Saga Dawa Festival Tour

Duration: 14 DAYS

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Saga Dawa Festival

Get set to experience the exotic culture of Tibet! Saga Dawa Festival is an important festival amongst the Buddhist people which is celebrated to honour the life of Lord Buddha. It is said that – Lord Buddha, at the time of his death had requested his fellow follower not to cry or be sad on his death. He had strictly restricted everyone from offering flowers and lights over him, after his death. He had requested everyone to be happy and strive to follow his teachings for living a noble life. Death is an ultimate truth and all the compound objects like human body should surely disintegrate.

Saga Dawa Festival is celebrated each year on the full moon day of fourth lunar month of Tibetan calendar. Each year, during the period of Saga Dawa, pilgrimage from around the world come to Mt. Kailash to perform Kora. A giant flagpole at Tarpoche is taken down ritually and replaced by a new one. The colorful flag pole is raised high and pointed towards Gyandrak monastery. The monks in the monastery perform some rituals and the ceremony is accompanied by music from long trumpets, conch cells and other musical instruments. The flagpole should stand straight otherwise it is believed that some bad things might happen in Tibet.

Beside this, on this holy occasion, people visit many temples, monasteries and pray. They light butter lights and find peace within their mind. Therefore, come along with Nepal Hiking Team to rejoice this auspicious occasion of Saga Dawa Festival in Saga Dawa Festival Tour.

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 01 : Arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) Kathmandu
  • Day 02 : Tours preparation and Kathmandu valley sightseeing tour
  • Day 03 : Drive Kathmandu to Nyalam 3750 m (150 km)
  • Day 04 : Nyalam –free for acclimatization
  • Day 05 : Nyalam – New Dongba 4600m (390 km)
  • Day 06 : New Dongba – Mansarovar 4558m (277 km) Duration: 7-8 hrs
  • Day 07 : Mansarovar – Tarchen (40 km) Duration: 2-3 hrs
  • Day 08 : (25th May 2015): Attend to the Saga Dawa festival at Tarboche (Festival Day) Full moon
  • Day 09 : Tarchen – Tarboche (13 km drive) – Dirapuk (4860m.) (7 km trek / 5 – 6 hrs)
  • Day 10 : Dirapuk – Zuthulpuk (4760m) (18 km trek / 9-10 km) (passing through Dolma-la pass 5,200)
  • Day 11 : Zuthulpuk – Tarchen (Darchen) (10 km / 4-5 hrs) – Mansarovar- Dongba (end of Kailash Parikrama)
  • Day 12 : Drive Dongba to Nyalam
  • Day 13 : Drive to Kathmandu
  • Day 14 : Farewell

Cost Includes

  • All ground transports in private vehicle including airport transfers
  • Three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Kathmandu
  • Kathmandu city tours including all entry fees, tour guide and private vehicle
  • Best available twin sharing Lodge/Guesthouses during the Tibet tours
  • Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) approved guide for Tibet tours
  • Yaks and Yak-men to carry baggage while Kailash Parikrama
  • Tibet entry travel permit, Chinese visa and applicable entry fees during the trek/tours in Nepal/Tibet
  • Oxygen cylinder for Kailash Parikrama
  • All government taxes and official expense

Cost Excludes

  • Meals not specified in the 'Meal Inclusions' in the itinerary'
  • Travel insurance
  • International airfare
  • Nepal entry visa
  • All cold drinks such as: alcoholic beverages, mineral water, Coke, Fanta, juice, etc.
  • Nepali staff for Tibet tours
  • Shopping, laundry, internet, phone bills
  • Personal trekking equipment
  • Extra cost of transportation, porters involved due landslides, snowfall
  • Services other than specified. Extra days stay at Kathmandu / any other place
  • Tips for trekking staff and driver (Tipping is appreciated but it is not mandatory)

Day 01 - Arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) Kathmandu

Arrive in Kathmandu at any time. Our airport representative will welcome you and explain the program further. There are no planned activities for the day, so check into the hotel. Enjoy your overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 02 - Tours preparation and Kathmandu valley sightseeing tour

Touring the World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu Valley that includes: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa and Pasupatinath Temple. Overnight stay at hotel, breakfast included.

Day 03 - Drive Kathmandu to Nyalam 3750 m (150 km)

After early breakfast we drive through Bhaktapur, Dhulikhel and reach Friendship Bridge (i.e. Nepal-China border). From here we walk for about 10 minutes to cross Friendship Bridge and meet our Tibetan guide and land cruiser drivers. After all the immigration and custom formalities at the Chinese check post here, our journey continues for another 35 km which can take almost 3 hours through the up-winding road to Nyalam with beautiful scenery. Then, you will be transferred to the guest house in Nyalam (3700m). The facilities of the guesthouse are very simple and basic. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

Day 04 - Nyalam –free for acclimatization

Today is free for acclimatization. We will be going for short trek which is in preparation for Kailash Parikrama and it helps us to acclimatize fast. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

Day 05 - Nyalam – New Dongba 4600m (390 km)

After breakfast drive to Paryang. Passing through many villages and camps of yak herders. Far south you can see snow-capped mountain peaks. Most of the time you will be driving on plains, hence a comfortable drive. Arrive in Paryang and enjoy hot tea. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

Day 06 - New Dongba – Mansarovar 4558m (277 km) Duration: 7-8 hrs

Early breakfast and get ready for longest driving day. Late afternoon you can have first view of Holy Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar. Hore – a small village is situated near Holy Mansarovar Lake. Holy Mansarovar (14950ft./4558m) – the highest lake of fresh water with turquoise complexion in the world is full of fishes and swans. Holy Mt. Kailash, Mt. Gurula-Mandala, Lake Rakshash are lying on its surrounding. The region is considered rich for gold and other mines, hot springs and hundreds of wild living creatures. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

Day 07 - Mansarovar – Tarchen (40 km) Duration: 2-3 hrs

Holy Mansarovar is the lake of compassion, tranquility and bliss. After completing the memorable morning bath and puja we will be heading for Holy Mansarovar Parikrama by land cruiser with packed lunch and continue drive towards Tarchen (Darchen). If time permits, we visit Chui Gompa. Tarchen is considered as a base camp for Holy Kailash Parikrama. During the auspicious pilgrimage time, this place will be flooded with pilgrims with hundreds of tents all around. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

Day 08 - (25th May 2015): Attend to the Saga Dawa festival at Tarboche (Festival Day) Full moon

The Saga Dawa festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 4th Tibetan month and is one of the most important religious festivals celebrated in Tibet. This auspicious day coincides with three important events in Buddha’s life namely his birth, nirvana and parnirvana (death). Since the Saga Dawa festival falls on the holiest month of the Tibetan calendar, it is believed that good deeds and prayers are multiplied thousand fold during this event. So we can see everyone immersed in prayers trying to please the god. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

Day 09 - Tarchen – Tarboche (13 km drive) – Dirapuk (4860m.) (7 km trek / 5 – 6 hrs)

After breakfast drive to Tarboche – starting point of Kailash Parikrama. Tarboche is also known as outer “Asthapath”. It is one of the exciting days walking along the beautiful rocky cliffs; waterfalls with some clouds in the clear blue sky make you feeling that Great God Shiva is everywhere with tons of blessing to you. Time to time the face of Kailash Parbat will be kept on appearing. For 7 km trail it takes almost 7 hrs. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

Day 10 - Dirapuk – Zuthulpuk (4760m) (18 km trek / 9-10 km) (passing through Dolma-la pass 5,200)

Today you will be climbing to Drolma-la (Dolma-La 18600ft) and then descending gradually to Zuthulpuk (4760m). Yamasthal should be crossed to reach the Shiva-sthal while your steps go closer to the pass. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

Day 11 - Zuthulpuk – Tarchen (Darchen) (10 km / 4-5 hrs) – Mansarovar- Dongba (end of Kailash Parikrama)

Morning free time to explore the caves, temples and shrine around Milarepa cave. After walking 3 hours, all the driving crew will be waiting for your arrival. By late afternoon you will be at your lodge in Dongba. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

Day 12 - Drive Dongba to Nyalam

Drive Dongba to Nyalam (376 km) 7-8 hrs. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

Day 13 - Drive to Kathmandu

Today, we leave Nyalam behind. We pass the Bhote Koshi River and cross the Chinese – Nepalese border. After a short drive, we bid our Tibetan guide a goodbye. We then drive and walk to Nepalese Immigration Control in Kodari. Our Nepalese staff will complete the re-entry formalities and we drive to Kathmandu. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 14 - Farewell

Approximately 3 hours before the scheduled flight, a representative from the Nepal Hiking Team will take you to the airport.

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Important Note: If the above itinerary does not meet your needs, we can design individualized travel plans based on your preferences.

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