Tiji Festival Trek

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Tiji Festival Trek celebrated in the Lo-Manthang region by Tibetan Buddhist people is a colorful and most auspicious festival of the Upper Mustang. This festival is celebrated once a year for three days based on the Tibetan calendar and changes every year but usually occurs in May. This year Tiji festival starts on 5th May 2024 and ends on 7th May 2024. The festival is believed to be celebrated to dispel the demons and bring prosperity and joyfulness to the Mustang Region.

Tiji Festival Trek 2024 Highlights

  • Experience the arid surroundings on the trans-Himalayan Tibetan border.
  • You will be in the shadow of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Massif.
  • Experience the live traditional dance and sing which has a great influence on Tibetan Buddhism.
  • Traverse through many ridges, beautiful nature, and amazing mountains.

History of the Tiji Festival

Ancient mythology relates a deity named Dorje Jono who battled against his father to protect the kingdom of Mustang. His father was a devil who spread disease and took away water. Dorjo Jono, hence banged his demon father and dispersed him away from Mustang. Honoring this legend, the festival celebrates his victory with prayer chants and colorful dances. Dorje Jono (known also as Dorje Phurba, Vajrakila, or Vajrakumar) is the name of a deity in Vajrayana Buddhism, an age-old Buddhist practice in India and Nepal.

However, the Tiji Festival in Upper Mustang did not start until the 17th century. Mustang King Samdup Rabten invited Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga Sinam to come to Lo Manthang. He stayed at Lo Manthang’s Choedhe Monastery and performed the special Vajrakila ritual for the wellbeing of all sentient beings and to dispel all negative elements in Mustang. Since then, the monks of Chhode Monastery have been performing this religious dance every year. The Tiji festival dances are organized by the Choedhe Monastery, which belongs to the Sakya sect of Buddhism.

The first Westerner to witness the Tiji festival was Michel Peissel in 1964 who described it as “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.” During the festival, you will fully immerse yourself in the ritual sound and occur happiness in you.

Trekking Permit

Normally Upper Mustang Trekking Permits cost US $ 500 per person for 10 days. But during the Tiji festival Trek, we need to take more extra days. After 10 days they will charge the extra US $ 50 per day. In order to obtain the permit, you need a minimum of two members in a group. That means a single permit won’t be allowed by immigration. If you are a single traveler, Nepal Holiday is there to provide permits by joining you with other traveler’s groups.

If you want to know more: Trekking Permit in Nepal

Itinerary for Tiji Festival Trek

Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara. (830 m)
Day 2: Flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni. (2,800 m) 3 hrs.
Day 3: Kagbeni to Chele. (3050 m) 6-7 hrs.
Day 4: Chele to Syangmoche. (3,475 m) 5-6 hrs.
Day 5: Syangmoche to Ghaymi. (3,500 m) 5-6 hrs.
Day 6: Ghami to Charang. (3,560 m) 4-5 hrs.
Day 7: Charang to Lo Manthang. (3,770 m) 5-6 hrs.
Day 8: Lo Manthang. (3,770 m) 3-4 hrs.
Day 9: Lo Manthang. (3,770 m) 5-6 hrs.
Day 10: Lo Manthang to Drakmar. (3,800 m) 6 -7 hrs.
Day 11: Drakmar to Ghiling (3,860 m) 5-6 hrs.
Day 12: Ghiling to Chuksang (3,050 m) 5-6 hrs.
Day 13: Chuksang to Jomsom (2,715 m) 5-6 hrs.
Day 14: Flight from Jomsom to Pokhara (830 m) 30 min.
Day 15: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1,380 m) 6-7 hrs.