One of the most spectacular tour across the border, the trips begins with a sweeping flight to Lhasa at 3,650m.with superb view, flying above the worlds greatest snow peak range. On arrival at Lhasa, guided cultural tours with ample time for acclimatization before starting this exciting adventure.From Lhasa a scenic drive towards Mt.Kailash with sightseeing tours at the famed ancient towns and cities of Gyantse and Shigatse. On arriving Lharze, our adventure starts off away from the main highway to Kathmandu for some days, the road climbs to the most wonderful scenic point with the most amazing views of the great Himalayan peaks.
Mt.Kailash 6,714m/22,028ft is situated to the north of the Himalayan barrier, wholly within Tibet. It is the perfect mountain with awesome beauty, with four great faces, the eastern face is believed to be crystal, the western ruby, the southern sapphire and the northern gold. It is the spiritual centre for four great religions: Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, the Jain religion and the pre-Buddhist animistic religion-Bonpo.To Tibetans it is known as Khang Rimpoche (Precious Jewel of Snow) and they see it as the naval of the world. It is said that a stream from the mountain pours into a nearby lake and from here rivers flow in the four cardinal directions.
The river of the Lion Mouth to the North, the River of the Horse Mouth to the East, the River of the Peacock Mouth to the south and the River of the Elephant Mouth to the West. It is really fascinating to know that, the four major river system of the Indian Sub-Continent originate near Kailash, the Indus, the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra), the Karnali and the Sutlej. Tibetans believe that it is the residence of Demchog, a fierce looking tantric deity who lives there with his consort, Dorje Phagmo. From the early days up till now for the Tibetans and Buddhism it is more than a holy place, as their great poet, tantric saint Milarepa spent several years meditating in cave around the Mt. Kailash area.
For the Hindus…their spiritual centre of the universe, described as a fantastic ‘world pillar’ 84,000 miles high, around which all else revolves, its root in the lowest hell and its summit reaching the heaven and the abode of their revered God Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati. For the pre-ancient religion Bon, it is the site where its founder Shanrab is said to have descended from heaven and it was formerly the spiritual centre of Zhang Zung, the ancient Bon empire that once included all western Tibet. Bon people circummbulate this holy mountain in an anti-clockwise manner, unlike the other religion does it clockwise.
Over the centuries, pilgrims from all corners of the world, have constantly journeyed immense distances to achieve enlightenment or cleanse themselves from sins, braving enormous distances, particularly harsh weather and bandit attacks.
THE NGARI – in Tibet.
Kailash and Manasarover are in the Ngari region of Tibet, perhaps the most inaccessible place on earth. This region is mostly populated by Dokpas, nomads who herd sheep, goats and yaks on these arid desolate plains, Most Dokpas do not have houses and they wander endlessly across the vast Tibetan windswept plains, living in yak hair tents. Ngari is the last frontier of Tibet: On this trip, after leaving Kathmandu and other cities enroute you feel as if you had suddenly transported back in the past even early than Marco – Polo times.
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.
On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport you will be received by our staff and will escort you to the Hotel, where one of our leader or a Sherpa guide will give you a brief orientation of the Hotel, Kathmandu and Tibet portion, do’s and don’t and other related information that you might require while in Nepal.
Day 02: In Kathmandu.
After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about the time for your half day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest. Sometime, depending upon your flight arrival if it’s late in the night we will do this tour in the afternoon instead of morning to give you a nice rest before you venture out of the Hotel in our interesting tour.
Day 03: Kathmandu 1,300m to Lhasa 3,660m 1hr scenic flight.
Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa and if the weather is clear enough you can have the spectacular view of World’s highest peaks including Mount Everest. Will be received at the Airport by our counterpart Tibetan Agents and will drive to the Hotel for about 2 hours.
Day 04 & 05: Sightseeing in Lhasa.
During these two days tour the fabled City of Lhasa. A completely forbidden City until very recent times, Lhasa was Holy Grail for many central Asian explorers of past generations. The City has of course been altered by the Chinese occupation and the impact of foreign visitors. However much of the original character remains and whilst jostling through the Potala with crowds of ethnic Tibetans, it is hard not to be captivated by this magnificent civilisation. Will visit the great monasteries of Sera and Drepung, both of which were extensively destroyed in the Cultural Revolution but are now being rebuilt. We will also visit the Jokhang and of course the Potala. Lhasa is at 3,600m /12,000ft and provides an ideal acclimation for the first few days. The relatively comfortable hotel will give members some time to get to know each other without the stress of moving.
Day 06: Drive to Gyantse (3,950m) 6 hrs journey.
Continue the overland journey towards the City of Gyantse; travel for about five to six hours. During this day crossing two high passes, including the Karo La (5,150m/17,000ft). Then passing the exquisite lake of Yamdrok Tso and when in Gyantse visit the Kumbum stupa. This was built in the early 15th century and contains thousands of frescoes. The hotel in Gyantse is a step down from the hotel in Lhasa but still not too bad by Tibetan standards.
Day 07: Drive to Shigatse 3,900m. 2 – 3 hrs rides.
This is about three hours driving, and when in Shigatse visit the very large complex of Tashilumpo monastery. This is the traditional residence of the Panchen Lama and contains a 27m high gold plated Buddha known as Matria (the future Buddha). The hotel in Shigatse is quite large and comfortable.
Day 08: Drive SHIGATSE to OLD TINGRI. 4,350m 6 hrs.
Journey from Shigtse to Old Tingri. The drive is on the main Kathmandu / Lhasa highway, the road has improved since past few years. Again crossing two high passes, one at 4,500m and 5,200m. Driving through the town of Larze where the road to Mt.Kailash joins, after Larze the drive climbs to the highest pass at Gyamshola Pass, 5,220m. After the pass reaching the Xegar and then to Old Tingri, where our camping crews from Nepal will join. From Tingri, where you can have views Mt.Everest (8,848m) & Cho – Oyu (8,201m). Tingri, a wind blown village with more than hundred of houses grouped along the base of an isolated hill. Its original name used to be Ganggar. Most of the good lodge and restaurant available are on the roadside, where it’s a must stop for all the Trucks and other vehicle drivers and passengers for lunch and overnight halt.
Day 09: Drive from Old TINGRI to Rongbuk. 3 – 4 hrs journeys.
The drive from here takes almost four hours depending upon the road condition. the trail are quite wide as the villagers cart track passes through this road, after an hour drive arriving at Lungja a large settlement. Journey continues on around this mystical valleys the path meanders towards gradual uphill on the wide pasture field as the valley opens out but shortly divides into two separate drainages.
Drive follows on the gradual uphill to cross another glacial river, and towards Lamna La slowly ascending the higher ridge of Lamna La after a short climb then the road descends following the wide winding dirt road with few ups and down, the main road continues its slow ascent, twisting away from the river through arid landscapes of rocky hills and plains, through out this area are hundreds of small rock piles erected by devout Tibetans who have made the pilgrimage journey to Rongbuk Monastery and the abode of Mother Goddess. Getting past the creek gully, then we follow the road into a series of moraine hills for another hour or less arriving at Rongbuk Monastery with superb full views of the massive North Face of Mount Everest that dominates the entire head of this valley. Overnight stop is made near the Monastery area with time to visit this ancient monastery. Rongbuk Gompa and its many hermitage retreats were introduced to the world in the 1920’s through the account of the 1st British expedition’s teams of George and Irving Mallaory and from the well-known novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton. At present most of the retreat cells are abandoned and only few small monasteries scattered at this end of the valley is in function. According to the Rimpoche of this area, the monastery was first established as a religious site around 250 to 350 years ago. Afternoon visit the Everest Base Camp which is about two hours trek or take a local transportation, horse cart or a motorbike taxi.
Day 10: Drive back to Old Tingri.
Retrace the journey back to Old Tingri, preparation for another adventure to Mt. Kailash area.
Day 11: Drive to Saga via near Lalung – la pass.
Early morning drive leads on the main Kathmandu – Lhasa highway for few hours, once coming near to near Lalung-la the road splits towards Shisapangma area, where our route diverse, instead of following the main road, the drive is on the dirt road most of the way from this place, with commanding view of the snow capped peaks from Shisapangma to Mt. Langtang the drive passes near Paigutsho lake, and finally reaching towards Saga after crossing the Yarlung Tsangpo or Bramaputra river. Saga at present is a modern town with some good Hotels and restaurant.
Day 12: Drive to Paryang. approx. 4,550m. 6 hrs.
After breakfast, prepare for the next long drive to Paryang, just an hour leaving Saga the road meanders to the high pass of near 5000m. The road descends on the large valley, with great views of the snow capped peaks in the distance on the Nepal border side. As the drive continues through some sandy portion just few hours before Paryang. After the hard drive, then reaching for our overnight destination at Paryang. A sleepy village on this wind blown region with almost 20 houses.
Day 13: Drive to Manasarover 4,550. 6 – 7 hrs journey.
Todays drive although its a long drive, but with interesting views along the way the ride continues on this flat Tibetan plateau, then reaching to the high pass of Mayum – la 5,150m, after the downhill drive coming to Mayum Tsho (lake),the view of the lake will be constant for few hours, then as the drive gets further west coming to Lake Mansarover for the overnight stop.
Day 14: Rest Day at Manasarover.
A well earned rest day from the few days of long drive, depending upon the camping site at Lake Manasarover, usually coming from Paryang we camp on the north – east side of the lake on the grassy field with great views of the Lake and the peak of Gurla Mandata. On this day we will take a drive to the east coast of the lake to visit the Chui gompa and return back to our camp.
Day 15: Drive to Darchen for the Kora of Mt.Kailash. Mt.Kailash Circuit to Damding Donkhan approx: 4,860m/16,040ft. O/N Camp. 2 hr drive and 3 – 4 hours walk.
Two hours drive will bring us to Darchen, a small settlement with few guesthouses this places can be quite busy with pilgrims during the auspicious time for the kora (circumbulation). The holy walk leads west from the guest house compound high above the Barkha plain to a cairn and prayer flags, an excellent view of Mt.Kailash from this spot. The trail continues across the plain to Shershong. an hour past Shersong is a bridge leading to Chhuku Gompa high on the hill above, The west bank trail leads across the scree slopes to our overnight camp near Damding Donkhang that offers a good view of the west face of Mt.Kailash.
Day 16: Trek to Jarok Donkhang. 5,200m 5 – 6 hours.
Second day of the pigrimage begins, crossing a log bridges as the north face of Kailash comes into view. As you reach the gompa and guest house at Dirakphuk you are rewarded with a fine view of the north face of the holy Mt.Kailash, the kora route climbs onto a moraine, eventually meeting the trail from the east bank. The trail from here climbs gradualy to a meadow for the overnight camp.
Day 17: Trek to Zutul – Puk. 4760m. approx 7 hour walk.
The trail today leads up past piles of clothing, the local Tibetan pilgrims leave an article of clothing or some of their possessions leaving their past life behind them, the kora continues past thousands of small rock cairns beyond to a stone hut and across a boulder field and up to the high pass of Dolma la at approx.5,470m /18,525ft. A big boulder represents the goddess Dolma (Tara) is festooned with prayer flags. This spot is the physical and spiritual high point of the pilgrimage kora. The track from here descends to the plain below, a few hours walk brings you to the overnight camp at Zutul-Puk Gompa, Zuthul means cave. The place is named after a cave in which the poet,saint Milarepa stayed, meditating. His footprints still remain on the roof.
Day 18: Trek to Darchen. 4,520m approx: 4 – 5 hr and 1 1/2 hrs drive to Lake Manasarover.
The last day of our holy walk ‘kora’ leads to a stream of Kailash, then contour up as the river descends towards the plain, the last leg of the trek make a dramatic exit from the river valley on to the plain the walk passes to a mani walls decorated with carved yak skulls. A short walk from here brings you to the windswept little township of Darchen for the celebration after completing the most awaited highlight of the trip from Darchen a short drive will lead us to our overnight camp at Lake Manasarover or near the base of Mayum-la.
Day 19: Drive to PARYANG.
Retrace the journey back to Paryang.
Day 20: Drive to SAGA.
Retrace the journey back to Saga.
Day 21: Drive to NYALAM.
An interesting drive today with full of superb views of the snow clad peaks at much closer distance, the morning drive leads to the sandy portion and through the entrance of the Qumolungmo Nature Reserve, with a brief stop here the drive continues on the vast valley overlooking great views of the Langtang peaks, and the massive mountain of Shishapangma. After 3-4 hours of drive on the dirt road, the route diverts towards the high pass of Laylung-la at 5,050m. On reaching this high spot, panoramic scenery of the Himalayan peaks can be seen from Langtang, Dorji Lakpa, Shishapangma, and Gaurishanker to Number to the east. After brief stop here journey continues on the good road at Lhasa-Kathmandu highway. The drive passes through interesting countryside, villages and farm fields till we reach Nyalam for the overnight camp.
Day 22: Drive to KATHMANDU.
Our last day in Tibet, from Nyalam the drive pass through the Nyalam town (depending upon the overnight campsite) on leaving Nyalam the road narrows through the huge river gorge, following the Bhoti Koshi River most of the way towards Nepal side with beautiful scenery of the waterfalls, alpine forest of silver fir, pines and rhododendrons trees and of the surrounding landscapes. Finally arriving at the border town of Zhangmu, here you can change the left over Remimbuan Yuan for Nepali currency. Here at the check post after finishing the passport visa formalities, the same vehicle takes us to near the China / Nepal friendship bridge.
After bidding farewell to the Tibetan drivers and the guide we make our way towards the Nepal side after the bridge. At Nepal side in Kodari, with all the formalities again board in the Bus for 4-5 hours good drive back to Kathmandu.
Day 23: In KATHMANDU.
A free day in Kathmandu, please inform our staff if you would like to go on another short tour in and around Kathmandu Valley or for scenic mountain flight.
Day 24: Transfer to Airport for the International departure.
Today as per your international flight time, keep your confirmed air ticket, departure tax (in local currency) and your passport handy. Our staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from this amazing country, Nepal.
Note: Prices available on request with excellent discounts for large groups.
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