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The festival 'Tiji' or 'Teechi or Teeji' is a three-days ritual festival known as "The chasing of the Demons" and it is centered on the Tiji myth. Tiji tells the story of a deity named Dorje Jono (Dorjee Sonnu) who must battle against his demon father 'Tam Ru a vicious creature' to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. The demon father wreaks havoc on Mustang by creating a water shortage which, in this extremely arid land, is the most precious life-sustaining resource. Dorje Jono eventually defeats the demon and banishes him from the land of Mustang.
Tiji is a celebration and reaffirmation of this myth. Throughout the festival the events and story of the myth are re-enacted. The festival is timed to coincide with the end of the dry season (late winter/spring) and ushers in the wetter monsoon season. Tiji comes from the words "ten che" "tempa chirim' meaning "the hope of Buddhism prevailing in all worlds - Prayer for world peace" and is a spring renewal festival that also celebrates the triumph of good over evil.
In 1964 Michel Peissel was the first westerner to observe the Tiji festival. At that time; the Mustang region was still completely closed off to foreigners and he had to obtain special permission from the government of Nepal in order to enter the region. Despite his arrival on the last day of the celebration (he was unaware of the observance of Tiji) the experience left a lasting impression on him. "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."
Arrive to Kathmandu, an exciting and memorable experience with the panoramic view of snow-capped Himalayan range greets your sight.
Independent Himalayan Adventure's Airport Representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. After arrival to hotel, Short briefing and final payment procedures.
Sightseeing into a historical and cultural site of Nepal; Kathmandu is a popular destination for tourists. It will presents a wonderful mixture of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. Patan and Bhaktapur are its two major neighboring cities which bear immense historical, cultural and religious significance. There will be a half day guided tour to the famous and biggest Hindu shrine Pashupatinath and the largest Buddhist stupa Bouddhanath. We would finalize permit on this day.
Early morning departure to Pokhara Bus park (Kantipath) for departure to Pokhara by bus or drive by car or We take the short but scenic 30 minute flight to Pokhara, enjoying the views of Ganesh, Manaslu and the Annapurnas along the way. We stay overnight in Pokhara.
Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (2710 meters) and start trek to Kagbeni (2800 meters) , 20minutes flight and 3hours walking approximately
We take the spectacular early morning flight to Jomsom (2710 meters) meet with our crew and after some initial preparation of loads, we begin our trek to the pretty village of Kagbeni (2800 meters). Just out of Jomsom we cross a small suspension bridge and then walk along the riverbank of the Kali Gandaki. The trail is flat and quite barren, with craggy rocks and sand littering the trail. This makes it very easy going. We will get magnificent views of huge peaks such as Dhaulagiri, Tukuche and Nilgiri, whilst to the south can be seen the entire Annapurna massif. Kagbeni with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, fields of wheat and barley and a large red Gompa, give us a preview of scenes that we would come across in Upper Mustang. At the north end of the village is the police check-post. Here we will complete our paperwork before entering this long forbidden region of Nepal.
Entry to the Restricted area of Upper Mustang.
It is possible to trek right up the river valley, but we use a combination of the high trail and the riverbank pathways. The trail then widens significantly revealing an endless stretch of sand but the path is kept interesting by the passing of mule trains bearing goods from Mustang and Tibet. On the west bank of the river are some caves and Gompa Kang. Unlike most monasteries in Upper Mustang which are of the Sakyapa sect, Gompa Kang is of the Nyingmapa sect. We stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe, where we come across the first black, white and red Chortens that typify Upper Mustang. The little town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys among white washed houses, fields of buck wheat and barley and apple orchards. Nilgiri Peak continues to dominate the southern skyline. Chhuksang village is only about 2hrs walk beyond Tangbe at the confluence of the Narshing Khola and the Kali Gandaki. There are three separate parts to this village and some ruined castle walls on the surrounding cliffs. Across the river from Chhuksang are some spectacular red eroded cliffs above the mouths of some inaccessible caves. then we ahead to our next nitestop Chele on altitude of 3200 meters.
From Chele you climb a steep spur and then continue ascending along the side of a spectacular steep canyon to a pass. Beyond the pass we descend on a pleasant trail to Samar, situated in a grove of poplar trees. This is a major place to stop for horse and mule caravans.We climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a Chorten before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. We then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, we descend along a ridge to Shyangmochen, a tiny settlement with a few tea shops. Nearby is Rangbyung, a cave containing stalagmites which have formed in the shape of Chorten and one of the holiest places in Mustang. The trail climbs gently from Shyangmochen and we enter another huge valley before descending to Geling, with its extensive fields of barley. Like in all settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses in Geling are constructed using mud and stones. The roofs are made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles.
The trail climbs gently through fields, up the center of the valley, passing above the settlement of Tama Gun and an imposing Chorten. We then begin a taxing climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La (3840 meters). The descent from the pass is quite gentle and about half an hour further on we come to a trail junction; the right trail is the direct route to Charang, the left trail leads to Ghami. Ghami is a large white-washed village sheltered by overhanging cliffs.
We would walk through the driest part of Mustang today, and much of our energy will be spent negotiating the loose, dry soil. However, the magnificent views of the countryside, from the gentle contours of the north to the rugged mountains in the east and west, more than compensates for the hard climb. Finally, we come to Tsarang or Charang, a large spread-out village at the top of the Charang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village are a huge dzong (fortress) and a red gompa which houses an excellent collection of statues and thangkas.
Exploring the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery in the morning, before setting out for Lo-Manthang.
We climb gently above the valley to a large isolated Chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo-Manthang. The trail then broadens and eventually we get our first view of the walled city of Lo-Manthang. The city has only one entrance so we circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north-east corner.
On first day of Tiji Festival (25 May, 2014), you will be in the mist of the sounds of drums, horns and cymbals. The most important part of the ceremony is the unfurling of an enormous Thankga (Tibetan scroll painting) of 'Guru Padma Sambhava', patron saint of Buddhism. There will be a procession of Monks, followed by the masked dancers who start the portrayal of the Tiji myth.
Regular Trekkers who are not into the Tiji festival time:
Today, you are free to explore the fascinating city of Lo Manthang. The city contains about Hundred and Fifty houses, as well as residences for its many lamas. There are four major temples within the city and one of these, Champa Lhakang, contains a huge clay statue of Buddha as well as elaborates mandalas painted on the walls. The king's palace is an imposing building in the center of the city and is occupied by the current King and Queen. Although his duties are largely ceremonial, the King is respected by the people. Throughout the kingdom, the villagers continue to seek his advice regarding many issues. It is possible to hire horses to visit these valleys on your own extra costs.
Second Day of Tiji Festival (26 May, 2014)
Make your camera ready for whole day with enjoyment of a culture of Loppa-Loba (inhabitants of Mustang)-people of Mustang. Spend your day at the Tiji Festival watching all the dances and celebrations that take place, including horse racing and a giant 'tug-of-war'. You will see beautiful people of Lo-Manthang, children and women in their traditional clothing and colorful jewellery, monks in their robes and dancers in elaborate costumes. This is an almost unknown festival that most trekkers never experience.
Last Day of Tiji Festival (27 May, 2014):
Today is the last day of Tiji, 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 gurry. 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 hand made guns.
After the end of Tiji festival, begin your return journey from Lo-Manthang. Walking through the pretty valley,Your return journey from Lo-Manthang-Tsarang/Charang (3500 meters) will more easily than going up time
The trek continues to the descent path from Tsarang/Charang to another destination Syambochen (3800m) which will take 5-6 hours of walk.
Decend trek from Syambochen to Chuksang (3050m).
Today is your last day inside Upper Mustang restricted region on your trekking, so that it is being very long day. In route you passing back through Kagbeni. you must re-register your permit of exit in Kagbeni and continue your trek to Jomsom.
You can relax after shower and clean your self before your last day celebration with your trekking supporter from Independent Himalayan Adventure.
Around 30 minutes flight back to Pokhara throughout the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri on your window. You either flight back to Kathmandu same day or overnight at Hotel in Pokhara.
Some trekkers can continue their trekking to Pokhara for another few days.
By Tourist Bus or Flight back to Kathmandu.
Departure Day. Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Kathmandu for Final Departure.
- Minimum 2 persons needed.
- Single Supplement charge US$ 690
Cost Includes :