Adventure Pilgrims Treks and Expeditions offers organized trip to Kingdom of Mustang timed for the beginning of the harvest season and the spectacular three-day Tiji Festival Trek. Located in the Himalayas of Nepal on the border with Tibet, this miniature royal domain answers to its own king even as its host country has rejected a national monarchy. Mustang's culture has descended in its pure form from the Red Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism ( contrasting to the Yellow Hat sect to which the Dalai Lama belongs.) and it remains one of the only spots on earth where Tibetans live according to their own unimpeded traditions. We will walk amidst stunning sculpted rock formations backed by snow-capped peaks. We will visit homes, villages and active monasteries, and the welcome will be warm.
The Tiji Festival Trekking in Mustang's ancient walled capitol city of Lo Manthang will be the highlight. A thousand men, women and children participate in the annual elaborate re-enactment of the Tiji myth, telling of a deity named Dorje Jon who battles his demon father to save the kingdom from destruction. It will be our unique privilege to witness the same color, costume, dancing and ritual that were displayed by these people in this place more than six hundred years ago.
Adventure Pilgrims Trekking is orginizing Tiji Festival Treks since Upper Mustang Trekking has opened at 1992.
Day 1 : Arrive Kathmandu
Arrive at Tribhuwan international airport, Kathmandu, you are welcomed by the hospitable meeting and then you will be transferred to your hotel. Short briefing will be followed about necessary formalities and rest of the program. Depending on arrival time you will have choice of visiting nearby sanctuaries or have a rest day.
Day 2 : Kathmandu
After breakfast we drive to Swoyambhunatha stupa has it that Manjushree, found of Kathmandu valley, and discovered the lotus of ancient valley lake on which site the great stupa of swoyambhunath was later built. The omni sighted stare of Buddha greets visitors & residents a like compassion. This is one of the oldest Buddhist stupa in the world, which has been registered in UNICEOO heritage side. We then visit to Kathmandu Durbar Square. Kathmandu durbar square situated the center of Kathmandu where you can see the House of Living Goddess"KUMARI" Kasthamandup temple" Said that was built from single tree in 16th century, big bell-big drams, erotic carving in old temple, old palace etc. We then finally were sightseeing to Patan Durbar Square. Patan Durbar square is one of the beautiful Durbars square in Kathmandu valley. It is very famous for woodcarving, Metal works, Temples and Monasteries. Tour of Patan includes tour of Krishna temple, Patan king's palace, Golden temple and much more.
Day 3 : Kathmandu/Pokhara
This morning you will drive to Pokhara (200km) the road mostly follows the River Trisuli and Marshyangdi, depart 7:00 AM in the morning, approximately 6-hrs way by tourist bus and 5-hrs drive by private transport. Along the drive you will enjoy beautiful scenery. You will arrive late afternoon at Pokhara with enough time to enjoy the colorful town of Pokhara.
Day 4 : Pokhara/Jomsom
Early in morning fly Northwest from Pokhara toward the great portal between the snows covered peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. You will enjoy the well-raised massifs of more than 8000 meters, and the river created deepest gorge on this planet. Jomsom is the district headquarters of Mustang zone. On arrival to Jomsom meet the rest of the trekking staffs, the guide will be with you from Kathmandu, and start the trek to Kagbeni, the main gate to Upper Mustang. Kagbeni situated at an altitude of (2807m) is one of the important places since centuries. Kagbeni village was formed around 14th century as a check post for traders between Nepal and Tibet and still there is a checkpoint to control the groups departing toward Muktinath and Mustang, is the main gate to enter Mustang. There is a monastery, a Police check post and ACAP (Annapurna conservation area project) office inside this visit worthy village.
Day 5 : Jomsom/Kagbeni (3.5 hrs)
Today we start our trek by doing a fairly easy section of the trail along the Kali Gandaki River to Kagbeni, the gateway to the restricted zone of Mustang and one of the major trading routes between Tibet and India. The traders brought salt from Tibet and barley, spices and clothes from India. After the Chinese invasion of Tibet, trade came to a halt and many of the rich villages lost their revenue and later, many of their people. Nowadays, though there is again some trade, the majority of village income comes from tourism. As we enter the dusty village, legend says that we should think good thoughts, leaving all bad ones outside the town gates.
Day 6 : Kagbeni/Tsele (5-6 hrs)
From Kagbeni to Tangbe, the trail winds along the east riverbank and occasionally ventures out into the rocky river bed. Initially, the trail climbs steeply to the top of the hill but we'll be rewarded with a spectacular view of prayer flags, stupas, and villages. After crossing several windblown plains and passing through a canyon, we arrive at the Mustang village of Tanbe. This small village is filled with whitewashed adobe houses nestled against each other and is surrounded by beautifully terraced fields of wheat, barley, and buckwheat, as well as small apple orchards. On the lower side of Tangbe, we'll see three elegant chortens and the remnants of an old abandoned fort. As we continue our walk, be on the lookout for black ammonites, small fossils of coiled sea mollusks that inhabited the Tethys Sea and covered the Tibetan plateau millions of years before the Himalayas were formed. They are considered to be holy by many local people. Continue on to Chele, where we overnight.
Day 7 : Tsele/Geling ( 5 hrs)
The climb from Chele is up a fairly steep spur to a cairn at 10,329 feet, from which there is a view of the village of Gyagar across the canyon.The trail, which is literally carved into the side of this spectacular canyon, continually offers spectacular views. After crossing a mountain pass, the trail makes a long gradual descent on a pleasant trail to Samer. Finally after passing through several small canyons that are home to cool streams and shady juniper trees, we arrivie in Geling at 11,880 feet. Though the largest village before entering Upper Mustang, is a rarely visited gem. The town, set among numerous poplar groves and a central stream, boasts one of the oldest Gompas in Mustang. Spend the evening relaxing in front of the central field, where you can observe grain being threshed, animals grazing, and children playing.
Day 8 : Geling/Charang (6 hrs)
From Geling, the trail climbs gently through fields of barley and groves of poplar trees up the center of the valley, passing below the settlement of Tama Gaun and an imposing chorten. After rejoining the direct trail, it becomes a steep slow climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La pass at 13,035 feet, the highest point reached on the trek. Charang is a maze of fields, willow trees and houses separated by stone walls at the top of the large Charang Cho Canyon. The huge five story white dzong and red gompa are perched on the edge of the Kali Gandagi gorge on the east end of the valley. Overnight in Charang.
Day 9 : Tsarang/Lo Manthang (5 hrs)
Today we'll move slowly but steadly up a rocky trail to a cairn on a ridge opposite the village at 11,841 feet. The trail turns north and climbs gently to a large isolated chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo. After a rest break we'll travel across a desert-like landscape painted in every hue of grey and yellow. Finally, we reach our destination- the whitewashed walls of the city of Lo, which sits among fields filled with horses and yaks. We may even have time to see the start of the Tiji festival.
Day 10 : Tiji Festival
We spend the better part of the day at the Tiji Festival watching all the dances and celebrations that take place, including horse racing and a giant tug-of-war. We'll see Tibetan women in their traditional clothing and colorful jewelry, monks in their robes and dancers in elaborate costumes. This is an almost unknown festival that most Nepal trekkers never experience. Definitely bring your cameras along today!
Day 11 : Lo Manthang
In addition to the festival, there are many other activities in Lo Manthang from which you can choose. Spend today exploring the intimate alleyways and courtyards of the city, or you can rent a horse and visit some of the other villages in the area.
Day 12 : Lo Manthang/Ghemi (via Lo Gekar)
We have the opportunity to vary our return route and visit two villages that we did not see on the trek northwards. At Ghemi we'll visit Gar Gompa, the oldest acrive gompa in Nepal. Ghemi is also known for its many hectres of beautiful fields and for its white- washed houses. The trail to Lo Gekar is not a main trading route and is crisscrossed with herders trails, so our local guide is particularly useful here. Todays trek will cross several valleys, some lush and others barren. Near the end of the hike the trail then makes a long rocky descent down a ravine to a grassy valley, where Lo Gekar is situated within a group of large trees by a stream. Lo Gekar, which means "Pure Virtue of Lo," is also known as Ghar Gompa, or "House Temple.
Day 13 - 16 : Heading back to Jomsom
These last days again will bring us beautifully rich scenery and great hiking on our way back to Jomsom. Our trek will take us thru Samar and Kagbeni before ending in Jomson
Day 14 : Jomsom/Kathmandu via Pokhara
Depart early in the morning (by flight) to Pokhara, and then continue on to Kathmandu. Or, if you wish to spend more time in Pokhara, this can be arranged.
Day 15 : Kathmandu
We consider today an "insurance day" just in case the flight can't land due to weather or other concerns on the 29th. Otherwise, we will go to see the ancient city of Bhaktaphur, once a separate kingdom. The city still retains an architectural and design spirit of a feudal state focused on artistic and religious glorification. You will feel you are walking back in time strolling through the core of the old city now preserved and interpreted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take some time to look in the shops to observe potters, weavers, brass-makers, religious artisans, Brahmin priests and spice merchants carrying out their professions as they have done here for hundreds of years. We will end our journey with a farewell dinner this evening.
Day 16 : Kathmandu - Onward
Today we'll say goodbye to Nepal and our wonderful staff before being transferred to the airport for our onward flights. If you wish, you can continue your travels with either an extension within Nepal to Chitwan National Park or to other Asian countries.
A Kingdom within a Kingdom, Mustang's wealth was derived from its position on the Kali Gandaki / Thak Khola trade route to Tibet, the region still retains its own King is a fantastic square-walled town. Forbidden to foreigners until 1992 Mustang remains a controlled region which very few people visit, a deliberate policy of cultural and environmental preservation. Mustang with an average elevation of 13,600ft, remains almost entirely Tibetan in character and appearance. A trek into this fabled Kingdom of Mustang takes us to a kingdom of vast high arid valleys, eroded canyons, stratified rock formations, yak caravans, colorfully-painted mud-brick houses, a barren desert-like appearance and ancient salt-trade routes linked to the high passes of Tibet. Not only beautiful landscape, unique culture but panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and other soaring peaks, a remote route southeast of Lo Manthang is to explore. A limited number of permits are issued to trekkers each year in order to protect the local Tibetan traditions and the fragile ecosystem. Mustang is a rugged mysterious arid and haunting wilderness region set amid a lunar landscape of wind eroded hills and cliffs. Trekker's destination is the exotic walled city of Lo Manthang the seat of the King. The Kings Palace is surrounded by maize of Gompas and private houses all enshrined within the city boundary walls. Unmolested Mustang is frozen in time it remains one of the ultimate journeys ever likely to be made in one lifetime. Although fierce winds, exposed terrain, high altitude and the rigors of the Tibetan plateau make this region a challenging one, the rewards for venturing deep into the Kingdom of Mustang are immense!
Trek Style : Tented camp (full organize or tea house)
Group size : minimum 2 person
Grade : Medium-Hard
Walking hrs : 4-8 hrs.
Seasons : May-Oct.
Max alt : 4265 m.
Min alt : 2720 m.
Day 01 : Welcome to Kathmandu 1300 m
Arrive Kathmandu airport; welcome and transfer to hotel.
Day 02 : Kathmandu Sightseeing
Sightseeing tour of the interesting surrounding sights of Kathmandu valley.
Day 03 : Kathmandu – Pokhara 975m. drive 6hrs.
Transferred to Pokhara by tourist bus for about 6 -hour drive. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy either doing last minute shopping for the trek or packing your kitty bag for the trek.
Day 04 : Pokhara – Jomsom 2720m. - Kagbeni 2900m. trek 3-4 hrs.
Fly to Jomsom and gentle walk to Kagnebi, the checkpoint of entry to Upper Mustang The Kaligandaki valley here is called the Thakkhola, after the native Thakalis, who are distantly related to the Tibetans.
Day 05 : From Kagbeni trek to Chele 3200m. 6hrs.
Day 06 : From Chele trek to Geling 3510m. 6hrs.
Day 07 : From Geling trek to Charang 3650m. 5-6hrs.
Day 08 : From Charang trek to Lo Manthang 3910m. 5hrs.
Day 09 : Tiji festival starts and witness of the day first of Tiji and sight visits around
Day 10 : Witness of the day second of Tiji and sight visits around
Day 11 : Witness of the day third of Tiji festival and sight visits around.
Day 12 : Return trek from Lo Manthang to Surkhan 3460m. 5-6hrs.
Day 13 : Trek from Surkhan - Tange 2640m. 6-7hrs.
Day 14 : Trek from Tange - Tetang 3160m. 5-6hrs.
Day 15 : Trek from Tetang- Muktinath 3750m. 6hrs. ( Better to have 2 more days in Upper Mustang) we need to make 13 days permit it is good for all area to visit in upper mustang
Day 16 : Trek from Muktinath – Jomosom 2720m. 5hrs.
Day 17 : Fly back from Jomosom-Pokhara. Rest of the is free for own activities.
Day 18 : Drive Back to Kathmandu .
Day 19 : Rest day at leisure or final souvenir shopping. Join the farewell dinner in the evening with live cultural program hosted by holiday Mountain treks.
Day 20 : Departure transfer to airport for return flight to home. if you like to more days in upper mustang departure will be on May 15/21 Days.