Saga Dawa Festival Tour

Saga Dawa Festival Tour is a popular pilgrimage destination in the isolated land of Tibet and is one of the most popular tours in Tibet. The festival is held every year at the Mount Kailash in Tibet. Saga Dawa Festival Tour at the Himalayan Trek Nepal is a 16-day long package which takes you to Tarboche where a function is held to commemorate and remember the birth and enlightenment of Lord Gautama Buddha. The festival is held every year on 15th day of the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar which generally falls on the 13th of June of the English calendar.
The main essence of the festival is that the Tarboche flagpole is renewed every year during the festival when the older flag is lowered and removed and gets replaced by a new one. The Buddhist pilgrims then offer prayers and trek around the holy Mount Kailash. The 15th day of the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar has been chosen as the day for the festival as the day holds a special significance to the Buddhist pilgrims as it was the same day when Buddha was born, got nirvana (enlightenment) and the subsequent parinirvana or the death. These three events hold special significance in Buddha’s life.
Another interesting fact of the Saga Dawa Festival is that the festival also includes traditional Tibetan dance and cultures from some of the popular local artists. You will avoid animal meat and foods during the festival and eat only vegetarian items. Hundreds of thousands of Buddhist pilgrims flock to Tarboche every year to celebrate the festival. The festival tour will also take you through to the popular Mount Kailash which is located towards the northwestern part of Nepal.
Itinerary Outline
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Obtain Visa and sightseeing in Kathmandu
Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Nyalam (3750m)
Day 04: Acclimatization at Nyalam (3750m)
Day 05: Drive to Saga (4640m)
Day 06: Drive to Paryang (4540m)
Day 07: Drive to Manasarovar (4560m)
Day 08: Move to Tarboche (4700 m)
Day 09: Attend Saga Dawa Festival in Tarboche
Day 10: Trek to Derapuk (5000m)
Day 11: Cross Dolmala Pass and walk to Zuthul Puk (4760m)
Day 12: Trek to Manasarovar Lake (4540m)
Day 13: Drive to Dongba
Day 14: Drive to Nyalam
Day 15: Drive to Kathamndu
Day 16: Final departure from Kathmandu
  • Details Itinerary
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Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will be received and welcomed by our team members and representatives. From the Airport, you will then be transferred to the Hotel where you will be briefed about the travel itinerary. Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu and obtain Visa
The next day, you will be completing the formalities like acquiring Chinese Visa for the impending Tibet tour. Once you get the Visa from the authorities, you will then go on a sightsee tour around the Capital visiting the monuments and the temples, the heritages and also the Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. After completing the sightseeing tour, you will return back to the Hotel.

Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Nyalam (3750m)
On the third day, you will leave Kathmandu Valley early in the morning after having breakfast at the Hotel and then set on a drive covering a distance of123 kms in about 5 hrs to reach to Nepal-Tibet border along the Araniko and Kodari Highway. After completing the immigration formalities at the border, you will then move to Zhangmu. From Zhangmu, you will walk for about 2 hrs enjoying the beautiful nature and the landscape and reach Nyalam. Overnight stay at a guesthouse in Nyalam.

Day 04: Acclimatization at Nyalam (3750m)
The next day is a free day meant for acclimatization at Nyalam. As Tibet is the highest plateau on Earth, it is also commonly referred to as roof of the earth. Acclimatization is very important at Nyalam as you need to acquaint yourself with the changing conditions and the altitude. Problems of high altitude sickness are a common occurrence during high altitude climbing. Drinking plenty of water, taking rest and breathing deeply will help you to adjust to the high altitude.

Day 05: Drive to Saga (4640 m)
From the 5th day onwards, your real journey kicks off as you will drive now from Nyalam to Saga. The journey along the occasional sandy and rocky terrain will be a memorable one as you will have wonderful moments before reaching Saga located at 4640 meters of altitude. After crossing high pass Labug La, you will follow the old silk route and cross Shisha Pangma Mountain on the south to finally reach a meadow nearby which is Saga. Overnight stay at a guesthouse.

Day 06: Drive to Paryang (4540m)
Paryang is located 225 km far from Saga and it takes about 7-8 hours of drive to make it to Paryang. You will pass through scenic beauties of mountains, wild and farm animals before reaching Paryang. It will be a comfortable drive and you can stop by in the middle for a hot cup of tea. Overnight stay at a guesthouse in Paryang.

Day 07: Drive to Manasarovar (4540m)
Your destination for the day is Manasarovar and you will reach the destination after driving the total distance of around 180 kms from Paryang. The whole journey for the day takes about 6 hours to complete. Mansarovar is a major pilgrimage destination both for Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims from across the world. The Mansarovar Lake and the mountain is considered as the abode of Hindu lord Shiva. Upon reaching there, you will drive to Chui Gompa by moving around Manasarovar Lake. You will stay overnight at the banks of Manasarovar.

Day 08: Move to Tarboche
After worshipping early in the morning and taking a holy bath in Manasarovar Lake, you will then head to Tarboche which is situated at around 4750 meters of altitude. In total, you will be covering a distance of around 53 kilometers before reaching Tarboche. You will stay overnight in Tarboche.

Day 09: Attend Saga Dawa Festival in Tarboche
The most important day of the festival comes on the 9th day when you celebrate the Saga Dawa Festival in Tarboche commemorating the enlightenment of Lord Gautama Buddha. The festival is held on the full moon day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar which usually falls in mid June. Thousands of Buddhist pilgrims attend this festival every year and there is an amazing atmosphere surrounding Tarboche because of the festival.

Day 10: Trek to Derapuk (5000m)
About 5 hrs of walking through numerous waterfalls and rocky cliffs will lead you to Derapuk on the 10th day. On the way, you can enjoy the scenic beauty of the northern face of Mount Kailash along with other mountains. Later you will lower down to finally reach Derapuk where you will be staying for the night.

Day 11: Cross Dolmala Pass and walk to Zutul Puk
You will continue the walking or the Parikrama the next day by walking past Dolma La pass (5650m). The trek is little difficult one but this day is the holiest day of your pilgrimage tour. Once you reach the top, you can offer holy offerings and can even sit down for meditation as it is such a quiet and calm place. Lowering down, you will reach Parvati-Stal and Gauri Kunda. In the afternoon, you will arrive at Zuthul Puk where the great ascetic Milerappa is believed to have performed some amazing miracles.

Day 12: Trek to Manasarovar Lake
After early breakfast, you will cover total distance of 12 km this day which will take about 4 hrs to complete. You will cross few streams and have a peek at the eastern side of Mount Kailash before reaching to Manasarovar Lake. You will camp at the bank of Manasarovar on this day.

Day 13: Travel to Dongba (4540m)
It will be a long drive on the 13th day as you will drive for around 8 hours before covering a mammoth distance of 366 kilometers before reaching Dongba. Overnight stay at a guesthouse.

Day 14: Move to Nyalam
The drive from Dongba to Nyalam takes about 8-9 hrs and you will be covering a distance of around 376 kilometers on this day. You will encounter two major mountain passes on the way before arriving to Nyalam which will be the final destination for the day.

Day 15: Drive to Kathmandu
From Nyalam, you will head towards Zhangmu- the border town on Tibet side. You will then undergo immigration formalities and arrive at the Friendship Bridge in the Nepali territory. It takes about 15 minutes of walk to arrive to Nepal’s side of border. From Kodari, you will then drive back to Kathmandu along the Araniko Highway which will take about 5-6 hours of time. You will then be transferred to the Hotel.

Day 16: Final departure from Kathmandu
The long travel formally concludes this day when you will be transferred to the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu from where you can take a flight back to your home country. 
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Trips Facts

Trip Duration: 16 Days

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I was initially somewhat nervous about what my adventure would entail, but in the trusty hands of my wonderful guide Prakash Khanal, my only challenges each day were the hills and what meals to order! A sign of a great trek is one you'll never forget, a sign of a great guide is one that you'll miss. A truly fabulous experience all round.

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We had two nights already organized personally on Nepal, but we wanted spend more time for exploring the country.So we met with the people from Osho Vision, who prepared for us complete program for 8 days with personal driver. Last night we spent in Happy Home hotel in city center and once again it was excellent service and welcoming staff. Many thanks to all staff from agency, we spent wonderful time with the perfect professional services.

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JosefCIpra, Prague, Hlavni Mesto Praha, Czech Republic

Osho Vision has a superbly professional team and I was looked after way beyond my expectations by Kedar Mani Khanal. Every little detail from hotel and flight bookings to professional guides was faultless. All of this was delivered with personal service and a smile. I will never need to go anywhere else for any sight seeing, mountain trekking or any of the other things I choose to do. Thank you, thank you, thank you for making my first trip to Nepal such an effortless pleasure! Paula Mayura.

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