Mount Kailash Mansoravor tour
Mount Kailash, a snow-capped peak standing at 6,714 meters in Western Tibet, bears a deep spiritual significance to the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Bon Po faithful. Attracting pilgrims from around the world, who come to circumambulate the mountain itself and bathe in the holy waters of Mansoravor lake – which is believed to purify the sins of this life and all past lives – Kailash is known as the abode of Lord Shiva. We will traverse the Humla valley by jeep, crossing into Tibet and continuing to Mansoravor where we will stop to take a dip and reflect on its sacred significance. We will continue driving to Darchen, from where we begin our Parikrama (circumambulation) of mount Kailash. Two days will be spent walking around the base of Kailash, crossing several high passes and spending the night in tents. Returning to the banks of Mansoravor, we will meet our jeep escort and return to Nyalam, cross the border to Nepal and return to Kathmandu.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu.
You will be greeted at the airport by a representative from Outdoor Expeditions and transported to your hotel. Unwind from your flight and meet us in the evening for a welcome dinner at a traditional Nepalese restaurant.
Day 2: Kathmandu sightseeing and trip preparations.
Relax for the afternoon and enjoy a guided tour of Kathmandu’s unique attractions. We’ll spend the day exploring several of the city’s most famous cultural landmarks like the sacred Hindu pilgrimage site Pashupatinath on the banks of the Bhagamati, Swayambunath (Monkey Temple), and Bouddhanath, Nepal’s largest and most revered Buddhist stupa. In the evening we’ll meet with your trekking guide and team members for a trip briefing and preparations for the journey.
Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj 150m/490ft: 1 hour flight
An hour’s flight from Kathmandu will take us to Nepalgunj, an interesting town on in Western Nepal bordering the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Explore the mixture of Hindu and Muslim cultures that influence the town and visit Bageswory temple or the Muslim Bazaar. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 4: Fly from Nepalgunj to Simikot 2950m/9678ft and trek to Dharapuri 2250m/7380ft: 45 minutes flight and 3 hours walk
Depart from Nepalgunj for a thrilling 45 minute flight to the airstrip in Simikot, headquarters of the Humla district. We take lunch in Simikot and begin our trek with an ascent to Tuling, from where we descend along the Karnali river to Dharapuri.
Day 5: Trek from Dharapuri to Salli Khola 2700m/8856ft: 6 hours walk
We walk a flat trail along the Humla Karnali river basin passed Kermi into a wide valley. Ascending through a forest of sparse pines, we cross the Salli La pass 2900m/9807ft for a stunning panorama, then descend to Salli Khola to camp near the river’s edge.
Day 6: Trek from Salli Khola to Muchu 3120m/10235ft: 6 hours walk
Crossing a bridge over the Salli Khola, we traverse a flat expanse to Yalbang, a short distance from the Namkha Khyung Dzong monastery. We ascend high above the river from here, crossing another bridge to Muchu.
Day 7: Trek from Muchu to Sipsip 4300m/14104ft: 6 hours walk
We pass through a checkpoint at Muchu and descend to Tumkot. Just uphill from Tumkot we can visit the Dhungkar Choezam Monastery. Ascending into increasingly barren landscape, we pass Yari and see an excellent view of Mt. Erega. A flat expanse takes us through Thado Dhunga to Sipsip.
Day 8: Trek from Sipsip to Hilsa 3720m/12201ft: 6 hours walk
We ascend this morning across the Nara Lagna pass 4580m/15022ft, enjoying spectacular views of the Tibetan plateau along the descent. Passing through Ranipauwa, we descend steeply to Hilsa, a town located at the Tibetan border.
Day 9: Trek from Hilsa to Purang and drive to Tritapuri 4560m/14956ft: 4 hours walk and 6 – 8 hours drive
We cross the Tibetan border this morning to the trading town of Purang. We spend the day touring the Purang gompa, boarding a jeep in the evening for the drive to Tritapuri.
Day 10: Explore Garuda valley and drive to Darchen 4560m/14956ft: 6 – 8 hours drive
The Garuda valley, lying to the southwest of Mt. Kailash, is a fascinating store of Tibetan history. Seat of the ancient Shangshung kingdom, the valley contains numerous unexplored caves and city ruins. We spend the day exploring the mysterious landscape, boarding a jeep in the evening for the transfer to Darchen.
Day 11: Trek from Darchen to Dira Puk 5120m/16792ft: 6 hours walk
Our first day of the circumambulation of Mt. Kailash begins today. We begin on a long stretch of beautiful trail between steep walls of red rock, emerging onto a broad plane to Shershong. We ascend to Chhuku Gompa, perched on a hill high above the valley, then descend along a winding trail to Dira Puk, from where the north face of Mt. Kailash dominates the horizon.
Day 12: Trek to north face of Mt. Kailash: 6 hours walk
A day hike from Dira Puk will take us along a strenuous trail to the viewpoint for an unparalleled view of Mt. Kalaish’s north face. Though this side trip is not part of the circumambulation, it is well worth the time spent for the fantastic view.
Day 13: Cross the Drolma La pass 5750m/19910ft to Dzutul Puk 4790m/15765ft: 6 – 7 hours walk
Our most challenging day has arrived with the ascent across the high pass at Drolma La. A beautiful view of Thugje Zinbu (Lake of Compassion) unfolds on our descent, the surrounding rock walls dotted with tiny caves used by the faithful for meditation.
Day 14: Return to Darchen and drive to Mansoravor: 5 hours walk and 2 hours drive
We follow a winding trail that descends along the valley walls to the Barka plain. Arriving in Darchan, we have completed our walk around Mt. Kailash. From here we are transported by jeep to Mansoravor lake.
Day 15: Explore Mansoravor lake
Mansoravor is one of the world’s highest lakes. The faithful believe that a proper circumambulation of Mt. Kailash must conclude with a swim in the lake, which is said to cleanse one’s spirit of all passed sins. After a dip in the lake, we’ll take a jeep ride around it’s 90 kilometer circumference.
Day 16: Drive from Mansoravor to Saga 4600m/15088ft: 10 – 12 hours drive
We cover a lot of ground today, passing first by Chiu Monastery, then to Hor Quo and across the Mayum La pass 5200m/17060ft. We pass through Zhongba and Paryang to arrive for an overnight stop in Saga.
Day 17: Drive from Saga to Zangmu 3750m/12300ft: 10 – 12 hours drive
We begin by crossing the Yarlung Tsampo river to Nyalam. A spectacular view of Mt. Shishapangma unfolds as we pass Paigu-Tso lake. We ascend along the Lalung La with Mt. Everest towering on the horizon. Crossing another high pass called Tong La, we reach Zangmu, near the Nepali border.
Day 18: Drive from Zangmu to Kathmandu: 8 - 10 hours drive
We arrive at the border checkpoint, departing our vehicles at Friendship Bridge for a 15 minute walk to rendezvous with our bus bound to Kathmandu. From here it’s an 8 hour drive to Kathmandu. You’ll be transported to your hotel when we arrive.
Day 19: Depart Kathmandu
Take care of any last minute shopping or sightseeing as time permits. You’ll be picked up at your hotel three hours prior to your departure flight. Thanks for traveling with Outdoor Expeditions. Farewell and Namaste.
- Airport pickup and drop off in private vehicle
- Hotel with included breakfast in Kathmandu
- Private transportation and government licensed guide while sightseeing in Kathmandu valley
- Government licensed, experienced trekking guide and porters during trekking
- Insurance for trekking crew (guides and porters)
- All required equipment for trekking crew, kitchen tent, dining tent, and toilet tent
- Accommodations in hotels, tea-houses, or camps during trekking
- Three daily meals while trekking
- All required conservation fees and trekking permits (TIMS)
- Lunch and dinner while in Kathmandu
- Entrance fees for attractions (UNESCO world heritage sites, museums, etc.) during sightseeing in Kathmandu
- Personal insurance or cost of air rescue in the event of emergency
- Air ticket to and from Nepal from your point of origin
- Visa fee for entry into Nepal
- Personal expenses (souvenirs, alcoholic beverages, hygiene items, staff tips, etc.)
This tour involves several days of trekking at high altitudes, as well as high altitude driving (average 8 hour days). You should be physically fit and in good health to make this journey. We take a mandatory day of acclimatization in Nyalam to help prevent altitude sickness. The journey can be undertaken year round, though we recommend going between April and October, as the winter temperatures can become extremely cold.