Mani Rimdu at Chiwong Monastery 7 Days
Duration: 7 days
Trip level: easy (info?)
Maximum altitude: 2715 m
Season: October 30th – 5th November 2020
It is a day drive by private car to the heart of local Sherpa land in the Solukhumbu, also known as lover Everest. Nearby Phaplu is the monastery of Chiwong, also known as Chiwang. This tour is focused on joining and attending the festival.
To join the Mani Rimdu festival at Chiwong monastery is a rare opportunity to submerge in the Buddhist Sherpa culture. The public days festival is a three day festival which is being held at Thyangboche monastery, and Chiwong monastery. The date of the festival varies each year as it is depending on the Buddhist lunar calendar.
Mani Rimdu takes place from the first day of the tenth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, falling between mid-October and mid-November. It lasts until the nineteenth day of the month. From the beginning until the end of the festival, 24 hours Puja (rituals) will be performed by the monks to consecrate the Mandala, the Mani Rilwu (sacred pills), the Tshereel (pills for long life) and the Torma.
The Sand Mandala
The sand mandala is carefully constructed, grain by grain, from colored sand. It is an intricate and symbolic design that takes many days to complete. Protective dagger deities are placed around the mandala, and the bowl of Mani Rilwu pills (spiritual medicine) is placed above the center.
The Rilwu Pills
Rinpoche calls this “liberation by eating”. The Rilwu are distributed to everyone, after he gives a long life empowerment to the people who come.
The torma is made from barley flour and decorated with colored butter. It begins by symbolising the body of the deity, and by the end of the ceremony, symbolises enlightenment itself. It stands in the front of the mandala on its own shrine, at the very heart of the temple.
Day 01 October 30th 2020. Drive Kathmandu to Chiwong Khop(2590m) over Phaplu (9 hrs.)
Day 02 October 31st 2020. Trek to Chiwong Monastery (2715m – 2 hrs.); start of Mani Rimdu; overnight at Chiwong Khop.
The Empowerment (Wong)
The Wong is the opening day of public ceremony. It’s performed on the full moon day, of the tenth month in the Tibetan lunar calendar. The sacred Mani Rilwu (sacred pills) and Tshereel (pills for long life), are given to everyone attending.
Day 03 November 1st 2019. Trek to Chiwong Monastery (2 hrs.); second day of Mani Rimdu; overnight at Chiwong Khop.
The Dances (Chham)
The dances take place on the 2nd public day of Mani Rimdu. Symbolic demons are conquered, chase away, or transformed to Protectors of Dharma. As the theme of the dance positive forces fight with those of disorder through the dances. The dances convey Buddhist teaching on many levels from the simplest to the most philosophical. During the dance the monks are believed to become divine being. The dances are only performed during Mani Rimdu because they are considered to be very sacred, and not for ordinary entertainment.
Day 04 Novemer 2nd 2019. Trek to Chiwong Monastery (2 hrs.); third day of Mani Rimdu; overnight at Chiwong Khop.
The Fire Puja (Jinsak)
The Fire Puja is performed in the yard. The Fire Puja is an offering to Agni (the god of fire), and to the Gods of the mandala – to allay all harm in the world. The harm is visualized as dissolving into the grain and butter is burned.
Day 05 November 3rd 2020. Trek to Chiwong Monastery (2 hrs.);fourth day of Mani Rimdu; overnight at Paphlu (4 hrs. trek).
The Naga Mandala ( The Naga)
The Naga is a mythical serpentine creature appearing as human or snake, or both together with a human torso above and a coiled snakes tail below. They inhabit the regions beneath the earth and the oceans. The Naga sand mandala in the temple is ritually pulled to pieces, and the sand is given as an offering to the serpent gods.
Day 06 November 4th 2020. Day hike to Ratnangge for viewpoint of Solukhumbu; or visit local Sherpa city of Salleri
Day 07 November 5th 2020. Drive Phaplu to Kathmandu (8 hrs.)
During the trekking season prices may rise. The final price depends on the trekking season, group size and the cost of local transfers.
Please inquire about the price
We have noticed the ways of travelling and booking are changing rapidly. Many customers book a hotel or a guesthouse themselves prior to their journey. However, we would happily like to arrange accommodation for you. We have excellent contacts with various hotels and guesthouses and will be able to offer a good price rate for any budget.
When you arrive at the International Airport we will pick you up and bring you to your accommodation. Here we will give you a short briefing about the trek. In addition we will give you advice about hygienic food, customs, and sightseeing in Kathmandu.
-Pick up and drop off from Kathmandu International Airport to hotel
-Return private drive Kathmandu to Phaplu
-Certificate of CO2- emission free return Kathmandu to Phaplu
-Licensed and certified mountain guide. Well experienced and English speaking
-Salary, food, accommodation and insurance for the mountain guide
-Teahouse room during tour; shared room for 2 persons
-Three meals a day: breakfast/lunch/ dinner (local food). Tea/ hot water
-TIMS card and local taxes
-Support of the Sherpa Heritage Trails head office in Kathmandu
-International flight to Kathmandu
-Nepal entrance visa
-Accommodation and all meals in Kathmandu
-Porter service for carrying luggage. One porter for two persons, max. luggage 10 kg. per person
-All other beverage bills, hot shower, internet services, laundry and battery charge during tour
-Personal travel insurance
-Rescue operation charge in case of an emergency
-Any cost that arises due to a change of itinerary like flight delay, natural calamities, etc.
-Gratitude and tips for mountain guide