Mount Kailash: It is a peak in the Kailash Range of the Transhimalaya Mountains. It is considered holy in four religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Bon. Hindus believe that Lord Shiva, one of their most important gods, resides at the summit of the mountain. Buddhists believe that it is the abode of Chakrasamvara, a deity who represents the union of compassion and wisdom. Jains believe that their founder, Rishabhdev, attained enlightenment on the mountain, and for the Bon religion, it is the home of the sky goddess Sipaimen.
Lake Manasarovar: It is located at the foot of Mount Kailash, is considered one of the holiest lakes in the world in Hinduism and Buddhism. According to Hindu mythology, the lake was created by Lord Brahma and is believed to be the source of four of the world’s major rivers – the Indus, the Brahmaputra, the Karnali, and the Sutlej. Buddhists believe that the lake was created in the mind of the Buddha and represents purity and enlightenment.
Both offer a unique and unforgettable experience. The trek around Mount Kailash is considered one of the most challenging and scenic treks in the world, offering breathtaking views of the snow-capped Himalayas and the surrounding valleys. Visitors can also take a dip in the holy waters of Lake Manasarovar, which is believed to purify the soul and bring good luck.
Smiling Eyes International’s representative will receive you at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). The representative will be an official dress with an official ID card so that you can easily recognize him/her. The representative will also be carrying the organizational nameplate in the name “Smiling Eyes Int’l”. S/he will then transfer to the respective hotel. In the evening, the representative of Smiling Eyes Int’l will give a brief briefing about the trip and official welcome dinner.
Departing from Kathmandu in the early morning, you will follow the Langtang Syabrubesi Highway to reach Kyirong. Along the way, you will pass through the scenic Trishuli and Bhotekoshi valleys, where you can enjoy the lush greenery of the Nepalese countryside. After crossing the frontier, you will spend the night in a guesthouse on the Nepalese side.
Upon completing the necessary visa and permit formalities at the Kyirong check post, we will switch to a different vehicle for our journey to Kailash, where we will meet up with our Tibet crew. The drive to Saga will take approximately 4 hours, during which we will enjoy picturesque views. It’s worth noting that Saga County sits at an altitude of around 4600m, so upon arrival, we recommend taking some time to acclimatize to the high altitude and refraining from any energetic activities
As we journey through the expansive Tibetan plateau, we come across the quaint town of Zhongba. If we have enough time at our disposal, we could explore the town’s charms. Our route frequently runs alongside picturesque rivers, and we traverse two passes en route: Lablung La (4565m) and Soge La. Along the way, we catch glimpses of vast herds of yaks and sheep grazing in verdant pastures. In the distance, to the far south, we are treated to breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks. The landscape is dotted with rocky outcrops and sand dunes, creating an idyllic setting.
Today’s journey entails crossing multiple rivers, often traversing alongside their banks, before ascending Mayum-la (4600m). As we reach the Horq Chu Pass, we are presented with our first view of the majestic Mount Kailash. Continuing on, we soon arrive at the breathtakingly beautiful Lake Manasarovar, located just 30km south of the revered mountain. Separated from the nearby Rakshas Tal by a slender strip of land, the two lakes are linked by a small channel. The Tibetan people view the rare occurrence of water flowing through this channel as an auspicious sign. The scenery here is simply mesmerizing, offering panoramic vistas of the stunning Himalayan mountain range.
Our day was spent exploring the northern region of Lake Manasarovar, the highest freshwater lake in the world with its striking turquoise hue. This beautiful lake is teeming with fish and swans, adding to its allure. The region surrounding the lake is known for its mineral wealth, with gold and other mines, as well as hot springs and a diverse range of wildlife. As a sacred and holy site, pilgrims gather here to perform pooja, meditation, and spiritual dips into the lake, adding to the area’s mystique.
Located roughly 30 kilometers north of Lake Manasorovar, Darchen serves as the primary gateway for arranging yaks and yakmen for the Kailash Kora trek. Our team makes arrangements for all necessary materials and food supplies in preparation for the journey. The town’s bustling center serves as a hub for trading and providing shelter to pilgrims. The two-story Darchen Gon monastery, belonging to the Drukpa sect, is a prominent landmark in the town. To the west of the monastery lies the Mani Lhakhang, featuring a large, newly-installed mani prayer wheel. The site is also home to the original old flagpole of Darchen. Before embarking on their Kora pilgrimage around Kailash, many pilgrims choose to circumambulate the Darchen Gon monastery and the Mani Lhakhang, adding to the spiritual significance of the area.
Our journey towards completing the Kora of Mt. Kailash starts today. The first leg of our journey involves about six-hour hike through a deep valley, surrounded by walls of striking red rock formations. We will then continue across the plain until we reach Sherzong. Along the way, we will also cross a bridge that leads to Chhueku Gompa, perched high on a hill, which is visible from the valley. From there, our trail will lead us to Dirapuk, where we will be rewarded with a stunning view of the north face of Mt. Kailash.
Today marks the most challenging part of our journey as we ascend to the Drolma-la Pass, standing at an altitude of 5630 meters. This pass, also known as the pass of Tara, is adorned with vibrant five-colored prayer flags and boasts breathtaking views. After reaching the summit, we will descend towards Dzutul-Phuk, where we will encounter the awe-inspiring Thue Kyi Zingbu (Gaurikund Lake) or the Lake of Compassion, along with some ancient meditative caves. We will spend the night at Dzutul-Puk.
Today’s journey involves trekking back to Darchen, which entails crossing several streams, including Shiva Tal and Gaurikund Lake. We follow a remarkable gorge and rocky trail that descends down the valley, leading us to stone guesthouses alongside the Lham-Chhukhir. As we continue on this trip, we are once again treated to the magnificent views of the East Face of Mt Kailash. Finally, we arrive at the stunning Lake Manasarovar.
Today will be a day of a long drive as we cross several rivers and progressively climb up to Mayum-la (5020). As we ascend, we are treated to a breathtaking landscape and the pastoral scenes of yaks and the nomadic way of life.
Today’s journey took us on a long drive across the expansive Tibetan plateau, leading us towards Saga. Along the way, we passed through the small town of Zhongba, where we may consider stopping for a visit if time allows. The route involved crossing two mountain passes: Soge La and Lablung La, both at an elevation of 4565m. Our final destination was the bustling commercial hub of Saga.
The journey from Saga to Kyirong spans 170km and takes around 5 to 6 hours by car, with Kyirong located at an elevation of 2774 meters. The route passes through a picturesque hidden valley, offering breathtaking views of the lush grasslands and diverse wildlife. The pleasant climate in the valley also makes it an ideal destination to unwind and rejuvenate.
To complete the necessary customs formalities, we’ll drive to the border checkpoint. Once we reach the Friendship Bridge, we’ll park our vehicles from Tibet and continue on foot for approximately 15 minutes towards Nepal. Afterward, we’ll have another 5-6 hours of driving ahead of us from Kyirong before we finally reach Kathmandu.
Our final departure will be from Kathmandu, where we will bid farewell to each other. It has been a pleasure to serve you, and we look forward to the opportunity to do so again in the future. Thank you for choosing us for this unforgettable trekking experience.