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Sacred Tibet Mt. Kailash Manasarovar Journey 2014

Mt. Kailash is among the most sacred places on earth. It is the mother of all holy places, “Tirtha Sthaan”, for followers of Lord Shiva, “Shiv-Bhakts”. This holy mountain is to Hindus as Jokhang Temple is to Tibetan Buddhists or as Jerusalem is to followers of Christianity. The Mt. Kailash Yatra (ritual), is a pilgrimage undertaken by those wishing to purify their soul through peace with themselves and the world around them. Pilgrims will trek around the base of Mt. Kailash, while many take about three days, some devout pilgrims make the journey in one day. Tibetans who make this pilgrimage will leave behind an article of clothing, a lock of hair, or a stone to symbolize leaving behind prejudice and misperceptions of reality. No matter where you may come from, this is a journey where you can wash your soul of your anger, anxiety, and ego.

Outline of the 14 to 16 days private Kailash tour program

Day01 To Lhasa, transfer to hotel
Day02 Lhasa Sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Bazaar
Day03 Lhasa Sightseeing: Drepung and Sera Monastery
Day04 Lhasa-Lake Yamdrok-Gyantse (260 km), overnight in Gyantse
Day05 Gyantse-Shigatse (90km, 3900 m), visit Tashilhunpo Monastery and local Tibetan streets
Day06 Drive Shigatse to Saga (Altitude 4600m,about 400km)
Day07 Saga-Lake Manasarovar [altitude4750M], about 500km, 10-11hrs
Day08 Leisure time nearby the holy Lake-Manasarovar, drive 40 km to Darchen (4560m), 30km
Day09 Kailash Circuit trek-Dira Puk: (6 hrs)
Day10 Dira Puk-Zuthul Puk, 6 hrs
Day11 Trek back to Darchen (trek ends) and drive to Lake Manasarovar
Day12 Manasarovar-Saga (530km, 10-11 hours). Overnight at Saga Hotel (best available)
Day13 Saga-Zhangmu (or Saga to Shigatse)
Day14 Zhangmu-friendship bridge-Katmandu (we drive from Shigatse back to Lhasa)
Day15 Lhasa final departure

Detailed tour program

Day01 To Lhasa, transfer to hotel

Accommodation: any nice 3 star hotel in Ancient Downtown Barkhor area or similar due to late booking. Upon arrival at train station or Ghongkhar Airport, your driver and guide will pick you up (with your name sign), then we drive to the downtown ancient Lhasa city. Stay at the hotel for adapting to the high attitude. It is helpful to take things easy for the first few days. You’d better drink little bit more water than usual and walk light (be noted the first day’s acclimation is important to ensure you a good health status for the following tour, so behave wise)

Accommodation:Gorkha Hotel or Dhood Gu Hotel or Kyichu Hotel or Yak Hotel 


Day02 Lhasa Sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Bazaar 
Attraction to see today: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor streets:

Potala Palace was originally constructed in 637 by Songtsen Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet , and later expanded and served as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas as well as the religious-political nexus of traditional Tibet . The crowds of pilgrims, innumerable magnificent murals, Buddhist statues, scriptures and rare treasures altogether create a dense religious and art atmosphere that impresses every visitor. 

Jokhang Temple is one of the must see attractions in Tibet. Jokhang Temple houses the only known image of the Shakyamuni Buddha that exists today. Made in his twelve year old likeness, it is a holy destination for Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims from all corners of Tibet.

The Barkhor street market provides tourist a pivotal insight in multiple aspects of Tibetan culture by the vast assortments of authentic Tibetan products easily available to purchase at the visitors discretion. The Barkhor market is constantly alive and thriving with activity as the countless vendors and shops present a utopia of local Tibetan arts, crafts and cultural specialties.

Accommodation:Gorkha Hotel or Dhood Gu Hotel or Kyichu Hotel or Yak Hotel 


Day03 Lhasa Sightseeing: Drepung and Sera Monastery 
Drepung Monastery
 is the sacred land of Gelug Sect, which was established in 1416 and the second, third and fourth Dalai Lama once resided in. 

Sera Monastery was created in 1419 and has always been an important Buddhist seminary. As rose are planted everywhere in the monastery, it is also called the court of wild rose Today still 200 lamas live in there. Luckily you could see the line-up for visit the god as long as you could imagine, also the exciting debating situation of monks there every afternoon.


Day04 Lhasa-Lake Yamdrok-Gyantse, overnight in Gyantse

Around 8:30 am, we will leave Lhasa for the historic town of Gyantse via Yamdrok Lake, according to local mythology, Yamdrok Lake is the transformation of a goddess, on the Gangbala Pass, you will have a clear picture of this Tibetan holy lake in turquoise, in distance you can also see the snow capped Summit of Ninjingkangsang. In Gyantse, you will find the largest stupa in Tibet—Kumpa Stupa (Ten-thousand stupa, the 8-storey Stupa is 42m high and 62m in diameters contains a total of 76 chapels with wonderful murals revered by art scholars around the world.), just next to the Stupa is the Pelchor Monastery, This typical Tibetan Buddhist monastery is the only one large building complex in Tibet that old monastery and Stupa are completely preserved and characterized as a monument. It is recorded 14,000 kilograms of copper was used to make the 8-meter-high sitting statue of Sakyamuni Buddha housed in the grand hall of the temple. Another important site on the way to Gyantse is the Karola Glacier, if weather permitting, we have opportunity to take high quality photos of the glaciers.

Day05 Gyantse-Shigatse (90km, 3900 m), visit Tashilhunpo Monastery and local Tibetan streets
After breakfast in Gyantse, we will drive slowly to Shigatse city which is the second largest city of Tibet. The distance is 90 km with well paved road condition. Upon arrival we will take a visit to Tashilhunpo Monastery where we will spend about 2 hours, then we will check in our comfortable 3 star hotel before we have lunch. In the later afternoon our Tibetan tour guide will show you around the local traditional Tibetan streets.

Accommodation in Manasarovar Hotel or similar one


Day06 Drive from Shigatse to Saga (Altitude 4600m,about 400km)
visit Tashilhunpo Monastery in the morning, then we will have a long driving Journey to Saga, we will arrive around 9 pm, accommodation in Saga Hotel or similar one if late booking (twin-share room basis)


Day07 Saga-Lake Manasarovar [altitude4750M], about 500km, 10-11hrs 

Accommodation: Budget guesthouse beside Lake Manasarovar, From Saga it is 145 km to Zhongba. The road is good and the trip can be completed in 2 hrs. and From Paryang to Lake Mansarovar is a long drive of  8-9 hrs or so. There will be several river crossings and we drive past Mayum la pass (4600m). The scenery is stunningly beautiful with panoramic views of the Himalayas.


Day08 Leisure time nearby the holy Lake-Manasarovar, drive 40 km to Darchen (4560m), 30km 
Accommodation: Budget guesthouse About 30 km north of Lake Manasarovar is Darchen, the main gateway and the village. The monastery at Darchen, Darchen Gon, is a part of the Drukpa sect. The two-story monastery structure in the center of the town serves as a trading post and shelter for pilgrims. Within the dukhang assembly hall are new and old thangka paintings and some statues, the main image being Sakyamuni. West of the gompa is the Mani Lhakhang that has a large, new Mani prayer wheel. This is the site where the original old flagpole (a Darchen is a flagpole for prayer flags) of Darchen was located. When beginning their Kora pilgrimage around Kailash, many pilgrims often circumambulate the Darchen Gon monastery and the Mani Lhakhang before setting out. We organize yaks or ponies for the Kailash circuit trek at Darchen.


Day09 Kailash Circuit trek-Dira Puk: (6 hrs) 
This Kailash circuit covers 53 km 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 we will visit Tarboche where annual flagpole raising ceremony takes place during Saga Dawa. Accommodation: Camping or in local tented camp or simple guesthouse.


Day10 Dira Puk-Zuthul Puk, 6 hrs 
Today we cross Drolma la pass (5630m) and Gauri Kund Lake (5608m) where Hindus worship and immerse themselves in the icy waters of the lake. Accommodation: Camping or in local tented camp or simple guesthouse.


Day11 Trek back to Darchen (trek ends) and drive to Lake Manasarovar 
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 we will drive back to Manasarovar Lake where you may take some water from the sacred Lake. Accommodation in guesthouse.


Day12 Manasarovar-Saga Accommodation: hotel Drive from Darchen Saga (530km, 10-11 hours). Overnight at Saga Hotel (best available)


Day13 Saga-Zhangmu (or Saga to Shigatse)

Please be advised that if there is someone who will not go to Nepal but return to Lhasa, one extra day is necessary needed.

Day14 Zhangmu-friendship bridge-Katmandu (we drive from Shigatse back to Lhasa)

In the morning drive to the Friendship Bridge of the border. Our guide and driver will see you off at the Kodari of the China side at around 10 am Beijing time (GMT+8). Your tour ends at the China-Nepal friendship bridge. For any add-on trip services in Nepal, we would be more than happy to help yarrange according to your further requests.

Day15 Lhasa final departure

Costs includes:

1) Tibetan Kailash and Manasarovar pilgrimage guide;
2) All Entrance fees for all the sightseeing places listed in the itinerary; 
3) Transportation by one tour licensed vehicle according to group size (ranging from 4WD to tour bus);
4) Accommodation in 3 star standard hotel in Lhasa, Shigatse and Zhangmu town where you can have private toilet and shower, budget guesthouse or hostel in remote area in Kailash region;
5) Service Charge & Government Taxes;
6) All necessary Tibet Travel Permits;
7) All breakfasts during hotel stay (in Lhasa, Shigatse and Zhangmu Town);
8) Service fee for the planning, organizing and the others;
9) China Domestic free air ticketing booking service per your requests and the airfare for the flight to Lhasa

Costs does not includes:

1) Entry or Exit China International Airfare  
2) Visa fees-please apply for your visa in time.
3) Excess Baggage Charges;
4) Personal Expenses:Expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone call, optional activities,  and meals not mentioned above
5) Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
6) Extra expenses and/of additional days caused due to unexpected events (delays, porterage because of land slides and other natural events.)
7) Add-on trips
8) Porters and Yaks during Trekking (however most travelers leave heavy luggage in tour vehicle during the trekking days)

Note: when you submit the inquiry form, please specify your very detailed requests and schedule you have and we will customize it well and figure out the exact price soon after.