Tiji Festival Trek

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Price Per person USD $1,726 USD $1,921
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Starts at: Jomsom Ends at: Jomsom
Trek Region: Annapurna Transport: Flight
Duration: 15 Days Trip Grade: Moderate
Max Altitude: 4010 m / 13156 ft (Nyi La Pass) Accomodation: Teahouse

Tiji Festival Trek Highlights

  • Be a live participant in the whole proceeding of the festival
  • Dance and sing traditional music which has a great influence on Tibetan Buddhism
  • Traverse through many ridges, walkthrough boulders and cross different boulders
  • Explore the historical palaces, its courtyard, and the alleys of Upper Mustang during the festival
  • Walk in the dry, arid surrounding on the trans-Himalayan Tibetan border
  • Walk freely without worrying about the rain as the region lies in the rain shadow area

May is possibly the best time to trek in the Upper Mustang which was closed to foreigners until 1992. Isolated from the world for centuries it is perhaps one of the last truly untouched examples of Tibetan culture and is known as “The Last Forbidden Kingdom.”

At the end of the dry season, there is an ancient, three-day festival celebrated annually in the walled city of Lo Manthang. It tells the story of the deity Dorje Jono who had to battle his father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. Dorje’s father created a water shortage that wreaked havoc on the region.

Being in the shadow of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Massif region means water in the Mustang is the most precious of commodities.

Dorje defeated his father and banished him from the land. This “Chasing of the Demons” is the Tiji festival, a celebration and reaffirmation of the myth through dances and religious ceremonies.

The first westerner to witness the Tiji festival was Michel Peissel in 1964 who described it thus; “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.”

The date of the festival is based on the Tibetan calendar and changes every year but usually occurs in May. To experience Tiji is to step back in time. You are immersed in the sights and sounds of rituals that explode in vibrant colour and extraordinary sounds at this unique and amazing festival depicting the battle of good over evil.

Even getting to the trailhead takes two flights. The first from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then a second from Pokhara to Jomsom. Trekking is moderate though with good teahouse options over the 10 days it takes to get to Lo Manthang.

Permits are expensive as you need a restricted area permit (currently 500USD) as well as an Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (20 USD). But Tiji is unique and every person who experiences it can only agree with Michel Peisell’s quote.

Every year Magical Nepal will be arranging a special Tiji festival trek. If you are after an unforgettable experience, please contact us for more details.

Tiji Festival Trek Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu to Pokhara (Drive)

Pokhara – 830 m / 2723 ft – 7 hrs

Day 2: Pokhara to Jomsom (Flight) to Kagbeni

Kagbeni – 930 m / 9186 ft – 3 hrs

Day 3: Kagbeni to Chele

Chele – 3050 m / 10006 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: Chele to Syangmoche

Syangmoche – 3475 m / 11400 ft – 6 hrs

Day 5: Syangmoche Ghami

Ghami – 3500 m / 11482 ft – 5 hrs

Day 6: Ghami to Charang

Charang – 3560 m / 11679 ft – 4 hrs

Day 7: Charang to Lo Manthang

Lo Manthang – 3770 m / 12368 ft – 5 hrs

Day 8: Day Trip to Chhoser Cave

Lo Manthang – 3770 m / 12368 ft – 6 hrs

Day 9:Lo Manthang

Lo Manthang – 3770 m / 12368 ft – 3 hrs

Day 10: Lo Manthang to Dhakmar

Dhakmar – 3800 m / 12467 ft – 7 hrs

Day 11: Dhakmar to Ghiling

Ghiling – 3860 m / 12664 ft – 6 hrs

Day 12: Ghiling to Chuksang

Chuksang – 3050 m / 10050 ft – 6 hrs

Day 13: Chuksang to Jomsom

Jomsom – 2715 m / 8907 ft – 5 hrs

Day 14: Jomsom to Pokhara (Flight)

Pokhara – 830 m / 2723 ft – 15 min

Day 15: Pokhara to Kathmandu (Drive)

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 8 hrs

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Plan Your Trip

Includes

  • 12 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • 2 nights accommodation in Pokhara (Kuti Resort or similar)
  • Guide for 15 days
  • Kathmandu Pokhara Kathmandu tourist bus
  • Pokhara Jomsom Pokhara flight
  • Annapurna conservation area permit
  • Restricted area permit
  • 13 x breakfast, 12 x lunch and 12 x dinner while on the trek
    Vegan
    Veg
  • One Porter for 15 days USD 276
  • Lunch and dinner in Pokhara

Tiji Festival Trek Map

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