Mani Rimdu Festival: The sacred festival of the Everest region

Nepal is not only home to the almighty Himalayas and lush hills, but it is also a destination that drenched in charming culture. These cultures and traditions are deeply influenced by spirituality and religion.

Nepal celebrates many festivals depending on religious, ethnicity and castes. Not only has our ethnicity decided the festivals we celebrate, but the region where we belong too.

Offering fascinating insights into the religious beliefs and ancient customs, these celebrations also let travelers enjoy significantly and enriching interactions with the locals.

Overflowing with vibrant colors, sacred customs and primeval rituals, these festivals, and cultural celebrations are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for travelers and will make any trip to Nepal unforgettable.

The festivals offer a glimpse into Nepal’s ancient history, culture, and rich heritage; and while the majority of Nepal’s festivals are cultural ceremonies, there are also certain celebrations that are specific to certain cities or regions.

Amongst numerous festivals, Mani Rimdu Festival is the most iconic and interesting high Himalayan cultural festival observed annually in the Everest region. This Himalayan festival has delighted several trekkers throughout the year, who still wanted to observe it.

In addition, the festival happens right in the autumn season, which is one of the most popular trekking time of the year. If you are planning to undertake trekking to the Everest region then grab the opportunity to witness this festival. It is a very interesting and perfect festival to combine with a trekking expedition in the Everest region.

Are you interested to participate Mani Rimdu Festival in November?  If so, you can choose to venture one of the following treks:

Everest Base Camp

Everest High Passes

Gokyo Lake Trek

Everest Base Camp trek with comfort

Pikey Peak Trek

Alternatively, if you are pondering to trek in lower Everest then Pikey peak trek is the ideal one. One can join Mani Rimdu Festival Trek in Chiwong Monastery.

What is the Mani Rimdu Festival?

Mani Rimdu is a traditional festival passed on from the mother monastery of Tengboche monastery, the Rongbuk. The festival is a re-creation of legendary events; the establishment of Buddhism in Tibet by the great saint, Guru Rimpoche/Padmasambhava. 

Mani Rimdu is the worship of Phakpa Chenrezig, the god of Compassion and the locals believe that his blessings bring peace and good luck to the region. One of the rituals invokes the blessings of the God of Compassion on the rilbu, the long-life pills.  “Mani Rimdu” comprises two words, ‘Mani’ means “part of the chant of Chenrezig” (A Bodhisattva who symbolizes all the compassion of Buddha) and ‘Rilbu’ or ‘Rimdu’ means small red pills that are blessed during the festival. The red pills are purified repeatedly during the festival and then distributed among attendants of the festival.

These sacred ceremonies are a series of events of empowerment. It is a sequence of 19 days festivities, which culminate with the last three days allotted as a public display of the festival. 

When and where Mani Rimdu Festival does take place?

As per the Tibetan lunar calendar, the Mani Rimdu festival observed from the first day of the tenth month which takes place between October –November. The chief lama of the Tengboche monastery announces the dates of the festival. This year the festival celebrated on 12th, 13th and 14th November 2019.

The festival is widely celebrated in the monasteries of Tengboche, Chiwong, and Thame of the Everest region

The main site for the Mani Rimdu festival is at Tengboche Monastery (3867 m). Perched in Tengboche village, it is the biggest monastery in the Everest region.  In 1916,  Lama Gulu constructed the monastery with strong connections to its mother monastery called the Rongbuk Monastery in Tibet.

Furthermore, the remarkable aspect of Tengboche Monastery is that it is situated in the Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded with a breathtaking backdrop of majestic renowned snow-clad peaks comprising Everest, Nuptse, Nuptse, Tawache, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and Thamserku.

What happens during the Mani Rimdu festival?

Mani Rimdu festival is a time where Sherpa and Tibetans get the opportunity to gather and rejoice together with the monastic community. People of the surrounding region gather around in a monastery for 5 days (for the welfare of the world) to celebrate the festival.

The main first day of the festival comprises prayers, second day for an interesting monk dance performance. The final day involves some hilarious dances and chanting prayers. When the festival concludes, and all prayers make their leave, the monks carry out a fire rite to disperse all troubles and evil of the world. The ceremony encompasses prayer, 16 ritual dance with interludes of comical effect, fire rituals and feasts.

Before exhibiting the ritual dance, the monk take oaths at an empowerment ceremony with Truslshig Rinpoche. They have to go through the preparation of festivals such as Sand Mandala, the Empowerment, and the Fire worship.

Main Preparation of Mani Rimdu Festival

During the 19 days, monks carry out several sacred ceremonies and rituals purifying the unique Mandala called Mani Rilwu (the sacred red pills).

The Sand Mandala

The festival initiates with a decorative portrayal of the Mandala drawing made with color sand collected from the sacred hills.  The colored sand used to prepare mandala and create a  fine-looking design that is highly emblematic in nature.

It signifies the palace of Garwang Thoze Chenpo (Lord of the Dance). The protective defensive blade signifying deities kept around the mandala while sacred Mani Riluwa pills bowl placed above the center.

Monks chant the ceremonial mantras constantly during the weeks of the ceremony before the public festival. During meditation, they visualize compassion flowing in the form of the mantra, into the Mandala and the Mani Rilwu pills and empowering them with kindness.

It usually takes four days to construct mandala and covered. This mandala is significant for the religious festival that continues for the next 10 days.

Wong (The Empowerment)

The Wong is the opening public ceremony carried out on the full moon day, of the tenth month in the Tibetan lunar calendar.  The holy and sanctified Mani Rilwu (sacred or blessed pills) and Tshereel (pills for long life), then distributed to spectators and attendees by Trulshig Rinpoche.

Ritual Dances

1.  Chham (The Dances)

The Chham (dances) exhibits on the second day of Mani Rimdu. The monks dressed up in brocade gown and wonderfully decorated masks. The elaborate mask symbolizes the old ghosts.

Then sequence ceremonial Lama Dances depicts the victory over demons, dispersed, to Dharma Protectors, as positive forces clash with those of chaos. The dances express Buddhist teaching on numerous levels from the simplest to the most philosophical.

During the dance, the monks are thought to turn out to be a divine being. The dances performed during Mani Rimdu regarded to be holy, and not for ordinary amusement. 

2.  Ser-Kyem

Ser-Kyem is two pieces of the larger raised dish-shaped bowl and a smaller raised offering bowl used to make tea offerings to Dharma protectors such as Mahakala

The smaller positioned in a standing position in the larger dish when the offering is being made. The smaller offering bowl placed upside down in the larger bowl when not in use. The food offerings can also, be sited in the larger dish when in use.

The six dancers exhibited the dance portraying a tantric magician known as Ngag-pa. Throughout the performance, they offer tormas and alcohol from silver vessels to numerous deities such as Yidam (personal deity) and Khandro (wisdom dakini), as well as to Shi-Dak (Earth deities) and the Lama (spiritual guide).

A crucial theme in Tibetan Buddhist practice is to make offerings to these beings so that they will support the righteous actions which lead to Buddhahood.

3.  Chhingpa

The next dance depicts the Four Protecting Ghings, who are defenders of the Buddhist religion. Among four, two of the Ghings are women who carry drums whereas the other two are males carrying cymbals.

The males signify skillful means and the female denote wisdom; these two aspects are made-up to help in achieving enlightenment.

 Each dancer wears magnificent vibrant paper masks exhibiting a continuous smiling expression.  Their dances are musically escorted by the beating of cymbals.

The priests performed the Dakini dance pleasantly. They executed dance in a gentle motion dance steps, keeping perfect time with the soft jingle and relaxed beat of bells and drums in their hands.

The dancers without masks represent female spiritual figures; consorts of Padmasambhava. There is a belief that they originate from his pure land of Shangdok Palri where they reside in his mandala. They symbolize the forthcoming arrival of Guru Rinpoche at the Mani Rimdu.

The Fire Puja (Jinsak)

The fire rite carried out in the yard once the three-day public festival concluded, and the viewers returned to their home.

The fire ceremony is an offering to Agni (the god of fire), and to the Gods of the mandala. The harm imagined as liquefying into the grain and burned the butter. Subsequently, the sand mandala dismantled and give as an offering to the serpent gods (Nagas). Thus, the 19-day Mani Rimdu completed partaking bestowed numerous with pills and blessings for long life, bliss, and success in the future.

Want to know more about Mani Rimdu Festival?

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Everest Base Camp Trek: The Ultimate Guide

During the spring of 2012, I had the privilege of doing something remarkable that everybody wishes and few really end up achieving.

I had got an opportunity to go on a trek to Mount Everest Base Camp. 

Since we all had been new to Everest Base Camp Trek, we felt the necessity of buying a trekking package. While browsing, we came across several official sites of trekking agencies and found Nepal Sanctuary Treks the most trustworthy.

Evesrest Base Camp

The day before leaving for Everest base camp trek, we were given a briefing on the nature of our prospective journey.

I was unquestionably happy, and my friends seemed no less excited.

While flying above clouds we were in raptures at the thought of our upcoming journey to the yard of world’s highest peak.

After a thorough discussion with NST’s staffs, we had finalized a fifteen days’ Everest base camp trek itinerary. Upon landing at Lukla airport, our guide led us to a nearby hotel where, after lunch, he shared few words of motivation.

We were convinced that hike to Everest base camp was going to be a phenomenal journey.

Since we had already been informed that during the entire trek we would be going through Sherpa villages, we definitely expected to see some monasteries and maanes (holy boulders carved with Buddhist scriptures). From the very beginning to the end of the trek, the magnificent views of snow-capped mountains were unavoidable.

The trail was entirely off-road. During our trek, the route was mostly occupied by trekkers and Himalayan yaks, carrying loads on both sides of their back.

The surprising thing was though the number of yaks was almost equal to that of tourists I had never seen such a clean path. It was all because of responsible authority.

On the basis of geographical structure, the route to Everest base camp is not a meandering one. Getting to Namche Bazaar from Dudh Koshi river demands the steepest climb.

After that, the route gradually gets less steep. Another remarkable achievement for me was that I go to see strange birds and animals during the trek.

We saw birds like Danphe,  the national bird of Nepal, Himalayan Monal, pheasant, and numerous anonymous ones chirping overhead and upon the ground.

We had been informed the Sagarmatha National Park consisted of snow leopard, black bear, red panda, Himalayan tahr, etc.

But we were not fortunate enough to observe them closely as we saw only yaks and tahrs, an almost extinct animal which is often named the wild goat.

Tahrs: Found on the way to Everest Base Camp

It felt sublime to be passing over suspension bridges which were adorned with Buddhist prayer flags. The sharp chills caused by the mild breeze often gave us divine feelings.

At a lower elevation of the Everest region, the vegetation consisted of pines, firs, rhododendron, juniper, etc. We saw a sudden change in further landscape. It must have been due to the extreme coldness that the foothills of mountains at higher elevation were mostly covered in short-growing grayish shoots of grass.

Upper Khumbu region trekking mostly consisting of routes, made across screes, passing through huge moraines, gifted us with memories that would last a lifetime.

For us, Everest region trekking was not merely an adventure. We dug some aesthetic values out of the majestic views of ever-white peaks, desert-like moraines, and evergreen lower valleys.

Moreover, we were offered very luxurious lodging and climate-based food. As an alternative to electric heaters, the guesthouses had furnaces at the center of the dining hall which kept the room thoroughly warm. Our guide had chosen standard bedrooms for us.

In spite of the difficulties in the transportation of goods, they served a variety of foods compatible with tourists from all over the world.

Here I will share with you some of the essential information that you should know before going for Everest Base Camp. 

Best Time for Everest Base Camp Trek

If you are coming to Nepal for the trek you are suggested to be conscious of the weather conditions. Due to the geographical variation, the weather varies within the country.

If you are planning particularly to hike to Mt. Everest base camp you are highly recommended to choose two of the best times for trekking to Mt. Everest base camp, either between February and May or between September and October.

Everest Base Camp on Background

As per our guide’s suggestion, we had chosen the second period for our trek. I cannot recall the exact dates of our departure and arrival, but one thing is sure, it was during the biggest Nepalese festival, the Dashain.

Initially, I had thought that I could go trekking to the Mt. Everest base camp at any time of year. It is neither impossible, but the fact is you are required to be prepared to face greater risks during off-seasons.

It seemed very promising with a clear sky and mild breeze when we embarked upon the journey. The entire trek, hence, turned out very fruitful because we had chosen an appropriate time.

It was neither too cold nor too hot, nor it rained, nor snowed, nor the cloud created any disturbance in viewing the mountain ranges. Though this is not the warmest time of the year, this season comes with a pleasant temperature for trekking when nights are also not extremely cold like that of winter.

On one hand, since the popular routes to the world’s highest peak get very busy during this season, you can expect to see thousands of trekkers coming from around the globe.

And, if you do not love being in a crowd, you can change the itinerary and choose alternative routes.

Despite all the benefits mentioned, you are highly recommended to come with suitable gears, for nature is a phenomenon that, sometimes, comes with unprecedented forces.

The period between February and May might be the best time for setting out on Mt. Everest region trek.

As the sky is clear, the days are warm and bright. Because it is preceded by the winter, sometimes you might see small patches of cloud hovering especially in lower valleys.

Very less often light drizzles also might fall, but most days will be fairly stable and dry. Less frequenting showers do not cause trouble whatsoever.

Especially during April, the rhododendron forests en route contribute a lot in the decoration of the entire Khumbu region.

During this season, you may observe them in full bloom which gives exotic feelings even to the local people. Moreover, this is the season when most of Mt. Everest expeditions take place.

Hence, you can have a great time sharing experiences of trekking and expedition with people from around the world. In contrast, if you love spending time in solitude, you might choose to create an itinerary on your own and stay away from crammed lodges.

It is not impossible but very hard to go trekking to the Himalayas during specific seasons of the year.

If you are a prospective visitor to Nepal and want to embark upon Mt. Everest base camp trek, we highly suggest you not to choose the time from November to January and June to August.

This is not a sheer discouragement, though. I just wish you to have a wonderful trekking experience in Nepal. You might wish to know what happens if you choose the wrong seasons for trekking. Again, I would love to remind you of the weather conditions.

By and large, November through to January is the coldest season in Nepal. It does not rain, but the coldness gets to an extreme degree.

I do not discourage you to trek in the Khumbu region, but it depends upon how high you wish to go. During this season, almost all guest houses are closed because the owners move down to lower valleys seeking warmer weather.

Hence, if you are still relentless to go there, it will most probably be a camping trek which is too difficult for both the tourists and the Sherpa assistants.

Moreover, you will have to invest the heavy amount to make such treks possible. At night time, the temperature will go down to -30 degrees Celsius.

Since it is the monsoon period in the Khumbu region of June through to August is not a preferable trekking time. If you go trekking to the Mt. Everest base camp during this season, you might face frequent torrential downpours every day.

It is not specifically cold, but due to the rain, life in this part of Nepal gets pretty arduous for both trekkers and local people. The majority of guesthouses are closed because few tourists arrive.

Even the few tourists, traveling to Mt. Everest base camp during this season, suffer from frequent rainfalls, muddy paths, leach attacks, and they can rarely view mountain ranges clearly.

This season has an adventure of its own kind, but if you really love to go on such trek you will have to invest an additional amount, thanks to the difficulties involved.

Everest Base Camp Trek Cost

Nepal Sanctuary Treks is very flexible in welcoming their guests to Nepal, be it single or any number above that. Everest base camp trekking cost, however, differs on the basis of the trekking package.

If you want to go there as a solo trekker, the chances are it might be slightly more costly for you. Solo trekking in Nepal has its own beauty as long as you hire a trekking package.

In contrast, the cost of Everest base camp trek is somewhat cheaper for group trekkers at a personal level. Despite that, we heartily welcome any number of tourists to Nepal.

First of all, a visitor visa is required for you to enter Nepal. The cost depends upon how long you wish to stay. Nepal visa fee is US$ 40 for up to one month and US$ 100 for up to three months.

You can pay the fee either at the Nepalese embassy in your respective country or at the immigration at Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal upon landing.

We suggest you bring multiple passport size photos of yours for official purposes. You further might love to know how much it costs to hike to Mt. Everest base camp.

Some of the most important items you are required to purchase are:


 In order to pack your very personal items, you are required to have a medium size of a rucksack.

If you purchase a quality rucksack at Amazon or e-bay, the price is normally above US$ 50.

Waterproof hiking boots

 Hiking boots are another compulsory item for comfortable trekking.

Purchasing a pair of them at Amazon might cost you at least US$ 100.


 Since you are going to the land of snow, sunglasses are necessary for your eyes’ protection.

You can purchase it even at US$ 10 and it might cost up to hundreds of dollars too. However, the quality differs.

Here are a Vestal Himalayas Wayfarer Sunglasses you might like. 

Waterproof/windproof jackets and pants

 If you make a purchase of a pair of these items at Amazon, they might cost at least US$ 150.

Mountain Waterproof Ski Jacket Windproof Rain Jacket and Windproof Athletic Pants can be good friends in the Himalayas. 

Fleece gloves

 They might cost at least US$ 15 if you make a purchase online.

Winter Glove Outdoor Warm Fleece Gloves With TouchScreen is a good option to consider. 

Hiking socks

 You may purchase them on the basis of comfort you need.

You can buy Wool Hiking Outdoor Socks.

Fabric jackets

 Quality fabric jackets for trekking costs normally above US$ 100 anywhere you purchase.

Military Softshell Tactical Jacket Hooded Fleece Coat is a good Jacket for Mountainous region. 

Trekking sticks

 Almost compulsory for kids and old people, trekking sticks will be a great help for every trekker.

Walking Stick Trekking Pole with Adjustable Aluminum will be helpful. 

You might choose to purchase them either in your home country or even in Kathmandu.

The price depends upon the quality of the stuff.

These are only the basic items you are required to purchase and it is applicable to both solo and group trekkers. Nepalese government requires that all trekkers have a professional guide.

While going to Mt. Everest base camp, a trekker is required to make a lot of preparations before making a departure for the destination. The benefit of going with a guide company is that most of the arrangements are made by the company itself.

You should be wary of people who might offer you a trekking package at a very low price and ultimately cheat on you.

We are so sure of this because responses from our clients have been phenomenal so far. Normally, foreigners pay up to US$ 2,000 per person for Everest base camp trek if they are in a group.

Otherwise, if they come alone, they are often found to be paying up to US$ 2,500. 

Tips to save money

When it comes to traveling, the high price often becomes a hindrance to potential travelers.

Spending a huge amount of money for some days of joy might not be everybody’s cup of tea. Nonetheless, following some tips might make your journey to Mt. Everest base camp a lot cheaper.

Followings are some basic tips you might consider the following:

  • Hire a trekking guide who will manage other necessary staff.
  • Ask your guide to manage all trekking preparations.
  • Consult your guide for cheaper shopping.
  • Try to avoid hard drinks.
  • Spend more time capturing memories and less time on the costly internet.
  • Carry sufficient alternative clothes.
  • Try to build a good rapport with people who, you think, are good for friendship
  • If your health condition is deteriorating en route consider taking ample rest, otherwise, you will be required to charter a helicopter.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

You are most probably curious to know how hard it is to trek to Mt. Everest base camp.

As a trekker going to the Mt. Everest base camp, if you ask your predecessors about the difficulty of the trail, you might hear mixed responses from them.

Since you know you are going there for the adventure, you will definitely expect a certain degree of difficulty. There are obviously various obstacles on the trail which might cause more trouble to some trekkers and less to others.

The difficulty of the Everest base camp trek depends upon many factors.

First of all, the entire route is off-road. Though it is paved with stone slabs at places, most part of the path is pebbly. Everest region trekking trail, famous particularly for hiking, involves climbing steep hills at times.

Therefore, for kids and old people alike, it often gets pretty difficult. You are often required to have a high level of fitness to reach Mt. Everest base camp comfortably. Nevertheless, we encourage kids and old tourists to take a rather lengthier time.

It does not necessarily mean youths will always have an easy journey. Since there is a low degree of oxygen in the Himalayas, anyone going for the first time has a high chance of suffering from high altitude sickness.

Regardless of age and physical fitness, you might have difficulty adjusting to the new climate. Hence, we advise you to attend the briefing sessions organized by Nepal Sanctuary Treks on different occasions of the journey.

Moreover, staff will be sharing their personal experiences and advising you on acclimatization processes whenever you ask them for.

So far, I have not heard any case of an animal attack during a trek to Everest base camp. Despite that, we suggest our guests keep watchful eyes on yaks.

Throughout the trekking seasons, we can observe a large number of yaks moving uphill and downhill, delivering stuff on their back. God knows when, but they can turn violent at any time. Hence, we emphasize that prevention is better than cure.

During favorable trekking seasons, when guest houses are bustling with domestic and international tourists, you might have a problem finding safe accommodation. Hence, we suggest our guests hire a guide at any rate so that they will not have to worry about finding a good accommodation.

Tips for New Trekkers

Everest base camp trek is quite strenuous for many reasons. Though there are so many villages on the trail, you will be trekking for approximately 15 days which is not a joke. The higher you go, the more difficulties you will face adapting to the new climate. We suggest prospective trekkers follow certain guidelines before coming to Nepal for trekking to Mt. Everest base camp.


  • Train yourself by going on long hikes


  • Try to get acquainted with high altitude

Try to learn basic Nepalese greetings

  • is mandatory to have registered proper life insurance before coming to Nepal for trekking.
  • It is important to attend cardiovascular training widely. You can practice physically demanding activities like cycling, swimming, hill climbing, lengthy walks, etc.
  • Don’t consider bringing luggage above 30 pounds
  • Consult the agency you have hired about the necessary stuff you should carry.
  • Do not condemn the local culture just because it is strange to you.
  • You are strictly suggested to read the national park rules and act accordingly.
  • You should not disobey your guide. The professional guides want you to have a wonderful time while in Nepal. So, you have to understand what they mean when they disapprove of your certain demands.

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