We have written May words before about the simple awesomeness of mountain biking in the Upper Mustang Region. This natural desert like area abounds with trails, single tracks and challenging passes with some very very spectacular scenery along the way. But to make it even more special, in the month of May, during the Full Moon the local people celebrate the Tiji Festival. Tiji is one of the most colorful and authentic Buddhist Festivals in Nepal and it makes a special trip in Upper Mustang even more spectacular and memorable.
Its 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 growing season for 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. Its a colourful festvvial of dancing demons, horse back riding and racing and many other local tradition, surely an added highlight to any mountain bike trip in the Upper Mustang Region.
17th May - ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU- Accom: Hotel Courtyard
18th May - KATHMANDU SIGHTSEEING & WARM UP RIDE- Accom: Hotel Courtyard
19th May - DRIVE TO POKHARA- Accom: Attiti Resort
20th May - POKHARA FLY TO JOMSOM & BIKE TO JHONG (3550 meters)- Accom: Teahouse
21st May - JHONG TO SAMAR (3660 meters)- Accom: Teahouse
22nd May - SAMAR TO GHAMI (3520 meters)- Accom: Teahouse
23rd May - GHAMI TO CHARANG (3560 meters)- Accom: Teahouse
24th May - CHARANG TO LO-MANTHANG (3810 meters)- Accom: Teahouse
25th May - LO-MANTHANG – Full Moon and Start of the Tiji Festival
26th May - LO-MANTHANG – Tiji Festival
27th May - LO-MANTHANG – Tiji Festival
28th May - LO-MANTHANG TO GAMI (3520 meters)- Accom: Teahouse
29th May - GAMI TO SAMAR (3660 meters)- Accom: Teahouse
30th May - SAMAR TO JOMSOM (2980 meters)- Accom: Teahouse
31st May - JOMSOM TO TATOPANI (1190 meters)- Accom: Teahouse
1st Jun - TATOPANI TO POKHARA- Accom: Attiti Resort
2nd Jun - POKHARA TO KATHMANDU- Accom: Hotel Courtyard
3rd Jun - DEPARTURE- TRANSFER TO THE AIRPORT