This tour begins in Kathmandu where you spend two days for a briefing and one day sightseeing around the Kathmandu Valley.Day three we fly to Lhasa and basically after some good days in Lhasa soaking up the culture and visiting the sites drive around Tibet using Lhasa as a base when needed. Nearer the end of this full and extensive tour we journey to Lake Manasarovara and on to Mt. Kailash, 6,740 m for a trek around this sacred and revered mountain.
Mount Kailash is situated to the north of the Himalayan barrier, wholly within Tibet. It is the perfect mountain in so many and stands serene with all its awesome beauty 4 great faces look out to this world and the one beyond. It is the spiritual center 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 where poet saint Milarepa, spent several years here meditating in a cave.
For the Hindus Mount Kailash is the earthly manifestation of Mt. Meru, their spritual centre of the universe, described as a fanatastic ‘world pillar’ 84,000 miles high and around which all else revolves.Its roots are firmly rooted in the lowest hell and its summit rises so high to kiss the heavens. On the top their most revered God, Shiva, and his consort Parvati live.
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 enlightement or cleanse themselves of sin, braving enourmous distances, particularly harsh weather and bandit attacks.
Day 01 : Arrival at Kathmandu Airport & Transfer to Hotel
Day 02 : Kathmandu sightseeing , Briefing for the Tour
Day 03 : Departure flight to Lhasa (1 hour) ( 3650 m.) arrive at Lhasa, rest for acclimatization and over night Hotel
Day 04-05 : Two full days sightseeing tour around Lhasa including Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Bazaar, Potala palace, Drepung & Sera monasteries. Over night Hotel
Day 06 : Drive Lhasa to Gyantse (3950 m.) full day picturesque drive crossing over Caro La (5,010 m.), Kambala (4794m.) and the colourful Yamdrok lake (Torouise lake) & the Tibetan lifeline river Brama Putra (Yarlung Tsangpo), at hotel Gyantse.
Day 07 : Morning sightseeing to Kumum Stupa & Phalkor monastery. Over night, hotel Gyantse
Day 08 : Drive(2 hours) Gyantse to Xigatse (3,900m.) & afternoon visit to the Panchen Lama’s Tashilhumpu monastery. Hotel at Sigatse.
Day 09 : Drive from Xigatse to Lhasa crossing over the highest pass of 5,220m en-route with a visit to Shakya monastery on the way (time permitting camp).
Day 10 : Drive from Lhasa to Saga through the beautiful Tibetan country side at camp
Day 11 : Continuing drive to Paryang through the beautiful Tibetan county side. camp
Day 12 : Continuing your drive to Lake Manasarovar – over night at Lake Manasarovar. Camp
Day 13 : After exploring lake Manasarovar, drive to Darchen. Rest of the day is free for acclimatization & local exploration.
Day 14 : Start trek from Darchen – heading West you will climb up to a series of prayer flags at 4,730m. from where there are some great views of Mt. Kailash. Then, head North through Darboche, Sherson, The rebuilt Chukku Gompa & Damding Donkhang 4,890m. to Dirphuk and camp
Day 15 : Climb through the Moraine to a meadow at 5210m. then past rock cairns to emerge at Dorma La pass at 5630m. Descend via Gaurikund (lake) to The La Chukkir valley at 5150m, look out for the foot prints here,pilgrims believe they belonged to the Lord Buddha. Puk Gompa (4790m.) where there is a cave in which the Saint Milarepa is said to have meditated.
Day 16 : Trek along the Zhong Chu River to a Bridge< cross it & climb a little before descending to 4610m. From Where you will have good views of the Manasarovar lake. Then a short trek through main walls will lead you back to Darchen
Day 17 : Drive Darchen to Toling & Tsaprang & Explore.
Day 18 : Drive Tsaprang – Shiguanhe
Day 19 : Drive Shiguanhe – Yamphu
Day 20 : Drive Yamphu – Tsochen
Day 21 : Drive Tsochen – Saga
Day 22 : Drive Saga – Nyalam – hotel/camp
Day 23 : Drive Nyalam – Zhangmu – Kathmandu.
Day 24 : Kathmandu, rest and free day shopping
Day 25 : Departure to onward destination with beautiful memory back home