Saga Dawa Festival Tours

Saga Dawa Festival Tours

  • Trip Overview
  • Itinerary

Trip Overview

Saga Dawa Festival Tours presents an opportunity to observe the amazing Saga Dawa festival and lets you discover the aptitudes of the holy Mount Kailash and travel along to the spectacular Lake Mansarovar. Saga Dawa festival excitedly and with much joviaty is celebrated on the fourth Tibetan Lunar month on a full moon day, where the chanting the prayers take on a whole another level of pious significance. According to legend, Saga Dawa festival is celebrated to rejoice Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. According to their tradition, when Lord Buddha was dying, he instructed one of his followers not to honor him merely with flowers, incenses and light after he died, but by striving to follow his teachings about living a noble life and being kind and compassionate. He urged people not to weep about his death but to remember that all compound objects like the human body must eventually disintegrate. Along with remembering Lord Buddha and his activities, the main point of the festival is to pray. It is said by many that the goal of the festival season is to pray for the long life of all the holy gurus of all traditions, for the survival and spreading of Buddha’s teachings in the minds of all sentient beings, and for world peace. You would be able to observe the crowd that gathers in the Potala Palace during the festival. Hundreds of people lie down or stand to pray in from of the palace. You can also go to the park near the Potala Palace called the Dzongyab Lukhang Park where there usually is a large gathering of people for an outdoor picnic in the late afternoon. The Saga Dawa Festival Tours is a wonderful way to experience this festival.

We will drive to Nyalam crossing the Friendship Bridge which separates Nepal from China to begin the Saga Dawa Kailash Mansarovar tour. En-route, we will pass through several villages; and with an easy drive, we will reach New Dongba. Moving ahead, the first views of the holy Mountain Kailash as well as Lake Mansarovar comes into sight. The turquoise blue fresh water of Mansarovar lying at a height of 4558m is recognized as the lake located at the highest altitude in the world.

We will continue our trip to attend the Saga Dawa Festival which is the major festival in the Ngari area. Here, can also observe quite a few rituals done by Buddhism, Hinduism and Bon. The festival is celebrated to wish for the long life of teachers who preach wisdom of Buddha and to admire the life of Buddha Shakyamuni. We will also drive to Tarboche which is the commencing point of the ‘Kailash Parikrama’.

Escape Himalaya presents you a wonderful opportunity to go for the Saga Dawa Festival Tours and makes an unforgettable moment for you to experience this religious and spiritual manifestation. The celebration is a great way to comprehend Tibetan culture and traditions. So come join us in this wonderful endeavor to experience a religious environment celebrating the life, work and death of The Light of Asia.

You can also opt for our Simikot Kailash Lhasa Tour Package as well. Another package we offer for trekking in Tibet is the Everest Advanced BC Trek which lets you trek to the base camp of the world’s tallest mountain.

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, Kathmandu

    As you arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport, you will be greeted by one of Escape Himalaya’s representatives. You will then be driven to your hotel where you can check in and relax as you have nothing else planned for the day. The representative will also explain the program further to you. Overnight stay at the hotel.

    Day 02 Tours preparation and Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour

    On this day, you will go around different cultural heritages in Kathmandu. You will visit the Bouddhanath Stupa, the largest stupa on Earth; excurse around the holy Pashupatinath Temple, an important and most significant temple dedicated to Lord Shiva; explore around the Kathmandu Durbar Square, where we can see speckled temples and the grandeur of old palaces that reflect Nepal’s monarchial days; and visit the Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey Temple at hummock which presents you an amazing experience of the temple’s terrain and environment. Overnight stay at the hotel. Breakfast included.

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

    We will, on this day, leave Kathmandu and drive to Nyalam. On the way, we will traverse on the Friendship Bridge which separates Nepal from China. Here, we will have some entry formalities done at the Chinese check post. Then, driving for around 3 hours on twisting roads, we will reach Nyalam. Overnight stay at the Guesthouse.

    Day 04 Nyalam – free day for acclimatization

    This is a rest day in Nyalam to get accustomed with the high altitude area. Health experts suggest having proper acclimatization day to avoid altitude sickness during trekking. Alternatively, we can have a short hike around the place instead of just relaxing too, if you want. Overnight stay at the Guesthouse.

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

    On this day, we will drive from Nyalam to Paryang. En-route, we will pass through a lot of villages. We will also notice snow-capped peaks on the far southern direction. We will in fact, have an easy travel since the road is rather smooth. We will then reach New Dongba lying at the height of 4600m. Overnight stay at the Guesthouse.

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

    We have a long drive on this day to reach Mansarovar from New Dongba, which takes around 8 hours of travel time. The first view of the sacred Mt. Kailash as well as Lake Mansarovar appears on this day to enthrall us with their natural beauty. We can also explore around a small village set near the holy Mansarovar Lake named Hore. The turquoise blue waters of Mansarovar, lying at the height of 4558m, are identified as the highest located lake with fresh water. We can also notice Lake Rakshash situated near to the lake. Overnight stay at the Guesthouse.

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

    On this day, we can visit the striking Chiu Monastery situated on the north-west bank of the lake that presents wonderful views of Mount Kailash in the backdrops of its picturesque natural terrain. With the awesome memory of the beautiful lake and holy mountain views, we will drive towards Tarchen. Overnight stay at the Guesthouse.

    Day 08 Attend to the Saga Dawa festival at Tarboche (Festival Day) Full moon

    This is the most important day of our trip. We will walk for around 50 minutes to reach to the destination where the Saga Dawa Festival is celebrated. Saga Dawa Festival is the major festival in the Ngari area. We can also notice several rituals done by Buddhism, Hinduism and Bon. The festival admires the life of Buddha Shakyamuni. It is celebrated to pray for the long life of teachers who spread wisdom of Buddha. This occasion corresponds with three chief events in Buddha's life including birth, nirvana and death. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

    Day 09 Tarchen – Tarboche (13 km drive) – Dirapuk (4860m), Duration: 5–6 hrs

    After breakfast, we will depart from Tarchen and drive approximately 13 km to reach Tarboche which is the beginning point of ‘Kailash Parikrama’, and here we can see a tall pole decked with prayer flags. We will also trek along the spectacular rock faces and cascades of water bodies on the way. The views of Mount Kailash come into view over and over again before we reach at Dirapuk, set 4860m high. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

    Day 10 Dirapuk – Zuthulpuk (4760m) (18 km trek), Passing through Dolma-La pass (5,200m)

    We will walk from Lha Chu Valley today to the Drolma Chu Valley. We will also traverse the Drolma La pass lying at the altitude of 5630m which is quite challenging. The top of the pass is adorned with prayer flags. Then, we will be walking down to reach Zutulphuk. The sight of Thukpe Dzingbu Lake is quite appealing as you come across it; it is also titled as the “Lake of Compassion”. At Zutulphuk, we can explore monasteries and a number of contemplation caves, one of which contains the image of Milarepa. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

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

    On this day, we will depart from Zutulphuk and traverse several streams, and stroll along a striking canyon. On the way, we will see superb views of the holy Mount Kailash once again. After that, we will walk passing wonderful view of the land terrain and reach Darchen and then move ahead to reach Dongba. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

    Day 12 Drive Dongba to Nyalam (376 km), Duration: 7-8 hrs

    Driving for roughly 8 hours, we will reach Nyalam from Dongba on this day, passing along exuberant landscapes. You can enjoy the spectacular sights of the environment as it passes by. Overnight at the Guesthouse.

    Day 13 Drive to Kathmandu

    This is our last day in Tibet. We will drive to Kathmandu today, carrying with us a splendid memory of our time in Tibet and of the festival. Passing the Bhote Koshi River, we will traverse to the Chinese - Nepalese border where we will have to undergo custom formalities again. Then, you will be driven to the hotel where you can relax for the rest of your time. Overnight stay at hotel. Breakfast included.

    Day 14 Farewell

    One of the representatives from Escape Himalaya will drop you off at the airport from where you will depart today.