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Tiji Festival Trek - Upper Mustang

This trip coincides with the end of the dry season and thus overlaps with the Tiji Festival, a spring-renewal party that ushers in the monsoons while celebrating the triumph of good over evil in a ritual locals call “the chasing of the demons.” Tiji comes from the words ten che, meaning the “hope of the dharma prevailing in all worlds,” the message Guru Rinpoche carried through this region over a thousand years ago.

Tiji consists of three-day of Tibetan rituals. The Tiji centers around a myth, which tells of a deity named Dorje Jono who must battle against his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. Tiji comes from the word “ten che” meaning the hope of Buddha Dharma prevailing in all worlds and is effectively a spring renewal festival. The trek to Mustang is a spectacular walk through Himalayan terrain that contrasts wildly with the lush fertile hills and valleys located to the south of the main Himalayan chain. Mustang is a barren landscape with only a few small green fields dotting a lunar landscape, but boasts a remarkable spiritual heritage.

Tiji Festival Trek combines through Mustang’s fascinating villages, alongside Buddhist shrines and temples and in the shadows of the Himalayas most iconic mountains, before arriving at the fabled walled city of Lo Manthang for 3 days of dancing at the Tenchi Festival. The terrain is rough and the altitude can be hard going but you will be in the safe hands of Himalayan expert Adventure Connexion and his team of sherpas. Expect mainly camping (fully supported) with a few lodges and hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara for good measure.

During the Tiji Festival Trekking, the town square fills with characters clad as demons in flamboyant robes and hideous masks dancing about, slashing at the air with their swords and intoning spells over onlookers. Spend the day steeped in the sights, sounds, and movements of this once-in-a-lifetime cultural marvel. This three-day ceremony is lit up with colorful custom dress, dancing, music, and reenactments from the story of a deity and his demon father.

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