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Packages » Tibet Packages » Package T004

KAILASH – MANSAROVAR TOUR
DRIVE-IN AND DRIVE-OUT

Package Code: T004

Duration: 15 NIGHTS / 16 DAYS (03 DAYS OF TREKKING)

BEST TIME: APRIL TO SEPTEMBER

ACCOMMODATION: 5 NIGHTS IN HOTEL, 10 NIGHTS IN HOTEL / GUEST HOUSE / TENT CAMPS
Minimum People Required: TWO
Level of Endurance: MODERATE moderate



EXPEDITION MAP:


Itinerary:

Day 01: Your Port of Embarkation to Kathmandu

A Nomadier representative will be waiting for your flight to land at Tribhuvan International Airport and welcome you to the beautiful country of Nepal. You will then be transferred to your hotel and assisted in the check-in process as well. You can choose to spend the evening roaming the streets of Kathmandu or just relaxing in your room. Overnight at hotel.

 

Kathmandu

Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and situated in a valley, approximately at a height of 4,600 ft., surrounded by four major mountains namely Shivapuri, Phulchowki, Nagarjun and Chandragiri. The city is the gateway to Nepal Tourism and the centre of the country’s economy. Its history dates back to over 2000 years ago and it was on the ancient trade route between India and Tibet which caused a fusion of artistic and architectural traditions of other cultures that can be witnessed even today.

 

Day 02: Visa Collection* and Day Sightseeing in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is a wonderful place for sightseeing and you’ll spend most of your day visiting the major and most renowned sights in the city like Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Bodhnath and Swayambhunath. In the evening, you can choose to go shopping for mementos and local craft as a remembrance or just relax in your room. Overnight at hotel.

 

* Visa Collection is for non-Indian nationals only. Indian nationals taking this package will get their visa along with their passports before they depart from their hometown to Kathmandu.

 

Durbar Square

darbar square

In history, Durbar square was the king’s seat of ruling and it is here that kings were crowned and their undisputed authority legitimized. Today, it is the traditional heart of the old town and still boasts of some of the world’s most spectacular architecture. The entire square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is made up of three loosely linked squares and many terraced platforms which make for a great spot to view Kathmandu in motion.

 

Pashupatinath

pashupatinath

Pashupatinath is Nepal’s most important Hindu temple and stands on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. The temple is located 100 mt. away from the end of the runway at Kathmandu’s International Airport and is a powerhouse of Hindu spiritual power to where, devotees of Shiva and Sadhus flock from across the entire sub-continent. Non-Hindus cannot enter the main temples but the surrounding complex of Shaivite shrines, Lingams and Ghats (stone steps) is fascinating and definitely worth the visit.

 

Bodhnath

bodhnath

Famed for its Stupa, Bodhnath pulsates with life as thousands of pilgrims gather daily to make a ritual circumnavigation of the dome beneath the watchful eyes of the Buddha. This is one of the few places in the world where Tibetan Buddhist culture is accessible and unfettered. The lanes around the Stupa are crammed with Monasteries and workshops that make butter lamps, ceremonial horns, Tibetan drums, singing bowls, plumed hats for Lamas and other essential Buddhist paraphernalia.

 

Swayambhunath

swayambhunath

Swayambhunath is a place that offers one of the definitive experiences in Kathmandu. This sacred locale, a monkey temple, is always mobbed by monkeys and is a chaotic jumble of Hindu and Buddhist iconography. A gleaming white Stupa makes for its centre and is topped by a gilded spire painted with the eyes of the Buddha. What makes it an absorbing experience are the ancient carvings made into every spare inch of space and the smell of incense and butter lamps hanging heavy in the air.

 

Day 03: Kathmandu to Nyalam (3,750 mt.) via Kodari Border (1873 mt.)

Leave early in the morning and drive to the Kodari Border which is around 109 km away and takes approximately four to five hours to reach. From Kodari, cross the Nepal-Tibet Border over the Friendship Bridge and proceed to Zhangmu (the Tibetan border town). At Zhangmu you will finish the entry immigration procedure and then drive approximately for one hour to reach Nyalam. Overnight stay in a hotel.

 

Nyalam

nyalam

Nyalam is a small town 30 km away from the Nepal border and acts as a base camp for trekking in the southern Shisha Pangma region. It is well-connected in terms of internet and telephony with many cyber cafes and phone booths helping travelers contact their loved ones. Nyalam is also a day hike away from a holy lake, Dara-tso from where, on a clear day, you can see the glaciers of the Langtang and Jungal Himal, and maybe even Mt. Shisha Pangma (8,012 mt.).

 

Day 04: Rest Day in Nyalam

Today is an important rest day as you give your body sufficient time to acclimatize to the higher altitude. You are free to explore the market place and surroundings at Nyalam on your own. Overnight in hotel.

 

Day 05: Nyalam to Saga (4,600 mt.)

Drive from Nyalam to Saga which is around 230 km away and should approximately take six hours to reach. You will drive along the famed Brahmaputra River and also cross the La lung-La pass. Overnight at hotel or guest house.

 

Saga

saga

Saga meaning ‘Happy Land’ is a small army town and has a Chinese garrison that patrols the entire length of the Tibetan-Nepalese border and even sometimes conducts in close proximity to the town, target practice with machine guns! Saga is spread across the Dargye Tsangpo river just a little above its junction with the Brahmaputra River. The army presence is strategic as it is located at the junction of three roads - the Lhatse road coming from the east, the Dzongka road from the south and the Purang and Drongpa roads from the west. Being the last town on the southern route to Mt. Kailash with supplies for travelers, restaurants and several guest houses and hotels, it is an important pit stop for pilgrims and tourists alike.

 

Day 06: Saga to Paryang (4,750 mt.)

Drive from Saga to Paryang which is around 255 km away and should approximately take six-seven hours to reach. You will cross Zhongba on the way. Overnight at hotel or guest house.

 

Paryang

paryang

Paryang is a small village with little that appeals. The village bears a deserted look for most parts of the day with signs of minimum human activity. The village does have a few guesthouses and a few good restaurants.

 

Day 07: Paryang to Lake Mansarovar (4,560 mt.)

Drive from Paryang to Mansarovar (Chiu Village) which is around 260 km away and should approximately take six to seven hours to reach. Overnight at guest house or tent camp depending on the availability.

 

Lake Mansarovar

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 08: Lake Mansarovar to Darchen (4,700 mt.)

After your Holy Bath and Puja at Lake Mansarovar, drive to Darchen which is around 40 km away and should approximately take an hour to reach. The remaining day is for you to spend at leisure. Overnight at guest house.

 

Darchen

darchen

Darchen is a small village that was earlier known as Lhara and which was an important sheep herding station for nomads in gone times. It is located right in front of the sacred mountain, Mt. Kailash and is also the starting point for pilgrimages around the mountain.

 

Day 09: Darchen to Dirapuk (4,909 mt.) for the Kailash Parbat Parikrama / Pradakshina

Today, you 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. Also, for aged travelers and those not able to undertake the trek for fitness concerns, we can arrange a horse ride or a yak ride provided we are informed for the same well in advance. Overnight at a tent camp.

 

Tarboche Flagpole

tarboche flagpole

The Tarboche area is one of the most revered sites as the celebration of Tibet’s most important festival, Saga Dawa, takes place here. It holds added value for Indian pilgrims as this is the point from where they begin their circumambulation of Mt. Kailash. On the west of Tarboche lies the ‘two-legged’ Chörten Kangnyi. It’s an auspicious act for pilgrims to walk through the small chörten’s archway. A short climb above Tarboche to the east would bring one to the sky-burial site of the 84 Mahasiddhas (Tantric practitioners who reached a high level of awareness). The site has historical importance as it was once reserved for monks and lamas.

 

Chuku Monastery

chuku monastery

Chuku Monastery was founded in the 13th century by Götsangpa Gompo Pel, a Kagyupa-order master. It is located high above the valley floor on the hillside to the west and blends so well with the rocky background that unless you keep out an eager eye for it, there are good chances that you may miss seeing it. During the Cultural Revolution a lot of monasteries were wrecked. Chuku Monastery was one of them; however it was also the first one to be rebuilt. The monastery is home to a highly revered marble statue called Chuku Opame, originally from India and renowned the world over because of its reputation to talk.

 

Dira-puk Monastery

dira puk monastery

Dira-puk Monastery was rebuilt in 1985 and is located on the north of the Lha-chu. It faces the north face of Mt. Kailash. Dira-puk Monastery takes its name from the words Dira (meaning ‘female-yak-horn’) and Puk (‘cave’). This is where the Bön warrior god king Gekho tossed boulders around with his horns. The great saint Götsangpa, who rediscovered the kora route around Mt. Kailash, was led this far by a yak that turned out to be the lion-faced goddess Dakini (Khandroma), who guards the Khando Sanglam-la. 

 

Day 10: Dirapuk to Zutul-puk (4,805 mt.)

Trek from Dirapuk to Zutul-puk via the Drölma-la Pass (5,630 mt.) and Gauri Kund, which takes approximately eight to nine hours to complete. 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. During your Parikrama today you will climb 500 mt. and descend 600 mt. while you cover 18 km from Dirapuk to Zutul-puk. Overnight at tent camp.

 

Please note that some parts of this leg of the circumambulation cannot be traversed on horses/yaks. However these parts are few and involve short trekking.

 

Gauri Kund

gauri kund

Gauri Kund, is also known as ‘Lake of Compassion’ in Tibetan. Local tradition claims that Gauri Kund is the spot where Gauri lived while carrying out ascetic and yogic practices to win over Shiva’s affections. It was here that Shiva finally admitted his love for her. Due to the religious relevance of the place a lot of Hindu pilgrims immerse themselves in the lake’s clean green and icy waters.

 

Zutul-puk

zutul puk

Zutul-puk means the ‘Miracle Cave’. There is a story surrounding this place and the monastery with the same name. As the story goes, Milarepa and Naro Bönchung were looking for shelter from the rain. They decided to build a cave together but Milarepa put the roof in place without waiting for Naro Bönchung to make the walls (thus once again showing the supremacy of Buddhism). Milarepa then made a couple adjustments to the cave, which left a footprint and handprint that can still be seen today.

 

Day 11: Zutul-puk to Darchen (4,700 mt.) and on to Lake Mansarovar (4,560 mt.)

Trek for 14 kms from Zutul-puk to Darchen, which should take you around four hours, to finish your circumambulation of Mt. Kailash. You will then drive to Lake Mansarovar which you should reach in approximately an hour. Overnight at tent camp.

 

Day 12: Lake Mansarovar to Paryang (4,750 mt.)

Drive from Mansarovar to Paryang which is around 260 km away and should approximately take six to seven hours to reach. Overnight at hotel or guest house.

 

Day 13: Paryang to Saga (4,600 mt.)

Drive from Paryang to Saga which is around 255 km away and should approximately take six -seven hours to reach. Overnight at hotel or guest house.

 

Day 14: Saga to Nyalam (3,750 mt.)

Drive from Saga to Nyalam which is around 230 km away and should approximately take six hours to reach. Overnight at hotel or guest house.

 

Day 15: Nyalam to Kathmandu via Kodari Border (1873 mt.)

Leave early in the morning and drive to Zhangmu (the Tibetan border town) which should take approximately one hour to reach. From Zhangmu cross the Tibet – Nepal border over the Friendship Bridge and proceed to Kodari (the Nepalese border town). Enroute complete the immigration formalities. From Kodari drive approximately for four to five hours to reach Kathmandu. Overnight stay in a hotel including a Nepalese cultural programme in the evening and farewell dinner.

 

Day 16: Kathmandu to Your Port of Destination

Today is the last day of an exhilarating part of your life as you leave Kathmandu. A Nomadier representative will transfer you to the international airport and wish you goodbye.