Kailash Tholing Tour -16 Days

Tibet
At a Glance

Combining a Mt. Kailash tour with Toling provides an exceptional opportunity to explore the spiritual and hidden treasures of Tibet. At Himalanaya Trekking Path, we offer both flight and overland tours from Nepal that encompass the Kailash Kora and Toling in a single journey. Considered the spiritual epicenter of the universe by five major religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Bon—Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar hold profound significance steeped in countless myths and legends. Adiyogi Shiva, Buddha, and the Jain Theerthankars have all contributed to the mystical aura surrounding this sacred place. Among all the majestic peaks on our planet, Mount Kailash stands out with its distinctive markings and commanding presence, nestled between two smaller peaks in the remote southwestern region of Tibet. The awe-inspiring power emanating from this extraordinary summit has captivated the human imagination since time immemorial.Toling, located in the west of the Tibet Autonomous Region, is a town and the seat of Zanda County in Ngari Prefecture. It was once the capital of the Guge Kingdom during the reign of Langdarma in western Tibet. Although now an isolated military town, Toling boasts modern amenities such as a well-planned new street, a post office, and telecommunication facilities. The Tholing Monastery, established in 997 AD, is situated on the outskirts of the town, within the magnificent Grand Canyon of the LangchenTsangpo (Sutlej River). This monastery holds great historical significance as it played a crucial role in the second spreading of Buddhism in Tibet. The Kailash Manasarovar pilgrimage, on the other hand, is widely regarded as the pinnacle of spiritual journeys, with many considering it the highest point of their life's experiences.

Itinerary
Tour PlanExpand All

Upon your scheduled arrival time, our representative will be waiting for you at the arrival gate. They will be holding a sign with your name and our company's pamphlet, which is called Himalayan Trekking Path. We kindly request that you verify your name and the name of our company to ensure a smooth meeting. Once you have met our representative, we will warmly welcome you to Nepal with traditional Nepali culture. You will be presented with a beautiful garland made of marrygold flowers. Afterward, we will accompany you to the car, where you can enjoy a pleasant 30-minute drive to the hotel. Upon reaching the hotel, you will have the opportunity to rest and also visit our office to finalize the details of your Kailash Toling Tour in Tibet. In the evening, we will have a discussion about the itinerary for the upcoming journey around Kailas. Additionally, we will assist you in submitting the necessary documents for the registration of a group permit to visit the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in the People's Republic of China.

Max. Altitude: 1350m/4429.13ftMeal: DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

On the second day of your package, indulge in a delightful breakfast. Following this, you will embark on a day of sightseeing in Kathmandu, where you will have the opportunity to witness the rich art, architecture, history, and ancient culture of the country. Our knowledgeable guide will accompany you on a lovely day tour, meeting you at the hotel lobby. During this tour, you will have the chance to explore prominent attractions in Kathmandu, such as Boudhanath, Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square.

Max. Altitude: 1350m/4429.13ftMeal: BreakfastAccommodation: Hotel

After enjoying a delightful breakfast at the hotel, embark on a journey from Kathmandu in a Jeep. Experience a captivating 5/6-hour drive through the picturesque Trishuli River valley, adorned with breathtaking rice terraces and stunning landscapes. This scenic expedition marks the conclusion of the third day of the Kailash Toling tour. Spend the night surrounded by the soothing sound of the rushing rive

Max. Altitude: 1460m/4790ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

Today, we begin our exploration of Tibet by traveling from Syaphru Beshi to Ghatekhola. A short walk of 10–15 minutes will lead us to Friendship Bridge, where we will complete immigration procedures at the border between Nepal and Tibet. Following this, we will embark on a 2-hour drive to Kerung. In Kerung, we will have the opportunity to dine at numerous restaurants offering Nepali, Tibetan, Muslim, and other ethnic cuisines. Our accommodation for the night will be at the Kerung Hotel.

Max. Altitude: 2800m/9186ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

In the early morning, we enjoy breakfast at the Kerung Hotel before embarking on our journey to Saga. More details about Girong will be shared in the section dedicated to our return from Tibet to Nepal. As we continue our drive, we traverse the stunning road that connects the Himalayan gorges with the Tibetan plateau. The landscape gradually transitions from firs and pines to poplars, eventually leading to a treeless alpine terrain. A brief stop at Chahyung Pass offers breathtaking panoramas, including views of Manaslu (8156), Annapurna (8091), and Dhaulagiri (8167) towering above 8 kilometers in height, all situated within Nepal's borders. On the other side of the pass, Lake Poiku and the Tibetan peak Shishapangma (8027) come into view. Before reaching Saga, we cross the mighty Brahmaputra River, which, after a journey of 2.5 thousand kilometers, merges with the Ganges before flowing into the Indian Ocean—a perfect opportunity for a symbolic ablution.

Max. Altitude: 4500m/14764ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

Preserving a rest day in your itinerary is essential to protecting yourself from the risks of acute mountain sickness (AMS). With our knowledgeable guide, you can venture into the captivating Tibetan plateau and immerse yourself in its beauty.

Max. Altitude: 4500m/1476ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

After an early breakfast, our journey will take us towards the highest freshwater lake in the world. Mansarovar, a revered lake, is perched at an altitude of 4558 meters and showcases a mesmerizing greenish-blue tint. According to folklore, this lake was once a resting place for Lord Vishnu. Surrounded by Mt. Kailash, Mt. Gurula-Mandala, and Lake Rakshash, the latter is believed to have been created by the malevolent King Ravan, leading locals to believe that its waters are poisonous. We will complete a full Parikrama of Mansarovar Lake by vehicle (2 hours - 110 km) and spend the night at a Guest House.

Max. Altitude: 4558m/14954 ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

Today's itinerary takes us on a captivating journey through the spiritual spectrum of religion, as we immerse ourselves in the beauty of Mansarovar Lake. Following the performance of sacred rituals, we will continue our expedition to the charming village of Darchen, nestled in the shadow of the sacred Mt. Kailash. Unwind and recharge with a comfortable overnight stay at a hotel.

Max. Altitude: 4650m/15256ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

Unnecessary items are left in the car, while the rest is either loaded onto yaks or handed over to porters. During the journey, it is advisable to carry only the essential items in a small backpack, such as warm clothing, a camera, water, a flashlight, and a wallet. For those participating in the campaign for religious reasons, it is recommended to start directly from Darchen and walk 20 kilometers. Other participants can drive 6 kilometers to the stupa in Tarpoche, which is what Chinese tourists usually do. We suggest utilizing the saved time and effort to visit the Chuku Monastery. We will return the day after tomorrow. OM MANI PADME HUM and OM NAMAH SHIVAYA! In a positive manner! The atmosphere around Kailash is predominantly religious, with numerous Tibetans dressed in festive attire, reciting mantras, counting prayer beads, making phone calls, and purposefully moving clockwise. Some individuals, dressed differently and wearing special protective gear, crawl on their hands and knees, covering a distance of 54 kilometers. This unique method of movement is known as the prayer step, which allows them to circumambulate Kailash for at least a week. It is a challenging endeavor, but one that brings great merit. Tourists are a minority here, even among Hindus. While Hindus also make pilgrimages, they belong to different denominations. As a tourist, there is plenty to see and observe, not just people. Along the way, we will take a break at the pebble beach of Lha Chu, have lunch at one of the tents that provide shelter and food for travelers, and after completing the first 180° of the circumambulation, we will reach our guesthouse before nightfall.

Max. Altitude: 4950m/16240ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

The peak of our journey and undoubtedly the most significant day! As the sun rises, we set off towards Kailash. The most resilient and enduring among us will need to ascend to the Dolma Pass. Passing through the Ganjam Chu gorge, between the peaks of Chan Dorje and Jampeliang (known as Vajrapani and Manzhushri in Hindu tradition), we reach the Ganjam glacier, with Kailash looming above us. Just a little further, and the Great Mountain will rise against an impassable barrier. The path ends here, and it's time to gather stones. In various ways, with humor and seriousness, small stones have broken off from the top and are scattered abundantly under our feet. It's simple to select one, pick it up, and keep it in your pocket. Turning north, with Kailas at our backs, we catch sight of the Dirapuk Monastery. They also see us from there. Eyes meeting, offering different perspectives. Dirapuk is a deeply atmospheric place where the essence of ancient times has been remarkably preserved, despite revolutions, destruction, and numerous changes. Constructed in the 13th century above a cave where the pilgrim Gotsangpa sought shelter from a storm after circling Lake Manasarovar, the monastery remains unchanged. A narrow passage leads into the cave; it's quite small, with room for only one person inside. In the adjacent room, gilded Tibetan ascetics gaze sternly at you from the shadows. As night falls, you can step out onto the monastery's bright roof. This is Kailash. Its lower wall slices through the ice like an arrow, pointing to where we stood just a few hours ago. Note: In case the Chinese authorities prohibit access to the Northern Wall of Kailash, we will spend the second night at the Dirapuk Monastery and enjoy the hot springs at sacred Lake Manasarovar in the evening.

Max. Altitude: 4950m/16240ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

The most challenging day of our journey, the pinnacle of our adventure! There is no turning back now! If anyone is unsure of their abilities, they should address the issue of returning to Darchen the day before by discussing it with the guide. If necessary, the guide can arrange transportation and find an escort to descend instead of ascending, following the counterclockwise path like the followers of the Bon religion. This is crucial because holding onto unjustified hope for "maybe" can waste precious time and hinder the progress of the main group. We must ascend to a significant altitude and cross the Drolma La pass. The journey is quite long, but technically, the pass is not difficult, except for the lack of oxygen! At 5636 meters above sea level, there is very little of it! Let us hope that our acclimatization program will prove effective, enabling us to overcome the challenges with full strength. As a precaution, we will carry a can like this one. However, we will not discard it like some unaware tourists do. Instead, we will lower it down and determine the appropriate location for it. The final stretch before the pass is arduous and vibrant, with hundreds of thousands of colorful prayer flags and numerous people dressed in vibrant attire. Here, they take a break, rest, enjoy a snack, and experience happiness, smiles, and joy! A little further down, the Axe of Karma will sever the sins left behind! The descent from the pass is steep and can be dangerous if it becomes icy. In such cases, we will be assisted by "kittens,"  soft ice-cold crampons that can be easily purchased or rented in Darchen. As we descend to 5200 meters in the Laham Chu valley and have a snack at the first tent we encounter, we will feel a tremendous surge of energy. The key is to not exhaust ourselves with sleep or succumb to excessive euphoria, which is quite likely. The challenging altitudes and major obstacles are now behind us, but we still have 10 kilometers ahead, offering breathtaking landscapes and a view of the eastern face of Kailas. We will spend the night in a guesthouse constructed in a similar fashion.

Max. Altitude: 5636m/18491ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

After completing the Kailash Parikarma, our next destination is Toling, where you will have the opportunity to explore various ancient monasteries. One of the notable sites is the monastery built in 997 AD by Yeshe-Ö, the second King of the Guge Kingdom. In Tibetan, 'Tholing' translates to "hovering in the sky forever," a fitting description considering the monastery's location at an elevation of 12,400 feet (3,800 m). The monastery complex consists of three temples: the Yeshe-O Temple, the Lhakhang Karpo, and the Dukhang. Visitors can admire the many ancient, precious, and well-preserved frescoes found within the monastery.

Tholing Monastery is the oldest monastery in the Nagri Prefecture. It was built in 997 AD by Yeshe-O, the second King of the Guge Kingdom. In the Tibetan language, Tholing means “hovering in the sky forever”. The complex includes 3 temples, the Yeshe-O Temple, the Lhakhang Karpo, and the Dukhang. There are many ancient precious and well-preserved frescoes. Yeshe-O was a devout Buddhist, who sent 21 youths to learn Tantric Buddhism in Kashmir. Only Rinchen Zangpo and another survived and returned. Rinchen Zangpo, the greatest Buddhist more adept and translator, started to translate Buddhist sutras and develop Buddhism at Tholing, which was set up by Yeshe-O for that purpose. However, he was later defeated and captured in an ambitious aggression he started to plunder enough gold to invite Atisa to the Guge Kingdom to promote Buddhism. He sacrificed his life to send his ransom to Atisa. After his arrival, Tholing Monastery gained a higher reputation and once became a religious center in Tibet under the royal patron of the Guge Kingdom. The influence of Guge Kingdom and the monastic center of Tholing Monastery came to be known in India from Kashmir to Assam.

After completing the extensive exploration for two days, we will return to Darchen/Saga by means of transportation.

In the morning, we depart for the border. The first stop is Lake Paiku Tso (4591), a hidden gem of Tibet. We will take a brief detour to enjoy a picnic by the water while admiring the stunning view of Shishapangma. Next, we will visit upper Kerung, an old Tibetan town that has managed to preserve its traditional charm despite being opened to foreign tourists only three years ago. After exploring the quaint streets of Old Kerung, we will head to New Kerung, descending from the Upper town at 4100 meters to the Lower town at 2800 meters. This journey will lead us to the Valley of Happiness, a place named by the Tibetans for its breathtaking beauty and warm climate. In this valley, apricots thrive, a rare sight for the cold-resistant inhabitants of the high-altitude plateau. Once we complete the immigration process at the border, we will continue our journey to Ghatekhola at an elevation of 2380 meters before heading to Kathmandu.

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