Monlam Chenmo was established in 1409 by lama Tsongkhapa, the great philosopher and founder of Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The first festival was held in Jokhang in Lhasa, where thousands of monks gathered together for chanting prayers and performing religious rituals, such as Buddhist dances (cham), torma offering, giant thangka unveiling, etc. Due to all these rituals have been preserved, they are being performed every first lunar month nowadays in Amdo.
Amdo Monlam Chenmo Festival 2020
Highlight: Rebkong Monlam Chenmo, Labrang, Dzogey grasslands, Ngawa Monlam Chenmo, visit local nomadic families and local Tibetan families during the Festival.
Jan 29 Day 1: Arrival in Xining Airport
Our Tibetan English speaking guide and driver will pick you up from Xining airport and drive you to your hotel in Xining, rest in Xining. Sanwant Hotel or similar.
Jan 30 Day 2: Xining—Rebkong (CH Tongren) 200km 3-4 hrs
Drive to Rebkong, Rebgong is believed to be the cultural center of Amdo and known for its traditional Arts such paintings, brocade, clay sculptures, etc. Join the Monlam Chenmo. Full day at the Masked Dance, Fire Puja at the end of the day, stay overnight at Norbang Hotel.
Feb 1st Day 3: Rebkong
Visit the Buddha Thangka display at Sangeshong Monastery. As the ceremony begins In the morning there will be a large number of people gathering mostly local people in their best traditional dresses. In the afternoon visit the Rongwo Gonchen; the biggest monastery in Rebkong. Homestay.
Feb 2nd Day 4: Rebkong
In Gomer Monastery things quite different from others. The monks have their assembling early in the morning and local people gather around 9 o’clock. People from the community, from children to old, all come to the monastery courtyard with baskets of bread and buckets of milk tea. Everybody there including tourists are invited and offered tea and breads. People rush towards the display area and waiting for Unfolding and displaying the huge Buddha Thanka from top to down. In the afternoon, visit the Shampalinkor; the procession of Future Buddha in Sangeshong Magotsang. Stay overnight at Norbang Hotel.
Feb 3rd Day 5: Rebkong –Gartse–Labrang Monastery (CH Xiahe) 120kms / 3 hrs
Drive to Labrang Through Ganja grasslands, Labrang is one of the six greatest monasteries of Gelukpa school and home to over 1500 monks. Stay overnight at Baoma Hotel.
Feb 4th Day 6: Labrang monastery –Taktsang Lhamo (Ch Langmusi) 220kms / 3hrs
Visit the markets and Tibetan quarters. See also preparation of the festivities that will take place in Labrang the next days. Labrang is a palace for all kinds of people, especially those Drokpas (nomads) have special characters. Their beautiful dress, hairstyles, worm smiles are something that you would inevitably look at. After lunch in Labrang then we will drive to Taktsang Lhamo for the night. We stay overnight in Takstang Lhamo
Feb 5th Day 7: Taktsang Lhamo Monlam Chenmo
Unfolding of big Buddha Thangka at Taktsang Lhamo Monastery and see the celebrations of Mönlam Chenmo. Continue the visits to the T. Lhamo area. Stay overnight at Langmusi hotel or similar.
Feb 6th Day 8: Taktsang Lhamo – Dzoge grasslands – Ngawa Monlam (CH Aba) 330kms / 6hrs
Today drive to Ngawa county via opened grasslands of Dzoge grasslands, on the way visit some local Tibetan nomadic families. Ngawa is one of the most important cultural and religious centers for Amdo Tibetans. Once you are in Ngawa you can feel more Tibetan culture and traditional Tibetan houses. Stay overnight in Ngawa.
Feb 7th Day 9: Ngawa Kirti monastery Monlam Chenmo
Ngawa Kirti monastery is one of the largest monasteries in Amdo and housing to over 1000 monks. Ngawa Monlam is little different than the Monlam in Rebkong and Labrang areas. There are over thousands of pilgrims join the Monlam festival and nomads from far away. There is also a chance to see the Ngawa Gomang Monlam festival. Gomang monastery is about 20kms away from the Kirti monastery. Stay overnight in Ngawa.
Feb 8th Day 10: Ngawa Monlam Festival
There are about 45 monasteries around the Ngawa area, today the largest Bon monasteries in the Ngawa area. There is a very good chance to join the Ngawa Nashuk monastery mask dance. Nangshuk monastery is the largest monastery of the Bon religion. There is a very special offering from the monastery and a good chance to witness the Bon religion Monlam Festival. They dress very colorful and decorate the horses’ colorful. Stay overnight in Ngawa.
Feb 9th Day 11: Ngawa – Chengdu 480kms / 7-8hrs
Today drive to Tibet Gyarong region. Famous for its stone houses and towers. We will continue to drive to Chengdu for the night. Once arrive in the Chengdu hotel, your Monlam Chenmo Trip is finished in Tibet Plateau and says goodbye to our Tibetan guide and driver.
Feb 10th Da 12: Departure from Chengdu to your home country