Saga Dawa Festival Mount Kailash
Saga Dawa Festival at Mt. Kailash (FT03)
Saga Dawa is the most important annual festival of Tibet. The 15th day of April in the Tibetan calendar is the day that Buddha Sakyamuni was given birth; also the day he attained Nirvana. During this period, Tibetans from all over Tibet pour into this area of Mt. Kailash, two or even three weeks before this date. During this time, the giant flagpole at Tarpoche is ritually taken down and the prayer flags along its length replaced. During the flagpole ceremony, as the pole’s tip is raised and pointed east towards Gyangdrak momnastery, monks of that monastery perform a special ritual. Music from long trumpets, conch shells, and other instruments welcomes the rising flagpole.
Festival Date: April 15th of Tibetan Calendar.
2013 Saga Dawa festival is on May 25 th in Gregorian Calendar
Day 3 & 4 Lhasa: In the morning visit Sera monastery, Chaqi monastery, Nechung monastery and Visit Potala Palace, Jokhang temple and Ramoche temple.
Day 5 to D9 Arrive at Darchen via Shigartse, Sakya, Sangsang, Namring, Saga, Paryang, and Lake Manasarovar: About 6 days drive via Shigartse, Sakya, Sangsang, Namring, Saga, Paryang, and Lake Manasarovar finally reachs at Darchen, which is the entrance of Mt. Kailash. This spectacular souther route from Lhasa to Kailash gurantees superb views along the road, and encounters with antelopes…etc wildlife.
Day 10 Darchen: Witness the festival of Saga Darwa festival.
Day 11 Trekking to Drira Phuk monastery: Departure from Darchen, by vehicle to Darpoche, the entrance of Lha-chu valley, where we can see the south face of Kailash. Load up all gear to our pack animal at Tarpoche, then start trekking, about 4 hours hike following La-chu valley take north bank of the stream to the camp that opposte to Drira Phuk monastery.
Day 12 Trekking to Zutrul Phuk monastery: This is the second day of trek, also is the hardest day. The highest spot of this trek of Drolma La pass is about 5700 above the sea level. Start from the camp, the trail is steep, strenuous, the altitude goes up rapaidly, plan about 3 or 4 hours to cover this ascending hiking of 6km around is necessary. When reach top of Drolma la pass, descending southeastward from this pass. This trail is rocky and steep, around 4 km to reach at Lham-chu valley, where we continually southward for about 8km, Zutrul phuk is located by the trail on the slop of the mountain.
Day 13 Trekking – regain Darchen: Along Zhong-chu heading southwest, for about 3 hours around, reach a trail junction, where our vehicle wait, return to Darchen.
Day 14 & 15 Mt. Kailash – Guge Kingdom: The Guge Kingdom was founded in about the 10th century by a descendant of King Lang Darma, and was survived for about 700 years before disappearing mysteriously in the 17th century. The ruins lie on a hilltop near a river and cover 180,000 square meters. The Guge Kingdom is famous for its murals, sculptures and stone inscriptions, which are attached to the surviving structures. Around the ruins are weapons of the Guge people and mummies, which are probably Guge soliders, the only traces of the once glorious kingdom.
Day 16 to D23 Guge kingdom to Lhasa via Ali, Gerze, Tsochen, Sangsang, Shigartse, Gyantse: The return route is via the northern route between Lhasa and Ali, (Southern route is through Sangsang, Namring, Saga, Paryang, and Lake Manasarovar). The northern route is thought to be the easiest one, and cross Changtang plateau, en route the inhabited area along the road is dotted with lakes. When arriveing at Shigartse visit to Tashilhunpo Monastery, which is the seat of Panchen Lama – the second highest-ranking religious leader of the Buddhist religious order. Then to Gyantse, where to return to Lhasa by passing through Yamdrok Lake.
Day 24 Lhasa to Chengdu: Drive from Tsetang to Lhasa Gangkar airport, by morning flight from Lhasa to Chengdu, after arrive in Chengdu, transfer to Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base, one of the most important centers in the world for the captive conservation of the Giant Panda. The Research Center has evolved into China Panda City.
Day 25 Chengdu to the airport for departure.