Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trek

17 Days

One of our favorite festival tours and treks is the Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trek, and we’d be happy to show you around this beautiful part of Nepal.

A priceless cultural artifact from Nepal is the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang. Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is well-known for its stunning contrasts in landscape, because to its location between two mountain ranges. A dry landscape characterized by barren hills, majestic views of snow-capped mountains, and vibrant foliage at all times of the year. It becomes a verdant verdant green during harvest time and a vermilion red in the fall.

This Festival is celebrated here by locals and socialites, as well as a few hundred visitors from other countries. Plan your trip to coincide with the festival to fully experience a culture that has stood the test of time on the ‘Plan of Aspirations,’ surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery.

“Ten che,” meaning “the hope of Buddha Dharma,” is the root of the term tiji. Three days of Tibetan ceremonies culminate in the spring festival, which celebrates the legend of a son who swore to protect the Mustang kingdom from impending doom. The event begins in the third month of the Tibetan calendar. A lack of water, brought about by the devil father, brings about a cascade of catastrophes, including starvation and the slaughter of many animals. In the end, Dorje Jono vanquishes the demon and casts him out of the realm and the people.

At the conclusion of the dry winter/spring season and the beginning of the wetter monsoon season, the symbolic rite of cleansing the kingdom takes place during the Mustang tiji festival walk. To drive off the town’s bad spirits, the monk makes an offering of naked grain, butter, and yak hair, which is then stabbed and burnt. Because to the high number of tour groups attending the Tiji Festival Mustang, lodging and camping options are limited.

“Choedhe” Monastery

The “Choedhe” monastery monks of Lo-Manthang conduct ceremonial dances as part of this three-day festival journey. The first day, there is a dance called “Tsa Chham” that depicts the harassment of Ma Tam Ru Ta. Second day, there is a dance called “Nga Chham” that depicts the birth of Dorjee Sonnu as the son of the demon. Third and last day, there is an effort to return the demon to the domain of Lord Buddha. People of all ages gather in the city center for a cultural event every night to see performances of dancing and singing.

Your Upper Mustang Tiji Festival itinerary will include stops to Choedey Monastery, Jampa Lhakhang, Thubchen Lhakhang, Tashi Lhundupling Palace, Amchi Museum, Dzong Phug, Nub Phug Ling, Gar Phug Gonpa, and many more must-see attractions.

A recognized trekking agency is required to give specific permits to trekkers in order to protect the ecosystem. Extending permits for loops accessible from Lo-Monthang should be inquired about by experienced hikers. The first ten days’ worth of permits costs $500 per person, and each every day after that costs $50.

Winter: GyangKorto (Crop Festival) in early March, Loshar or Chhongo (Tibetan New Year) in Falgun, February or March, and other religious and cultural events;

May: Tharpitharchyang (Celebration of Elders), Dhajyang (Archery Festival), and Tiji (Effigy to ward off bad spirits and Lama Dance)—all held in the spring.

Yartung, a harvest festival and horse race held in Bhadra in August or September, is a summertime event;

September: Degyap (Worship for global peace by Jhong, Tharkot, and Kagbeni Lamas) and Bhadan Fair (Comedy and cultural satire—no set date).


As the adventure beckons and the allure of Mustang grows stronger, don’t hesitate. Join Glance Tours and Treks as we set forth on this transformative journey. Let’s immerse ourselves in vibrant traditions, awe-inspiring landscapes, and captivating stories. Together, we will delve into the heart of Mustang, unraveling its mysteries, celebrating its culture, and forging memories that will forever shine brightly in our hearts.

Trip Highlights

  • Immerse in vibrant Tiji Festival traditions.
  • Explore breathtaking landscapes of Mustang.
  • Engage with local communities.
  • Unforgettable cultural treks await.
  • Expert guidance from Glance Tours.
  • Experience the enchantment of Mustang.
  • Witness traditional music performances.
  • Marvel at captivating mask dances.
  • Connect with spirituality and heritage.
  • Create lifelong memories in Mustang.

Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trek Itinerary

Arriving in Kathmandu and Jomsom by air is a remarkable experience as the majestic Himalayas stretch out before you. Your aircraft will arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) at an altitude of 1350 meters. Afterward, you will need to secure a Nepal entry visa, which may be acquired in advance or upon arrival. The visa procedure at Kathmandu TIA typically takes around 45 minutes, however the duration may vary depending on the line size. To get information on the entrance visa for Nepal, please visit the official website of the Department of Immigration Nepal. Upon exiting the gate, you will encounter our representative who will be carrying a sign with the firm name. The representative greets you by presenting a Tibetan scarf and arranges for your transportation to the hotel in a private vehicle. Attend a briefing on the trek and then get an invitation to join a host family for a welcome supper.
[Complimentary meals: Beverage upon arrival]
Stay in hotel overnight

We departed for Pokhara in the early morning. Starting from Kathmandu, we go down the Prithvi Highway which takes us to Galchi and Mugling Bazaar. Following a six-hour trip, we arrived in Pokhara, situated at an elevation of 823 meters. Pokhara is Nepal's second most populous city, behind Kathmandu. It has a multitude of lakes and caverns. The prominent peaks seen from Pokhara are Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I, and Manaslu. It provides a comprehensive view of the natural and cultural surroundings.
The meals provided are limited to breakfast alone.
Stay in hotel overnight

Jomsom is our destination. From the aircraft, we can see the Annapurna Ranges, which include Fishtail Mountain and Mt. Dhaulagiri, as well as other famous peaks. As we climb higher towards the northern side, we will notice the noticeable changes in the landscape. Arriving at Jomsom Airport will be greeted by chilly temperatures after a 30-minute journey. Upon rejoining with the remaining trekking personnel, we continue our journey to Kabeni via the Kali Gandaki valley. Walking counterclockwise, we shall take in the breathtaking panorama of Tukche peak, Mount Nilgiri, and Mount Dhaulagiri. about three to four hours into the trek, the entrance to a restricted region of Lo-Manthang (Kagbeni).
All meals are included: lunch and dinner.
Keepsake teahouse overnight

Our trial starts on the eastern bank of the Kali Gandaki river, accompanied by a breathtaking dawn. During our expedition over the elevated peaks, we will have the opportunity to see a number of extraordinary caves and the Gompa Kang situated on the western bank of the Kali Gandaki River. We soon reach the charming Tangbe town, passing past a trio of black, white, and red Chorten that symbolize the Upper Mustang. The town is a complex network of small passageways nestled between whitewashed dwellings, including fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat, and apple orchards. The vista of Mt Nilgiri on the southern section of the skyline is clearly visible. Chugsang, a customary hamlet, is located at the junction of the Kali Gandaki River and Narshing Khola, only thirty minutes away from Tangbe. Tetang, located beside the Narshing Khola, is home to a Gompa and a salt mine. Upon across the Chugsang river, a magnificent view of a crimson weathered cavern unfolds before us. The expansive Kali Gandi valley eventually becomes narrower, revealing more contemplative caverns along the towering rock. At this point, there is a tunnel through which the Kaligadaki river flows out under the steel bridge. We continue our ascent on a steep gully track until we reach Chele. Chile is renowned for its picturesque communities that provide luxurious accommodations.
The meals provided are lunch and dinner.
Stay in a teahouse for one night.

The next adventure starts with an ascent up an unstable and rocky incline, followed by a gradual decrease in steepness. From Chele, we are afforded a magnificent view of Gyakar hamlet, with its fields enclosed by a stone wall coated in mud. The settlement is situated far away, on the other side of a wide canyon. The challenge continues in ascending the lengthy, steep, devoid of trees and water stretch at the pass. Following a lengthy descent, you will come across many chortens before reaching Samar Village. This location serves as a resting place for all travelers and horse caravans, including facilities such as horse stables and camping areas. After ascending over the summer town, we go to the crest. Eventually, we descend through a dense forest of juniper trees and arrive in Bhena. The route ascends gradually into Yamada, then continues to ascend across many peaks before descending, offering a breathtaking panoramic picture of the region as it enters Sangpoche. We will ascend slightly to a mountain pass and then descend into another valley. In the valley, there is a crossroads where a trail splits. The trail on the left continues to Nyi la, passing through Gelling and descending to the picturesque settlement of Gelling.

Following a delightful and gradual descent from the Nyi La mountain, we will reach a crossroads after around thirty minutes. The right trail provides a straight path to Charang, while the left trail leads to Ghami. The Charang trial reaches the Tangmar Chu River and crosses the steel bridge located there. During the ascent, one can witness the long, extended red wall known as Mani, which happens to be the longest Mani wall in Nepal. The crimson-hued precipice situated in the northeastern vicinity of the Mani wall offers a breathtaking view, adorned with exquisitely weathered formations. Another ascent is required before the roads gradually drop into Charang settlement.
The meals provided include breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Stay in a teahouse for one night.

The beginning of our trek is a gradual incline, followed by more steep ascents over a rocky route that leads to the cairn located on hills across from the Charang settlement. Additionally, we ascend in the northern direction, traversing past the immense solitary chorten that serves as a demarcation point between Tsarang and Lo-Manthang. Next, the route across the creek and crosses a desert-like environment characterized by shades of gray and yellow. While traveling near Lo la (pass), one can see a massive precipice adorned with several caverns on its right side. During the trial, one might sometimes reach a point called Lo la, which offers a magnificent view over the Lo-Manthang city and the surrounding villages. The muddy trail descends from the Lo La reaches to the creek and ascends to the Lo-Manthang plateau, offering a magnificent view of the colossal wall that surrounds the city. The primary access point to the fortified city is located on the northeastern flank. The fortified city encompasses the five-storied royal palace and three vast monasteries. The Himalayan Amchi Museum and nearby residences.
The meals provided include breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Stay in a teahouse for one night.

During the next three days, you will participate in the ceremonial traditions of the Jiji festival. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to visit the following prominent tourist destinations:

The Choedey Monastery, situated in the northwestern section of the walled city, serves as the primary Gompa in the area. This Gompa encompasses many monastic activities such as Buddhist text education, Buddhist ritual execution, and instruction in Buddhist philosophy, among others. Additionally, it is responsible for the conservation of Buddhist antique thanka paintings, valuable religious texts, and historical monastery artifacts. This monastery is affiliated with the Igor Sakya lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. In the 17th century, King Sabdung Rapten summoned his religious instructor Jamgong Ngawang Kunga Sonam to Lo-Manthag. During his stay at the Choedey Monastery in Lo Manthang, Jamgong Ngawang Kunga Sonam developed the famed Tiji celebrations, which include ceremonial dances performed by the Lama. The monastery also has a museum that showcases an extensive collection of old paintings, sculptures, scriptures, and copper artifacts pertaining to the ancient culture of Lo-Manthang and the whole Lo kingdom.

The Jampa Lhakhang monastery is situated in the Jampa Thang region, which is part of the city of Lo-Manthang. The Buddhist temple located inside the Walled city is the most ancient, with its construction dating back to the years 1447 and 1449. The monastery was constructed by Agon Zangpo, the son of King Ama Pal, and was dedicated by Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo, the founder of the Ngor sub-school, on his third visit to Lo-Manthang. The complex is a three-story building adorned with Mandala paintings on the walls, showcasing the exceptional artistry of renowned painters from Kathmandu and Dolpo. The temple showcases the Newari art and architecture via its courtyard and wall murals. This temple is also affiliated with the Ngor clan of the Sakyapa school of Tibetan Buddhism. The temple is often referred to as Maitreya Bihar because to the presence of the seat of the Maitreya Buddha, who is the future Buddha.

Thubchen Lhakhang is a prominent temple in the city of Lo Manthang, situated southwest of Jampa Lhakhang. The temple is a single-story structure supported by 49 meticulously adorned columns. The construction of this monastery took place in 1470, during the reign of the 3rd monarch of Lo-Manthang, Tashi Gon. The temple's artworks, texts, and sculptures exhibit a significant influence of Newari art. The hall is of considerable size and has a dominant reddish hue. It is adorned with excellent murals depicting the Kalachakra and different Mantras, which are prominently displayed on the walls. The temple also showcases ancient wooden carvings. The Lhakhang has a spacious hall and many tiny chambers to facilitate a big assembly of Lamas for the ceremonial activities conducted during the occasion. Additionally, it conducts regular religious rituals inside the temple premises. This temple offers a distinct fusion of palpable and invisible cultural elements.

The Tashi Lhundupling Palace serves as the primary residence of the monarch of Lo Manthang, however there are several more palaces scattered around the province. The construction of this palace was commissioned by Ama Pal, the inaugural ruler of Lo-Manthang, in the year 1440 AD, after the establishment of the autonomous kingdom apart from the larger kingdom of Ngari. Prior to the erection of this palace, the capital city of Lo was located at Tsarang. Subsequently, the capital was relocated to Lo-Manthang and the Tashi Lhundupling Palace was built. The architectural design of the palace building closely resembles that of the surrounding residences, with a two-story rectangular form with a white mud-colored exterior. However, the palace structure stands out due to its five stories and a roof adorned with black mud, symbolizing its status as a palace. The royal family occupies the fifth story, while the fourth floor is designated for the storage of religious texts, pictures, and other related objects. The fourth story is furthermore used during the renowned Teji celebrations. The palace structure is adorned with expansive windows and oriented towards the east. The Tashi Lhundupling Palace has great significance for both Lo-Manthang and the whole region of Lo, as it serves as a symbol of the distinct cultural history of Lo.

The Amchi Museum has a comprehensive collection of Tibetan Medicinal Herbs sourced from the Himalayan region. The museum also showcases the traditional approach to treating ailments using specialized procedures that have been passed down through generations. Amchi Gyatso founded this museum in 2008 with the goal of preserving ancient medicinal treatments that provide patients a unique and side-effect-free therapy. The Tibetan medical therapy is thought to have originated from the teachings of the Medicinal Buddha, shown holding the fruit of aura on his right-hand side. This therapeutic approach primarily emphasizes the spiritual aspects of individuals in the process of healing any sickness. The medication is also being prepared using the appropriate ceremonial procedure. The inhabitants of the Himalayas have a long-standing tradition of associating every activity with religion. Nevertheless, visitors have the opportunity to undergo the distinctive ancient therapeutic approach offered by this institution.

The Dzong Phug Cave is a prominent cultural heritage site in the settlement of Chhoser. The word Dzong Phug refers to a cave that is often known as a "fort cave". The cave exhibits remnants of an ancient society that existed around 25,000 years ago. The creation of the cave-based habitation may be inferred as a means of safeguarding against other tribes. Local inhabitants have developed their own mythology and narratives around it. The living space inside the cave is equivalent in height to a five-story structure, which can be easily deduced by studying the openings on the outside of the cave. The cave has over 40 meticulously crafted cottages, each serving a specific function such as a bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom. The residue of the smoke lingers on the wall and ceiling. Each level of the cave is equipped with a lengthy hallway, and the floors are interconnected by a ladder to facilitate vertical movement. The cave's apertures, functioning as windows, provide a breathtaking panorama of Chhoser and the neighboring settlement, together with their surrounding terrain. The local Youth club of Chhoser village is responsible for overseeing the administration of the cave activities.

The Nub Phug Ling monastery is a prominent cultural heritage site in the Chhoser village. The architecture of the monastery distinguishes it from other monasteries in the vicinity. The title "Nub Phug" translates to "west cave," referring to the location of the monastery on the western side of the cave in Chhoser hamlet. The monastery is partly built using the cave as its foundation, while the other half is erected as a building construction. The entrance to the monastery is accessed by a staircase that ascends directly, providing a breathtaking perspective of the lovely surroundings. Within the monastery, one may see the Mandala murals and the multitude of Buddha figures, which regrettably suffer from a state of deterioration owing to inadequate conservation measures. The floral embellishments adorning the Mandala paintings on the ceiling are indicative of the artistic style prevalent throughout the 12th and 13th centuries. The wall paintings are executed in two separate styles, depending on the kind of wall - either cave or mud - which may be easily seen. However, the Nub Phug Ling monastery exemplifies the progressive evolution of art in human civilization via its comprehensive perspective.

Gar Phug Gonpa is a religious monastery in Chhoser village that has significant historical and cultural value. The building of the monastery was carried out by a succession of Lamas. The monastery's scripture states that it was first constructed by Lama Siji Gyatso, who originated from the Kham region of Tibet during the 17th century. Later, the third Lama Rigzin Tsewang Norbu finished it when King Tenzin Wangyal of LoManthang was in power. The monastery had a comprehensive reconstruction and was also relocated from its original position under the tenure of Lama Tenzin Nurbu. Formerly, the monastery was affiliated with the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and it now maintains connections with both the Kagyu and Nyingmapa schools. The inside of the monastery is adorned with art, architecture, and sculpture from many historical periods. The sculptures discovered at this location may be accurately attributed to the 12th or 13th century. The sculptures of Buddha in this Gomba exemplify the Newari style. The physical structures of the building and the paintings can only be dated back to a period of 180 to 200 years.
[Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]
Stay in a teahouse for one night.

Having a lasting impression of Lo-Manthang, we go back to the southwest, bypassing the path to Tsarang that descends towards the south. We traverse the path that passes through the fields of Lo-Manthang city, following the course of the irrigated canal. The trial to Lo Gekar is not the primary trade route, since it traverses an ambiguous path created by herders, resulting in a complex network of intersecting trails on the hills. We must go directly to the cairn of a mountain crossing, which offers a last view of Lo Manthang. The route ascends along the ridges, leading to another large cairn marking the pass. Continuing to climb, we will reach the highest peak of the walk, Cho Go La, which stands at an elevation of 4270 meters. Next, we will go into the grassy valley where challenges lead to a lengthy ridge. Additionally, we will descend from a steep gully and reach Charang Khola. After passed many Chorten, we will arrive at Ghar Gompa. Following our visit to the Gompa, which dates back to the 8th century and is the oldest Gompa in the whole Himalayan region, including Tibet, we ascend the ridges to across the pass. From there, we reach the alpine meadow and descend steeply into a gully that is shadowed at its peak with a vibrant red hue. According to legend, there is a belief that the crimson tint on a cliff is really the blood of an Ogress who was defeated by Guru Rinpoche. Our trek will soon lead us to the picturesque hamlet of Drakmar.
[Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]
Stay at a teahouse overnight

We start our trip among the breathtaking scenery, enhanced by the radiant morning dawn. Our path descends beside the flowing stream, traversing past the sturdy stone walls and the expansive fields of Drakmar. The route ascends the hill to reach the chorten, then descends to a second stream. After a little ascent, we continue following the track until we reach Ghami la, which runs parallel to Nyi la. To reach the Gelling valley, descend the steep route while bypassing the Gelling settlement. Then, gradually descend into the Chungar, a prominent structure that serves as a big Chorten, as well as a residence and camping area. The route traverses the Mani wall and the three characteristic residences of Tama Gaon, before descending into the rocky canyon towards the stream and ascending into the Shyangboche La. Prior to reuniting with the Gelling trail, we will see a massive painted Chorten. We conclude our day's walk by descending the Shyangboche la and arriving at the town of Shyangboche.
The meals provided include breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Stay in a teahouse for one night.

Our walk begins after breakfast as we follow the same uphill path back via Yamdo and Bhena to Samar. We will delight in the descending path that has less inclines. The journey from Samar to Chele takes around one hour, and there is an additional hour of travel along the bank of the Kali Gandaki River.
The meals included are breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Stay in a teahouse for one night.

Starting from Kagbeni, we will return to Pokhara by air and then proceed to Kathmandu the next day by driving along the Prithvi Highway. During the trip, we will have the opportunity to see the rural landscapes, which are characterized by abundant flora and fast-flowing rivers. The journey promises to be enjoyable and exciting. The journey back to Kathmandu by car typically takes around 6 hours. Upon arrival, our agent will facilitate your journey to the hotel. You have the option to use the remaining time by engaging in leisure activities or purchasing presents and mementos.
[Meals provided: In Kathmandu]
Stay in hotel overnight

A GTT representative will provide transportation for you to the airport in a private car.
The meals provided are limited to breakfast alone.

Included and Not Included in Tiji Festival Mustang Treks

Cost Includes

  • Trek with an English speaking govt licensed trekking guide
  • 1 porter (betn two clients) to carry your luggage during the trek (max 24 kg; i.e. 12kg pP)
  • Accommodation during the trek in carefully selected teahouses as per the itinerary
  • Fight ticket (from PKR-Jomsom-PKR, tourist bus ticket from KTM-PKR-KTM)
  • Duffel bag and trekking map
  • Trekkers Information Management System [TIMS] registration card
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit
  • Necessary paper works, all government, and local taxes
  • Farewell dinner in Kathmandu by the host family at Typical Nepali Cultural Restaurant
  • First aid medical kit, oxymeters to check pulse, heart rate & oxygen saturation carried by guide

Cost Excludes

  • International Airfare to and from your country
  • Nepal visa (USD 25 for 15 days and USD 40 for 30 days, two passport photographs required). For the further more information, have visit Nepal Immigration Department official website.
  • Insurance - Following stated things must be submit while you do trips through (GTT)
  • You must submit copy of your insurance certificate included standard policies that covers trekking activities up to 5000m
  • Your Insuarnce policy must cover accidents, medical expenses, and emergency evacuation including helicopter rescue upto 5000m and it is excluded in the trip price
  • At the time of you do Insurance you should read the policy carefully whether your requirements are included or not
  • GTT also recommends your insurance policy covers cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects
  • Any alcoholic beverages, cold drinks and boiled water as well as snacks, deserts etc. during the trek
  • Tipping is a culture in Nepal and is expected by your staff (guides, porters, drivers)
  • Hot shower, wifi, battery charges (available at extra cost in lodges, sometimes free)
  • Unforeseen expenses not under our control such as flight cancellations or delays, weather-related issues, illness during the trek, rescue costs, etc
  • Any other costs not specifically included. Please feel free to ask if in doubt

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trek

Trip Facts: Tiji Festival Mustang Treks

  • Kathmandu
  • Tribhuvan International Airport
  • Private
  • Private vehicle
  • 4,500 meters (14,800 feet)
  • 5-9 Hours
  • Kathmandu