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Mustang Tiji Festival Trek - 18 Days

Mustang Tiji Festival Trek

Mustang Tiji Festival Trek prime focus is Tiji Festival which has a long history. Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is renowned among travelers around the globe. Thousands of trekkers hike to Lo Mangthang to be the witness of the ancient culture. Tiji is the major festival for the people of Upper Mustang citizens. Upper Mustang is the restricted kingdom of Nepal. You need to obtain a special permit to enter this territory. And also, you can’t hike around this ancient kingdom. You need to go through the registered trekking agency of Nepal.

The Mustang Tiji Festival Trek offers a unique experience in the primitive Tibetan village. The exposure of historic Buddhist culture and art is another reason to visit. The landscape is totally different from the Kathmandu or Pokhara. The desert land is the unique identity of this Lo Mangthang.

Mustang Tiji Festival Trek

Trip Duration: 18 Days
Trek Grade: Moderate
Festival Date: May/June
Accommodation: Hotel & Tea House
Group Size: Min.2 pax up to 16
Max altitude: 4320 m
Travel Mode: Drive and Flights

Highlights of Mustang Tiji Festival Trek

  • Magnificent view of Mt Dhaulagiri, Mt Annapurna
  • Buddhist Shrine and Monasteries
  • Buddhist art and Culture
  • Restricted kingdom of an ancient village
  • Trekking in the deserted land

History of Mustang Tiji Festival

Allegiance to the Phurba (Sa Phur) tradition i.e. invoking the wrathful deity of Dorje Shunu who is considered to banish all forms of obstacles has prevailed since the time of Lama Lowo Khenchen (1456-1532), the son of Lo’s second King Amgon Sangpo (1419-1482). This influence could be due to the visits of the great Sakyapa master Ngorchen Kunga Sangpo who was invited by Amedpal (1388-1447) the first ruler of Lo and was honored as his chief religious preceptor. Lowo Khenchen was considered as one of the greatest Buddhist teachers of his time and he played a major role in spreading Buddhism in Mustang.

Mustang Tiji Festival is believed to have started around the time of Lowo khenchen and continued with great pomp and fervor in the few centuries thereafter. It thus became one of the main festivals of Lo. The country at that time was flourishing, food was plentiful, and the Buddhist religion was practiced and followed by the Royal family as well as the lay people. Large monasteries were built and great teachers were born. Evidence of this golden age of religion and prosperity can still be seen in most villages in the form of monasteries, dzongs, large houses, and private chapels.

Mustang Tiji Festival Trek
Rituals going on in Mustang Tiji Festival Trek

During the reign of the 15th King of Mustang, Ahang Jamba Dadul, (enthronement approx 1816, died 1837) the country of Lo witnessed unrest and economic downfall. The Queen was also unable to bear a son, so to appease the gods and remove obstacles to the Buddhist religious traditions, Ngachen Ngawang Kunga Sonam, a great Sakyapa master from Tibet, was invited to visit Lo. At the festival of Tiji this master is said to have performed the masked dances as the main dancer, or tsowo. Folklore describes a mound outside the city walls of Lo Manthang where the arrow used by the great master to drive away the demons are said to have been buried and left an indent upon the mound. This place is known as Sa Kawo or the “White Land”, and exists to this very day. Following Ngachen Ngawang Kunga Sonam’s visit to Lo, the festival regained its popularity and prior glory.

However, towards the mid 19th century, political changes in Nepal affected Mustang, and many age-old traditions were abolished including Tiji. Although the main ceremony in the city’s square no longer took place, Choede Gompa, the central monastery of Lo Manthang, continued to celebrate the festival with the monastery without economic support from the people. This has been practiced since 1963, and still continues today, despite the main festival having being revived.

An intriguing story behind the most recent revival of Tiji denotes that an apparition appeared to Pemba, a layman from Lo Manthang, and it was prophesized that if the Tiji festival was not practiced, great evil and suffering would befall Lo. Epidemics would plague the area and there would be death, suffering, and poverty everywhere. So the present King, now 25th in the lineage, Jigme Dadul Palbar Bista met with the late Khempo (Head Lama) Tashi Tenzin of Lo Manthang’s Choede Gompa, the representatives of Lo Tso Dun and high officials to discuss the matter.

It was then decided that the festival would be restarted, and by the 1970s the main festival in the square (in front of the King’s Palace), within the high city walls, was again celebrated with great enthusiasm. It can thus be said that despite much antagonism (both political and economic), the tradition and continuity of Tiji were never really broken, and continues in its original form to this day.

Day 1
Kathmandu Arrival Day

Upon your arrival at Kathmandu International Airport, our representative will receive you from the airport and transfer to the Hotel. We will sit together for the trek preparation where we will introduce our guide and porters. We need to issue the special permit for Mustang Tiji Festival Trek so we will collect all the necessary documents and process it. If you need any trekking gear then our guides can help you to buy it in the town. Overnight in the Hotel.

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

Price From USD $ 2,200/person
Total $ 2,200 USD
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