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Lhasa-Kailash Tours via Kathmandu 18 nights / 19 days

Travel Route: Kathmandu - Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Saga - Paryang - Darchen - Kailash Kora – Rakshas Tal - Manasarovar Lake - Saga - Shigatse - Lhasa - Kathmandu

The package offers a deep knowledge on culture, religion and lifestyle of Tibet and Nepal, and a 3-day Pilgrimage Journey (the Circumambulation (Pradakshinaṇā) of Holy Mountain Kailash. Journey goes through Hindu Temples, Buddhist Mmonasteries and Viharas, other sacred sites and historical palaces (mostly UNESCO's heritage sites), alpine lakes, meadows and yak pastures, traditional villages and nomad's camps with incredible panorama of Himalayan range and many other enthralling sites. Besides these, the trip awards the travelers by a lifetime experience of overland drive in the highest elevation of the world.

Itinerary

Day 01 [Arrival in Nepal]: The flight to Nepal is highly thrilled that offers breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks, lush forest and panoramic landscape of Nepal. As soon as you complete immigration process, you will receive a warm Nepalese hospitality at the exit gate of arrival terminal of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu and then we will escort you to a 2* hotel in downtown, Thamel (main tourist-town). On the first day of your arrival in the bewitching land of Himalayas, we suggest you to take rest for few hours to get used to with local environment. Aftermath, we will take you to a pretty Buddhist Vihara situated in main tourist-town, Tsetrapati, Thamel nearby your hotel.

Day 02 [Kathmandu - obtain Chinese visa, sightseeing tour of some sacred places]: One of our staffs will accompany you as friend for sightseeing trip of Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath, Swoyambhunath and Kathmandu Durbar Square.

  • Pashupatinath is the most respected and sacred site of Hindu Pilgrims. Almost entire area is full of the temples of Shiva and Lingam-yoni (where Lord Shiva and Parvati are worshipped) and tantric bells. Lingam represents the symbol of energy and Yoni is the place of birth, source, and origin. The combined Lingam with Yoni stands for source of an endless fire and energy which created the universe. As said in Hindu holy book the Lingam-Yoni represents the non-duality of inborn reality and transcendental potentiality. Additionally, you will observe an interesting Hindu rituals and funeral ceremony, meet Holy-men meditating in different postures, see flocks of holy monkeys and encounter many deer in the area of Pashupatinath.
  • Bouddhanath; soon after the visit of Pashupatinath, you will head for Bouddhanath (the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal), where you can see sparkling Buddhist Monasteries covered in shiny gold roofs, Stupas, and Tibetan Pilgrims extending prayer to the god. You will have lunch there in a Roof-top Restaurant. 
  • Swoyambhunath; the next destination will be Swoyambhunath, popularly known as monkey temple situated atop a hill. Swoyambhunath has pride of being the oldest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal. From there the entire Kathmandu valley including Kirtipur, Patan (Lalitpur), Bhaktapur, and, many other astonishing sites are visible. 
  • Basantapur Durbar (better known as 'Kathmandu Durbar Square') is the last destination for the day. Ancient palace, temple of living goddess (Kumari), and many shrines of deities and other architecturally important buildings are observable here. 

Day 03 [Kathmandu - Lhasa flight, transfer to hotel]: Reserved day; special interested trip can be organized on request 

Day 04 [Kathmandu - Lhasa flight, transfer to hotel]: The flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa will be full of pride as you see the panorama of Himalayas from your airliner. It is really an unforgettable, good-humored flight in one’s life as the flight goes high over Himalayan ranges letting the travelers to capture a miraculous view of numerous mountain peaks including the Everest 8848m.

When you complete the immigration formality, our guide will be stepping up to welcome you with Tibetan hospitality at the exit gate of Lhasa airport. After a short introduction, you will be warmly escorted to a 3* hotel, New Mandala Hotel, situated in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. We sincerely suggest you to take rest in your hotel for high altitude acclimatization. 

Day 05 [Lhasa - guided tour of Potala Palace, Norbulinka Palace and Jokhang Temple]: The day's tour will be arranged on the following sites: 

  • Potala Palace - Erected atop a red Red Hill in the centre of Lhasa, the Potala Palace is the largest architectural complex preserved in perfect condition and listed in the UNESCO’s heritage site. It was first built during Srong Tsen Gampo's regime in the seventh century, and renovated by next successive rulers till the 17th century. Eventually, the fifth Dalai Lama expanded and rebuilt it to its present size, and ever since it was the Winter Palace of the Dalai Lamas. As the governing centre of the religious-political system, the palace has served as both the living quarters for the Dalai Lamas and a palace for them to handle political affairs. The Palace is divided into 2 sections: The Red and White towering like a hill, a mixer of Han and Tibetan cultures. The Potala stands at a height of 117 meters in 13 storeys with a length from east to west of 360 meters and breadth from south to north of 270 meters. The whole building is a structure of stone and timber. Covered in shiny gold roofs, the Potala has pride as the cream of Tibetan architectures.
  • Norbulinka Palace - it is known as "Jewel Park" and situated in the Western town of Lhasa. Norbulinka was built by Kelsang Gyaltso (the seventh Dalai Lama) as his summer-home. After him it was the Summer Palace for following Dalai Lamas to carry out their political and religious activities. Covering a total area of 360,000 square meters, it has 374 rooms with 3 palaces; the Kelsang Podrang, the Chansal Podrang, and, the Taktan Migyur Podrang. The Taktan Migyur Podrang, also known as 'New Palace’ with both religious flavours of temples and architectural styles of palaces looks more unique than the two others. In Norbulinka, there are 49 species of trees, such as pines, cypresses, birches, etc., 62 species of precious flowers and other various types of plants, like: peonies, Chinese herbaceous peonies; and some species of birds and beasts.
  • Jokhang Temple - situated in the centre of the old section of Lhasa, Jokhang Temple, which means 'the temple of the Buddha', was built in the mid-seventh century A.D. in the memory of Srong Tsen Gampo's weddings (He had married 2 princess Wencheng and Bhrikuti). Later on, the area of Jokhang was extended and renovated by successive rulers. It has now an enormous architectural complex with a floor space of 25100 square meters. It is a 4 storied temple with golden roofs. It has architectural features of Tang dynasty and also assimilated very much features from both Nepal and India. Jokhang temple has 4 main chapels at its 4 sides; more than 20 Chapels centralized by the Shakyamuni's images filled with big and small gold, silver and bronze statues. 

Day 06 [Lhasa - guided tours of Sera Monastery and Drag Yerpa]: This day we take you on tours of two vital destinations of Lhasa, Tibet; Sera and Drag Yerpa Monastery.  

  • Sera Monastery - the Monastery of Wild Rose is situated at the foot of Mount Sera Uze in the northern suburb of Lhasa and covers 11, 50,000 square meters. It was founded in 1419 by Jamchen Choje, a disciple of Tsongkapa, the founder of Gelugpa sect. Many precious murals on the walls of the Assembly Hall and college have been repainted according to the original designs. The monastery has more than ten thousand images of Vajrapani carved by local artists. Sera Monastery together with Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery in Lhasa are known as the 'Three Great Monasteries in Tibet'. 
  • Drag Yerpa - Drag Yerpa is located on a beautiful mountain cliff, outside of Lhasa, where we get to see more than 40 meditation-caves and few monasteries remaining in existence until these days. Actually the area of Drag Yerpa was full of spiritual-power wherein Srong Tsen Gampo, Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsoygel, Padampa Sangye and Asisha had meditated; and still one can feel the power of deities and divine if he/she visits there with pious heart. In fact, Drag Yerpa was the home of thousands of hermits, nuns and monks before Cultural Revolution in China. This part of Tibet was terribly damaged during the revolution. Almost of the shrines here; monasteries, schools and assembly halls were destroyed, caves were defaced and trees and shrubs; junipers, rhododendrons, etc. were uprooted in the revolution.

Whatever it was in the past; to these days, hermits are kindly being taken back to the caves and shrines are being restored smoothly and the government of China seems very honest to preserve the site and has been budgeting to rebuild it. 

Day 07 [Drive from Lhasa to Shigatse 3800m via Gyantse 3900m]: The roads, going to Manasarovar Lake, Kailash, Nepal-Tibet border, have been built excellently and indeed in entire Tibet. From the day, you will start to go through overland drive at the highest elevation in the world. The overland tour goes smoothly following "Friendship Highway" to Khamba-La high passes (4794m). Here, you will stop for a while for panoramic view of "Yamdrok Lake" and "Nazing Kang Peak" towering 7252m and after a short while another High Pass "Karo La" (5045m) lets you to capture the amazing scenario. Meanwhile, if you look from the road, you can see huge glaciers falling down wildly. A restful drive of 261 kilo meters from Lhasa brings you at the ancient town of Gyantse. Gyantse has full of pride on "GYANTSE DZONG" and "KUMBUM". Gyantse Dzong is a historical fortress built in the 14th century and looks out over a thrilling view of overall Gyantse and surrounding Nyang Chu Valley. Kumbum has large gold-domed stupa and houses with several chapels and Tibetan Buddhist wall paintings. Soon after guided tour of Gyantse, you will continue to Shigatse.  

A scenic drive of one and half hours brings you at the town of Shigatse. When you will be heading and nearly reaching to Shigatse, we get to see an amazing Potala-like Shigatse Dzong erected atop a hill overlooking the town of Shigatse. We check in a hotel 3* (Wutse Grand Hotel) nearby Tashilhumpo Monastery. You will have lunch in a restaurant and then start the tours in Shigatse. Shigatse is the second largest city of Tibet that lies 253 kilo meters southwest of Lhasa and 91 kilo meters northwest of Gyantse. Shigatse was the traditional capital city of Tsang province and now the administrative centre of modern Shigatse County. 

The city of Shigatse is located at the confluence of the Yarlung Zangbo and Nianchuhe (Nyang Chu) Rivers in the west Tibet. The city was known as Samdrup Tse and was an important trading centre with India and Nepal in the past time. The Tsang kings exercised their power from the Shigatse Dzong and later on the Fort became the residence of the governor of Tsang. To these days, this city is divided into two parts; a tiny old Tibetan dusty town and a modern Chinese city growing rapidly day to day. To the west of town you get to see Tashilhunpo Monastery nearby your hotel, which is the real destination to visit here. 

Day 08 [Drive from Shigatse to Saga 4600m via Lhatse 4100m]: You will start the day soon after breakfast via Lhatse. Lhatse is a small Tibetan settlement that offers numerous Dzongs and a small monastery named Changmoche at the west end of the town. You will follow the road that encounters Brahmaputra River and further ahead is a river valley and afterwards traditional pretty villages. Then the road wends towards northern track and eventually, reaches at Saga 4600 meter concluding the day's journey. We check in a basic hotel.  

Day 09 [Drive from Saga to Darchen 4592m]: The day is long but more exciting. The pleasing overland tours to Darchen start soon after breakfast through small dusty settlement of Dzongpa amidst panoramic landscape and wonderful views of Himalayas to the south. As you continue your pilgrimage journey leaving behind a brilliant blue lake of Gung Gyo Tso and then ascend to a pass, the Maryum La 5140m. The day constantly offers lively panoramas of alpine lakes together with Manasarovar Lake and Himalayan range including the holy mountain peak, KAILASH. Finally you will reach at the sacred valley of Barka and check in a guesthouse. 

Day 10 [Rest in Darchen 4600m, excursion to Nandi Parvat, Gyantak Monastery and Seralung Gompa]: You will visit Gyantak Monastery, Seralung Gompa and Nandi Parvat for close view of the Kailash from different angles. The view of Rakshas Tal, Mt. Gurla Mandhatha is really amazing from the hill top beyond Darchen. You are sincerely suggested to take bottles of water and packed-lunch. Please keek in mind that you are not allowed leaving garbage in such sacred places. 

Day 11 [Start the Circumambulation of Holy Mountain Kailash up to Dira Phuk 4800m]: You will start the day soon after breakfast. From Darchen, you will follow the pilgrims' trail that takes you past Monasteries, Gompas, and Tsortens. The day’s trail of your ritual journey levels up to Tarboche and then ascends gently to the day’s destination: Dira Phuk. The view of holy Kailash from Tarboche is exceedingly marvelous. You will continue the day through Lha Chu ravine with pious heart to complete the circumambulation of the Kailash. All Hindus, Buddhists and Jains equally respect this holy place considering the Kailash as central point of their existence around which the sun, moon and planets are moving. As you arrive in the destination, you will check in a guesthouse. Rooms are available on sharing basis. You can, with a devout sensation, observe a 13th century monastery that was destroyed during Chinese Revolution and it was rebuilt in 1986 and other sacred sites. 

Day 12 [Continue the circumambulation up to Zutul Puk via Drogma La 5650 meters]: Today, the holy trail leads you to Zutul Phuk (4790m) via Drogma La Pass at 5650m, which is the highest point of Kailash Kora. As you leave Dira Phuk, the trail ascends and brings you in a small meadow from where you can see excellent views of the north face of Kailash and 3 mountain hills on lower part in front of Kailash representing wisdom, kindness and power. 

The circumambulation from Dira Puk to Zutul Puk crossing Drogma La Pass takes about 9 hours. Drogma La is the real highlights of Kailash Kora. You will come face to face with the greatness of Kailash here. Drogma La (5650m) is also popular among Hindus and Buddhists to offer their clothes and hair to the spiritual power for making their way to the spirit-world an easier. You will cross the best moment to be in the highest point exactly sitting in the lab of Shiva's residence. This is the most powerful point of the pilgrimage and changes the lives of those who visit with humbleness and devotion; it is said that those who pass the Drogma La (5650 meter) will finish the Karma of present life and start a new life at this point. At a steep descent from the last ridge of Drogma La, you will find a famous lake 'GAURIKUND', the bathtub of Parvati, also known as the lake of compassion. You will have the opportunity to take a sacred bath here and purify your body, mind and spirit.  

You will then leave the magnificent eastern-northern face of holy Kailash while descending to the meadow in Zutul Phuk 4790 meter. We will try to provide accommodation in a monastery; if not, in a guesthouse. Rooms are available on sharing basis. 

Day 13 [Complete Kora, descend to Darchen, visit Rakshas Tal, and drive to Manasarovar Lake]: Today, you will complete the Kora (ritual walk around Kailash). After breakfast, you will visit to Zutul Phuk Gompa and Milarepa Cave. Milarepa is supposed to have meditated here in this Cave for years. There are many such caves in Tibet and Nepal where Milarepa meditated. After the visit of this cave, you will walk following easier trail that takes you through past Mani walls towards the plains of Barka and then to Darchen. Visit to Rakshas Tal. After a short excursion of Rakshas Tal, the tour continues to Manasarovar Lake, where you will spend the night in a guesthouse. Rooms are available on sharing basis.

Day 14 [Return to Saga from Manasarovar Lake]: In the morning, you will take a ritual bath in Manasarovar Lake. According to ancient scriptures the lake is created from the mind of the Hindu deity BRAHMA and is a gift for yogis who do penance. It is said that a ritual bath in Manasarovar Lake kills the sins of a lifetime. Now, it is supposed to be completed the pilgrimage journey after morning bath and ritual function in Manasarovar Lake. You will then board your vehicle for return tour to Saga, check in a basic hotel.  

Day 15 [Saga to Shigatse]: You will return to Shigatse, and check in Wutse Grand Hotel 

Day 16 [Shigatse to Lhasa]: You will continue the return tour to Lhasa, check in New Mandala Hotel

Day 17 [Lhasa to Kathmandu flight]: Drive to Gonggar airport to take a morning flight to Kathmandu. See off your guide and drive at the departure terminal of the airport in Lhasa. Upon arrival in Nepal, we escort you to your hotel in Thamel. Take rest in hotel for the day. Last minute shopping

Day 18 [Kathmandu]: Reserved day; especial interested trip can be organized on request

Day 19 [Departure from Nepal for home country]: We arrange your drives to the airport as per your convenience to fly back home country based on itinerary  

Total Cost (Nepal + Tibet)

Group of 5 persons: US $ 1750 Per Person 

Group of 6 persons: US $ 1630 Per Person

Group of 7 persons: US $ 1535 Per Person

Group of 8 persons: US $ 1425 Per Person

Group of 9 persons: US $ 1330 Per Person

Group of 10 persons: US $ 1280 Per Person

Group of 11 persons: US $ 1250 Per Person

Nepal Part Service included in the tour cost

 1. Land Transport:

* Airport picks-up and drops-off by a Private Tourist Bus, Minibus, Microbus, Van, Jeep or Car depending on group size as per suggested itinerary

* For sightseeing tour: a Private Tourist Bus, Minibus, Microbus, Van, Jeep or Car depending on group size as per suggested itinerary

2. Chinese Visa

3. A Basic Hotel (Buddha Hotel) Accommodation with breakfast for 5 nights as per itinerary

Nepal Part Service Excluded from the tour cost

  • All entry permits during sightseeing tour. You can pay directly at the check points upon entrance time
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Personal Travel Equipment and accessories
  • Tips to loader at the airport, hotel boys, drivers

Tibet Part Service included in the tour cost

1.  Land Transport: Private Tourist Bus, Van, Jeep or Car depending on group size for entire trip in Tibet from arrival until departure

2.  Permits: Tibet Travel Permit, Monastery and Gompa Entry Permits, Kailash Kora Permits, Nandi Parvat Visit Permit, and Highway Permits as per itinerary

3.  Accommodation: as per itinerary

  • New Mandala Hotel 3* in Lhasa for 4 nights (DBL/Twin-bed sharing)
  • Wutse Grand Hotel 3* in Shigatse for 2 nights (DBL/Twin-bed sharing)
  • A basic hotel in Saga for 2 nights (DBL/Twin-bed sharing)
  • Guesthouses in Darchen (DBL/Twin-bed sharing)
  • Guesthouses in Dira Phuk, Zutul Phuk and Manasarovar Lake - room sharing basis

4.  Meals: Breakfast in Lhasa and Shigatse as per the itinerary

5.  Staff: An English speaking tour guide

Tibet Part Service Excluded from the tour cost

  • All meals except breakfast in the hotels of Lhasa and Shigatse
  • Photography fee applicable in few places
  • Tips to driver, guide, porter, hotel boys, and so on
  • Personal Travel Equipment and accessories
  • Yak or porters during Kailash Kora
  • Any type of insurance
  • Personal travel/trekking equipment and accessories

 
 
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