Tiji Festival is an age old tradition being carried out in the Upper Mustang region since a long time ago. Circulated around the Tiji myth, this festival is popular, not only among the inhabitants of the Upper Mustang region, but is gaining worldwide recognition among tourists all over the world. Amalgamated with the exquisitely mystical Upper Mustang Trek, the Tiji Festival can be observed with full flair during the month of May every year three day tradition.
Lo Manthang is the capital of this truly unique region embedded in Nepal, but isolated completely in terms of traditions and cultures from the rest of the world. Untouched by the realms of urbanization and modernization, trekking the area requires special permit from a registered trekking agency. This dry arid region is usually devoid of rain and the Tiji Festival is carried out to save the land from going completely dry in the dry season and to evoke the gods to make it rain.
According to the Tiji myth, a demon, the father of the deity Dorje Jano wreaked havoc in the dry area of Mustang by creating a dire scarcity of water. Dorje Jano sacrificed the love of his father and performed various rituals, finally defeating the demon and banishing him from the kingdom. The Tiji festival is the reenactment of the same myth and is a three day ritual.
The festival was believed to have been started around the time when Buddhist teacher Lowo Kenchen resided in Lo Manthang. The festival eventually lost its charm and was revived after the visit of Ngachen Ngawang Kunga Sonam a Skayapa master from Tibet who performed masked dances to chase away the demons. Since then the Tiji festival has been celebrated with full glory and has managed to attract the attention of visitors from all around the world. Tiji Festival 2016 will be no different and will be an excellent opportunity to observe the unique, extraordinary activities carried out in the mystical Lo Manthang.
The blowing of cymbals, drums and horns marks the announcement of the commencement of the festival. An enormous Thanka is rolled down the south wall of the main square. This is followed by the masked dances which are considered crucial to chase away the demons. The second day is the day for a huge treat as the King as well as the common residents gather and eat together. The ceremonial destruction of the remnants of the evil demon and the burning down of the dummy of the demon are the activities carried out on the third day.
To reach the Lo Manthang arrival in Kathmandu on 5th May 2016 is necessary. From here trekkers will drive to Pokhara, fly to Jomsom and trek through Kagbeni, Chele, Gilling, Dakmar, Tsaranag and reach Lo Manthang on 14th May. After observing the three day exclusive ritual, trekkers can retrace the same path or trek through Yara, Tange, Tetang, Muktinath and finally to Jomsom.
The Tiji festival is a never seen before, unique tradition, a sight to behold and to remember for the rest of one’s life. So, observing the Tiji Festival 2016 is highly recommended for anybody who wishes to trek across the mystically beautiful regions of Nepal.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1350 m)
Day 02: Leisure day and trek preparation.
Day 03:: Kathmandu – Pokhara (920 m) 6h00 drive.
Day 04: Pokhara – Jomsom – Kagbeni (2870 m) 20 min. by plane 3h00 walk.
Day 05: Kagbeni – Chele (3050 m) 6h00 walk.
Day 06: Chele – Geling (3806 m) 6h00 walk.
Day 07: Geling – Charang (3,500 m) 6h00 walk
Day 08:: Charang – Lomangthang (3,700 m) 5h00 walk.
Day 09: Lo – Mangthang(1st day Puja)
Day 10: Tiji Festival in Lo-mangthang (2nd day).
Day 11: Tiji Festival in Lo-mangthang (3rd day)
Day 12: Tiji Festival in Lo-mangthang (4th day)
Day 13: Lo – Mangthang – Ghami (3,520 m) 6h00 walk.
Day 14: Ghami – Samar (3,150 m) 6h00 walk
Day 15: Samar – Kagbeni (2870 m)
Day 16: Kagbeni – Jomsom (2800 m) 3h00 walk.
Day 17: Jomsom – Pokhara
Day 18: Pokhara – Kathmandu by plane
Day 19: Free day in Kathmandu
Day 20: Final departure
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