About Kailash Pilgrimage & Guge via West Nepal

In May 1993 the governments of Nepal and China agreed to open the border between their countries. From that time on, travelers are able tomake tours to Mt. Kailash & Lake Manasarovar through Humla, Nepal’s most remote district in the Northwest of the country. Simikot Kailash trekking is one of the popular trekking trail from Nepal to Tibet side. A pilgrimage trek to Mt. Kailash, the sacred mountain of Tibet is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. Simikot kailash trekking tour, though challenging, presents amazing experience that stands beyond human imagination and is almost mysterious .Simikot Kailash trek takes you from the far western town of Simikot, along an old trade route into Tibet. Simikot Kailash trekking route leads through a magnificent mountain area, past villages of the Thakuri, along rivers and across the Nara Lagna Pass 4580m from where you will see the immense Tibetan plateau. Simikot, in Far Western Nepal’s Humla District, is one of the world’s most remote regions and is the starting point of our trek into the ‘Kailash Mandala’. We travel along ancient pilgrimage routes and trading links, trekking across the border into Tibet to Mt Kailash, the sacred Lake Manasarovar, representing purity and Lake Rakshas Tal, representing power. We complete this incredible experience by joining the pilgrims and circumambulating the holy Mt. Kailash, washing away the sins of a lifetime and enjoying one of the most stunning walks on the planet. After a truly incredible Kailash immersion, we'll travel on overland through Tibet’s amazing landscape exploring Lhatse, Gyantse, Shigatse and, finally, the Forbidden City of Lhasa.
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  • Day 1:- 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.
  • Day 2:- 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.
  • Day 3:- 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.
  • Day 4:- Trek to Tumkot via Yalbang

    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.
  • Day 5:- Trek to Tharedhunga.

    Trek to Tharedhunga at an altitude of 3854m
  • Day 6:- Trek to Sipsip.

    Continue trek to Sipsip (4300 m)
  • Day 7:- 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
  • Day 8:- Drive to Lake Mansarovar. Visit Serlung Gompa.

    Early morning drive to Serlung Gompa. Start Nandi Parikarma, about 7 hours to complete round. Return back to Sheralung Gompa and return back to Mansarovar Lake.
  • Day 9:- Drive to Darchen. Kora begins: Trek to Tarboche below Chukku Gompa.

    Today, start your holy trek (Parikrama / Kora) in which you circumambulate Mt. Kailash. You begin with less than an hour’s drive towards Tarboche Flagpole / Sershong, after which you have to trek for approximately four hours via Chuku Monastery to reach Dirapuk. By now you would have traveled 20 km and would have climbed 200 mt. above Darchen. The trek offers myriad views the western face of Mt. Kailash and its fantastically changing hues at sunrise and sunset.
  • Day 10:- Trek to Driraphuk.

    Today, start your holy trek (Parikrama / Kora) in which you circumambulate Mt. Kailash. You begin with less than an hour’s drive towards Tarboche Flagpole / Sershong, after which you have to trek for approximately four hours via Chuku Monastery to reach Dirapuk. By now you would have traveled 20 km and would have climbed 200 mt. above Darchen. The trek offers myriad views the western face of Mt. Kailash and its fantastically changing hues at sunrise and sunset.
  • Day 11:- Trek to Drolma Pass and Lham Chu Khyr Valley.

    Trek from Dirapuk via the Drölma-la Pass (5,630 mt.) and Gauri Kund. En-route, you will also pass Shivasthal (5,330 mt.), one of the highest point in your trek and if legend is to be believed, where Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati used to sit. Pilgrims are supposed to undergo a symbolic death at this point, entering the realm of the Lord of the Dead, until they reach the top of the Drölma-la and are reborn again. It is customary to leave something behind at Shivasthal – an item of clothing, a drop of blood or a lock of hair, to represent the act of leaving this life behind.
  • Day 12:- Trek to Zutrulphuk Gompa to Darchen. Drive 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 Tirdapuri where there is a hot spring. Pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash is not complete without visiting Tirthapuri for the Tibetan Buddhists.
  • Day 13:- Drive to Toling.

    Visit Kyunglung Guru Gyam and then drive across one of the biggest passes during your journey called Jiangla pass (5100Mts ) and from the top of the pass, you will enjoy a unique land view resembling to a pool as it is just consumed it's water from the pool or similar to Egypt mud towers.
  • Day 14:- Visit Tsaparang and Toling Gompa.

    Drive to Tsaparang the capital of Guge Kingdom. Guge Kingdom was founded in the late 10 th century by lineages of Lang Dharma, King Palkor Tsen's son Kyede Nyima Gon after the Tsenpo period was diminished in the late 10 th century and it was resided by 16 lineages of the Kings respectively. The citadel of Guge is situated up on a giant cliff and it has (300Meters) in height and 18,0000 square Meters in length. Even though the citadel of Guge was heavily destroyed, it still remains important Buddhist arts in Tsaparang. The wall paintings and the statues paint were influenced by Kashmiri style in 11 th century, Newari style in 14 th and 15th century, and Tibetan style in 17 th century respectively. The least damaged temples now are White, Red and Demchok temples and you can see damaged heads or shoulders of the statues and destroyed wall paintings on the wall in those temples. 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
  • Day 15:- Drive to Langohen River.

    Drive to Langohen River.
  • Day 16:- Drive to Lake Mansarovar.

    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.
  • Day 17:- Rest Day.

    Rest day.
  • Day 18:- Drive to Paryang.

    Drive from Mansarovar to Paryang which is around 260 km away and should approximately take six to seven hours to reach.
  • Day 19:- Drive to Saga.

    Drive from Paryang to Saga which is around 255 km away and should approximately take six seven hours to reach.
  • Day 20:- Drive to Ngamring.

    The road follows along Pelgu-Tso, continues across the plain with stunning Himalayan views. The route then follows a narrow gorge before climbing to a pass and dropping steeply down to a ferry crossing over the Yarlung Tsangpo to reach Ngamring
  • Day 21:- Drive to Shigatse.

    Drive about 160 km from Ngamring to Shigaste which takes about 6 hours. On the way visit Sakya Monastery. Located in Sakya County southwest of Shigatse, the Sakya Monastery is the principal monastery of the Sakyapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Originally, the Sakya Monastery comprised both the Northern and Southern Monasteries. In 1073, Khon Konchog Gyalpo, the founder of Sakyapa Sect, built a white palace on a grey clay hill near the northern bank of the Chun Qu River. The locals named the palace 'Sakya' which means grey soil. This was the Northern Monastery but today it is visible only as a ruin. Sakya Monastery has many murals and 'Thangkas'. Most of the murals are from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Among them, the most outstanding and precious are the murals which depict portraits of the former Sakya ancestors, Phakpa's meeting with Kublai Khan (the founder of the Yuan Dynasty) and mandalas. There are over 3,000 'Thangkas'. The 360 from Song (960-1279), Yuan and Ming (1368-1644) Dynasties are the most precious.
  • Day 22:- Drive to Gyantse.

    Visit Tashilunpo Monastery which is the seat of Panchen Lama. Each year, there is a display of a gigantic thangkas of Buddha will on its Thangka Wall. Beside the trove of thangkas, its murals and other religious and artistics treasures certainly will impose an indelible impression upon visitors. After the sightseeing drive to Gyantse The Gyantse Town is located 100km southeast of Shigatse. It takes about 2 hours to drive from Gyantse to Shigatse. Upon reaching Gyantse visit Phalkor Monastery, the only monastery that houses monks from different rders (Gelupa, Sakyapa and Kahdampa) in harmony. Phalkor also features its Bodhi Stupa or Kumbum Stupa, which consists of hundreds of chapels in layers, housing about a hundred thousand images of Buddha, so it is called Myriad Buddha’s Stupa as well.
  • Day 23:- Drive to Lhasa.

    In the morning, your guide and driver will accompany you to Lhasa (250 km, 6 hours approx.), the capital city of Tibet. On the way there, you will visit one of the holiest lakes in Tibet, a pilgrimage site, The Yamdrok Yumtso Lake, which is compared as “the fairyland in heaven” by Tibetans. You will also have view of the Karola Snow Mountain.
  • Day 24:- Lhasa. (Sightseeing Tour).

    Full day sightseeing takes you to Drepung Monastery. "Drepung" means "the hill of rice', because this white Monastery looks like a big hill of rice in Tibetan. This monastery occupies an area of 150,000 square meters with 7700 lamas and becomes the largest monastery in Asia. After that, you will visit Jokhang Temple, situated in the old section of Lhasa. King Songtzen Gampo built this temple in the mid-7th century A.D. Now it is the most sacred place in Tibet. Pilgrims come here to pay homage from all over Tibet. Take a leisure walk at Barkhor Street, located in the heart of Lhasa circling the Jokhang Temple. It means a pilgrim's inner circuit, and is the earliest street of old Lhasa city.
  • Day 25:- Lhasa (Sightseeing Tour).

    Tour starts from the religious Potala Palace built in the 7th century by the famous Tibetan king-Songtzen Gampo. The present one was built by the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century. It became known as the "Winter Palace" by the 1750, when the 7th Dalai Lama built the Norbulingka Park as his summer residence. fter that, you will visit Norbulingka Park. In 1752, the 7th Dalai Lama built the first palace in this summer palace for successive Dalai Lamas to carry out their political and religious activities during the summer season. Today Norbulingka has become a public park for picnicking, relaxing and entertainment. Later, visit Sera Monastery which is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsong Khapa. Jamchen Chojey, one of Tsong Khapa's disciples built the monastery in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The monastery was named Sera which mean wild rose in the Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when the monastery was built.
  • Day 26:- Departure transfer to the airport for onwards journey

    Fly Lhasa / Kathmandu or Chengdu.

Additional details

  • Ganden – Samye
    This trek provides a rich variety of scenery: from high snowy passes to lush alpine meadows — finally culminating at the barren, desert-like surroundings near the Samye Monastery. Along the high passes we discover secluded valleys — only inhabited by high-altitude nomads and their yaks. This pilgrimage route is well used by Tibetans, who find it convenient to combine a visit to Ganden (the principal monastery of the Gelugpa) with a reasonably direct but hard walk to Samye (Tibet's first monastery). With a slow amble, this trek is fulfilling and pleasant. Its two passes are moderate, while displaying beautiful views. Though this trekking route is popular, the walk is a challenge and the altitude gains are higher than what is often recommended. We start our trek at 13,940 feet at Ganden and head toward the Samye Monastery. The highest pass we cross is Shogu La at 17,220 feet.