Tiji Festival Trekking to Upper Mustang region is one of the most sought after trips in Nepal. Tiji is a very important spiritual festival celebrated in Lo Manthang – the walled city in the Lo region of Upper Mustang which used to be the suzerain kingdom of Kathmandu that was abolished in 2008 after Nepal converted into republic abolishing two centuries old monarchy. The festival is popular for its objectives – prayers for the world peace.
Three days long festival is celebrated to mark the victory of Buddha’s incarnation over a demon that caused tremendous troubles to the people in the region. Buddhist monks in the monastery perform dance ceremony to mark that special occasion. The dance enacts all the troubles caused by the demon, incarnation of Buddha and victory of Buddha’s incarnation over the demon.
The Tibetan like arid and sandy terrain, colorful cliffs, caves from the millennia, and occasional green oasis throughout the region make up this landscape spectacular. The crystalline sky over the beautiful white Himalayan peaks and the trip in this mystic place definitely brings peace and joy in your heart and mind.
The Tiji Festival for 2023 has been declared to be celebrated on May 16th, 17th, and 18th in Lo Manthang. Our Tiji Festival Trekking starts in Kathmandu and reaches Lo Manthang on the May 15th to observe the festival.
Arrival in Kathmandu. Meet with our friendly representative at the arrival terminal of only International airport. And, then you will be transferred to your hotel. You check-in at your Hotel and then after short rest you can go to explore market area of Thamel – where you can eat your supper, change money, buy some stuffs from supermarket, or buy trekking gears – if you need to do. Later we take you to our office for the trip briefing. Overnight at your hotel. Delay of any kind will postpone the events for next day according to feasibility.
Pokhara – the beautiful lake city of Nepal nestled in the lap of the majestic Annapurna – is located 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu. Early morning you embark for long yet scenic and adventurous drive to Pokhara. As you drive out of the Kathmandu valley the road descend to the Trishuli River valley on the other part. The Highway is narrow in breadth, and snake bend in shape thus make the drive thrilling. After scenic and adventurous drive, arrive at the hotel and rest the remaining evening. You can utilize your rest time exploring around the lakeside or shop around. Overnight in a hotel.
You take the early morning flight which again will give close-up views of the Annapurna range, Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri. Twenty to twenty-five minutes flight in a small aircraft land at Jomsom airstrip beautifully located in the bank of river Kaligandaki. You will then enjoy the breakfast in one of the restaurant/hotel if you have not in Pokhara (based on the flight timing in the morning). After breakfast and short rest walk along the bank of the Kali Gandaki River to Kagbeni. The trail is mostly in the river bed thus sandy and with pebbles. It is not that difficult part of the trek, but wind sometime makes your walk almost impossible. This very easy and enjoyable start is at the same time picturesque with rewarding views of tall mountain peaks including Dhaulagiri (8167m/ 26,794ft), Tukuche (6920m/ 22,703ft) and in the west the awesome mountain above Kagbeni – Nilgiri (6940m/ 22,769ft). Upon reaching Kagbeni check in to your hotel, enjoy the lunch. And in the evening walk around the town which is mystic and mysterious. You can explore the Red Gompa (Monastery). At the check-post at the north end of the village there is a sign saying ‘Restricted area, tourists, please do not go beyond this point’. Here you will complete your paperwork formalities for you to enter this long-forbidden region of Nepal. Overnight at local lodge.
After breakfast enter this beautiful region of Upper Mustang. The landscape is barren, dry and complete rain shadow. The Kali Gandaki river flowing from the Upper Mustang offers scenic view. You walk right above to the river valley and sometime walk in the river bed. The trail widens significantly revealing an endless stretch of sand and the trek is yet interesting or even challenging sometimes by the passing of mule carrying goods. On the west bank of the river are some caves and Gompa Kang – the monastery belongs to Nyingmapa sect, the oldest sect of Tibetan Buddhis, whereas other monasteries in Upper Mustang belongs to the Sakyapa sect. You stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe, where you come across the typical Chorterns of Upper Mustang – black, white and red Chortens. This little town is delicates with narrow alleys through whitewashed houses, fields of buckwheat and barley and apple orchards. Nilgiri Peak continues to dominate the southern skyline. Chusang village is beyond Tangbe at the confluence of the Narshing Khola and Kali Gandaki. After crossing the Kali Gandaki River now you leave the valley and climbs steeply up a rocky valley to the village of Chele where you spend your night here. Overnight at the mountain lodge.
From Chele after breakfast you climb a steep spur and then continue ascending along the side of a spectacular steep canyon to a pass. Beyond the pass you descend on a pleasant trail to Samar. You climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a Chorten before entering another valley. You then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, you descend along a ridge to Shyangmochen – a tiny settlement with a few tea shops. Overnight local lodge.
The trail climbs gently from Shyangbochen and you enter another huge valley before descending to Geling with its extensive fields of barley. As in all the settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses are constructed using mud and stones with roofs made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles. Trek to Ghami via Ghami La (3,520m/11548ft). The trail continues to offer many uphill climbs and descend to the river bed or valley and passes various small settlements of similar landscape, architecture, and styles. You cross another pass namely Nyi La (3,840 m/12598ft). The descend from the pass is quite gentle and after half an hour further you reach to a junction in which the right trail leads direct to Charang and the left leads to Ghami. Ghami is a large white-washed village in Mustang. Overnight local lodge.
After breakfast start your walk to the most probably the driest part of Mustang. The trail is full of loose, dry soil/sands and scree which will take your energy and struggle. However the beautiful landscape and the view of the mountains in each direction inspire and encourage you to continue. It is comparatively short day of walk and you reach Charang – a large spread-out village at the top of the Charang Chu canyon – after some four hours of walk. At the eastern end of the village lies a huge dzong (fortress) and a red Gompa (monastery) which houses an excellent collection of statues and Thangka paintings. Overnight local lodge.
In the morning prior to breakfast, we explore the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery. After breakfast start the trek to Lo Manthang. You climb gently above the valley to a largely isolated Chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo. The trail then broadens and eventually you get the first sight of magnificently walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance so you circumambulate the wall to the gate on the northeast corner to enter the town. Overnight stay at the local lodge.
Today is comparatively long day with the High Himalayan pass of at 4300 m altitude. As soon as you leave Lo Manthang you climb to Marang-la (4,300 m). You continue with your walk on the highland route fairly flat and fair climb to Ghar Gompa – pure virtue of Lo and the practicing Nyingma Sect along with scripture of Padmasambhava. You will spend some time exploring this beautiful monastery and then climb steep down to Dhakmar. From Dhakmar you walk through the pretty valley, climb to the ridge and descend from here back to Ghami. Overnight at local lodge.
From Ghami drive to Jomsom – the capital buzzing town of entire Mustang where you landed in the first day of your trek – with some ascends and descends passing Gelling where beautiful barley field can be seen. As in all the settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses are constructed using mud and stones, with roofs made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles. Arrive Jomsom and enjoy the rest of the day. Overnight at the local lodge.
Early morning fly back to Pokhara from Jomsom. Due to the wind in the later afternoon even from the last hour of the morning, all the flights from and to Jomsom operated in the early morning. The flight is majestic with the view of Annapurna I and other Annapurna massif and Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tukuche Peak and others. Arrive Pokhara, spend some time at your hotel to refresh and you can explore the lake city around Phewa Lake. Boating in the lake is splendid with the view of the Himalayan peaks reflected in the water. You can enjoy the tranquility of Pokhara. Other places you can explore in Pokhara is beautiful Mountain Musuem, Devi’s Fall, Peace Stupa, and Gupteshwar Cave. Overnight in a hotel.
Drive back to Kathmandu. You are driving the same highway as you enter to Pokhara and the Mustang region. Alternatively you can talk with us if you want to fly one way back which is highly recommended. Arrive Kathmandu and Overnight in a hotel.
This list outlines the required things to bring during the trekking tours. There are various selections and brands that you can choose as per your interest. All required trekking equipments can be bought or even hired easily at a reasonable price in Kathmandu.
Upper Body - Head / Ears / Eyes
Lower Body – Legs
Medicines and First Aid Kits
(Please note our guide will also carry the first aid kit bag during the trek. However we still recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as well)
All garments should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks or large puncture resistant plastic bags.
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