Exploring traditional old villages, Monasteries, eroded hills, arid and colorful windswept landscapes and mountains are the main attraction and highlights of this trip, views of world’s 7th highest Mt. Dhaulagiri 8,167 m, trekking around Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massive mountain range, dramatic variation from alpine to arctic climate temperature, an extension of Tibetan plateau, scenic flight with amazing views of world’s three highest mountains Annapurna-Dhaulagiri & Manaslu, fascinating traditional mid hills Mustang and Thakali villagers, Thakali, super mountain panorama observing breathtaking Teji Festival and its ancient walled fortress worth visiting.
Mustang Tiji Festival is set to experience for both trekking and cultural exploration. The Mustang has given best occasion to reflection of Mustangi Culture and their living. Mustang was an independent kingdom, under the rule of Ame Pal, the founder king of Lo in 1380 AD. The present royal family can trace its history 25 generations back to Ame Pal. The majority of people are native Mustange and Thakali. These people were renowned as traders through Caravan route to Tibet since the ancient time.
Mustang Tiji Festival trek starts with a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Jomsom at 2,715 m-8,907 ft. It is located on shelf just above Kaligandaki River. We follow the kaligandaki river valley in windswept land. The beautiful villages of Kagbeni, Chusang, Tshele, Ghame are superb to explore local living before reaching Lo- Manthang. The Tiji festival makes amaze to the visitors with their 3 days colorful show. Tiji festival commonly is pronounce as “Tiji”, abbreviated word from Tempa Chhirim which means prayer for world peace. Tiji honors the triumph of Buddha’s incarnation and Dhorji Sonam over a demon called Ma Tam Ru Ta, a wicked and evil man who caused storms and droughts to destroy people’s livestock. You have more to enjoy with exploring ancient Fort, Dzong the walled kingdom of Lo Manthang.
This Tiji festival happened in the month of May. The monks are getting together from the Monasteries of Mustang for the dance perfume. They perform a dance called “Tsa Chham” on the first day and “Nga Chham” on the second day of Tiji. On the third day, in the ceremony called Rha Chham occurs. The monk in the role of Dhorji Sonam throws the effigy and Tsampaa image of Ma Tam Tu Ta. A belief is that the village gets purified from the evil spirits after this event. The monks must stay in isolation for three months during winter to prepare for the role of Dhorji Sonam.
Trexmount Ventures has designed this cultural trekking to observe the Mustang Tiji Festival as well as to explore hidden social structure and enjoy outstanding scenery. There are many other attractions of the trip. Experience a different and awesome culture, local social Structure, stunning mountains views, fantastic river valley and varied landscape. Trexmount Ventures has flexible itinerary to suit into client’s interest and plan.
The return journey goes through holy Muktinath in lower Mustang regarded with a 108 spout flowing pure natural spring. Muktinath means Liberation, This is Pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhist. They have strong belief that after bathing in the 108 spout, they get liberation from the sins of one’s life. We make return journey and descends through dry windy valley of the Kaligandaki River back to Jomsom. Once again enjoy the scenic flight back to picturesque Pokhara with its serene fewa lake.
Our representative will come to the airport for transfer to the Hotel. After some refreshment in the hotel, Our Tour leader will conduct a pre departure meeting in the Hotel or at our office. The meetings will cover trip related information & collection of your Documents (passport copy, 2 passport size photos, Travel insurance).
After morning breakfast, free day for trek preparation. OR, you can do sightseeing tour in Kathmandu valley visiting its fascinating heritage and cultural sites. There are few places that are worth to visit such as holy Pashupatinath temple, Bouddhanath, Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), Durbar Squire ( in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur), Museum, monasteries, old historical Palaces and Gardens. Note: this tour is optional so you can visit with place of your interest & pay locally. (Meals:B)
At time set by our guide who accompanies you throughout this trip, depart from the hotel for an interesting drive on the busy road towards scenic Pokhara. Drive through the Himalayan foothills and green valleys. Arrive Pokhara for overnight stop in the comfort of an excellent hotel situated by the Lake Phewa. There is now time for walks around the lake side. (For people with flying option 30 minutes of scenic flight to Pokhara). (Meals:B)
After early breakfast depart for a short drive to Pokhara airport for one of the most mind blowing of flights. See vistas of towering snow capped peaks such as Annapurna, Nilgiris, Manaslu and the Dhaulagiri range. Arrive Jomsom in less than an hour. Jomsom is a large town and district headquarters of the Mustang area. It is situated on a shelf above the Kaligandaki River. The environment and houses are similar to Tibetean culture and traditions. The residents are mostly Thakali people, a prosperous tribe that deals with hotels and lodges and have been trading with Tibet for hundreds of years.
From Jomsom walk through the windswept river valley to Kagbeni. Pass the small place of Eklaibhatti towards North West. The trail meanders winding further towards Kagbeni for the overnight. Kagbeni is an interesting place and a gateway to Upper Mustang. In the afternoon explore this Tibetan like village. (Meals:B,L,D)
From Kagbeni, walk uphill towards the Upper Mustang. Walk past few shepard’s shelters and a small scattered village Cross icy streams that open up into broken red colored canyons of ruined castle walls atop the high impressive cliffs. Reach Chusang on the other side of the river. View the spectacular red eroded cliffs and inaccessible high caves. Cross a small bridge followed by an uphill walk for an hour. Arrive at Tshele for overnight stop in a nice and simple lodge with homely comfort and services. (Meals:B,L,D)
From Tshele village, climb for an hour to a ridge at 3,130 m-10,269 ft. See splendid views of Gyagar village across a huge canyon. Walk continues with a slow descend to Samar. Make a short climb above Samar village to a ridge that leads downhill to a large gorge past a red, black, yellow and white – all the colored chortens (a prayer monument) built from rocks. Walk continues to another valley with few juniper trees. Crossing a stream as the path follows uphill to a ridge at 3,800 m-12,467 ft. Climb to a small ridge pass. From here descend to Shyangmochen, a small village with few shops and inns at 3,710 m-12,172 ft.
Having a short rest here, walk continues with a gradual climb to a pass at 3,770 m-12,369 ft. Reaching a wide valley. Proceed on a downhill trail towards Geling with its large fields of barley for an overnight in a local nice homely lodge. (Meals:B,L,D)
For the morning walk from quaint Geling, make a slow climb into large fields in the center of a huge wind swept valley. See below Tamagaon village. Climbing to the top of Nyi La pass at 3,950 m-12,959 ft, the highest point of this wonderful trip.This pass is on the southern boundary of Lo area. Walk downhill mid-way to a junction, the right trail leads direct to Tsarang, while the left, to Ghami village, one major village of Lo region.
Walk continues with a drop below the blue, grey and red cliffs. Walk across a valley and over a steel bridge over the Tangmarchu River. Encounter a long climb with a wonderful and impressive stretch of Mani wall, probably one of the longest in Nepal. After a short break make the last final climb to reach the (3, 600 m-11,811 ft) ridge top. Take a gentle downhill walk to Tsarang for an overnight stay. Tsarang is an interesting village with crops fields of maze, barley, buck wheat. The only trees surviving in this arid terrain and cold climate are willow and poplars trees,. Near the village is a huge five story white Dzong and a red Gompa (monastery) standing on the edge of Kali Gandaki gorge, Tsarang village has its own electricity system. (Meals:B,L,D)
Walk downhill to cross Charangchu River. Walk up a steep uphill unto a ridge to reach at Tholung valley. From this desolate wide valley, walk north with a gradual climb as the valley floor rises to a a large chorten (prayer monument) that marks the boundary of Tsarang and Lo area. Walk to a stream and reach the ridge top at 3,850 m-12,631 ft with super views of walled village of Lo Manthang.
With the fabulous views descend to a stream, outlining the walled village of Lo Manthang and then make a short climb over the plateau reaching towards the southern wall of classic Lo Manthang.
Finally after several days of interesting scenic trekking, today reach our main highlight and destination, Lo Manthang. (Meals:B,L,D)
At Lo Manthang which is a large village / almost a town, our guide will take you to attend and witness the Teji Festival during these two days. In early days Lo Manthang was walled city. Herein find about 150 closely attached houses plus residences for lamas and priests. The palace and monasteries are located in bottom portion in a vertical section of L shaped houses.
The school, health post, police post and several important chortens are found outside the walls of north and east gate with monastic part of this large village. Despite its old looking houses of Lo Manthang, it is a prosperous village maintaining strong sense of community. The people here are known as Lobas, who are from Lo area with much similarity to Tibetans and follow a practical culture economy. In the early days a strong salt and wool trade with Tibet on the Kali Gandaki passed through Lo Manthang, thus making this village one of the wealthy of Mustang region.
The Mustang Raja’s (king) palace stands as an impressive 4 story building in the hub of Lo Mantahng. The ancient and present home of king / raja, Jigme Parbal Bista, and rani (queen) are from a noble family of Shigatse (second largest city of Tibet after Lhasa and seat of Panchen Lama). (Meals:B,L,D)
After an interesting and most fascinating time in historical, cultural Lo Manthang, walk on the same route for few hours. Then head eastward on an alternative path to reach Jomsom, starting with a steep descend to the small village of Dhi by Phuyung Khola bank.
Crossing a small wooden bridge over Phuyung Khola. Climb for few hours with views along the walk. Ending the day at Yara, a small village with Buddhist player flags welcoming its visitors. Yara is a nice interesting area to explore afternoon time with great views of snow capped peaks and surrounding picturesque landscapes. (Meals:B,L,D)
Morning at leisure. Walk for about 3 hours to Luri Gompa, a small settlement, sparsely populated. Upon reaching this mystical and fascinating area, with time tospare, visit Luri Gompa, the last cave monastery of Lo and Tibet.
History of this place with no trace or written record of Luri Gompa constructions, this monastery linked with Kagyu sects of Buddhism. The approach and art of painting proves they were done by Nepalese (Newari) artists working for Tibetan patrons.
The cave shrine dates from 13th – 14th century, the central chamber of the Gompa is carved out of the rock creating a domed ceiling on which are painted a series of Mahasidha, Sakyamuni Buddha and Chenrez figures etc, which are excellent masterpieces.
Lining the walls, fresco with series of 14th century painting, which depict India Mahasidas, a great an interesting place of Luri Gompa with afternoon free at leisure to marvel the surrounding beauty. (Meals:B,L,D)
After an interesting and fascinating time in Luri with its historical impressive phenomenal monastery, start morning walk on a high trail through grass-less and barren, arid terrain. Here experience just bare red eroded hills weathered by strong winds and snows. Walk slowly encountering a small ridge top to head downhill to Tange village at 3,370 m 11,056 ft. Tange is a moderate size village of about 30 closely attached houses. On the rooftops find piles of dry big logs and wood stored for many years as status, which reflects prosperity of the society. This is a common tradition in this arid areas of Mustang and in Tibet where wood is very scarce. (Meals:B,L,D)
Walk in a barren wilderness of red earth landscapes. The path is gentle for few hours with views of distant snow capped peaks. Head downhill to Tsusang village for overnight stop. (Meals:B,L,D)
Walk from Tsusang to Muktinath, Upper to Lower Mustang will be a last long day before Jomsom. In the morning walk on a gradual winding trail that ends in a junction where there are two routes, one to holy Muktinath, while the other to Kagbeni. Our direction takes the north east trail, passing several temporary huts and shelters of Yak herders. This high path delivers super views of Nilgiri’s peaks and Dhaulagiri range. The trail winds onto the gradual with much wider trail to Muktinath for overnight stop with an afternoon visit the holy Muktinath temple and its premises.
Muktinath, a sacred pilgrimage area where people from Nepal and India visits here to offer prayer and to find liberatation from their bad deeds. Mukti means to be free. Natural elements are displayed in miraculous form-flickering blue flames of natural methane gas burning on water. A stone and earth offering is said to have been first lighted by Brahma, the Hindu creator. This natural wonder has awed man from the beginning. Muktinath sanctity goes back into antiquity of 2,300 years ago.
This area is equally holy for Hindu and Buddhist. Around Kaligandaki and Muktinath pilgrims search for black shiny fossils called shaligram (ammonite), found in abundance around this area. (Meals:B,L,D)
After a long walk of previous day, today, the last day of trekking leading on a pleasant trek on a downhill path. Pass by Jharkot village. Walk down with a drop of (1,200 m-3,937 ft) to Kaligandaki river bed. Upon reaching the wide Kaligandaki River valley at a small place of Ekale bhatti, continue walking on the flat wide valley for few hours reaching Jomsom. Near-by is an airstrip above Kaligandaki River (planes operates daily morning schedule flight to and from Pokhara). At Jomsom enjoy the afternoon exploring the town and having the best of apple products as Mustang area is famous apples. (Meals:B,L,D)
Morning transfer to Jomsom airport for the sweeping flight to Pokhara with alluring views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri’s, Annapurna and Machhapuchare. This wonderful flight takes less than half hour to reach Pokhara, transfer to hotel with afternoon free at your leisure. (Meals:B)
Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu through the countryside, it is 210km and takes 6 hours. (Meals: B,D)
We will Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport to next port of your destination. (Meals:B)