Mani Rimdu Festival Trek

Mani Rimdu Festival Date for 2024: November 15th, 16th, and 17th

The Mani Rimdu Festival, a harmonious blend of spirituality, cultural rituals, and vibrant performances, unfolds in Tengboche against the majestic backdrop of the Everest region. Anchored in the Tibetan Lunar calendar, the festival spans three days, typically falling on the full moon of October or November.

Construction of the Sand Mandala: A Symbolic Tapestry

The festival's intricate preparations commence with the construction of the Sand Mandala—a visual masterpiece crafted with colored sand. Symbolizing life's impermanence, the mandala's defensive blades and the central bowl of Mani Rilwu pills create a sacred space. The mantra "OM AH HUNG RHI, OM MANI PADME HUMG" resonates through weeks of ceremony, infusing the Mandala and the Mani Rilwu pills with spiritual energy. The visualized flow of kindness from the mantra blesses all attending the festival, creating a transformative experience.

Wong (The Empowerment): A Spiritual Prelude

The opening day, known as Wong, marks the initiation of public ceremonies. Falling on the full moon day of the tenth month in the Tibetan lunar calendar, it sees the distribution of sacred Mani Rilwu pills and Tshereel (pills for long life). This symbolic gesture imparts blessings and spiritual empowerment to all attendees, fostering a collective sense of spiritual harmony.

Chham (The Dances): Symbolic Confrontation of Forces

On the second day of Mani Rimdu, the Chham, or dances, take center stage. Symbolic demons are confronted, chased away, or transformed into Protectors of Dharma. Through these dances, positive forces engage with those of disorder, conveying Buddhist teachings on various levels—from the simplest to the most philosophical. The monks, believed to become divine beings during the dance, perform sacred movements, emphasizing the sanctity of the occasion.

Ser-Kyem: Spiritual Offerings and Nectar

The Ser-Kyem, an offering ceremony, involves making tea offerings to Dharma guards such as Mahakala. It features a larger raised dish-shaped bowl and a smaller offering bowl, symbolizing offerings to spiritual beings. The six dancers, representing Tantric magicians, make offerings of alcohol and small tormas to Lama, Yidam, Khandro, and Shi-Dak (Earth deities). This act symbolizes taking 'refuge' in spiritual guides and making offerings to beings who can assist in virtuous actions leading to Buddhahood.

The Fire Puja (Jinsak): Purification and Dissolution of Harm

Conducted in the yard on the day following the dances, the Fire Puja is an offering to Agni, the god of fire, and the Gods of the mandala. The ritual aims to allay harm in the world by visualizing it dissolving into grain, which is then burned. The sand mandala in the temple is dismantled, and the sand is offered to the serpent gods (Nagas).

Chhingpa: Defenders of the Faith

The final dance, Chhingpa, portrays the Four Protecting Ghings defending the Buddhist faith against demonic attacks. The masked dancers, each displaying a constant smile, charge at children in the audience, adding an element of playfulness to the proceedings. The Dakini dance follows, performed gracefully by five young priests without masks, portraying female spiritual figures heralding the imminent arrival of Guru Rinpochhe.

These six preparations collectively contribute to the vibrant and multifaceted celebration that is the Mani Rimdu Festival. As Tengboche becomes a haven for spiritual seekers, cultural enthusiasts, and devotees, the festival stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of Sherpa Buddhism and the cultural heritage of the Everest region.

Embark on a transcendent adventure with our 13-day Mani Rimdu Festival Trek, an immersive experience set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Everest region. This captivating journey unfolds in the sacred Tengboche Monastery, where the vibrant Mani Rimdu Festival comes to life under the full moon of October or November.

As you traverse the trails from Lukla to Tengboche, each step brings you closer to the cultural heart of the Everest region. The trek commences in Kathmandu, where you explore ancient temples and prepare for the awe-inspiring expedition ahead. A thrilling flight to Lukla marks the beginning of your trek, with the trail leading through enchanting landscapes to Phakding.

Namche Bazaar, a bustling hub nestled in the Himalayan terrain, serves as a gateway to the festival. Here, acclimatization hikes offer not only breathtaking views but also an opportunity to delve into the local culture, including a visit to Khumjung village with its intriguing Yeti Skull.

The real spectacle unfolds in Tengboche, where the Mani Rimdu Festival captivates your senses over three extraordinary days. From the intricate Sand Mandala and empowering rituals to the mesmerizing Mask Dance performed by the monks, every moment is steeped in spiritual significance. Amidst this cultural celebration, the panoramic views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Kongde Himal, and Thamserku create an unforgettable backdrop.

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival in Kathmandu

 • Your adventure begins as you land at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

 • A warm welcome awaits you, and you'll be transferred to your hotel for a well-deserved rest after your journey.

 • Later in the day, there will be a briefing about the upcoming trek, providing you with essential information and answering any queries you may have.

Day 2. Explore Kathmandu
  • Embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the culturally rich Kathmandu Valley.
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Pashupatinath, the sacred Hindu temple; Boudhanath, the colossal stupa; and Swayambhunath, the iconic monkey temple.
  • Spend the afternoon on final preparations and equipment checks, ensuring you are ready for the trek ahead.
Day 3. Fly to Lukla and Trek to Phakding
  • An early morning flight takes you to Lukla, where the adventure truly begins with a thrilling landing on one of the world's most challenging airstrips.
  • Commence trekking to Phakding, a charming village nestled along the Dudh Koshi River.
  • Enjoy the serene surroundings and settle in for an overnight stay.
Day 4. Trek to Namche Bazaar
  • Traverse through enchanting pine forests, crossing picturesque suspension bridges.
  • Ascend to Namche Bazaar, a vibrant market town and a crucial point in the Khumbu region.
  • An acclimatization hike to Everest View Hotel provides panoramic views of the surrounding peaks.
  • Relax and acclimate to the increasing altitude during your overnight stay in Namche Bazaar.
Day 5. Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazaar
  • Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Namche Bazaar, exploring its markets and vibrant culture.
  • Visit the Sherpa Museum to gain insights into the local heritage and mountaineering history.
  • Optionally, embark on a hike to Khumjung village, where a monastery houses the intriguing Yeti Skull.
  • Rest and acclimatize, preparing your body for the upcoming trekking challenges.
Day 6. Trek to Tengboche
  • Trek through dense forests, enjoying breathtaking mountain views along the way.
  • Reach Tengboche and explore the famous Tengboche Monastery, where preparations for the Mani Rimdu Festival unfold.
  • Settle in for the night, surrounded by the serene ambiance of the high Himalayas.
Day 7-9. Mani Rimdu Festival Celebrations in Tengboche

The Mani Rimdu Festival, a cultural extravaganza deeply entrenched in the rich tapestry of Sherpa Buddhism, unfolds in the serene backdrop of Tengboche. These three days are a celebration of spirituality, traditions, and the unique Sherpa way of life.

Day 7: The Sacred Beginning

As the Mani Rimdu Festival kicks off, Tengboche transforms into a sacred arena. Monks and devotees alike gather to witness the meticulous creation of the Sand Mandala—a visual representation of the impermanence and transitory nature of life. The intricate details of the mandala unfold under the skilled hands of the monks, each grain of sand meticulously placed, imbued with profound symbolism. It's a mesmerizing spectacle that serves as a reminder of the transient nature of existence.

Day 8: Empowerment Ceremony

The air in Tengboche is charged with spiritual energy on the second day of the festival. Devotees partake in the Empowerment ceremony, a spiritual ritual conducted by the monks. This ceremony imparts blessings and positive energy to the attendees, fostering a sense of harmony and connection with the divine. The chants reverberate through the monastery, creating an atmosphere of reverence and tranquility. Participants feel a profound spiritual upliftment, setting the stage for the days ahead.

Day 9: Purification in Flames

The Fire Puja, a purification ritual, takes center stage on the third day of the Mani Rimdu Festival. Elaborate chants fill the air as offerings are made to the deities amidst the flames. The crackling of the fire and the scent of incense create an otherworldly ambiance. The Fire Puja symbolizes the purification of the soul, a cleansing process that prepares individuals for a renewed spiritual journey. It is a moment of deep introspection and spiritual awakening.

The climax of the festival is the Mask Dance—a mesmerizing performance by the monks. Intricate masks depicting various Buddhist deities come to life as the monks move in a synchronized dance. This symbolic expression narrates the triumph of Buddhism over the earlier Bon religion, encapsulating centuries of cultural and spiritual evolution. The rhythmic beats, vibrant costumes, and mystical aura of the dance transport attendees into a realm where the boundaries between the earthly and the divine blur.

Engaging with the vibrant cultural ambiance during these three days is an immersive experience. Attendees have the opportunity to interact with locals, gaining insights into their way of life and the significance of the festival. The backdrop of Mt. Everest and neighboring peaks adds an unparalleled grandeur to the festivities, creating an awe-inspiring visual spectacle. As the sacred dances unfold, the panoramic views serve as a constant reminder of the profound spirituality intertwined with the majestic Himalayan landscape.

In these three days, attendees not only witness the Mani Rimdu Festival but become part of it. The cultural exchange, the spiritual awakening, and the breathtaking vistas create memories that linger in the hearts and minds, making the Mani Rimdu Festival in Tengboche an extraordinary journey of self-discovery and cultural immersion.

Day 10. Trek Back to Namche Bazaar
  • Begin your descent from Tengboche to Namche Bazaar, retracing the scenic trail.
  • Arrive in Namche Bazaar, where you can reflect on the festival experiences and explore the vibrant market town.
  • Optionally, take this time to rest or engage in further exploration of the local culture.
Day 11. Trek to Lukla
  • Embark on the final leg of your trek as you make your way back to Lukla.
  • Celebrate the completion of your trek with your guide and trekking team, reminiscing about the memorable journey.
  • Overnight in Lukla, surrounded by the camaraderie of your fellow trekkers.
Day 12. Fly Back to Kathmandu
  • Take an early morning flight from Lukla back to Kathmandu, providing a last glimpse of the spectacular Himalayan landscapes.
  • Enjoy leisure time in Kathmandu for shopping, relaxation, or further exploration of the city.
  • In the evening, savor a farewell dinner, sharing stories and experiences with your fellow trekkers and guides.
Day 13. Departure
  • Your Mani Rimdu Festival Trek concludes with an airport transfer for your departure flight.
  • Bid farewell to Nepal, carrying with you the memories of a spiritual journey, cultural immersion, and the breathtaking beauty of the Everest region.

What's Included

  •  • One licensed and experienced English-speaking local trekking guide.

     • Shared Sherpa porter between 2 clients to carry your main pack (weight limit 25 kg).

     • An assistant guide to support guests and porters as per group size.

     • Lodge accommodation during the trek on a twin/double sharing basis.

     • Daily meals: 8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, and 8 Dinners during the trek.

     • Tea, coffee, cookies, and fresh fruits provided during the trek.

     • Kathmandu – Lukla – Kathmandu Flight (USD 360 per person).

     • All necessary permits for Mani Rimdu Festival Trekking.

     • Food, accommodation, and salary of your guide and porters.

     • Insurance coverage for guide and porters as per state law.

     • All local taxes, VAT, office service charge, and domestic airport taxes, etc.


What's Not Included

    • Airport transfers are available upon request for international flights.
    • Accommodation, meals, and transfers in Kathmandu are included in our services.
    • We can arrange a guided tour with entrance fees to monuments in Kathmandu upon your request.
    • Expenses such as bar bills, beverages (coke, fanta, mineral water) during the trek are not covered.
    • Additional costs for hot showers, hot water, internet, and personal expenses are not included.
    • Personal travel insurance, international air tickets, and Nepal visa fees are not part of our package.
    • Rescue operation charges in case of emergencies can be arranged upon request.
    • Gratitude and tips for the guide and porter are not included in the package and are at your discretion.

Best Time to Experience Mani Rimdu in the Everest Region:

The Mani Rimdu Festival aligns with the tenth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, known as "Lha Bab," typically falling in October or November. This period offers stable weather, clear skies, and moderate temperatures in the Everest region. Ensure to confirm the festival dates and plan accordingly.

Travel and Accommodation Advice for Festival-Goers:

  • Early Trip Planning: Due to the festival's popularity, secure flights, accommodation, and trekking permits well in advance to avoid last-minute complications.
  • Reputable Guides: Enhance your experience by hiring a local guide or joining a group tour organized by a trustworthy trekking agency. They provide valuable insights into the festival and ensure a safe journey.

Preparing for Altitude and Remote Locations:

  •  Acclimatization: Given the high altitude of the Everest region, acclimate properly and follow a gradual ascent schedule to minimize the risk of altitude sickness.
  •  Appropriate Gear: Pack suitable clothing and gear, including warm layers, waterproof attire, and sturdy footwear.
  •  Etiquette Guidelines for Festival Attendees:
  •  Modest Dress Code: Respect local customs by dressing modestly. Consider traditional attire like a "bakhu" or "chuba" as a gesture of respect.
  •  Respectful Behavior: Maintain a respectful demeanor during ceremonies, refraining from loud talking or disruptive behavior.
  •  Proper Etiquette for Restricted Areas:
  •  Seek Permission: Always seek permission before entering restricted areas within the monasteries. Follow instructions provided by monks or local guides

Photography and Videography Etiquette:

  Permission First: Obtain permission before capturing any photographs or videos during the festival, respecting monastery rules.

  Mindful Shooting: Be conscious of your surroundings, avoiding obstruction of views and staying considerate of other attendees.

  Respect for Subjects: Show respect for participants by capturing images thoughtfully and considerately, avoiding intrusive or disrespectful shots.

This guide aims to enhance your Mani Rimdu experience, emphasizing respect for local culture and customs while ensuring a memorable and enjoyable journey.


Trip facts

  • Region
  • Activity
    Festival Tours
  • Duration
    13 Days
  • Grade
    Moderate
  • Best Time
    November-
  • Max. Altitude
    3860
  • Group Size
    7
  • Transportation
    public bus/private bus/ plane

Your Host

Mrs Pamfa Dhamala

 My company has been helping people plan and experience the Himalayan treks and tours of their dreams for over 25 years. Please Let me assist you with your inquiry.

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Since its establishment in 1991 AD, Langtang Ri Trekking and Expedition has stood as a beacon of adventure and exploration in the realm of tourism. With three decades of unparalleled experience, the company has been at the forefront of creating unforgettable journeys for clients hailing from every corner of the globe. Rooted in Nepal's breathtaking landscapes, Langtang Ri has continuously raised the bar for trekking, tours, expeditions, and extreme sports, offering a comprehensive range of services that cater to the intrepid spirit of travelers.
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  • langtangritrekking@gmail.com
  • Tridevi Marg, Nurshing Chowk Thamel, Kathmandu