13 Days Kailash Trek (Lhasa - Kailash - Kyirong)

The beauty of the 6700-meter high Mount Kailash that looks like a symmetrical cone shaped rock capped by pure crystalline ice is equally venerated as the holiest pilgrimage site by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bön-Po. Tibetans regard this mountain as the manifestation of Mount Meru, “the navel of the earth” where founder of Bon religion, Tonpa Shenrab, is believed to have descended from heaven, Hindus as the abode of Lord Shiva, Buddhists as the abode of Samvara and Jains as a sacred site where their prophet, Rishaba attained spiritual enlightenment. With its four sheer walls, distinctive snow-capped peak, and valleys interspersed with brightly-clad Tibetan pilgrims, Mount Kailash or Khang Rimpoche (‘precious snow-peak’, as known by the Tibetans) is an awe-inspiring sight.

Four great rivers of Asia: the Karnali, the Indus, the Sutlej and the Brahmaputra (Tsangpo) originate from here. A three-day trek (Parikrama or Kora) around Mount Kailash over a 5630 meter Drolma La (pass), clockwise for Buddhists and Hindus, and anti-clockwise followers of the ancient Bon religion, is said to erase the sins of a lifetime. To complete the Kailash pilgrimage one should bath in the sacred Lake Manasarovar, stunningly set on the Tibetan plateau bordered by the majestic Gurla Mandata.

The tour begins with a comprehensive trip briefing in Kathmandu followed by a sensational trans Himalayan flight to Lhasa that passes over Mt. Everest and many highest peaks of the world (if you join the tour in Kathmandu). This is the only flight fly over Mt. Everest and other highest peaks. In case you wish to start the tour in Lhasa arriving from anywhere in mainland China or taking a new train from Beijing you will be briefed about the tour by your Tibetan Guide.

 

SERVICES INCLUDED:

Twin sharing accommodation as per the itinerary on bed & breakfast (BB) basis.
English speaking Tibetan Guide.
Transportation as per the itinerary by necessary vehicle.
Monastery entrance fee.
Tibet Travel permits and Yak and Yak man
2 bottles mineral water daily during tour

Emergency portable oxygen cylinder in the vehicle.
Trip briefing by Tibet expert & entertain question.
Trip Information pack.
Gift pack (prayer flag or string of flag & paper prayer Lungtha).

Note: Offer Prayer flag or Lungtha (string of prayer flag) in high passes, temple for good fortune & long life.

SERVICES EXCLUDED:

Tibet Visa Fee (Acceptable in US$ cash only).

Travel insurance.

Any Nepal Service

Transportation Kyirong-Kathmandu.

Expenses during any rescue operation.

Nepal re-entry visa fee.

Lunch and Dinner in en routes

Alcoholic beverages & bar bills.

All expenses of personal nature, phone calls, laundry etc.

Gratuity to staff.

Services of Porterage and other vehicles in between in case of landslides and other natural calamities beyond our control and expenses incurred during rescue services.

Services not mentioned herein.

Itinerary

Day 01: Fly to Gongkar Airport & drive to Lhasa (3600m/11811ft) 65 km, 1hr:

Your Tibetan guide will be waiting to welcome you at Gongkar Airport. After immigration formalities, you will drive for around 45 minutes to reach the old city, Lhasa (3660 meters). After checking in at your hotel, you are advised to take rest, drink plenty of fluids and most importantly let your body get used to Lhasa’s high altitude. During afternoon you can go around the hotel area for light walk and sightseeing. O/N at Hotel in Lhasa (BB)

Day 02: Sightseeing Tour of Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Market and Sera Monastery:

After breakfast you will be briefed about the day’s program. Then your guide will take you on a tour to Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Market and Sera Monastery respectively.

Jokhang Temple: Jokhang a seventh-century geomantic temple at the heart of Lhasa is the most sacred temple of all Tibet. It is considered to be a Power Place in all Tibet. Queen Bhrikuti, a Nepalese princess married to King Songtsen Gampo founded Jokhang Temple and in recognition of Queen Bhrikuti the main gate of the temple faces west towards Nepal.  The most impressive structure of the Jokhang Temple is the many chapels surrounding the temple.

Barkhor Market (Bazar): The most popular Barkhor Market (Bazaar) is a square where Tibetan handicraft items, Buddhist artifacts, carpets, paintings etc. are all in sale for your delight. At the end of the day your guide will escort you back to your hotel. Lhasa offers variety of Restaurant for both Lunch and Dinners.

Sera Monastery: This monastery is approx. 5km drive away from Lhasa. Sera Monastery was founded in 1419. It sits in the prettiest and most charming atmosphere at the base of Mount Purbuchok. Sera Monastery used to be an important center for learning where in the past approx. 5,000 to 6,000 monks resided. Currently about 550 monks are supposed to be living there. The important structures inside the monastery include Coqen Hall, (the main assembly hall), three Zhacangs (Buddhist colleges) and twenty-nine Khangtsens (monk dormitories).The most intriguing feature here is the nine-meter image of Maitraya which was erected in 1419; here one can also witness the practicing of debate among the monks, who pitch their knowledge against each other.   O/N at Hotel in Lhasa (BB)

Day 03: Sightseeing Tour of Potala Palace, Norbulingka and Drepung Monasery

After breakfast you will be briefed about the day’s program. Then your guide will take you on a tour to majestic Potala palace, Norbulingka and Drepung Monastery.

Potala Palace: Also known as the “winter palace”. The imposing structure of the palace dominates the landscape of Lhasa. is a 13th storied complex monument rising to a height of above 117m which houses 10,000 shrines and over 200,000 images and about 1000 rooms.As you are guided through the ancient chambers of the palace, you get to see Tibetan art at its best. The Potala Palace has a vast array of intricate Tibetan murals and beautiful statues. You will also get to view the tombs of the eight Dalai Lamas.

Norbulinka Palace: Also called the “Jewel Park”, is a large open area about four kilometers to the west of Lhasa, and referred to as the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Since the time of the Eight Dalai Lama, the park has been used as a summer palace, retreat and recreation area for the successive Dalai Lamas

Drepung Monastery: is a beautifully landscaped monastery where you can observe nuns and monks chanting and performing religious discourses.  O/N at Hotel in Lhasa (BB)

Note: Since only a limited number of visitors are allowed inside the Potala palace every day, the order of sightseeing places will be decided upon by your guide.

Day 04: Drive to Shigatse (3,900m/12795ft) 355km, 5 hrs:

Leaving Lhasa and a drive of 265km, taking about 4-5 hours including break for lunch at one of the villages’ en-route. We will drive over two spectacular high passes – the Kampa La at 4750m and Karo La at 5010m, over, and along the beautiful deep blue green Lake called Yamdrok Lake or Turquoise Lake. The landscape of the Tibetan Plateau is truly unusual and spectacular.  We will arrive in Gyantse an old Tibetan Town against a backdrop of magnificent 14th-15th century fortresses and temples.  Here we will visit Pelkhor Chode Temple, which served the Geluk Sakya and Buluk orders. Here the Khumbum Stupa is an architectural masterpiece built in the style of 108-sided Mandela. It is the most revered Stupa in Tibet and houses 112 chapels of which only 23 are open to the public.

After Lunch 2 hours, 90km straight drive to Shigatse the second largest town in Tibet. Shigatse the capital of Tsang Province was one of the first towns to be visited by westerners due to close distance with the Indian border. Here in Shigatse you will be visiting Tashilumphu Monastery. This monastery is one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet and there is much to explore within its high surrounding walls. There are about 39 amazing chapels inside including the huge Maitreya Chapel coated with gold; its workmanship certainly impresses everyone.After detailed visit of Shigatse, we will visit the local markets for shopping and local sightseeing. O/N at Hotel in Shigatse (BB)

Day 05: Drive to Saga (4840m/15875ft) 450km, 8 hrs:

Today you will traverse along the Friendship Highway amidst picturesque landscape driving for approx 3 hrs. You will come across many nomads together with Yak’s Ship. Today you will traverse along the Friendship Highway amidst picturesque landscape to the small town of Lhatse, you overnight place. You will drive 60km off road from Lhatse, towards Sakya Monastery which is a “must-see” for all the visitors to Tibet. It is the central monastery of Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Its walls were painted in red, white and grey strips, which represent Manjushree, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani respectively. Further we drive approx. 300km to Saga driving between the snows peaked mountains, crossing the Yarlong Tsangpo (Brahmaputra River) Further ahead, a river valley sprawls over and then traditional picturesque villages come into picture. This scenically rewarding drive provides plenty of opportunities for photography. O/N at hotel in Saga (BB)

Day 06: Drive to Lake Mansarovar (4558m/14950ft) 560km, 9hrs:

Today is a longer day’s drive travelling more than 500km. First we begin our journey towards Paryang which is almost 450km drive from Saga. From Paryang, we set out across the plains to Mansarovar located just 30km south of Mt Kailash. As you near this breathtaking sacred lake, historic Chiu Monastery becomes visible on the North West shore of the lake. From this vantage point, you can even glimpse at majestic Mount Kailash. This journey stimulates you spiritually. O/N at Guest House in Lake Mansarovar (BB)

Day 07: Drive to Darchen (4560m/14957ft) 30km, 30 minutes:

Darchen is starting point of Kailash Parikrama. O/N at Guest House in Darchen.

Day 08: Drive to Tarpoche (50km, 1 hr). Trek to Dirapuk (4900m/16072ft.)

Leaving the lake, we drive for about 50 km towards Tarpoche, the Base Camp of Kailash or the starting point of Kora where we begin our first walk of 6-7 hrs, towards Kailash. Here you meet your team of yaks and Tibetan yak drivers who will escort you around the Kora. Further ahead from Tarpoche, you have to trek past verdant meadows and picturesque streams to Lha Chu Valley. The trail overlooks Turquoise River cascading over a narrow canyon with high steep cliffs. En route, north face of Kailash comes into vision. The trail will approach 13th century monastery of Dirapuk. We spend an overnight in Dirapuk. O/N at Guest House in Dirapuk (BB)

Day 09: Trek Dirapuk to Zutulpuk. Cross Dolmala Pass (4790m/15711ft):

Lha Chu Valley blurs as you turn towards Drolma Chu Valley. Looking forward to the amazing Mount Kailash tour and trek, you ascend to Drolma La (5630m), the highest point of the trip. Enjoy the breathtaking view of Thukpe Dzingbu Lake, known as the Lake of Compassion at the summit; you realize that this tough and challenging ascent has indeed been very worthwhile and fruitful. Several prayer flags can be seen at the summit. Further on, the trail descends to the flat fields of Zuthulpuk which houses a monastery and several fascinating caves. The caves at this locale are most popular for meditation; Milarepa’s cave being one of them with Milarepa’s footprints and elbow prints believed to be imprinted all over this cave of Mani stones. After a tough challenging day walk of approximately 10 hrs, we reach Zuthulpuk, our overnight place. O/N at Guest House in Zuthulpuk (BB)

Day 10: Finish Trek. Drive to Lake Manasarovar. (4558m/14950ft) 30 km, ½ hr:

The Last day of Kailash Parikrama/ Kora is easy walking on beautiful valley. We will walk for about 4-5 hours to where our vehicle will be waiting for us to bring us back to Manasarovar.  O/N at Guest House (BB)

Day 11: Drive to Saga (4840m/15875ft) 560 km, 9 hrs:

O/N at hotel in Saga (BB)

Day 12: Drive to Kyirong (4500m/14805ft) 280 km, 5 hrs:

Kyirong is also a famous religious and historical place, home of 11th Centaury great saint and Guru Milarepa known for his tantric wisdom as well a poet and folk singer, his song are still remembered by local herdsman and villagers.

O/N at hotel in Kyirong (BB)

Day 13: Drive to Kathmandu (1300m/4265ft) 170 km, 8-10 hrs:

After breakfast, drive 25 km to the border and the immigration point. After Chinese Immigration formalities we cross into Nepal by foot and meet Nepali representative and vehicle at the Nepal side called Timure, Rasuwa Ghadi. After Nepali immigration formalities, you drive to Kathmandu. It is an interesting combination drive of dirt and paved road along the Langtang national park through smaller town of Syabrubensi and Dunche (ideal place for lunch) and finally reaches the main national highway at Galchhi. You will experience more traffic along the road. Tour Concludes.