Expedition with a professional traveler to the Forbidden Kingdom of Lo for the Tiji Festival


April 28 - May 11, 2024
Tour Nepal

Tour to Nepal expedition to Upper Mustang tour to North East India Tibet

Tibetan villages are saturated with Buddhist culture and the traditions of the pre-Buddhist Bon religion.
Untouched by time, ancient monasteries, colorful locals and cave dwellings high in the mountains.
Delightful views of the Annapurna and Dhualagiri.
We will climb the dizzying heights of the Himalayas in order to take part in the colorful Buddhist festival of Teeji in Lo Manthang with the professional traveler and lift the veil of mystery of the Forbidden Kingdom.
Welcome to Upper Mustang - one of the most isolated and hard-to-reach corners of Asia!


Dates: April 28 - May 11, 2024

Duration: 14 days / 13 nights

Number of participants: 6 – 12

Cost per person:
- 3 450 USD subject to 10 – 12 participants, or
- 3 650 USD subject to 8 – 9 participants, or
- 3 850 USD subject to 6 – 7 participants.

Everything is included except for:

- International flight to Kathmandu and back,
- International medical insurance,
- Visa of Nepal (getting on the airport upon arrival USD 25, fee might change),

10% early booking discount (in case you book before November 28, 2023)

Estimated cost of the international flight Moscow – Kathmandu – Moscow is USD 1300 - 1500 (usually bought on your own, we consult).
Estimated cost of the international flight Istanbul – Kathmandu – Istanbul is USD 1000 (usually bought on your own, we consult).

Single supplement: 350 USD


Day 1. April 28, 2024 (Sunday). KATHMANDU

Arrival by plane to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Obtaining a visa upon arrival at the airport. Meeting with the guide at the airport, transfer to Samsara resort Thamel Kathmandu. Briefing. The rest of the day is free time.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Meals included: dinner
Accommodation included: Samsara resort Thamel Kathmandu

Recommended flights:

- Qatar Airways, flight QR-646, departure from Doha on April 28 at 08-45 am, arrival in Kathmandu at 16-15,
- Turkish Airlines, flight TK-726, departure from Istanbul on April 28 at 20-20, arrival in Kathmandu on April 29 at 06-05 am (We recommend getting to Istanbul by a Russian airline flight, this will significantly save on the ticket, but in this case you need will go out, collect the luggage and check in again for the Turkish Airlines flight. Please note that there are 2 airports in Istanbul. If you arrive at another airport, you need to allow time for transfers between airports)
- any other flight from any city arriving in Kathmandu at any time on April 28 or on the night of April 28-29.

Day 2. April 29, 2024 (Monday). KATHMANDU

Full day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu. While our Mustang permit is being issued, we will visit Swayambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Patan and Kathmandu Durbar Square.
After exploring the main attractions of Kathmandu, we will return to the hotel and tell you about the upcoming program.
In the evening, free time to buy equipment (if necessary), pack things, walk the streets of Thamel and taste the local cuisine.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Samsara resort Thamel Kathmandu

Day 3. April 30, 2024 (Tuesday). KATHMANDU - POKHARA - KALOPANI (driving time 5 hours, with stops - 6-7 hours )

Today we take a morning flight to Pokhara. The flight takes only 25 minutes.
As soon as we reach Pokhara we get on jeeps and drive to Kalopani via the villages of Nayapul, Kusma, Beni, Tatopani and Gasa.
This journey will take us through a natural hot spring, the deepest gorge in the world, Rupse Falls, and further along the Kali Gandaki River.
The condition of the road from Pokhara to Beni is good. Once we pass Beni, we have to drive along a bumpy gravel road to Ghasa. From Ghasa to Kalopani again there is a beautiful road that offers stunning views of the Himalayan peaks, charming villages, terraced fields and green surroundings.
Kalopani is a beautiful village located in a valley surrounded by mountains in Lower Mustang. This is one of the best places to relax, unwind and enjoy the natural diversity of the Himalayas.
The warm hospitality of the locals and their rich cultural traditions add a unique charm to the journey through Mustang. In the evening we will enjoy a traditional thakali dinner at a local restaurant in Kalapani.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: See You Lodge Kalopani

Day 4. May 1, 2024 (Wednesday). KALOPANI - JOMSOM - TINIGAON - LAKE DHUMBA - KAGBENI (2810 meters above sea level, travel time 3 hours)

This morning we drive from Kalapani to Kagbeni village. The track to Martha is in good condition, and after that you need to drive along beautiful off-road.
The main tourist attractions of the day are the villages of Thakali, Jomsom, Tinigaon, Dhumba Lake, the monastery and the Kali Gandaki river valley in the Himalayan wonderland.
We drive through a unique landscape, exploring breathtaking landscapes, an apple orchard, interacting with friendly locals and tasting delicious local food. On the way to Kagbeni we stop in Jomsom to explore the area.
After that we will arrive at the small lake Dumba, located in a valley surrounded by mountains. We will also visit the old monastery and Thini gaon.
Dhumba lake and monastery area is a great place to enjoy stunning views of Marfa village, Jomsom valley, Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and many other peaks of the Himalayas. A trip from Kalopani to Kagbeni is a unique opportunity to see the beauty of Lower Mustang and immerse yourself in the rich natural and cultural heritage of Nepal.
Jomsom is the oldest city of Tibetan culture, located in a fantastically beautiful place: deserted multi-colored hills, which, as if in waves, go to Tibet...
Kagbeni is a medieval city surrounded by rare greenery in these places. Here people walk in traditional Tibetan clothes, and the town itself with its narrow medieval streets is a real attraction.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Yak Donald's Lodge

Day 5. May 2, 2024 (Thursday). KAGBENI - SAMAR - SYANGBOCHE - GILING (3520 m above sea level, driving time 3 hours)

Today we will take a short drive to Muktinath Temple, a sacred place for Hindus and Buddhists, then drive to Giling, passing the villages of Kagbeni, Tangbe, Chhusang, Chele Samar and Syangboche. Traveling from Kagbeni to Giling is a great way to experience Tibetan culture and Mustang's desert landscape. During this trip we will see Annapurna, Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak in the Himalayas.
Giling itself is an interesting place with a rich history, ancient monasteries, chortens, traditional architecture and a traditional way of life untouched by modernity. We cross several ridges, passes, farmland, apple orchards, whitewashed villages along the river, marking the unique rock formations, high cliffs and sky caves of Nepal. After crossing the Kali Gandaki River, the road goes uphill to the village of Giling in Mustang.
Driving from Kagbeni to Giling is a breathtaking adventure surrounded by enchanting scenery where we will immerse ourselves in the natural and cultural wonders of Mustang.
Muktinath - "Giving Liberation" is one of the 6 main shrines of the Vishnuites, or Vaishnavas, dedicated, of course, to the main god of the Indian pantheon - Vishnu.
The villages of Samar and Syanboche look the same as they did in the Middle Ages. If you do not take into account the mobile phones that most residents have, life here has not changed at all over the past centuries.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Hotel Royal Mustang

Day 6. May 3, 2024 (Friday). GILING - DHAKMAR - GAR GUMBA - YARA (3560 m a.s.l., 3 hours drive)

After an early breakfast, we begin our overland journey to Yara village via Giling, Gami, Dhakmar, Ghar Gumba, and Marang. It takes 6-7 hours to cover the distance from Giling to Yara, visiting all the sights along the way.
Today we will visit a number of ancient monasteries, including Gar Gumba, built in the 8th century by Guru Rinpoche on his way to Tibet.
Lo Gehar Monastery is the most important hidden treasure of the ancient culture and traditions of Mustang. Driving from Giling to Yara is one of the best off-road adventures in the barren backcountry of Nepal.
On the way from Giling to Yara, we will admire majestic landscapes, ancient monasteries and serene villages in traditional Tibetan style.
Whitewashed houses with narrow streets, ancient chortens and prayer flags fluttering in the wind attract the attention of the researcher.
The journey from Giling to Yara is an opportunity to experience the unique culture and traditions of the Mustang people. Where nature lovers immerse themselves in the pristine beauty and local atmosphere of Mustang. Eventually we get to Yara and check into a local teahouse run by the Loua family.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Sarebung Guest House

Day 7. May 4, 2024 (Saturday). YARA - LURI GOMPA - LO LA - LO MANTANG (3840 m a.s.l., 3.5 hours drive)

Today we will go hiking to explore the Luri Gompa, an Upper Mustang cave monastery built into a towering rock.
Luri Gompa is a sacred Buddhist site located near the village of Gara. Famous for its unique rock paintings, sculptures, culture and history. You feel a deep sense of spiritual connection as you visit the Luri Cave Monastery, the stupa and the surrounding nature. We spent some time exploring the monastery and chatting with the monks who were incredibly welcoming and friendly.
There are 2 chambers inside the cave monastery. The walls and ceiling of the monastery are decorated with many paintings of the XIV century or even older ones.
The mysterious monastery of Luri is one of the best places to achieve siddhi (mystical perfection) through meditation.
Chorten inside Luri cave monastery is decorated with eight auspicious symbols and four guardian deities. The house contains paintings of Namgyal, Khadcheri, Vajrasattva and Lokeshvara in 4 directions east, west, north and south respectively. Inside the monastery there are also many paintings depicting a lama, eight siddhas and a mandala.
The 700-year-old "Luri Gumba" is one of the most stunning sights, rich cultural and spiritual heritage of the Upper Mustang, a remote and rugged area of Nepal.
After exploring such an ancient place, we drive to Lo Manthang, the capital of the former Kingdom of Lo. On the way to Lo, we will stop at Tsaranga to discover the Red Gumba, the Ancient Palace, the Chortens and the interesting settlements of the locals in the midst of agricultural land. Having visited Mustang alone once, you will remember it for the rest of your life.
In Lo Manthang, the capital of Mustang, there are 3 monasteries, the newest of which is "only" 200 years old, and it is customary to hang a dried goat's head in front of the entrance to the houses. What better protection from evil spirits than a goat's head?
Tsarang is famous for its gompa, where 50 monks live, and the royal palace, where no one lives. But a severed hand is kept in the palace - we have to find out who it belonged to - a thief, a monk or an architect?

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Hotel Mystique Home

Day 8. May 5, 2024 (Sunday). TIJI FESTIVAL IN THE KINGDOM OF LO

We will spend 2 wonderful days in the capital of Luo Kingdom. - The Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang is known as the "roof of the world". The mysterious country is located in the north of Nepal, where it is surrounded on three sides by Tibet. The spirit of the Middle Ages is still preserved here. The high peaks of the Himalayan range and remoteness from major cities have preserved this land under the influence of modern technology.
The Chiji Festival is a three-day ritual dubbed "Demon Pursuit". The word Tiji comes from "Tenche" which means "Hope for the Buddha Dharma prevailing in all the worlds". Tiji is a spring festival of renewal and transformation.
The first day of the Teeji festival begins with the ceremonial descent of a thangka, a large religious tapestry depicting Guru Rinpoche's "Padmasambhava". The monks simultaneously play the Tibetan dungchen horns, drums and cymbals. It is believed that this ritual cleanses the city and its inhabitants from evil spirits and misfortunes.
After the descent of the thangka, the monks recite ancient Buddhist prayers and perform sacred dances known as "Tsa Chaam". this dance tells the story of the birth of Dorje Jono and his battle with the demon.
These dances, traditional music performances and colorful mask costumes are mythical stories of victory over evil forces and symbolize the victory of good over evil. This is a powerful and dramatic performance that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Hotel Mystique Home

Day 9. May 6, 2024 (Monday). TIJI FESTIVAL IN LO MANTHANG

The second day of the Tiji festival is more colorful than the first, it represents the battles between the deity Dorje Jono and his demonic enemies. The Tiji dance depicts the legendary battles of Dorje Jono to save the kingdom of Mustang from drought, famine and destruction caused by demons.
Energetic movements and rhythmic beats of drums create an emotional atmosphere that attracts viewers to become witnesses of ancient legends and mystical traditions.
The monks wear elaborate costumes and masks to perform a masked dance representing the roles of deities and demons, performing intricate dance dramas with precision and vigor. Each masked dancer symbolizes a certain character from the myths.
The second day of the festival is known as the Nga Cham dance. It tells the story of Dorje Jono's victory over the demon "Man Tam Ru" and his return to heaven. The festival plunges into centuries-old traditions, vibrant dances and fascinating rituals of Tibetan Buddhism.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Hotel Mystique Home


The festival starts in the afternoon, so we will visit the Chaucer area in the morning. Early morning drive to Chhoser, sightseeing and return to Lo Manthang to watch the final day of the Teeji Festival at Choedhe Monastery.
The third or last day of the Tiji festival is known as "Ra Chaam". Monks perform special ceremonies and locals also come together to offer prayers in traditional dress. The monks offer food, drink, and other offerings to the demon in the hope that it will feed itself, leave the people alone, and never return to Mustang again.
The atmosphere is filled with spirituality, devotion, continuity of rituals and a sense of unity between them. The descending thangka raised means the end of the celebration.
Residents of Mustang gather in the city square for a grand procession. They carry a thangka accompanied by music, dance and celebrate joyfully in the belief that they ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to the Kingdom of Lo. Once the Tiji festival ends, the thangka painting is returned to the monastery, where it will remain until the next Tiji festival.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Hotel Mystique Home

Day 11. May 8, 2024 (Wednesday). LO MANTHANG - SYANGBOCHE - SAMAR (3800 m a.s.l., 4 hours drive)

Today we will drive back from Lo Manthang to Samar village, exploring the incredible scenery, snow-capped mountains and traditional villages nestled in the middle of the barren Mustang desert. The road from Lo Manthang to Samar by jeep takes 5 to 6 hours with stops at viewing platforms for sightseeing. After leaving the walled city of Lo Manthang, the trail ascends to cross the Lo La pass 3960 meters, then gradually descends towards the villages of Charang, Gami and Giling.
During this journey we cross the passes Lo La 3960 m, Tsarang La 3870 m, Gami La 3765 m, Nyi La 4025 m and reach Samar. As soon as we get to Samar, the guide will arrange a rest room. Stunning mountain views, rich culture, history and traditional life of Upper Mustang will make this trip unforgettable.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Hotel Dhaulagiri

Day 12. May 9, 2024 (Thursday). SAMAR - MUKTINATH - MARFA (3710 meters above sea level, 5 hours drive)

After breakfast at a local tea house, our return to Lower Mustang begins. On the last day of our journey, we will drive from Syangboche to Marpha. The trip covers a vast topography from the barren high desert to the fertile lands of Nepal's lower Mustang.
The road from Samar to Marfa is wide and gravel, best suited for adventure. Traveling from Syangboche to Marfa is an exhilarating experience in the Kali Gandaki Valley and the opportunity to see the beauty of Mustang.
The road goes down, and we will have amazing views of the surrounding landscape, high cliffs, rugged terrain of the Mustang Valley. When we reach Marfa, we will end our wonderful journey, enjoying a traditional dinner and warm hospitality at the Thakali Restaurant.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Hotel Marpha Palace

Day 13. May 10, 2024 (Friday). MARFA - TATOPANI - POKHARA - KATHMANDU (4 hours drive)

Today is the day of farewell to the Mustang, early in the morning we go by jeep to Pokhara. Traveling to Pokhara by jeep is a great way to experience the beautiful scenery, countryside, waterfalls, people and culture of Nepal that will be remembered forever.
On the way back to Pokhara, stop at Tatopani for 2 hours to enjoy the natural hot spring.
As soon as we arrive in Pokhara, we go to the airport for a flight to Kathmandu. Flight 25 minutes.
Once we get to Kathmandu, we will check into a hotel, rest and spend the evening exploring the city in search of souvenirs. We also have a farewell dinner to celebrate the successful completion of our expedition.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Samsara resort Thamel Kathmandu

Day 14. May 11, 2024 (Saturday). KATHMANDU - RETURN FLIGHT

Today is the last day of my trip to Nepal! After breakfast, the guide will take us to the airport 3 hours before the scheduled departure.
Return flight home.

Meals included: breakfast
Accommodation included: no

Recommended flights:
- Qatar Airways flight QR-649, departure from Kathmandu on May 11 at 10:00 am,
- Qatar Airways flight QR-653, departure from Kathmandu on May 11 at 11:00 am,
- Turkish Airlines, flight TK-727, departure from Kathmandu on May 11 at 7-35 am,
- Flydubai flight FZ-1134, departure from Kathmandu on May 11 at 9:40 am,
- any other flight departing from Kathmandu at any time on 11 May.

Cost includes:

- domestic flight Kathmandu - Pokhara - Kathmandu
- All ground transport according to the program: Toyota Hiace or Coaster minibus in Kathmandu and Mahindra Scorpio all-wheel drive SUVs further along the route (no more than 3 passengers in each car), all cars with working air conditioners and experienced drivers,
- good quality accommodation in hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara, double TWIN or for couples DBL
- the best possible accommodation on the route in Mustang, double TWIN or for couples DBL
- Three meals a day throughout the route
- 3 cups of hot drinks of your choice each day during the Mustang tour
- Drinking water everywhere along the route
- Entrance fee for Tiji festival events
- all necessary permits and documents for a trip to Upper Mustang
- all activities and excursions according to the program
- meeting at the airport on the day of arrival and return transfer
- sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
- professional English-speaking guide (regional specialist) during the trip
- Russian and English speaking team leader throughout the trip

Cost excludes (additionally paid):

- international flight to Kathmandu and back
- international medical insurance
- Nepal visa (obtained upon arrival for USD 25)
- single supplement
- soft and alcoholic drinks and personal expenses
- tips/gifts for the locals

To take with:

- 3 sets of clothes (pants, long sleeve shirt, T-shirt, underwear, socks)
- sun hat
- lightweight trekking jacket
- warm jacket with windstopper for mountainous terrain,
- light gloves and a mountain hat (it can be cold in the mountains)
- comfortable trekking shoes, light shoes (sneakers)
- raincoat;
- swimsuit;
- sunglasses and cream
- personal first-aid kit (analgesics, antiseptics, antibiotics, antivirals, multivitamins, rehydron, intestinal medications necessary for you personally);
- personal hygiene items (including towels, wet wipes, soap);
- Head Torch;
- repellents for the skin and clothing;
- waterproof case for documents (optional)
- photo and video equipment
- additional set of batteries and a power bank,
- waterproof cover for photographic equipment (preferably)
- a certificate of full COVID vaccination or a certificate with a negative PCR test for coronavirus taken 72 hours before arrival (requirement subject to change)
- trekking poles
- backpack for luggage (either trunk or small suitcase)
- small backpack for personal items
- two 3x4 photos for visa upon arrival

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