Saga Dawa Festival with Mount Kailash Manasarovar Tour

Duration: 20 Days     
  • Destination: Nepal
  • Trip Difficulty: Easy
  • Group Size: 01 - 10 pax

Saga Dawa festival is the story about one of the most impressive moments we have ever witnessed anywhere. "Saga Dawa is an important Tibetan Buddhist festival, held each year on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, to celebrate Sakyamuni's enlightenment", that's what every guidebook will tell you. But actually having been there, at that moment it is more like being part of a magic event, something that gets a total grip on all of your senses. So what's going on? Each year, they replace the Tarboche flagpole, a huge pole that stands round of Kailash. People from all over Tibet gather here that day to attach their prayer flags they brought from home, to pray, and to help erect the flagpole. The flagpole should stand perfectly upright, or else things are not good for Tibet . A Lama leads the whole ceremony from the nearby monastery. It's his job to make it work 'right first time'.

Day of Saga Dawa: People circulate the flagpole that is down on the ground now. They pray and throw 'wind horses' (little pieces of colored paper with Buddhist scriptures on them) into the air. They help to remove last year's prayer flags and attach new ones. As a visitor you are almost forced to follow them as they go around and around, time after time. Along the sides, on the slope of the nearby hills, a lot of people are sitting to watch the 'spectacle' and there are musicians, which play all the time on their horns and symbols.

The flagpole is first erected halfway, using A-structures and ropes. The Lama continually gives instructions on how to do it, when to stop and when to go on. Everyone can help pulling the ropes, that's the 'non-organized' part of it, but there are always plenty of people doing this spontaneously. When they cannot go further using the A-structures, they pause for about half an hour. The Lama sits on the side, and all the time people come to sit in front of them, to talk to him, to give him some gift (mostly some drink!), to ask him for good fortune. They do not 'queue' however, as soon as someone is gone, someone else comes out of the walking crowds - it all seems not organized, but in fact it's a very special way of organization

Then comes the final part, the last step that has to result in the perfect upright position of the flagpole, A steel cable is attached to two trucks, engines are warmed up, and then, on the sign of the Lama, and they go backward, pulling the flagpole. To be able to control the movement, on both sides of the flagpole people pull ropes too, to prevent it doesn't incline to one or the other direction. Once the trucks start moving, it all goes very fast, the flagpole is moving, the A-structures that were supporting it, fall down, and only seconds later it is all over. And then big magic occurs, the flagpole stands upright, and at that very moment, thousands of wind horses fly into the sky... like an explosion of prayers going to the heavens. You can really feel a sudden great sense of happiness surrounding you.

The next moment, people start incubating the flagpole again, this time to assure them the job is well done, and that all is well. We join them in some kind of almost euphoria. Some hours later the place is empty again, except for the tents further away belonging to the people that will spend the night here, maybe to return the next day, or to do the Kailash Round.

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 1Arrive in Kathmandu & Trasfer hotel.
  • Day 2Briefing and preparing visa and tours arrangements.
  • Day 3Drive from Kathmandu to Zhangmu, overnight at gueshouse.
  • Day 4Drive Zhangmu to Nyalam - Gueshouse.
  • Day 5Rest and day hiking Nyalam - guest house.
  • Day 6Drive from Nyalam To Saga.
  • Day 7Saga to Paryang.
  • Day 8Drive from Paryang - Manasarovar Lake - Camping.
  • Day 9Drive from Manasarovar Lake to Tarboche (or Darchen) Camping.
  • Day 10Attend to the Saga Dawa at Tarboche - Camp.
  • Day 11Start to the Kora, night camp at Dira Puk - Camp.
  • Day 12Continue Parikarma over Drom La Pass & Zutul Puk - Camping.
  • Day 13End Parikarma & Darchen camp.
  • Day 14Darchen - Manasarovar Lake.
  • Day 15Drive from Manasarovar to Paryang, night at guest house/Camping.
  • Day 16Drive from Paryang to Saga, night at guest house/Camping.
  • Day 17Drive from Saga to Nyalam, night at guest house/Camping.
  • Day 18Drive from Nyalam to Kathmandu - Hotel.
  • Day 19Kathmandu - Hotel.
  • Day 20Final Departure.

What’s Included

  • Accommodation On Twin Sharing basis bed & Breakfast in 3 star hotel in Kathmandu
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu with Italian guided.
  • Budget lodges or hotel in Tibet best available en-route very basic.
  • English Speaking Tibetan Guide.
  • Privet Japanese Lancruiser Jeep + 1 Support Truck for carrying staff, food.
  • Kathmandu - Nepal - Tibet border - Kathmandu privet land transfer.
  • Yaks & Yak-Man For Porte Range During round Kailash.
  • Sightseeing Tour and Everest Base Camp Permit.
  • Kailash Permit Monastery Entrance Fees.
  • All Tibet Travel Permit & Normal Tibet Visa Fee.
  • All Camping tent, Mat, Table & Chair.
  • Guide, Cook & Kitchen Crews.
  • Food- Breakfast, Lunch, dinner & Snacks.
  • Gamow Bag (life saving device incase of altitude sickness).
  • Insurance for trekking crews.
  • Farwell dinner.
  • Nepal Re - Entry Visa Fee.
  • Your Travel Insurance.
  • Emergency rescue charges, Evacuation Cost per Jeep USD 800-1000.
  • Bar bills & Beverage.
  • Lunch & Diner in Kathmandu.
  • Sleeping bag & Jackets as well as personal equipment.
  • Tipping for staffs it is expected.
  • Phone calls & Laundry.