Upper Mustang Valley lying in the rain shadow of the Himalayas is perhaps the last enclave of pristine Tibetan culture. Forbidden & isolated from the rest of the World it was able to evolve its own distinctive culture and tradition which are so rich & unique. Lo-Mustang, the capital is walled city ruled by a religious king. Untouched by modern civilization, life in Mustang goes on as it has for centuries in its own pace and ways. A trek into the kingdom of Mustang is an unforgettable experience. Upper Mustang is a restricted area of Nepal. Those who wish to visit Mustang, have to come in a group, pay a special permit fee and apply for a permit through any trekking agency licensed by the government of Nepal to operate such business.
The Tiji festival is a three-day ritual known as "The chasing of the Demons" and it is centered on the Tiji myth. Tiji tells the story of a deity named Dorje Jono who must battle against his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. The demon father wreaks havoc on Mustang by creating a water shortage which, in this extremely arid land, is the most precious life-sustaining resource. Dorje Jono eventually defeats the demon and banishes him from the land.
Tiji is a celebration and reaffirmation of this myth. Throughout the festival, the events and story of the myth are re-enacted. The festival is timed to coincide with the end of the dry season (late winter/spring) and ushers in the wetter monsoon season. Tiji comes from the words "ten che" meaning "the hope of Buddha Dharma prevailing in all worlds" and is a spring renewal festival that also celebrates the triumph of good over evil in1964. At this time, the Mustang region was still completely closed off to foreigners and had to obtain special permission from the government of Nepal in order to enter the Region.