Tiji Festival trek but If you can do some cardio related workouts like running, jogging or cycling then that would be really helpful for Mustang Tiji Festival trek. And if you can manage the time to go on a few weekend hikes around your area, that is a plus for you. 

    What kind of accommodation is there on the trek?

    We organize your accommodation in the local guesthouses during the trek. Guesthouses or basic lodges provide lodging facilities in each village on walking trails. Most of the lodges and guesthouses in the Upper Mustang area offer accommodation with a western toilet and other basic facilities for trekkers. 

    What kind of meals are offered during the Mustang Tiji Festival Trek?

    You can choose a meal from the guesthouse’s menus. Typical meals available in most of the guesthouses includes Tibetan bread, chapatti, pancake, muesli, porridge with hot milk, hash brown potatoes, boiled egg or omelet, Pasta, Chowmin, spaghetti, vegetable MoMo, Rice, mixed vegetables, Lentils, Spinach, French Fried finger chief, Mashed potato, Spring roll, Nepali veg/non-veg set food, vegetable pizza, vegetable soup, rice pudding, macaroni dishes, Fried rice, apple/banana pie and many more local dishes. Meat on the mountain is not hygienic and we suggest trekkers stick with vegetarian options.

    Do I need to stay in Katmandu?

    Kathmandu valley, one of the historical cities as well as the capital of Nepal, at least, you need to spend two nights in Kathmandu before the trip and one night after your trip because the Tiji festival will be held in Lo-Manthang, which is a restricted area so we need to issue permits which take at least two days. In our program, we are providing you with standard accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara on a bed and breakfast basis.

    What kind of equipment do I need to bring with me?

    Mustang Tiji festival trek is an exciting and adventure trip. We trek up to 4000m walking through villages, green hills, and white snow paths so you need to have the right equipment with you. Click here to have more info.

    Do I have a pre-departure meeting?

    Yes, at first, our staff will receive you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel and our tour leader will brief you regarding the trip. The briefing will cover the itinerary and introduce your trek Leader.

    Is someone going to meet me at the airport? Are transfers included?

    Definitely, one of our trekking guides will come to the airport to pick you up. We will be displaying a placard of our company with your name on it. Airport transfer is included.

    How can I book the Mustang Tiji Festival trek?

    Once you confirmed the trip, we need a photocopy of your passport along with a 20% down payment of the total price for advance flight tickets and hotel booking and permit process. 

    Client Reviews

    Ram Kumar Adhikari
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    Mr. Ram Kumar Adhikari

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