This is the story about one of the most impressive moments we have ever witnessed anywhere. "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'.
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 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 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 Round.
Itinerary: Saga Dawa Festival to Mount Kailash Mansarovar Tour
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu & Trasfer hotel
Day 02: Briefing and preparing visa and tours arrangements
Day 03: drive from Kathmandu to Zhangmu, overnight at gueshouse
Day 04: Drive Zhangmu to Nyalam - Gueshouse
Day 05: Rest and day hiking Nyalam - guest house
Day 06: Drive from Nyalam To Saga
Day 07: Saga to Paryang
Day 08: Drive from Paryang - Manasarovar Lake - Camping
Day 09: Drive from Manasarovar Lake to Tarboche (or Darchen) Camping
Day 10: Attend to the Saga Dawa at Tarboche - Camp
Day 11: Start to the Kora, night camp at Dira Puk - Camp
Day 12: Continue Parikarma over Drom La Pass & Zutul Puk - Camping
Day 13: End Parikarma & Darchen camp
Day 14: Darchen - Manasarovar Lake
Day 15: Drive from Manasarovar to Paryang, night at guest house/Camping
Day 16: Drive from Paryang to Saga, night at guest house/Camping
Day 17: Drive from Saga to Nyalam, night at guest house/Camping
Day 18: Drive from Nyalam to Kathmandu - Hotel
Day 19: Kathmandu - Hotel
Day 20: Final Departure.
- Accommodation On Twin Sharing basis bed & Breakfast in 3 star hotel in Kathmandu
- Sightseeing in Kathmandu with Italian guided.
- Budget lodges or hotel in Tibet best available en-route very basic.
- English Speaking Tibetan Guide
- Privet Japanese Lancruiser Jeep + 1 Support Truck for carrying staff, food
- Kathmandu - Nepal - Tibet border - Kathmandu privet land transfer
- Yaks & Yak-Man For Porte Range During round Kailash
- Sightseeing Tour and Everest Base Camp Permit
- Kailash Permit Monastery Entrance Fees
- All Tibet Travel Permit & Normal Tibet Visa Fee.
- All Camping tent, Mat, Table & Chair
- Guide, Cook & Kitchen Crews
- Food- Breakfast, Lunch, dinner & Snacks
- Gamow Bag (life saving device incase of altitude sickness)
- Insurance for trekking crews
- Farwell dinner
Cost does not include:
- Nepal Re - Entry Visa Fee
- Your Travel Insurance
- Bar bills & Beverage
- Lunch & Diner in Kathmandu
- Sleeping bag & Jackets as well as personal equipment.
- Phone calls & Laundry
MODEL OF PAYMENTS
- 20 days prior to tour departure date, 100% of the total cost should reach Samrat Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd account by telex transfer with passport of client.
TOUR CANCELLATION POLICY
- All notice of cancellation must be sent to our office in written. Verbal cancellations will not be entertained.
- 20 days before trip departure 10% of total trip cost.
- 15 days before trip departure 50% of total trip cost.
- 10 days before trip departure 90% of total trip cost.
- 07 days and less departure 100% of total trip cost.
IMPORTANT PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION:
Casual wears and comfortable walking shoes are the rule of Tibet . Be sure to bring warm clothing as nights and early mornings can be quite chilly to downright cold. Indian Pilgrims strictly advisable no Sari. Bring all the film, medicine, cosmetics, personal toilet items etc. that you will need from home as these are difficult if not impossible to obtain on the way. A small first aid kit is also a good idea. Also quite useful is a route map, to know where you are going and have been each day.
What to take:
Winter wear: Gore-Tex material, though expensive, is highly recommended. Down jacket, raincoat or windbreakers, thermal under wears, Jackets, warm trousers & woolen shirts (cotton will also do), warm sweaters, woolen gloves, sun hat, comfortable shoes, light leather boots in case of snow, woolen balaclava ('monkey cap') & scarf/dust mask to protect your eyes & nose from dust.
Bring with you:
Snacks along the way. Chocolates, dry fruit, toffees, glucose; 'namkeen' etc. Strong water bottle & water purifying tablets. Personal medical kit and Diamox tablet (for high altitude). Sun glasses (to protect your eyes from UV, which is especially strong in high altitudes). Sun block or sun screen lotion, wet tissues (Fresh-ones are excellent to wipe off the dust), clothes-line/clips, needle & thread, deo-spray (handy for smelly boots/feet and for a round of spray in the toilet tent!), toilet paper, torch & spare batteries, daypack (small shoulder bag), Camera & films, Binocular.
This is one of the toughest high altitude road journeys on earth. You Must be physically fit - no two ways about that. Generally patients with asthma & heart problems have a problem acclimatizing to high altitudes. In your interests it is essential you should be examined by your doctor to know about your health condition and your ability to cope up with the rigors of high altitude travel for days in 'no road' conditions, extreme cold, dust, trekking to an altitude of 19500ft during the Parikrama, etc.
As you are traveling over high terrain, you are likely to experience symptoms and discomfort of altitude sickness (headache, loss of appetite, nausea, exhaustion, sleeplessness, breathlessness etc.) until your body adjusts to the elevation. This can take a couple of days or more depending on an individual. For this reason alone, we have made it mandatory to stay 2 nights at Nyelam (12000ft) before moving on to the higher altitudes. Drink plenty of water, be calm, and do not exercise. Do not drink alcohol or smoke prior to and during the tour. We also recommend you carry a strip of diamox tablets. Do consult your physician on the dosage. We provide Gamow bag (a special equipment to prevent sickness from high altitude) on this tour.
The unit of Chinese currency is Yuan. USD 1 = 6.00 Yuan. 1 Yuan = INR 9.50 approx; Money can exchange at Bank of China at Zhangmu or from the locals at Zhangmu or Kodari. Exchange all your remaining Yuan at the end of the trip at Zhangmu itself before re-entering Nepal.
Risks & Liability:
Samrat Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd and its associates will put every effort to make your journey smooth and pleasant. However, all the tours in Tibet are conduct strictly under the rules & regulation of Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB). Therefore, Samrat Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd and its counterpart shall not be responsible for any change and alteration in the program due to unavoidable circumstances such as landslide, road blockage, flood, snow, political unrest, and cancellation of flight, delay arrival, sickness or accidents. Any extra cost incurred thereof shall be borne by the clients on the spot.
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