Mt. Kailash: Erase the sins of a lifetime!

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High on the remote western Tibetan plateau, in the northernmost region of the Himalayas, sits the mystical  Mount Kailash. The very fact one considers making a pilgrimage to Kailash and Lake Manasarovar is considered a “call from within”! Thousands of Sages, ordinary mortals, philosophers and even Gods have submerged in blissful trance at the very sight of Kailash’s divine grandeur!

This revered 22,dscn5305028-foot peak is the source of four great Asian rivers- the Indus, Brahmaputra, Sutlej, and Karnali – and the ultimate pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists who believe that by devoutly circling the mountain on foot, they will be cleansed of all earthly sins and reach spiritual freedom.

Mt. Kailash is commonly referred to as the centre of the universe in eastern religious texts from India to Japan. Rooted through the seventh hell and bursting through the highest heaven, it is also believed to be the “World Pillar”!

header_tibet18 miles southeast of Kailash is the circular, turquoise Lake Manasarovar – the sacred lake. (Hindus take a ritual bath in its glacial waters – a dip for us is optional!). Bathing in this lake, or even dousing one’s head in the holy water is said to be of enormous spiritual benefit to those who can brave the icy water which many claim contains miraculous powers. Then it’s on to the holy mountain itself. Joining other nomads and pilgrims from as far away as India, we set off on a 32-mile circumambulation of the peak along the kora, the sacred circuit around Kailash (one circuit is said to erase the sins of a lifetime, 108 assures Nirvana!). The most devout pilgrims circle the shining mountain in one day – we’ll take our time and do it in three. Hindus who walk around the circumference use the term ‘Parikrima’.

The journey to Kailash is long and rugged, traversing an isolated region often reminiscent of a high altitude Wild West. We will reach Kailash via the northern highway crossing the Chang Tang, the fabled high plateau inhabited only by bands of roving nomads. If possible we will return via a shorter route, offering views of the Himalayas as well as glimpses of herds of Kyang and other wild life.

The entire area echoes with spiritual vibrations. Even agnostics will discover new balance amidst the fathomless serenity… one has to experience it!

“ There is no place more powerful for practice, more blessed, or more marvelous than this ”

Detailed Itinerary

Arrive Kathmandu (1280 meters)

Arrive at the Kathmandu airport where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel, the famous Kathmandu Guest House in the heart of the bustling and interesting Thamel neighborhood.

Our representative will also arrange for a briefing program on final trip details, which will be held in the evening. You will be informed of the departure point, which is near from the hotel, and time, (usually 5:30 am) for your tour.

You will be asked to fill out a China/Tibet visa application form and submit your passport and two passport photos so our agent can take care of all formalities the next day. Relax and enjoy the garden of the Kathmandu Guest House or take a walk into Thamel and get acclimatized. Overnight in Hotel.

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In Kathmandu

Today is a leisure day in Kathmandu to relax or explore the temples, monasteries and markets of this fascinating city. There are many interesting attractions within walking distance including the old Royal Palaces in Durbar Square, the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath and Buddhist temple of Swayambhunath. This is a great day to pick up supplies for your trip to Tibet like extra clothing and snacks. You will be given your passport with China/Tibet visa/permit. Sleep well tonight and prepare for a dreamland journey from the next day. Overnight in Hotel.

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Kathmandu to Zhangmu / Nyalam (3750 meters) ( 165 kms — 8 hrs. drive )

Leave Kathmandu early morning and drive to Kodari. After finishing the immigration and customs formalities at Zhangmu (Entry point to China) we proceed to Nyalam driving through deep green valleys with sparkling rivulets and waterfalls sprouting out of the adjacent hills. Overnight in Guest House.

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Nyalam to Yak Kharka (4850 meters) (145 kms — 7 hrs. drive)

Nyalam Valley is called the "Valley of Happiness". On this route you will travel through high passes and broad valleys with the greenery converging into barren high plains. The second highest peak in Tibet - SHISHA PANGMA, constantly accompanies you en route. Overnight in Tented Camp.

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Yak Kharka to New Dhongpa (4640 meters) (115 kms — 6 hrs. drive)

This drive continues through high passes, with amazing views of the mountains, and the gigantic VISHNU LAKE. You will also see many traditional prayer flags fluttering on the numerous flagpoles en route. On reaching the Brahmaputra River, you will find the small town of New Dhongpa in an interesting setting on the opposite bank. Overnight in Tented Camp.

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New Dhongpa to Mayumla Phedi (4540 meters) (185 kms — 7 hrs. drive)

While on this route you will have refreshing views of lots of lakes, rivers and small streams with strong winds blowing across the plateau. Overnight in Tented Camp.

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Mayumla Phedi to Manasarovar (4560 meters) (135 kms — 6 hrs. drive)

One more memorable scenic drive where you can look out over the north end of Lake Manasoravar from quite a distance. Overnight in Tented Camp.

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Manasarovar to Darchen (4700 meters) (40 kms — 30 minutes drive)

If you wish you can have a "purification bath" in the icy waters of this holy lake which is the highest large body of fresh water on earth. Wind permitting, we will enjoy the unparalleled beauty of Manasarovar's deep blue waters. There are also many Hindu and Buddhist temples here. Later drive to Darchen. Overnight in tented Camp.

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Darchen to Dirapuk (4909 meters) (19 kms — 6 hrs. trek)

Darchen is the starting point from where you begin circumambulating (Parikrima) Mt. Kailash. We embark on our circuit of this holy mountain, starting west from Darchen and making a clockwise circuit as do the Hindus and Buddhist who make this pilgrimage. (The most pious of pilgrims prostrate themselves around Kailash, lying flat on the ground, then rising and walking to the point that their hands touched and repeating the process.) We will take three days to make the circuit; hearty Tibetans do it in one day! Overnight in tented Camp

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Dira Puk to Zuthul Puk (4805 meters) (22 kms — 7/8 hrs. trek)

Continue higher past piles of clothing at Shiva-tsal (5350m). Tibetans leave an article of clothing or a drop of blood here as part of leaving their past life behind them. Continue up to the Dolma La (5650m), where a big boulder on the pass, festooned with prayer flags (perhaps the world's largest collection of prayer flags), represents the goddess Dolma. The pass is the physical and spiritual high point of the kora (circuit). Descend countless switchbacks past Lake Gourikund (5440m) (Devout Hindus are supposed to break the ice and bathe in its waters!) and finally arrive at Zuthul Puk. Zuthul Puk means "miracle cave" and it is here that the Buddhist saint Milarepa lived, meditated, and performed miracles such as raising the roof of the cave to make it more comfortable! Overnight in tented Camp.

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Zuthul Puk to Darchen (4700 meters) (14 kms — 3/4 hrs trek)

The Kailash Kora ends today after an easy trek of 14 Kms. Proceed to Horchu (4560m) at Lake Manasarovar. Camp.

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Horchu to Mayumla Pedi (4540 meters) (135 kms — 6 hrs. drive)

Enjoy the awesome natural beauty again as you return back towards Mayumla Pedi. Overnight in tented Camp.

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Mayumla Pedi to New Dhongpa (4840 meters) (270 kms — 8 hrs. drive)

Bid farewell to the lovely lakes, rivers and small streams as you drive back towards New Dhongpa. Overnight in Tented Camp.

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New Dhongpa to Yak Kharka (4850 meters) (120 kms — 6 hrs. drive)

Enjoy a final day of high passes and huge peaks while returning over the vast Tibetan plateau. Overnight in tented Camp.

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Yak Kharkha to Nyalam / Zhangmu (3750 meters) (240 kms — 6/ 7 hrs drive)

Descend from the barren high plateau to lush green valleys with dramatic changes in landscape virtually every thousand feet all the way down. Overnight in Camp.

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Nyalam / Zhangmu to Kathmandu (1300 meters) (150 kms — 8/9 hrs drive)

Drive to Zhangmu and after completion of Chinese Immigration and Custom formalities, continue down to the Friendship Bridge / Kodari. After completion of Nepal Immigration and Custom formalities, drive to Kathmandu. This last leg of one of the most memorable journeys of your life offers lush verdant valleys with raging rivers below. Arrive in Kathmandu and stay overnight in the Kathmandu Guest House.

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Kathmandu

End of program. You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

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PLEASE NOTE: On adventure trips of this type, local weather, politics, transport or a multitude of other factors beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are necessary our local agent will decide what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does occur, we do everything we can to minimize its effect, but we cannot be responsible for the results of changes or delays.

Synopsis

Trip Grading:

Length: 17 days

Max. Altitude: 18,532ft / 5650m

Begins/Ends in Kathmandu

Land Cost: $3970 (Min. 5 participants)

International Airfare: Apx. $1800 to Kathmandu (from North America)

May 09, – May 25, ’15
Jun 06, – Jun 22, ’15
Jul 04 - Jul 20, '15
Aug 08, – Aug 24, ’15
Sep 12, – Sep 28, ’15
Oct 10 – Oct 26, ’15

You can also contact Canadian Himalayan Expeditions directly for more information.

Synopsis

Trip Grading:

Length: 17 days

Max. Altitude: 18,532ft / 5650m

Begins/Ends in Kathmandu

Land Cost: $3970 (Min. 5 participants)

International Airfare: Apx. $1800 to Kathmandu (from North America)

May 09, – May 25, ’15
Jun 06, – Jun 22, ’15
Jul 04 - Jul 20, '15
Aug 08, – Aug 24, ’15
Sep 12, – Sep 28, ’15
Oct 10 – Oct 26, ’15

You can also contact Canadian Himalayan Expeditions directly for more information.