The Mani Rimdu Festival Trek is already a favorite for Himalayan scenery will add an amazing cultural dimension to it. At the time of the full moon in late October, the Sherpa’s of the Khumbu Region celebrate the most exciting festival of the year. As it falls at the end of harvest season, the Sherpa’s bring freshly harvested corn and grain from their fields and offer it to the Monk community.
According to the Tibetan lunar calendar, the exact date of the Mani Rimdu Festival is fixed annually. This is a beautiful time to visit the Everest Region as the skies are clear and the views of the majestic mountains are at their best. We can inform you of this year’s date after the Tibetan New Year, which falls in mid-February.
Mani Rimdu Festival is celebrated at Tengoche Monastery, which is one of the most beautiful vantage points to look at Everest and Ama Dablam. Sherpa people from the distant places come to Khumbu and gather at Tengboche to celebrate and to get blessings from the Rinpoche. The naturally serene setting comes alive with color and noise for three days.
During the Mani Rimdu Festival the monks of Tengboche monastery celebrate the century’s old conquest of Buddhism over the ancient animistic ‘Bon’ religion. The monks dress up in richly painted masks to perform lively dances known as “Cham”, which re-enact the Buddhist victory over all the pagan gods that lived in the Himalayas. Through the dances, symbolic demons are subdued and conquered. Sherpa’s and travelers witness the dances which are both entertained and reminded of the principles of Buddhism; the inner “demons” of hatred, greed and ignorance which can be overcome through meditation on compassion and wisdom.
In the ten days leading up to the celebration, the Tengboche monks chant prayers and perform many religious rituals. A beautiful and intricate sand mandala or sacred drawing is drawn on the floor with colored sand collected from high in the mountains. This mandala is used as a focus for the ten days meditation.
Everest Base Camp Option: While you reach as high as Tengboche Monastery, it worth considering continuing to Everest Base Camp, either before or after the festival, depending on what works for your travel itinerary. An itinerary that includes Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar will be six days longer (total of 20 days) and cost an additional $450USD. The services provided during the 6 additional days will be the same as the original Mani RImdu Festival Trek.
|1||Arrival in Kathmandu|
|2||Preparation Day in Kathmandu|
|3||Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla; Trek to Phakdingma, 2610m|
|4||Trek to Namche Bazaar, 3441m|
|5||Acclimatization day- Trekking around Namche Bazaar|
|6||Trek to Tengbuche, 3860m|
|7||Observe Mani Rimdu Festival|
|8||Observe Mani Rimdu Festival|
|9||Trek to Khumjung, 3789m|
|10||Trek to Monjo, 2800m|
|11||Trek to Lukla|
|12||Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu|
|13||Free day in Kathmandu|
The Mani Rimdu Festival Season
The Mani Rimdu Festival is determined by the Tibetan Calendar and falls on the Full moon in late October, at the end of harvest. The date is only known when the Tibetan new year calendar is published mid February. Please contact us for the exact date.
Mani Rimdu Festival is a Tea Houses/Lodge Trek
Accommodation is included in the cost of your package. Go Himalayan Adventures takes great care to arrange the most comfortable accommodation possible throughout your stay.
In Kathmandu, our clients enjoy four nights in the hotels before and after heading into the remote regions.
During the trek, the nights will be spent in clean and comfortable tea houses with plenty of character and good food. The simple rooms usually have two narrow beds. The family run lodges are a great place to get to know the Nepalese people. In Nepalese culture, a guest is equal to god, and surely this has become even more of a reality since the tourism industry has improved their meager opportunities to earn. You will be made very welcome!
Three meals a day are included during your Mani Rimdu Festival Trek. The menu will be fairly simple, but freshly cooked and hygienic. You can enjoy typical Nepali, Tibetan and Sherpa food, as well as all types of international cuisine. Dinners and breakfasts will be provided in the teahouse/lodge where you spend the night. Lunches will be eaten in a teashop on the way to the destination of the day.
Drinking Water on Mani Rimdu Trek
We suggest that you drink boiled water or bring chlorine tablets to purify the normal water available in the guest houses along the way. There is a small fee charged for the boiled water. Although mineral water is available in most places, there is no provision to dispose of the plastic bottles, so we encourage the guests to do what they can to protect the environment.
If you have a reasonable level of fitness, this trek should be more than manageable. The altitude becomes more noticeable the higher we go, so we walk at a slow pace and take plenty of breaks to rest and acclimatize.
Local Customs You Should Know About of Mani Rimdu Festival Trek
Ethnic groups of the hilly and mountain regions are predominantly Buddhist, and you will see many mani stones, stupas, gumbas and prayer wheels. It is respectful to pass these objects with your right side nearest to the object, in a clockwise direction. Avoid sitting or standing on mani stones, stupas, tables used for worship or anything that is a religious symbol, as that is considered disrespectful.
Travel Insurance for Mani Rimdu Festival Trek
It is strongly recommended to be sufficiently protected when you go into remote areas. You need specialized travel insurance that covers emergency evacuation, injury, lost baggage, liability and medical treatment. Make sure the insurance covers all the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal. Go Himalayan Adventures can organize the appropriate medical response based on your policy.
Domestic flights to mountain regions can be delayed or cancelled due to bad weather. Be aware that you may have long waits in the airports. From our side, if a flight is cancelled we make sure you get on the next possible flight.
If flight cancellations at the start of your trek delay your trek to the point of disturbing your onward travel schedule, you will be free to choose an alternative trip; there are many excellent options in the Annapurna, Langtang and other regions. If you do not wish to take an alternative trek, and wait in Kathmandu for the flight to Lukla, your original trek may be shortened due to the days lost in waiting. In such case, the client will be responsible to bear all additional expenses including food and accommodation.
If the client wishes to make an alternative arrangement such as a helicopter flight. Go Himalayan Adventures will assist in making the booking, but will not cover the cost of the alternative arrangement. The refunded money of the unused flight ticket would be credited to the concerned client, however.
There will be no refund for the days of the trek that are missed. You will not be entitled to any refund for services in the package (ie hotel, transport, flight) that you did not use due to the cancellation.
It is advisable to allow one or two extra days at the end of your trip to allow for flight delay/cancellation.
In an emergency, or upon request by our clients, a heli-rescue can be organized. The helicopter costs around USD 3500, and can lift 4-5 persons per flight.
If flight cancellations at the end of your trek delay your return to Kathmandu, you will be responsible for all your expenses during the wait in Lukla.