Top 5: 14 Days Indian’s Manasarovar Kailash Yatra
Our two-week Manasarovar and Kailash pilgrimage Yatra is designed specifically for overseas Indian pilgrims who have plans for a once-in-a-lifetime journey to the holy lake and mountain. The journey starts in Lhasa where you can acclimatize to the Tibetan high altitude and explore the world class attractions in the capital city. Soon afterwards, we travel westward across the vast Tibetan Plateau and reach Ngari area.
What you can expect
Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa After you arrive in Lhasa either by train or flight, your guide will greet you and transfer you to your hotel. You will spend the rest of the day acclimatizing to the high altitude. If you feel like going out, you may take a stroll on Potala Square or in the historic center of Lhasa. It is important to have a good night of sleep and not rush to the attractions. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 2: Lhasa free day, optional sightseeing: Norbulingka, Sera Monastery (except Sundays). You can take the time to continue to rest. You also have the option to do some sightseeing. We recommend a visit to Norbulingka in the morning and Sera Monastery in the afternoon. Norbulingka is the summer palace of Dalai Lama. It is the largest artificial garden in Tibet with three beautiful lake palaces inside. Sera Monastery is one of the three great Gelugpa universities and famous for monk debate session in the main courtyard. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 3: Lhasa highlights: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Bakhor Streets We visit the single most iconic architecture in Tibet, Potala Palace, which is the winter palace of Dalai Lama. You will see both the public offices and residential quarters of Dalai Lama, as well as a massive collection of artworks and religious treasure, including stupas of past Dalai Lamas and a statue of Tsongkhapa. After lunch, we will head to Jokhang Temple, the most important and sacred temple in Tibet. The architecture of the temple displays influences from Indian, Tibetan and Nepalese design. Numerous famous Buddhist teachers have also conducted teaching there. Today, it houses a variety of Buddhist scriptures and objects. Surrounding the temple are Bakhor streets, a busy and lively area for dining, shopping and entertainment. You will also encounter many local Tibetans performing pilgrimages and ritualistic prostrations. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 4: Lhasa-Yamdrok-Karola Glacier-Gyantse-Shigatse(360km) We head west towards the second largest city in Tibet, Shigatse. On our way, we cross Kampala Pass (4797 m) and then Karola Pass (5050 m). We will first encounter the stunning holy lake of Yamdrok-Tso and then Karola Glacier only steps off the main road. We will visit Pelkhor Chode Monastery in Gyantse that houses the most important Tibetan paintings in Kumbum Stupa, and the majestic Gyantse Dzong (fortress) that overlooks the valley. We will finally reach Shigatse before dinner. You will have plenty of time to rest. Overnight in Shigatse.
Day 5: Shigatse-Saga(450km) We visit the prominent Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. Built in the 15th century by the first Dalai Lama, it has since been the seat of Panchen Lamas. We recommend that you do Kora pilgrimage around the monastery. We then drive all the way to Saga. Along the way, you can enjoy plenty of different Tibetan landscapes, including vast grassland, wild animals, nomadic tents and snow-capped mountains. Overnight in Saga.
Day 6: Saga-Lake Manasarovar(500km) We will depart from Saga early, follow Yarlung Tsampo River (Brahmaputra in India) to the west and reach Lake Manasarovar after long hours of driving. Overnight in guesthouse beside Lake Manasarovar.
Day 7: Lake Manasarovar-Darchen After spending more time at Lake Manasarovar, we will travel to Darchen at the foot of Mt. Kailash and prepare for the upcoming trekking days. You will want to organize your belongings and do some last minute shopping, before getting a good night of sleep. Overnight stay in Darchen.
Day 8: Mt. Kailash Trek Day 1: Darchen – Dira-Puk Monastery (5050m) 20 km, 5-6 hours We begin the Mt. Kailash Pilgrimage in the clockwise direction. 4km into the path, we reach the height of 4790m and the first prostration point that marks the first views of Mt. Kailash’s southern façade. The next important landmark is Tarboche flagpole (4750m), where the main rituals of Saga Dawa Full Moon Festival takes place here every year. You can pay visit to the nearby Chorten Kangnyi and Sky-Burial Site Of The 84 Mahasiddhas. Coming up next is Chuku Monastery (4820m), where you can find a revered marble statue inside. After some break time when you can take in more views, we will head towards the second prostration point, where you see prayers flags and views of the west side of Mt Kailash. The second Buddha footprint is a short distance ahead. There are several trails to reach our final destination of the day: Dira-Puk Monastery (5080m). It faces the north side of Mt. Kailash, and also provides viewpoints for peaks in other direction. Overnight stay at guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom) near Dira-Puk Monastery. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Day 9: Mt. Kailash Trek Day 2: Dira-Puk Monastery - Zuthul-Puk Monastery (4790m) 18 km, 6-8 hours We continue on the main Kora path towards the east. We pass through Kangkyam Glacier and Jarok Donkhang (5210m) meadowland. A short distance above is Shivatsal (5330m). Pilgrims go through a symbolic death here and are reborn at Drolma-la (5630m), which is half an hour away. After some rest and refreshments, we soon arrive at lake Gauri Kund. We gradually descent to the grand valley of Lha-chu, and begin a long journey in the grassland. The day concludes at Zuthul-Puk Monastery. Overnight stay at guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom) near Zuthul-Puk Monastery. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Day 10: Mt. Kailash Trek Day 3: Zuthul-Puk Monastery- Darchen (4670 m) 14 km, 3-4 hours We follow the river and then climbs the Gold & Red Cliffs. Pilgrims search for holy stones on these cliff walls. We will see prayer flags across the river, and Lake Rakshas Tal in the far distance. After reaching the fourth prostration point, the final walk back to Darchen is quite easy. Overnight stay in Darchen.
Day 11: Darchen-Saga(500 km) Return to Saga from Darchen. Overnight stay in Saga.
Day 12: Saga-Shigatse(450 km) Return to Shigatse from Saga. Overnight stay in Shigatse.
Day 13: Shigatse-Lhasa(280 km) Return to Lhasa from Shigatse. You will have time for shopping gifts and souvenirs to bring home. Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Day 14: Depart from Lhasa You will enjoy your last moments in Tibet. Our guide and driver will then pick you up and transfer you to the airport or train station. We hope you have gathered precious memory of your time in Tibet, and we wish you the best on your future adventure.