Grace Trekking

Tibet: Mount Kailash, Mansarovar (13 Days)

This trek takes you to Tibet and specifically to the Dolma La Pass on the Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar yatra (yatra being “pilgrimage”), the biggest Hindu pilgrimage in the world.

The yatra circumnavigates the lower slopes of the unclimbed Mount Kailash (6,636m) with views that are beyond description. It’s a special place, devoted to four religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Bon. It has been referred to in the Holy Scriptures as the cosmic axis (the center of the world) and is a place where people cleanse their souls. The peaceful Lake Mansarovar is another specialty said to have been first created in the minds of the God Brahma and later manifested on earth thus getting the name Maan (Mind) Sarovar (Lake). And of course, you’ll be visiting Tibet, an amazing experience in itself. It’s a privilege to explore Tibet.

Day 1 Kathmandu

We’ll meet at the airport and transfer to the hotel. In the evening a Nepali dinner will be served with a cultural program.

Day 2 Nyalam, Tibet 3,750m

Depart Kathmandu early in the morning and drive about 150km to the Tibetan border. Complete immigration formalities and continue the journey, about 40km, to Nyalam which is a fast-growing little town made of concrete buildings located on the Friendship Highway between Lhasa, the autonomous capital of Tibet, and the Nepalese border.

Day 3 Nyalam 3,750m

Spend the day acclimatizing to the high altitude. We’ll take short hikes around Nyalam and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Alternatively, visit the Cave where the Tibetan Buddhist philosopher, Milarepa spent many years of his life in the eleventh century. It is located 11 kilometers north of Nyalam at Gangka village. A path leads down from the roadside through the village and down a hillside where there is a small monastery (gompa) named Nyanang Pelgye Ling Monastery, which is built around the cave. The monastery’s assembly hall has the statue, 2m in height, of Shakyamuni Buddha in the center.

Day 4 Saga 4,640m

Enjoy the scenic landscapes along the way, including Shishapangma (8,082m) and Mount Everest (8,849m). Rest and relax in Saga.

Saga (“happy land”) is an army town with a Chinese garrison which patrols the length of the Tibetan- Nepalese border. Saga straddles the Dargye Tsangpo river. It is strategically located at the junction of three roads – the Lhartse road coming from the east, the Dzonka road from the south and the Purang or Drongpa roads from the west. Saga is also an important stop-off point for pilgrims and trekkers on the way to visit Mount Kailash 6,638m.

Day 5 Manasarovar 4,590m

Continue the journey to Lake Manasarovar, a high-altitude freshwater lake fed by the Kailash Glaciers near Mount Kailash. The Indus River is near the lake.

The lake along with Mount Kailash to its north are sacred sites in four religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Bon. You should view the holy dip and perform the religious rituals, for good luck if nothing else.

Day 6 Darchen 4,670m

Darchen is situated right in front of the sacred mountain, Mount Kailash. It was previously an important sheep station for nomads and their flocks and had only two permanent buildings, only one of which survived the Cultural Revolution and is now used to house Tibetan pilgrims.

The Swiss-funded Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute and dispensary where doctors are trained in Tibetan traditional medicine.

Darchen was once an enclave of Bhutan, held for almost 300 years and from where Bhutan raised revenue, until the People’s Republic of China annexed it in 1959.

Day 7 Dira Puk 5,210m

Darchen to Dira Puk is the first challenging trek on the Mount Kailash circuit. The monastery is built around the retreat cave of the yogin Gotsangpa. He discovered the way around Mount Kailash from the goddess, Daikinin, in the form of a yak. Dira in Tibetan means “female yak horn” and Puk means “cave”.

The area with its stupas is one of the great places to take photos of the North side of Mount Kailash. You can also catch a great view during the warm light of the rising sun when you start trekking early in the morning on the next day.

Day 8 Dolma La Pass 5,630m and descend to Zuthulphuk 4,790m

We continue the trek to Zuthulphuk, the second stop on the Mount Kailash circuit. We cross the challenging Dolma La Pass and witness its spiritual significance. Dolma La is the Tibetan name of Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva, believed to be residing at Mount Kailash.

Day 9 Darchen

We complete the circuit back to Darchen and will have time there to rest and explore the town.

Day 10 Saga 4,640m

Enjoy the scenic landscapes along the way, including Shishapangma (8,082m) and Mount Everest (8,849m). Rest and relax in Saga.

Saga (“happy land”) is an army town with a Chinese garrison which patrols the length of the Tibetan- Nepalese border. Saga straddles the Dargye Tsangpo river. It is strategically located at the junction of three roads – the Lhartse road coming from the east, the Dzonka road from the south and the Purang or Drongpa roads from the west. Saga is also an important stop-off point for pilgrims and trekkers on the way to visit Mount Kailash 6,638m.

Day 11 Nyalam

Another day of local walking and enjoying typical Tibetan villages on the drive to Nyalam.

Day 12 Kathmandu

Depart Nyalam and drive back to the Nepal-Tibet border. Complete immigration formalities and continue the journey to Kathmandu. We’ll relax in a high-quality hotel and enjoy our final Nepali dinner.

Day 17 Kathmandu You may have time for final sightseeing and, if so, The Garden of Dreams is within walking distance of the hotel and the perfect quiet place to reflect. Today we transfer to Kathmandu airport and fly home.

2PAX (1 - 5 persons)

$ 3285 / pp

Subject to availability & seasons

6PAX (6 - 8 persons)

$ 2990 / pp

Subject to availability & seasons

8PAX (more than 8 persons)

$ 2840 / pp

Subject to availability & seasons