Festival date May 19 - 21 May, 2020
Holiday Mountain Treks has been organizing a special trip to Lo-Manthang / Upper Mustang every year for Tiji festival. The trip will provide you a cultural/history and scenery experience of the forbidden kingdom- Mustang. It is journey for a lifetime and we assist you from fixing journey date to entire arrangements at an affordable price. There will be allowed only limited numbers of people to visit this wonderful place so if you wan to the trip and experience yourself please reserve your space as early as possible.
An introduction of the Tiji festival
Tiji festival is a three-day ritual as well 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. The festival normally held at the end of dry winter/spring season effectively a spring renewal festival.and will usher in the wetter monsoon season (the growing season for Mustang).
The Tiji festival is celebrated for three days long in Lo-Manthang.
First day, Lamas horns resounded, announcing the two twelve-foot copper dunchens, with their elephantine blurting, followed by two double-reeled horns, all accompanied by drum and cymbals then an ancient and enormous thanka three stories high is unrolled down the entire south wall of the square. Late afternoon, in high wind and blowing dust, eleven lamas in maroon and gold, wearing high red hats, came from the palace and take their places along the wall beneath the thanka, with Tashi Tenzing on the elevated seat just in the center. The masked dancers starts the portrayal of the Tiji myth then Dorje Jono repels the demon through the power of his magical dancing. As the dances end, Dorje Jono kills the demon, after which his people are relieved of their plague of misfortunes, water becomes plentiful once more, and the balance and harmony of existence are restored.
On the second day, numbers of Loba arrive from the outlying hamlets, and the small square is thronged with wild beautiful people, with all of the women and children, at least, in traditional dress. The King of Mustang, “wears a whole crown of tiny river pearls set off by dozens of large red coralline tones interspersed with matched ornaments of turquoise. The costumes and masks, the twelve-foot horns, the gold cups of wheat, the butter cakes, the snow peaks and wind and dust and sun, the mehti, snow leopard, snow pigeons, saligrams, the dying glacier and the desert ruins, the drunks and rajas and foreigners, the dogs and yaks Tantra.
And on the last, the Tiji festival ends with the ceremonial destruction of the evil remains, represented by some long black yak hair and red torma cakes minced to a dark red furry. The demons red remnants are set out on an old tiger skin, where-upon they are attacked by bow and arrow, slings, and the old guns. The poor devils remains are over- turned upon the ground, each time to a wild cannonade from the old muzzle-loaders and a wave of cheers and smoke. This is how the Tiji festival is celebrated.
Day 01/ May 11: Welcome to Kathmandu 1300m.
Arrive Kathmandu airport; welcome and transfer to hotel.
Day 02/ May 12: Kathmandu Sightseeing.
Sightseeing tour of the interesting surrounding sights of Kathmandu valley.
Day 03/ May 13: Kathmandu – Pokhara 975m. drive 6hrs.
Transfer to Pokhara by tourist bus through beautiful sights. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy either doing last minute shopping for the trek or packing your kitty bag for the trek.
Day 04/ May 14: Pokhara – Jomsom 2720m. - Kagbeni 2900m. trek 3-4 hrs.
Fly to Jomsom then a gentle walk to Kagbeni, the checkpoint of entry to Upper Mustang. The Kaligandaki valley here is called the Thakkhola, after the native Thakalis, who are instantly related to the Tibetans.
Day 05/ May 15: From Kagbeni trek to Chele 3200m. 6hrs.
After special permit check up and entry registration at the check post, the trail goes onward following the riverbank of Kaligandaki up stream through some of the scenic picturesque place and sandy / windy trails to reach Chele village.
Day 06/ May 16: From Chele trek to Syanboche 3470m. 7 hrs.
The trail ascends to Taklam La Pass (3,624m) through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang, Nilgiri and Damodar Danda then descends further to Syanboche.
Day 07/ May 17: From Syanboche trek to Ghami 3515m. 6 hrs.
The trail ascends to the Yamda La (3,850m.) through local villages and chortens. After Nyi Pass (4,010m) the trail descends to the Ghami village.
Day 08/ May 18: From Ghami trek to Charang 3510m. 5 hrs.
The trail climbs up to the plateau beside a long Mani wall crossing the ghaymi khola and reach Charang.
Day 09/ May 19: From Charang trek to Lo-Manthang 3740m. 6 hrs.
The trail descends to Tsarang Chu then climbs steeply after crossing the river windy pass of Lo, from where you can see the magnificent Lo-Manthang Valley with its hills on the Tibetan Border.
Day 10/ May 20: Attend the Tiji effectively a spring renewal festival in the courtyard gathered a crowd of Lamas, locals and tourists.
Day 11/ May 21: A full day for Tiji festival activities.
Day 12/May 22: If you wish, may attend the last day of Tiji Festival or make a great loop walk through the unique villages and Gompas around Lo Manthang.
Day 13/ May 23: Lo-Manthang to Drakmar 3810m. 6-7 hrs.
Trek back on a different route passing through Gyakar village with a century old rock painting Ghar Gompa which is said to be fulfilled of visitor’s wish. After an exploration of the Gomba continue to trek to Drakmar village.
Day 14/ May 24: Drakmar to Ghiling 3800m. 6-7hrs.
Trek down facing strong winds through dry plateau fields with great views of Dhulagiri and Nilgiri mountains then reach to the beautiful village of Ghiling.
Day 15/ May 25: Ghiling to Jomsom 2700m. 5-6hrs.
Trek through the same tail along the Kaligandaki River and nice villages that were seen while heading to Lo-Manthang and reach to Kagbeni where the permits are checked then a short trek down to Jomsom.
Day 16/ May 26: Fly back from Jomsom-Pokhara. Rest of the day is free for own activities.
Day 17/ May 27: Drive Back to Kathmandu.
Day 18/ May 28: Kathmandu.
Rest day at leisure or final souvenir shopping. Join the farewell dinner in the evening with a lively cultural program hosted by Holiday Mountain Treks.
Day 19/ May 29: Departure transfer to airport for return flight to home.
- Airport transfers.
- 2-3 star category hotel with breakfast in Kathmandu/Pokhara.
- Guided sighteeing tour and entrance fes.
- Special trekking permits, ACAP and TIMS fee.
- Full board basis lodge trekking.
- Ground transportation as per the itinerary.
- Trekking guide and porter.
- Staff expenses including insurance.
- All losgistic and documentation and local taxes.
- Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu/Pokhara
- Personal wears & gears.
- Personal nature expenses.
- Emergency rescue cost.
- Cold beverage and mineral water.
- Alcoholic drinks, tips etc.
Well broken-in walking shoes - these must be suitable for snow, thick socks, light socks, sandal or light shoes.
Down or fiber filled waterproof jacket and trousers, sweater or fleece jacket, underwear, warm and cotton trousers or jeans, shirts and T-shirts, shorts, long underwear, towel, wool hat, sun hat, gloves.
Sleeping bag (4 seasons), trekking hold all or stash sack with lock, day pack, water bottle, sun cream, sunglasses, flashlight with spare bulbs and batteries, lip salve.
Insect repellent, diary, toilet paper roll, laundry soap, pocket knife, sewing kit, camera, film, cards and personal medical kit.
Trip Essential Information
Introduction and trip briefing: On our all tours, trek, expeditions and other adventures, we give a short brief about the trip in Kathmandu on the same day of your arrival and introduce your trip guide and team members. At the mean time, we provide an opportunity for individuals to ask questions if any about the trip.
A day on the trek : Day starts with warm greeting and bed tea. Then you will be offered a basin of hot water to wash and take breakfast then you are off to trek for more then 3 hours through the forests, hills, mountain and local villages. You will stop at pleasant surroundings for hot lunch for an hour. You will then walk 3 or more hours depends on the places and facilities for camping places, stop for the night camp, you will be then offered tea / coffee with some light snacks then explore the area or relax until dinner is served at the warm dining hall. Most of the evening you will be encouraged to sing and dance in a traditional way. Sometime you will spend time playing cards, reading books and learning Nepali. Finally, go to bed served with hot water rubber bag to keep you extra warm in the cold temperature.
A successful trek requirement: As other trek, Upper Mustang trek also requires previous experience of trekking, sound health & fitness. This trek involves 5-8 hours of high mountain walking. You should be prepared about 10 Kms of walking or jugging exercise everyday 3 months before involving the trek as you are walking on high altitude for long and short days. Likewise you must need a positive attitude and a strong determination; lots of willpower and of course reasonable fitness, good health and physical condition are the basic measure of your success. We suggest you to consult your doctor for medical requirements as medical and evacuation expenses are your responsibility. To ensure for a safety and successful trek; we will provide one trek guide , one assistance guide on every group trek so that if in case one get sick, it would not be canceled the trek and run as plan as in itinerary.
Things to know: Our first concern is your safety while traveling with Holiday Mountain Treks. Please be informed that your trek leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Our every effort will be made for a safely completion of the planned itinerary, however as this is adventure travel into the remote mountain region, we cannot guarantee it! Other factor like weather conditions, the health of member can be the reason to changes the itinerary. In such a case, please be prepared to be flexible. Your leader will accompany you on all scheduled activities and you will have free time to pursue your own interests too. Your trek leader will assist you with information about your options but please be informed that any additional activities you undertake are not part of our itinerary.
Accommodation: Lodges in the mountains are not as comfortable and clean as in the city but not the very basic. The lodges we use normally have combination of dormitories, twin, triple room and beds have foam mattress. There are few factors that affect our choice of a particular lodge which may not always be immediately obvious but the great looking lodges from outside may not be the cleanest and may not provide the best service or food. Please note that we also do not use lodges that will not provide accommodation for porters and guides as we believe that we have a duty to look after all our staffs. Some of the lodges now have attached bathrooms but we do not include this in the price of your trips. However due to availability issue you may be given a room with a bathroom and we will not charge extra.
Meals: Three meals as per your choice are provided in a day. Every lodge has a food menu and ordering book and you should write down in it everything you order under you name and room number. Guide will assist it actually and check at kitchen how busy they are. However it is good to order the food in one hour advance. Lunch is normally taken in a lodge along the way and we suggest the group tries to order similar dishes to make easier and shorter time. Nepali,Tibetan, Continental etc dishes are available though. However local food like vegetables, potatoes, soups are fresh, hygiene and healthy.
Guide: English speaking, well experienced and knowledgeable holding license from government institutions. They are well trained about the high altitude problem, eco tourism, social responsibilities and sincerely dedicated on their duty. Actually our guides play an invaluable role in ensuring that our clients have the best opportunity to experience, learn about, and enjoy their trip presenting them whenever you need any help.
Porters: Normally we use only regular porters working for the company. Our porters are fully equipped and insured having knowledge of walking on snow and high altitude passes. They are very honest, reliable, strong and of curse get good pay. They can speak engligh and will be referred to take the guide training after they are well experience and confident.
We suggest and t is a condition of traveling with us that you must be fully insured, including air rescue services and all medical expenses. You decide and choose what amount and types of is insurance is suitable for your trip nature as some does buy cancellation and only for certain period of time.
Itinerary: Given itinerary is flexible so if needed there is often there will be possibility on the trek to extend or shorten the walking days. In the special case if the trips is ended a week or more earlier, there will be given an optional for a short trip. Please discuss this with your trek guide and express your wishes.
Washing and Toilet: Most of lodges offer hot shower now. Some times a hot shower means a bucket of hot water and ask your trek guide about the availability. For ecological reasons please try and limit your use of hot water if the water is not solar-heated. Please note that higher place and cold time there is very little chance to have enough and hot water. Every lodge will have some kind of hand washing facility but ask your trek guide about the place where you can wash and clean your teeth.
Toilets are usually Asian squat style and vary in how clean they are. Normally toilets are out side the lodge but now some lodge have inside the room or lodge. They tent to be cleaner in the lower than the higher because of water shortage and temperature. The rubbish bin in the toilet is kept for your used toilet paper.
Drinking water: Most of the stomach problems are faced from drinking water in the mountain so you should really care of it. Bottle of mineral water is normally available but environmentally unfriendly options so we recommend filtered and boiled water that should be treated with iodine / purifying tablet before you drink it. The lodge people charge minimum for boiled water as fuel is used to boil the water and wait about half an hour before adding any fruit powder etc.
Transportation: Deluxe private vehicle are provided while on city tour, airport transfers and tourist bus to and from Pokhara or private vehicle or flight will be arranged at an extra cost if required.
Responsible tourism concept: Holiday Mountain Treks is taking concern of economy, social, environment and culture while running its trips. Our staffs are trained on this and try for minimum impact on the natural environment and native peoples. We try to support local economy by using their products, making aware and our clients will have to respect the local culture and traditions. We always try to make the areas more cleaner and friendly environments after we travel. This is possible by your understanding and our trained crews.
Electricity: Small scale electricity schemes are running is several mountain communities but as they by definition small the light may not be strong enogh to read by and is not always guaranteed to be working. Kerosene lamps, candles or solar light bulbs are often used is the dining room where there is no electricity. A toch light, with extera battries is essential. Some lodges have rechargeing facilites for which there is a small charge. Nepal use voltages, 220-240 volts to power your appliances. The sockets are fit both round and flat.