Mustang Tiji Festival Trek - 18 Days

Tiji
Mustang
Upper mustang
Duration18 Days
Trip GradeModerate
Maximum Altitude4023 M
ActivitiesTrekking
Group Size2
StartsKathmandu
EndsKathmandu
Best TimeSep to Nov and March to May

The Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is a remarkable journey that blends cultural immersion with Himalayan adventure, offering travelers a unique opportunity to witness the vibrant Tiji Festival in the mystical kingdom of Mustang, Nepal.

The Tiji Festival is a three-day annual event celebrated by the Tibetan Buddhist community in Mustang, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil and the arrival of spring. This colorful festival features ancient rituals, masked dances, and traditional ceremonies performed by monks adorned in elaborate costumes, captivating visitors with its rich cultural heritage and spiritual significance.

The trek begins in the picturesque city of Pokhara, where travelers embark on a scenic flight to Jomsom, the gateway to Mustang. From there, the journey takes you through rugged landscapes, charming villages, and ancient monasteries as you make your way to the historic walled city of Lo Manthang, the focal point of the Tiji Festival.

As you trek through the breathtaking landscapes of Upper Mustang, you'll be mesmerized by the towering cliffs, barren deserts, and snow-capped peaks that define this remote Himalayan region. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to interact with local villagers, learn about their customs and traditions, and witness the daily rhythms of life in the mountains.

The highlight of the trek is undoubtedly the Tiji Festival itself, where travelers gather with locals to witness the colorful spectacle unfold. From the rhythmic beating of drums to the swirling dances of masked performers, the Tiji Festival is a feast for the senses, offering a glimpse into the ancient rituals and beliefs of the Tibetan Buddhist culture.

In addition to experiencing the Tiji Festival, the trek also includes visits to historic monasteries such as Lo Gekar, Choser, and Samdrupling, providing further insight into the spiritual heritage of Mustang. Along the way, travelers will be accompanied by experienced guides who will share their knowledge of the region's history, culture, and traditions.

The Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is perfect for adventure seekers, cultural enthusiasts, and spiritual seekers alike, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the magic of Mustang's ancient traditions amidst the awe-inspiring beauty of the Himalayas. So, if you're ready for an unforgettable journey into the heart of Nepal's hidden kingdom, join us on the Mustang Tiji Festival Trek and discover the beauty and wonder of this extraordinary land.

Highlights

The Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is an exhilarating 18-day adventure that combines the thrill of trekking through the breathtaking landscapes of Upper Mustang with the cultural immersion of witnessing the vibrant Tiji Festival. Here are the major highlights of this unforgettable journey:

  • Scenic Flight to Jomsom: The trek begins with a picturesque flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, offering stunning views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges as you soar above the clouds.
  • Gateway to Upper Mustang: Jomsom serves as the gateway to Upper Mustang, where you'll embark on your trek through the rugged terrain and ancient villages of the Himalayas.
  • Trekking through Mustang: Traverse through diverse landscapes, including arid deserts, lush valleys, and towering cliffs, as you make your way towards the historic walled city of Lo Manthang.
  • Ancient Monasteries: Along the trekking route, visit ancient monasteries such as Lo Gekar, Choser, and Samdrupling, each steeped in centuries-old history and adorned with intricate Buddhist artwork.
  • Cultural Immersion: Interact with local villagers and learn about their unique customs, traditions, and way of life. Experience the warm hospitality of the Mustangi people as you stay in traditional guesthouses and homestays along the way.
  • Lo Manthang: Explore the ancient capital of Upper Mustang, Lo Manthang, with its narrow alleys, white-washed houses, and imposing mud-brick walls. Visit the King's Palace, monasteries, and bustling markets, immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the region.
  • Tiji Festival: Witness the colorful Tiji Festival, a three-day celebration that commemorates the victory of good over evil. Marvel at the masked dances, ancient rituals, and ceremonial performances performed by monks in elaborate costumes, offering a mesmerizing glimpse into Tibetan Buddhist culture.
  • Panoramic Views: Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Himalayas, including Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Nilgiri mountain ranges, as you trek through remote mountain passes and high-altitude landscapes.
  • Remote Villages: Trek through remote villages such as Ghemi, Tsarang, and Ghar Gompa, each offering a unique glimpse into traditional Mustangi culture and architecture.
  • Natural Hot Springs: Relax and rejuvenate tired muscles in natural hot springs along the trekking route, providing a soothing respite after a day of hiking.
  • Professional Guides: Throughout the journey, experienced guides will accompany you, providing valuable insights into the history, culture, and geography of Upper Mustang, ensuring a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.
Itinerary
Trip PlanExpand all

Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, you'll be greeted by our representative who will assist you with the transfer to your hotel. After settling in, you can spend the rest of the day relaxing and preparing for your upcoming trek. Take this time to rest, explore the vibrant streets of Kathmandu, and make any last-minute preparations for your journey ahead.

Max Altitude: 1,400m Accommodation: Hotel

Today is a leisure day in Kathmandu. You have the option to explore the culturally rich city on your own or join a guided sightseeing tour to visit some of Kathmandu's famous landmarks, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), and Kathmandu Durbar Square.

After breakfast, embark on a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The journey takes approximately 6 to 7 hours, offering stunning views of lush valleys, terraced fields, and picturesque villages along the way. Alternatively, you can opt for a 35-minute flight to Pokhara, providing aerial views of the Himalayas and the beautiful landscape below. Upon reaching Pokhara, check into your hotel and unwind.

Max Altitude: 800m Accommodation: HotelDuration: 6-7 hrs

Catch an early morning flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, a scenic flight that offers breathtaking views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. Upon landing in Jomsom, start your trek to Kagbeni, a charming village situated at the confluence of the Kali Gandaki and Jhong rivers. The trek takes around 3 to 4 hours, allowing you to gradually acclimatize to the higher altitude.

Max Altitude: 2,810m

Today's trek takes you from Kagbeni to Chele, ascending through picturesque landscapes of barren terrain, rocky cliffs, and traditional Tibetan villages. Enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains as you make your way to Chele, where you'll spend the night.

Max Altitude: 3,050m

Continue your trek from Chele to Shyanbochen, passing through scenic valleys, Tibetan settlements, and ancient monasteries. The trail gradually ascends, offering panoramic views of the Mustang region's unique landscape. Arrive at Shyanbochen and rest for the night.

Max Altitude: 3,475m

Today's trek takes you to Tsarang, a historic village renowned for its ancient Tibetan architecture and cultural heritage. Along the way, you'll traverse high mountain passes, meandering streams, and arid terrain, soaking in the serene beauty of the Mustang region. Reach Tsarang by late afternoon and explore its cultural landmarks, including the impressive Tsarang Monastery.

Max Altitude: 3,620m

Embark on a scenic trek from Tsarang to Lo Manthang, the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Mustang. The trail winds through rugged terrain, offering glimpses of snow-capped peaks, traditional mud-brick houses, and colorful prayer flags fluttering in the wind. Arrive at Lo Manthang by late afternoon and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of this remote Himalayan town.

Max Altitude: 3,730m

Today marks the beginning of the vibrant Tiji Festival, a three-day annual event celebrated by the local Tibetan community in Lo Manthang. Join the festivities as locals clad in traditional attire perform age-old rituals, masked dances, and religious ceremonies to commemorate the victory of good over evil. Immerse yourself in the colorful festivities and witness the unique cultural traditions of Mustang firsthand.

Continue to immerse yourself in the joyous atmosphere of the Tiji Festival as the celebrations reach their peak. Marvel at the elaborate costumes, intricate dance performances, and sacred rituals that characterize this ancient festival. Engage with the local community, interact with monks, and gain insight into the spiritual significance of Tiji as you witness the age-old traditions come to life.

On the final day of the Tiji Festival, witness the grand finale of the celebrations as the local community gathers for prayers, blessings, and cultural performances. Experience the vibrant energy of the festival as devotees offer prayers and perform rituals to invoke blessings for prosperity, peace, and happiness. Bid farewell to the enchanting town of Lo Manthang as you conclude your memorable Tiji Festival experience.

After breakfast, begin your trek from Lo Manthang to Dhakmar, retracing your steps through the rugged terrain of the Mustang region. Pass through scenic valleys, ancient monasteries, and picturesque hamlets as you descend towards Dhakmar. Enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscapes before reaching Dhakmar, where you'll spend the night.

Max Altitude: 3,810m

Continue your descent from Dhakmar to Shyanbochen, following the trail as it winds through rocky terrain, alpine meadows, and traditional Tibetan villages. Enjoy the serene beauty of the Mustang region as you make your way back to Shyanbochen, where you'll rest for the night

Max Altitude: 3,500m

Today's trek takes you from Shyanbochen to Chhusang, descending through scenic valleys, ancient monasteries, and terraced fields. Enjoy the gentle descent as you soak in the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lush landscapes. Arrive at Chhusang by late afternoon and explore the quaint village before retiring for the night.

Max Altitude: 2,980m

On the final day of your trek, journey from Chhusang back to Jomsom, tracing your steps through the picturesque Mustang region. Pass through charming villages, arid landscapes, and scenic valleys as you make your way to Jomsom. Upon reaching Jomsom, celebrate the successful completion of your trek with your fellow trekkers and enjoy a well-deserved rest.

Max Altitude: 2,720m Accommodation: Hotel

After breakfast, you'll embark on a short but scenic flight from Jomsom to Pokhara, offering breathtaking views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. As you descend to the lower altitude of Pokhara (800m/2,625ft), you'll notice the change in landscape from rugged terrain to lush valleys and tranquil lakes. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and take some time to freshen up.

In the afternoon, embark on a sightseeing tour of Pokhara, known for its natural beauty and serene ambiance. Visit the famous Phewa Lake, where you can enjoy a boat ride amidst the stunning backdrop of the Annapurna range reflected in the clear waters. Explore the Gupteshwor Cave, renowned for its sacred significance and impressive limestone formations. Take a leisurely stroll along the Lakeside area, dotted with charming cafes, shops, and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. As the day draws to a close, witness the mesmerizing sunset from the vantage point of Sarangkot, offering panoramic views of the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) mountains bathed in golden hues.

Max Altitude: 800m Accommodation: HotelDuration: 25 min

After breakfast, bid farewell to Pokhara and embark on a scenic drive back to Kathmandu. Alternatively, you have the option to take a short 35-minute flight, offering aerial views of the picturesque landscapes below. The drive takes approximately 6 to 7 hours, winding through verdant hills, terraced fields, and quaint villages. Along the way, make a stop at the picturesque town of Bandipur, known for its preserved Newari architecture and stunning mountain views. Continue your journey to Kathmandu, where you'll check into your hotel and spend the rest of the evening at leisure.

Max Altitude: 1400 m Accommodation: HotelDuration: 6-7 hrs

After breakfast, depending on your flight schedule, you may have some free time for last-minute souvenir shopping or exploring the vibrant streets of Kathmandu. Our representative will assist you with the transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your onward journey. Bid farewell to the enchanting land of Nepal, filled with unforgettable memories of your Himalayan adventure.

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Cost Details
Included
  • Airport Transfers: Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you'll be greeted by our representative who will assist you with transfers to and from the airport, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
  • Accommodation: Throughout your journey, accommodation in comfortable hotels or lodges is included, providing a comfortable and relaxing environment after each day's trekking or sightseeing activities.
  • Transportation: All transportation during the itinerary, including transfers between destinations, domestic flights, and scenic drives, is included, ensuring safe and efficient travel throughout the trip.
  • Trekking Permits: Necessary permits and entry fees for trekking in the Mustang region and participating in the Tiji Festival are included, allowing you to explore the area and attend cultural events without any hassle.
  • Guided Tours: Guided sightseeing tours in Kathmandu and Pokhara by experienced local guides are included, providing valuable insights into the rich cultural and historical heritage of these cities.
  • Meals: Daily meals as specified in the itinerary (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are included during the trekking portion of the trip, ensuring you're well-fed and energized for your adventures.
  • Trekking Equipment: Basic trekking equipment such as sleeping bags, trekking poles, and duffel bags are provided, ensuring you have the necessary gear for a comfortable and safe trekking experience.
Excluded
  • International Flights: The cost of international flights to and from Nepal is not included in the itinerary and should be arranged separately by the traveler.
  • Travel Insurance: Travel insurance covering medical expenses, emergency evacuation, trip cancellation, and other unforeseen circumstances is not included but highly recommended for your peace of mind.
  • Personal Expenses: Expenses of a personal nature such as additional meals, beverages, souvenirs, laundry, and optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary are not included and should be budgeted separately.
  • Tips and Gratuities: Tips for guides, drivers, and hotel staff are not included and are at your discretion based on the level of service provided.
  • Optional Activities: Any optional activities or excursions not mentioned in the itinerary, such as paragliding in Pokhara or additional sightseeing tours, are not included and can be arranged at an additional cost.
  • Extra Accommodation: Additional accommodation before or after the scheduled itinerary dates is not included but can be arranged upon request at an additional cost.
  • Additional Transportation: Any additional transportation not included in the itinerary, such as taxis or private transfers for personal excursions, is not included and should be arranged separately.
Essential Information

Equipments

For the Mustang Tiji Festival Trek, participants will need to bring essential trekking gear and clothing to ensure comfort, safety, and enjoyment throughout the journey. Here's a suggested equipment list:

Clothing:

  • Base Layers: Moisture-wicking thermal tops and bottoms to wear under outer layers.
  • Trekking Shirts: Lightweight, breathable shirts for trekking.
  • Trekking Pants: Quick-drying, comfortable pants with zip-off legs for versatility.
  • Insulating Layers: Fleece or down jackets to provide warmth during colder evenings.
  • Outer Shell: Waterproof and windproof jacket and pants to protect against rain and wind.
  • Headwear: Sun hat, beanie or warm hat, and sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Gloves: Lightweight gloves for trekking and warmer gloves or mittens for colder weather.
  • Socks: Moisture-wicking, cushioned socks to prevent blisters and keep feet comfortable.
  • Hiking Boots: Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots with good ankle support and a grippy sole.

Trekking Gear:

  • Backpack: Lightweight, comfortable backpack with a capacity of around 30-40 liters for carrying personal belongings.
  • Sleeping Bag: Warm, lightweight sleeping bag suitable for cold temperatures (0 to -10°C).
  • Sleeping Pad: Inflatable or foam sleeping pad for insulation and comfort during camping.
  • Trekking Poles: Adjustable trekking poles for stability and support on uneven terrain.
  • Headlamp/Flashlight: Waterproof headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries for evening use and in case of power outages.
  • Water Bottles/Hydration System: Sturdy water bottles or a hydration system to stay hydrated during the trek.
  • Water Purification: Water purification tablets or a portable water filter to treat water from natural sources.
  • Personal First-Aid Kit: Basic first-aid supplies including adhesive bandages, blister treatment, pain relievers, and any personal medications.

Miscellaneous:

  • Sunscreen: High SPF sunscreen to protect against strong Himalayan sun.
  • Lip Balm: Moisturizing lip balm with SPF protection to prevent chapping.
  • Toiletries: Travel-sized toiletries including biodegradable soap, toothpaste, and toilet paper.
  • Towel: Lightweight, quick-drying travel towel for personal hygiene.
  • Personal Identification: Passport, travel insurance documents, and any necessary permits.
  • Cash: Sufficient cash in local currency for tips, souvenirs, and additional expenses.
  • Camera: Waterproof, shockproof camera or smartphone with extra batteries for capturing memories.