Saga Dawa Festival Tour

Saga Dawa Festival Tour

TripGrade: Easy
An Easy Grade Trip - as the name suggests if a trek not that difficulties to trek around. This trip reaches up to 3000 meters high in altitude. The trails will not be that rugged and are highly suitable for family trips. The trips are generally around of a week or little bit more.

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15 Days

Max Altitude:

Group Size

Min 2 Pax

Trial Access:

Private comfortable vehicle

Best Season:


When the start of Saga appears on a full moon day in the fourth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, it marks the beginning of the Saga Dawa festival. This festival has a high degree of religious importance among Tibetans and Buddhists from all around the world. Both Mount Kailash and the city of Lhasa are holy places to Buddhists and these two places attract a considerable number of pilgrims during this time from all around the world.

The festival lasts for a month. This was the month of the birth of Buddha Sakyamuni. Not only that, he attained both enlightenment and maha nirvana in the span of this month. It is to commemorate these extraordinary phases in the life of Buddha that this festival is celebrated. Encircling Mt. Kailash in the practice of Kora as a religious tribute has increased value according to Buddhists during this time of the year. It is a grand affair to visit Mt. Kailash at this time and you will see yourself transcend into a different world.

Himalayan Trekkers considers this occasion to be an exclusive opportunity for the tourists to connect with the culture and explore deeply.

Starting Price

USD 3150 per person

Group Discount : Available

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Arrival on: Lhasa

Departure from: Lhasa

Day 1

Arrival at Lhasa.

Meals included: BB

Lhasa is the capital and the largest city of Tibet. You can take a train to Lhasa or travel by flight. A local guide of Himalayan Trekkers will be waiting for your arrival at the station or airport according to your convenience and will take you to your hotel rooms. The city is about 25 km away from the station and further away from the airport. You will follow a road cutting through the trans-Himalayan range along the Tsangpo or Brahmaputra River followed by the Lhasa River.

The first day in Lhasa is for you to rest and acclimatize yourself to the high altitude plateau climate with a very thin atmosphere. Remember to take things slow otherwise, the low concentration of oxygen is going to take a toll on your body!

Accommodation: 30 min private drive Estimated Walking Distance: Hotel

Day 2

Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang temple and Barkhor street.

Meals included: BB

Lhasa is historically and culturally important to Tibetans and Buddhists because it has some of the greatest monuments. One of the most important monuments, the Potala Palace, welcomes you from a distance as you enter Lhasa. We will be visiting this palace resting atop the red hills on this day. The palace was built in the 7th century by the 33rd Great King and later renovated in the 17th century by the Dalai Lama. Since the 17th century, it has become the winter palace of the Dalai Lama.

The palace is huge and will take most of your morning for a thorough walkthrough. In the afternoon we will be visiting the holiest temple in Tibet, the Jokhang Temple. It is situated at the center of the old Lhasa city and surrounded by the rustic Barkhor Street. The 33rd Great King was the one to have built it in dedication to Buddha. Within the temple, you will find an image of Buddha Sakyamuni at the tender age of 12. Pilgrims take on a Kora around this temple to convey their offerings to Buddha. Being one of the most important sites in Buddhism, the temple attracts a huge number of pilgrims during the Saga Dawa festival.

Estimated Walking Distance: Hotel

Day 3

Sightseeing continue: Drepung and Sera monastery.

Meals included: BB

You will also find two of the grandest monasteries in Lhasa. Both these monasteries are part of the “Great Three” Gelug monasteries in Tibet. The first one, Drepung Monastery was founded in the 15th century by one of Tsongkhapa’s main disciples- Jamyang Choje. It is a huge monastery that can house over 100,000 monks and features the biggest monastery kitchen in the world.

After going through the immense Drepung Monastery we will be visiting the Sera Monastery. This monastery houses a monk’s debate everyday between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM except Sundays. This debate includes many philosophical discourses and will imbibe great wisdom into you.

Estimated Walking Distance: Hotel

Day 4

Scenic drive to Shigatse via Gyangtse.

Meals included: BB

On this day we will be undertaking a long drive of 360km and thus have to start early. You will come across many sites that are only possible in high altitude travel. You will also be traveling through many high altitude passes that will give you extraordinary views of the trans-Himalayan ranges in a backdrop of clear blue sky. The first pass you will be crossing is the Gampa La at 4790m and you will get a view of the electric blue Yamdrok-Tso from there. You can also spot Mount Nyenchen Khangsar standing at an elevation of 7191m along the lake, a holy peak for the Tibetans.

The Koro La Glacier Pass will be the next one to come on your way followed by Simila Mountain Pass. After this, you will enter Gyangtse, the third-largest Tibetan city where we will visit the Pelkor Monastery and Kumbum Stupa.

Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet is about an hour and a half drive from Gyangtse. After the hectic travel of the day, you can spend the remaining time resting and acclimatizing yourself for the increased elevation on the following days. You can also have a pleasant walk through the barley fields over here.

Accommodation: 6-7 hrs drive Estimated Walking Distance: Tea house

Day 5

Scenic drive to Everest Base Camp (5200 m).

Meals included: BB

We have to obtain an Alien’s permit to enter Everest Base Camp (EBC) area which is available at Shigatse. On the morning of the fifth day, we will visit the Tashilunpo Monastery which was the seat of the Panchan Lama and then continue our journey forward.

Tso La at 4600m and Gyatso La at 5248m are two high mountain passes with a majestic view that you will traverse through today. Once you have reached Gawu La (5198 m) you will get an unhindered view of the gigantic Himalayas on all sides and have officially entered the Everest National Nature Reserve. You can stay the night in tents or in the guesthouses.

Accommodation: 6-7 hrs drive Estimated Walking Distance: Tea house

Day 6

Scenic drive continues to Saga from EBC.

Meals included: BB

Saga is about 450 km away from the EBC and thus we have to start really early. This ensures that you get to see the extravagant sunrise with the first easy of the sun falling upon the Everest, and the mountain glowing in a red blaze. We commence our journey after watching this hard to forget the scene and you will also get a glimpse of Mt. Shishapangma (8012m) on the way. It is the 14th highest peak in the world. This place also has an attractive fauna and if you are lucky you will get to see wild animals en route.

Accommodation: 7-8 hrs drive Estimated Walking Distance: Tea house

Day 7

Scenic drive Darchen via exploring Mansarovar Lake.

Meals included: BB

The Saga Valley lies in between the Himalayas on one side and the Gangdise Range on the other side. You will be traveling along this valley on your way to Darchen. Crossing the Mayom La at 5112m will open your view to Mt. Naimonanyi standing tall at 7694m. you will soon be crossing the holy waters on the Mansarovar Lake and then reach the southern base of Mt. Kailash, the holiest mountain in Tibet, attracting both Hindus and Buddhists.

Accommodation: 6-7 hrs drive Estimated Walking Distance: Tea house

Day 8

Trek to Drirapuk.

Meals included: BB

The morning starts with you getting a slice of the Buddhist culture. The old prayer flag is taken down and a new one is erected in its place in a flag hoisting ceremony at Tarboche. This marks the beginning of the Saga Dawa festival.

Following the impressive flag hoisting ceremony, you will trek to Sarshung Valley from where the trek to Drirapuk commences. You can hire porters and yaks to help you with the 13km trek. However, it will be charged extra as it is not included in the package. Drirapuk Monastery is a calming site beside the Lachu Valley after the moderate 13km trek. Both the west and the north face of Mt. Kailash are open to you

Accommodation: 8-9 hrs Estimated Walking Distance: Tea house

Day 9

Trek to Dzutrpuk.

Meals included: BB

We will continue with our Kora around Mt. Kailash and will pass through Droma La at 5630m, the highest point in this trek. There are many teas stops along the way and you can see pilgrims offering their prayers on the way. The pristine Kadoe Lake is going to take your breath away and if there is time we can take a visit to Zutulpuk Monastery.

Accommodation: 7-8 hrs Estimated Walking Distance: Tea house

Day 10

Trek back to Darchen.

Meals included: BB

The last day of the Kora will have you walk 7km up to Zongto. Buses depart from Zongto for Darchen at regular intervals or you can walk your way up to Darchen which is just 5km away. Mani stones are piled all along the Kora.

Accommodation: 6-7 hrs walk and 45 min drive Estimated Walking Distance: Tea house

Day 11

Scenic drive back to Saga.

Meals included: BB

We will be following the same route back to Saga after crossing the Mansarovar Lake.

Accommodation: 4-5 hrs drive Estimated Walking Distance: Tea house

Day 12

Scenic drive to Sakya.

Meals included: BB

The distance between Saga to Sakya is about 350 km through appreciable hilly terrain interspersed with wonderful sights. So, enjoy the pristine view and keep it forever etched in your heart.

Accommodation: 6-7 hrs drive Estimated Walking Distance: Tea house

Day 13

Scenic drive to Shigatse.

Meals included: BB

Sakya is an old town in Tibet and has a rich cultural tone. You can go through the ancient town at your leisure and also visit the Sakya Monastery which is filled with murals and scripture, all beautifully crafted and preserved. You will also find this monastery to have a unique design as it features a Mongolian style of architecture- something that is not seen in the other places you have visited.

Accommodation: 6-7 hrs drive Estimated Walking Distance: Tea house

Day 14

Return drive to Lhasa.

Meals included: BB

The Yalong Valley is an exceptional route back to Lhasa filled with glorious views of the mountains. There is a raised platform that gives a grand view of the Yalong River bed. We can also visit an incense workshop conducted by a local family on the way. 

Accommodation: 6-7 hrs drive Estimated Walking Distance: Hotel

Day 15


The tour has come to an end and it is time to say goodbye to Tibet. We will see you off at the train station or the airport.


Note: We can also take you to Gyirong Border of you want to visit or go to Nepal at the end of this tour. The journey from the 12th day onward will be different as Gyirong falls on a different route. We will also make one extra stop at Kelong valley, a truly remarkable site near to the foothills of the Himalayas and one that attracts lots of tourists all year round!

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Himalayan Trekkers promises to manage the best, most comfortable and preferable accommodation.

Generally, in cities like Lhasa, we arrange basic three-star facilities. If available, you can opt for a more budget-friendly option or upgrade to a more luxurious hotel by paying a little extra. 

Although all the places might not have all the modern facilities, we will make sure to arrange safe and comfortable accommodation. In general, hygienic and safe tea houses/local lodges/ home-stays with all the basic facilities are arranged. But you can, if possible, personalize according to your preference. 

If your itinerary includes camping or you choose to experience camping during your travel, a proper camping-site will be pre-decided. If required, we also provide the basic equipment which is refundable. Please check the Gear-List and Requirement List for more information.


Breakfast is usually included with your B&B Accommodation within the cost that is evident.
For other meals in the city, you would have to pay separately. Often in the cities, you can choose from many different cuisines and varied food services. We can always help you find the right place to fit your taste.

In more remote areas, usually, there are not many options. But you can always find hygienic and well-prepared food. Moreover, almost all the meals during the trek are included in the cost. We can help you make changes according to your preference and budget, but only if choices are available!

On top of that, Himalayan Trekkers also organizes Welcome and Farewell Dinners as a symbol of warm greetings.

Please go through the detailed itinerary for more information. We are always there to help you travel to your heart’s content.


Whats Included

  • Permits and Visa Applications for Tibet.
  • Hotel with breakfast.
  • English speaking Tibetan guide per as the itinerary.
  • Entrance fees.
  • Guide Fees.
  • Land cruiser for transportation.

Whats Not Included

  • Drinks, Tips, Insurance and any extra cost occurring from the Unfavorable Circumstances such as weather, road blockade, flight cancellation Etc
  • All personal nature expenses such as tips, donations, bar bills, etc.
  • Meals.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Airfare to Lhasa and back.


Gears required for the trek vary upon destination and season. Trekking shoes, down jacket, sleeping bag, hiking poles are the essential ones. Besides these – the following list is suggested:


  • Sun hat or scarf
  • Sun glasses
  • Sunscream
  • Lip Balm.


  • Thin & Warm Socks - 2 pairs
  • Sandals
  • Trekking Shoes on the trek
  • Comfortable Shoes in cities


  • Warm gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Light jackets and pullovers
  • Wind – stopper jacket
  • Undergarments
  • Hiking shorts
  • Cotton/woolen pants or trousers


  • Earplug
  • Electronics gadgets of your choice
  • Spare Battery
  • Notebook, pen, guidebook and map
  • Tour/Trekking Bag
  • Hiking Poles
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Down jacket
  • Toiletries (toilet paper, toothbrush/paste, nail cutter, anti-bacterial hand wash


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