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Upper Mustang Tiji Festival

Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Highlights:

  • Visit the Nepalese Trans-Himalayan Region, which borders the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
  • This a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hike across Nepal's culture.
  • Images added to your gallery as testimonials of your trip to Nepal and the Tiji Festival.
  • Get to know the various customs, festivals, and civilizations that exist in the Mustang area.
  • Examine the past of the Forbidden Kingdom.
  • Investigate and document the mud city of Lo-Manthang in the High Himalayas, as well as its people, culture, and way of life.
  • Investigate Lo-Manthang, gumba, caves, and historic monasteries and capture them in your heart as well as your cameras.

Upper Mustang Tiji Festival:

May sees the Tiji festival, which is celebrated in Upper Mustang during that month, which fills the kingdom of Upper Mustang with joy and magic. One of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to experience the rich cultural history of Nepal's inaccessible and remote places is the Upper Mustang Tiji Festival. The residents of the Mustang region enjoy this celebration every year with their friends and relatives.

The Tiji Festival commemorates the historical event when Dorje Jono defeated the bad father's demonic demons to prevent a drought in Mustang. Mustang has been honoring the Tiji festival ever since to commemorate his triumph against the evil spirits. The fascinating annual three-day Tiji Festival honors the legend of a son who had to save the Mustang kingdom from oblivion using Tibetan ceremonies.

During the Tiji Festival, monks perform dances and rituals that are intended to ward off evil spirits while wearing extravagant costumes and masks. The Shakya sect of Buddhism's Choedhe Monastery, which hosts all of the Tiji festival dances, is responsible for their organization. A Rimpoche is the abbot of the monastery. These days, monks from various monasteries get together to perform unique demon dances to the accompaniment of their instruments. Monks perform the ferocious dances while decked up in lavish costumes and jewelry, various masks. People in Mustang have a deep belief that this celebration provides them protection from evil spirits as well as hope and serenity.

It is based on the legend of a god named Dorje Shunu, also known as Vajrakila, who underwent reincarnation in order to subdue all the evil spirits and demons that brought pain to earth. The inspiring and colorful Buddhist culture of the area is impressively reflected in the Tiji festival in Upper Mustang.

The Lo Manthang area of Nepal's Upper Mustang is home to the three-day annual Tiji festival, which takes place in the month of May. Every year, the Tiji festival is held in front of the King's palace in Upper Mustang. It represents the triumph of good over evil. The region is located north of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountain ranges, which are flanked by Tibetan highlands on all but one side. You get a fantastic opportunity to explore the local Tibetan Buddhist culture, customs, and its finest manifestation during this Tiji festival.

The locals in Mustang were adamant that the event was shielded from evil spirits and brought joy, tranquility, and renewed hope. Locals in the Lo-Manthang region participate in the celebration by dancing and singing while wearing their traditional attire. The monks utilized prayer flags in addition to the dress's various hues of blue, yellow, and red.

Both the intriguing festival and the surroundings appear great and fascinating. Different tourists make travel to Upper Mustang during the Tiji festival to see the festivities, and some tourists also make the trek for the Tiji Festival Photography trek to document the region's distinctive and historically significant procession.

Additionally, Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is one of the popular festival treks in Nepal. It shows the unique Tibetan culture and tradition in the Upper Mustang Region of Nepal.

Upper Mustang Tiji Festival

History of the Upper Mustang Tiji Festival:

According to legend, the Vajrayana Buddhist god Dorje Jono, also known as Dorje Phurba, Vajrakila, or Vajrakumar, fought against the devil who served as his father. The actions of his father horrified the populace by causing a water shortage and instilling fear in them. Having learned the truth about his father, Dorje Jono joined forces with him in a battle against the devil. Since that time, Mustang has celebrated the Tiji festival in memory of the mythical figure Dorje Jono.

In addition to keeping the narrative secret, Buddhist priest Dorje Jono (also known as the Lama) prays for world peace. Making a trip to Mustang during the Tiji festival a priority will allow you to experience the culture as well as see it.

According to ancient folklore, the Upper Mustang Tiji Festival was held to commemorate the triumph of good over evil. The territory of Upper Mustang is thought to have been troubled and devastated by a demon who spread the diseases and stole the water. After Dorje Jono fought and vanquished that monster, the festival kicked off to commemorate his triumph with chants of invocation, vibrant Thangka, and magnificent dances accompanied by authentic musical instruments.

The reason behind celebrating the beautiful Upper Mustang Tiji Festival:

The Tiji festival is observed annually in the hopes of bringing harmony and prosperity to the Mustang. Tsowo, the principal dancer, completes a three-month retreat before the event. The rituals are attended by all of the inhabitants of the seven provinces of Mustang, including the royal family, known as Lo Chhodun. Additionally, the Tantra associated with Vajra Kila is used in the meditation practice.

There are two different types of activities during the meditation build-up. The first dance is a calm one, while the second dance is the Mele or the second stage. There are two main events and three dancing stages. The first stage consists of 15 steps; the other two phases are the "creation of heavenly palace" and "production of deities" main sections. Therefore, every performance at the Tiji Festival aims to demonstrate the triumph of good over evil.

How is the Upper Mustang Tiji festival celebrated?

The inhabitants of the neighborhood enjoy this lovely and historic festival nonstop for three days. The following are some of the ways Mustang inhabitants observe the Tiji Festival:

First Day:

The monks execute the ritual dance on this first day of the Upper Mustang Tiji festival, known as "Tsa Chaam." It is laid out in a way that conveys Dorje Jono's narrative. It's also believed that Dorje Jono took on the form of Buddha again to fight evil. The creatures are terrorizing the Mustang residents as the monks dance.

The Upper Mustang Tiji festival's opening day feels nearly staged. The offerings and the monks congregate in the Chhode Gompa monastery. You will get the opportunity to see the monks' early morning Vajrakila prayers. Long copper horns, cymbals, and drums ring out to greet the artwork to the court.

The dancers perform for the King as he sits in his private parlor. The Tsowo, the lead dancer, is the most well-known performer in this show. The remainder of the audience is waiting for the procession as it descends to the lower level. The dance, which has about 52 steps, starts out cautiously and slowly.

The following day, it becomes violent, signifying the awakening of the gods and the purifying of the country. Although it is too delicate for us to perceive, Tsowo instructs his performers through gestures and ideas. Sound, color, and scent fill the scene as a whole. Fascinating details from the first day set the stage for the remainder of the event.

Second Day:

The monk performs the "Nga Cham" dance on the second day of the Upper Mustang Tiji festival. The devils are being tried to be brought back to the Buddha globe in the Dorje Jono performance.

The second day begins with the monks congregating in the square in a nearly identical sequence. They practice offerings and chant the Vajrakila prayers. They introduce a second substantial thangka artwork and set it next to the first. You'll notice that the dance moves start to get more combative as weapons and animal shapes are added to the mix. The Tsowo eventually lets go of a knife that represents the defeat of evil. The Tsowo swings the knife at a statue made of straw before tossing it into the air. The Tsowo performs a dramatization of the demon's killing, just as Dorje Shunu. These genuinely show how humans will do virtually anything to survive the worst-case scenario.


The monks perform the "Rha Chham" dance on the third day of the Upper Mustang Tiji festival. On the festival's last day, monks put on a performance that depicts Dorje Jono defeating the demons and driving them from his realm. The monks gather in the monastery's square to offer Vajrakila gifts and offer prayers.

Once more, the monks dress like animals to perform the dances. Special nectar is served by the Tsowo as a gift from the gods. The dancers take the lead to accompany the Monarch and his family as the rite draws to a close.

Upper Mustang Tiji Festival

Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Attraction:

Today, Upper Mustang is the most well-liked and popular trekking destination in the Nepal Himalayas. There are a lot of interesting things to learn about, such as the landscape, traditional culture, way of life of different ethnic groups, and other surprising scenes. Visitors can observe the customary chanting with mask dance, various colored masks, and custom that is quite old at this Upper Mustang Tiji festival.

In Lo-Manthang Upper Mustang, everyone congregates during the celebration in front of the king's palace. The forthcoming month of May is one of the best months for the residents of Upper Mustang since it ushers in fresh hope and happiness for the Mustang Kingdom. As a result, the Tiji holiday is observed amid renewed optimism for world peace.

Significance of  the Upper Mustang Tiji Festival:

The Upper Mustang Tiji festival celebration symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, just like most festivities in Buddhism and Hinduism do. Vajrayana Buddhism portrays Dorje Jono, as courageous. The event can be seen as a significant period in both Nepal's history and mythology. All sentient beings are wished reciprocal prosperity throughout the occasion. The rites, dances, prayers, and colorful displays that take place during the celebration are its highlights. Above all, it is commendable for such liveliness to originate from such a remote location.

Upper Mustang Tiji Festival in the year 2023:

The Upper Mustang Tiji Festival dates for 2023 and 2024 have already been revised. The Upper Mustang will observe the Tiji festival on the English dates of May 16, 17, and 18, 2023. Many tourists will travel to this lovely kingdom of Upper Mustang to see this historically and culturally rich celebration, which will enhance the beauty of Nepal even more. The Upper Mustang Tiji festival will be celebrated with much pomp and excitement.

To sum up, the Upper Mustang Tiji Festival is one of the distinctive celebrations with a significant religious and historical background spanning many generations. It does and will continue to do, portray the lovely culture and customs of Nepal. The coming of the Tiji festival makes the kingdom of Lo-Manthang evergreen. When visiting Nepal, you should check this off your bucket list and attend this magnificent event.

For more information regarding this, please feel free to contact me on WhatsApp: +977-9851311073

Upper Mustang Tiji Festival


1. When will the Tiji festival be held in 2023?

The Tiji festival will be held on May 16,17 and 18 consecutively in 2023. It is going to be celebrated with great pomp and joy by the locals and the national and international tourists.

2. Why is the Tiji festival celebrated?

Tiji Festival is celebrated to commemorate the legend of a son named Dorje Jono who had to save the Mustang kingdom from evil forces. It is celebrated as the victory of good over evil.

3. Where is Upper Mustang located?

In Nepal's Mustang district, Upper Mustang is about 400 kilometers to the northwest of Kathmandu. Upper Mustang is the district of Mustang that is higher up and borders Tibet.

4. Are the dates of the Tiji festival different every year?

Yes, the dates of the Tiji festival vary every year according to the lunar calendar. But, it is held in the month of May every year.

5. How can we reach to see and experience the Tiji festival in Upper Mustang?

Well, you have many ways. You can book your private vehicle and reach there. If you are a trek lover, you can trek toward the beautiful kingdom of Lo-Manthang and experience the Tiji festival.

6. What type of accommodation can we get during the Tiji festival in Upper Mustang?

Well, you will be provided with all the basic accommodations during the Tiji festival. You will be accompanied by warm hospitality from the locals.


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