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Mt. Kailash Tour Via Simikot, Nepal

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The Mt Kailash Tour via Simikot is a unique spiritual experience as the route leads you to the sacred Mt. Kailash and includes the 3-day Kora around the mountain. The Kora is the holy circulation of the sacred mountain. However, many Tibetans do the Kora in one day, and you will also meet prostrators who take around three weeks to complete the circuit. Certainly, Mt. Kailash is Tibet’s and one of the world’s most sacred mountains, and a destination for many pilgrims.

Further, trekking from Simikot to Tibet provides an opportunity to experience both Nepalese and Tibetan culture. First, Sightseeing in Kathmandu and trekking through Nepal’s himalayas will give you insights into Nepali culture, history and traditions. Further, we arrive in Simikot, opened to trekkers only in 1993. In fact, it is the seat of Nepal’s most remote district, Humla, several days’ walk from the nearest major village. There is a continuous stream of “Humli” people from surrounding villages trading, buying supplies and dealing with various bureaucracies. After a few days of trekking, we reach a stone pillar that marks the Nepal-Tibet border. However, just across a rickety wooden bridge, it is perhaps one of the most informal border crossings in the world. It’s a short climb to Sher, a Tibetan salt trading post at 3860m. After a short drive to Taklakot, the Chinese border guards will want to see your passport and Chinese visa. The upcoming days in Tibet and especially the Kora are going to be an unforgettable experience!

Outline Itinerary:

 Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

 Day 03: Sightseeing in Kathmandu & trip preparation

 Day 04: Flight to Nepalgunj: 1 hour

 Day 05: Flight to Simikot (2,985m/9,790ft), and trek to Dharapori (2,360m/7,740ft): 4 – 6 hours

 Day 06:Dharapori to Kermi (2,860m/9,383ft): 5 – 6 hours

 Day 07: Kermi to Yalbang (2,879m/9,445ft): 5 – 6 hours

 Day 08: Tumkot to Yari (3,663m/12,017ft): 6 – 7 hours

 Day 09:Yari to Hilsa (3,647m/11,965ft) via Nara La pass: 5 – 6 hours

 Day 10: Hilsa to Purang (3,772m/12,375ft): 2 – 3 hour3s

 Day 11: Purang to Montser (4,450m/14,599ft) and sightseeing in Tirtapuri: 3 – 4 hours

 Day 12: Sightseeing of Garuda Valley, then transfer to Darchen (4,560m/14,956ft): 3 – 4 hours

 Day 13: Kora day 1: Dira Puk Monasteries (5120m/16,792ft): 5 – 6 hours

 Day 14: Kora day 2: Zuthulphuk (4790m/15,765ft) via Drolma La Pass (5600m): 6 – 7 hours

 Day 15:Kora day 3: Back to Darchen (4,560m/15,000ft): 3 – 4 hours, and transfer to Manasarovar

 Day 16:Tour of the Mansarovar Lake

 Day 17: Mansarovar to Saga (4,600m/15,088ft): 8 – 9 hours

 Day 18: Drive Saga to Kerung

 Day 19:Drive back to Kathmandu via Syabrubesi (7-8 hrs)

 Day 20: Final Departure

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Day 01
Arrival in Kathmandu

After arriving at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, you will be greeted by a representative from Nature Trail Trekking, who will drop you off at your hotel. After checking in, oyu can take a rest or visit Nature Trail’s office. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Nature Trail where we get acquainted with the excellent Nepalese cuisine.

Day 02
Full day sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley, visa and permit preparation day

Kathmandu Durbar Square – Kathmandu Durbar Square lies in the center of the Kathmandu valley and has some of the most interesting monuments in Nepal. The Kasthamandap, the building from which Kathmandu derived its name, the Kumari Ghar, the House of the Living goddess Kumari, the Taleju temple and the most interesting the Hanuman Dhoka Palace, now a museum are some of the interesting buildings in Kathmandu Durbar Square. Besides that the program of different kinds and gathering of people from all over Nepal makes it a lively place and the best place to understand Nepal. Swayambhunath Stupa– Swayambhunath stupa is also referred as the ‘Monkey temple’ and is one of the 7 UNESCO world heritage sites of Kathmandu. Situated on a hill top about 4 Km from the city center this stupa is one of the oldest monument in Kathmandu and comes from the Vajrayana sect of Mahayana Buddhism. With a pair of eyes in each direction this place is a spiritual center for the locals and tourist visiting this area. The hill top also offers the scenic view of the Kathmandu valley and the Himalayas. Khokana and Bungmati– These two Newar Villages are located in the outskirts of the Patan District and are proposed as Tentative UNESCO heritage sites by the Nepal government. Khokana has the temple of Rudryaini and is also famous for the Mustard oil production. Bungmati, 20 minutes walk from Khokana through paddy fields is full of old Newari houses and architecture. These twin villages are one of the best places to experience Nepal’s age old heritages and to observe the daily life of the People. You will feel like walking in the 18th century Europe as you go through these streets.

Day 03
Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

After our short excursion in Kathmandu, we take an hour-long flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, located in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj, a town near the Nepal-India border is the gateway to Simikot and the Humla region. The town itself is an interesting Terai town that showcases the diverse culture of Nepal. In Nepalgunj, we visit the local market, mini-zoo and nearby villages. Overnight in Nepalgunj.

Day 04
Flight to Simikot (2,985m/9,790ft) and trek to Dharapori (2,360m/7,740ft)

We take a 40-minute flight from Nepalgunj to Simikot and admire the beauty of the soaring mountain cliffs from our airplane. Simikot, the headquarters of the Humla District, is cut off from the rest of the country due to its remoteness. While here, we learn about the local people and their rich culture, which is closely tied to the Tibetans because of the close proximity of the two places. We have lunch at Simikot and also register for the permit at the police office. From Simikot, we ascend for a while, then descend towards the village of Tuling. We continue walking through jungles and villages along the Karnali River towards Dharapori, where we stay overnight. Walking time: 4-6 hours

Day 05
Dharapori to Kermi (2,860m/9,383ft)

Today our walk is on relatively flat trails beginning with the trail alongside the Karnali River. We walk along the fields cultivated mainly with barley, buckwheat, rice and potatoes. There are two hot springs near Kermi where we may soothe our aching bodies. We can also visit ancient Buddhist monasteries close to Kermi: Laikyo Gompa and Lhundrup Choeling Gompa. Overnight in Kermi. Walking time: 5-6 hours

Day 06
Kermi to Yalbang (2,879m/9,445ft)

Today’ trek is a flat and steep ascent until reaching a small pass and crossing a suspension bridge over the Salli River. From here one can enjoy views of the beautiful pine trees and the mighty Karnali River. We will also visit the remote Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery. Overnight in Yalbang. Walking time: 5-6 hours

Day 07
Yalbang to Tumkot (3,073m/10,082ft)

We walk on a trail above the Karnali River. As we ascend further, the greenery begins to vanish and so do the smaller bushes. They give way to pine trees and rocky hills. After reaching Tumkot, we visit Dhungkar Choezom Monastery, one of the most important Sakya monasteries in the Tibetan region. Overnight in Tumkot. Walking time: 5-6 hours

Day 08
Tumkot to Yari (3,663m/12,017ft)

Today’s trek is on a relatively easy trail above the Karnali River. After walking a few miles we begin to notice the change in climate, vegetation and landscape which becomes more rocky and secluded. The trees that you see are not pine trees anymore. They are now short and low junipers. Overnight in Yari. Walking time: 6-7 hours

Day 09
Yari to Hilsa (3,647m/11,965ft) via Nara La pass

We cross the first pass of the trek today, the Nara La pass (4,620m). The vegetation is bleak by now and the landscape is familiar to that of Tibet. After crossing the pass we will be greeted by excellent views of the beautiful Tibetan plateau and Yari Village. From here on, it is a shaky descent down until Hilsa, a border town which is also a dropping point for the pilgrims on their way to Mt. Kailash by helicopter. Overnight in Hilsa. Walking time: 5-6 hours

Day 10
Hilsa to Purang (3,772m/12,375ft)

We walk across the Friendship bridge at Hilsa where the Chinese officials will check our permits and passports. We also meet our Tibetan guide here. We ascend from Hilsa to Purang and pass Rinzin Zangpo Gompa and Kangje Village along the way. In Purang, we visit the ancient Purang Gompa and explore the unique Buddhist frescoes of the 12th century. Overnight in Purang. Walking time: 2-3 hours

Day 11
Purang to Montser (4,450m/14,599ft) and sightseeing in Tirtapuri

On our way to Montser we pass through Rakshas and Mansarover lakes. After reaching Montser, we settle down for a while then visit Tirtapuri (4510m). Located northwest of Mount Kailash, the Tirthapuri Hot Springs are closely associated with Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche). Pilgrims bathe in pools fed by the springs, visit the monastery containing the guru’s footprint and dig for healing stones along a one-hour pilgrimage route. After touring Tirtapuri we return back to Montser to spend the night. Walking time: 3-4 hours

Day 12
Sightseeing of Garuda Valley, transfer to Darchen (4,560m/14,956ft)

It takes us around 2 hours to reach the Garuda Valley that lies to the southwest of Mt. Kailash. It contains mysterious caves, some of which have never been explored. Many believe that this was the cradle of the Tibetan civilization during the time of the Shang Shung kings, long before Buddhism reached the roof of the world. For those interested in the archaeological and historical sites, Garuda Valley will be a dream come true. After touring the amazing valley we move to Darchen, a small town situated right in front of the sacred Mount Kailash. Overnight in Darchen. Walking time: 3-4 hours

Day 13
First day of Kora: hiking to Dirapuk Monasteries (5120m/16,792ft)

Today, we begin our Kora of Mt. Kailash. The first day out of Darchen involves a six-hour hike in a deep valley through walls of red rock. We continue across the plain to Shershong. We further cross a bridge leading to Chuku Gompa which is high on the hill visible from the valley. The trail leads to Dirapuk from where we will have a stunning view of the north face of Mt. Kailash. Overnight in Dirapuk. Walking time: 5-6 hours

Day 14
Second day of Kora: hike to Zuthulphuk (4790m/15,765ft)

Today will be the most difficult section of our journey. We climb Drolma-la Pass at 5,750m/19,910ft. The pass whose name literally means the pass of Tara is beautiful and is filled with five-colored praying flags. From Drolma-la Pass, we descend to Zuthulphuk . At Zuthulphuk , we come across the incredible Thugje Zinbu (Lake of Compassion) and a few ancient meditative caves. Overnight in Zuthulphuk. Walking time: 6-7 hours

Day 15
Third day of Kora: hiking to Darchen (4,560m/15,000ft), transfer to Manasarovar

We gradually wind out of the valley towards Barka plain. After completing the holy Kora of Mount Kailash at Darchen, we drive for 2 hours to Mansarovar Lake. The lake holds religious significance for both Hindus and Buddhists. As per Hindu theology, Lake Mansarovar is a personification of purity, and one who drinks water from the lake is believed to go to the abode of Lord Shiva after death. Buddhists also associate the lake with the legendary lake known as Anavatapta in Sanskrit where Queen Maya is believed to have conceived Buddha. Overnight in Mansarovar. Walking time: 3-4 hours

Day 16
Tour of the Mansarovar Lake

Today, we circumambulate the beautiful Mansarovar Lake which has a circumference of 90 km making it one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world. The belief is that the Kora of Mount Kailash is completed only with a holy dip in the lake and a drink of its holy water relieves one from the sins of a hundred lives. We circle round Mansarovar by Jeep, and if time permits, we visit Chui Gompa, another attraction of Manasrovar. Overnight in Mansarovar.

Day 17
Mansarovar to Saga (4,600m/15,088ft): 8 – 9 hours drive

Today, we have to accomplish a long drive from Mansarovar to Saga traversing through the sacred historic Chiu Monastery. We continue driving past Hor Quo and across the Mayum La pass (5,200m). While passing through, we will have glimpses of small towns like Zhongba and Paryang. This journey covers 270 km from Mansarovar to Paryang and adjoins Saga, 255 km away from Paryang. From Saga instead of going towards Lhasa, we drive along a different route to Kathmandu. Overnight in Saga.

Day 17
Mansarovar to Saga (4,600m/15,088ft): 8 – 9 hours drive

Today, we have to accomplish a long drive from Mansarovar to Saga traversing through the sacred historic Chiu Monastery. We continue driving past Hor Quo and across the Mayum La pass (5,200m). While passing through, we will have glimpses of small towns like Zhongba and Paryang. This journey covers 270 km from Mansarovar to Paryang and adjoins Saga, 255 km away from Paryang. From Saga instead of going towards Lhasa, we drive along a different route to Kathmandu. Overnight in Saga.

Day 18
Drive Saga to Kerung

We retrace our journey back to Kerung from Saga. Kerung is a border town where we will spend the night. Overnight at a hotel in Kerung.

Day 19
Drive back to Kathmandu via Syabrubensi (7-8 hrs)

We clear our customs in Kerung before driving back to Kathmandu. Now you need deep trekking massage and some relaxation. Overnight at hotel.

Day 20
Final Departure

The Kailash adventure in the Himalayas comes to an end today. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. A representative of Nature Trail will take us to the airport approximately 3 hours before the scheduled flight.

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Equipment List

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What is Included

  • All airport pickups and drops both international and domestic including Nepalganja
  • A full day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu Valley.
  • N3 nights hotel in Kathmandu with Bed and Breakfast Basis.
  • 1 Night hotel on Nepalganja on full-board Basis.
  • Fully catered camping trek on Nepal side, (all meal cooked by our staffs on daily basis; breakfast, lunch and dinner), and while trekking in Tibet (during Mt. Kailash Kora) accommodation and meal in local tea-houses or in lodges.

  • Complete Pre-departure information, Flight ticket for Kathmandu – Nepalgunj- Simikot with airport departure taxes
  • All necessary paperwork including China Visa, Tibet travel permits and all other paper works for Tibet, Mt. Kailash area permits.
  • Jumla/Simikot restricted area special permits, royalties and local taxes/permits, entrance fees
  • 4WD 4500 model Japanese Toyota LandCruiser or van or Hiace or bus, depend on group size, for transportation in Tibet and support truck for carry food and luggage’s. Starting from Hilsa border till the Mt. Kailash trek (Kora) starting point and at end, and drive further to Kerung border (Nepal-Tibet border), and further transportation from Syprubesi-Kathmandu(private jeep or other private vehicles based on group size.
  • English-speaking, Government Licensed holder trained and experienced local guide, and assistant guide, and other necessary staffs such as cook, and porters, kitchen boy, helper during the trip period as per itinerary.
  • English speaking Tibetan guide & one professional tour Manager
  • Lake Mansorver Kora bus fee, other required porters or horses or Yaks from Simikot to Hilsa and during Kora.
  • If necessary sleeping bag , down jacket, and duffle bags and all other necessary Kitchen & camping equipments.
  • Oxygen for emergency use , Medical kit bag / First Aid kit.
  • Nature Trail’s gift T-Shirt, stickers, one duffle bag, one back pack, one cap, one passport holders, one water proof wind-cheater jacket as a souvenir gift from our company
  • Farewell Dinner in a typical Nepali restaurant with domestic culture show in Kathmandu before departure.
  • All applicable taxes and service charges

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What is Excluded

  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu “a farewell dinner is included”.
  • A Nepal entry visa fee, (we have on arrival service except 15 nationalities)
  • Any kind of alcoholic, cold drinks, bucket hot shower (during the trekking).
  • Alcoholic beverages, Mineral water, laundry, phone calls, Internets.
  • Any others expenses which are not mentioned on ‘price includes section’ and other all kind of personal expenses
  • Natural or political disturbance which beyond our control. Emergency rescue evacuation if required. Or other personal accident insurance or Helicopter rescue.
  • Liability for expenses against sickness, flight cancellation, road blockage, accidents, and other occurrence, beyond our control
  • Any other optional services, sightseeing tours not mentioned above in itinerary
  • Tips, gifts, souvenirs for involved trekking staff.
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