Explore Culture & Tours (I) Pvt Ltd
Explore Culture & Tours (I) Pvt Ltd
Kailash Yatra



This sample itinerary can be adapted to your own specific needs, interests and requirements – just ask.


The tour to Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar is a journey into a remote andsecluded land where one seems to leave behind one's material attachments as they travel towards the holy lake and circumambulate Kailash. On this Kailash- Mansarovar journey, we take scenic drive past Zhangmu following the southern route, with its sweeping plains, sand dunes & the Himalayan range, onto the lush vegetation of conifer, rhododendron and oak trees via the semi deserted windswept landscape to the highest plateau in the world.

Day 1-3: Arrive Kathmandu
Overnight at Guest House (Garden-facing room) (B)

Day 4: Fly Kathmandu to Lhasa

Depart on a morning flight (10.45 a.m.).
Arrive at Lhasa Airport (3,700m) after a one hour fifteen minute flight, probably the most dramatic International flight anywhere, flying over Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and the southern Tibetan Plateau. Entry formalities then a one hour 30 minute drive to Lhasa. Especially during the first few days at this altitude it pays to moderate activity and take short breaks.  And after the first of these, we'll explore Lhasa's Old Quarter. We'll find the interesting pilgrimage kora (circuit) of Barkhor and watch as pilgrims perform their ritual prostration.  Here too is a classic Tibetanmarket; hundreds of merchants, traders and craftsmen, all with something to
sell to Lhasa's inhabitants, to innumerable pilgrims and to the likes of you and me.
Overnight at Hotel (B) 

Day 5: Sightseeing in Lhasa
If you've pictured Tibet at all, chances areyou've pictured the Potala Palace, the most potent symbol for the TibetanCommunity worldwide.  It's a treasure
trove of traditional culture, an architectural marvel and it's World Heritage-listed site. Stroll through its13 storeys, housing 1,000 rooms. In the late afternoon, we'll visit the Jorkhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibetan beliefs.  It literally hums with pilgrims murmuring chants and spinning prayer wheels amidst the myriad flickering of yak butter lamps.We'll also attend the evening prayer recital in the temple. Later, take the opportunity for an insight into the world of ancient Tibetan holistic healing at the Metzekhang medicine centre. 
Overnight at Hotel (B

Day 6: Lhasa & Environs
In the morning, travel 5 km north to one of the great monasteries of the Gelugpa, yellow hat, order. Founded in 1419, Sera Monastery became famous for its
Tantric teachings.  At Sera, the monks perform a clapping ritual which is good-natured, boisterous fun, and visitors can also partake.  Also just outside Lhasa stands Drepung, once the largest of all monasteries.  Within the periphery lies the Ganden Palace, home to the Dalai Lamas from the time it was founded by the 2nd Dalai Lama until the 5th built the Potala. The Dalai Lama's  erstwhile Summer Palace, Norbulingka, is a shady retreat  a short distance from town and a pleasant place to spend an afternoon. 
Overnight at Hotel (B)

Day 7: To Ganden, Drak Yerpa & Back to Lhasa
Drive 40 kms. northeast of Lhasa to Ganden Monastery (4500 m) in the morning. Perched at the edge of the Kyi-chu Valley bears the look of a bowl like amphitheatre, Ganden commands a dramatic view up and down the Lhasa River valley. Attend a daily ritual session in the monastery before taking a low 'kora' walk (1 hr), visiting surreal looking sky burial site.  Later, set out for the cave dotted cliff-top of Drak Yerpa. It is a citadel of Tibetan Buddhism. The most important landmark here is a holy cave, amongst many, which had served in the past as a meditation retreat for numerous sages and ascetics; most noteworthy of them being Guru Rinpoche and King Songsten Gampo. Return drive to Lhasa in the evening
Overnight at Hotel (B)

Day 8: To Gyantse (7hrs approx)  
The route to Gyantse (3,950m) crosses the Kampa-La (4,794m), from where you can get the first glimpse of the stunning beauty of Yamdrok-tso (Turquoise) lake, one of the four holy lakes of Tibet, and Karo-La (5,010m).
Overnight at Hotel (B)

Day 9: To Shigatse (2hrs approx)
Visit the massive fortress, Kumbum, and Pelkor Chode Monastery at Gyantse. The monastery has a particular influence, for here there is rare unity of Gelugpa,
Sakyapa and Bhuton, the three sects of Tibetan Buddhism. The center-piece of Phalkhor and the pride of the city, is Kumbum, the largest stupa in Tibet. It is a fine example of 15th century Newari art which speaks of strong Himalayan ties with Nepal.  A short drive away is the second largest town in Tibet, Shigatse (3,900m)..
The foremost attraction in Shigatse, Tashilhunpo Monastery, has three main buildings that are worth exploring at length. These include the Chapel of Maitreya, which is home to an 85 foot tall Buddha coated in 275 kgs of gold, and the Palace of the Panchen Lama.  For photogenic views of the monastery (or for those wanting to earn some karma), do a kora of Tashilhunpo, but bemindful of your pilgrimage being in a clockwise direction, as the world turns, so as to not offend the Buddhist ethos.  An option today is to drive 19 km south of Shigatse to the 11th century Shalu Monastery. Of particular interest are the 14th century murals in the monastery, clearly influenced and eagerly inspired by Chinese, Mongol and Newari genres. 
Overnight at Hotel (B)

Day 10: To Saga (10hrs approx)
An early start is required for an exhausting whole day's drive. Nevertheless, it all seems worthy just for the visual fiesta you'll be bestowed with. The drive
takes you over the Gyatchu La pass (5220m) and along the route with views of Everest & other surrounding mountains to the highway town of Lhatse. Our drive now turns off the Friendship Highway towards west Tibet tailing the canyon of Raka Tsangpo. Over few more passes and there you're in Saga (4450m).
Overnight at Camp (B, D)

Day 11: To Paryang (7hrs approx)
Another long drive will take you to Paryang (4750m) in the heart of western Tibet, where the four great rivers of South Asia diverge from their glacial sources around Mount Kailash. En route you will pass through the village of Zhongba. From Saga to Zhongba, the road is on a 145 km stretch. The road is good & the trip can be
completed in 4-5 hrs. Dargyeling Monastery at the western end of town on a hill is worth a stop. From Zhongba onwards the southern road to Paryang (110
kms) deteriorates. But this section of the road has panoramic views of mountains on either side of the road.
Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

Day 12: To Darchen (6hrs approx)
The drive passes through open territory with a view of distant mountains still keeping you engrossed. Driving again through rugged terrain past a small town
of Hor Qu (4560 m), past several river crossings & Mayun la pass (5216 m) to a drab little town of Darchen (4560 m), the main gateway to Kailash & start and
end point of the walk around the Kailash Circuit. Mount Kailash reveals itself about 90 km after the pass. The landscape is stunningly gorgeous with views of Manasarovar lake & Himalayas en route.
Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

Day 13: To Astapath (45mins approx); Trek to Dirapuk (approx 5 hr)
Your holy walk of a lifetime starts today. The Kailash circuit covers 52kms, which will take up the next three days of our tour. Leaving the town behind,
drive westward in clockwise direction to Astapath, that's as far as any vehicle can go. From here on, we tread on foot as the trail climbs up to a cairn at 4730 m from where the southern face of Mt. Kailash comes to view.
Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

Day 14: Dirapuk - Zutulpuk (approx 8 hr trek)
The day begins, inanticipation of the hardest part of the journey, with a kora that takes us to the much higher side of the holy path just beneath Mt. Kailash. You will
leave the Lha-chu valley and enter the Dolma Chu valley, heading up towards a high pass of Drolma la (5630 m) above Gaurikund lake (the bathing pool of
Compassion) which is one of the highest lakes in the world. Hindu pilgrims' are supposed to take a ritual bath here. We pause for rest and refreshments
at the top before starting a steep descent to the gradual field towards Zutulpuk (4790 m).
Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

Day 15: Zutulpuk - Darchen (approx 5 hr trek)
Lake Manasarovar (2hr drive) - The finale of the parikrama is an easy 3 hrs walk down to where theriver emerges on to the Barga plain. We complete the
3 day circuit trek of Mt. Kailash in Darchen where our ride will be waiting for us to take us to Lake Manasarovar.
Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

Day 16: Lake Mansarovar- Paryang (5.5hrs approx)
Ride Back to Paryang onthe same axis. Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

Day 17: Paryang- Saga (6hrs approx)
Fall back on the same axis as we ascended uphill to the destination of Manasarovar Lake. Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

Day 18: Saga- Zhangmu (8hrs approx)
The ride is almost in the flat bedinitially and there are many reminders of the Mansarovar as we cross across Paiku Tso & other small lake beds in the initial 90 Kms ride. Ride down hill from the Lablung La pass (5050m) to reach tonight's destination at Nyalam.  The journey has saved one of the very best bits until last, for now comes one of Nature's most dramatic transformations.  On account of the rapid descent from frozen plateau to sub-tropical climes, everything changes; from
scrub to forest canopies, from predominant browns to lush greens.  From parched plain to cascading waters.  This is especially so in the monsoon and post-monsoon period (July-November).
Overnight at Guesthouse (B)

Day 19: To Kodari (1hr. drive) and Kathmandu (5hrs approx)

After ChineseImmigration and Customs in Zhangmu (2,300 m) is the short walk downhill to the 'Friendship Bridge', the border between China and Nepal. After Nepalese Immigration and Customs the road winds through gloriously colourful pastoral scenes before climbing to Dhulikhel. Here we can look back north to see the serrated skyline of The Himalaya from their southern side.
Overnight at Guest House (Garden-facing room). (B)

Day 20: Departure (B) (To Delhi)

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