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Duration: 24 days, 21 days in Tibet
Accommodations: Camping and 8 nights hotels
Grade: 8 days strenuous trekking
Mount Kailash, the holiest mountain to Tibetan Buddhists & Hindus, is the main source of four great rivers—the Indus, Brahmaputra, Sutlej, and Karnali. It is the ultimate pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists. They believe that by devoutly circling the mountain on foot, they will be cleansed of all earthly sins and reach ultimate spiritual freedom. Our own pilgrimage to Kailash will begin with a few days in Lhasa to take in its wondrous sights. These include the legendary gold-roofed, thousand-room Potala Palace, among others. Then we head to Lake Manasarovar in Western Tibet. Lake Manasarovar is the sacred lake below Kailas. While Hindus take a ritual bath in its glacial water, a plunge for us is optional. Here we’ll trek a circuit of the lake, in preparation for the trek we’ll be doing around Mount Kailas. Next, it’s on to the holy mountain itself. Joining other nomads and pilgrims from as far away as India, we set off for the 32-mile circuit of the peak along the kora, the sacred circuit around Kailash. Just one circuit is said to erase the sins of a lifetime, 108 assures Nirvana. The most devout pilgrims circle the mountain in one day, but we’ll take our time and do it in four. Upon completion of the kora, we return to Lake Manasarovar, before beginning the long drive back to Lhasa.
NOTE:- All the itineraries can be customized to suit your own special interests, preferences, abilities, extension and reduction of numbers of days.
On your arrival, our representative will meet you and transfer you to hotel. You will meet with the guide in the afternoon for a briefing on the trek and trip. Hotel
Today we will visit Pashupatinath, the famous Hindu temple and cremation place by the Bakmati river and Durbar Square. Hotel
Transfer to the airport and fly to the Gongkar airport, located about 75 miles from Lhasa. Transfer to hotel for overnight. (B,L,D) Hotel
We will have two wonderful days in Lhasa to make excursions to the following places:
Bakor and The Jokhang—The Jokhang is the principal and holiest Buddhist temple in Lhasa, as well as all of Tibet. It is the focus of devotion of hundreds of Tibetans from near and far who circle it to gain spiritual merit. The Jokhang was first constructed in the 7th century and has a large gold image of Sakyamuni Buddha (Joho Rinpochey)
Sera and Drepung—the principal Monasteries. Sera, founded in 1419, is a monastery of the Gelugpa order. Drepung used to have 8,000 monks who were taught in the traditions of Vajrayana, Mahayana, and Sutrayana, the three vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism.
Potala Palace — The 13-story Potala Palace is reputed to contain 1,000 rooms and hundreds upon hundreds of brilliant thangkas, frescoes. These images were built in an era when religious art was created anonymously as a means of gaining merit for future lives. It’s one of the world’s most extraordinary buildings. It completely covers the mountain it stands upon. We will also visit the Barkor bazaar in Lhasa, a colorful congregating place for Tibetan merchants. (B,L,D) Hotel
We drive to Shigatse (12,792′), the second largest city in Tibet. Shigatse is known for its famous Tashilhunpo Monastery, founded by the first Dalai Lama and situated at the base of a hill on the edge of town. Tashilhunpo is the seat of the Panchen Lama, who is regarded as the reincarnation of the Buddha of endless enlightenment, and dates back to the 15th century. One of the most important religious centers of Central Tibet, Tashilhunpo contains a 26-meter-tall image of Buddha, Asia’s largest bronze Buddha. It also contains other important art works that include thangkas, frescoes, and statues. Pilgrims from the far corners of Tibet come to pay their homage. (B,L,D)…Hotel
We’ll spend the morning doing some sightseeing in Shigatse. Then we spend the next three days driving to the Lake Manasarovar, the sacred lake below Kailash. Its crystal clear waters are the highest body of fresh water on earth. (B,L,D) … camp
We will use these days to complete the circuit around the sacred lake of Manasarovar, visiting several temples along the way. The trail is flat, the water is crystal clear. We’ll see the icy flanks of Gurla Mandata (25,242′), the highest peak in Western Tibet. There will also be views of Mount Kailash. (B,L,D)…Camp
We drive to Darchen and start on Mount Kailash Kora, starting right from Darchen. We will take four days to make the circuit; hardy Tibetans do it in one day! Climb gently up to lunch at Chhuku Gompa, the first of the monasteries to be rebuilt after all were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Camp at Damding Donkhang (16,040′), offering good views of the west face of Kailash. (B,L,D)…Camp
As we cross a couple of streams on log bridges, the north face of Kailash comes into view. After lunch, we climb up a moraine. We then reach the meadows of Jarok Donkhang at about 17,100 feet.. (B,L,D)…Camp
We continue hike up to Shiva-Tsal (5297m/17,482ft), then up to the Dolma La (5595m/18,465ft), where a big boulder on the pass is covered with prayer flags, which represent the goddess Dolma. The pass is the physical and spiritual high point of the kora (circuit). We then hike down the valley to camp in the beautiful meadows of the Lham Chu Valley. (B,L,D)…Camp
We hike to the gompa at Zutulpuk (15,711′). Here the Buddhist saint Milarepa lived, meditated, and performed miracles such as raising the roof of the cave to make it more comfortable. We’ll leave the river valley and hike on the plain to the last prostration station at 15,120′. We then continue another 2 hours to the end of the trail. We meet the vehicles and drive to Lake Manasarovar. (B,L,D)…Camp
We will spend the next four days driving to Lhasa along the flanks of the Himalaya. (B,L,D) day…Camps, lodge, and hotel
Transfer to the Gongkar airport, about two hours from Lhasa, fly to Kathmandu, Hotel
Visa to Tibet
Pay heed to the guidelines given by trek leader or instructor in order to enjoy a safe and sound trekking experience.
Single rooms and tents can be requested for a supplement (subject to availability). Please enquire at the time of booking.
Tibet is very safe, tourist friendly and cheering place, but still you need to take care of some preparations which can make your tour even better and memorable: Carry headache, stomachache, anti-vomiting tablets with you. Please respect the culture of Tibet. We are providing world class services in the secluded place, which is similar to an oasis, is very difficult and challenging. Still we try our best to bring cheer on your faces.
Code of Ethics for tourists visiting Tibet
a. As a Guest – Respect local traditions- protect local cultural- maintain local prides.
b. While taking Photographs- Respect privacy-ask permission and restraint use of flashlight for photography and filming inside National Monuments and smoking and alcohol drinking is strictly prohibited
c. Respect Holy Place- preserve what you have come to see- never touch or remove religious objects- purchase and sale of antiques which is more than 100 years old is against the law and it attracts punishment under rules.
d. Keep stream water clean and avoid using pollutants such as detergents in stream and springs- if no toilets facilities are available- make sure are at least 30 Meter away from water source and Bury or cover waste.
e. Giving to Children encourages begin- a donation to project like Health Centre or School is a more constructive way to help.
f. Visitors who value local traditions encourage local prides and maintain local cultures-please help them to gain a realistic view of life in other parts of the World.
g. The beauty of the place and loving kinds of the people may change you but please do not change them.
Eating and Drinking
Whilst camping, the staff will bring a hot drink (usually tea) to your tent each morning. When you reach camp in the afternoon tea and biscuits will be served. At breakfast, dinner and in the afternoons, there is a choice of hot drinks. Breakfasts typically include cereal, toast and jam, eggs and porridge. Lunch on trek is usually served as a picnic en route (except on shorter days when it is in camp). Lunch and dinner typically include soup to start, followed by a variety of hot dishes (both local and western) such as potatoes/chips, vegetables, curry, pasta, rice, dal and paneer (cottage cheese). At dinner time a dessert such as tinned fruit and custard, fritters or cake is also be served.
Note:- that although some meals will include meat, it is not as readily available while camping.
Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day.
During the trek the cooks will collect and boil drinking water from the mountain streams and fill up your water bottles for you, but you may need to collect water during the day and may wish to use your own water purification treatment as well.
We also suggest that you may like to bring a reusable bottle with a wide opening (Nalgene or similar)
The above weather chart for Tibet shows average temperatures only – it does not reflect extremes of heat and cold. Generally the weather is good in Tibet during the summer time, with warm to very hot sunny days (up to 30ºC/35ºC+) with cooler nights depending on the altitude (it can reach freezing point at some higher places in September). There is, however, the possibility of rain, and you should be prepared for this. The sun is very strong at these altitudes and some of the days on trek can be extremely hot.
Although the departures are timed to coincide when the weather is normally good, you should remember that in any mountain area the weather is never wholly predictable and you should be prepared and equipped to deal with any differences in weather beyond the conditions described above.
Note:- While on a trek or expedition in a remote area if any client suffers from altitude sickness or any other serious injury, the sirdar/guide sends a runner to the nearest telephone/army post/road head to ask for help. Emergency evacuation becomes necessary in the following cases:High Altitude Sickness – If the client suffers from High Altitude Sickness, he/she needs to descend immediately. Injury – In case the client is badly injured – broken bones/fractures or sickness like thrombolysis (blood clotting), paralysis, loss of eyesight – in these cases as well he/she needs to be evacuated/descend immediately.
What to bring
Hiking trousers and shirts, warm jackets, pullovers and raincoat Good hiking shoes Flash light Sun hat/baseball cap Sunglasses, Lip balm Sun lotion cream and toiletries