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13 September - 2010
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Kailash Circuit Parikarma

Trip Facts

Program Code: ATH-TT02 | Duration: 17 days | Program Type: Sightseeing tour | Minimum pax: 2+ | Mode of Travel: Land/Flight | Start Trip: Kathmandu | End Trip: Kathmandu | Program Grading: gradegradegrade
Kailash Circuit Parikarma

Trip Overview

MT. KAILASH & MANSAROVAR, high on the remote western Tibetan plateau, in the northernmost region of the Himalayas, sits the mystical Mt. Kailash. The very fact one thought of proceeding to Kailash and Mansarovar is a “call from within”. Thousands of Sages, ordinary mortals, philosophers and even the Gods had submerged in blissful trance at the very sight of this divine grandeur. The entire area echoes with spiritual vibrations. Even the agnostics shall discover new balance amidst that fathomless serenity. One has to experience it. The common belief is that those who are ordained only could be there. Manasarovar-the sacred lake, (Hindus take a ritual bath in its glacial waters-a dip 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 contain 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 3 days. Hindus who walk around the circumference use the term ‘Parikrima’

Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu 1330 meters. At Kathmandu airport where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel and then our representative will also arrange for a briefing program on final trip details, which will be held in the evening. You will be informed about the departure time, usually 5:30am.You will be asked to fill out a China/Tibet visa application form and submit your passport and two passport photos so we can take care of all formalities the next day. Relax or take a walk into city. DB

Day 02: 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. BLD

Day 03: Kathmandu-Nyalam (126 km - 6 hrs drive). Leave Kathmandu early morning and drive to Kodari friendship border of Nepal/Tibet. 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. BLD

Day 04: Nyalam-Piego Tso 4850 meters, 221 km - 6/7 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 brown plains. The second highest peak in Tibet — SHISHA PANGMA, constantly accompanies you en route. First night in Camping, BLD

Day 05: Piego Tso-Saga 4640 meters, 115 km - 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 river the Brahmaputra River, you will find the small town of Saga in an interesting setting on the opposite bank. Camping, BLD

Day 06: Saga- Phayang 4540 meters 185 km -7/8 hrs drives. While on this route you will have refreshing views of lots of lakes, rivers and small streams with strong winds blowing across. Camping. BLD

Day 07: Paryang-Manasarovar 4700 meters 277 km -7/8 hrs drive. One more memorable and scenic drives where you can overlook the north of Manasoravar from quite a distance. Camping, BLD

Day 08: Leisure or Acclimatization at Manasarovar 4700 meters. If you wish you can have a purification bath in 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 monasteries to visit here. Camping, BLD

Day 09: Manasarovar-Darchen 4700 meters, 30 km -1 hr drives. Start Trek from Darchen to Dira Phuk (18 kms - 6/7 hrs trek) 4909 meters. 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! Camping, BLD

Day 10: Dira Phuk -Zuthul Phuk (4805 meters, 22 km -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 “TARA”. 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 Phuk. Zuthul Phuk means “miracle cave” and it is here that the 11th centuries Buddhist saint Milarepa lived, meditated, and performed miracles such as raising the roof of the cave to make it more comfortable. Camping, BLD

Day 11: Zuthul Phuk-Darchen 4700 meters, 14 km - 3/4 hrs trek. Leave the river valley and hike on the plain to the last prostration station at 4620m Continue another 1-1/2 hours to Darchen. This is the end of ‘Kailash Parikrama’ perhaps overnight at Guest House, BLD

Day 12: Darchen-Pharyang 4540 meters, 310 km - 8/9 hrs drive. Enjoy the awesome natural beauty again as you return back towards Pharyang. Camping, BLD

Day 13: Pharyang-Saga 4640 meters, 255 km - 7/8 hrs drive. Bid farewell to the lovely lakes, rivers and small streams as you drive back towards Saga. Camping. BLD

Day 14: Saga-PiegoTso (4850 meters, 115 km - 6 hrs drive). Enjoy a final day of high passes and huge peaks while returning over the vast Tibetan plateau. Camping, BLD

Day 15: Piego Tso-Zhangmu 2000 meters, 257 km – 8-½ hrs drives. Descend from the barren high plains to green valleys with ‘Dramatic changes’ in landscape every thousand feet all the way and this last leg of one of the most memorable journeys of your life offers lush verdant valleys with Raging Rivers below. Hotel, BLD

Day 16: Zhangmu-Kathmandu. (126 km -5 hrs drives). After completing costumes formalities at Zhangmu you will be transfer to Friendship Bridge and met the Nepali representative from Kathmandu, than again complete the Nepali side costumes formalities and continue en route another 4 ½ hours drive. Hotel, BLD

Day 17: Exit, end of program. You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

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 we will discuss 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.
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