MUSTANG is also known as the “THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM OF NEPAL” today they also call it AS THE “LOST TIBETAN KINGDOM”
Mustang a small kingdom in Nepal was closed to westerners until 1992 and it is an enchanting land of windswept vistas, red walled monasteries and feudal towns. This tiny kingdom was not only a major corridor of trade from the 1400’s to before the Chinese occupation of Tibet but also figured importantly into the early Buddhism in Tibet.
Local legends tell the tale of great founders of Tibetan Buddhism, Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche), who before building Samye (the oldest monastery in Tibet) came to Mustang to stand guard against and get into a battle with the evil powers who were out to destroy Buddhism. The temple of Lo Gekhar in eastern Mustang was built by Padmasambhava after his triumphant battle and still stands guard today.
Our route to Mustang will take us across the vast Kali Gandaki river bed, up over the windswept passes at 14,000 feet and across the ‘Plain of Aspirations’ to the walled capital city of Lo Manthang. We will also cross through a landscape of indescribable vastness and beauty, home to the infamous snow leopard, the endangered Bharal (blue sheep) and the mythical Mehti (abominable snowman).
Rimmed by 20,000 plus, snowcapped peaks and bathed in hues of orange and red rocks with sporadic fields of vibrant green, yellow and red barley, maize and buckwheat, Mustang is a step back to the simpler times.
The Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs provide an impressive backdrop as you trek up the Kali Gandaki river valley to the ancient city of Lo-Manthang. Mustang is quintessentially Tibetan in character and to date largely unspoiled.
However, the advent of a planned new road which is progressing slowly is likely to change these factors to an extent in the future.
THE TENJI OR TIJI FESTIVAL IN UPPER MUSTANG
Tiji comes from the word “ten che” meaning the hope of Buddha Dharma prevailing in all worlds and is effectively a spring renewal festival
• East of Lo Manthang: In the land of Mustang. – Peter Matthiessen and Thomas Laird, Shambhala Press, Boston, 1995
• Mustang, a Lost Tibetan Kingdom – Michel Peissel, Book Faith India, Delhi, India, 1967
“We found ourselves in the midst of a festival in which over a thousand men, women and children were taking part. Before us spread a sea of weather-beaten brown faces that contrasted with those of the beaming, dirty little children who clung like grapes upon the rooftops of the houses” ” The women… looked superb in hand-woven sleeveless Chubas (a bath-robe style dress made of thick wool) over bright, loose silk blouses. Around their waistbands were tucked two aprons, a short one that hung down in front, the other caught in the belt and hanging down behind to the ground. These were gaily striped in bright, narrow bands of blue, red, green and yellow. Many women were literally smothered with ornaments of silver and precious stones…necklaces of bright orange coralline stones alternating with turquoises…ivory-white bracelets made of truncated conch shell. Head-dresses…studded with turquoises ran along the central parting of their hair and fell down their backs. – Michel Peissel
Michel Peissel was the first westerner to witness the Tiji festival in 1964 during a visit to Mustang by special permission from the Government of Nepal. He was also the only third westerner to ever visit Mustang. He arrived in Lo Manthang in time to witness only the last day of the festival and later wrote: “The scenes I witnessed were so extraordinary and so unexpected that I dared not believe my eyes and even today I have some trouble in believing in the reality of what I saw that day.”
The Tiji festival is a three-day ritual known as “The chasing of the Demons” that centers on the Tiji myth. The myth tells of a deity named Dorje Jono who must battle against his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. The demon father wreaked havoc on Mustang by bringing a shortage of water (a highly precious resource in this very dry land) and causing many resulting disasters from famine to animal loss. Dorje Jono eventually beats the demon and banishes him from the land. Tiji is a celebration and reaffirmation of this myth and throughout the festival the various scenes of the myth will be enacted. It is of course timed to coincide with the end of the dry winter / spring season and will usher in the wetter monsoon season (the farming season for Mustang).
• Arrive in Kathmandu. • There will be a representative to receive you. • Check into a hotel for the day.
Sightseeing of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu valley
Drive to Pokhara and stay in the Lake city
• Fly to Jomsom. • Trek up to Kagbeni which is the starting point towards upper Mustang.
Trek Route follow : Jomsom - Kagbeni - Chuksang, Chaile, Samar, Ghiling - Dakmar, Lo Ghaker, Lo - Manthang, Dhi, Luri Gompa, Tsarang, Ghami and get back to Jomsom. Once you request for day by day itinerary we will send you the details. We have many experienced guides who have been Mustang over 7 times.
• Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara. • Rest for day in Pokhara.
• Drive back to Kathmandu. OR • You can also opt for a flight.
• Explore Kathmandu. • In the evening you will be joining our team for a Nepali cultural show and a farewell dinner.
Note: The Tiji festival in Mustang this year 2016 is on May 3-4-5, so we have to start the trip on April 25th to catch this festival Mustang Tiji festival trek for 2016 is on May 3, 4 and 5
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in Upper Mustang trek You can Attend TIJI FESTIVAL in May , in 2016 the Tiji festival date are May 3-4-5 , means you need to arrive on April 25th in Kathmandu In other months Mustang trek available with out Tiji festival tooThe cost includes permit fee of US $ 500 for 10 days. The Mustang trek involves walking for 5 - 6 hours per day and covers an altitude ranging from minimum 2600meters to maximum altitude of 4400meters along the passes. The local flights depart and arrive from Pokhara to Jomsom and vice versa. Please bear in mind that, if the weather goes bad we might have to add 1 or 2 days in the trip. It would be safer to keep few extra days in hand, in case of the few changes that needs to be made.
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