Gyantse Damak Festival
Gyantse Damak or the Gyantse Horse racing festival is celebrated in the town of Gyantse. The Gyantse is considered as the leading producer of barley in Tibet, and the town has significant cultural Influences in Tibetan Culture and tradition.
The festival has more than 500 Years of History. It was started by the prince Gungsang Rabten in the living memory of his father, as an athletic competition in the year 1400. Now it becomes an essential inter-village Competition.
Initially, the festival was mainly a religious ceremony with a limited entertainment like wrestling matches and weightlifting. Later Prince Tashi Rabten adds Horse racing, Archery, Tibetan Opera, songs and dances to the festival.
That’s how the Current Gyantse Damak Festivals is formed as time passes. It is most commonly called the Gyantse Horse racing for the horse racing is now the main event in the festival.
Traveling to Tibet during this festival could add a great deal of authentic local experiences to your Tibet tour. This festival can really help you to understand and participate in the Cultural Life of Tibetan.
Travelers Guide to Gyantse Horseracing Festival
Gyantse is located in The Sino-Nepalese friendship highway. It is located right 260 Kilometers from Lhasa after the Mt Nyanchen Kangsar and Yamdrok Lake. It is a small medieval town with a very beautiful stupa and Beautiful fort. The streets in the Gyantse town has not been changing for many years. The most popular attractions in the town are Palchoe Stupa in the Kumbum monastery and the Gyantse Dzong, the fort.
Palchoe Monastery is the main monastery in the Gyantse town. It was found in the year 1418, In the 14th century, this monastery is well known for its unique nature of having 3 different schools of Tibetan Buddhism in one monastery. Now the monastery is well known for its Kumbum Stupa. which is Stupa of many doors. This stupa has 108 different temples in it.
Gyantse fort is originally built by the son of the last Tibetan king. The fortress is dated to 1268. Local Prince Phakpa Pelzangpo (1318-1370) renovated. In the year 1904 During the British expedition of Tibet. British force invades Tibet, at the Gyantse fort they encountered fierce opposition from local people.
I-Tibet travel and Tours is fully committed to responsible and Sustainable tourism practice in Tibet. Our privilege to be able to host you in Tibet also makes our responsibility in protecting nature and contributing back communities.
As a Local Tibetan travel agency in Lhasa. Our staffs are 100% local Tibetan tourism professionals. Additionally, We only use local Tibetan guides, other tours crews, and local business. 100% of the travel money goes to locals. Besides, We use 3% of the net profit into Environmental and social initiatives.
Being Tibetan, We know how vital the Tibetan environment is for the entire world. Mountains, glacier, and rivers are all cherished in our culture. We do our best to reduce the environmental impact of your tours in Tibet.
Following are Our ways:
a) No Small plastic bottles in the tour
All the drinking water are provided in the bigger container. So all visitors are asked to bring his/her own water bottle. In this way, we reduce hundreds and thousands of small plastic bottles. All the bigger containers are provided back to the manufacturer for reuse.
b) Incentives for practice
Incentives are given to guide and drivers. Who follow our strict directories on ethical practice towards sustainable and responsible tourism practice.
c) Staff Training every winter
Winter is a low season in Tibet tourism. We provide skill training required for the practice of Responsible and Sustainable tourism practice, first Aids and emergency first responder training. One of our managers is certified Humanity Supply Chain management by fritz institute. We work closely with individuals from institute like Tibet Eco Travel initiatives and Local Tibet Red Cross society and other NGOs.
d) Tree Plantation
Some portion of the tour money are save for our 1000 Tree plantation project. We will plant trees when we will have enough funds.
e) Smaller group size
All our tours are a small group to reduce environmental Impact. Since traveling in a smaller group has less impact on committed in an area than a big group. Therefore all our tour groups are small.
f) Trekking tours and environmental care in the wilderness of Tibet
During your trekking Tours, you will be walking across a very fragile ecosystem. We do take extra care in our trekking tours preventing environmental effects. Following are how are take care of our environment our trekking tours.
1: We nothing leave mother behind.
We make sure we take all our rubbish and leave nothing behind.
2: We protect the grassland
A little destruction of Tibet’s fragile environment is irreversible. So, in the trekking tours, we will not make drainage surrounding your tent. Instead, we will provide trekkers with a better tent with bathtub style floors which prevent water from getting into the tent. We don’t put a small tent toilet. Even if we try to put the grass back, it is not the same. So when you are answering your nature called please enjoy the view.
3: Collecting the garbage along the way.
We have a saying in Tibet, “if you can’t help, don’t harm.” Here is our helping part. We always have extra yaks carrying the Garbages, our yak men will be collecting while waiting for the clients at the campsite. Yak man walks faster than all, and they have free time at the camp. While cook prepares for meals and drinks, We pay yaks men’s incentives in collecting the rubbish around the camp.
I-Tibet travel and tours, identify its self as a social enterprise. For this, we dedicate 3% of our annual net profit to Social and environmental projects. Every winter we buy winter clothes for small children and donate to schools. In this way, besides donating winter cloth, we are also encouraging them to go to school.
It is important to make our guest understand Local Culture, Beliefs, and Ethics. Hence it will make it more comfortable during Our special tour arrangements. Like, your home visit, culture programs, and our others.