Mount Kailash in West Tibet is considered the holiest mountain by Asia’s major religious traditions: Hindus, Buddhists, Jain and Bon followers. The local Tibetans, and Buddhist worldwide consider it the abode of powerful meditation deity Chakrasamvara and Vajrayogini – a sacred site for spiritual enrichment. For Bonpos, its’ from where the Tonpa Shenra first descended to human realm. For Hindus, it is the abode of Lord Shiva and locates it as the naval, axis mundi of the universe. It has been the destination for spiritual seekers from time immemorial. The region is also the source of Asia’s four major rivers: the Indus, Brahmaputra, Sutlej and Karnali flowing into the four cardinal directions nurturing civilizations in the sub continent. Humla region bordering Mt Kailash in the south serves as the gateway to the southern Himalayan region and downwards the Gangetic plain. We will use this route from Humla as we approach Mt Kailash region and proceed towards to the central Tibet.
Its an area where famed meditation masters meditated which includes: Guru Padmasambhava in 8th century, Milarepa in 12th century, many Kagyu masters since then and Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol in the 17th century.
Before the advent of Buddhism, the region around Mt Kailash was a separate Kingdom known as Shangshung and which was later ruled by descendants of Tibetan Kings. The region also has significance in Tibet’s history as it was from here the second Buddhist revival in Tibet began in the 11th century – lead by King Yese O’ and his descendants. The cultural, political changes in Tibet, China makes it difficult to trace these histories, but in the neighboring Humla, in Nepal, the ancient tradition still continues. We therefore have chosen Humla, as the gateway to the sacred realm of Mt. Kailash.
Humla is also home to the ancient shamanistic traditions where the shamans renew their vow every year in a ritual bath at Lake Manasarovar and Mt Kailash in neighboring region of Tibet – renewing their power and vows. These Shamans then act as mediums of communication between the people and the divine power that they possess.
The region is also a place of rich biodiversity and many areas within the trail are territories for rare wild life species such as snow leopards, blue sheep, wild ass, Tibetan wolf and wild yaks as well as many rare bird species. It’s also home to some of the rare indigenous food varieties which we will experience during the journey.
After a short trip in Kathmandu, you will fly to Simikot via Nepalgunj. The trek will start in Simikot and follow the Karnali river basin visiting age-old villages, monasteries, temples and the colorful fields cultivated with buckwheat, amaranth, and many indigenous crops. We will visit villages, cultural monument on the way, and also will have interactions with local elders, meditation masters.
We will then explore the old town of Purang and proceed towards Lake Manasarovar, the most divine of lakes. The next day,w e will drive to Darchen, situated at the foot of Mount Kailash. From Darchen, we will make the ‘kora‘ or ‘parikrama ’, the holy walk circumambulating the mountain, in clockwise direction, in 3 days. After completing the kora, you drive eastwards by jeep through the vastness of the Tibet Plateau and along the mighty Yarlung Zangpo Brahmaputra river. Along the way, you will enjoy fantastic view of the Himalayas before reaching Lhasa. We will drive via Gyantse, Shigatse amidst great view of Mount Everest, Choyu, Gaurishankar, Langtang and many more.
In Lhasa, you will visit the major sites such as Potala palace, Jokhang temple. From there you will fly to Kathmandu.
You can also choose to return via Humla Limi valley visiting ancient monasteries and pristine highland landscape amidst view of wild ass, Tibetan gazelle, blue sheep and yak herder camps and through the snow leopard territory.
Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel
Day 02 Kathmandu: Visit Boudhanath, Swoyambunath and Pharping Caves.
Day 03 Fly to Nepalgunj, 1 hr flight and overnight Hotel
Day 04 Fly to Simikot (2950 m), 45 minutes and trek to Buraunse
Day 05 Trek to Dharapuri (2300 m) 4 hrs
Day 06 Trek to Kermi (2670m) 3 hrs and visit the village, monastery and hot springs.
Day 07 Trek to Yalbang (3020m) 5 hrs,
Day 08 Trek to Muchu (3120 m) 4 hrs , visit village and other activities.
Day 09 Trek to Yari (3700m) 5 hrs
Day 10 Trek to Hilsa (3720 m) via Nara La (4620 m) 6 hrs
Day 11 Trek Hilsa to Sher and drive to Purang (3770m) and to Manasarovar Lake (4588m)
Day 12 At Manasorvar lake and evening drive to Darchen (4520m)
Day 13 Day 1 – Mount Kailash kora, trek to Dira Puk, (4775m)
Day 14 Day 2 – Mount Kailash kora ,trek over Drolma La (5630 m) to Zuthul Puk (4700m)
Day 15 Day 3 – Mount Kailash Kora, trek to Darchen
Day 16 Drive to Saga (4300m)
Day 17 Drive to Shigatse (3600m)
Day 18 Drive to Gyantse
Day 19/20 Drive to Lhasa (3700m)
Day 21 Fly to Kathmandu
Day 22 Fly back home
OR returning via Limi valley Humla
Day 16 Drive to Purang, exit and trek to Manipeme
Day 17 Trek to Chhungrangma
Day 18 Trek to Til
Day 19 Trek to Halji
Day 20 Trek to Jang
Day 21 Trek to Talung
Day 22 Trek to Chhongsa
Day 23 Trek to Kermi
Day 24 Trek to Simikot
Day 25 Fly Nepalgunj Kathmandu
Day 26 Departure
Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel
Simikot is the district headquarter of Humla located a hill top above Karnali river. It’s inhabited by Khasa, Hindus, and Buddhists. Overnight Hotel
It’s a Thakuri village located in a valley formed of Karnali and Hepka Khola. The old traditional houses are dotted in a ridge at the side of Karnali. The local inhabitants are from Thakuri tribes whose ancestors until the 17th century ruled over the region as feudal lords. Its a simple village of peasants village now. The fields in the front of village are beautiful with various indigenous crops and fruits.
Trek along the riverside and gradually up through apricot forests. Visit the village, monastery and hot springs. It’s a Buddhist village located at the north of Karnai river on a ridge. A 15th century monastery is located above the village and there is also a reliquary stupa of Serta Rimpoche, a prolific yogi and master of many Lamas in the region (19th century) who was responsible in reviving, establishing the Dudjom Tersar tradition of Vajrayana along the Himalayan belt. A natural hot spring runs at the east of the village which is believed to be heal many ailments.
Visit monastery, village, audience with the Rimpoche Abbot, Khenpo.
The monastery build in later 19th century was aimed to organize the teachings of Nyingmapa and in particular Dudjom Tersar (New Trasure of Dudjom) introduced by Degyal Rimpoche in West Tibet and Himalayan region as prophesied by his teacher Dudjom Rimpoche who was a prolific master and treasure revealer of Nyingma tradition in 18th century recognized as the incarnation of Saruputra, one of the foremost disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni. The areas surrounding the Yalbang are doted by caves and retreat houses of meditator. Trulku Pema Riksal Rimpoche, the abbot nd author of ‘The Great Secret of Mind’, and son of second Degyal Rimpoche resides here. There is a possibility of an audience with him and the Khenpo.
We will then visit Muchu, from where Lama Pema Topchen comes. We will visit the village, monastery and stay in local houses and have chance to experience a mountain home.
Trek from Muchu crossing the Karnali river along more drier and open landscape. There are temporary tented settlements along the motor track being dug from Tibet to Humla. Yari is the last old village in Nepal. t is a beautiful village surrounded by high peaks and open meadows.
We will cross Narala pass today and arrive at Hilsa the border town from where we enter into Tibet. The landscape changes as we reach here, into more desert-like and the motor road at the other side. From here we see the first village, Sher on a hill top, white washed square houses and willow trees surrounding the village.
After a short drive to Purang and paper works, we will further drive to Lake Manasarovar. We will visit the ancient caves in Purang and then proceed via Gulamandata mountain and Rakas Tal lake to lake Manasarovar. It’s an unbelievable landscape with Mt Kailash in the backdrop and blue emerald lake in the front with colorful prayer flags flying in the hill top, passes. We will stay and absorb the landscape and also visit surrounding sites combined with meditation sessions.
Darchen is the base camp of the Mount Kailash, a small town form where pilgrims start and conclude their journey.
You will have a close view of the magnificent south face of Mount Kailash today from Darchen and Sershong, Darboche. We will trek through Choku Gompa and caves meditated by Milarepa, and Padmasambhava alongside Lhachu river.
The trek continues alongside Tibetan and Indian pilgrims from early dawn till dusk and will pass through various sites culminating at Dolma la (Tara Pass) the highest point of the trek and then descend to Zutrulphuk a miracle cave of Milarepa and various other sites.
The trek continues today for 3 hours and will reach Darchen from where you will drive to Horchu at the north bank of lake Manasarovar.
Driving through the Tibetan Jangthang plateau. You will see great view and wildlife along the side of the road.
Continue drive towards Lhasa. You will see great views of Himalayas to the south including Mt Everest, Choyu, Lhotse and others and pass through the Chomolongma Nature Preserve. You will follow the mighty Brahmaputra along the way. Shigatse, is the next most significant city after Lhasa and once was the capital of Tibet. It is also the seat of the Panchen Lamas. You will visit the great Tashilungpo monastery and the town.
The drive will continue and will also visit the Gyantse stupas and monastery in the evening.
You will arrive at Lhasa today driving through beautiful Yamdruk lake and great sceneries. In Lhasa, we will visit the Potala Palace, the palace of the Tibetan Kings and the successive Dalai Lamas, Jokhang temples Tibet’s most revered and oldest temple along with the Barkhor square, the ancient town square around the temple.
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