MOUNT KAILASH: FESTIVAL OF TARPOCHE

A spiritual journey from the start, that gets only more intense as you approach the sacred Mount Kailash. From Lhasa, we embark on the usual monastery and palace visits, starting with the renowned Potala and moving on to Jokhang, Norbulinkha right up to Tashilhunpo in Shigatse. Attend the Saga Dawa festival at Tarpoche and start the kora of Mount Kailash, the ultimate pilgrimage!

JOURNEY THROUGH THE TIBETAN PLATEAU: THE KORA OF KAILASH

This exclusive journey takes you through the vastness of the Tibetan plateau to Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva, a pilgrimage site that attracts followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Bönpo. The trip also gives an insight into the rich Tibetan culture as we pass through Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. We then travel to the extreme west in the desert steppes of the old Kingdom of Guge, where Tibetan Buddhism first emerged.

This great journey of discovery is best done between May and September and is ideal for lovers of Tibetan culture and the wilderness on the roof of the world. The Kora (circumambulation) of Mount Kailash is achievable by anyone in good shape either on foot or on horseback.
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Itinerary

  • Level of Trek: Difficult
  • Best Period: June - September
  • Duration: 14 Days
  • Highest Altitude: 5636 Meters
  • Accomodation: Hotel & Guest House

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Day

Arrival in Lhasa (3,650m). Transfer to the hotel. Check-in and acclimatization walk through the old town.
- Accommodation: Hotel

Our tour in Lhasa begins with a visit to the most famous landmark, the Potala Palace, once the residence of the Dalai Lama before his exile in 1959. Our next stop is the famous Jokhang Shrine, the most sacred temple and pilgrimage site in central Tibet following which we go to the market of Barkhor. We end the day at the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, Norbulinka. It is located within a park with a large number of trees and flowers and also a lake.
- Accommodation: Hotel

In the morning, we climb up to the great Monastic University of Drepung which once housed more than 7000 monks in a maze of chapels, dormitories, and temples. In the afternoon, we visit the Monastic University of Sera where rhetorical contests and philosophical debates are always in session.
- Accommodation: Hotel

Today we drive to a town named Gyantse. Taking the mountain road we cross the Kampala Pass and the Karo La pass which are over 5000 m high. We pass at the foot of the glaciers and on the way, we get to enjoy the grand view of the sacred Yamdrok Lake. We stop for lunch at Nakartse between the sacred Yamdrok and the Karola Glacier. In the afternoon we finally reach Gyantse.
- Duration of drive: 6 hr
- Distance: 350 km
- Accommodation: Hotel

In the morning we visit a Tibetan carpet factory in Gyantse and then drive to Shigatse and visit the famous Tashilhunpo Monastery. After visiting the monastery, we walk around and do a Kora along the foot of the Shigatse Dzong where we also visit a beautiful local market.
- Duration of drive: 1 hr
- Distance: 90 km
- Accommodation: Hotel

After breakfast we continue our Kailash pilgrimage, crossing several passes including Ngamring (4,650 m.), and encounter some beautiful villages along the way.
- Duration of drive: 7-8 hr.
- Distance: 440 km
- Accommodation: Hotel

Today we follow the route to Mount Kailash through breathtaking scenery and come across some lovely Tibetan nomadic camps and animals grazing on the grassland. We also get to see Manasarovar Lake and Mount Kailash. They are both visible from Chaktsal Kang, which has breathtaking views of the mountain.
- Duration of drive: 6-7 hr
- Distance: 435 km
- Accommodation: Hotel

This is a great occasion and a good time to be in Tibet. The Saga Dawa festival commemorates the birth, death, and enlightenment of Shakyamuni Buddha. Thousands of Tibetan pilgrims congregate in Lhasa, circumnavigate the Lingkhor (outer circumambulation, that is, the path of external devotion), then Bharkhor (middle circumambulation) and Nangkhor (inner circumambulation) which includes the Potala Palace. They also go up to Bumpari and Gephel Utse to make offerings of incense and prayers. At the same time, during the Saga Dawa festival, thousands of pilgrims and tourists gather at Mount Kailash and raise a large prayer flag at Tarpoche to pay tribute to the great deeds of the Buddha.
- Duration of hike: 1-2 hr
- Accommodation: Hotel
This is the first day of our Kailash kora. The kora starts from Tarpoche. You will see the Trulku Monastery on your left at the top of a hill. This area is also known for ibex and blue bharal sightings as they go running along the rocky shores while you walk to Dhira Phuk, which is a former monastery. Sadly, it was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and today only ruins remain.
- Duration of walk: 6-7 hr
- Distance: 18 km
- Accommodation: Hotel
Today is the second day of our Kora of Mount Kailash which is also the hardest of the three days of trekking. We will be climbing to the top of the Drolma La Pass (5,636m). The path gets steep as you strive to reach the top of the Drolma Pass from Dhira Phuk. Then a steep rocky trail leads down to the Zutrul Phuk valley. On the right side of the Drolma trail is a small lake called Lake Thukje, which means “Compassionate Lake”. Zutrul Phuk was the cave where Milarepa and Nagro Bonchung discussed their religions. There is a small monastery here.
- Duration of hike: 7-8 hr
- Distance: 15 km
- Accommodation: Hotel
Today is the last as well as the easiest day of our Kailash trek. We descend down the valley to Dharchen enjoying the view of beautiful landscapes of Rakshas Tal (‘tal’ means lake) in the distance. Here, we leave the yaks and guides behind and drive back to Lhasa with our Tibetan drivers.
- Duration of drive: 7-8 hr
- Distance: 435 km
- Accommodation: Hotel
We reach the plateau of Changtang where you begin to fathom the vastness of Tibet. There are flocks of gazelles and kiangs (wild donkeys) visible in the distance.
- Duration of drive: 7-8 hr
- Distance: 405 km
- Accommodation: Hotel

We continue our Tibet tour early in the morning, along the Brahmaputra River. It’s a landscape of dunes and Tibetan villages. We can see the Rulak Yungdrung, a monastery on the other side of the river in the Tsang area. We stop for lunch in a small town called Nyenmo which is the border point between Shigatse and Lhasa. Afternoon Free in Lhasa.
- Duration of drive: 4-5 hr
- Distance: 430 km
- Accommodation: Hotel

Transfer from Lhasa to Gonggar Airport for your return flight.
- Duration of drive: 1 ½ hr
- Distance: 60km
- End of our services

NOTES

Festival date from 10 to 23 June
02 to 15 August (Same itinerary but without festival)


What's included

- The accommodations mentioned in the program
- All necessary entry and circulation permits in Tibet
- Special permits for Mount Kailash
- 1 English-speaking Tibetan guide
- Private vehicle transport
- All entrance fees to sites and monasteries
- Conservation costs of Kailash and Manasarovar
- Conservation costs of Yamdrok Lake
- Conservation costs of Karola glaciers
- Conservation tax of the Kingdom of Tholing and Guge
- Breakfasts throughout the stay
- Carriers around Mount Kailash
- Oxygen if necessary
- Transfer from the border to Kathmandu

What's not included

- Air ticket and air tax
- Visa for China or Nepal and service outside Tibet
- Flights, train & international shipping to and from Lhasa
- Lunch and dinner throughout the stay
- Sleeping bags
- Compulsory repatriation insurance
- Any additional costs for landslides and personal expenses.

Suppliments

Single room supplement and individual transfer (private vehicle and local guide): $.620 (variation possible)

Option only for departures from Katmandu:

Flight option Kathmandu - Lhasa - Kathmandu: from $.650 / person

Tibet Visa from Nepal: $.100 / person


Individual transfer supplement to Lhasa airport: $.80 / transfer

Individual transfer supplement at Lhasa station: $.55
Question? Make an inquiry or call (977-1) 441 55 73