The extraordinary journey to the isolated kingdom of Lo, hidden behind the majestic mountains of Nepal. This mystical land is characterized by its arid and rocky valleys that stretch along the border of the Tibetan plateau. Embarking on this tour promises to be once-in-a-lifetime experience, offering a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich heritage of Tibetan culture intertwined with the distinctive lifestyle of the local inhabitants.
The Tiji festival takes place in the courtyard of the Royal Palace in Lo Manthang and is held during the third month of the Tibetan calendar, usually in May. This lunar festival’s timing may vary each year. People from all walks of life, including the Mustang Royal family, locals of Lo Manthang, monks from different regions, and curious onlookers, gather together to partake in this grand celebration. The Chode monastery takes the responsibility of organizing the festival, and the monks from this monastery engage in a series of sacred rituals, dances, chants, and prayers over the course of the three-day Tiji festival. Through their performances, the monks vividly depict the triumph of good over evil, showcasing the destruction of demons in Mustang, the birth of Dorje Jono (the reincarnated), and his ultimate victory over the malevolent forces.
This tour was specifically designed by the amazing team of Global Holidays Adventure in order to coincide with the Tiji festival. The festival held in the town of Lo, lasts for three days and revolves around a symbolic battle between good and evil. During this vibrant celebration, monks dressed in colorful attire enchant spectators with their chants and dances.
Be part of the next Tiji which is 5th, 6th, & 7th of May 2024 with us and indulge yourself in the peace and beauty of Lo Manthang. You will realize how important and the amount of positive impact in living harmoniously with yourself and other sentient beings around you. Nobody can bring peace but yourself.
How we reach Lo Mangthang
Kathmandu the capital, inflight gateway to Nepal, this valley is encompassed by three stunning cities and hosts numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites. In addition to these renowned cultural treasures, the valley is also decorated with exquisite monuments, intricate artworks, sculptural masterpieces, and grand temples, showcasing the region’s rich artistic heritage.
The valley is a captivating destination, boasting remarkable historic monuments and a vibrant traditional culture, all enveloped in an atmosphere of tranquility and serenity. Often referred to as the “City of Temples,” it is home to the respected living goddess, “Kumari,” who bestows blessings upon visitors. This city, once a royal capital, showcases courtyard of palaces and mansions that have now been repurposed as governmental offices and museums, preserving their royal legacy for future generations to admire.
While our group of fellow traveler were busy admiring the old royal capital the team were busy making permit of Upper Mustang trek which is a restricted area. The original passport and visa is required in order to make permit for the restricted regions of Nepal.
Starting of Tour
We started the jeep tour for Upper Mustang from the heart of the city Thamel. It was early morning at 7, we were following the highway leading to Pokhara another amazing place surrounded by mountains. Pokhara, highly popular tourist destinations that attract a numbers of visitors. The place is an ideal choice for a weekend getaway or a longer, rejuvenating vacation. Renowned for its breathtaking views of the majestic Annapurna range, Pokhara’s gentle beauty has inspired numerous travel writers. This enchanting city is often hailed as the “jewel of the Himalayas” due to its unspoiled air, stunning backdrop of snow-capped mountains, serene blue lakes, and lush green surroundings. Serving as the gateway to the Annapurna region, trekkers find themselves captivated by the fantastical allure of this picturesque land. It comes as no surprise that the Pokhara Valley tops the list of must-visit places in Nepal.
On our way we stopped in a place just beside the river called Trishuli. The river is very popular as it’s just beside the highway and is best for adventure lovers. The river is famous for white water rafting. The level 3 rafting was thrilling experience. We all have the time of our life while enjoying the adventurous rafting activity. The raft and the people were professional everyone did their jobs perfectly.
After couple hour drive, stopping at the place we like, many viewpoints we finally reach Pokhara. Some of us were tired from the drive and the amazing rafting adventure but some of were strolling around the lake, exploring the city. Despite of everything the city never sleeps, it was lively, buzzing even it was mid night or somewhere 4 am too. Lots of tourist, local youngsters were enjoying, partying and what not. It was really amazing to see them and somewhere deep down you were part of it. May there is no word to describe Pokhara, one must experience it to know how it feels. You know some place are better to experience because every single one have a different experience in city like Pokhara. You can watch vlogs, hear story but once you are here, myan the experience.
We started the tour with crazy adventure, all of us were wondering how the rest of the day in the trip is going to be. Again early morning breakfast at hotel Barahi and jeep rally starting from Pokhara to Tatopani. We embark on a westward drive towards the town of Beni, initially traversing a well-paved road. From there, we continue along the course of the majestic Kali Gandaki River. As we progress beyond Beni, the road transitions into an off-road terrain. It is along this route that we encounter the awe-inspiring Kali Gandaki valley, renowned as the world’s deepest gorge, nestled between the towering peaks of Nilgiri (7061m) Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) and Annapurna I (8,091 m) in the Himalayas. Our drive takes us through Tatopani, a charming small town where one can partake in the rejuvenating experience of natural hot springs and immerse themselves in the vibrant local activities.
The day three of the trip, following breakfast at Hotel natural spring, a cozy yet spacious four star category hotel in the rural Nepal, Tatopani. Embarking on a scenic drive through picturesque local villages like Kalopani and Ghasa, providing an opportunity to immerse yourself in the authentic rural atmosphere. The journey continues to the enchanting Marpha Village, known for its thriving apple farming, where you can explore the orchards and savor the local produce. A visit to the vibrant Jomsom local market allows for an immersive cultural experience. The route then takes you through Kagbeni village, a charming settlement, before reaching the revered temple complex of Muktinath. Here, you can marvel at the 108 taps dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the mystical Jal Devi, where you can witness the natural phenomenon of fire lighting itself due to the presence of natural gas. It is believed that showering on 108 taps wash all your sins away. The journey further includes a visit to the town of Muktinath, an important pilgrimage site, and the Buddhist monastery in Jharkot, offering breathtaking views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and Tukuche Peaks. Finally, you will drive to Kagbeni for an overnight stay, soaking in the tranquility of this captivating village. Moving towards Muktinath is not only for exploring the place but also for acclimatization as you are gaining altitude while moving to Muktinath and we sleep at low elevation. May be that’s what I was talking about perfectly designed itinerary.
Moving to Charang begins with completing the necessary permit checks at Kagbeni. From there, we will continue our exploration, visiting monasteries that hold deep spiritual significance and a school where young monks acquire knowledge of prayers and foundational teachings. As we make our way forward, we will pass through captivating places and villages such as Chelle, Samar, and Ghiling, each offering its own unique charm and cultural insights. Finally, our route leads us to the enchanting destination of Charang, where we can immerse ourselves in its rich heritage and captivating surroundings. Day like today was something that one haven’t experienced as we were exploring and enjoying picnic too. We stop brewed coffee by our self. Sipping coffee and getting along with people that you are travelling, sharing stories was one of the amazing experience of trip.
As this is your exclusive excursion, you have the freedom to stop your Jeep at any spot that catches your eye and capture memorable photographs. Along the way, you will also encounter local farmer houses adorned with Yaks and witness the captivating sight of houses caravans. Immerse yourself in the vibrant Tibetan culture and observe the lively local activities taking place throughout the day. This personalized adventure promises to be filled with awe-inspiring scenery and opportunities to engage with the rich cultural tapestry of the region. Tomorrow we will reach Lo Mangthang.
The experience of Tiji
It was the first day of the festival, all the locals, and visitors gathered at the courtyard where monks perform their rituals. Since the festival begins at 12 in the noon we’ve decided to explore Nepal’s oldest monastery Lo-Ghar gumpa and then continue your journey to Lo Manthang.
As per historical records Tiji started in the 14th century. Actually for the people residing in Mustang region the prayer is for the seven village of Mustang as Tiji was performed in order to wave the curse of Kyirong Songa. According to locals without Tiji they feel like losing their culture and faith. Since the beginning, Tiji is performed for the protection of religion and welfare of people. The religious dance and prayers are for Lo Manthang in particular and for the rest of the world in general. Being prayer for the entire humanity and world peace, Tiji festival is gaining popularity in the world as well. Every year during May the Mustang region welcomes the visitor from all over the world.
Usually Tiji starts in 12 noon so we utilize time like tourist do. We explored caves of Choser. The Shija Jong cave of Mustang has attracted many archeologist from all over the world. The practice of sky burial is still in practice in different parts Mustang. However we did not have a chance to witness it. Few monasteries like Chode Gompa, Jampa Monastery, and Thupchen Gompa of Lo-Mangthang are the place we explored. The Tall Champed Lakhang “God house,” the red Thugchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa, and the Entrance Hall, which are this town’s main attractions, may be another choice for you to make.
Later, we enjoyed prayer and immerse our self in the activity. The monks performed cham dance, the Bajra master was performing the ritual. The head monk is Bajra master. We interacted with locals, enjoyed with them. Some of us even shared food, the local food of the locals. The experience was amazing. Everyone was welcoming and the locals were talking with us in their own language and yess yess, okay, nice, big and cheerful laugh were the only English words they talked but I thing I had a good conversation with them we understand what they were trying to say and vise versa. The best thing we all have learnt from the trip was being present in the moment. You don’t need to know language, scared that you are away from home or any thing that bothers you before travelling. You just need to present in the moment, you will learn a lot from everything and everyone.