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Home > Trekking > Upper Mustang With Tiji Festival

Upper Mustang With Tiji Festival

Season: Last Week of May Location: Nepal (Upper Mustang) Altitude Max 4,070 m Difficulty level Moderate
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Activities: Trekking
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Trip code: FOMTF
Trip Details
About Upper Mustang With Tiji Festival

A journey to Mustang is a journey of remarkable contrasts. Stark Tibetan landscapes contrast with lush rice fields and Hindu shrines with cliff hanging monasteries.

The ancient Kingdom of Mustang was attached to Tibet in the 14th century although it remained an autonomous dynasty.  Later it was annexed by Nepal, but the people still remain predominantly Tibetan.  Untouched by the outside world or the Chinese cultural Revolution, 16th century monasteries still remain active to preserve this magnificent trans-himalayan kingdom, with their unrivalled thankas, mandalas and deities.

In this wild lunar landscape of unreal color and beauty, ruggedly carved mountains reach up to deep blue skies, while icy peaks glimmer majestically to the south.  Vast and barren ridges extend to the northern horizon making one feel like an insignificant dot on a timeless landscape.

This spring we have arranged our departure date to Mustang to coincide with the annual Tiji festival. This festival is held at the end of third Tibetan month (around May) which is one of the most important and colorful festival in Mustang. Based on Tiji myth, this is a three day ritual to chase the demons away.  The myth tells that a deity named Dorje Jono battles against his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from drought. Special feature of this festival is prayer, unfurling of a giant thangka of Guru Rinpoche and ritual Chaam dance performed by monks in their colorful dress.

Trip Highlights:
    • Visiting Buddhist Stupa, Ancient Palace and Holy Hindu Temple in Kathmandu
    • Explore the ancient Himalayan Kingdom of Upper Mustang
    • Amazing Landscapes & and Lofty Mountains
    • Buddhist monasteries
    • Ancient and isolated village
    • Unique culture and Tradition
    • Witness the Tiji Festival

Upon arrival, you will be warmly greeted by our representative at the Tribhuwan Int. Airport in Kathmandu. After escorting to your designated hotel in the city you’ll be assisted in checking into your room. Before checking in, the timing for a short briefing session concerning your trip will be arranged which includes a quick check of your personal trekking gears by our experts. You’ll have the afternoon/evening of that day all for yourself.

Overnight at the Hotel.

Includes :  Arrival pick up and transfer to the hotel; accommodation

In the morning after breakfast and preparation of the trek, the city guide will pick you up and then drive you to SWAYABUNATH stupa which is perched atop a hill on the western edge of Kathmandu valley. This is one of the world’s most glorious Buddhist Chaityas said to be 2,000 years old.  After we drive 18 km east to an ancient palace of BHAKTAPUR filled with monuments, most terra-cotta with carved wood columns, palaces and temples. We end our day with a visit to Nepal’s most sacred Hindu shrine PASHUPATINATH.  We will have some time to do last minute shopping before leaving for the trek.

Overnight at the hotel

Includes: Breakfast, Accommodation, sightseeing tours with Local English speaking guide, entrance fee and private transportation

In the morning final preparation then in the afternoon we fly to Pokhara to connect the flight to Jomsom the early next morning.

Overnight at the hotel

Includes : Breakfast, twin sharing accommodation, airport transfers in a private vehicle, trekking guide

Take a 20 minutes flight to Jomsom 2,700 m – upon arrival in Jomsom you will be met by your staff and the trek begins by crossing the second bridge north of the airstrip to the old part of Jomsom, where the bank, post office and German Bakery are located.  The trail heads north on the east bank of the wide stony Kali Gandaki.  Keeping on the east side, continue past the side valley of the Panga Khola and around a bluff to the small settlement of  Eklobhatti.  From here another bend in the river takes you to Kagbeni and entry to the forbidden land. Overnight at the lodge

Includes : Airport transfer +Breakfast, guide, transportation till Chhuksang, mules and accommodation in a simple basic lodge.

Complete the formality, proceed out of Kagbeni north past the mani wall and check point.  Almost immediately the path climbs quite steeply up into a jumble of gullies and small towers, zigzagging to a viewpoint over Kagbeni with Nilgiri providing a dazzling white fluted backdrop.  The trail keeps to the east bank, climbing and descending to avoid the many river crossings necessary if taking the stony flat plain route used by horse riders and locals. After 2 hrs the trail starts to climb steeply northeast to cross a vertical-walled bluff ahead.  Soon a few of the upper cultivated fields of Tangbe are visible.  From Tangbe the trail again climbs to a high point around 3,100 m.  From here the route ahead unfolds, a stunning view towards a great red canyon walls where the river enters a narrow defile.  Then the trail drops steeply and undulates along the east bank of the Kali Gandaki for one and half hrs to the village of Chhuksang. The trek now leaves Kali Gandaki valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to Chele at 3,100 m.   Overnight at a lodge.

Includes :  Breakfast, Guide, Mules, Accommodation in a simple lodge & Permits

There is now a change from Manangi culture of the give ‘Gurung’ villages to the Tibetan culture of Lo. Most Lo houses have sheep horns above their doorways and you will see many twigs in the shape of a cross with threads in five colours woven in a diamond shaped pattern.   They are called zor and are supposed to capture evil spirits that threaten the population.   Being now in a region of Tibetan influence, many people also keep ferocious Tibetan mastiff dogs you need to be careful.  Rest of the trek to Lo Manthang is through high altitude desert country, climbing in and out of huge side valleys of the Kali Gandaki. The trail makes a long, gradual descent to some chortens on a ridge, than descends further on a pleasant trail to Samar surrounded by a grove of poplar trees at 3,290 m. The Annapurna Himal, still dominated by Nilgiri is visible far to the south.  We walk further 3 hrs. crossing Yamdo La(Pass) 4,010 m to reach Shyangbochen (3,800 m) where we will spend a night at the lodge.

Includes :  Breakfast, Guide, Mules, Accommodation in a simple lodge & Permits

 

Today we cross the bridge and then trail leads to a zig zag path that rose to the entrance of a deep, walled-in valley.  Trail now leads up to the valley between red and pink cliffs.  Ahead of us stretched a wall three hundred yeards long which was gaily painted in red and yellow.  You will encounter a long prayer wall sealed in its sides were thousands of flat slabs of stone carved with the ritual prayer, ‘O mani padme hum’ , and the incovation ‘A sha sa ma ha’. – sunset from Drakmar is just stunning.  Drakmar means Red Cliff.  Overnight at the lodge.

Includes :  Breakfast, Guide, Mules, Accommodation in a simple lodge & Permits

Today we cross a pass called Marang La (4,125) and then continue to Lo Manthang  through famous Monstery of Lo Gekar – Monastery of Lo Gekhar is a jewel.  It is built over a smaller shrine, and five rooms are decorated from floor to ceiling with carved and painted stones set in small wooden frames. Holy Bhodisatva had come long, long ago to the Land of Lo, which was then full of demons.  Seizing one of these demons, he had dismembered it and thrown its heart deep into the ravines of Mustang ; later a monastery by the name of Gekar was built at this spot.  Finally we will reach the walled city of Lo Manthang. Overnight at the lodge

Also this day we get an opportunity to see the Tiji festival

Includes :  Breakfast, Guide, Mules, Accommodation in a simple lodge & Permits

 

From the northerly corner of the wall a track leads west, staying on the south side of the river for about one and half hour, the trail then drops, becoming quite rocky, to cross the river.  There is no bridge here.  It climbs again towards the fields and joins another path from the east, leading up towards Namgyal Monastery, 1 hr.(it’s a monastery of victory’).  Namgyal, in a spectacular setting atop a desolate ridge, is the newest and most active gompa in Lo.  Other trails lead up the valley to Phuwa, one and half hour and Tingkar, 1 hr. from here. Tingkar is the site of the raja’s summer palace. We retreat back to Lo Manthang.

There are four major temples within the city walls.  The tall Champa Lhakang is said to date from the 1420s and is accessible only on the second storey. Inside  the temple is a huge painted clay statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha, sitting on a pedestal that occupies the entire ground floor. The red Thugchen gompa, near the centre of the city, is a massive assembly hall supported by huge wooden columns dateing from the same period as Champa Lhakang.  There are statues of the deity Sakyamuni surrounded by Avalokitesvara. Vaisravana (the god of wealth) and Padmasambhava.  The other two temples are within the monastic quarter, which is the domain of several large, growling Tibetan mastiffs.  The main temple is the Chodey Gompa, which contains dozens of beautifully crafted small bronze, brass and copper statues, many said to have been cast in Lo Manthang itself.  Raja’s place is an imposing four-storey building in the centre of the city.  It is the home of the present raja.

We will witness the festival after you return from your day trip.

Overnight at the lodge.

Includes :  Breakfast, Guide, Mules, Accommodation in a simple lodge & Permits

Leaving Lo Manthang at the northeast corner by the chorten and new healthpost, the trail drops into the small valley north of the town.  After crossing the river, the trail climbs out, still going easterly, then countours around north above an area of extensive cultivation which stretches to the Mustang Khola. One hour later a long mani wall and isolated derelict building are reached.  At this point the trail seems to disappear.  In fact erosion has caused the path to collapse into the river bed and exposed a water pipe. Still following the west bank of the Mustang Khola, the route crosses an area of cultivation above a small village 2 hrs walk from Lo Manthang.  Ahead to the right can be seen the dramatic cave village of Chosar and the red monastery of Nyphu set into the rock face.  The trail reaches a chorten and rounds a bend opposite Chosar to display the village and monastery of Gharphu ahead on the east side of the Mustang Khola.  This is reached by crossing two bridges close to Gharphu, 3,760 m.

From Gharphu the path leads round below the cliffs to Nyphu, where the red gompa is built out from a vertical rock face and partly set in a cave behind the walls.  Beware of local dogs. We return back to Lo Manthang. Overnight at the lodge.

Includes :  Breakfast, Guide, Mules, Accommodation in a simple lodge & Permits

Today after breakfast we take a return trail by heading towards Tsarang another important village in Mustang. Your walk will include crossing the pass Lo la (3,950m), walk across a desert like landscape painted in hues of grey and yellow then crosses the stream to Tsarang for an overnight stay.

Tsarang is a maze of fields, willow trees and houses separated by stone walls.  Also there is a 14th century Gompa houses which have a collection of statues, thangkas and many paintings of seated Buddhas.

Includes :  Breakfast, Guide, Mules, Accommodation in a simple lodge & Permits

Have a breakfast then continue our journey by walking back until the Lo La pass, then from here well-signposted route leads east through narrow canyons to the banks which  finally taking us to the village of Dhi. This is the main trading center of Mustang; its inhabitants live on the trade with Tibet, and some of the land’s wealthiest merchants have their home here. We have lunch here and then continue our walk by crossing the small river after climb up to the little typical designed settlement of Yara.  Overnight will be in a simple basic lodge. Home stay.

Includes :  Breakfast, Guide, Mules, Accommodation in a simple lodge & Permits

Today visit Luri Gompa which is one of the most famous gompa in Mustang. The 13th century monastery sits like an eagle’s nest hundred meter high from the ground, in one of the natural pillar like sandstone structures.  This was Lori, a centre of a sect that has many followers in Bhutan, the land of the Dragon.  The presence of this monastery in Lo was explained by the fact that a king of Lo married a Bhutanese woman, and to please her he built Lori.   After we walked down to Dhi for an overnight stay. Overnight at a simple lodge.

Includes :  Breakfast, Guide, Mules, Accommodation in a simple lodge & Permits

 

Today is a long day walk so we start really early morning. Trek starts with a short steep ascent then goes on the flat trail for an hour.  Then it goes steep down to Dhechyang River, cross the riverbed spread with ammonite fossils. From the river we ascend to the ridge, cross a Pass at 3,825 m then descend to Tangya for an overnight. The views from the trail are fantastic in the north panorama unfolds between Tsarang and Lo Manthang.  In the south you can see the stunning view of Dhaulagiri. Also you can see several big chortens. Overnight at a simple and basic lodge.

Includes :  Breakfast, Guide, Mules, Accommodation in a simple lodge & Permits

Breakfast then start our trek today with a short climb out of the village.  Then after, we descend to the Tangye Khola.  Continue with our trek by crossing the river to climb up to Le Lo La at 4,200 m from where you can have great views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri.  From the Pass we descend down to a the village site for an overnight stay at the lodge.

Includes :  Breakfast, Guide, Mules, Accommodation in a simple lodge & Permits

We continue our retreat to the village of Tetang. Villages are far apart on this route. The walk is along the wonderful trail along a ridge with wonderful views. Then we descend to the village of Tetang for an overnight stay at the lodge.

Includes :  Breakfast, Guide, Mules, Accommodation in a simple lodge & Permits

After breakfast we walk south east by following a steep valley to cross Gyu La (4,300 m pass) over to Muktinath. Muktinath is on the popular Annapurna Circuit and is one of the holiest Hindu shrines.  From Muktinath we catch a vehicle and drive to Jomsom for an overnight stay.  Overnight in a lodge

Includes :  Breakfast, Guide, local Jeep to Jomsom, accommodation in a lodge;

Today take a flight back to Kathmandu via Pokhara.  Our rep. will pick you up and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day is free for relaxing or for some other independent activities. Overnight at the hotel.

Includes :  Breakfast, guide, accommodation in a hotel; airport transfer

This is a free day but also acts as a lay over day in case of any problem during the trek i.e. flight cancellation etc.  Overnight at the hotel.

Includes :  Breakfast, accommodation in a hotel

Transfer to airport as per your flight schedule for your onward flight

Includes :  Breakfast, flight,  airport transfer

  • 04 nights twin sharing accommodation at a medium class Hotel in Kathmandu
  • 01 day sightseeing tour as stated above with local English speaking guide, private transportation and entrance fee during the sightseeing tour
  • 14 nights/15 days Upper Mustang Trek with the support of guide, mule for baggage, lodge, Meals (Breakfast); necessary transportation CHHUKSANG TO JOMSOM (Local JEEP/BUS )
  • Duffel Bag
  • Basic First Aid Kit
  • Arrival/departure transfers
  • 30 days Nepal Visa can be obtained at Tribhuvan International Airport upon payment of US $ 40.- cash. Your passport should have atleast 6 months validity on the day of departure from Nepal and one passport size photograph. One can also opt for online system for further details please check the link i.e. immi.gov.np
  • Special Trek Permit
  • Conservation Park Fee
  • TIM’s Card US $ 10.- net per person
  • Airfare KTM/PKR/JOM/PKR/KTM
  • Meals: Lunch and dinner
  • Your personal gears for the trip i.e. sleeping bags, trekking gears, personal medicines, Insurance etc
  • Insurance – as this is an adventure trip it is important to have an insurance coverage for health, life, accidents and helicopter rescue in case of emergency evacuation.
  • Any extra cost incurred in case of delay or cancellation of flight, any political turmoil, natural disaster, sickness etc.
  • Entrance fee for visiting monasteries etc
  • Tips not mandatory for the staff but expected

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