The Tiji Festival in Lo Manthang is one of the most important and colorful in Mustang. Held annually to chase away demons, it is a time of prayer and dance as monks don colorful costumes and masks and perform ritual dances watched by spectators (dressed in their best clothes and jewelry) who have gathered from throughout the region.
Mustang trek lying in the rain shadow of the Himalayas is perhaps the last enclave of pristine Tibetan culture. Forbidden & isolated from the rest of the World it was able to evolve its own distinctive culture and traditional which is so rich & unique. Lo-Mustang, the capital is walled city ruled by religious king. Untouched by modern civilization, life in Mustang goes on as it has for centuries in unhurried pace. A trek into the kingdom of Mustang is an unforgettable experience. Upper Mustang is restricted area of Nepal. Who wish to visit Mustang, Have to pay special permit fee and apply for permit any Gov. Resister trekking agency in Nepal.
The Tiji festival is a three-day ritual known as "The chasing of the Demons" and it is centered on the Tiji myth. Tiji tells the story of a deity named Dorje Jono who must battle against his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. The demon father wreaks havoc on Mustang by creating a water shortage which, in this extremely arid land, is the most precious life-sustaining resource. Dorje Jono eventually defeats the demon and banishes him from the land.
Tiji is a celebration and reaffirmation of this myth. Throughout the festival the events and story of the myth are re-enacted. The festival is timed to coincide with the end of the dry season (late winter/spring) and ushers in the wetter monsoon season. Tiji comes from the words "ten che" meaning "the hope of Buddha Dharma prevailing in all worlds" and is a spring renewal festival that also celebrates the triumph of good over evil. In 1964. At this time, the Mustang region was still completely closed off to foreigners and he had to obtain special permission from the government of Nepal in order to enter the Region.
Day 1 : Arrive Kathmandu
Arrive at Tribhuwan international airport, Kathmandu, you are welcomed by the hospitable meeting and then you will be transferred to your hotel. Short briefing will be followed about necessary formalities and rest of the program. Depending on arrival time you will have choice of visiting nearby sanctuaries or have a rest day.
Day 2 : Kathmandu
After breakfast we drive to Swoyambhunatha stupa has it that Manjushree, found of Kathmandu valley, and discovered the lotus of ancient valley lake on which site the great stupa of swoyambhunath was later built. The omni sighted stare of Buddha greets visitors & residents a like compassion. This is one of the oldest Buddhist stupa in the world, which has been registered in UNICEOO heritage side. We then visit to Kathmandu Durbar Square. Kathmandu durbar square situated the center of Kathmandu where you can see the House of Living Goddess”KUMARI” Kasthamandup temple” Said that was built from single tree in 16th century, big bell-big drams, erotic carving in old temple, old palace etc. We then finally were sightseeing to Patan Durbar Square. Patan Durbar square is one of the beautiful Durbars square in Kathmandu valley. It is very famous for woodcarving, Metal works, Temples and Monasteries. Tour of Patan includes tour of Krishna temple, Patan king’s palace, Golden temple and much more.
Day 3 : Kathmandu/Pokhara
This morning you will drive to Pokhara (200km) the road mostly follows the River Trisuli and Marshyangdi, depart 7:00 AM in the morning, approximately 6-hrs way by tourist bus and 5-hrs drive by private transport. Along the drive you will enjoy beautiful scenery. You will arrive late afternoon at Pokhara with enough time to enjoy the colorful town of Pokhara.
Day 4 : Pokhara/Jomsom
Early in morning fly Northwest from Pokhara toward the great portal between the snows covered peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. You will enjoy the well-raised massifs of more than 8000 meters, and the river created deepest gorge on this planet. Jomsom is the district headquarters of Mustang zone. On arrival to Jomsom meet the rest of the trekking staffs, the guide will be with you from Kathmandu, and start the trek to Kagbeni, the main gate to Upper Mustang. Kagbeni situated at an altitude of (2807m) is one of the important places since centuries. Kagbeni village was formed around 14th century as a check post for traders between Nepal and Tibet and still there is a checkpoint to control the groups departing toward Muktinath and Mustang, is the main gate to enter Mustang. There is a monastery, a Police check post and ACAP (Annapurna conservation area project) office inside this visit worthy village.
Day 5 : Jomsom/Kagbeni (3.5 hrs)
Today we start our trek by doing a fairly easy section of the trail along the Kali Gandaki River to Kagbeni, the gateway to the restricted zone of Mustang and one of the major trading routes between Tibet and India. The traders brought salt from Tibet and barley, spices and clothes from India. After the Chinese invasion of Tibet, trade came to a halt and many of the rich villages lost their revenue and later, many of their people. Nowadays, though there is again some trade, the majority of village income comes from tourism. As we enter the dusty village, legend says that we should think good thoughts, leaving all bad ones outside the town gates.
Day 6 : Kagbeni/Chele (5-6 hrs)
From Kagbeni to Tangbe, the trail winds along the east riverbank and occasionally ventures out into the rocky river bed. Initially, the trail climbs steeply to the top of the hill but we'll be rewarded with a spectacular view of prayer flags, stupas, and villages. After crossing several windblown plains and passing through a canyon, we arrive at the Mustang village of Tanbe. This small village is filled with whitewashed adobe houses nestled against each other and is surrounded by beautifully terraced fields of wheat, barley, and buckwheat, as well as small apple orchards. On the lower side of Tangbe, we'll see three elegant chortens and the remnants of an old abandoned fort. As we continue our walk, be on the lookout for black ammonites, small fossils of coiled sea mollusks that inhabited the Tethys Sea and
Day 7 : Chele/Geling ( 5 hrs)
The climb from Chele is up a fairly steep spur to a cairn at 10,329 feet, from which there is a view of the village of Gyagar across the canyon.The trail, which is literally carved into the side of this spectacular canyon, continually offers spectacular views. After crossing a mountain pass, the trail makes a long gradual descent on a pleasant trail to Samer. Finally after passing through several small canyons that are home to cool streams and shady juniper trees, we arrivie in Geling at 11,880 feet. Though the largest village before entering Upper Mustang, is a rarely visited gem. The town, set among numerous poplar groves and a central stream, boasts one of the oldest Gompas in Mustang. Spend the evening relaxing in front of the central field, where you can observe grain being threshed, animals grazing, and children playing.
Day 8 : Geling/Charang (6 hrs)
From Geling, the trail climbs gently through fields of barley and groves of poplar trees up the center of the valley, passing below the settlement of Tama Gaun and an imposing chorten. After rejoining the direct trail, it becomes a steep slow climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La pass at 13,035 feet, the highest point reached on the trek. Charang is a maze of fields, willow trees and houses separated by stone walls at the top of the large Charang Cho Canyon. The huge five story white dzong and red gompa are perched on the edge of the Kali Gandagi gorge on the east end of the valley. Overnight in Charang.
Day 9 : Charang/Lo Manthang (5 hrs)
Today we'll move slowly but steadly up a rocky trail to a cairn on a ridge opposite the village at 11,841 feet. The trail turns north and climbs gently to a large isolated chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo. After a rest break we'll travel across a desert-like landscape painted in every hue of grey and yellow. Finally, we reach our destination- the whitewashed walls of the city of Lo, which sits among fields filled with horses and yaks. We may even have time to see the start of the Tiji festival.
Day 10 : Tiji Festival
We spend the better part of the day at the Tiji Festival watching all the dances and celebrations that take place, including horse racing and a giant tug-of-war. We’ll see Tibetan women in their traditional clothing and colorful jewelry, monks in their robes and dancers in elaborate costumes. This is an almost unknown festival that most Nepal trekkers never experience. Definitely bring your cameras along today!
Day 11 : Lo Manthang
In addition to the festival, there are many other activities in Lo Manthang from which you can choose. Spend today exploring the intimate alleyways and courtyards of the city, or you can rent a horse and visit some of the other villages in the area.
Day 12 : Lo Manthang/Ghemi (via Lo Gekar)
We have the opportunity to vary our return route and visit two villages that we did not see on the trek northwards. At Ghemi we'll visit Gar Gompa, the oldest acrive gompa in Nepal. Ghemi is also known for its many hectres of beautiful fields and for its white- washed houses. The trail to Lo Gekar is not a main trading route and is crisscrossed with herders trails, so our local guide is particularly useful here. Todays trek will cross several valleys, some lush and others barren. Near the end of the hike the trail then makes a long rocky descent down a ravine to a grassy valley, where Lo Gekar is situated within a group of large trees by a stream. Lo Gekar, which means “Pure Virtue of Lo,” is also known as Ghar Gompa, or "House Temple.
Day 13 - 16 : Heading back to Jomsom
These last days again will bring us beautifully rich scenery and great hiking on our way back to Jomsom. Our trek will take us thru Samar and Kagbeni before ending in Jomson
Day 14 : Jomsom/Kathmandu via Pokhara
Depart early in the morning (by flight) to Pokhara, and then continue on to Kathmandu. Or, if you wish to spend more time in Pokhara, this can be arranged.
Day 15 : Kathmandu
We consider today an “insurance day” just in case the flight can’t land due to weather or other concerns on the 29th. Otherwise, we will go to see the ancient city of Bhaktaphur, once a separate kingdom. The city still retains an architectural and design spirit of a feudal state focused on artistic and religious glorification. You will feel you are walking back in time strolling through the core of the old city now preserved and interpreted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take some time to look in the shops to observe potters, weavers, brass-makers, religious artisans, Brahmin priests and spice merchants carrying out their professions as they have done here for hundreds of years. We will end our journey with a farewell dinner this evening.
Day 16 : Kathmandu - Onward
Today we’ll say goodbye to Nepal and our wonderful staff before being transferred to the airport for our onward flights. If you wish, you can continue your travels with either an extension within Nepal to Chitwan National Park or to other Asian countries.
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