Lhasa with Mansarovar Yatra and Kailash Kora is a wholesome package that covers most of the important and famous Tibetan landmarks at the same time. Designed especially for those who want to get the taste of everything unique and beautiful about Tibet, this Yatra offers a lifetime chance to witness traditional ancient Tibetan art and culture in the form of temples, palaces, monasteries and nunneries along with the panoramic views of snow-capped peaks and unique landscapes and also the spiritual calmness exuded by Holy Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar.
This is a traditional Tibetan pilgrim route that starts from Jokhang Temple and ends at Mt. Kailash. The Yatra begins with a flight to Lhasa "the forbidden city" and the roof of the world. After visiting the rich cultural heritages of Lhasa including Barkhor Street, Jokhang temple, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Potala Palace and many others and getting acclimatized with Tibetan climate and culture, the Yatra proceeds further through the beautiful cities of Gyantse, Shigatse to the world famous pilgrim site Mt. Kailash.
Famous for its beauty, isolation and prominence, this dome shaped peak is revered by millions of Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Bons and other religious devotees as an ultimate destination for salvation and spiritual satisfaction. The Yatra then leads you to the holy pilgrimage walk around the Mt. Kailash, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of Kailash and at the same time experience the feel of spiritual calmness. The trail finally leads you to the beautiful and vast lake of shifting colours, the Lake Mansarovar, where with a holy dip your journey ends. Enchanting the travellers with the unexplored wonders of Forbidden City and taking travellers to the holiest journey of their lives around the Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar, this journey is truly, the journey of a lifetime. It is the perfect way of gaining spirituality in an adventurous way amidst the breathtaking views and thrilling landscapes.
What are the Highlights of Kailash and Lake Mansarovar Yatra
The ‘’yatra’’ holds significance for two things mainly- performing a parikrama of Mount Kailash and taking a dip in the holy Lake Mansarovar. These two acts are believed to rid the pilgrims of sins committed in a hundred lifetimes and bring salvation. Pilgrims believe that a kora (parikrama or circumambulation of Mt. Kailash) gives them a new life, that they are re-born.
What is ‘‘The Parikrama?’
The walking around in anti-clockwise or clockwise (done clockwise by the pilgrims) direction is called a Parikrama. Pilgrims to Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar circumambulate the area which takes 2-3 days on foot, one can also hire a yak or a pony or a Jeep for some parts. For, non-religious people, the journey is simply one of the most scenic routes in one of the most remote places on earth. Mount Kailash is not only visually stunning but a real challenge to get to as well, and Lake Mansarovar situated on the foothills of Mt. Kailash is not only one of the holiest lakes in the world, but also one of the most visually pleasing.
1. Mount Kailash and the mythology related to it: Mt. Kailash is more than a summit to Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Bon followers. The 6,638m tall peak in the Kailash range is a part of the Tibetan Transhimalaya and is sacred to Hindus.
Hindus believe Mt. Kailash is the abode of Lord Shiva, to Jains the mountain is where Tirthankara the first Jain attained Nirvana, for Buddhists Kailash mountain, is where Buddha resides in his supreme bliss and Bön religion believes the entire region is the seat of all spiritual power. The high altitude and its remote location in western Tibetan Himalaya result in only a few thousand pilgirms doing the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra every year.
2.Lake Mansarovar: It is one of the two most important element of Adventure Club Tre’s 13-day long Kailash and Lake Mansarovar Yatra. At the height of 4,500 meters, Mansarovar is the highest body of the freshwater lake in the world and is considered one of the holiest lakes in the world. The lake is believed to be clear blue near the shores and change the color to emerald green towards the center. The lake looks stunning in full moon.
Other Major Attractions of Kailash and Lake Mansarovar Yatra
Besides Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansoravar, other attractions include Tirthapuri-where one can bathe in spring pools, Gauri Kund (known as the Lake of Compassion), Yam Dwar where the ‘parikrama’ initially starts, Dolma La (a high pass), and the scenic drive from Sera to Kerung among others. Lake Rakshash or Rakshashtal even though not mythically favored, is just as much of a visual delight as Lake Mansarovar.
We arrive in Lhasa either from a direct flight from Nepal or via mainland China. If we decide to fly from Nepal, then we get to enjoy a beautiful hour-long trans-Himalayan flight that takes us over Everest (8,848m), Kanchenjunga (8,536m) and other Himalayan peaks and glaciers. If we choose to go to Lhasa via mainland China, we may fly from any of the major Chinese cities or take the world's highest train route to Lhasa. Upon our arrival in Lhasa, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up either from the airport or the train station for about an hour’s drive to our designated hotel in Lhasa. We are advised to take plenty of rest for the remainder of the day in order to minimize altitude sickness. Overnight in Lhasa.
We begin sightseeing in Lhasa after breakfast. Today is the day we visit the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka Palaces. Built in the 17th century, Potala Palace provides amazing views of the entire city and houses the private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Norbulingka Palace is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and houses what is considered to be the largest man-made garden in Tibet. Next, we visit the Tibet Traditional Hospital which is the center for the treatment, training, research and production of Tibetan medicine. Overnight in Lhasa.
After breakfast we visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar. Drepung Monastery, which was built in the 14th century, is believed to have sheltered around 10,000 monks in the past but as of now there has been quite a declination resulting in only a few hundred. The history, culture, and religious beliefs of the Tibetan people are strongly concentrated and centered in this marvelous monastery. Sera Monastery is a preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep-seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. We further stroll through Barkhor Bazaar (market). With its open air stalls, shops and crowd of pilgrims, it is the nerve centre of Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.
After breakfast, we embark on a pleasant drive to Shigatse, the second biggest city in Tibet via Gyantse. We drive past Khamba La (4,794m) pass and savor the enthralling views of Yomdrok-Tso (Turquoise Lake), one of the Holy Lakes in Tibet and Mt. Nazin Kang Sa (7,252m). Further to the west, we come across another pass, Karo La (5,045m) and take in amazing views of the majestic glaciers. Upon reaching Gyantse, we visit the Khumbum Stupa, Phalkot Monastery and Gyantse Dzong(Fortress), which is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet. From Gyantse, we continue to Shigatse enjoying a captivating mountain landscape along the way. Overnight in Shigatse.
After breakfast we travel to Saga via Lhatse and along the Brahmaputra River. We stop for a while at Lhatse which is considered as one of the best counties of Shigatse and enjoy the beautiful landscape. Overnight in Saga.
We travel to Saga enjoying the beautiful snow-covered peaks and the Tibetan plateau. We cross several rivers and drive past Mayum La Pass at 4600m. Today is also the day we reach the beautiful Manasarover Lake. Shrouded in myth and legends, Mansarover Lake is located at the southern foot of Mount Kailash and extremely beautiful with the image of snow-capped mountains in its crystal-clear waters.
We take a Kora around the Manasarovar Lake which is a sacred circuit following the edge of the lake Manasarovar which displays brilliant color at the height of 4560m. After completing the kora, we head for Darchen which is located at the foot of the sacred Mt. Kailash. Overnight in Darchen.
Kailash Kora is an exciting 3-day trek around the sacred Mt. Kailash (6714m/22156ft). We will circle around the mountain in the following three days to appreciate its beautiful scenery, explore its historical sites and experience the mountain’s religious significance. We drive up to Tarboche and trek up to Diraphuk Gompa. We continue walking for a few kilometers before ascending to a cairn from where the southern face of Mt. Kailash comes into view.
Today is the second day of our three-day Kora and the toughest part of our journey. We continue the trek around Mt. Kailash and cross Dolma La pass (5604m) which is the highest point of the Kora. We can do a short prayer at Dolma la. Today we also visit the Gauri Kunda which is an important place for the Hindu pilgrims.
We cover around 10km distance and end our Kora around Mt. Kailash today. After the completion of Kora, we drive to Darchen and pick participants who did not complete the Kora. From Darchen we drive to Saga to spend the night. Overnight in Saga.
From saga we travel to Shigatse via Latse. Our trail will be along the Tsangpo River in a region crisscrossed by the upper Brahmaputra and its tributaries. Upon reaching Shigatse we freshen up and later visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery which was founded by Pachen Lama in 1447. Overnight in Shigatse.
After breakfast, we drive towards Lhasa. On the way, we visit Shalu Monastery. Founded in 1040, Shalu Monastery is known for its beautiful and ancient mural paintings. After the tour we continue to Lhasa. On the way, we come across the Karo La Pass (5,045m). Before reaching Lhasa, we also cross the Khamba La Pass (4,794m) with a brief halt to savor the beauty of the Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake), one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet and the beautiful Nazin Kang Sang glacier (7,252m). Overnight in Lhasa.
Our journey on Tibet also known as the “Roof of the World” ends today. A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take us to the airport or the train station for our next journey.
Note: Your safety is of the utmost concern whilst you are travelling with Adventure Club Trek. We will make every effort possible to follow the original itinerary but we reserve the right to change that itinerary if a segment of it becomes a safety issue. Certain mountain regions are remote, natural disasters can happen, weather conditions can decline and there can be illness or an injury. To avoid dangerous situations we may occasionally have to make changes to the itinerary to ensure everyone’s safety. That having been said, Adventure Club Trek will strive to provide you with the best possible trekking experience and to keep your safety our number one priority. We thank you for your understanding.
Flying out to Tibet requires a Chinese visa and a Tibet Travel Permit which can both be acquired in Kathmandu with the help of a travel company (Tibet via Nepal). A valid visa for China isn't the same as a Tibet Travel Permit. Those with a Chinese traveler visa will at present need to apply for a Tibet travel permit. The permit is still required for remote foreign traveler traveling to Tibet from territory China. To obtain the permit you have to book a guide for your whole trip and pre-organize private transport for trips outside Lhasa. The trip outside Lhasa likewise requires extra permits which are arranged by the travel agent you are going with.
The weather in Tibet is similar to that of Mainland China, though with lower temperatures due to higher altitudes. Summers have warm days with strong sunshine and cool nights, but summer days can even be chilly at higher elevations. Winters are cold but there isn't all that much snow. Lhasa enjoys much sunshine even in winter. Most of Tibet experiences frost at least 6 months of the year. Some high lakes are frozen from October to March. The weather varies a lot from region to region. Lhasa is an ideal destination because it is in a valley area of lower elevation.