|Group Size:||5-10 People||Max Altitude:||m|
|Cost:||$||Duration:||16 Days/15 Nights|
|Arrival at:||Departure from:||Tibet|
|Location:||N/A||Trip Style:||Luxury Tour,School Tour,Family Vacation|
In the far west of Tibet is Mt. Kailash, the most sacred mountain in Asia, which is venerated by Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and the ancient Bon religion of Tibet. From it flow four great rivers - the Karnali, the Indus, the Sutlej and the Brahmaputra - which drain the vast Tibetan Plateau. It is an important site for Tibetan and Indian pilgrims who make a 53km circuit, or kora, of the mountain. This circumambulation, clockwise for Buddhists and Hindus and anti-clockwise for Bon followers, is said to erase the sins of a lifetime. The mountain itself is 6714m high and with its four sheer walls and snow capped peak is an awe-inspiring sight.
Only 30km from Mt. Kailash is another important pilgrimage site, the beautiful and serene Lake Manasarovar. According to mythology it was formed in the mind of Brahma, and Indian and Tibetan pilgrims can also be seen circumambulating this lake, a distance of 90km.
On this trip, we drive from Kathmandu to the Tibetan border at Zhangmu. We then drive across the wide open spaces of the Tibetan Plateau to Lake Manasarovar, before completing a kora around Mt Kailash. From there we retrace our route to Kathmandu, enjoying once again the arid beauty of the vast plains. This is truly the trip of a lifetime with its stunning scenery and cultural highlights.
Day 01 : DRIVE TO ZHANGMU [2300m]:
We leave Kathmandu early in the morning, driving for 123km through the beautiful Nepalese countryside to Kodari on the Nepal - Tibet border. After completing the border formalities at both the Nepalese and Chinese immigration posts we drive up a series of incredibly steep switchbacks to Zhangmu on the Tibetan side of the border.
Day 02 : DRIVE TO NYALAM [3750m]:
It's a short drive today of only 30km to Nyalam, but again it's on a steep winding road which passes through a mossy gully with cascading waterfalls
Day 03 : REST DAY IN NYALAM:
We spend a rest day in Nyalam today in order to acclimatise before heading up higher. A short way out of town there is a small temple, Nyalam Pelgye Ling, which is associated with Milarepa.
Day 04 : DRIVE TO PEIKU-TSO:
Today we drive 150km to the huge lake called Peiku-Tso. From Nyalam, we cross two high passes, before leaving the Friendship Highway and following the road towards the lake.
Day 05 : DRIVE TO ZHONGBA:
A longer day's drive today, 255km, takes us first to Saga, where we join the main route from Lhasa. Just before Saga, we cross the Yarlung Tsangpo [Brahmaputra River] on a ferry. We continue on across the vast dry plains to the small town of Zhongba.
Day 06 : DRIVE TO BELOW MAYUN- LA:
From Zhongba, we set out across the plains once more to Paryang and this section of our journey has some incredibly panoramic scenery. Beyond Paryang, there are several river crossings to negotiate and we make our camp just below the Mayum-la
Day 07 : DRIVE TO MANASAROVAR [4560m]:
Today we drive the final stage to the beautiful Lake Manasarovar, just 30km south of Mt Kailash. It is separated from another lake, Rakshas Tal, by a narrow strip of land and the two lakes are linked by a small channel. On the rare occasions when water flows in this channel, it is said to be a good sign for the Tibetan people.
Day 08 : AT MANASAROVAR:
Today will be spent at Manasarovar, exploring this fascinating place. We will visit the picturesque Chiu Monastery on the north west shore of the lake, with the imposing sight of Mt Kailash in the background.
Day 09 : DRIVE TO TARBOCHE [4750m]:
Leaving the lake, we drive for about 35 km towards Mt. Kailash and Tarboche which is marked by a tall pole adorned with prayer flags. This is the starting point for our kora, the 53km trek around the mountain.
Day 10 : TREK TO DIRA-PUK:
From Tarboche, we walk up the Lha Chu Valley through beautiful green meadows and streams with Mt Kailash towering above us. We follow the river which enters a narrow canyon with high, steep cliffs and spectacular waterfalls. Continuing up the valley, the north face of Kailash comes into view before we reach the 13th century monastery at Dira-puk
Day 11 : TREK TO ZUTUL-PUK [4790m]:
We now leave the Lha Chu Valley and enter the Drolma Chu Valley, heading up towards a high pass, the Drolma La [5630m]. It's a tough climb to the summit which is festooned with prayer flags but from there it is all downhill or flat to Zutul-puk, with views of one of the highest lakes in the world, Thukpe Dzingbu Lake, known as the Lake of Compassion. As well as the monastery at Zutul-puk, there are several meditation caves and another cave containing an image of Milarepa
Day 12 : TREK TO DARCHEN [4560m]:
On the final day of the kora we cross several streams, and follow an impressive gorge. Along the way we are once again treated to magnificent views of Kailash. We then enter the Bharka plain and it's about an hour's walk through this desert-like landscape to Darchen.
Day 13 : DRIVE TO PARYANG [4750m]:
Today is a long drive, about 300km, back to Paryang. We re-cross the Mayum-la and several rivers.
Day 14 : DRIVE TO SAGA [4600m]:
We continue driving today along a 255km stretch of road to Saga, passing through the small, dusty town of Zhongba en route.
Day 15 : DRIVE TO NYALAM [3750m]:
Leaving Saga, we again cross the Yarlung Tsangpo by ferry, and pass by Peiku-Tso before arriving back at Nyalam.
Day 16 : DRIVE TO KATHMANDU [1400m]:
From Nyalam, we head back to the border town of Zhangmu. From Zhangmu, it's a short drive to the Friendship Bridge which spans the Bhote Kosi River and marks the Chinese - Nepalese border. We say goodbye to our Tibetan guide and driver and walk to Nepalese Immigration Control in Kodari where we will be met by our Nepalese staff. After completing the re-entry formalities we continue the drive to Kathmandu which, depending on road and weather conditions, should take about 5 hours.