Sunlit temples, hilly villages, icy blue mountaintops and green canopies – A nature-lover’s heaven, Nepal is one of the best destinations in the world to travel to.
A break from the mundane every-day, the country envelopes its travellers into its Himalayan views and kaleidoscope culture and festivities. Along the border of Tibet is the remote region of the Nepalese Himalayas – Upper Mustang.
Mostly isolated all year, the area in the month of May fills up with lights, colours and people for the three-day festival of Tiji. Quite an offbeat experience in the depths of Nepalese culture and history, the Tiji festival is a great way to explore the country!
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.
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.
Trekking to Upper Mustang for the Tiji festival is one of the most popular adventurous treks in Nepal. A flight from Pokhara takes you to Jomson, the village from where your journey begins. With quite a few stops in between, this is a great way to visit all the little corners of Nepal – The details that you would have otherwise missed.
Trekking through the terrains, eventually, you will be at the gorgeous Kali Gandaki Valley where you can explore the alleys and sceneries before finally heading to Mustang Lo Manthang to take part in the Tiji festival. If you are running out of time or are looking to avoid the rough terrains there is another amazing way to travel here – Mustang via helicopter!
Truly breathtaking and quite a luxurious ride, the helicopter takes you around Upper Mustang and offers the best views of the Himalayan peaks. An exceptionally close look at the blue-grey mountains and untouched lands of Upper Mustang makes the helicopter ride a unique travelling memory.
The best way to get to know a new destination is to dive into its cultural roots. The Tiji festival is the ideal introduction to Nepalese culture and the diversity in its people. Buckle up for a great adventure!