Upper Mustang with Tiji Festival Trek through the barren beauty of the Upper Mustang is one of the most remote regions of the Himalaya is a highlight of this 19-days Upper Mustang with Tiji Festival Trek itinerary, which culminates in the annual Tiji festival in Lo Manthang. During this colorful, three-day Buddhist celebration, you will witness masked and costumed dances and ancient music at the most important local religious festival of the year. The Upper Mustang trek is the ultimate gateway to the mysterious world of the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang, also called Lo. Once forbidden and isolated from the rest of the world for decades, the area was able to evolve within its own distinctive culture and rich traditions closely tied to Tibet. Upper Mustang is famous for the ancient trade route. It’s the only route connecting India to the south with China’s Tibetan plateau to the north. It is the ancient trade route part of the Silk Road.
Tiji Festival Trek known as Tenchi Festival is a fascinating annual three-day festival consisting of Tibetan rituals that celebrate the myth of a son who had to save the Mustang kingdom from destruction. The festival is indigenous to Lo-Manthang, Upper Mustang. Over the Mustang Tenchi Festival time monks dressed in elaborate costumes and masks perform dances and rituals that are supposed to drive away evil spirits. The Tiji festival dances are all organized by the Choedhe Monastery, which belongs to the Sakya sect of Buddhism. The monastery is headed by a Rimpoche. About 65 Monks from Lo Manthang, Nhenyul and Chhosyer reside in this monastery. En-route, you will take in the natural and cultural attractions of Kathmandu and Pokhara, Nepal's two most lively cities.
The Rituals and The Festival:
The Tenchi festival as a whole celebrates the victory of God over Demon and Good over Evil. During the three days, dance performances by the local monks of Chode monastery take place.
1st Day: The monks perform a dance called ‘Tsa Chaam’. This tells the story of the birth of ‘Dorji Sonam’- a reincarnated Buddha to a demon. This demon harassed the kingdom of Mustang and brought in havoc to the country. You can witness the monks enacting the harassment of the said demon on the people of Mustang.
2nd Day: The monks perform ‘NgaCham’. During this performance, Dorjee Sonam tries to return the demon to the Buddha realm.
3rd Day: Final day of the festival, the ‘Rha Chham’ dance takes place. On this ceremony, Dorjee Sonam triumphs over the evil demon and banishes him from Mustang. The Monk who plays the role of Dorjee Sonam does this by throwing an effigy. This effigy made from Tsampa (barley) represents the demon ‘Ma Tam Ru Ta’. This defeat brings peace and prosperity to the land of Mustang. Every year Tiji festival takes place in the hope of spreading peace throughout the world.
Tiji Festival dates for 2022
Tiji Festival 2022 will be celebrate 27th, 28th & 29th May 2022. Apart from strolling along the stunning and exceptional surroundings of Upper Mustang with the magnificent views of the snow-topped peaks, you can partake on this vibrant and lively festival which will be a lifetime experience.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu airport (1,350m.), meet our staff then transfer to Hotel.
Day 02: Full day sightseeing: Bouddhanath stupa, Pashupatinath temple, Patan Durbar square and Swayambhunath temple.
Day 03: Kathmandu to Pokhara (915m.) by tourist Bus then transfer to Hotel.
Day 04: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (2720m.) drive or, trek to Kagbeni (2,810m.).
Enter Restricted Area:
Day 05: Kagbeni – Chele (Tshele - 3050m.).
Day 06: Chele – Syangbochen (3,820m.).
Day 07: Syangbochen – Ghami Village (3,490m.).
Day 08: Ghami Village - Tserang Village (Charang 3450m.).
Day 09: Tserang - Lo-Manthang Village (3840m.).
Day 10: Starts Tiji Festival, day explore around Lo-Manthang.
Day 11: Tiji Festival, day explore around Lo-Manthang.
Day 12: Ends Tiji Festival, day explore around Lo-Manthang.
Day 13: Day explore by Jeep to Thinkar, Kimling, Chunjung, Namdruk and Chhoser Village.
Day 14: Lo-Manthang to Jomsom Bazar (2720m.) by local 4WD Jeep, transfer to Hotel.
Exit Restricted area:
Day 15: Fly back from Jomsom to Pokhara (915m.) then transfer to Hotel.
Day 16: Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist Bus then transfer to Hotel.
Day 17: Kathmandu Leisure and farewell dinner at evening.
Day 18: Last minute, transfer to Airport for onward journey.