Mt. Kailash, 6,740 m. is situated to the north of the Himalayan barrier, wholly within Tibet. It is the perfect mountain with awesome beauty, with 4 great faces. 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 navel 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. Strangely enough, four major rivers do indeed 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. For the Tibetans also, it is a particularly special place in that their poet saint Milarepa, spent several years here meditating in a cave.
For the Jains, an Indian religious group, Kailash is the site where their first prophet achieved enlightenment. For the older, more ancient religion of Bon, it is the site where its founder Shanrab is said to have descended from heaven. It was formerly the spiritual centre of Zhang Zung, the ancient Bon Empire that once included all of western Tibet. Bon people walk around the mountain in a counter clockwise manner, unlike the other religions.
Over the centuries pilgrims have constantly journeyed immense distances to achieve enlightenment or cleanse themselves of sin, braving enormous distances, particularly harsh weather and bandit attacks.
For the Hindus Mount Kailash is the earthly manifestation of Mt. Meru, their spritual centre of the universe, described as a fantastic 'world pillar' 84,000 miles high, around which all else revolves, its roots in the lowest hell and its summit kissing the heavens. On the top lives their most revered God, Shiva, and his consort Parvati.
Arrive Kathmandu. Meet and transfer to hotel.
At leisure in Kathmandu. Obtain Chinese Visa.
Morning drive to the frontier town of Nepal at Kodari. From here, a short walk to the friendship bridge for the drive on a local available vehicle to Zhangmu, the main entrance of Tibet, China at the height of 2,300 m. which is about 145 kms from Kathmandu. In Zhangmu, you will be received by guide from our Tibetan counterpart. After all the formalities at the check post here, our journey continues for another 35 kms which can take almost 3 hours through the up-winding road to Nyalam with beautiful scenery as the drive brings us for the overnight stay at Nyalam(3,700 m.). The lodges and guest houses here are very simple and basic. You can expect the unexpected as the China Tourism in Tibet is slowly picking up since last 7-8 years.
Rest day for acclimatization and local hikes around.
Morning drive to the first pass of Lelung La at 5,050 m. From here a superb view of the high himalayas can be seen from Gaurishanker, Shisapangma to Langtang Himal. From here the road diverts towards near Shisapangma on the trail to Saga on the absolute windswept landscape on the rough dirt road. Saga, one of the large village enroute to Kailash. The drive can take approximate 5-6 hours depending upon the road condition. We will be camping near the village for the overnight.
Another morning drive through the windswept territory passing many villages and camps of Yak herders with the distance view of snow capped mountains. After 5-6 hours of drive brings us to Paryang for the overnight stay.
From Paryang, our journey continues to Darchen, the start of our Parikrama or Kora. The drive passes through open territory with a view of distant mountains, Yak herders camp, if lucky you might come across a herd of Kang (Wild Ass). The drive takes us to a high pass of over 5,000 m. before we arrive at Darchen (4,480 m). Darchen is located beneath the majestic holy Mount Kailash, a small village with couple of guest houses. During the auspicious pilgrimage time, this place will be flooded with Pilgrims with hundreds of tents all around. Darchen,the beginning and end point of the Kora.
The first day of our Kora is a gradual walk with multitudes of other local pilgrims chanting and praying. The trail leads us to few ups and downs till we reach our camp at Dirapuk (4,750 m.), after 5-6 hours walk. Camping on the nice grassy meadows with a view of Kailash, north west face.
Today our circumbulation (Kora) leads to much higher side of the holy path just beneath the Mount Kailash. The walk will bring us to one of the highest point at Drolma La, 5,200 m. before descending to the gradual field towards Zuthulphuk for the overnight camp after 5-6 hours walk. Zuthulphuk has a small monastery.
The winding gradual tracks finally ends our holy pilgrimage walk (5 hours) at Darchen for the overnight.
After completing the holy Kora at Darchen, our next spiritual destination takes to Lake Mansarovar for the holy bath. It is believed a ritual bath delivers a pilgrims to paradise and drink of its holy water relinquishes the sins of a hundred lifetimes. The drive from Darchen takes a little over 2 hours on the dirt road. Lake Mansarovar, one of the largest salt lake in Tibet. We will be camping at the shore of the lake very close to the monastery and its village.
Rest day at Lake Mansarovar for dip in the Lake and local hikes around.
Retrace the journey back to Paryang, appr 5-6 hrs. of drive.
Continue drive back to Saga.
Drive to Zhangmu and continue towards Kathmandu after the holy memorable journey of a lifetime. Transfer to Hotel.
Free for souvenir shopping and other independent activities.
Transfer to Airport for International departure