During Kailash Tour via Lhasa, we will be visiting the historical and cultural sites of Lhasa including Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, Jokhang Monastery, Barkhor Market, Depong and Sera Monastery which are the biggest Buddhist Monastic University in early time, with Sakya Monastery, Tashilhunpo Monastery seat of Panchen Lama second highest Guru of Tibet, Kumbum Stupa, Palkhor Monastery, Everest North Base Camp en-route to Kailash Mansarovar. We will be crossing numerous passes, rivers and Nomad's colony during our Journey to Mount Kailash. Mount Kailash stands prominently in a remote southwestern corner of Tibet. The power of this awesome peak has gripped the imagination of people since ages.
The flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa will last about an hour and is undoubtedly one of the most scenic flights in the world. The flight takes us right to the east of the massif of Everest, with unbeatable views of the beautiful Kangshung wall. Upon arrival in Lhasa, you will meet our Tibetan guide at the airport. You will be given a warm "Tashi Delek", (meaning welcome with blessing) and you will be given a white khada (a traditional Tibetan ceremony where you will receive a white scarf). Then, we will check into the hotel in Lhasa. You need to rest well today to alleviate altitude sickness as Lhasa is located at 3,650 meters above sea level: so resist the temptation to go out and take the day to acclimatize.
Overnight: @Hotel Kyichu, Full Board
Today will be dedicated to the exploration of Lhasa and learning about its historical and cultural beauties. We will start our exploration of Lhasa by visiting the Potala Palace. A visit to Tibet cannot be considered complete without a visit to the Potala Palace. It contains the private stays of the consecutive Dalai Lama as well as numerous government rooms and chapels. We will climb up the palace along the zigzag stone paths with white and red walls to the top of the palace where we can get great views of old and new Lhasa. We will walk into the inner space of the palace to explore and learn about the history of the palace which was the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas and the seat of the Tibetan government. After the Potala Palace, we will visit the beautiful Norbulingka which used to be the summer palace of Dalai Lamas and is now a public park where different cultural functions happen throughout the year. Lastly, we will be visiting the Jokhang temple. The Jokhang temple is the most important pilgrimage place of the Tibetan people who follow the Buddha’s teachings because it is very old and houses a statue that is believed to have been created during the time of the living Buddha and blessed by him. Around the temple is Barkhor Street where you can do a kora with pilgrims and locals (circle the temple). You can interact with the locals so that you can learn more about their culture. You will be seeing many local people on the street wearing their own traditional attire with some beautiful traditional hairstyle. Perhaps, you can click some snaps with them too. Barkhor Street has many shops selling a wide variety of traditional Tibetan goods, religious items and of course, souvenirs.
Overnight: @Hotel Kyichu, Full Board
Today we will be exploring some other places in Lhasa. In the morning, we will venture off to Drepung Monastery founded in the 14th century. For a time, it was the largest monastery in the world, with a population of about 10,000 monks. Today that number has dropped to several hundred, but it remains a very interesting monastery to see because it did not suffer great damage during the cultural revolution and houses many sacred objects and original paintings. In the afternoon, we will be visiting the Sera Monastery, the most important Gelugpa Buddhist University in Tibet.The highlight of visiting Sera Monastery will be watching monks debating inside the shady courtyard behind the main temple. Every day, hundreds of red-robed monks assemble in small groups and practice their debating skills.
Overnight: @Hotel Kyichu, Full Board
After breakfast, we will continue the journey from Lhasa to Gyantse. The road takes us by Lake Yamdrok, a huge beautiful blue lake at 4300m/14,107 ft above sea level. It then rises to 5010m/16,437 ft at the Karo La pass, a spectacular views of the icy glacier. Gyantse, a small and humble town with a magnificent history, is an ideal place for us to also experience rural Tibetan culture and beliefs at its purest and best. Upon our arrival, you will check into a hotel, have some rest and then visit Pelkor Chode Monastery. This monastery was built in 1418 by the Dharma King of Gyantse Rabtan Kumsang Phag and the first Panchen Lama Khedrup Gelek. It’s a non-sectarian Buddhist center where Gelugpa, Sakyapa, and Butonpa co-exist in harmony and peace. Later in 1427, the Great Stupa Kubum was erected in the pattern of the Multi-door Stupa (TashiGomang), one of the eight stupas of Buddhism. The Kumbum is 32.4 meters high, and includes 108 altars where a hundred thousand Buddha images are enshrined as statues and murals. Overnight: @Hotel Gyantse
Today we will head towards Shigatse. After 1.5 hours of driving, we will reach Shigatse the farming hub for all of Tibet. Here we will visit the Tashilumpo monastery - the seat of Panchen Lama, who is regarded as the reincarnation of the Buddha of endless enlightenment. Items of interest inside this monastery built in 1447 by the first Dalai Lama are the relics of Sakyamuni, the Hall of Maitreya and a mind-boggling collection of thangkas and statues. After visiting the monastery, we will continue driving to Sakya which is a 3-hour journey. Upon reaching Sakya, we will check in to our hotel for rest and then have our dinner. This town is small and cute and you can walk around on your own at your will.
Overnight: @Sakya, Full Board
After breakfast, we will head to Xegar. Xegar is a town with a population of 3000. Its importance lies in the fact that it is the center of this large and remote country also because it is the base from where expeditions to Mt. Everest and other peaks are launched. This route involves the highest viewpoint – Geso la (5248 M/17,217 FT). After reaching Xegar, we will depart for Mt. Everest Base Camp after a nice hearty lunch.
Overnight: @EBC, Full Board
Today, we will wake up early morning and explore the magnificent view of Mount Everest. Then we will drive to Saga. The road is quite rough and we will pass through the wild grassland, cross the river and mountains. If the weather is clear, you can have a glimpse of 4 mountains which are above 8000 meter -Mt.Lhotse (8516m), Mt.Everest (8848m), Mt.Qowowuyag (8201m) and Mt Mayalu (8463m). Overnight: @Hotel Saga, Full Board
Today morning, we will depart on a 500 km journey towards Lake Manasarovar, the victory lake in the Ngari region, amidst enchanting panoramic views. We will be seeing dotted nomads tents mingled with their herds of animals on the open plateau. We will be passing through a number of villages and camps of Yak herders with the distance view of snow capped mountains. We will also be crossing the Mayun-la pass (5216 m). If you get lucky, you might see many wild animals at the plateau grasslands.
Overnight: @Guest House at Chiu Monastery near Lake Manasarovar
Today, we will have an opportunity to visit the Guru Rinpoche cave, in Chiu Monastery at Manasarovar. While walking near the lake, you can also dip your body into its cold purifying water as it is believed that a dip in the sacred water of Manasarovar will wipe off your sins from last 7 births. In afternoon, we will drive to Dharchen via Rakshastal Lake. Here, we will be able to find a famous Tibetan medical school where we can consult with a Tibetan doctor about our health state. Overnight: @Guest House/Dormitory, Full Board
Today, we will be trekking towards Dirapuk. We will be trekking on an easy path to the 1st Prostration Point. We will be seeing Choku Gompa which is considered to be the place where Buddha Shakyamuni left his imprints. Opposite to it was once the place of assembling for 500 Arhats - the spot where, according to the legends, Buddha Shakyamuni prayed and meditated in front of Mount Kailash. The gradually ascending path will then take us to Dirapuk Gompa. The terrain is easy to climb but the high altitude might make it a bit more difficult.
Overnight: @Guest House/Dormitory, Full Board
Today would be the hardest but holiest day of our pilgrimage Yatra with Dolma-La (pass) crossing 5700mt of 18600 ft between two valleys. Yamasthal should be crossed to reach the Shiva-thal while our steps go closer to the pass. Once we reach the top, we can do the holiest offering and sit down for meditation to forget ourselves. When we start descending, we will be seeing Parvati-stal and Gauri Kunda on the way. By the late afternoon, we will arrive in Zuthal Puk (the cave of Miracles). The great ascetic Milarepa is supposed to have performed miracles here. Overnight: @Guest House, Full Board
The third day of our trek would begin by descending towards Darchen(18km). It will take about 2 ½ to 3 hours trek to reach Darchen. Once we reach Darchen, our trek ends here. The trekking route will take us through several streams and follow an impressive gorge from where we can look back for awesome views. After reaching Darchen, we will then drive towards Tsaparang. The ruins of the former capital of Guge Kingdom are located at Tsaparang in the Sutlej valley which is not much far from Mount Kailash. However, it is located 1200 miles westwards from Lhasa. Overnight: @Guest House, Full Board
Today, we will be exploring the Guge Kingdom and Tsoling. Tsoling is the former capital of Guge Kingdom in western Tibet when it was ruled by Langdarma. Now, it is an isolated military town. It has a well laid out new street, a post office, and telecommunication facilities. The Tholing Monastery, established in 997 AD, is in the suburbs of the town, in the Grand Canyon of the Longchen Tsangpo. Historically, this was an important monastery; the second place for spreading Buddhism in Tibet.
Today, we will be driving to Shigatse, the second largest city with 40,000 inhabitants in Tibet and the traditional capital of the Tsang. In the afternoon, you'll have an opportunity to explore the Tashilumpo Monastery, the holy seat of the Panchen Lama, which is essentially a walled town with cobbled and twisting lanes that revolve around a magnificent monastery.
Overnight: @Hotel Manasarovar, Full Board
Today, we will be driving back to Lhasa. The journey will be about 4-5 hrs of drive. Upon reaching in Lhasa, you can have a good rest and enjoy the rest of day yourself.
Overnight: @Hotel Kyichu, Full Board
Overnight: @Hotel, Kathmandu Guest House
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Trail Finder. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the Itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; However, as this is adventure travel in remote mountain regions, we cannot guarantee it! Weather conditions, health condition of a member, unexpected natural disasters etc, can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.