mustang

Mustang Cultural Trek- Tiji Festival - 20 Days

MUSTANG IS THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM OF NEPAL AND ALSO KNOWN AS THE “LOST TIBETAN KINGDOM”

Mustang a small kingdom in Nepal was closed to westerners until 1992 and it is an enchanting land of windswept vistas, red walled monasteries and feudal towns. This tiny kingdom was not only a major corridor of trade from the 1400’s to before the Chinese occupation of Tibet but also figured importantly into the early Buddhism in Tibet.
Local legends tell the tale of great founders of Tibetan Buddhism, Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche), who before building Samye (the oldest monastery in Tibet) came to Mustang to stand guard against and get into a battle with the evil powers who were out to destroy Buddhism. The temple of Lo Gekhar in eastern Mustang was built by Padmasambhava after his triumphant battle and still stands guard today.

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Our route to Mustang will take us across the vast Kali Gandaki river bed, up over the windswept passes at 14,000 feet and across the ‘Plain of Aspirations’ to the walled capital city of Lo Manthang. We will also cross through a landscape of indescribable vastness and beauty, home to the infamous snow leopard, the endangered Bharal (blue sheep) and the mythical Mehti (abominable snowman).

Rimmed by 20,000 plus, snowcapped peaks and bathed in hues of orange and red rocks with sporadic fields of vibrant green, yellow and red barley, maize and buckwheat, Mustang is a step back to the simpler times.
The Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs provide an impressive backdrop as you trek up the Kali Gandaki river valley to the ancient city of Lo-Manthang. Mustang is quintessentially Tibetan in character and to date largely unspoiled.
However, the advent of a planned new road which is progressing slowly is likely to change these factors to an extent in the future.

THE TENJI OR TIJI FESTIVAL IN UPPER MUSTANG
Tiji comes from the word “ten che” meaning the hope of Buddha Dharma prevailing in all worlds and is effectively a spring renewal festival

Book References
East of Lo Manthang: In the land of Mustang. – Peter Matthiessen and Thomas Laird, Shambhala Press, Boston, 1995
Mustang, a Lost Tibetan Kingdom – Michel Peissel, Book Faith India, Delhi, India, 1967

“We found ourselves in the midst of a festival in which over a thousand men, women and children were taking part. Before us spread a sea of weather-beaten brown faces that contrasted with those of the beaming, dirty little children who clung like grapes upon the rooftops of the houses” ” The women… looked superb in hand-woven sleeveless Chubas (a bath-robe style dress made of thick wool) over bright, loose silk blouses. Around their waistbands were tucked two aprons, a short one that hung down in front, the other caught in the belt and hanging down behind to the ground. These were gaily striped in bright, narrow bands of blue, red, green and yellow. Many women were literally smothered with ornaments of silver and precious stones…necklaces of bright orange coralline stones alternating with turquoises…ivory-white bracelets made of truncated conch shell. Head-dresses…studded with turquoises ran along the central parting of their hair and fell down their backs.  – Michel Peissel

Michel Peissel was the first westerner to witness the Tiji festival in 1964 during a visit to Mustang by special permission from the Government of Nepal. He was also the only third westerner to ever visit Mustang. He arrived in Lo Manthang in time to witness only the last day of the festival and later wrote: “The scenes I witnessed were so extraordinary and so unexpected that I dared not believe my eyes and even today I have some trouble in believing in the reality of what I saw that day.”

The Tiji festival is a three-day ritual known as “The chasing of the Demons” that centers on the Tiji myth. The myth tells of a deity named Dorje Jono who must battle against his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. The demon father wreaked havoc on Mustang by bringing a shortage of water (a highly precious resource in this very dry land) and causing many resulting disasters from famine to animal loss. Dorje Jono eventually beats the demon and banishes him from the land. Tiji is a celebration and reaffirmation of this myth and throughout the festival the various scenes of the myth will be enacted. It is of course timed to coincide with the end of the dry winter / spring season and will usher in the wetter monsoon season (the farming season for Mustang).


Trip Profile

15 DAYS

  • Moderate camping trek in Upper Mustang region of Nepal.
  • Attend TIJI FESTIVAL.

1 DAY

  • Visit Pokhara.

4 DAYS

  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu.

Note

  • Mustang trek can also be combined with Upper Dolpo trek or Annapurna circuit trek.
  • You can also combine it with the Damodar Kundua area.

OR

  • Climb a few innovative peaks in Mustang Region.
  • You can also opt for horse rides during your Mustang trip and not care to walk anywhere.

 

Contact us for further details.

Trip Details & Facts

Mustang is one of the few places in the Himalayan region that has been able to retain its traditional Tibetan culture in an authentic manner. Tibetan culture now survives only in exile and a few places like Mustang, which have had long historical and cultural ties with Tibet has managed to retain it.

TIJI FESTIVAL

The Tiji Festival in Lo Manthang is one of the most important and colorful event in the Mustang region. Held annually to chase away demons, it is a time for prayers and the monks don colorful costumes and masks and perform ritual dances, watched by spectators (dressed in their best clothes and jewelry) who gather from throughout the region.

LURI GOMPA

Luri Gompa (Monastery) which is at 3450 meters in Mustang is perched atop eroded 100 meter high cliffs with inner chambers. It is an enlarged cave with one small south-facing window and an entrance door on its southeast for communication with an outer room. The inner chamber contains wall paintings that may date back to the 13th or 14th centuries of the past era.

TREK FACTS

AVAILABILITY: Every week throughout the year, however December, January and February is not recommended.
STYLE: Guided trip with fully supported camping equipments.
GRADE: Moderate.
MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 4400 Meters.  
ACCOMODATION: (3) three starred hotels in the cities but during treks only simple lodges and tented camps are available.
TRANSPORT: Car / Bus / domestic flights are included.
MEALS INCLUDED: 19 breakfasts, 16 lunches and 16 dinners.

DEPARTURE DATES

  • This trek is also available on a private itinerary basis to suit your own dates and that are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 1 or 2 people in the group.
  • Dates during, March until July and September until November is the best time to book your space with us.           
  • Contact us If you would like to join us and we will be happy to accommodate you. 

TIJI FESTIVAL – In the year 2015 the Mustang Tiji festival will take place on May 15th, 16th and 17th, so we have an itinerary for this festival starting May 7th to 25th May 2015.

  • Departure Dates are available for MAY 7TH AND 25TH 2015

The Itinerary

  • Day 01 : Arrival day
  • Day 02 : Sightseeing
  • Day 03 : Drive to Pokhara
  • Day 04 : Fly to Jomsom
  • Day 05 - 16 : Route
  • Day 17 : Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara
  • Day 18 : Drive back to Kathmandu
  • Day 19 : Explore Kathmandu
  • Day 20 : DEPARTURE

Interested in this trip? Send your questions or start booking.

  • Day 01 : Arrival day

    • Arrive in Kathmandu.
    • There will be a representative to receive you.
    • Check into a hotel for the day.

  • Day 02 : Sightseeing

    • Sightseeing of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

  • Day 03 : Drive to Pokhara

    • Drive to Pokhara

  • Day 04 : Fly to Jomsom

    • Fly to Jomsom.
    • Trek up to Kagbeni which is the starting point towards upper Mustang.

  • Day 05 - 16 : Route

    Route: Jomsom - Kagbeni - Chuksang, Chaile, Samar, Ghiling - Dakmar, Lo Ghaker, Lo - Manthang, Dhi, Luri Gompa, Tsarang, Ghami and get back to Jomsom.

  • Day 17 : Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara

    • Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara.
    • Rest for day in Pokhara.

  • Day 18 : Drive back to Kathmandu

    • Drive back to Kathmandu.
    OR
    • You can also opt for a flight.

  • Day 19 : Explore Kathmandu

    • Explore Kathmandu.
    • In the evening you will be joining our team for a Nepali cultural show and a farewell dinner.

  • Day 20 : DEPARTURE

Interested in this trip? Send your questions or start booking.

What is included

  1. Accommodation in a (3) three starred hotels in the cities but for the duration of the trek, only effortless lodges are available.
  2. Ground transportations provided.
  3. Sightseeing in Kathmandu where Earthbound Expeditions city tour guide will accompany you.
  4. Full broad meals will be provided throughout the trek.
  5. Government trained guides and needed no. of porters with their insurance, salary and meals will be provided.
  6. Farewell dinner along with one cultural show.
  7. Every single entry fees and TIMS permits will be provided.
  8. Every single Domestic Flights will be booked according to the Itinerary listed.
  9. Sleeping bags and down jackets for the trek will be provided.
  10. Car / Bus / Domestic Flights included.

What is not included

  1. International Flight tickets.
  2. Museums entrance fees.
  3. All personal expenses such as bar bills, beverages, snack etc.
  4. Airport tax.
  5. Extra shower, battery re-charge, laundry charge etc.
  6. Personal clothing and gears.
  7. Tips to guides and porters.
  8. Cost raised by cancelations, landslides, weather, political unrest, illness will not be our responsibility since these factors are not within our grasp.

Interested in this trip? Send your questions or start booking.

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