Tiji Festival is one the of most popular festivals of Nepal and most auspicious festival celebrated in the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang. The Tiji festival dances are all organized by the Choedhe Monastery, which belongs to the Sakya sect of Buddhism. The monastery is headed by a Rimpoche. About 65 monks from Lo Manthang, Nhenyul and Chhosyer reside in this monastery.
Tiji is a fascinating annual three-day festival consisting of Tibetan rituals that celebrate the myth of a son who had to save the Mustang kingdom from destruction. The festival is indigenous to Lo Manthang, Upper Mustang. Masked dancers, ethnic costumes, rhythmic drums, monk’s chanting and delicious Nepalese-Tibetan cuisine – The Tiji festival is an exciting jackpot for travellers looking to experience authentic rituals and ancient traditions.
Tiji is an abbreviation of the words Tempa Chirim means “prayer for world peace”. Packed with many a Tibetan tradition the Tiji festival celebrates the victory of Dorjee Sonnu, an incarnation of Lord Buddha, over a demon that caused storms, and draughts and fed on human beings.
The three-day auspicious event commemorating the victory of good over evil is a huge cultural fest attended by locals and foreigners from all around the world. The festival is an intriguing cultural experience and a clear look into the artistic expression of religion.
The monks from the Lo Manthang’s “Choedhe” monastery customarily perform ritualistic dances and enactments during all three days of the festival. Each day’s performance is a progression of the mythological story of Dorjee Sonnu, starting as a peaceful, meditative dance and then ending with big destruction of negativity.
How they celebrate Tiji Festival
On the first day, the monks perform a dance called Tsa Chaam. This tells the story of the birth of Dorji Sonam, a reincarnated Buddha, to a demon. This demon harassed the kingdom of Mustang and brought havoc to the country. You can witness the monks acting out the demon’s harassment of the people of Mustang.
On the second day, the monks perform Nga Cham, during which Dorjee Sonam tries to return the demon to the realm of the Buddha.
On the third and final day of the festival, the Rha Chham dance takes place. During this, Dorjee Sonam triumphs over the evil demon and banishes him from Mustang.
Reason to love this trip.
- Your trip starts from the capital buzzing city of Kathmandu.
- Trek into the kingdom of Lo-Manthang
- Explore 10 thousand year old caves in the hills of Upper Mustang.
- Learn about the Buddhist practises and way of life about Upper Mustang.
- Experience once a year celebrated 3 day Tiji festival.
- Accomplish one of the greatest festival adventure.
- Less tourist compared to Everest region and Annapurna base camp.
Permits and Cost for Upper Mustang
Trekking in the restricted region of Upper Mustang requires a special permit. One must book the trip with a licensed trek agency to obtain a special permit. A minimum of 2 trekkers and a maximum of 15 trekkers can participate in a trek.
The special permit to enter Upper Mustang costs USD 500 per trekker for the first ten days. Each additional day costs USD 50. Besides the special permit, one must also obtain the ACAP permit. The ACAP permit costs around USD 30 per person.
Experienced trek guides and porters often accompany the trek to Upper Mustang. Taking a trekking guide along is a must because of the strict policy maintained by the Nepal Government. Individual trekkers are not allowed to trek in the restricted region.
How to reach Upper Mustang
To reach Upper Mustang, flight is the best option than others to save time. People can go to Upper Mustang by Kathmandu to Pokhara by flight and next Pokhara to Mustang flight by plane. There is daily flight available from Kathmandu Pokhara and Jomsom and you can do a few days 4WD jeep drives or walk to Lo Manthang.
Best time to do this Trip
Tiji Festival trek is normally celebrated in the month of May depending on the dates set according to the lunar calendar. For the year 2021 the festival date is set on 08th May to 10th May 2021. If you are looking to travel into Upper Mustang then we would be more than happy to arrange trekking for your on your preferred date. Minimum of 2 bookings required for personal inquiry. email us at – [email protected]