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Saga Dawa Festival Tour in Kailash, including a visit to Everest Base Camp

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14 days
Availability : May 16 (arrival in Lhasa)
Lhasa, Tibet
Min Age : 18
Max People : 30
Home » Holiday Packages » Tibet Tours » Saga Dawa Festival Tour in Kailash, including a visit to Everest Base Camp

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

One of the most significant events of Saga Dawa is the circumambulation of Mount Kailash, a sacred mountain located in Tibet. Thousands of pilgrims undertake the arduous journey to walk around the mountain, a distance of approximately 52 kilometres, in a single day. This event is considered to be a highly auspicious and meritorious act.

Overall, Saga Dawa is a time for Buddhists to reflect on the Buddha’s teachings and strive towards greater compassion, kindness, and understanding.

The Kailash Saga Dawa Tour: Unveiling the Essence of Tibet

An Introduction to the Festival

The Kailash Saga Dawa Tour is one of Tibet’s most revered festivals, colloquially known as the Kailash Saga Dawa Festival tour. Commencing in Lhasa, Tibet’s sacred and historical heart, this pilgrimage encompasses visits to iconic landmarks such as the Potala Palace and Jokang Temple, both recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Pilgrims also have the opportunity to explore the grand monasteries of Drepung and Sera, immersing themselves in the spiritual legacy of Tibetan Buddhism.

A Journey Through Time and Terrain

As the Kailash Saga Dawa Tour progresses, travellers are treated to a panoramic journey through the diverse landscapes of Tibet. En route to Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar, participants are captivated by the breathtaking vistas of Yamdrok Lake, Noejin Kangsang Mountain, and the historic town of Gyantse with its towering Kubum pagoda stupa. The pilgrimage continues through the rugged wilderness of the Tibetan plateau, offering encounters with nomadic camps, pristine rivers, and the majestic Himalayan mountain range.

The Sacred Mt. Kailash Pilgrimage

At the heart of the journey lies the Mount Kailash Pilgrimage, known as Kailash Kora. This three-day trek is a sacred endeavour, believed to cleanse the soul and fulfil spiritual aspirations. Participants embark on a transformative odyssey around the sacred mountain, surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of the Himalayas. Additionally, travellers have the unique opportunity to participate in the Tarpoche Festival, a joyous celebration marked by raising prayer flags on “The 15th day of the fourth month, according to the Tibetan calendar.”

Practical Considerations

The average elevation of the Kailash Saga Dawa Festival tour is approximately 4400 meters, offering participants an invigorating high-altitude experience. Moreover, the road conditions leading to Mount Kailash are now exceptionally good, ensuring a smooth and comfortable journey for pilgrims and adventurers alike. The Kailash Saga, Dawa Festival tour provides comprehensive program details for those seeking a detailed itinerary and further information.

Embarking on the Everest Base Camp Adventure

Embark on a thrilling journey to Everest Base Camp as an integral part of your adventurous exploration of Tibet. Beginning from Shigatse, you’ll traverse the rugged Tibetan landscape, soaking in breathtaking views of the Himalayas along the way. Arriving at Everest Base Camp, you’ll be greeted by the majestic sight of the world’s tallest peak. Spend a day here, immersing yourself in the serene ambience and capturing unforgettable moments amidst the towering mountains. Whether you’re an avid adventurer or simply seeking unparalleled natural beauty, visiting Everest Base Camp promises an unforgettable lifetime experience.

How to join the Festival Tour?

If you’re planning to join the Kailash Saga Dawa festival tour, there are various transportation options available. If you’re already in China, you can take a train to Lhasa, Tibet, from cities like Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Guangzhou, Xining, or Lanzhou. You can also opt for a flight to or from Kathmandu, Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Guangzhou, Kunming, or Lanzhou.

However, if you’re coming from Kathmandu, Nepal, please note that a group permit for the tour requires a minimum of four travellers. This is an essential requirement for you to remember when planning your journey to join the festival tour.

Tour Details

You can join the Kailash Saga Dawa festival tour from anywhere in the world, and we will make your Tibet permits according to your arrival cities to travel to Tibet. We will send your Tibet permits to all the cities in mainland China, or we will issue your China visa in Kathmandu so you can join the Kailash Saga Dawa tour group in Lhasa no matter whether you arrive in Lhasa a couple of days earlier or you arrive in Lhasa alone.

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Departure & Return Location

Lhasa, Tibet

Departure Time

Between 7 – 9 am

Price Includes

  • Twin sharing accommodation at hotel/Guesthouses/tent as per the itinerary
  • 1 English speaking Local Tibetan travel guide
  • Breakfast for entire tour and full board during three days of Kailash trek
  • All entry fees to the sites and monasteries mentioned in the above Kailash trekking program
  • All necessary Tibet tour entry and road permits
  • Special Kailash permit
  • Yamdro lake conservation fee Karola glacier conservation fee
  • Mt. Kailash and lake Mansarovar conservation fee
  • Pack Yak and Yak men for Kailash trekking
  • Oxygen in the tourist vehicle incase needed
  • Tibet tour transportation by one good conditioned mini van or bus according to the group size
  • Tour Permit for visiting to Everest Base Camp

Price Excludes

  • Flight or Train tickets to Lhasa
  • Lunch and dinner for entire tour except three days Kailash trekking
  • China Tibet visa
  • Service of mainland China and Nepal site
  • Riding horses for Kailash trek
  • Sleeping bags and any trekking gears
  • Travel insuranceIncluding personal, medical, travel and evacuation insurance.
  • Personal expensesAlcoholic beverages, laundry, phone call, etc.
  • Any extra cost In the event of landslides and personal nature expenses need to be paid by clients themselves.


  • T-Shirt
  • Farewell dinner

What to Expect

The Saga Dawa Festival is a major religious event celebrated by Tibetan Buddhists in Tibet. It is particularly significant at Mount Kailash, considered sacred for Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains. Here are some of the main highlights of the Saga Dawa Festival in Kailash:

  • Circumambulation of Mount KailashDuring the festival, thousands of pilgrims undertake the kora or circumambulation of Mount Kailash, a 52-kilometre trek. Completing the kora during the festival is believed to be particularly promising and can lead to spiritual liberation.
  • Prayer flags and offeringsPilgrims also make offerings and hang prayer flags at various sites around Mount Kailash, including the Dirapuk Monastery, the Dolma La Pass, and the Jhonger Monastery. The colourful flags and offerings are believed to carry the prayers and wishes of the pilgrims.
  • Cham dance performancesCham is a traditional Tibetan dance performed during the Saga Dawa Festival. The dance is believed to have the power to drive away bad spirits and bring good fortune. The performances usually occur at monasteries and other sacred sites around Mount Kailash.
  • The lighting of butter lampsAnother important ritual during the festival is lighting butter lamps at various temples and monasteries. The lamps symbolize the dispelling of darkness and the spread of enlightenment.

Day 1Arrival in Lhasa, transfer to downtown (3650m / 60km).

Arrive in Lhasa, Tibet. Transfer to your accommodation and rest to acclimatize to the altitude.

Day 2Lhasa Tour - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street

Visit the iconic Potala Palace, the former residence of the Dalai Lama. Explore the spiritual heart of Tibet at Jokhang Temple. Wander through Barkhor Street, a bustling marketplace and pilgrimage circuit.

Day 3Lhasa Tour - Drepung and Sera Monastery

Explore Drepung Monastery, one of the largest monasteries in Tibet, and visit Sera Monastery, known for its lively monk debates.

Day 4Drive from Lhasa to Shigatse via Gyantse (3900m / 360 km)

Depart Lhasa and travel to Shigatse via Gyantse. En route, visit the historical Gyantse Kumbum and Pelkor Chode Monastery. Arrive in Shigatse and check into your accommodation.

Day 5Drive from Shigatse to Everest Base Camp (EBC) - (350 km, 6-7 hours)

Journey towards Everest Base Camp. Admire the stunning Himalayan scenery along the way. Arrive at Everest Base Camp and settle into your accommodation.

Day 6Drive from Everest Base Camp to Saga (450km, 6-7 hours)

Depart from Everest Base Camp and head towards Saga. Enjoy the scenic drive through the Tibetan plateau. Arrive in Saga and check into your accommodation.

Day 7Drive from Saga to Darchen, via Lake Manasarovar (450km, 5-6 hours)

Travel from Saga to Darchen, passing by the sacred Lake Manasarovar. Take in the breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding landscape. Arrive in Darchen and settle into your accommodation.

Observe the Saga Dawa Festival

The Saga Dawa festival commemorates the birth, death, and enlightenment of Buddha Shakyamuni. Therefore, thousands of Tibetan pilgrims gather in Lhasa and circumambulate the Lingkor (Outer circumambulation), Bharkor (Middle circumambulation), and Nangkor (inner circumambulation), including the Potala Palace. They also climb to Bumpari and Gephel Utse in Lhasa to make incense and prayer flag offerings. At the same time, during the Saga Dawa festival, thousands of pilgrims and tourists also gather at Mount Kailash, and they raise a great prayer flag in Tarpoche to pay homage to the great deeds of Buddha. 

Day 8Darchen to Drirapuk (Driving 7km, Trek 13km)

Begin the trek from Darchen to Drirapuk. Enjoy the scenic hike with views of Mount Kailash. Arrive at Drirapuk and rest for the night.

Day 9Trek from Drirapuk to Dzutrpuk (18km)

Continue the trek from Drirapuk to Dzutrpuk. You will trek and pass through stunning mountain scenery and rugged terrain. Arrive at Dzutrpuk and spend the night.

Day 10Dzutrpuk to Darchen (Trek 7km, Driving 5km)

Complete the trek from Dzutrpuk back to Darchen. Drive back to Darchen for some well-deserved rest. Enjoy the evening at leisure.

Day 11Drive from Darchen to Saga (450km)

Depart Darchen and return to Saga. Relax and unwind after the trekking adventure. Check into your accommodation in Saga.

Day 12Drive from Saga to Shigatse (350km)

Leave Saga and journey back to Shigatse. Enjoy the scenic drive through the Tibetan countryside. Arrive in Shigatse and check into your accommodation.

Day 13Drive from Shigatse to Lhasa (275km)

Travel from Shigatse back to Lhasa. Enjoy the final views of the Tibetan landscape. Arrive in Lhasa and check into your accommodation.

Day 14End of the Tour, Airport Drop

Conclude the tour in Lhasa. Transport to the airport for your scheduled departure flight or continuation of your journey. Bid farewell to Tibet as you head back to your next destination.

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