Shangri La Travels, Tibet

Mount Kailash (Lhasa-Kathmandu) - 15 days

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Mount Kailash - 15 days

Day1. Arrive Lhasa, meet your guide, and transfer to 3* Yak Hotel x4n
Day2. Sightseeing: Jokhang Temple & Barkhor Bazaar, Drepung Monastery
Day3. Sightseeing: Potala Palace and Sera Monastery
Day4. Free day
Day5. Lhasa to Gyantse via Yamdrok Lake and visit Pelkor Monastery (overnight Yeti htl)
Day6. Gyantse to Shigatse, visit Tashilumpo Monastery (overnight Manasarovar htl)
Day7. Shigatse to Sakya, visit Sakya monastery (overnight Sakya htl)
Day8. Sakya to Saga with stop at hot springs (overnight gh)
Day9. Saga to Darchen (overnight gh)
Day10. Start of Kailash Kora. Trek to the north side of Kailash & visit Diraphuk Monastery (overnight Diraphuk gh)
Day11. Cross the Dolma La Pass and to Zatulpuk Monastery (overnight gh)
Day12. Trek Zatulpuk to Darchen - drive to Manasarovar Lake and visit Chiu Monastery (overnight gh)
Dau13. Manasarovar to Saga (overnight Saga gh)
Day14. Saga to Nyalam-Zhangmu (overnight Zhangmu htl)
Day15. Cross the border, transfer to Kathmandu

The Detail

Day 1. Arrive Lhasa
Arrive at Lhasa airport or train station where your guide will be waiting to meet you. Transfer to your hotel and relax and adjust to the altitude.

Day2. Drepung monastery (8km to the west) and Sera monastery (5km to the north)
Morning, visit Drepung Monastery (rice heap). Drepung monastery was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Cheojee a disciple of Tsong-khapa. It was one of six great monasteries of Gelukpa sect and possibly the largest monastery in the world. Before the construction of the Potala by the fifth Dalai Lama; it was the principal seat of the Gelukpa Sect. There were originally 7 colleges but were consolidated into 4, each with its own abbot and syllabus. The monastery keeps plentiful historical relics, Buddhist scriptures, and arts and crafts.
Afternoon, visit Sera Monastery: one of the three great monasteries of Gelukpa sect in Lhasa-Ganden, Drepung and Sera. Sera monastery means merciful hail'-the origin of the name is thought to derive from the fact that Sera was in constant competition with Drepung ('rice heap monastery') and that the 'hail' of Sera destroyed the 'rice' of Drepung. It was founded in 1419 by Shamchen chejee-a disciple of Tsongkhapa. One of the highlights of a visit to Sera is the debating session from 3pm to 5pm attended by most of the monks. The noise and fervor is exciting even if you can't understand a word they are saying.
Day3. Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple
Morning, visit The Potala Palace. The original construction dates back to the 7th century, and was built by King Songtsen Gampo. Later in the 17th century the 5th Dalai Lama rebuilt the Potala Palace to its present size with 1500 artisans and 5000 workers. The maze-like structure contains over a thousand rooms and is thought to house 10,000 shrines and 200,000 statues. The massive structure contains a small world within it itself with a 13-storey castle rising over 117m high.
Afternoon visit to the world heritage site of Jokhang Temple and explore the bustling bazaar along the Barkhor Street. The Jokhang Temple is the first temple in Tibet and built by King Sontsen Gampo’s wife princess Bhrikuti in the 7th century when he moved his capital to Lhasa. Unlike most temples, the Jokhang is not identified with a particular sect because it houses the holiest statue of Sakyamuni when he was 12 years old and consecrated by Buddha himself.
Day4. Free day
Day5 Lhasa to Gyantse (3900m) via Yamdok Lake and visit Gyantse Kumbum(270km)
Morning drive up to Kambala pass (4794m), you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-yutso and a wonderful view of Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar in the distance. Yamdrok-yutso is one of the four holy lakes in Tibet {the others are Lhamo latso, Namtso and Manasarover} and seat of wrathful deities. After a morning of fantastic views reach Nangartse for lunch. Then along the Friendship Southern Hwy drive to Gyantse, visit Pelkor monastery and the famous stupa; Gyantse Kumbum built in 1427 by Gyantse King. The 35m-high Stupa with its white layers trimmed with decorative stripes and its crown-like golden dome makes it a stunning architectural wonder in Tibet.
Day6. Gyantse to Shigatse (3800m), visit Tashilumpo Monastery (90km)
Morning, drive to Shigatse the second biggest city in Tibet and visit Tashilumpo Monastery which was founded in 1447 by the First Dalai Lama. Later, the Fourth Panchen Lama, Lobsang Chökyi Gyalsten made major expansions to the monastery and it became the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, the second highest ranking tulku lineage in the Gelukpa tradition. Here we can see the tallest statue of Maitreya Buddha (future Buddha) in the world. This is made of golden and copper alloy. There is a bustling 'free' market at the foot of the ruins of the Shigatse Fortress where you can buy local handicrafts embedded with coral and turquoise, Tibetan daggers, Chinese porcelain and yak butter.
Day7. Shigatse to Sakya, visit Sakya monastery(150km)
Morning drive to Sakya which takes 4 hours and visit Sakya monastery, the head of Sakya sect. The southern monastery was established in 1268 and is designed defensively, with watch towers on each of the corners of its high walls. The northern monastery is located on north side of Trum Chu river and was built in 1073 by Kon Konchog Gyelpo, a member of the influential Kon family.
Day8. Sakya to Saga (4500m - 356km 7/8hrs drive)
Drive to Saga, passing several high plateau lakes and towns. You will see herders' tents and, in the distance various mountain ranges lining the valley.
Day9. Saga to Darchen
Drive from Saga to Darchen via Paryang across the plateau grasslands passing small villages and camps of yak herders. If lucky you may see many wild animals and birds.
Cross the Mayum-la pass (5216m) and arrive in Darchen at the foot of the sacred mountain.
Days10-12. Pilgrimage kora of the holy Mt. Kailash (Gang Rimpoche) 52km, 
Mt Kailash (Gang Rimpoche in Tibetan), is located in Burang County, and it is the highest peak of the Gangdise (Transhimalaya) Range, with an altitude of 6,656m. Mt Kailash means the “sacred mountain” in Tibetan and “Heaven of Shiva” in Sanskrit (Shiva is a god of Hinduism). It is also the place where the Bon religion originated. According to Tibetan History of the region, people began to worship Mt Kailash as early as in 1000 B.C. It is said that Mt Kailash  is the Sumeru (center of the world) in Buddhism. As the legend goes, 360 deities once lived on the mountain. Indians also consider it the center of the world. They believe that Shiva lives with highest supernatural power and the highest rank among the three gods of Hinduism in the mountain. Any time is ok for circling the mountain; however, April 15 is the day when Buddha Sakyamuni was born, the day he became the Buddha, and also the day when he passed away and reached the state of nirvana. On this day a ceremony of replacing the Mani flag is held at the entrance of the Sacred Mountain. Tibetan Buddhists believe that a circumambulation on this day will accumulate more virtues for them.
The weather is very changeable on the mountain. The temperature changes greatly during day and night so you should know about the climate before going and prepare enough warm clothes.
First day: start pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash from Darchen to Diraphuk and on way visit Chuku meditation centre 4860m and Diraphuk Monastery 5210m. 20km 3/4hrs. (Overnight at Diraphuk gh)
2nd day: cross the Dolma la pass 5620m and parikarma to Zatulpuk monastery 4810m / 20km, 7/8hrs walking. (Overnight at Zatulpuk gh)
3rd day: Zatulpuk to Darchen and then drive to Manasarovar Lake 20km (overnight at Chiu gh)
Manasarovar Lake lies 20 km southeast of Mt Kailash. It is one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world with an altitude of 4588m. Manasarovar Lake in Tibetan means the “eternal and invincible jade lake,” named to mark the victory of Buddhism over the local Bon Religion in the 11tth century. Manasarovar Lake appears in many religious records and legends. Indian legend claims it to be a place where Shiva and his wife Goddess Woma, daughter of the Himalaya, bathed. Tibetan legend claims it to be where the God Guangcanlong lived. In Buddhist scriptures, the lake is named the “mother of the rivers in the world”. There were once nine monasteries surrounding the lake. Chiu Monastery and Curgu Monastery are the best known of them. The area surrounding Curgu Monastery is respected as a holy and pure bathing place. Buddhist followers believe that the water here can wash away “five malignancies of the human soul (greed, anger, craziness, sloth and jealousy)” and can remove filth from human skin. As a result, the holy lake is crowded with people who come to take a bath every year. These people also carry samples of water from the holy lake back home for their relatives and friends. It is also a holy place in Hinduism. There are four bathing gates in the holy lake: the Gate of Lotus Baths in the east, the Gate of Sweat Baths in the south, the Gate of Filth-Removing Baths in the west, and the Gate of Belief Baths in the north. The holy lake also has four water heads: Brahmaputra River (river flow from horse's mouth) in the east, Indus River (river flow from lion's mouth) in the north, Sutlej River (river flow from elephant's mouth) in the west, and Karnali River (river flow from Peacock's mouth) in the south.
Day13. Manasarovar to Saga 504km, 8/9hrs drive.
Day14. Saga to Nyalam/Zhangmu
Turn south across the grasslands via Paiku Tso (lake) with great views of Shisgapangma and, on clear days, Everest in the distance as you join the main road, heading to Nyalam and then descending steeply to the border town of Zhangmu.
Day15. Cross the border and transfer to Kathmandu for your next destination
After breakfast drive to the friendship bridge and say goodbye to your Tibet guide and driver. You will be met on the other side by our Nepal team and transferred to Kathmandu.