Mani Rimdu Festival Trek - 12 days

Mani Rimdu Festival Trek - 12 days


Enjoy the unique 3 days Mani Rimdu Festival in Tengboche, the largest monastery in the icy Khumbu region. The 12 days Mani Rimdu Festival trek offers a chance to witness the spiritual gathering of the Sherpa community to celebrate their age of beliefs and religion.

Exclusive to the Khumbu region, this annual festival is celebrated to bring peace and harmony and ward off evil via various enticing performances. The monks participate in Sand Mandala and Wong making on the first day, a sacred Buddhist Dance Drama on the second day, and Fire puja on the third day. Besides attending the events, you get to enjoy the views of the high-standing Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, and the other Himalayas of the northeast. Moreover, enjoying the lush wildlife of the Sagarmatha National Park during your hike in the Dudh Koshi river valley is an experience entirely worth it.

This trek begins from Lukla towards Phakding village, Namche Bazaar, and Tengboche. At Tengboche, you attend the three days festival in its largest monastery before returning the same route to Monjo and then Lukla.

It is best for professional as well as novice trekkers. It is particularly great if you are looking to witness the Everest region's beauty and the Sherpa community's cultures.

Trip Highlights

  • Attend one of the holiest and most sacred Buddhist festivals, Mani Rimdu, in the Everest region
  • Witness the three-day festivities with events such as Sand Mandala and Wong preparation, Buddha dance drama, and Fire puja
  • Visit the largest monastery in the Khumbu region; Tengboche Monastery
  • Interact with the Sherpa community locals to understand their unique traditions, cultures, and beliefs
  • Trek in the Dudh Koshi river valley and the Sagarmatha National Park rich in unique Alpine and Subalpine flora and fauna
  • Enjoy close-up views of the majestic mountains like Ama Dablam, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and more

 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) - Transfer to Hotel and Trek Preparation
Day 2 Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla (2,840m/9,316ft) and trek to Phakding (2,610m/8,561ft) - 35 minutes flight, 3 to 4 hours (8 km) trek
Day 3 Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazar (3,440m/11,284ft) - 6 to 7 hours (10.5 km) trek
Day 4 Acclimatization Day at Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,284ft) - 3 to 4 hours trek
Day 5 Trek from Namche to Tengboche (3,860m/12,661ft) - 5 to 6 hours (10 km) trek
Day 6 In Tengboche - First Day of Mani Rimdu Festival
Day 7 In Tengboche - Second day of Mani Rimdu Festival
Day 8 In Tengboche - Third day in Mani Rimdu Festival
Day 9 Trek from Tengboche to Monjo (2,835m/ 9,301ft) - 6 to 7 hours (16km) trek
Day 10 Trek from Monjo to Lukla (2840m/9316ft) - 5 to 6 hours (12km) trek
Day 11 Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) - 35 minutes flight
Day 12 Final Departure from Nepal

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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) - Transfer to Hotel and Trek Preparation

After your landing at the 'city of temples', Kathmandu, you will be welcomed by our team and transferred to your hotel based in Thamel. Thamel is located just about 5 km away from the airport and is one of the most prominent tourist places in the city.

After relaxing at the hotel, you will visit our office located nearby and meet your guide and our team. You will be briefed about this trek, and we will ensure that all the documentation is ready. Following that, you can head out to the streets and enjoy the views of the temples snuggled between narrow alleyways. In the evening, you can enjoy a warm Nepali authentic dinner.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 2
Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla (2,840m/9,316ft) and trek to Phakding (2,610m/8,561ft) - 35 minutes flight, 3 to 4 hours (8 km) trek

On this day, you will take a flight from Kathmandu to the gateway of the Khumbu region, Lukla. The flight to Luka is filled with birds-eye views of the green landscape and the snow-covered mountains of the Everest region. Landing at the Lukla airport is equally adventurous as it is one of the most dangerous airstrips. 

After landing at the airport, you will eventually begin your trek to the nearby village of Phakding. The cold breeze over the Dudh Koshi river, the greenery, and scattered villages welcome you to this beautiful river valley. As you get near the village, you will witness prayer flags fluttering along with Mani walls.

Upon reaching the village, you'll be placed at a tea house where you can interact with the locals and enjoy the local meals.

Overnight stay in Phakding.

Day 3
Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazar (3,440m/11,284ft) - 6 to 7 hours (10.5 km) trek

Namche Bazaar Namche Bazaar - popular commercial and tourist hub of Khumbu

Phakding to Namche Bazaar comes next in the tour. This is your first long hour trek so buckle up for the hike. The initial leg of the trek takes you alongside the Dudh Koshi river and over the suspension bridge before pushing you to a pine and rhododendron forest. You will reach Monjo village, where you must show your permits at the checkpoint.

Welcome to the Sagarmatha National Park. From Monjo, next comes Jorsale, then onto the Tope Danda viewpoint. The trek continues on to Namche Bazaar, a popular commercial and tourist hub of Khumbu. Unlike other areas in the trail, Namche Bazaar has essential facilities feasible for the trekkers like ATMs, shops, coffee shops, and restaurants.

Overnight stay in Namche Bazaar.

Day 4
Acclimatization Day at Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,284ft) - 3 to 4 hours trek

Due to the rise in altitude, you need to adjust your body to the change; hence this day has been segregated for rest and acclimatization. You can stroll around the streets of Namche after breakfast.

One of the things that you can do today is to take a short hike to the Hotel Everest View which is one of the highest placed hotels in the world at an altitude of 3,880m. Walking across the charming hill surrounded by fir trees, hidden behind a ridge you will reach the hotel. Breathtaking views of the surrounding himalayas are seen from the terrace of the hotel. You can relax in the hotel and have some hot drinks or lunch before you head back to Namche Bazaar.

Alternatively, you can also visit the Sherpa Culture Museum if you are interested in learning about Sherpa traditions and culture. If time permits, take a hike to the villages of Khumjung and Kunde to witness the first ever school built in the Khumbu region established by Sir Edmund Hilliary during one of his visits to Everest. Also, make sure to visit the 400 years old Khumjung Monastery.

Overnight stay in Namche Bazaar.

Day 5
Trek from Namche to Tengboche (3,860m/12,661ft) - 5 to 6 hours (10 km) trek

Tengboche Monastery Tengboche Monastery where Mani Rimdu annual festival is celebrated

After breakfast in Namche Bazaar, you will begin your trek to Tengboche. The trail begins with amazing views of the mountains like Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, and more. Eventually, you will reach the village of Tengboche, which is inhabited predominantly by the Sherpa community. An awe-inspiring view of the Ama Dablam will be standing to greet you.

After dropping your heavy luggage at the hotel, you can head to visit the largest Buddhist monastery in the region, Tengboche. It is a sacred place for the locals, and even neighboring villagers come to pray. This is the same monastery where the Mani Rimdu festival is celebrated, so you can witness the preparations.

Overnight stay in Tengboche.

Day 6
In Tengboche - First Day of Mani Rimdu Festival


This day embarks on the major highlights of the entire tour. As per the guide's suggestion, early in the morning, you will get ready and head to Tengboche to witness the first day of the Mani Rimdu festival. The first day of the festival begins with the Sand Mandala and Wong construction.

For the Sand Mandala. Colored sand is taken, and a complex design is made. The mandala represents the palace of Chenpo, the lord of the dance. It also symbolizes peace and harmony in the world, so the locals believe the statue of Buddha of Kindness is very important for this festival. In the mandala's center, they place the Mani Rilwa pills container, regarded as spiritual medicine.

The monks and nuns chant hymns known to flow kindness and peace in the mandala and pills, which radiate as a blessing to those who attend the festival. After witnessing such a spiritual event, you can interact with the locals and understand their way of life.

Overnight stay in Tengboche.

Day 7
In Tengboche - Second day of Mani Rimdu Festival

The second day of the festival is equally as interesting as the first. On this day, there will be a very unique and spiritual dance. The dance will be done by chosen monks known to be in a state of trance during their performance. They take on the spiritual being of god. This dance signifies the triumph of good over the demons. The monks display high positive energy, symbolizing their fight with the demons throughout the performance. This dance is sacred to this festival, so it is not performed other times.

After being mesmerized by the performance, you can seek blessings from the Lamas in the Tengboche Monastery.

Overnight stay in Tengboche.

Day 8
In Tengboche - Third day in Mani Rimdu Festival


This is the third and final day of the festival, so it will certainly be grand. Again, in the Tengboche Monastery, you will witness a Fire Puja. You will see a pit of fire burning in the yard, along with multiple hymns and chants from the monks. Butter and other specific spices are burnt in the fire. This is known to appease the god of fire, Agni, and the God of Mandala to keep harmony and dispel harm.

Finally, the sand mandala prepared on the first day is dismantled, and the sand is then offered to the Snake God, Naga. With this, the festival comes to an end. Blessings are taken from Lamas, and locals go to their homes in a happy and spiritual state of mind.

Overnight stay in Tengboche.

Day 9
Trek from Tengboche to Monjo (2,835m/ 9,301ft) - 6 to 7 hours (16km) trek

After four days in Tengboche, it is time to bid farewell to your hosts and the locals you have been acquainted with. You will pack your belongings and head back on the trail towards the Monjo checkpoint.

On the way, you will descend to the Imja Tse river; a steep climb leads to Sanasa. Following that, you will reach Namche Bazaar. After enjoying lunch in a restaurant, you will head back on the same trail through forests to the Dudh Koshi River banks. Crossing a suspension bridge reaches Jorsale.

After reaching Monjo village, take a tea house for the night. Enjoy warm butter tea and local delicacies.

Overnight stay in Monjo.

Day 10
Trek from Monjo to Lukla (2840m/9316ft) - 5 to 6 hours (12km) trek

This is the final day of your Mani Rimdu Festival trek, so make the most of it as you trek towards Lukla. Enjoy the green trail in the Dudh Koshi river valley. Initially, you will trek to Benkar and then follow a suspension bridge to Ghat to have lunch. Continue to Phakding village and then Chablung village. Through a thick forest of birch and juniper, pass the Pasang Lhamu Memorial gate.

Finally, after reaching Lukla, drop your backpack in a tea house and stroll around the village. You can interact with the locals and even buy some souvenirs kept on sale.

Overnight stay in Lukla.

Day 11
Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) - 35 minutes flight

Lukla Airport Tenzing-Hillary Airport, is the busiest, serving as the key point of entry and exit for climbers hoping to ascend Everest.

After breakfast, you will bid farewell to the locals and head on a flight towards Kathmandu. Enjoy the final birds eye view of Everest and other surrounding mountains.

After landing at the domestic terminal, you will be transferred to your hotel in Thamel. As you might have spare time in the afternoon and evening, you can visit the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site, Kathmandu Durbar Square, with your guide. Take snaps of the beautiful and ancient temples and palaces. In the evening, head to a pub or club and enjoy the night away with your local friends.

Overnight stay in Kathmandu.

Day 12
Final Departure from Nepal

Our team will bid farewell to you as we drop you off at the Tribhuvan International Airport for your return home. After the amazing time spent in the Everest region witnessing one of its holiest and most notable annual festivals, you will certainly want to visit again for similar experiences. If you do, feel free to reach out to us, and we will ensure a wonderful time here in Nepal.




Images DavidDave ParrattMark Green |flicr

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