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Mustang Tiji Festival Trekking

Mustang Tiji Festival is a trek that takes you through the thrilling sensation of ancient Tibetan villages, rare medieval Buddhist arts, stunning culture and the unique beauty of Himalayan desert. Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is a three day long colorful cultural festival which is performed each year in the square in front of Tashi Gephel Palace within the walled city of Lomanthang. Mustang Tiji Festival occurs on the third Tibetan month of Tibetan calendar which usually coincides with the month of May in the English calendar.

There is an interesting story associated with the beginning of this festival. Myth tells the story of a demon father and his son Dorje Jono. The demon father once created havoc in Mustang by drying up all the sources of water. Many lives were lost. Dorje Jono finally defeated the demon and banished him from Mustang Kingdom. A three day celebration of “The Chasing of the Demons” is believed to have begun from that day.
Tiji has its root in the word “ten che” which roughly translates as “hope of Buddha dharma prevailing in all worlds.”

A journey into the kingdom of Mustang is an unforgettable experience. It takes you to a land of strange stories of picturesque villages surrounded by colorful Tibetan style stupas and chortens. Viewing Forbidden kingdom of Mustang in its full opulence is yet another reason to join Mustang Tiji Festival Trek.


Itinerary Outline

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

Day 02: Kathmandu sightseeing

Day 03: Fly or drive to Pokhara

Day 04: Fly to Jomsom, trek to Kagbeni (2,858m)

Day 05: Trek to Chele (3050m)

Day 06: Trek to Ghiling (3806m)

Day 07: Trek to Tsharang (Charang)(3500m)

Day 08: Trek to Lo-Manthang (3700m)

Day 09: First day of Tiji festival

Day 10: Second day of Tiji festival

Day 11: Third day of Tiji festival

Day 12: Trek to Ghami (3440m)

Day 13: Trek to Samar (3520m)

Day 14: Trek to Kagbeni (2858m)

Day 15: Trek to Jomsom (2700m)

Day 16: Fly back to Pokhara

Day 17: Drive or fly back to Kathmandu

Day 18: Final Departure from Kathmandu, Farewell!!
 

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
When you land at the Tribhuvan International Airport, you will find our representatives waiting for you at the Airport. You will then be transferred to the hotel where you will be briefed about the travel itinerary. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu
The next morning after having breakfast, you will leave for a sightseeing tour around Kathmandu valley. You will have a short tour to temples and monuments like Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, Swyambhunath and Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square (all UNESCO World Heritage sites). At the end of the day, you will return back to the hotel and prepare for the flight tomorrow.

Day 03: Fly or drive to Pokhara
After breakfast in the morning, we will go to the domestic terminal of the TIA to take a 25-minute flight to Pokhara. During the short flight to Pokhara, we will enjoy the majestic views of the glorious peaks of Manaslu and extensive snow-covered mountain Annapurna and Langtang range of the Himalayas. Our staffs will meet us at the Pokhara Airport and will shift us to the hotel. You can also take a tourist bus to Pokhara along the scenic Prthivi Highway. Travel time by bus is six hours to Pokhara. In the afternoon, you can either take rest in your hotel, or you can go for boating at Phewa Lake, where you can visit the Barahi temple that is accessible only on boat. At night, you will rest in the hotel.

Day 04: Flight to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2858m)

We will take an early flight to Jomsom- the hub of Mustang Region from Pokhara the next morning. Our trek officially begins here. Our destination for the day will be Kagbeni which is the starting point of the Upper Mustang Trek. Enjoying the spectacular views of Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, Dhampus and Tukuche, we will gently lower down to Kagbeni-a Tibetan village and a typical entry point of the upper Mustang. We will stay overnight at the teahouse in Kagbeni.

Day 05: Trek to Chele (3050m)
The trail leads to the eastern bank of Kaligandaki River and then rises towards north to arrive to the Tangbe Village. The route swirls on through the maze of narrow alleys between the white houses and fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apples with a spectacular view of Nilgiri peak at the background. Continuing the trail through Tangbe Village will take us to yet another village-Chhusang. We will walk through the Village, cross the Kaligandaki River on a steel footbridge and clamber up to the village of Chele which nestles on a ridge above the gorge. We will stay overnight at a camp.

Day 06: Trek to Ghiling (3806m)
The climb continues up the way. We will transverse the deserted land with no trees or water and pass along the side of the spectacular steep canyon lying at 3540m altitude. We will then follow the steep hill down to Samar. We will climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large ravine. We will cross the ravine and move through valley and field before ascending to a ridge. The path climbs steeply up and down before the final descent to Ghiling. We will stay overnight in Ghiling.

Day 07: Trek to Tsharang (Charang)(3500m)
From Ghiling, the trail ascends mildly up to the interesting step in our walk NYILA and falls below the cliffs of blue, gray and red. After crossing a steel bridge at Tangmar chu (river) we will reach to a mani (prayer wall) which is perhaps the longest and most spectacular stretch and main wall in Nepal. Climbing over another pass at 3600 meters, we will make a long descent to Charang. We will pay visit to the big five - storey white Dzong and red Gompa to observe the collections of statues, Thankas and numerous paintings of seated Buddha.

Day 08: Trek to Lo-Manthang (3700m)
The trail descends about 100 feet below Charang to cross the Charang-Chu and then climbs steeply up a rocky path to a pile of stones on a hill. We will catch the first glimpse of walled city of Lo-Manthang from the ridge situated at 3850m. We will then lower down to cross a creek before climbing to the plateau of Lo-Manthang. Overnight stay at a guesthouse in Lo-Manthang.

Day 09: First day of Tiji festival
Lo- Manthang is famous as the only place where Tiji festival is celebrated. People from far and wide arrive each year in this stony city to have a glimpse of this festival.
On the first day of early afternoon, the festival begins with blowing the two twelve-foot dunchens copper. The dunchen is then followed by two double winding horns which are later accompanied by the drum and cymbals. A three storey tall Thanka is hung across the southern wall of the square of Tashi Gephel palace. The Thanka portrays Padma Sambhava or (Guru Rinpoche) who brought this ceremony to Tibet in the eighth century.

By mid-afternoon, amid strong winds and blowing dust, eleven lamas clad in maroon and gold putting red hats on the head, move out of the palace to take their places on the wall below the thanka. Dorje Jono repels the demon through the power of his magical dance. He dances fifty-two different dances, one in ten different bodies, each with a different head. As the dances end, Dorje Jono kills the demon and save his people from their plague of misfortunes. Water once again becomes available and balance and harmony of life are restored.

Day 10: Second day of Tiji Festival
On the second day of Tiji, people from villages including children and women come to the square decorated in traditional dresses making the small square cramped with beautiful people. The King of Mustang then takes a complete ring of small freshwater pearls which is dozens of large red coral tones interspersed with turquoise ornaments combined.
The costumes and masks, horns of twelve feet, the gold cups of wheat, butter cakes, the peaks of snow and wind and dust and sun, mehti, snow leopard, snow pigeons , saligrams (fossilized stones), the glacier of death and the ruins of the desert, the drunks and rajas and foreigners, dogs and yaks are all the distinct part of the festival.

Day 11: Third day of Tiji festival
On the third day, Tiji ceremony ends with the destruction of the remains of evil, represented by some long black yak hair and red cakes minced to a dark tormas. The remains of the red devils are collected in an old tiger skin, which is later attacked with bows and arrows, slingshots, and antique firearms. The remains of the poor devil are then dumped on the floor and thus the three day long vibrant ceremony concludes.

Day 12: Trek to Ghami (3440m)
We will make our way out of Lo- Manthang and pass through the alpine meadows at highlands. We will continue following the trail and ascend up to a ridge at 4070m. After a brief rest, we will clamber up to Chogo (4325m). We will visit Lo- Geker Gompa on the way which is one of the oldest Gompas in Nepal and is larger than the famous Samye Gompa in Tibet. After visiting the Lo-Geker Gompa, we will decent to Ghami- pretty village surrounded by farmland with fields of barley and white houses.

Day 13: Trek to Samar (3520m)
The journey for 13th day begins with the trail following the narrow winding road up to Ghiling crossing a small stream. Passing through the way, one can enjoy the scenic beauties of Nilgiri Mountain, desert landscapes, Tibetan-style villages, terraced fields and natural vegetation. Moving forward from Ghiling, we transverse through route lined with chortens, Mani walls and prayer flags before reaching Samar- a small town with pleasant terraces. We will have a peek through ancient Tibetan lifestyle of locals and pitch our camp in the land of Samar.

Day 14: Trek to Kagbeni (2858m)
Early in the morning, we begin lowering down the hill and make it upto the valley of Kali Gandaki. For most of the part of trekking, we will walk along the Kali Ganadki River enjoying the views of natural vegetation and apple orchards and arrive to Kagbeni.

Day 15: Trek to Jomsom (2700m)
The next day, we will trek from Kagbeni to Jomsom. The casual stroll through the plain land along the bank of the river will lead us to Eklebhatti. After a brief rest, we will continue the journey to Jomsom-the district headquarters of Mustang. Though being far from Kathmandu, Jomsom boasts in providing up to date facilities including internet, banking and other facilities. Overnight stay at a guesthouse.

Day 16: Fly back to Pokhara
After having light breakfast in the morning, we will board a flight from Jomsom Airport to Pokhara. The journey will be brief, taking only around 30 minutes to end but the views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains it offers is itself rewarding. We will get back to the hotel in Pokhara and spend the day either taking rest or exploring Pokhara.


Day 17: Drive or take a flight back to Kathmandu
Kathmandu can be accessed through Pokhara via both driving and flight mode. It takes either 25-minute flight or 6 hours bus drive to make it to Kathmandu. We will return to our hotel and enjoy the typical Nepali dinner amid the cultural show performed on your honor.

Day 18: Final Departure from Kathmandu
The long travel formally concludes this day. You will be assisted in your last moment preparation and transited to Tribhuvan International Airport. We bid you farewell and expect to serve you again!!
 

 

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Trekking in Nepal refers to walking at different places that may be either easy walking trail or toughest trekking trail. It is commonly said that there is not any bad weather but the trekking will greatly affected by the dressing styles or so called inappropriate clothing. There are several type o f equipments that are absolutely necessary for the trekking in Nepal. The trekking equipments can be different according to the different types of trekking but will also differ from trekking trail, weather conditions, camping or lodging trekking and so on. The trekking equipments should be carefully observed before going for any types of trekking at Nepal otherwise it may create great problem for the trekkers to enjoy the trekking fully.
Some of the major trekking equipments that are absolutely needed for the trekking in Nepal are as follows.

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