12 days Pilgrimage Tour to Mt. Kailash & Lake Manasorovar driving and trekking plans to Mt. Kailash and Lake manasarovar. Mt. Kailash, at 6714 m, also known as Tise, Kailasa & Kang Rinpoche (Jewel of the Snows), has since time immemorial been celebrated in many Eastern cosmologies as Mt. Meru, the axis mundi. And as the center of the physical & metaphysical universe, Mt. Meru is sacred to the Buddhist, Jains, the Hindus & the Bonpos. For the Hindus, the mountain represents the seat of Lord Shiva; for the Buddhists, a terrestrial projection of the cosmic mandala of Dhyani-Buddhas & Boddhisatvas. The Wheel of Life; for the Bonpos, Kailash was the sacred nine storeys Swastika Mountain, upon which the Bonpo founder Sherab alighted from heaven. Four of the great rivers of the Indian subcontinent originate from here: the Karnali (longest river in Nepal), which feeds into the Ganges (south), the Indus (north), the Sutlez (west) & the Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsangpo, east). Apart from the religious value of this place, Mt. Kailash is also very famous for its natural beauty. It’s a challenging place to go so many adventure seekers might find this place great. This trek includes lots of driving and hiking. 12 days Pilgrimage Tour to Mt. Kailash & Lake Manasorovar will be a very memorable trip for you if you are an adventure seeker and a fit person.
Leave early in the morning and drive to the Kodari Border which is around 109 km away and takes approximately four to five hours to reach. From Kodari, cross the Nepal-Tibet Border over the Friendship Bridge and proceed to Zhangmu (the Tibetan border town). At Zhangmu you will finish the entry immigration procedure and then drive approximately for one hour to reach Nyalam. Nyalam is a small town 30 km away from the Nepal border and acts as a base camp for trekking in the southern Shisha Pangma region. It is well-connected in terms of internet and telephony with many cyber cafes and phone booths helping travelers contact their loved ones. Nyalam is also a day hike away from a holy lake, Dara-tso from where, on a clear day, you can see the glaciers of the Langtang and Jungal Himal, and maybe even Mt. Shisha Pangma (8,012 mt.).
Drive from Nyalam to Saga which is around 230 km away and should approximately take six hours to reach. You will drive along the famed Brahmaputra River and also cross the La lung-La pass. Saga meaning ‘Happy Land’ is a small army town and has a Chinese garrison that patrols the entire length of the Tibetan-Nepalese border and even sometimes conducts in close proximity to the town, target practice with machine guns! Saga is spread across the Dargye Tsangpo river just a little above its junction with the Brahmaputra River. The army presence is strategic as it is located at the junction of three roads - the Lhatse road coming from the east, the Dzongka road from the south and the Purang and Drongpa roads from the west. Being the last town on the southern route to Mt. Kailash with supplies for travelers, restaurants and several guest houses and hotels, it is an important pit stop for pilgrims and tourists alike
Drive from Saga to Paryang which is around 255 km away and should approximately take six seven hours to reach. You will cross Zhongba on the way. Paryang is a small village with little that appeals. The village bears a deserted look for most parts of the day with signs of minimum human activity. The village does have a few guesthouses and a few good restaurants.
Road from Paryang to Darchen goes through open territory with a view of distant mountains. This day your journey passes through a high pass of over 5000m and arrives at Darchen (4,480 m). Darchen is small village with couple of guesthouses that lies just beneath the majestic holy Mount Kailash.
Today, start your holy trek (Parikrama / Kora) in which you circumambulate Mt. Kailash. You begin with less than an hour’s drive towards Tarboche Flagpole / Sershong, after which you have to trek for approximately four hours via Chuku Monastery to reach Dirapuk. By now you would have traveled 20 km and would have climbed 200 mt. above Darchen. The trek offers myriad views the western face of Mt. Kailash and its fantastically changing hues at sunrise and sunset.
Trek from Dirapuk to Zutul-puk via the Drölma-la Pass (5,630 mt.) and Gauri Kund, which takes approximately eight to nine hours to complete. En-route, you will also pass Shivasthal (5,330 mt.), one of the highest point in your trek and if legend is to be believed, where Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati used to sit. Pilgrims are supposed to undergo a symbolic death at this point, entering the realm of the Lord of the Dead, until they reach the top of the Drölma-la and are reborn again. It is customary to leave something behind at Shivasthal – an item of clothing, a drop of blood or a lock of hair, to represent the act of leaving this life behind. During your Parikrama today you will climb 500 mt. and descend 600 mt. while you cover 18 km from Dirapuk to Zutul-puk. Zutul-puk means the ‘Miracle Cave’. There is a story surrounding this place and the monastery with the same name. As the story goes, Milarepa and Naro Bönchung were looking for shelter from the rain. They decided to build a cave together but Milarepa put the roof in place without waiting for Naro Bönchung to make the walls (thus once again showing the supremacy of Buddhism). Milarepa then made a couple adjustments to the cave, which left a footprint and handprint that can still be seen today.
Trek for 14 kms from Zutul-puk to Darchen, which should take you around four hours, to finish your circumambulation of Mt. Kailash. You will then drive to Lake Mansarovar which you should reach in approximately an hour
Lake Mansarovar is the highest freshwater lake in the world with its altitude of 4,556 mt. or 14,947 ft. and is relatively circular in shape with a circumference of 88 km. (55 miles) and average depth of 90 m (300 ft.). The entire lake with its stark turquoise complexion freezes over in winters and then melts again only in spring! According to legend, the lake is a personification of purity and anyone who drinks water from the lake will go to the heavens after death. Also, anyone who bathes in the lake is assumed to have washed away all sins committed over a hundred lifetimes! The belief in this legend is such that it brings the lake and the adjoining mountain, thousands of visitors each and every year.
Drive from Mansarovar to Paryang which is around 260 km away and should approximately take six to seven hours to reach.
Drive from Paryang to Saga which is around 255 km away and should approximately take six -seven hours to reach.
Drive from Saga to Nyalam which is around 230 km away and should approximately take six hours to reach.
Leave early in the morning and drive to Zhangmu (the Tibetan border town) which should take approximately one hour to reach. From Zhangmu cross the Tibet – Nepal border over the Friendship Bridge and proceed to Kodari (the Nepalese border town). Enroute complete the immigration formalities. From Kodari drive approximately for four to five hours to reach Kathmandu.
“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
- Henry David Thoreau
Get lost and feel the mystic energy of the Himalayas with Shiva Treks