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Spiritual Journey – Mt. Kailash Circuit with Lake Manasarovar and Lhasa

Mt. Kailash mit Gebetsfahnen Tibet
Nepal Nepal Tibet Tibet

Trekking Map

Come with us on one of the most varied Tibet tours! On to Mt. Kailash (6,638m), the roof of the world. A round trip starting in Nepal via Lhasa, to the Everest area and to western Tibet’s.

Our pilgrimage and cultural tour covers the most famous areas of Tibet, including Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar, as well as historical sites in central Tibet such as Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse. Mt. Kailash is considered the holiest mountain and the center of the cosmos. It is the headwaters of four major rivers in Asia and the destination for countless pilgrims from a wide variety of religions, such as Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, Jainism and Bön.

The trip starts in Nepal with visits to the holy temples and monasteries of the Kathmandu Valley. We then fly over the Himalayan mountain range and take a sightseeing tour of the Tibetan capital Lhasa. The majestic Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Deprung and Sera Monasteries and the walk around the bustling Barkhor Square in Lhasa will impress you.

We approach our 3-day pilgrim Kailash trekking tour via Shigatse, Gyantse and the Everest Base Camp. On the way we can enjoy the splendor of the Himalayan panorama dominated by Mount Everest (8,849) and Shishapangma (8,027m) as well as other trans-Himalayan peaks. Already from the shores of Lake Manasarovar (4,590m) we can see the holy mountain Kailash, which the Tibetans call “Kang Rinpoche” – precious snow jewel. Well acclimatized, we embark on our pilgrimage around the holy Mount Kailash, with the 5,630 m high Drolma-La pass as the highest point of the journey.

Hiking experience as well as altitude tolerance and surefootedness are prerequisites for this tour.

Day 1: Individual arrival in Kathmandu (1,400 m) – briefing and welcome dinner
Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400 m). You will be picked up at the airport and driven to your hotel. In the late afternoon we will discuss the trip with you and in the evening you are invited to the welcome dinner. Overnight stay in Hotel Tibet or similar category, (D).

Day 2: Sightseeing of Kathmandu – Swayambunath/Pashupatinath/Boudhanath and drive to Pharping (1,600 m)
Today you’ll explore Kathmandu with a local guide. The most popular places are the Buddhist-Hindu temple Swayambhunath, also known as the Monkey Temple, which is accessible via a long staircase and offers great views of Kathmandu. Other important sights include the Hindu temple complex of Pashupatinath on the banks of the Bagmati River with cremation sites and the sacred Buddhist Boudhanath stupa, which is decorated with colorful prayer flags. This stupa has been an attraction for Buddhist pilgrims for many centuries, who circle the structure several times, turn prayer wheels, pray and murmur mantras (kora). After the sightseeing tour, we drive to Pharping and check into our guesthouse in the Neydo Monastery. Pharping is a culturally thriving Newari town associated with the sacred site of Hinduism and Buddhism where Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava, known as the lotus-born god) attained the status of a Mahamudra-Vidyadhara. This village is famous for numerous religious Buddhist monasteries, Bajra Yogini Temple, Gorakhnath Temple and Guru Padmasambhava Meditation Cave. It is believed that he achieved enlightenment in the Asur Cave. Recently, numerous Buddhist monasteries have been built in the area. In the evening we take part in the chants that take place daily in the Neydo Monastery. Overnight stay at the Neydo Monastery inn (B|D).

Day 3: Day in Pharping, sightseeing and easy hike
We start today at 5:00 a.m. First we listen to the monks’ morning chants. After breakfast we can go on an easy hike and look at the other monasteries. Overnight stay at the Neydo Monastery inn, (B|D).

Day 4: Sightseeing in Bhaktapur and drive to Nagarkot (2,195m)
After breakfast we continue with a drive to Bhaktapur and sightseeing tour. Bhaktapur is an ancient Newari and royal city in the eastern Kathmandu Valley. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its rich culture, temples and wooden, metal and stone works of art. There we will visit Layaku, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Nyatapola Temple, Bhairab Nath Temple and Dattatraya Square. Afterwards we drive and hike to Nagarkot. Located at an altitude of 2,195 meters, Nagarkot is considered one of the most scenic places in Bhaktapur district. The village offers magnificent views of the Himalayas and on clear days you can admire the panorama from the nearby Langtang Himal to the Annapurna region in the west to the Everest massif in the east. When visibility is good, you can even see Shishapangma (8,027 m), which is already in Tibet. The best views are enjoyed early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Overnight stay at The Fort Resort hotel or similar category, (B|D).

Day 5: Hike to Nala village (1,600m) – approx. 3 hours and drive to Kathmandu – approx. 1 ½ hours drive
Nagarkot is a popular tourist spot in Nepal. It is located 32 km east of Kathmandu at an altitude of 2,175 m. After breakfast we hike along many terraced fields to the village of Nala before driving back to Kathmandu. This region is one of the largest suppliers of vegetables and potatoes to the capital Kathmandu. Nala is a religious place for Hindus and Buddhists alike and is famous for Rato Machhindraa (Karuna Mai), Bhagwati Temple, Manakamana Temple, Siddhartha Gumba and some churches. Ugrachandi Temple is unique as it has four floors in pagoda style. Afterwards we drive back to Kathmandu. Overnight stay at Hotel Tibet or Hotel Kathmandu Guest House, (B).

Day 6: Panorama flight to Lhasa (3,680m)
During the flight to Lhasa you will have a great panoramic view of the snow-capped Himalayas. At the airport you will be greeted by our local Tibetan guide and driver and transferred to the hotel. The journey from the airport to downtown Lhasa takes approximately 1½ hours. After checking into the hotel, you can spend the rest of the day strolling through the city on your own. But be careful not to overextend yourself at the unusual height. Rest on the first day is crucial for good acclimatization. Overnight stay in the hotel, (B).

Day 7: In Lhasa (3,680m) – Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
Today’s first attraction is a visit to Drepung Monastery, the largest and most influential Tibetan monastery, which once housed more than 10,000 monks. The Dalai Lama was once one of the residents. After lunch, visit another monastery, Sera Monastery, founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa’s student Jamchen Choeje. A particularly impressive experience is the Buddhist scriptures discussed loudly and with lots of gestures by monks and novices. You can attend the debates from Monday to Saturday between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. in the monastery’s inner courtyard. Overnight stay in the hotel, (B).

Day 8: In Lhasa (3,680m) – Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple
In the morning, your guide will meet you at the hotel and accompany you to the famous Potala Palace, the symbol of Tibet and a masterpiece of Tibetan architecture. It was first built in the 7th century by the 33rd King Songtsen Gangpo and later rebuilt in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama. Today the Potala is a museum and world heritage site. In the afternoon we visit the Jokhang Temple in the center of the ancient city of Lhasa. Jokhang Temple is one of the holiest temples in all of Tibet and has always been crowded with local pilgrims. Afterwards, take a walk through Barkhor Street, which is characterized by devout pilgrims crowded together. Barkhor Street is located in the old town of Lhasa City, circles the Jokhang Temple and finally flows into the Lhasa Central Market. A symbol of old Lhasa, Barkhor Street is a must-see for every visitor. Overnight stay in the hotel, (B).

Day 9: Lhasa – Yamdrok Tso – Gyantse 270 km / 6 hours drive
Today we have breakfast at 8 a.m. and then drive on to Gyantse, which is 290 km from Lhasa, at around 8:30 a.m. The road leads along Lake Yamdrok, a vast, blue-reflecting body of water lying 4,300 meters above sea level, and then climbs up to the 5,010-meter-high Karo La (pass), a spectacular step between the glaciers. On the way you will visit Samding Monastery, 112 kilometers southeast of Lhasa, which sits at an altitude of 4,423 meters and rises into the water on a barren hill about 90 meters above Lake Yamdrok at the end of a narrow peninsula. Samding Gompa was destroyed after 1959 but is currently being restored. Samding is the seat of Dorje Pakmo, the consort of the wrathful deity Heruka, the highest female incarnation in Tibet, and the third highest person in the Lamaist hierarchy after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. After almost three hours we reach the Kamba Pass (4,700m). From here we enjoy a beautiful view of the sacred lake Yamdrok Tso and its perfect turquoise color. We continue along the lake and after an hour we reach the town of Nangartse (4,300m), where we stop for lunch. In the afternoon the path takes us further up to Korala, which is 5,045 meters above sea level. From the top we can marvel at the spectacular Nojin Kangsang Glacier (7,206 meters). Before we get to Gyantse, we see another reservoir with turquoise water, nestled in a beautiful landscape in a fascinating valley. After about an hour we reach Gyantse, an ancient walled town dominated by a fortress dating back to 1390. The original fortress is believed to have been built by Pelkhor-tsen, son of the anti-Buddhist king Langdarma, who reigned between 838 and 841. The walls were built in 1268 after the rise of the Sakyapa sect. Gyantse is known as the “City of Heroes” because of their strong resistance to the superior forces of the British expedition to Tibet led by Francis Younghusband in 1903-1904. Another highlight of the city is the Chöde Monastery, with its huge ‘Kumbum’, a four-story accessible chorten with 108 chapels and countless murals. Overnight stay in the hotel, (B).

Day 10: Gyantse – Shigatse – Xegar 4,330m, 420 km and 7 hours drive
Today we first drive to Shigatse, the agricultural center of Tibet. It takes us about an hour and a half to cover the 90 km. Here we visit the Tashilumpo Monastery – the seat of the Panchen Lama, who is considered the reincarnation of the Buddha of endless enlightenment. This monastery, built in 1447 by the first Dalai Lama, contains interesting items such as the relics of Shakyamuni, the Hall of Maitreya and an outstanding collection of gifts and statues. After visiting the monastery, we continue our journey to Xegar, which we reach after about five hours. Once we arrive in Xegar, we check into our hotel to rest and have dinner. Overnight stay in the hotel, (B).

Day 11: Xegar – Everest Base Camp (5,000m) – Old Tingri (4,300m) – 4 hours Drive
We will continue the journey before dawn today and visit Everest Base Camp. This is 110 kilometers away. After about two and a half hours we reach Rongbuk, the last inhabited place near Everest. This is a semi-nomadic settlement with shops that serve as hotels and restaurants. From here we drive about 3km by bus (the only one allowed to go to Circular) to the base camp viewpoint. From this vantage point full of prayer flags, we enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the Himalayas, dominated by Mt. Everest (8,844.43m). After spending some time on the roof of the world, we drive to Old Tingri, two hours away. From there you have another breathtaking view of the Himalayas and Mount Everest. Overnight stay in the hotel, (B).

Day 12: Drive to Saga (4,840m), Lake Peiku Tso (4,591m), view of the high Himalayas 350 km, 6 hours drive
Our destination today is Saga. After breakfast we drive along Lake Peiku Tso, another beautiful lake in Tibet. The journey passes between snow-capped mountains and crosses the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra River). A river valley with traditional, picturesque villages spreads out in front of us. This scenic drive offers numerous photo opportunities. Overnight stay in the hotel, (B).

Day 13: Drive to Darchen (4,560m) – Manasarovar Lake (4,590m), 560 km and 9 hours drive
Today we have a longer day trip of more than 500 km. We start towards Paryang, which is almost 450 km from Saga. From Paryang we make our way across the plains to Manasarovar, just 30 km south of Mount Kailash. As we approach this stunning sacred lake, the historic Chiu Monastery becomes visible on the northwest shore of the lake. From this viewpoint we can even catch a glimpse of the majestic Mount Kailash. Overnight stay in the inn, (B).

Day 14: Drive to Tarpoche approx. 80 km and 1.5 hours drive, then 7 hours hike to Dirapuk Monastery (4,900m)
We leave the lake and drive about 80 km towards Tarpoche, the base camp of Mount Kailash, the starting point of a kora (circumnavigation), from where we start our first 6 to 7 hour hike towards Kailash. Here we also meet our team of yaks and Tibetan yak guides who accompany us on the kora. From Tarpoche we hike across green meadows and along picturesque streams to the Lha Chu Valley. The trail overlooks the Turquoise River cascading over a narrow gorge with high sheer cliffs. On the way, the north face of Kailash comes into view. The path leads to the 13th century Dirapuk Monastery. Overnight stay at the inn in Dirapuk, (B|D).

Day 15: Hike from Dirapuk to Zutulpuk (4,820m) – crossing Drolmala Pass (5,630m) – approx. 10 hours hike
The Lha Chu Valley becomes blurred as we turn towards the Drolma Chu Valley. We are looking forward to the fantastic tour and hike to Mount Kailash and climb to Drölma La (5,630m), the highest point of the trip. From here we enjoy a breathtaking view of Lake Thukpe Dzingbu, also known as the Lake of Compassion. The path continues down to the flat fields of Zutulpuk, where there is a 13th century monastery and meditation caves. Milarepa Cave is one of them. Milarepa’s footprints and elbow prints are believed to be imprinted all over this cave made of Mani stones. After a strenuous, demanding day hike of around 10 hours, we reach Zutulpuk, our overnight location. Overnight stay in guest house, (B|D).

Day 16: About 2 hours hike and drive to Saga (4,840m), 560 km and 9 hours drive
The last day of the Kailash Parikrama/Kora is an easy walk in a beautiful valley. We walk about two hours to our vehicle, which is waiting for us, and then drive to Saga. The journey takes approximately nine hours. Overnight stay in the hotel, (B).

Day 17: Drive to Kyirong (4,500m), 280km, 5 hours drive
After breakfast we drive about 5 hours to Kyirong. We drive along Peku Tso (Lake) and reach Dzonkha (Kyirong Xian), then drive another 70 km over the high Yangdo La pass (5,326m) to the Nepalese border town of Kyirong. Kyirong is also a famous religious and historical site, home of the great 11th century saint and guru Milarepa, famous for his tantric wisdom, poetry and song. His songs are still sung today by local shepherds and villagers. Overnight stay in the hotel, (B).

Day 18: Crossing the border, immigration formalities and drive to Kathmandu (1,300m), 170 km and approx. 8 hours drive
After breakfast, drive 25 km to the border and immigration point. After the Chinese border formalities, we enter Nepal on foot and meet our guide and driver on the Nepalese side. After Nepalese immigration formalities, drive to Kathmandu. It is an exciting combination of dirt and paved road along Langtang National Park through the smaller towns of Syabrubesi and Dunche (ideal spot for lunch) and finally reaches the main national highway at Galchhi. The traffic now increases significantly and you reach Kathmandu. Overnight stay at Hotel Tibet or similar, (B).

Day 19: Leisure day in Kathmandu
Today is at your disposal, which you can spend with relaxation, further sightseeing, massage or a ‘mountain flight’. Overnight at Hotel Tibet or similar category, (B).

Day 20: Flight back home
Farewell and transfer to Kathmandu Airport. End of the journey, (B).

We reserve the right to make program changes due to special events, force majeure or weather reasons.

F = Breakfast | M = Lunch | A = Dinner

German guided tour
English guided tour

This tour can also be booked for individual travelers at an additional cost or for your individual group at dates other than shown here.

Duration: 20 days
Costs: € 3.790 per person
Group size: min. 4 Persons (all the tour dates are guaranteed with a minimum group size of only four persons)
€ 650 for single room supplement (only for hotel accommodation, for lodge overnight stays during the trek, single accommodation is not available).

What’s included:

  • Accommodation in a double room as per itinerary on the basis of accommodation & breakfast
  • English speaking Tibetan and Nepalese tour guide
  • Transport as per travel plan by van and bus
  • Entrance fee to the monastery
  • Airport transfers within Nepal and Tibet
  • Flight Kathmandu to Lhasa
  • All necessary land transfers by private vehicle/bus
  • Accommodation and breakfast before and after the trekking tour
  • Accommodation and all meals as mentioned
  • Sightseeing with entrance fees, tour guide, driver and vehicle in Kathmandu
  • Permission, National Park Access/Conservation Fees, Employee Insurance
  • English-speaking mountain guide and tour guide in Tibet
  • Visa Fees China, Tibet, TTB and Everest Permits
  • Oxygen meter (oximeter)

Not included:

  • International flight from home country
  • Flight Lhasa to Kathmandu (from July to September the return journey from Tibet is by flight)
  • Additional tours and meals not mentioned
  • Cold drinks
  • Personal invoices
  • Visa Nepal (US $ 50)
  • Excess baggage on flights
  • Insurance (for cancellation, accident, health, emergency, evacuation and loss, theft of luggage or damage to luggage and personal effects)
  • Tips

Nepal: The visa is issued on arrival at a counter at Kathmandu Airport. Visa costs upon entry into Kathmandu amount to US $ 50 (for 30 days stay) and US $ 125 (for 90 days). The fees can also be paid in euros, which are converted by the bank at the airport at the current dollar rate. Two passport photos for the visa must be taken with you. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months at the time of travel and have at least one blank page. These visa and passport regulations are valid for the EU countries, Switzerland and the USA. Other citizens please inquire at the respective country consulate.

Tibet / China: We will apply for the visa and permit for you.

Travel health insurance (with rescue costs) is essential for your own safety and a prerequisite for booking our trips. In the event of an accident in the mountains that necessitates a helicopter, the helicopter will not take off until full coverage of the costs has been clarified. We strongly recommend that you take out travel cancellation insurance. Flights at bargain prices in particular cannot usually be re-booked or canceled free of charge. Complications with the weather, with your health etc. could also arise in Nepal which would force you to abandon your trip.

We asked ERGO (travel insurance) to put together different service packages for you. You can book the right travel health insurance for you at https://www.reiseversicherung.de.

Please note: We recommend ERGO insurance to travelers residing in Germany and Austria. Other citizens are asked to book their travel insurance through an insurance provider in their country.

It should be noted that geoDiscovery Tours only recommends that its guests book travel insurance through ERGO and assumes no responsibility for the contractual content between the travel guest and the insurance provider. It is up to each guest to book their travel insurance through ERGO or another provider.

Standard of hotels and accommodations
Hotels and accommodations that are booked by us in Nepal and Tibet are good and correspond to western, medium standard. The sanitary facilities are clean and functional. The kitchens of the hotels are of course also adapted to Western eating habits and their dishes are safe to enjoy. Sometimes there may be power outages or there may be no hot water available for a while. In general, the hotel staff is extremely friendly and always takes care of the well-being of each and every guest.

During the trek and inland, the mills grind a little differently, sometimes simpler sanitary facilities are to be expected. For standard treks and tours you will spend the night in the typical “lodges” (tea houses). Usually there are very small single or double rooms (some without running water and without their own shower / toilet). In general, you can choose your desired menu from the menu map during the trekking tour. At altitudes above 4,000 meters, however, the choice of food on some routes may not be very large. The typical Nepalese, simple cuisine is mostly vegetarian, but very tasty, filling and good. A corresponding adaptability of the traveler is required here.

Flying in Nepal
The domestic flights booked by us are Sita Air, Tara Air, Yeti Air, Summit Air or Buddha Air, Summit Air.

Tour program
The travel program is perfectly coordinated for all of the trips we recommend. However, it can happen that roads are blocked or impassable without prior notice, that waiting times of several hours arise due to traffic jams or fuel shortages, that access to sights can be blocked for various reasons, or other restrictions such as flight delays or even cancellations due to bad weather, strikes , Health of the participants or unfavorable conditions during trekking make it difficult to carry out the travel program or, in the worst case, make it impossible. However, our local guides are prepared for such situations and will endeavor to achieve all program points to your satisfaction. The inconvenience is usually limited. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out at this point that, for the reasons mentioned, program changes are possible at any time and are not the responsibility of the organizer. Any costs arising from this are borne by the traveler. We ask for your understanding.

Trip Details

  • Duration: 20 days
  • Holiday Type: Hotel accomodation
  • Best trekking period: May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sep / Oct
  • Difficulty: Demanding
  • Max Altitude: Drolmala-Pas 5.630m
  • Group size: 4 persons (all the tour dates are guaranteed with a minimum group size of only four persons)
  • Tour guide: English speaking, trained Nepalese and Tibetan guide
  • Difficulty:
  • Fitness:
  • Price: 3.790,00 
  • Single room supplement: 650,00 €