Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal (Local tour/trekking agency in Nepal)
Saga Dawa Tibet Festival Tour
  • Total Duration:14 Days
  • Trip Grade: Easy to Challenging
  • Max Elevation:5260 Mtr.
  • Best Time:April to October

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’.
The Day of Saga Dawa Festival : 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 themselves 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.

The Saga Dawa festival has been held here for the last thousand years… Having been part just once is such a powerful experience.

Trip Itinerary:

Day 01: Kathmandu Arrival
We pick you up at airport and transfer you to hotel./ Overnight at hotel.

Day 02: Kathmandu,
Tibet permit/visa preparation day.
Half day sightseeing around Kathmandu.

Day 03: Drive to Kodari boarder.
Cross friendship bridge and drive to Nyalam for Distance158km, Altitude 3700m / Overnight at Guest house.

Day 04: Rest at Nyalam for acclimatization.
Overnight at Guest house

Day 05: Drive to New Dongba .
Distance 356km, Altitude 4600m Overnight at Guest house .

Day 06: Drive to Manasarovar.
Distance 280km, Altitude 4588m Overnight at Guest house .

Day 07: Drive to Darchen
Distance 45km, Altitude 4700m/ Overnight at Guest house .

Day 08: Saga Dawa Festival
Explore Saga Dawa Festival at Tarboche. Trek to Derak puk Distance 20km,Time 6hours, Altitude 4900m / Overnight Guest house.

Day 09: Zutual puk
Trek to Zutual puk 18km Time 7-8 hours and drive to Manasarovar, Alittude 4700m Overnight at Guest house .

Day 10: Darchen
Trek to Darchen 14km, Time 3-4hours and drive to Drongba Distance 380km Altitude 4450m Overnight at Guest house.

Day 11:Nyalam
Drive to Nyalam Overnight at Guest house.

Day 12: Kodari- Kathmandu
Drive back to Kodari boarder (Nepal-China boarder) and drive to Kathmandu / Ovenight at Hotel.

Day 13: Kathmandu
Free stay at Kathmandu.

Day 14 : Departure
Drive to international airport to fly back to next destination or stay as long as you wish


Cost Includes:

  • All accommodation standard hotels and Guest House on Twin Saring Basic with Breakfast.
  • All Ground transportation.
  • Kathmandu sightseeing with city tour guide.
  • Govt. trained guide with insurance, salary and meals.
  • All Tibet visa fees and permit.
  • Entrances Fees.

Cost Excludes:

  • Nepal Visa.
  • International & Domestic Flight Flight.
  • All personal expenses such as bar bills, beverage, snacks etc.
  • Airport tax.
  • Lunch & Dinner.
  • Tibet Visa fees apply in kathmandu.
  • Extra shower, battery re-charge, laundry charge etc.
  • Personal clothing and gears.
  • Single supplement.
  • Tips to guide and porter.
  • Cost raised by cancelation, landslide, weather, political unrest, illness which are not under our control.
  • services other them mentioned above.

Trip Dates and Costs

Start Date End date Trip Price Availability Book
On Request On Request US$ 2025 Available Book Now

Note: If the above departures dates are not matched for you may request own your suitable date!

Useful Info

Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Nepal
Department of Immigration Nepal
Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN)
Nepal Association of Tour & Travel Agents(NATTA)
Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA)
Nepal Tourism Board
Village Tourism Promotion Forum-Nepal
Kathmandu Environmental Education Project Nepal
Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal
National Trust for Nature Conservation Nepal
Department of national Park in Nepalx
Trip Advisor
Travel Insurance
Arrange Tibet,Bhutan Visa & More
Online Application form for Nepal Tourist visa 

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