Mt. Kailash Trek
Mt. Kailash is the most important pilgrim site in all of Tibet and Asia’s holiest mountain, this kora is a true test of the mind and spirit for both Tibetan pilgrims and Hindus. . Every year there are thousands of pilgrims here from every corner of Tibet and even from overseas.
Mt. Kailash, which is known as the Precious Jewel of Snows in Tibetan, is considered by Buddhists to be the abode of the deity Chakrasamvara. It is said that if one does 108 circumambulations, one will reach enlightenment. The great Tibetan poet-saint Milarepa once declared, “There is no place more powerful for practice, more blessed, or more marvelous than this. May all pilgrims and practitioners be welcome!”
On this journey, begin in Lhasa. Visit the great Potala Palace, the holy Jokhang Temple, and the colorful marketplace known as the Barkhor. Watch monks debate at Sera Monastery, visit the summer palace of H.H. the Dalai Lama, and then explore Drepung Monastery and Ramoche Temple. On the way out of the city, drive to Yamdrok Lake and then on to see the giant Buddha in Shigatse. Following a pilgrim’s path, drive through the Tibetan countryside and over high mountain passes on the way to Ngari. Once in Western Tibet, visit holy Lake Manasarovar and the local town of Darchen. Trekking around sacred Mt. Kailash, walk along beautiful rocky cliffs and stand before breathtaking waterfalls.
Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa [3658m]
Welcome to Lhasa! Transfer to your hotel and get settled.
Day 2: Lhasa
In the morning, visit the Potala Palace, the greatest monumental structure in all of Tibet. Also visit the Jokhang Temple, which is located in Barkhor square in Lhasa. The Barkhor is a famous shopping street filled with goods and souvenirs from Tibet, Nepal, and India. Pilgrims from all over Tibet visit the Barkhor to pray in front of the Jokhang.
Day 3: Lhasa
Visit the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Explore the grounds, which include gardens, fountains, and a small zoo. Afterwards, visit Sera monastery, where you can watch monks debate in the courtyard. If you enjoy hiking, walk the hour-long circumambulation path around the monastery complex.
Day 4: Lhasa
Visit Drepung, one of the three most famous monasteries in Lhasa. Drepung is located just outside Lhasa on Gambo Utse Mountain. Once home to as many as 10,000 monks, the enormous monastic complex is the site of many prayer halls, dormitories, and temples. Just below the monastery is the Nechung temple, the former home of the state oracle. Afterwards, visit Ramoche, a small monastery located in the city center. If time allows, explore the alleys of the Tibetan quarter and visit traditional workshops and handicraft stores.
Day 5: Lhasa – Yamdrok Lake – Gyantse [3900 m]
Beginning your adventure in the Himalayas, drive to Gyantse. Along the way cross over the Kamba la (4794m) and the Karo la passes (5010m), which boast spectacular views. After Kamba la, arrive at Yamdrok Lake, a holy turquoise-colored lake with stunning scenery. Stay the night in Gyantse
Day 6: Gyantse – Shigatse – Sakya monastery [4300 m]
In the morning, visit Gyantse stupa and monastery followed by a two hour drive to Shigatse. Here, see the giant Buddha in the famous Tashilunpo monastery. Afterwards, drive to Sakya and visit Sakya Monastery. Sakya Monastery is unique because of its medieval Mongolian architecture. Walk up the kora path alongside the monastery to see the ruins of the older buildings, from which you can see great views of the monastery and surrounding valley.
Day 7: Sakya – Saga [4640 m]
Drive up to two high mountain passes with a great view of the Himalayas. You are driving through the countryside, where you can see small lakes and nomads camping with their yaks and sheep. In the late afternoon, cross over the Bramha Putra River on the way to typical Chinese and Tibetan town. Spend the night in Saga.
Day 8: Saga – Paryang – Manasarovar [4558 m]
Drive through a wide valley along a scenic river and look out on the grazing lands of yaks and sheep. Towards the south, you can see sand dunes, rocky mountains, and snow-capped peaks. Depending on the season, nomads and other mobile shopkeepers will be attired in beautiful traditional costume. Join them for a cup of hot tea in their home. Continue drive West. In late afternoon you will catch your first sight of Holy Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. Spend the night in a small village nearby Lake Manasarovar.
Day 9: Holy Lake Manasarovar
Visit Manasarovar, the highest freshwater lake in the world. This turquoise-colored lake is full of fish and swans. Holy Mt. Kailash, Mt. Gurula-Mandala, and Lake Rashekshi surround Manasarovar. The region is considered rich in gold and other minerals, hot springs and hundreds of wild living creatures. Overnight at Lake Manasarovar.
Day 10: Lake Manasarovar – Tirthapuri – Tholing/Toling –Guge [4330m]
Drive to Tirthapuri, where sacred hot springs and a geyser emerge above the embankment of the Sutlej River, is one of the traditional pilgrimage sites visited after Mount Kailash. Then drive 7km towards west to Gurugyam Monastery which is a Bon Monastery founded in 1936 by Khyungtrul Yungdrung Gyeltsen Pelzangpo below the Yungdrung Rinchen Barwa meditation cave. Afterwards, drive to Toling via Tirthapuri. Spend the night at Tholing.
Day 11: Tholing – Tsaparang
Visit Tholing Monastery which is built by Great Tibetan translator Rinchen Zangpo around beginning of 10th century. This Buddhist temples are became the the religious center for Guge Kingdom. Guge Kingdom is 25km west from Toling, this is a ruins of ancient Kingdom of Guge which dated back to 10th century. To visit Guge takes almost whole day. In the lower reaches of the city are four main temples, wall paintings, and statues display some of the earliest examples of Tantric Buddhist art. Above these temples are the citadel of the kings.
Afterward,drive 25km to Tsaparang which was once the capital city of Guge Kingdom. where we visit the summer palace of Guge Kings as well as ancient Tantric murals and cave paintings which draw great interested to the people who are interested in ancient Tibetan arts. The ruins of this lost kingdom still be seen along the ridges of cliff mountains in this region. Stay in Tsaparang.
Day 12: Tsaparang – Darchen [4575m]
Drive to Darchen and prepare for the Mt. Kailash kora.
Day 13: Darchen – Dirapuk monastery
Kailash kora day 1st. Arrive to the Kailash North Face. Spend a night at Dirapuk monastery guest house.
Day 14: Dirapuk – Dolma La Pass [5670m] – Zutulpuk monastery
Kailash kora day 2nd. Hike across a valley up to the Dolma-La Pass. At the top, make an offering, take a break (or meditate), and forget all your cares and worries. Afterwards, begin descending. By the late afternoon arrive at Zuthal Puk, the cave of miracles where Milerepa once stayed.
Day 15: Zutulpuk monastery – Manasarovar lake.
Kailash kora day 3rd. After finishing your circuit (kora) of Mt. Kailash, drive back to Manasarovar lake and rest in Chiu gompa hot springs.
Day 16: Lake Manasarovar – Paryang – Saga
Begin the journey back to Lhasa. Enjoy a beautiful view of Himalaya ranges.
Day 17: Saga – Shigatse (or Saga to Nepal border for those who end their tour in Nepal)
Continue driving back towards Lhasa. Stop at scenic spots for short hikes and taking pictures.
Day 18 Shigatse – Lhasa
Once back in Lhasa, spend some time strolling through the alleys of the old Tibetan quarter and peeking into any workshops or stores that interest you. Take the opportunity to dine on local cuisine, revisit a favorite restaurant, or scout out a delicious place to have supper.
Day 19: Depart Lhasa
Say goodbye to Tibet!
Map coming soon...