Saga Dawa Festival Tour

Trip Duration 16 Nights/17 Days
Trip Code NAP-SDF - 511
Trip Grade Sightseeing/Hiking and driving.
Trip Cost On Request
Best Time Aug-Nov and Feb-May


Saga Dawa festival tour is observed by Tibetan Buddhist as one of the important festivals in their society. It therefore occupied an important position in the Tibetan society held each year on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar. This festival is celebrated in honor of Sakyamuni's and his enlightenment. Each year, they replace the Tarboche flagpole, a huge pole that stands on the Kailash Kora, south of the mountain. 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. The whole ceremony is led by a Lama from the nearby monastery.

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 it’s come 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 Parikrama.

Saga Dawa Festival tour begins after the arrival of all participants in Kathmandu, the group will meet up with the staffs of Nepal Adventure Point for introduction and briefing about the trip. The next day is the day for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You will be taken around for a tour of Bouddhanath, Pashupatinath, Patan and Swoyambhunath - the monkey temple. This tour will help you to understand about the historical and cultural background of Nepal, Kathmandu valley and the people of Nepal. The next couple of days are for checking equipments, final preparations, packing, Tibet visa and other necessary document for this trip.

After official procedure, we drive towards Nepal/Tibet border up to the Friendship Bridge through Arniko Highway, where you will receive by our Tibetan guide and after completion of the immigration formalities then we drive to Nyalam (3750m) and we continue drive to Pigutso, Saga, Zhongbo to Lake Manasarovar, tour along the way to visit important sites together with magnificent Himalayan views. We will visit the picturesque Chiu Monastery on the North West shore of the lake with the imposing sight of Mount Kailash in the background. We celebrate the Saga Dawa with the pilgrims and tourists together and we have couple day’s treks from Manasarover to Tarbochen, Dira-Puk till Darchen. Then we re-cross the vast arid plains before heading south to the Nepalese border and returning to Kathmandu and the farewell dinner will be at typical Nepali restaurant enjoying together with Nepali culture show program. This is truly the trip of a lifetime with stunning scenery and cultural highlights


Visit temple, Art/architecture, Pagodas and Heritage sites in Kathmandu
Scenic road-head drive to Nepal/Tibet border through the Araniko Highway
The high passes bordering Yamdrok-Tso, Gyantse and Shigatse
Visit Sakya Monastery
A walk or drive to Base Camp brings you even closer
Visit Shalu, Tashilimpu Palkor Monastery
Yamdruk Lake
Historical sight of Lhasa and Buddhist monasteries
Scenic Himalayan flight to kathmandu

Trip Summary

Trip Grade Sightseeing/Hiking and driving.
Trip Duration 16 Nights/17 Days
Trip code NAP-SDF - 511
Trip Start/Ends Kathmandu-Kodari/Lhasa-Kathmandu
Maximum Altitude Dirapuk (4750m)
Trip Cost On Request
Group Size Minimum 2 upto 32 passengers
Accessibillity Scenic road-head drive to and from Kodari from Kathmandu through the Arniko Highway
The Route Kathmandu drive to Nepal/Tibet board to reach Lhasa, after completing Tibet tour, fly back to Kathmandu
Season Aug-Nov and Feb-May
Trip Valid This offer is valid on reservations made from September through December 31, 2018.
Trip Facilities Standard hotel/Lodge both part of Tibet and Nepal,


Upon arrival at Tribhuwan international airport, welcomed by our representative and transfer to hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. A pre trip meeting and briefing will held all together with you at hotel about the daily program activities by company representative and your trip Leader/Guide where you can discuss your final questions all together.

After breakfast the day will start with a guided tour of Kathmandu's historical and spiritual key attractions; including the historic Kathmndu Durbar Square, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambunath) and then finally visit to Patan Durbar square which is situated the heart of the city constitutes the focus of visitor's attraction. In the evening there will pre-trip discussion where you can meet your group leader and checking equipments, final preparations, packing, Tibet visa and other necessary document for Saga dawa festival trip.

After official procedure we, drive towards Nepal/Tibet border up to the Friendship Bridge through Arniko Highway. Upon reaching the border we will complete the necessary paper work and continue up the steep slope to Zhangmu then again follow the road up to Nyalam.

Our final destination today is the large Peiku-tso Lake. On the way we cross two hig passes and encounter much beautiful scenery.

This day is a longer driving day, but the surrounding Tibetan scenery makes it all worthwhile. Or there won’t be as saying that driving is sightseeing in Tibet. It is also named as scenic drive. Throughout the day we cross the Brahmaputra River on a ferry, pass through Saga, and finally end in the small town of Zhongba.

During our fourth day we encounter some of the best panoramic scnery in our entire journey. After passing through Paryang we cross several rivers before reach our camp. We will spend the night just below Mayun-La.

This day we finally reach the holy site of Lake Manasarovar (4560m). Be prepared for an awe-inspiring experience!

This day will be an easy day driving with our land cruiser around this beautiful lake, experience the magic of this holy site meet with local pilgrims and visit the beautiful Chiu Monastery. Mt. Kailash looks in the distance. After a short break at Chiu Gompa we will continue drive to Base Camp of Mt. Kailash, Tarchen.

Celebrate the Saga Dawa with the pilgrims and tourists together. Start Trek to Dira-Puk After only a 35 km drive we will reach Tarboche (4750m). Tarboche marks the start of our religious 53 km trek around the mountain. we will trek to Dirapuk today, through lush green meadows and babbling mountain streams compliment our walk through the Lha Chu Valley. We then trek through a narrow river canyon. Enticing waterfalls and steep cliffs surround us. The north face of Kailash finally comes into view as we reach Dira-puk, a 13th century monastery.

After trekking through the Drolma Chu Valley we climb the prayer flag laden Drolma La pass. It is a relief to cruise downhill towards Zutul-puk (4790m), with a view of an alluring mountain lake in the distance. Thukpe Dzingbu Lake is known as the Lake of Compassion. We can also explore several ancient meditation caves!

This is our final day of the kora and a delightful day at that. Several stream and splendid gorges surround us. Ravishing views of Mt. Kailash are abundant on our walk today, meet our jeep and drive to Hor the east side of Mansarovar.

We must leave early today for our drive back to Paryang (4750m). However, it is not a wasted day as some of the best scenery on our trip is seen in this section. Relax and enjoy the unparalleled beauty of this drive.

This day is another driving day as we head towards Saga (4600m). Take in the sights of the small dusty towns along the way!

This day we cross the Yarlung Tsangpo by ferry once more. You are given one last chance to soak in the beauty of Peiku-tso before arriving back at Nyalam (3300m).

After Nyalam we descend down through a mossy gorge and brilliant cascading waterfalls. From Zhangmu we cross the Bhote Kosi River using the Friendship Bridge. At this point we must bid a fond farewell to our Tibetan guide and go through all the border formalities. Tibet welcomes you back forever.

This full day at leisure to rest, relax or explore the local area in Kathmandu or do a bit of last minute shopping. You also have the option of doing some sightseeing.

After breakfast you will have some free time until the time to leave the international airport for your final departure.

Cost Included

Cost Excluded

Trip Notes

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