Tiji festival in Upper Mustang (Lo-Manthang)
Festival date – 19, 20, 21 May, 2020
Amazing Authentic 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 festical normally helds at the ned 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.
Trip Itinerary in details :
Day 01: – Greetings at Kathmandu Airport, transfer to hotel. We will meet you at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and transfer to your hotel. When you have had your time to settle in and freshen up, you will be invited to visit our office for a briefing about your program. You will have a meeting with your trekking guide and discuss the equipment needed for the trekking. We will process and finish all the trekking permits and documentation works. If you arrive at night, we will have the same discussion in next day morning after breakfast.
Day 02: – A full day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu, the capital valley. After breakfast, you will leave for a full day sightseeing tour around Kathmandu valley. You can visit sacred Pashupatinath Temple and Swyambhunath, very ancient, and mostly enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage sites. The biggest Buddhist Stupa at Boudhnath and the fine arts and historical architecture of Kathmandu Durbar Square, reflecting the ancient Nepalese culture, are highlighted on our guided tour. On return to your hotel, you will have time to explore the famous local streets.
Day 03: – Flight or Drive to Pokhara, 25 minutes flight or 6-7 hour drive. We will drive you to the Domestic Airport for 25 minutes flight to Pokhara. Or if you wish, you can take a Tourist bus to Pokhara about 4-5 hour drive exploring & enjoying with scenic beauty all the way around. Pokhara offers magnificent views of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhare, and others. In the evening, a boating trip on Phewa Lake will be followed where you can enjoy the spectacular views of Annapurna Himalaya Range. Visit Bindavasini Temple lying in the middle of the lake, and enjoy the lakeside.
Day 04: – Pokhara fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2,858m):20 minutes flight and Walking Distance 3-4 hours. We will take a flight early in the morning to Jomsom of about 25min with spectacular views of the Mountains. From here onwards, it is very windy in the afternoon; the trail is quite barren with craggy rocks and sand and is mostly flat. The picturesque peaks of Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche Peak, and Dhampus are spectacular all the way. You walk on gently undulating trails to reach Kagbeni. Kagbeni provides you with a taste of scenes to come in upper Mustang, with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, green fields of wheat and barley.
Day 05: – Kagbeni trekking to Chele (3050m): Walking Distance 5-6 hours. The next day’s journey starts with a special permit check up onwards to the riverbank of Kali Gandaki upstream. We enter the upper Mustang and follow the east bank of the river over a series of small ridges. The trail leads us through the picturesque scenic villages surrounded by fields of wheat, barley, and buckwheat, interspersed with small apple orchards. We trek forward, crossing the river heading up to the huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above, forming a tunnel through which the Kali Gandaki follows. The trek now leaves the Kali Gandaki valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to Chele.
Day 06: – Chele trekking Ghiling (3806m): Walking Distance 6-7 hours. The climb continues along steep, treeless, and dry terrain, along the side of a spectacularly deep canyon to pass a cairn of rock. Climb above Samar and descend into a massive gorge and go into another valley along with the surrounding of cold streams and junipers trees, crossing a stream and climbs up to a ridge at 3800m. We climb to Taklam La Pass (3,624m/11,923 ft) through plateaus and narrow stretches with views of Tilicho Peak, Yakawa Kang, and Damodar Danda. Nyi Pass is the highest point of the trek thus far and the southern boundary of Lo. The trail then drops steeply to the whitewashed buildings of Ghiling.
Day 07: – Ghiling trekking to Charang (3575m): Walking Distance 4-5 hours. The track descends below the blue, grey, and red cliffs across the valley to a steel bridge across the Tangmar Chu. Then climb to a plateau and passes the longest and most spectacular Mani walls in Nepal. From the end of the wall, the trail heads east to the village of Charang (Tsarang) with a maze of fields, willow trees, and houses separated by stone walls at the top of the Charang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village are huge Dzong [fortress] and a red Gompa, which houses an excellent collection of statues and Thankas as well as many large paintings of seated Buddha’s.
Day 08: – Charang trekking to Lo- Manthang (3700m): Walking Distance 5-6 hours. The trail descends about 125m from Charang, crosses the Tsarang Chu and follows the track to a cairn on a ridge opposite the village at 3580m, then enters the Tholung village. Then the trail further ascends gently to the 3,850m windy pass of Lo, from where you can see the Lo-Manthang Valley (3700m), views of the walled city appear magnificent with its hills on the Tibetan Border. A short descent leads onto the plain of Aspiration and then the trail crosses a stream and climbs up onto the plateau of Lo-Manthang.
Day 09: – The Tiji Festival begins 1 day of Tiji May 19. Early in the afternoon, horns resounded, announcing the two twelve-foot copper bunches, with their elephantine blurting, followed by two double-reeled horns, all accompanied by drum and cymbals.
Next, an ancient and enormous Thanka three stories high was unrolled down the entire south wall of the square. The Thanka portrayed Padma Sambhava or (Guru Rimpoche), who brought this ceremony to Tibet in the 8th century.”
Late afternoon, in high wind and blowing dust, eleven lamas in maroon and gold, wearing top red hats, came from the palace and took their places along the wall beneath the thanka, with Tashi Tenzing on the elevated seat just in the center. The masked dancers start the portrayal of the Tiji myth then Dorje Jono repels the demon through the power of his magical dancing. As the end of the dance, Dorje Jono kills the devil, 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.
Day 10: – Second Day of Tiji Festival May 20. On the second day of Tiji, We’ll see Tibetan women in their traditional clothing and colorful jewelry, monks in their robes, and dancers in elaborate costumes. The King of Mustang “wears a whole crown of tiny river pearls set off by dozens of massive 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 methi, snow leopard, snow pigeons, calligrams, the dying glacier and the desert ruins, the drunks and rajas and foreigners, the dogs and yaks.
Day 11: – Third day of Tiji and end of Festival: May 21. On the third day, 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; after that, they are attacked by bow and arrow, slings, and the old guns. The poor devil’s remains are overturned upon the ground, each time to a wild cannonade from the old muzzle-loaders and a wave of cheers and smoke.
Day 12: – Lo-Manthang trekking to Ghami via Lo-Geker (3520m): Walking Distance 6 hours. We will make our return take via highland rouge crossing the alpine meadows. After Lo Gekar, the trail climbs steeply to a cairn on a pass at 4000m, offering a last glimpse of Lo Manthang. Cross the Chogo La (4325m), the highest point on this trek. The trail makes descend beside a stream visiting ancient Ghar Gompa more than 1200 years old and meets the Guru Rimpoche. Gompa is famous for its rock paintings and the legend of fulfilling our good wishes. The trail then drops steeply to the whitewashed buildings of Ghemi. Ghemi is surrounded by vast fields, most of which are barren.
Day 13: – Ghami trekking to Samar (3520m): Walking Distance 5 hours. Today we continue down the valley to Ghiling in a dusty and windy trail. The trail leads passing through the arid plateau and crops field in between; the walks may not be pleasant on the back as we suffer the wind on the face in Kali Gandaki wind valley. Arrive Samar; it is a small village with lovely terraces, and people follow the Tibetan lifestyle and tradition here.
Day 14: – Samar to Kagbeni (2,858m): Walking Distance 6 hours. We will mostly walk along the bank of Kali Gandaki River with the views of natural vegetation and apple orchards to Kagbeni. Spend the night enjoying the ancient and uniqueness of the Kagbeni village.
Day 15: – Kagbeni to Jomsom (2700): Walking Distance 3 hours. The last day of the trekking is an easy day and smooth working in the river bank. The trail passes through Eklebhatti and continues working to Jomsom. Arrive at Jomsom; celebrate the last day of the trekking with the trekking crew.
Day 16: – Fly back to Pokhara, 20 minutes flight. Early morning we will take a short picturesque flight to Pokhara. The view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains and the world’s deepest gorge, Kali Gandaki, are stunning. Relax the whole day in the hotel or wander around Lake Side with fascinating mountains panorama view and nature charming.
Day 17: – Pokhara to Kathmandu, 25 minutes flight or 6-7 hour drive. Take a flight or drive by tourist bus/Private car to Kathmandu. In the evening, you can have your last night in Nepal, enjoying the Nepali cultural dinner show, taking some beautiful snaps, and making up your mind for the returning journey. You can have greetings exchanging among friends and with all Nepalese people.
Day 18: – Farewell Departure. We will take you to the International Airport for your convenience. Wish you a happy journey in the traditional and cultural way of us Nepalese and Good-Bye with a hope to see you again.
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