The Mani Rimdu festival, falling between mid-October and mid-November, lasts for ten days. It consists of elaborate rituals performed by the monks round the clock including the establishment of an intricate, artful mandala; mask dances and offering to different deities to placate the evil forces from harming the earth and life. The monastery and Tengboche village become full of visitors during the celebration.
Besides getting an opportunity to view the rich cultural heritage of the Sherpas of Nepal, this tour also takes you deep into the heartland of the highest – and the loftiest – Himalayan panoramas. Stunningly attractive and close sights of Ama Dablam, Mount Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Nuptse and Mt. Thamserku along with a number of other peaks beat your imagination of the heaven itself.
Day 1: Arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel
As you land at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA), our office staff will greet you there and transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu. You can spend your free time either relaxing in your hotel room or exploring the vicinity on foot.
Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Valley
Soon after you finish your breakfast, your guide will meet you at your hotel and escort you to our office in Thamel for a general briefing of the activities you will be doing throughout the trip. Next, you will be taken out on a sightseeing tour that will introduce you to the incredibly rich cultural heritage of Kathmandu Valley which houses seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. Your tour guide will take you to Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Swayambhunath Stupa ( the monkey temple) and Kathmandu Durbar square.
Day 3: Fly to Lukla (2860 m) and trek to Phakding (2610 m)
You will be driven to the domestic airport where you board a flight to Lukla. This flight introduces you to the world of the highest mountains of the earth, where the peaks rise high into the sky one after the other. Upon landing at Lukla, a short walk takes you to Phakding where you will spend the night.
Day 4: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440 m)
Today you need to trek for about 7 hours and the last leg is particularly strenuous. However the attractive sceneries help you to forget your tiredness. You will spend the night at a teahouse.
Day 5: Acclimatisation day in Namche Bazar
Spending one day at Namche is necessary to adjust the body in high altitude. You can make your day fruitful by visiting neighboring Sherpa villages Khumjung and Thame to get acquitnted with the Sherpa culture and way of life. Namche bazaar also consists of a mountaineering museum.
Day 6: Trek to Tengboche (3860 m)
After walking for 6-7 hours, you will reach a cultural centre of the Sherpas thanks to the Tengboche monastery. This is where the Mani Rimdu festival, having multiple implications and close links with the Sherpas living here is held. According to the monks, getting an opportunity to see the festival itself cleanses you and earns you blessings from the god.
Day 7: The first public celebration day (Wong) of Mani Rimdu
Although the Mani Rimdu festival is observed for nine days, the last three days consist of colorful public celebrations. The main monk, Guru Rinpoche, gives blessings to the general public. This day is also called Wong (meaning empowerment) because the people are ritualistically empowered to get long lives, happiness and prosperity.
Day 8: The second public celebration featuring mask dances
On this day, six dancers perform elaborate ritualistic dances wearing masks and pour libations of local alcohol to the gods. The ceremony is called Chham in the local language. The entire Sherpa community sings and dance the whole night.
Day 9 and 10: Fire Puja and mask dances
Fire puja, in which offerings are made to the God of Fire (Agni), is not a public celebration. It is performed by the monks in the courtyard of the monastery. If you want to see more of the festival, you have to wait for the next day which again consists of interesting mask dances performed by the monks.
Day 11: Trek back to Namche Bazar
You will trace your way back to Namche Bazar viewing superb mountain sceneries.
Day 12: Trek to Lukla
Today you will walk back to Lukla, where the airport is located.
Day 12: Fly back to Kathmandu
A short scenic flight takes you from Lukla to Kathmandu. As you prepare to leave, this flight reminds you once again the majestic appeal of the Himalayan region.
Day 14: Leisure day in Kathmandu
You can go on sightseeing in the valley and buy souvenirs.
Day 15: International departure
We will transfer you to the airport for your departure and pay you farewell.