TBT – 12 Kailash Pilgrimage & Guge via West Nepal

A pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash, the sacred mountain of Tibet is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. Mt Kaliash is the source of four great asian rivers. For Hindus it is the throne of Shiva, for Buddhists, a gigantic natural Mandala. Also the epicenter of Tantric forces for both religions. This trek takes you from the far western town of Simikot, along an old trade route into Tibet. An arid, wild, country dominated by the peaks of Api and Saipal Himal, this is the world of the Nepalese and Tibetan traders. You will encounter travelers with horses and yaks laden with goods. After a few days trek on the Nepal side we take you to Tibetan border market Purang where Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian traders meet to exchange wares. The highlight of the trip is to visit Rakshastal (Devil Lake), the holy Lake of Mansarovar, "born from the mind of Bramha", trek around the Mt. Kailash and visit the former Gu-ge kingdom with its two main centres of Toling and Tsaparang. This trek is considered as a non-technical trek and suitable for average people. If you are moderately fit and have a sense of adventure will enjoy this trek. The program is designed to acclimatize you gradually and not expected high altitude sickness. However you are requested to check your altitude fitness and the itinerary. We suggest you to strengthen your knee muscles and prepare for several days of steep descents. Some physical fitness programs such as running, swimming, biking or aerobics is recommended, but mostly hiking on steep hills or running up and down steps are preferable.
 

Featured Pictures (Mt. Kailash)

Itinerary:
 
Day

Activities

01 Fly Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (150 m).
02 Fly Nepalgunj to Simikot, Start trek to Dharapuri.
03 Trek to Kermi.
04 Trek to Tumkot
05 Trek to Tharedhunga.
06 Trek to Sipsip.
07 Trek through Nara Lagna Pass and to Hilsa (Nepal Border) and to Sher. Drive to Purang.
08 Drive to Lake Mansarovar. Visit Chu Gompa.
09 Begin Holy Kailash Kora Trek Tarboche
10 Trek to Driraphuk. (in North Face of Mount Kailash)
11 Trek Thru Drolma La to Lham Chhu Khyer valley.
12 Trek thru Zutruphuk & Darchen. Drive to Tirthapuri.
13 Drive to Toling (Guge).
14 Trip to Tsaparang & Toling Gompa
15 Drive to Darchen
16 Drive to Sher. Trek to Hilsa.
17 Trek through Nara Lagna Pass to Torea.
18 Trek to Salle Khola.
19 Trek to Dharapuri.
20 Trek to Simikot.
21 Fly Simikot/Nepalgunj/Kathmandu

Day

Activities

01 Fly Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (150 m).
This morning we take a flight to Nepalganj, on the southern border of Nepal. Nepalganj is hot, flat and completely different from the usual perception of Nepal as a mountainous country! It is home to a diverse population who have migrated here for farming, business or study. We will spend the night here before flying up to Simikot to commence our trek tomorrow morning.
02 Fly Nepalgunj to Simikot, Start trek to Dharapuri.
Fly from Nepalgunj to Simikot (2900 meters) and trek to Dharapuri. Once you are at Simikot, you feel like you are in a different realm because of the sudden rise in altitude and sudden fall in temperature. To leave behind the scorching hot climate and be in a tiny mountain village, breathing cool, fresh air gives you an adrenaline rush as well as a refreshing feel. We then start our trek to Dharapuri. We pass through a pine forest where we see local Hindu and Buddhist people in their traditional attire accompanied by their herds of cattle. The cattle carry the load for the people in this part of the world because there are no other modes of transport.
03 Trek to Kermi.
Today we start our trail following the Karnali River. We walk along the fields cultivated mainly with barley, buckwheat, rice and potatoes. In afternoon we relax in natural hot springs. Kermi is a small agricultural, Buddhist village. We visit two interesting, ancient Buddhist monasteries close to Kermi; Laikyo Gompa and Lhundrup Choeling Gompa.
04 Trek to Tumkot
Trekking to Yalbang is a flat & steep ascent until reaching a small pass and crossing an iron suspension bridge over the Sali River. From here there are beautiful pine trees & the emerald Karnali downhill. We will visit Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery and a clinic in the monastery.

The path leaves the Karnali River below when it reaches the tiny village of Yangar. The greenery begins to vanish and so do the smaller bushes. They give way to pine trees and rocky hills. In the afternoon, after reaching Tumkot, we visit to Dhungkar Choezom Monastery, one of the most important Sakya monasteries in the Tibetan region.
05 Trek to Tharedhunga.
Trek to Tharedhunga at an altitude of 3854m
06 Trek to Sipsip.
Continue trek to Sipsip (4300 m)
07 Trek through Nara Lagna Pass and to Hilsa (Nepal Border) and to Sher. Drive to Purang.
A steep ascent in the morning will take is to the top of the Nara Lagna pass. Our first amazing views of the Tibetan Plateau come into view as we climb down the pass. Shortly after crossing the Nepal/Tibet border which is marked only by a stone pillar, we meet our transport and drive to Purang
08 Drive to Lake Mansarovar. Visit Chu Gompa.
Lake Mansarovar is the highest freshwater lake in the world with its altitude of 4,556 mt. or 14,947 ft. and is relatively circular in shape with a circumference of 88 km. (55 miles) and average depth of 90 m (300 ft.). The entire lake with its stark turquoise complexion freezes over in winters and then melts again only in spring! According to legend, the lake is a personification of purity and anyone who drinks water from the lake will go to the heavens after death. Also, anyone who bathes in the lake is assumed to have washed away all sins committed over a hundred lifetimes! The belief in this legend is such that it brings the lake and the adjoining mountain, thousands of visitors each and every year.

After Breakfast drive to picturesque Chu Gompa on the northwest shore of the Lake Mansarovar with the imposing sight of Mt. Kailash in the background. Rest of the day is free for optional programs or other leisure activities.
09 Begin Holy Kailash Kora Trek Tarboche
This Kailash circuit covers 53 kms and can be done in 3 days. We head west in clockwise direction and after a few kilometers the trail climbs up to a cairn at 4730 m from where the southern face of Mt. Kailash comes to view. En route visit Tarboche where annual flagpole raising ceremony takes place during Saga Dawa. Also visit Chuku Monastery which was was founded in the 13th century by Götsangpa Gompo Pel, a Kagyupa-order master. It is located high above the valley floor on the hillside to the west and blends so well with the rocky background that unless you keep out an eager eye for it, there are good chances that you may miss seeing it. During the Cultural Revolution a lot of monasteries were wrecked. Chuku Monastery was one of them; however it was also the first one to be rebuilt. The monastery is home to a highly revered marble statue called Chuku Opame, originally from India and renowned the world over because of its reputation to talk.
10 Trek to Driraphuk. (in North Face of Mount Kailash)
After early breakfast,trek to Diraphuk (12 km/ 7-8 hrs)
11 Trek Thru Drolma La to Lham Chhu Khyer valley.
Today we cross Drolma la pass (5630 M) and Gauri Kund Lake (5608 m) where Hindus worship and immerse themselves in the icy waters of the lake.
12 Trek thru Zutruphuk & Darchen. Drive to Tirthapuri.
The final end of the parikrama is an easy 2-3 hrs walk down to where the river emerges on to the Barga plain. We complete the 3 day circuit trek of Mt. Kailash and drive to Tirthapuri where there is a hot spring. Pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash is not complete without visiting Tirthapuri for the Tibetan Buddhists.
13 Drive to Toling (Guge).
We drive on to the guest house at Toling, our base to explore the monasteries of Tholing and Tsaparang. Twin capitals of the medieval kingdoms of Guge. Tholing monastery is away from the former situated location at about 26 kilometers in the west direction. It is found to exist in near immediacy of the Mount Kailash and the religious lake of Manasarovar. It lies 278 kilometers away from Ali as well. The most attractive and attention grabbing property of Tsaparang is the fort which is enormous in size and built on a pyramidal rock which is about 500 to 600 feet high.
14 Trip to Tsaparang & Toling Gompa
Tsaparang was said to be found in Guge kingdom and it was also its ancient capital. This place is very much appealing and attractive to the people who are attracted towards history or historical places. A place called Garuda valley lies in the Western Tibet’s Ngari province used to have this remarkable lost kingdom which ranged and expanded from the upper area of Sutlej River to the modern Ladakh border.

Toling Monastery(Gompa) the temples and religious buildings of Tholing are the most significant in far west Tibet . The monastery was constructed under the guidance of the great Tibetan translator Rinchen Zangpo in around 11 th century although some historian refers to the date of 996.During his life time, he is said to have built 108 temples throughout far west Tibet and Ladhak eventhough few still exist, those at Tholing are considered to be the best examples of Guge style of Buddhist art. Tholing was the main religious centre prior to the visit of the great Indian Pandit Atisha due to the influence of Rinchen Zangpo. Atisha was invited by Rinchen Zangpo under the instruction of the Guge King Yeshe-O. As the history goes by, Yeshe-O was very devoted to Rinchen Zangpo's activities and he himself founded the monasteries in Tholing. Yeshe-O sent his men to India to invite Atisha several times but they returned after being refused their request several times. Yeseh-O sacrificed all his life in order to invite Atisha. He was captured by invading troops from Qarloq who demanded ransom. When Yeshe-O's nephew Jangchub O tried to save his life, Yeshe- O responded to his nephew by saying “I am an old man. My life now is short. Use the ransom to invite and assist Atisha to come to Tibet. When Atisha was moved by Yeshe-O's dedication to Buddhism, Atisha finally agreed to visit Tibet and he was amazed to see Buddhism flourishing when he arrived in Guge
15 Drive to Darchen
Drive to Darchen
16 Drive to Sher. Trek to Hilsa.
Drive to Sher and after immigration formalities trek o Hilsa
17 Trek through Nara Lagna Pass to Torea.
Cross Nara Lagna~Pass and trek to Torea
18 Trek to Salle Khola.
19 Trek to Dharapuri.
20 Trek to Simikot.
Early morning, trek to Simikot. A 5 hours long trek will take you to the Simikot. Simikot is the headquator of Humla District. It is one of the most remote area of Nepal. We will spend here the last night of the trek before flying to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.
21 Fly Simikot/Nepalgunj/Kathmandu
 

Note: Airfare, taxes and schedules are subject to change without prior notice.

Cost Include
- All necessary airport transfers
- Twin sharing accommodation with breakfast based on Standard hotel/Guesthouse (wherever applicable)
- All sightseeing with English speaking local Tibetan guide
- All activities & excursions as per itinerary
- All applicable surface transfer by private non AC vehicle
- All applicable permits in Tibet
- All camping equipments
- 3 meals daily except in the major cities
- Porters/yak for equipments only
- Monument entrance fee
Cost Exclude
- Any international airfare and airport taxes
- Nepal entry visa fees
- Tibet/China visa fees
- Lunches and dinners in major cities
- Insurance and Tips
- Bottled drinks
- Emergency/Rescue in any form
- Expenses of personal nature such as bar bills, laundry, telephone calls etc
- Any cost arise due to flight cancellation, landslide, road blockage, political disturbance etc
- Any other arrangements not mentioned in the above cost include section

Trip Destinations
- Holy Kailash Pilgrimage Expedition
- Kailash Pilgrimage Tour
- Kailash Pilgrimage & Guge
- Kailash Pilgrimage & Guge via West Nepal
 
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