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Cross border trekking to the holy Mountain Kailash

Humla, Manasarova & Mount Kailash

Remote western Nepal and a true Tibetan pilgrimage

A week long trekking through the remote western Nepal into Tibet and a true pilgrimage around the Holy Mount Kailash. These are the main ingredients of a very special trekking. We will start the trekking in the fertile and green area of Simikot. The landscape wel change dramatically in one week. The dry and barren land near Mount Kailash where strong wind can howl is an amazing place. Together with true pilgrims we make or kora around Mount Kailash, a life changing experience.

Trip designer: Jeffry Oonk Jeffry Oonk

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A true pilgrimage to the holy mount Kailash in the mythical Tibet. Making a full kora around “the precious jewel of snows” is dream for many Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims and trekkers around the world. According to Hinduism, Shiva, the Destroyer of evil, resides at the summit of this legendary mountain, whereas Tibetan Buddhist believe that Mount Kailash is the home of the Buddha Demchok, who represents supreme bliss.

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Our journey starts in Kathmandu, one of the three king cities in Nepal. Here we meet our fellow travelers and we will explore the Kathmandu valley with lots of Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas. Our pilgrimage starts with a seven day trekking from Simikot in Nepal, in the remote western district of Humla. We will walk along the River Karnali, through lush valleys, deep canyons and traditional Nepali villages to reach the border with Tibet. With cars we will drive to the base of Mount Kailash (6714 meter), and will camp on the shores of the holy Lake Manasarovar at 4500 meters altitude. From Darchen we start our 50 kilometer long kora with many other devoted pilgrims. We take four days to complete the kora allowing you plenty of time for the necessary acclimatization as well as a chance to visit the three main monasteries on the base of Kailash. This hard trekking through a bare landscape with the holy Mount Kailash, which is perfectly symmetrical, on our right hand is one of the world’s most fascinating pilgrimages. On day three we climb to the 5670 meter high Dolma-La pass, the highest point of our trekking. After our amazing trekking we drive to Lhasa in three days. The Tibetan highlands are home to traditional herdsmen with their yaks and goats. We might even see pilgrims traveling on foot to fulfill their kora around Mount Kailash. For many, a long time wish becomes true visiting the old Lhasa city. Lhasa is a truly fascinating, with the magnificent Potala Palace as a landmark. The palace is just one of the many interesting places to visit. After a last day in Kathmandu, this “Journey of a Lifetime” comes to an end. With a head full of life changing memories we will travel home again.

Trip profiel

Inspanning Avid - Pilot Trip

  • Klimmen 1,361m
  • Dalen 1,356m
  • Hoogste punt 5,649m
  • Afstand 50km

This unique trekking is both a physical journey as well as a journey for the soul, and you are ready for it. You have always wanted to submerge yourself in the creative chaotic life of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Once on trail during the first part of this trekking you like the quiet and peaceful routine of walking and camping in the green and lush Western side of Nepal. You like to interact with the locals in the small villages that we pass through, in teahouses, in monasteries, and on the fields. The contrast with the bare and open plains of the Tibetan plateau is immense, and you can’t get enough of it. When you see the Holy Mount Kailash and all the Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims you know you can do it too. To circumnavigate this mountain in four days climber over a 5600 meter high pass will not be easy, but you know it is very rewarding. After the active part of this tour you look forward to the road trip to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. To walk through this town of mythical proportions has been one of your dream for a long time. And now you are here.

Trip vertrekdata

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Humla, Manasarova & Mount Kailash

11 september - 5 oktober 2018

Gids: Jeffry Oonk Jeffry Oonk

Kalender

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V.a. €4990,00 per persoon Reissom kan variëren i.v.m. groepsgrootte Boek nu

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Dag-tot-dag

Dag 0-1 Arrival at Kathmandu & visit bustling Thamel

You will be welcomed by the 360° team upon arrival at Kathmandu airport and they will bring you to our comfortable hotel just outside the busy tourist square Thamel. All participants of this unique 360° trip will assemble here and this is where we will prepare ourselves for the trekking. Both Thamel and the historic Durbar Square in Kathmandu are at walking distance, or you can catch one of the thousand taxis. Throughout the city you can still witness the devastating effects of the 2015 earthquake, although many temples and buildings have been repaired or rebuild. The restoration process offeres us a opportunity to see the craftsmanship of the local people. The woodcarvings on the old building are a perfect example of the Newari architecture. You can explore the city or relax in the large open-air square of our hotel. Ideal to acclimatize from the long flight and the time difference with your home country.

Dag 2-3 Meandering & exploring the Kathmandu Valley

The Kathmandu valley is fascinating, and today you can roam around by yourself or join our 360° guide. For many, the first impression with Kathmandu is overwhelming, but despite the chaos and noise the city is welcoming and people are very friendly. The narrow streets in Kathmandu are busy in the early mornings when Nepali rush to their work. We can visit Swayambunath, or monkey temple, an important Hindu temple. From this temple, build on a hill, we can enjoy some of the best views over the valley. At the impressive stupa (one of the largest in the world, and an UNESCO World Heritage Site) of Boudhanath you will find hundreds of Buddhist. The eyes of Buddha will follow the Buddhist on their pilgrimage around the impressive stupa. Join them or just sit while listening to the chants of the devouts making their kora. At a short walk from Boudhanath you can visit Pashupatinath, one of the most important Hindu temples in the city. Here you will find a Shiva temple, but this place is best known for the open-air cremations along the banks of the river Bagmati. In the evening we will have a typical Nepali dinner.

Dag 4 Flight to Nepalgunj in the Terai

Today we will fly to Nepalgunj, in the tropical lowlands bordering India. This is probably one one the most amazing commercial flights one can make. Weather permitted, we will see three of the world 8000+ meter high mountains floating in a sea of lower snow-capped peaks. The air in Nepalgunj is heavy, wet and hot. But will we stay in a comfortable hotel with a large garden and swimming pool where we can relax. Dinner is served in the garden.

Dag 5 Mountain flight to Simikot

The early morning 45-minute flight with a 16-seater twin-prop plane to Simikot is spectacular and the airstrip is tiny. We use the service of the most reliable plane company in Nepal, nevertheless sometimes these flights are cancelled when weather conditions are not good enough. We will meet our local support team and the mule drivers and camp near Simikot at almost 3000 meter altitude. Tonight our enthusiastic cook will prepare a delicious meal in his kitchen tent.

Dag 6 Simikot Humla district to Dhara Pokhari

After our first night in the tents the crew will bring us a bowl with warm water to the tents to wash our face and a cup of tea. Once we have packed our personal gear breakfast is served in the dining tent. Our experienced cook will surprise us every single morning with healthy and delicious meals. We start our seven day trekking and walk north. Simikot (2960m) is the main town in the remote Humla district and we will soon leave it behind us, passing agriculture fields with barley and wheat. Looking back from a forested ridge we see Simikot below us in the distance. After our descent to Masigaon we continue to walk to Dhara Pokhari where we make our camp at 2300 meters altitude.

Dag 7 Dhara Pokhari to Salli Khola

Today we walk through agriculture fields with rice, potato and wheat lined with apricot and walnut trees. We cross several bridges and pass small teashops. The trail is steep at places and follows ridges, through small patches of pine forest. We make camp along the River Chums or Salli Khola at 2800 meters.

Dag 8 Salli Khola to Muchu

We are getting into our morning routine of washing our face and packing our personal stuff. During the day we are having great views of Saipal Himal, a mountain range in the far distance. Here goat herders have made summer camps. Their simple life outside in the mountains give them a wild appearance, but they are as friendly as any Nepali we will meet during the trekking. We follow the Humla Karnali river and the valley becomes narrow, wild and steep after a while. Both Yalbang and Hangar are small villages surrounded by fields which we reach over undulating trails. Just before Muchu we cross a suspension bridge and we make camp in this village at almost 3000 meter altitude.

Dag 9 Exploration of Muchu and surroundings

We are climbing a lot tomorrow so we will stay in Muchu today to acclimatize. In the morning we try to climb a hill, to maximize the benefits of this day. The afternoon you can spend walking around in the village, visit the gompa (Buddhist monastery) looking to the locals working on the fields and read a book. Our cook will make sure you have three nice and warm meals today.

Dag 10 Muchu to Sipsip

We are slowly walking deeper into Buddhist land, where Chortens (small prayer towers), gompas and mani wall full with engraved Buddhist writings are becoming more abundant. We pass them clockwise, something that is custom to the Buddhist beliefs. Whenever possible we try to visit the gompas. Today’s trail follows different rivers and steep valleys. This region is known for growing millet and barley and it is likely that we will see traders from Nepal and Tibet with their pack-animals. When we reach Sipsip (4330m) near the foot of a pass we make camp.

Dag 11 Sipsip to the settlement of Hilsa

The first goal for today is the 4580 meter Nara Lagna pass with a cairn atop. Soon we will be able to see the Tibetan plateau and the fields near Sher, the border frontier with Tibet. The descent starts easy but soon becomes steep and rocky until we reach river Humla Karnali. We make camp close to the small settlement of Hilsa at 3720 meter. Our last night in Nepal and the first trekking of this journey is almost done.

Dag 12 Hilsa to the border town of Taklakot

In the morning we walk the last stretch of the Nepal trekking to the Tibetan border. Sher at 3860 meter is a trading post and this is where we will enter Tibet. From here we drive to Taklakot at almost 4000 meter altitude. After seven night in a tent a bed in a hotel or guests house is very welcoming. Frontier town Taklakot is a conglomerate of different ethnic groups, with traders from India, Tibet and China. This is a nice place to stroll around.

Dag 13 Drive from Taklakot to Holy Manasarovar

In the morning we drive through a barren landscape from Taklakot to the Holy Manasarovar at 4550meters. We pass many Tibetan settlements and from the Gurla La pass we can see Mount Kailash. Kailash, “Throne of Shiva”, is where the mighty river Ganges and Indus spring. After the pass we drive along the shores of Rickshas Lake and later along lake Manasarovar. Pilgrims make a kora around this lake as well and there are numerous Monasteries. We will set up camp near the lake, a fascinating and desolate place to spend the night.

Dag 14 Morning ritual Pooja on the banks of lake Mansarovar

We will try to attent the morning ritual Pooja on the banks of lake Mansarovar. This desolate place is impressive by its self, but the ritual will add to the experience. In the afternoon we will cover the last stretch to Darchen, the starting point of our mount Kailash kora, by car. This place is busy with pilgrims from India, Nepal, Tibet and other places. Darchen has grown to a small town with guesthouses, teashops and small shops. From our camp in Darchen we can only see the top of Mount Kailash.

Dag 15 Start of the Kora

Full of excitement we finally start our kora around the Holy Mount Kailash. Buddhists, Hindu and B’on pilgrims assemble here for their kora. Like most pilgrims we will walk clockwise around the mountain, only B’on Buddhists walk the other way around. Our aim today is a campsite at 4895 meters near Damding Donkhang. Therefor we follow the Lha Chu valley from Darchen and walk to the north. With Mount Kailash at our right, and the river at our left, we can enjoy the true feeling of a pilgrimage. We will feel the effects of the high altitude and the physical activity of today. Our local staff will take good care and provide us plenty of fluids and good food.

Dag 16 Damding Donkhang to Jarok Donkhang

A kora should not never be too easy, and today might be one of the hardest day of the whole trekking. At the northern most point of the Kailash kora we will see the small Diraphuk monastery. Slowly we gain more altitude towards our camp near Jarok Donkhang at 5210 meters altitude. This will be the highest camp during our trekking. making a bivouac here means that crossing the 5670 meter high Dolma-La pass is easier tomorrow. The surrounding here is wild and bare, making it a true high altitude camp.

Dag 17 Jarok Donkhang, Dolma-La pass to Zutul Phuk

Ahead lays the highest pass of this whole trekking at 5670 meters. Soon after breakfast we will set off at a slow pace. even though the going gets tough, the spectacular landscape that we walk in is a big reward. We will celebrate the arrival at the Dolma-La pass and from here it is a long descent of 900 meters. The small lakes Tobchan and Gaurikund are some of the sources of the River Indus, which runs all the way to the Indian Ocean. Our camp will be near Zutul Phuk at 4790 meters.

Dag 18 Zutul Phuk to Darchen & drive to Lake Mansarovar

The last day of our kora around mount Kailash and the last day trekking. the path runs through the Dzong Chu valley where we will reach the southern most point of the kora. Reaching Darchen, we have covered 50 kilometers around the Holy mountain. This wil be a life changing experience. In the afternoon we will drive to the shores of Lake Mansarovar to make camp.

Dag 19-21 Drive to Saga, Sigatse, Tashilimüpphu Monastery and transfer to Lhasa

The next few days we will drive to another highlight of the trip, Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. Driving through this endless and desolate countryside is almost an meditative experience. The first day we drive to Saga (4510 meter). From here most of our staff will travel back to Kathmandu. The guesthouse in Saga is simple, but it feels good to be sleeping in a bed again.

The rolling hills and snowcapped mountains continue on our way east. We remain at almost the same altitude, since we are traveling on the legendary Tibetan plateau. Small settlements are spread out in this bare landscape and we will stop for lunch in a small town. In the afternoon we drive to Sigatse where we will stay in a 3-star hotel.

We are getting closer to Lhasa. but before we drive the last part of this interesting journey we will stop at the Tashilimüpphu Monastery in Sigatse. On-route we might see herdsmen still living their nomadic lifestyle. Later we enter Lhasa (3500 meters). Although this traditional city has changed due to the Chinees influence, the old centre is still a fascination place to visit. Our 3-star hotel is modern and we will have dinner in town.

Dag 22 Exploring Lhasa

A full day sightseeing in Lhasa. Lhasa, “the Place of the Gods” has a very rich history which goes back to the year 822. The Potala Palace is the icon in town and almost 400 years old. It sits above town, which itself is surrounded by bare mountains. The Jokhang Temple is much older, over a 1000 years, and has a long history. It is situated on the large Jokhang square. Lhasa is now connected to China with a modern railway. It takes 40 hours to reach Beijing and there are even plans to build a railway to Kathmandu, with a tunnel underneath the Mount Everest. In the evening we will try to have a traditional Tibetan meal in one of the many restaurants.

Dag 23 Flight back to Nepal, Kathmandu

Today we will fly back to Nepal after an impressive stay in Tibet and Lhasa. Weather permitted we will have magnificent views over the high Himalayan mountain peaks. We will be picked up from the Kathmandu airport and will be driven to our comfortable hotel. Back where it all started three weeks ago, but with a head full of good memories.

Dag 24-25 Full day at your own pace in Kathmandu

We have one more day to spend in Kathmandu. This is also an extra day in the unlikely event that we are being delayed during the trekking or while flying out from Lhasa. You can visit one of the many interesting places in the Kathmandu valley, visit Patan or a monastery and buy souvenirs. On the last day you will be brought to the airport for your flight back home.