Tuesday, 22 May 2018
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Travel Year 2011

Mt. Kailash

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Kailash & the Gu-ge Kingdom (27 Days)
Kathmandu or Chengdu to Kathmandu – USD 2550 p/p excluding flights
Sacred spaces and stunning landscapes! Magnificent temples, mountain passes, snow-capped peaks, nomad camps, pilgrims – this is truly a journey to stir the senses and nourish the soul - of all the destinations in Asia, the most sacred and sublime. The days of travel are long, the roads are dusty and bumpy - and it is a world that will take your breath away.

Style: A small group departure escorted by an experienced tour leader and a Tibetan guide using a mix of good hotels, basic guest houses and camping.

Kailash & the Gu-ge Kingdom

Sacred sites and stunning landscapes!
Magnificent temples, mountain pases, snow-capped peaks, nomad camps, pilgrims - this is truly a journey to stir the senses and nourish the soul - of all the destinations in Asia, the most sacred and sublime. The days of travel are long, the roads are dusty and bumpy, the scenery will take your breath away.

Where are you going?
Day 1: Discover some of the secrets of Kathmandu with a half day city tour of Durbar Square and Swayambunath, the Monkey Temple or arrive Chengdu.

Days 2-6: Colorful and historic, the holy city of Lhasa lies in a small valley 3700 meters above sea level. During our time in the heart of Tibet, we visit the Potala Palace, the Jokhang, the huge university monasteries of Drepung and Sera and the Barkhor pilgrim circuit.

Day 7: Leaving Lhasa behind it is a long, yet spectacular drive to Gyantse. From the top of the Kamba Pass (4794m) the views of the turquoise lake, Yamdrok-Tso are unforgettable. The road winds down towards it and we travel along its shores, stopping at the small town of Nangartse for lunch, before climbing again to the Karo La (5054) and the glaciers of Mt Nojin Kangtsang, reaching Gyantse in the late afternoon. Once of major importance as a trading center on the routes between India, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet and China, its imposing fort, Gyantse Dzong, dominates views of the town. It is also the site of Pelkor Choede and the fascinating Gyantse Kumbum.

Days 8-9: From Gyantse we follow the Nyang-chu valley towards Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest town. It is also the site of Tashilhunpo Monastery, seat of the Panchen Lama and one of the most important monasteries of the Gelukpa order.
Day 10: Sakya, once the political power of Tibet is the last stop before set out to fully experience the splendor, enormity and isolation of western Tibet as the camping section of our trip begins.

Days 11-13: Begin to fully experience the splendor, enormity and isolation of western Tibet - magnificent valleys, herds of grazing yak, goats and sheep, passes topped by prayer flags and few permanent settlements mark our journey towards Tibet’s ancient heartland.

Days 14-17: En-route to Guge the dramatically situated gompa and hot springs at Tithapuri are closely linked to Padmasambhava and are traditionally visited in conjunction with a Kailash kora. The road into Tholing, once the most important monastic complex in western Tibet, is one of the most awesome sights in a region of awesome sites. Below stands the first capital of Guge whilst the skyline comprises a vast sweep of the Ladakh Himalaya. Guge’s later capital at Tsaparang is of even greater significance in the history of Buddhist art, its fantastic wall murals displaying evidence of close links with Ladakh and Kashmir. On the afternoon of Day 17 we arrive in Darchen to make final preparations for our kora.

Days 18-20: The giant snow-topped pyramid of Kailash stands apart and distinct from those around it, dominating the landscape. Along with Lake Manasarovar it was the heart of ancient Zhangzhung and soul-mountain of the pre-Buddhist Bonpo. To the Bon it is called Yungdrung Gu Tse (Nine-Storey Swastika Mountain) and is the place where their legendary founder, Tongpa Shenrab descended from heaven to earth. In the 11th century however Naro Bonchung ‘lost’ both Kailash and Lake Manasarovar to Milarepa in a contest of magical powers. To complete a kora (circumambulation) is the goal of every Tibetan; a single kora cleans the sins of a lifetime whilst 108 guarantee enlightenment.

Days 21-25: Having completed our kora we retrace our steps as far as Saga before turning south via Paiko Tso (lake) to the small town of Lao Tingri, our base for venturing into Qomolangma National Park. Some of the most stunning views of the mountain are from the tiny Rhongphu monastery (5000m) seven kilometers below Everest Base Camp. At Nyalum we reach the edge of the Tibetan Plateau and the road descends sharply towards the Nepal border, some 40kms and 2000 meters below. Moisture returns to the air, the colors change, trees appear, lush green vegetation and the Bote Khose river thunders below as we spend a final night in Zhangmu.

Day 26: From Kodari, the Nepalese side of the border, the road continues its winding descent, hopefully unhindered by landslides, towards Kathmandu. Rich in cultural and artistic heritage blending the traditional and the modern, Kathmandu is a vibrant, chaotic, colorful city - one not to be missed. The markets, bazaars and narrow streets are home to holy men, sacred cows, bicycles, street sellers… you name it, it is here.

Cost

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What is Included
- Accommodation twin or multi share as available.
- All camping equipment (except sleeping bag) whilst camping (9 nights)
- All meals whilst camping
- Transport as per itinerary
– All airport transfers
– Sightseeing as per itinerary (including entry fees)
– Full times services of tour leader and Tibetan guide in Tibet
– Tibet entry permit
- Yaks or porters to carry personal gear & camping equipment on Kailash kora.

What is not Included
– Personal expenses such as drinks, postage, laundry.
– Meals on non-camping portion of the trip
– International flights and departure taxes
– Visa and passport fees
– Travel insurance
– Emergency evacuation
– Tips and gratuities
– Costs arising from unforeseen events outside the control of Caravan Himalaya (eg. Landslides)

Other Tibet trekkings
 
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