Saga Dawa Festival Trek is a delightful trek to Tibet that allows you to be a part of the Saga Dawa festival, a festival that is celebrated with much joy and happiness by Buddhist people in Tibet. The word – Saga refers to a star that is prominent in the sky during the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar and Dawa means month. Therefore, Saga Dawa is a month of merits. It is a wonderful festival celebrated each year during the full moon day of the fourth lunar month as per the Tibetan calendar. The festival generally starts in the month of May and ends in June. The festival cherishes the birth, death, and enlightenment of Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
Buddhist consider the month of Saga Dawa an auspicious time to perform religious acts and rituals. There are many religious and spiritual places in Tibet. At this time, people visit this religious and sacred places. The holy places in Tibet attract many foreign Buddhist pilgrims during this time. The pilgrims visit sacred lake, river, mountains, and caves. The most auspicious place to celebrate this festival is the holy Mt. Kailash. In this festive season, Mt. Kailash receives numerous pilgrims who visit this place to perform kora.
Lord Buddha, during the last moments of his life, had requested his followers not to cry over his death. Instead, he requested everyone to be happy and follow his teachings for a noble life. For, death is an inevitable truth of life. So, the followers celebrated his death and the Saga Dawa festival as a memory rejoices the birth, life, death, and enlightenment of Lord Buddha.
Each year, during this festival, a giant flagpole at Tarpoche is taken down and replaced by a new one. The flag point is then raised high towards the Gyandrak monastery. Various rituals are performed during this act accompanied by music from trumpet and other musical instruments. The flag should stand straight. If it doesn’t then it is taken as a symbol that something bad is going to happen.
On this auspicious festival, people visit temples and monasteries to pray and perform religious rituals. It’s a way to remember Lord Buddha and his holy teachings. Do you want to be a part of this holy Buddhist festival? If yes, then do not forget to contact World Alpine Treks for a well-arranged and lively journey!
The first day marks your arrival day in Kathmandu. Clear all the visa requirements and customs clearance if any at the arrival section of the airport. As you come out, you will find a representative from World Alpine Treks waiting for you holding a board with your name. You will then be transferred to your hotel at Kathmandu. The representative will shortly inform you about the plans ahead.
The second day is a day tour just to warm up prior to your trekking journey. Kathmandu is a city enriched with artistic palaces, beautiful monuments, ancient temples and other constructions of historical and cultural importance. No wonder, the city has seven out of ten UNESCO listed world heritage sites. Today, you will be guided to the UNESCO listed heritage sites in Kathmandu. These heritages are perfect examples of rich history, fine culture and architectural treasures of Nepal. At first, you will be taken to Kathmandu Durbar Square. The art, crafts, and carvings in the palaces, temples and other monuments of the durbar square are excellent. After that, you will be escorted to Swayambhunath stupa (Monkey temple), Pashupatinath temple and Boudhanath stupa respectively. (Inclusive of breakfast)
After breakfast in the hotel, you will be picked up for a drive to Nyalam. We drive along Bhaktapaur and pass Dhulikhel and Dolalghat to Friendship Bridge at the Nepal China border. We get down from the ride and walk for around ten minutes to cross the bridge. There we meet our Chinese crew members and clear all the immigration formalities. From here, we drive for another three hours to Nyalam. It’s a scenic drive along with the Tibetan territory to Nyalam. Tonight, at a guesthouse in Nyalam (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
At Nyalam, we are already at an elevation of 3750 meters. To adapt to the changing elevation, we stay at Nyalam today. We opt for a short hike which would be a warm-up walk for Kailash palkrama later. We walk around relishing the spectacular beauty of Tibetan territory and mountainous landscape. Tonight, at a guesthouse in Nyalam (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
After a day in Nyalam, we drive towards Paryang. We drive pass many villages and camps of yak herders on the way with outstanding views of snow-capped mountains in the far south. Today, we will be driving along the flat section of the highway hence the drive would be a comfortable one. In the evening, we stop at New Dongba for overnight stay. (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Leaving New Dongba, we head towards Mansarovar. It would be the longest day drive of our entire journey. In the late afternoon, we can catch the first glimpse of Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake. Mansarovar Lake is the highest lake of freshwater at an elevation of 4558 meters. This turquoise-colored lake is full of swans and fishes. The serene lake in the backdrop of Mt. Kailash and Mt. Gurula Mandala looks absolutely stunning. There is a small village called Hore near the lake. We stay at a camping site near the lake for the night. (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
In the early morning, we take a holy bath in the freshwater of Lake Mansarovar. After breakfast, we continue for a drive around the lake. After exploring around the lake through the land cruiser, we head towards Tarchen. It is considered as the base camp for performing parikrama around the holy Mt. Kailash. If time permits, we shall visit a gompa called Chui Gompa on the way to Tarchen. Tonight, at a guesthouse in Tarchen (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Saga Dawa Festival is one of the important festivals celebrated by Buddhist people in Tibet. It is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the fourth Tibetan month. This festival is celebrated to cherish the birth, nirvana, and death of Lord Buddha. The month of Saga Dawa is very auspicious. It is believed that good deeds and prayers will multiply in this festival. Today, we stay at Tarboche and observe the celebration of this festival. Tonight, at a guesthouse in Tarboche(Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
We enjoy our breakfast at Tarchen and drive to Tarboche which is the starting point of our holy parikrama around Mt. Kailash. We walk through a beautiful trail full of rocky cliffs, waterfalls and mountainous terrain to Dirapuk. We cover around seven kilometers in the time of seven hours today. The parikrama really builds up your spirituality. You will feel a real connection between you and the almighty during this trip. Tonight, at a government guesthouse in Dirapuk (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Leaving Dirapuk, we head up to Dolma La pass at an altitude of 18600ft. As we climb up the pass, we will be blessed with some astounding views of mountains, passes, and surrounding mountainous terrain. The holy Mt. Kailash looks fabulous. From the pass, we descend down to Zuthulpuk. Tonight, at a government guesthouse in Zuthulpuk (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
We wake up early in the morning to explore some ancient caves, temples, and shrines around the Milarepa cave. After breakfast, we walk for around three hours to reach a place where our driving crew will be waiting for us. Then, you will be driven to New Dongba via Tarchen and Mansarovar Lake. Tonight, at a guesthouse in New Dongba (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
After breakfast in the guesthouse, we continue will our return journey. We drive back via the same stunning landscape to Nyalam. Tonight, at a guesthouse in Nyalam (Inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Concluding our trip, we leave Nyalam and drive towards Nepal China Border. As we leave the border, we bid goodbye to our Tibetan crew and drive along the Bhotekoshi River enjoying the scenic countryside landscape. We continue our drive along the highway to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel in Kathmandu. Tonight, we stay at a hotel in Kathmandu. (Inclusive of breakfast and lunch)
Before a few hours of your scheduled flight, you will be transferred to the international terminal of Tribhuwan International airport. (Inclusive of Breakfast)