Mt. Kailash, 6,740m is geographically placed north of the Himalayan barrier, wholly within Tibet. It has the unique distinction of being the most respected mountain, yet least visited of the world’s major holy places. The mountain is the supremely sacred site of four religions and billions of people. Because of its remote location in far western Tibet however, the mountain is visited by no more than a few thousand pilgrims each year. There are no trains or airplanes going to the region and by land there are only three, long and difficult routes. Even today, with rugged over-land vehicles the journey takes weeks, and you need to carry all your gasoline and supplies for the entire journey.
Hindus believe Mt. Kailash to be the abode of Lord Shiva. Among the Hindus, Shiva is a character of obvious contradictions. He at once, is the Lord of Yoga and therefore the ultimate enunciate ascetic, yet he is also the divine master of Tantra, the esoteric science that regards sexual union as the most perfect path to spiritual enlightenment. According to legend, immortal Shiva lives atop Kailash where he spends his time practicing yogic austerities, making joyous love with his divine consort, Parvati, and smoking ganja, the sacred herb known in the west as marijuana, Hindus do not interpret Shiva’s behaviors as contradictory however, but rather see in him a deity who has wisely integrated the extremes of human nature and thus transcended attachment to any particular, and limited, way of being. For a Hindu, to make the arduous pilgrimage to Kailash and have the darshan (divine view) of Shiva’s abode is to attain release from the clutches of ignorance and delusion.
Given its widespread reverence as a sacred site, pilgrims from Nepal, India and Tibet have been making the strenuous journey to Kailash for more than two centuries. With almost no infrastructure in the region, pilgrims need to bring their own transportation and all food and supplies needed for the craggy journey. In addition, the pilgrimage is quite expensive.
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m/4264ft)
Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International airport, you will be welcomed by the Messenger Travels and Tours staff and transferred to your hotel, overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Kathmandu (1400m) – Kerung (2200 m) (145) km
We enjoy an early morning drive through typical Nepalese rural landscapes (Approx. 8 hours) from Kathmandu to Kerung (145 km). After completing immigration and custom formalities we drive up hill to Kerung. This is a Tibetan border town. The Tibetan guide will meet the group on arrival at the check post and we drive on further road climbs and climb up to Kerung for an overnight. We spend a night in guest houses.
Day 3: Kerung (2200 m)
This is a day for rest & acclimatization to get us used to the higher altitudes to come.
Day 4: Kerung – Saga (4600m)
As we Head away from Kerung, we drive further across Lalung La (5200m) through a perfect merging of breathtaking views, passes through huge turquoise lake, the Peiku-Tso with spectacular views of Shishapangma (8027m) as the backdrop, the trail follows a route that brushes past the Brahmaputra River. Further ahead, a river valley sprawls over and then traditional chocolate box villages come into picture frame. This scenically rewarding drive provides plenty of opportunities to get your video cameras into action. From then on, the trail winds towards the northern route. On covering 295km, you reach an elevation of 4600 meters. As soon as you find a suitable campsite in Saga, we set up camp for the approaching night or stay in a hotel/guest house.
Day 5: Saga – Manasarovar – (4560m) 560km– 7 hours drive
Today is the most auspicious day for all of us as we will see the first glimpse of holy Mt.Kailash and sacred Lake Mansarovar. A lifetime achievement: here we will perform a holy dip, Relax and explore around the Mansarovar area. Overnight in a tent/camp or Guesthouse
Day 6: Manasarovar – Darchen (4560m) 30km
The highest fresh water lake of a turquoise color is full of fishes and swans. Holy Kailash Parbat, Mt. Gurula-Mandata, & Lake Rishikesh can be found in its surroundings. The region is considered rich for gold and other mines, hot springs and hundreds of wild living fauna. We explore the Lake Mansarovar in the day & then drive down to Darchen which is a one hour drive. We then spend our night at Chu Gumba.
Day 7: Darchen – Dirapuk (4900m)
Early in the morning after breakfast, our trek begins; you meet your team of yaks and Tibetan yak drivers who will escort you around for the kora. Further ahead from Darchen, you have to trek past verdant meadows and picturesque streams to Lha Chu Valley. The trail overlooks Turquoise River cascading over a narrow canyon with high steep cliffs. En route, the north face of Kailash comes into vision. The trail will approach the 13th century monastery of Dira-Puk. Visiting this monastery is said to be a kind of blessing experience gifted in your Mount Kailash tour and trek. Finally, you will conclude the trek of the day by camping at Dira-Puk / resting in a guest house.
Day 8: Dirapuk – Zutulpuk – (4790m) 22km - 10 hours
Lha Chu Valley is a passing vista as you turn towards Drolma Chu Valley. Looking forward to the amazing Mount Kailash tour and trek, you ascend to Drolma La (5630m), the highest point of the trip. But soon after sighting breathtaking views of Thukpe Dzingbu Lake, known as the Lake of Compassion at the summit, you realize that this imposing and challenging ascent has indeed been very worthwhile and profitable. Several prayer flags can be seen at the summit. Further on, the trail descends to the flat fields of Zutul-Puk which houses a monastery and several fascinating caves. The caves at this locale are most popular for meditation; Milarepa’s cave being one of them with Milarepa’s footprints and elbow prints believed to be imprinted all over this cave of mani stones. As we continue our Parikrama, we camp at Zutul-Puk for the night & this is pretty exciting, adventurous and pleasurable.
Day 9: Zutulpuk - Darchen - Saga
Our pilgrimage trek concludes at Darchen and we drive to Saga for our overnight camp/guest house. We feel spiritually satisfied after going to the religious rites during our parikrama & there is a deep sense of gratification as we wearily go to bed after a hard day.
Day 10: Saga – Kerung
You cross the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra River) by a ferry, & continue driving 250 km to Kerung. Soon after leaving Saga the road opens into a wide flat flowing plain and passes through
Day 11: Kerung – Kathmandu (1400m)
From Kerung, you cruise down to the border town of Zhangmu. From Zhangmu, it’s a hop, step & jump to the Friendship Bridge which spans the Bhote Kosi River and marks the Chinese – Nepalese border where you bid farewell to your Tibetan guide and driver and hike down to the Nepalese Immigration Control in Kodari where you will be met by your Nepalese escorts. After completing the re-entry formalities you continue the scenic drive to Kathmandu which, depending on road and weather conditions, should take about 5-6 hours
Day 12: Final departure
Our representative will drop you off at the airport. We are sure that you will be inspired to visit Nepal again this trek. We hope that you choose us to plan your next trip to Nepal.
We will be staying at 3 Star Standard hotels which have deluxe suite in Kathmandu and the best available teahouses or guest house during the trek. All accommodations are on twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost an additional USD 300.
All meals will be provided during trekking while only breakfast will be available in Kathmandu. There will also be welcome and farewell dinners for guests. While on the short trek, we have breakfast and dinner in the tea-houses/lodges we spend the night and lunch on our way to the next destination. The teahouse menu includes Nepalese, Tibetan and the more common continental cuisines for us to choose from.
This trek’s itinerary is planned with a high degree of awareness of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Experts agree that gaining elevation without proper consideration of AMS could be fatal. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen will be in the air. Therefore, our body needs time to adapt to an environment with less oxygen.
For this, there will be one leader, assistant leader (5 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that even if anybody in the group gets sick or is unable to carry on, the trip can still go ahead as planned for the rest of the group. We can run the trek for groups of any size, but usually, it is a maximum of twelve people as we've found this to be the best size for a successful trip. If you would like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.
Messenger Travel & Tours is definitely committed to porter rights. We make sure that all our porters are well treated, well paid and we provide the level of shelter, clothing and footwear that these harsh environments demand. Porters who become sick are treated with the same care and attention as other team members and we have previously used helicopters - at our expense - to rescue porters from dangerous situations. We support the work of the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG), making our resources available to them to help improve the working conditions of the porters.
Physical Condition & Experience Requirements
This is a moderate trek. Travelers who can walk up to 6-7 hours a day on an uphill and downhill trail will find this trek fulfilling. It is best that we prepare ourselves for the Upper Mustang trek by jogging and exercising regularly at least a month prior to the start of the trek. Trekking to the Upper Mustang should be relatively easier for those who have experience walking/trekking in a high altitude environment. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood diseases should inform Messenger Travel & Tours before booking the trek.
Best Time to Travel
The best time for the Trek is spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. The temperature is moderate in these seasons and guarantees amazing views through the trip. Although this trek can be undertaken during winter, the cold temperature might not be suitable for everyone.
Note:There will be 2(percent) additional discount per person, if the group of people exceeds the minimum group of people (Min. 2 Pax)