Tiji festival in Upper Mustang (5 stars)

Tiji festival in Upper Mustang (5 stars)

Mustang Tifi festival 2013-02-16-1

Tiji festival is one of the most important festivals celebrating in the Upper Mustang region by the Tibetan Buddhist people. Over three days Tiji festival celebrating the victory of Dorje Sonam over Matamruta demon.

The word Tiji came from Tibetan language which means a prayer for the world peace. The festival is celebrated on the fifth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, which usually falls under the May. Two huge Thangkas (buddhist religious paintings) are displayed during the festivals.

Tiji festival is celebrated in three days with dances perform by the monks of Lomanthang Chhyode Gumba. The monks perform a dance called Tsa Chham on the first day of the Tiji and Nga Chham on the second day. On the third day final ceremony is held by the Dhorje Sonam. To perform the role of Dorje Sonam one monk has to stay in privacy for three months during the winter season. Dhorje Sonam hurls the effigy and Tsamppa representation of Ma Tam Ru Ta demon. It is believed that the village is purified from the evil spirits at this time. It is organized by Chhyode Gumba which is monastery of Sakyapa located in Lomanthang, Upper Mustang.

Villagers from all over ancient kingdom of Lomanthang come to watch the dance and to participate in the Tiji festival. Kaligandaki valley and upper mustang region is considered most solace places of the Nepal because of its natural beauty and isolated environment. In this Himalayan region people activities and way of life is completely different and unique than other peoples of the Nepal. During this trek you get the opportunity to watch and explore way of life of Himalayan people which is unique, difficult and honest.

Upper Mustang region is the region of Tibetan Buddhist people so Tibetan life style and culture also can be learned during this trek. Moreover Kaligandaki valley and Upper Mustang region is naturally decorated and filled with monasteries, its attractive natural beauty and sacred monasteries definitely wins your eyes and heart. An unforgettable memory marks in your life after completing Tiji festival trek in Upper Mustang.

This 5 stars trek was developed for the most exacting travellers and including the best possible accommodation in Nepal, the best ways of transportation and the best options during the trekking. All kind of changes possible for group inquiries, feel free to contact us — info@amazingnepal.ru

Trek Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu, you are welcomed by the hospitable meeting and then you will be transferred Hotel Hyatt Regency or Yak and Yeti (Deluxe room). Then you’ll have the welcome dinner at typical Nepali Restaurant at evening time.

Day 2 

Free day in Kathmandu and preparing for the trek.

After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing Kathmandu City where you will visit the temple of living Goddess «Kasthmandap»and Durbar Square. Then you will be taken to Swayambhunath, a Buddhist stupa said to be of 2000 years old. Spend the day sightseeing. You will first visit Pasupatinath temple which is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to lord Shiva and then to Boudhanath, one of the biggest stupas of its kind in the world. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3

Morning Flight to Pokhara and Check in to hotel Pokhara Grand. Sightseeing around Pokhara.

Day 4

Early morning flight to Jomsom (2750)m,  sightseeing around the Jomsom and Marpha. Over night in Jomsom Mountain Resort.

Day 5

Jomsom to Chhuksang (2900 m)

The trail starts up the east of Kaligandaki river which climbs over many ridge towards north and reaches to Tangbe village . This village has narrow alleys amongst white washed houses, Wheat, buckwheat, barley fields and apple orchards. The Nilgiri Peak can be seen dominating the northern skyline at Kagbeni. Walking about 1and half hrs  form Tangbe the Chhusang village passes and continues to north while climbing up the trail finds the originate (main source) of  Kaligandaki River. From here the trail leaves the Kaligandaki valley and climbs steeply up and reaches to Chele at 3030 m. By horse or local jeep.

Day 6

Chhuksang –Samar (3150 m)

Trail continues to north while climbing up the trail we’ll find the originate of  Kaligandaki River. From here the trail leaves the Kaligandaki valley and climbs steeply up and reaches to Chele at 3030 m. The culture changes at Chele into Tibetan culture of continues along steep, treeless, waterless, terrain along the side pass and cairns of rocks at 3540 m. Afterwards, the trail makes a ride and reaches to Samar. By horse and over night in lodge.

Day 7

Samar — Bena Lha by horse and Bena Lha- Geling (3510 m) — Gami- Dakmar- Tsarang (3620 m)

Then climbs above to a ridge, again descends into a large gorge and enter into another valley the cross a stream; climb up to a ridge at 3800 m. The trail climbs ahead for another pass, follows a ridge and then descends to Shyangmochen, then gently climb to Geling . The trail climbs  gently to the interesting pass of this trek Nyuila and descend below the blue, gray and red cliffs across the valley and the Tangmar Chu river, then climbs the pass which is perhaps the longest and most spectacular stretch and main wall in Nepal. Climbing over another pass at 3600m. The trail makes a ling gentle descends to Charang. The five storied white Dzong and red Gompa is worthwhile to observe; the collections of statues and Thankas as will as several paintings of Lord Buddha. By local jeep and over night in lodge.

Day 8

After breakfast visit the Gharm Gompa and Low Gyagar and Tsarang Summer palace and monastery. Over night in lodge. 

Day 9

Tsharang to Lo-Manthang (3730 m)

After descending about 100 m. down across the Charang Chu river and climb steeply up a rocky trail to a cairn on a ridge and continue to climb, finally from a ridge at 3850 m. there is a view of the walled city of Lo. After short descending across a stream and climb up in to the plateau of Lo-Manthang. By local jeep.

Day 10

Teji Festival — Day 1

The morning begins with the assembly of monks and offering of Vajrakila prayers in Chode Gompa. Afternoon sees a flurry of activities in the palace square that includes blarring of traditional long chopper horns or dungchen and the beating drums and cymbals, an enormous scroll painting or thanka decpicting Padmashmbhava is unflurled on the south wall of the square. After having offernd incense, ngagpas or tantric practitiones from Lo Manthang  offer six bowls of grain and torma on a wooden altar.  This is followed by the arrival of monks in a red painted hats, who take a seat beneath the unfurled thangka. The Khempo or abbot of the Choede Gompa is seated on a slightly higher dias in the centre,flanked at the far end by the monks blowing the dungchen. Amids the chanting  of hymns and offering of prayers, the masked dances begins. This is eagerly watched by the people gathered in the square. Over a period of about 2 hours, the Tsacham is performed, a gentle and slow masked dance featuring graceful movements and turns. The tsowo dances in the centre flanked all around  by the oteher dancers in the form of a Mandala. A total of 52 different forms of steps are performed. The masked dances represent the preparation or invoking of the gods (or protective deities), and the purification and preparation of the soil on which the dances are performed.

Day 11

Teji Festival — Day 2

The morning of the second day begins again with offerings of prayers to Vajrakila and an assembly in the monastery. The afternoon starts with the unfurling of another large thangka, a near replica of the earlier one but it is newer in age. The masked dances on the second day are more active, and are executed in a more aggressive style. Weapons and animal forms are seen in the dance sequence on this day, representing the various means to drive away evil.

The dances on the second days are:
Ngacham – the drum dance. A straw effigy is brought out.
Menle dhakey do is a collection of different dances that symbolize the slaying of  the demon. These are interspersed by dances of deities representing the principal deity (Dungmara) of the kings Mustang. Thei is the main reason why the King, Queen and members of the royal family participate in the celebrations.
Animal mask dance — a total of 20 to 24 different animals are depicted in the dance and include animals such as tigers, deer, yaks, crows, vultures, and horses.

The final act is the Dhakey or the slaying of the demon. This is depicted by the piercing of straw eiffigy by the Tsowo with the religious dagger. This symbolizes the evil demon being slayed by the deity Dorje Shunnu. The straw effigy is then thrown into the air.

Day 12

Teji Festival — Day 3

On the third and final day, the morning begins again with offerings of prayers to Vajrakila by the monks in the monastery. In the afternoon (ritualistic offerings of nector) as an appeal for help from all the gods. Before and after the effigy is cut, there are again dances by the monks wearing masks depicting animals. An effigy made of dough is brought out and amids the changes of prayers and dances, the Tsowo facing to the northeast pierce the effigy with symbolic dagger. This act symbolizes victory over evil and its destruction.The cut head of the effigy is buried in front of the Palace’s main entrance. The rest of the parts of the effigy are kept along with the other main tormas, where it is later disposed off.

Finally, the dances come to an end with the formation of a raucous procession led by the masked dancers, and followed by the King and members of the royal family, representatives of the village development committees and the lay people.

Day 13

Drive back to Bena La and Trek to Samar. Over night in Lodge.

Day 14

Samar to Chhusang by Horse. Chhusang to Jomsom by local Jeep. Over night in Jomsom Mountain Resort.

Day 15

Fly back to Pokhara and check in to hotel.

Day 16

Fly back to Kathmandu and check in to hotel.

Day 17


Final departure from Kathmandu.


This 5 stars trek costs just 4500 USD per person.


Cost includes:
• Accommodation: 5 stars Hotel Hyatt or same standard hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara Grand and same standard Hotel in Pokhara.
• Welcome dinner at Typical Nepali restaurant in Kathmandu.
• Transportation: all the ground transportation as a listed in the program by private jeep and local jeep during the Mustang trek: Jomsom — Chhusang, Bena La- Lomanthang — Bena La, Chhusang — Jomsom.
• Annapurna conservation area fee.
• Special permit for the Upper Mustang trek.
• Accommodation in lodges during the trek.
• Three time food during the Mustang trek in lodges.
• Pokhara – Jomsom– Pokhara flight tickets and Airport taxes.
• Trek guide, sherpas and trekking staff daily wages and insurance.
• Horse transport as listed in the Itinerary.
• Day tour around Lo-Manthang by horse.
• Governments taxes.
• City tour by culture guide and entrance fee during the sightseeing in Kathmandu.
• Farewell dinner.
• Monastery entrance fee during the Mustang trek.

Cost does not include:
• Personal equipment for the trek.
• Personal Insurance for travel to Nepal.
• Lunch & dinner during you staying in Kathmandu and Pokahara.
• Emergency Rescue evacuation in case needed.
• Personal expenses.
• Tips.

Note: The above itineraries are subject to change due to condition beyond our control. This is a Guide line showing tentative camp night stops. Physical, technical and natural condition may change this above itineraries.

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