Mustang Tiji Festival Tour

Cultural & Religious Tours

  • Guaranteed Satisfaction
  • Transparent Price
  • No hidden fees
  • Experience of a More than 10 Years
  • Personal Touch & Professional Service

USD $ 1,550 / per person

Trip Info

  • Duration

    12 Days

  • Max. Altitude

    3840 m m

  • Difficulty

    moderate

  • Starts From

    Kathmandu

  • Trip Ends At

    Kathmandu

  • Transport

    Private Jeep & Flight

  • Region/Type

    Nepal Package Tours
  • Best Season:

    • Spring (Mar, Apr)

Mustang Tiji Festival Tour would be a nice opportunity for those who desire to explore the semi-deserted destination of Nepal with its unique culture, people, geography, and traditions. This tour will surely be the best trip as one can get a chance to experience the hospitality of local people on such special occasions and the main festival celebrated in Mustang.

Upper mustang is recognized for its unique landscape, climate, and history & due to many other aspects. 

The Tiji festival of Mustang is the most auspicious festival in the Upper Mustang. Ancient mythology relates how the Tiji Festival was celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil. It is believed that what is now the Mustang region was in trouble, and was being destroyed by a demon who spread disease and took away water.

Dorje Jono fought and defeated this demon and the festival celebrates his victory with prayer chants and colorful dances.

Dorje Jono (known also as Dorje Phurba, Vajrakila, or Vajrakumar) is the name of a deity in Vajrayana Buddhism, an age-old Buddhist practice in India and Nepal. The Buddhist masters Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, and Shilamnju (of Nepal) went on to introduce this practice to Tibet during the 8th century CE, where it then branched into many lineages.

Padmasambhava instructed the major steps in the sacred dance of Vajrakila at Samye Monastery in Tibet. Chhode Monastery at Lo Manthang in Upper Mustang is famous for its performance of Vajrakila practice and ritual.

However, the Tiji Festival in Upper Mustang did not start until the 17th century, when the Mustang King Samdup Rabten invited Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga Sinam to come to Lo Manthang. He stayed at Lo Manthang’s Chhode Monastery and performed the special Vajrakila ritual for the wellbeing of all sentient beings, and also to dispel all negative elements in Mustang.

Since then, the monks of Chhode Monastery have been performing this religious dance every year in Lo-Manthang, over three days in the courtyard of Mustang Royal Palace. Originally it was performed at the end of the twelfth month of the Tibetan calendar, but nowadays it is performed during the third Tibetan month (May).

How is the Festival Celebrated?

The main dancer (Tsowo) completes a three-month retreat before the main event. Members of the Mustang royal family and all the villagers of the seven provinces of Upper Mustang (Lo Chhodun) participate in this sacred dance, which is accompanied by many rituals. In the Mustangi (Lobo) dialect it is pronounced as Tiji (or Tenchi) and is a part of the meditation practice based on the Tantra text related to Vajra Kumar (Vajra Kila).

There are two kinds of activities in the build-up to the meditation: first, peaceful dance steps, followed by the subjugation of negative elements, depicted in the Mele or second stage of the dance. There are three major stages of the dance ritual. In the preliminary part of the dance, there are 15 steps. Then in the main part, the ‘generation of the celestial palace’ and ‘generation of deities’ are depicted with two steps.

In conclusion, there are steps to clear away eternal and nihilistic views and to provide auspiciousness. Different poses and gestures signify different processes of meditation in symbolic ways, and all of the dance steps have deeper meanings. The obstacles in life are believed to be cleared away by seeing these steps with faith and respect.

Although the government of Nepal is allowing a few numbers travelers to experience this festival for maximum participation of locals, we (Himalayan Trekkers) will surely keep space for you to experience this beautiful & interesting festival on a very special destination.

Mustang Tiji Festival Tour Highlights

  1. Experience of real off-road on a jeep
  2. The extraordinary walled Lo-Manthang Kingdom 
  3. Three days of Tiji Festival with mysterious faces, dances, and shows
  4. Experience Buddhist spirituality, Tibetan people, culture, and customs
  5. Spectacular desolate landscapes, historic caverns, century-old monasteries, and a plethora of other archeological monuments
  6. Dramatically views of the Himalayas
  7. Visit Muktinath, an important Hindu, and Buddhist pilgrimage site
  8. Kali Gandaki Gorge, the world's deepest

Itinerary in Details

1: Arrival in Kathmandu

🕑 30 Min Drive to Hotel

Max Altitude: 1350 M

On your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, a Himalayan Trekkers representative will welcome you and assist you to the respective hotel. Later, we will have a general conversation as well as a quick tour discussion either at your hotel lobby or at our office. You can take a stroll around the vibrant Thamel market. Thamel is noted for its vibrant evenings.
Note: If you arrive early, you can visit the Boudhanath Stupa, a Tibetan Buddhist pilgrimage site in Nepal which is the country's largest, and Pashupatinath Temple, one of Nepal's oldest temples, as well as one of the world's four most prominent Hindu shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. O/N at a hotel/resort. 

Meals: Welcome Dinner

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in KTM

2: Drive to Pokhara

🕑 7 Hours Drive

Max Altitude: 850 M

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be picked up and driven to Pokhara, the second major tourist attraction and gateway to the famous Annapurna regions. We will witness more of Nepal's landscape along the way, which includes greenery, rivers, villages, farms, and breathtaking mountain scenery. Manaslu, Lamjung, Hiunchuli, Ganesh, and much of the Annapurna range can be seen along the route and Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhre, the Annapurna five peaks, and others may all be seen from Pokhara
Pokhara is known as the "Lake City" because of its numerous lovely lakes. We can spend the late afternoon exploring the most accessible and gorgeous lake in the area, as well as boating. By the serene Lake Fewa, you may explore, relax, and dine.
Note: You can alternatively go to Pokhara on a picturesque 25-minute flight at extra cost.  O/N at a hotel. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Standard Hotel in Pokhara

3: Fly to Jomsom) & Drive to Kagbeni via Muktinath

🕑 20 Min Fly & 3 Hours Drive to Kagbeni

Max Altitude: 2800 M

We transfer to Pokhara airport to fly to Jomsom ( 2720M). Once we land at Jomsom, we take a brief rest and explore the surroundings, local markets, and probably its apple orchards.  Our jeep journey commences from Jomsom village. Soon after lunch, our jeep ride starts and heads towards the Kagbeni Village. We pass through Kagbeni Village and drive further up to the Muktinath Temple (3800m) devoted to Lord Vishnu, which includes 108 water taps/sprouts. It is believed that one who bathes with these taps waters, his sins are to be forgiven. You will also visit Jal Devi, where you can observe the fire igniting itself (natural gas), and Jharkot Buddhist Monastery with spectacular views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and Tukuche Peak. We then travel back to Kagbeni for an overnight stay. 

When you get to Kagbeni, you can take a stroll through the village's cobblestone streets, and the red monastery with red-washed walls. Spin the prayer wheels on the walls of chortens and small Gompas. O/N at a guesthouse. 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

4: Drive to Tsarang

🕑 6/7 Hours

Max Altitude: 3570 m

Leaving Kagbeni, our drive resumes towards the Tsarang (Charang) village across white hills and deserts-like scenery. We will pass a slew of stupa monasteries, chortens, mani walls, and gompas along the road, as well as numerous stupa buildings and other religious shrines. When we arrive in this lovely village, we will pay our visits to the monastery. The monastery’s interior walls are adorned with murals representing the deities of the Medicine Buddha Mandala. 
O/N at a guesthouse.
 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

5: Drive to Lo-Manthang

🕑 1 Drive

Max Altitude: 3840 m

Today will be an exciting day as we prepare to travel to Lo-Manthang, the tour's last destination. A distinct angle view of a panoramic mountain vista is always observed. Then, from afar, you'll see a walled village. It is preferable to rest after you get to the tea house, as this will aid your body's acclimatization.
O/N at a guesthouse. 
 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

6: In Lomangthang

🕑 Full day

Max Altitude: 3840 m

27 May 2022 - 1st day of Tiji Festival in Lomanthang

The anticipating Tiji Festival officially begins today. The festival begins with the unveiling of a three-story Thanka depicting Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche). We will spend the day watching the Tibetan monks performing rites and dances. Locals will be dressed in their traditional attire and the monks in red robes. We get to witness the masked dance that depicts the Tiji festival’s fabled stories. As the dance comes to a close, Dorje Jono, a manifestation of Lord Buddha, kills the demon, resurrects the epidemic, and restores peace to the land. 
After a wonderful day, we return to our guesthouse for dinner. 
O/N at a guesthouse. 
 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

7: In Lomangthang

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 3840 m

28 May 2022 -  2nd day of Tiji Festival in Lomangthang


The event normally begins at noon, so we'll leave early in the morning towards Chhoser village. It is only a one-hour trip from Lo-Manthang. You might get a sight of Blue sheep and other wildlife if you're lucky. At Chhoser, we will visit the village's sky cave and Buddhist school. We then return to Lo-Manthang for the TIJI celebration. The Tibetan Lamas perform dances on the second day of the festival. The goal of this dance is to ward off hunger and evil spirits from the area. This event is a sight to behold, with costumes, masks, 12-foot horns, butter cakes, yaks, pigeons, dogs, and a variety of other native elements. We will return to the hotel for supper and overnight. 
O/N at a guesthouse.
 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

8: In Lomangthang

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 3840 m

29 May 2022 -  3rd day of Tiji Festival (End of Festival) in Lomangthang

The TIJI festival's last and final day has arrived. You will visit Lo-Manthang’s monasteries and Buddhist schools. You will enjoy a pleasant sightseeing tour of the village. Join the locals in the noon to celebrate TIJI's final day. On the last day, the demons' wicked vestiges are eliminated. The demons are strewn on an old tiger skin and fought with bows and arrows, antiquated guns, and a catapult.
O/N at a guesthouse.
 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Accommodation: Tea House

9: Drive back to Jomsom

🕑 8 Hours

Max Altitude: 2720 m

We will retrace the route back to Jomsom today. We will drive through the same lovely villages of Tsarang, Ghami, Ghiling, and Samar on our way to Kagbeni. We might lunch out at Kagbeni village. Then we will further drive to Jomsom. We check-in and rest. There will be time to explore the market and purchase souvenirs for friends and family before dinner. 
O/N at a guesthouse.
 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Accommodation: Guest House/Hotel

10: Fly to Pokhara from Jomsom

🕑 20 Min

Max Altitude: 850 m

We take an early morning flight from Jomsom to Pokhara over the Kali Gandaki gorge. You can spend your afternoon relaxing by the lake in Pokhara or participating in adventure sports such as boating and cycling. In the evening, you can go to one of the many popular lakefront taverns and pubs. You can opt for guided sightseeing where you will be taken to many places such as Davis Falls, Mahendra Cave, Gupteshwor Mahadev Temple, International Mountain Museum, Tal Barahi Temple, etc.  
O/N at a hotel. 
 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel/Resort

11: Morning Sarangkot for Sunrise & Drive back to Kathmandu

🕑 7 Hours

Max Altitude: 1350 m

We rise early before dawn and head towards Sarangkot Hill station for stunning sunrise views along with panoramic mountain vistas. The vantage point also offers a wonderful view of Pokhara valley and its lakes. After witnessing the sunrise, we return to our hotel and have breakfast. 
After breakfast, we will load our backpacks and ourselves in the vehicle and start our drive back to Kathmandu. We say our goodbyes to Pokhara and take the same road, the same highway, and pass through the same scenery that we passed through before. 
You can spend the rest of the day in Kathmandu however you like. Evenings can be spent strolling through the streets and picking up a few trinkets to send home to friends and family.
O/N at a hotel/resort. 
 

Meals: Breakfast Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel/Resort

12: Final Departure

🕑 30 Min Drive

Max Altitude: 1350 m

With the memories of the Upper Mustang journey and the wonderful festival, the departure day has come. We will transport you to the airport three hours prior to your scheduled return flight. Until your final departure, you have free time to shop and pack. 

Meals: Breakfast

Includes

  • International airport transfers as per the itinerary.
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu on twin shared basis with breakfast.
  • Accommodation in Pokhara on twin shared basis with breakfast.
  • Kathmandu Sightseeing by professional English speaking tour guide. 
  • Kathmandu - Pokhara - Kathmandu ground transportation by private vehicle.
  • 4WD Jeep Pokhara to Lo-Mangthang to Jomsom by 4WD Land Cruiser/Mahindra Scorpio.
  • Accommodation while Mustang in twin sharing basis in guesthouses.
  • Annapurna conservation area permit and TIMS card.
  • Upper Mustang Restricted area permit fee. 
  • Professional government license holder English speaking trekking guide and supporting staff.
  • Salary, Food, Drinks, Accommodation, Transportation, and Insurance for the Guide and driver.
  • Medical supplies (first aid kit will be available).
  • All government and local taxes.

Excludes

  • International airfare to/ from Nepal.
  • Nepal Entry Visa Fee.
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Beverages, alcoholic drinks, mineral water, boiled water during the trekking.
  • Meals and food (arranged if needed, must be discussed prior to the trip)
  • Hot shower during the trip.
  • All food and beverages, other than on the itinerary. 
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary.
  • Personal gear and expenses.
  • Tips and gratitude provided to staff.

Himalayan Trekkers promise to manage the best, most comfortable, and preferred accommodation.

In general, we arrange a 3* Standard Category Accommodations with all facilities in cities. If available, you can opt for a more budget-friendly option or upgrade to a more luxurious hotel by paying a little extra.

Although all places during your trek do not have all modern facilities (especially at higher altitudes), we ensure that it is arranged safely and comfortably. Mostly hygienic and safe tea houses / local lodges/homestays are arranged & please feel free to personalize according to your preference.

If your travel schedule includes camping or if you choose to experience it, a correct campsite will be determined in advance and everything will be taken care of. If required, we also provide equipment such as a tent, cookware, etc. Check the equipment lists and equipment lists for more information.

Meals

Breakfast is usually included with your accommodation within the costs. Meals in the city must be paid separately. Often in the cities, you can choose from many different cuisines and varied food services. We can always help you find the right place.

Remote areas don't have that many options, but hygienic and well-prepared food is always served. Moreover, most meals are included in the costs during your trek. We can help you make changes according to your preference and budget, but only if choices are available! Moreover, Himalayan Trekkers also organize Welcome of Farewell Dinners as a symbol of warm greetings.

Follow the detailed route description or itinerary for more information. We are always there to help you to your heart's content.

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