Upper Mustang Tiji Festival is an annual Buddhist celebration that takes place at the beginning of every harvest season in the Upper Mustang region. The Tiji word came from the Tibetan word Ten Che and it means “The hopes of Buddhism prevailing in the world for love and consensus.” The theme of the celebration is the victory of God over the demons.
As the legend relates to the Tiji festival, A brave boy called Dorje Jono fights to oppose his demonic father. His father created devastation in the Upper Mustang by creating the water crisis. In the end, Dorje Jono wins the fight against his father and chases his father away from the barren land of Mustang. Since then this carnival celebrates in the Lomanthang Mustang.
Upcoming Date of 2024 Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Event in Lomanthang.
- 2024 Tiji Festival Date – May 5th, 6th, and 7th
- 2025 Tiji Festival Date – May 24th, 25th, and 26th
Tiji festival will be celebrated for 3 days in the kingdom of the Upper Mustang Lomanthang Village. Each day the monks will perform various dance forms to track down the devil away from the region. And all these dance forms represent different aspects of the celebration and it’s very significant to do accordingly. Otherwise, they believe that this region has to face a catastrophe in that year.
Usually, the Tiji Festival in Upper Mustang is celebrated during the summer season between May and June. So the Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trip is one of the best summer treks in Nepal. The summer season is not a good time to do other trekking such as Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Langtang Valley, etc. Do you want to see the Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Photos before you plan to visit the Mustang for the Tiji Festival?
Day-by-day performance of the Mustang Tiji Festival
On the first day of the Tiji Festival
On the first day of the Tiji Festival, there is a dance performance and that is called Tsa Chham. This ceremony begins with the praying ceremony at the Chhode Monastery. Afterward, all the monks gather together with their ceremonial equipment to start the festival. Then a huge Thanka (Painting) will roll down on the wall of King Palace Square. After all, these ceremony monk performs their traditional dance
On the second day of the Tiji Festival
Like, On the first day, and the second day, the Lama performs their traditional dance, and the second day’s dance form is called Nga Chham. It is all about the birth of Dorje Sannu (The protector of Mustang) the son of the demon who wants to destroy Mustang. And on this day local people will gather there, in their traditional dress, and even the King of the Mustang and other VIP persons gathered there, in their traditional attire. This will add extra beauty to the Mustang Tiji Festival
On the third day of the Tiji Festival
Again the Monk dance performance continues and it is all about the destruction of the demons and reinstating the region to the Lord Buddha from the devil’s hand. Today there will be a Dummy of the devil and monks will take that Dummy in a direction to destroy by fire. During this final ceremony, so many people from the whole Mustang region will gather. And the VIPs of Mustang will take part to see that last day’s performance.
Require permits for the Tiji Festival Trek to Lomanthang.
Upper Mustang Trek is one of the restricted trekking routes in Nepal. And Tiji festival will be celebrated in Upper Mustang; therefore you need to purchase a special permit and normal ACAP. (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit)
The special permit will cost per person USD 500 and it’s just for 10 days only. After 10 days need to add USD 50 per day per person. On the other hand, a normal Annapurna Conservation Area Permit will cost USD 30 for unlimited days. But you need to mention how many days and which trek you want to do.
To do the Tiji Festival Trek, a license-holder trekking guide is mandatory and requires a minimum of two persons to issue the special trekking permit. The special permit is only issued by registered trekking companies. So that you have to choose the organized trekking style, not the individual.
Obtain the Upper Mustang Trek permit, essential to have the original passport. With the details of the Nepal visa such as the visa issue date, arrival date, and expiration date. And required to apply for permits online. The same documents are required for the normal ACAP permit and two passport-size photos.
Tiji Festival Trek Itinerary
|May 1, 2024||Day 1||Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2810M)|
|May 2, 2024||Day 2||Kagbeni to Chaile (3050M)|
|May 3, 2024||Day 3||Chaile to Syangbochen (3850M)|
|May 4, 2024||Day 4||Syangbochen to Tsarang (3560M)|
|May 5, 2024||Day 5||Tsarang to Lomanthang (3810M) and observe day 1 of the Tiji Festival|
|May 6, 2024||Day 6||Observe the second day of the Tiji Festival|
|May 7, 2024||Day 7||Observe the third day of the Tiji Festival|
|May 8, 2024||Day 9||Lomanthang to Dhakmar (3820M)|
|May 9, 2024||Day 10||Dhakmar to Syangbochen|
|May 10, 2024||Day 11||Samar to Chhusang (2980M)via Chunsi Cave|
|May 11, 2024||Day 12||Chhusang to Jomsom (2720M)|
|May 12, 2024||Day 13||Fly or Drive back to Pokhara (850M)|
Also, this trip can be done by Jeep or Bike, Jeep and Bike trip will be shorter than a normal walking trip. For the details jeep or bike trip, you can click here. If you have more days and want to explore more parts of Upper Mustang you can add Yara, Ghara, and Tangbe.
Food and drinking water during the Tiji Festival Trek
The Upper Mustang Region is slowly becoming more and more commercial after connecting roads to Pokhara and Kathmandu. After the highway road, the influence of the hustle and bustle is getting in the area. And forgetting the natural and traditional of the Mustang by the people of Mustang. This is good for local people’s lifestyle however it’s not good for tourism and tourism-related business.
Culturally rich this region has unique foods and beverages that are available. Due to commercialization nowadays there are available Western, American, Chinese, and Indian menus in every hotel and guest house. So that as trekkers you can test the local food as well as your types of cousins. So that regarding food while you are doing Tiji Festival Trek no need to worry.
Naturally beautiful this area has many streams, waterfalls, rivers, and sources of water. International travelers should drink purified water because usually, they usually drink different types of water than water in the mountains. So that if you are traveling to Mustang for Mustang Trek you should take some things to purify water. Such as water-purifying tablets or tools. Also, there is available of purifying mineral water in a plastic bottle.
Activities to do while staying in Lomanthang 3 days for the Tiji Festival
Lomanthang is the kingdom of the upper Mustang and while staying here you can do a lot of things. Because from here you can explore many places as well as inside the walled city too. Normally people will spend two nights here but I suggest to stay more one more night to explore more beautiful places nearby. This place has become a bit commercial because of the road connection with Pokhara and Kathmandu. Staying one more night here means you can explore the more remote village nearby Lomanthang.
Explore the ancient monasteries
Inside the Lomanthang there are three major monasteries and those are very ancient too. However, nowadays renovations are going on in one of the monasteries. Visiting those aged Buddhist Shirin will give you the value and importance of the Buddhist religion in Mustang. Also, these monasteries are proof of the history of the Upper Mustang.
The first one is the Dragkar Thegchen Ling Gompa and this is the one where you have to buy an entry ticket to the monasteries. The first ancient monastery is Chode Gompa and the second one to visit is Jampa Monastery. And then they might last one is the Thupchen Monastery. It’s believed that these monasteries were built between the 13th to 14th centuries.
Visit Chhoser Village and China border
Most of the trekkers who do the Upper Mustang Trek will observe the Chhoser Village. In the Chooser village, there are many fascinating things to see such as ancient caves, stupas, cave monasteries, and the lifestyle of the local people.
Generally, trekkers don’t go to the China border but I recommend you to visit there too. Because you can see the reality between the Nepal and China border. Normally, the Tiji festival celebration will take part after lunch so that before lunch you can visit these places. But explore these places before lunch you have to travel by Jeep.
Buy souvenirs for your friends and family at Lomanthang
While you waiting to start the festival and have nothing to do then you can go shopping there. Because many street shops will sell special Mustang items that are mostly souvenirs. Such as bracelets, necklaces, and other jewelry for men and women.
Also, you can buy the Thank painting, Thank is a Buddhist symbolic painting where various types of paintings can be found. Thanks are mostly dedicated to the Buddhist God and goddess and Mandala. Mandala Painting is the formula of the meditation discovered by the great Dalai Lama.
The Tibetan costumes are also available to purchase and those clothes are pure and original versions. The markets like Kathmandu and Pokhara have copied ones and modern style. In Mustang clothes are made from sheep wool, and yak wool, and are mostly handmade.
Walk around the village and drink coffee
Lomanthang is quite an impressive and walled village. Most of the residents are inside the wall so walking inside the village stands an opportunity to observe the lifestyle of the local people. And nowadays there are good coffee shops where you can drink a cup of good coffee and eat some bakery items.
While walking you can talk with the people sitting near the Royal Palace and understand their culture and tradition. And taking some good-quality portrait photos of the local people. My request is that before taking the photo please ask them, can I take your photo?
In the end,
Tiji Festival is one of the oldest celebrations that take place in the upper part of the Mustang. Each year it will commemorate for three days at the Lomanthang. During this festival, thousands of local people and hundreds of foreigners will be in Lomanthang. The main purpose of the celebration of this festival is the clear all the bad and bring peace and prosperity to the whole region. As it will take place just before the harvest season of the entire upper Mustang region.
If you want to make this adventure trip to Lomanthang for the Tiji Festival, you can contact me. As a trekking and tour guide, I can organize the Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trek for you and your travel partner.