Tiji Festival trekking is targeted to Tiji festival in Mustang. It is the greatest festival of Mustang, held in Lo-Manthang, the capital of Mustang. It is also famous by wall city capital as well. The Tiji festival has initiated from 12th century and still now has been celebrating this festival very lively by the people of Mustang every year in April/May. Tiji festival lasts for 3 days, and as per their Tibetan Lunar calendar. Tiji comes from the words “Ten Che” means the hope of Buddha Dharma prevails all worlds. The celebration of Tiji festival is as a symbol of victory of good over evil as well. During Tiji festival, lama and monks do praying, performed ritual masks dances in colorful costumes to chase demons away. National and internationally a thousand men, women and children participate to observe this colorful Tiji festival in Lo Manthang.
The Kingdom of Mustang – or “Lo”, as it is known by the inhabitants, northeast of Dhaulagiri, is an isolated remote valley nearby Tibet. Surrounded by Tibet on three sides and governed by a Tibetan royal family, Mustang survives as one of the last remnants of ancient Tibet. Although nominally integrated into the kingdom of Nepal in the early 1950s, it remains largely autonomous, and much of its medieval cultural fabric has survived. In fact, Mustang is said to be more like Tibet before the Chinese occupation than Tibet itself, filled with ancient walled fortress-villages and monasteries hewn from rock, displaying a muted natural palette of grays and variegated rusty reds.
It was not long ago that the old border kingdom of Mustang was first opened to the outside world. Politically part of Nepal, but geographically and culturally very Tibetan, Mustang, presided over by the icy ramparts of the Himalaya, is vast and open. And its capital, Lo Manthang, and its ultra-remote villages, inhabited by gracious, happily traditional folk, are entrancingly evocative of the early days of Central Asian exploration. We fly west from Kathmandu to the town of Pokhara and on to Jomsom, where we leave the lushness of the foothills for the austerity of the Himalayan rain shadow, working our way farther north into Mustang proper and the traditional enclave of Lo Manthang, where we’ll wander its dusty streets, visit its old temples and monasteries, and enjoy the boisterous Tiji Festival.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1300m).
Upon arrival at Kathmandu airport, we will receive you there and transfer to hotel. Spend free day in Kathmandu, short tour briefing and settle down rest of the balance payment amount.
Day 2: Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour
Kathmandu sightseeing tour visits Kathmandu valley world heritage sites – Pashupatinath temple, Swoyambhunath stupa also called monkey temple, Kathmandu durbar square and Boudhanath stupa. Late in afternoon we meet our trekking staff for a briefing on the logistics of the trek and details of transportation, expected weather, etc.
Day 3: Kathmandu to Pokhara (850m) by bus or flight
Drive 6 hours scenic drive or 30 minute scenic flight to Pokhara. Pokhara is the city of lakes and nature. In the afternoon walk on the banks of lake and boating on Phewa Lake and visit Barahi temple in the middle of the Island.
Day 4: Pokhara -Jomsom -Kagbeni trekking
We fly north over Ghorapani and Poonhill and then follow the Kali Gandaki Gorge between Dhaulagiri (8187m) and Annapurna to Jomsom. Trek to Kagbeni for 5 hour along the bank of Kaligandaki. The village is a community of mud and stone houses enclosed by walls and flat-roofed with stacks of firewood neatly piled along roof-sides. The red colored gompa (monastery) situated on a raised stretch of land dominates the village. The monastery belongs to the Sakya sect, as evidenced by the uniformly spaced grey stripes on its outside walls.
Day 5: Kagbeni -Chele trekking
Enter to Upper Mustang from Kagbeni, and trek to Chele follow river bank of Kaligandaki. On the way the geographical landscapes is amazing like grand cannon. caves are visible among the cliff walls. A steep climb on the other side leads to the village of Chele, where we stop for the night.
Day 6: Chele –Syangbochen or Tama Gaun trekking
Trek 6 hours on steep uphill passing Chotare Lapcha pass (3900m), Samar village, and Dawa Lapcha Pass (4080m) to Syangbochen. From these pass you can see excellent views of the Damodar Himal, Throrongtse, the Nilgiris and Tilicho.
Day 7: Syangbochen to Drakmar Trekking
We climb steeply up to the Tseti La (pass) (4090m) then descend to the fork in the trail where we take the lower trail down to the river and across the suspension bridge. Up the other side there is a long Mani wall cemented together with mud. We climb steeply to the Al Lapcha pass (4130m) and can see the red cliffs of Tragmar (Red Crag) high on the other side. We have good views from the pass of Tilicho, the Nigiris, Thorongtse, and the Damodar Himal.
Day 8: Drakmar –Lo Manthang trekking
After crossing the stream north of Tsarang, the trail climbs to the northeast, crests, and contours to the northwest. A straight stretch brings us to a chorten (shrine) from which the trail becomes very sandy. The Mustang Himal is visible as are high sandstone cliffs with numerous caves to the east. A gentle climb along flat terrain brings us to Roberts La 4200m), the final pass into Lo Manthang. The first village seen from the pass is Namgyal, which lies slightly to the northwest of Lo Manthang. As we begin our descent, we see the walled village of Lo Manthang to our right.
Day9/10/11: Tiji festival in Lo Manthang.
Lo Manthang means the Plains of Prayer (Mon - prayer, thang - plain). The whole town is walled and the houses are closely packed together with narrow alleyways running between them. Since it was built on a plain, the walls were essential for defense against bandits and invaders. The King of Mustang lives in his palace, which is the largest residence and easily noticeable among the other houses. The Tibetans referred to the king as Lo Gyalpo meaning King of the South, though his real name is Jigme Bista. The name Bista was conferred on him by the King of Nepal as an honorary title (Bista is a high caste title in Nepal). The Queen of Mustang is from a noble family of Shigatse, Tibet. The summer palace of the king is in Trenkar (a few hours hike northwest of Lo Manthang) and he spends most of the summer months there. There are three monasteries in Lo Manthang: the Chamba Lhakang houses the massive 45 foot statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha; the Thugchen Lhakang has several large images - a gilded bronze and terra cotta Sakyamuni, Avolokitesvara, and Maitreya. The third monastery is the Chode monastery of the Sakya sect, which has several monks in residence. Chode monastery contains numerous small statues and the monks are often engaged in prayer and chanting. Tiji festival is held on the courtyard of Palace.
Day 12: Lo Manthang to Tsarang trekking
From Lo Manthang we trek descends to the village of Tsarang, with its dzong (fortress) that formerly housed a king of the region. There are some fine gilt statues inside the Chapel room and volumes of scriptures brought from Tibet which are bound by wooden covers intricately carved with deities and other motifs. In the upstairs area is a Protectors room which contains a standing image of a deity dressed in ancient Tibetan armor and medieval weapons, with the beak and claws of a pelican, and a dried and blackened human hand. The story is that this is the hand of the artist who did all the paintings inside the gompa and who designed the statues. The king had his hand cut off to prevent duplication of the masterpieces. The Sakya gompa nearby has some fine bronze statues of Maitreya, smaller images of Sakyamuni and Vajradhara, and numerous splendid thangkas.
Day 13: Tsarang to Syangbochen trekking
Today we continue hiking south along a lower trail on the west side of the valley. This section of the trail is perhaps the driest region of Mustang. As we approach the village of Ghami (and before we begin the long ascent to the ridge that marks the top of Nyi La), we pass one of the longest Mani walls in Nepal. These are constructed of stones inscribed with the Buddhist mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”. Lunch at Ghami, then continue trek to Syangbochen.
Day 14: Syangbochen to Chhkusang Trekking
As we continue our trek southwards, the trail undulates with the changing topography. Farming is restricted to isolated patches of irrigation, punctuating the dun-brown and earth tones that predominate with brilliant green oases near isolated farmsteads and villages. Houses are widely scattered in this region, and O/N at Chhusang.
Day 15: Chhuksang Jomsom Trekking
Today is the last day of the trek. This evening we reach Jomsom with its wonderful views the Nilgiris (the “Blue Mountains”, at 7690m.
Day 16: Jomsom to Kathmandu via Pokhara
Today we fly back to Kathmandu via Pokhara. On arrival in Kathmandu we’ll be picked up at the airport and taken to our hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 17: Final airport departure.
Final airport transfers to get your homeward journey.