Tibet - Round Tibet

Trip Facts

Round Tibet TourTour Type: Lodge/Camping
Tour Grade: ▲▲ (?)
Maximum Altitude: 5240 m.
Best Season: March - October

Few mountains in the world rival the grandeur of Mount Kailash (6714m) , the famed holy peak in Western Tibet. Kailash has long been an object of worship for four major religions. For the Hindus, it is the domain of Shiva. It is also the abode of Samvara-a multi armed, wrathful deity worshipped in the Chakrasamvara Tantric cycle of Tibetan Buddhism. The Jains of India also revere the mountain as the site at which the first of their saints emancipated. And in the ancient Bon religion of Tibet, Kailash was the sacred nine storey Swastika Mountain, upon which the Bonpo founder Shenrab alighted from heaven.

Sprawling below Mount Kailash is the sacred Lake Manasarovar (4560m), where a ritual bath will deliver a pilgrim to Brahma's paradise and a drink of its water relinquishes the sins of a hundred lifetimes.

The 53 Km Kailash circuit is the holiest of all Tibet's pilgrimages and the beacon which draws most travellers to Western Tibet. It is said that a Single Parikarma erases the accumulated sins of a lifetime, while 108 circumbulation will achieve Salvation Or Nirvana.

Itinerary of West Nepal and Tibet: with (Saga Dawa Festival 2006)

DAY 01: Kathmandu, Arrive in international airport, pick up and transfer to your Hotel.

DAY 02: Rest day/ sight seeing around Kathmandu and evening tour briefings with welcome dinner o/n Hotel.

DAY 03: After your break fast transfer to domestic airport and flight to Nepalgunj one hour and check in your Hotel in Nepalgunj and afternoon sight seeing tour in Nepalgunj and evening dinner. overnight same hotel.

DAY 04: Flying one hour to Simikot and Camp Dharapari 4 hours walk,( 2295m.) this is a short day, your flight has arrived in simikot early in the morning and you are ready for a half day of trekking. Start climbing from the simikot airstrip at 2960 meters past wheat and barley fields on a rocky trail bordered with cannabis and nettles. Trek past the stone house of upper simikot and the community water supply. It does not look far, but it’s a long 300 meter pull to the top of a forested ridge overlooking the town. The trek then makes a long, steep descent on a rocky switch backing path passing above the rooftops of Dandaphoya.the village on the opposite side of the river is shara. Continue past a single house, then on to tuling, also known as Majgon. a compact thakuri village at 2270 meters. There is a small campsite about a half hour beyond the village. At these lower elevations among unsanitary villages flies are a real nuisance.

DAY 05: DHARAPARI-to-KERMI 5 HOURS WALK (2690 meters) camp.
The trail is reasonably level and walnut and apricot trees provide welcome shade, as the trek passes through Dharapani. The two parts of this scattered village are separated by the yakba khola. It’s a long. Rough traverse across a scree slop to a stream below the trail a bridge over the Humla karnali leads to khanglagaon, a thakuri village on the opposite side of the river. This is the last Thakuri village in the valley and the upper limit of rice cultivation. Stay on the north side of the river as the trail snakes up and down to chachera, a shepherds campnear a waterfall at 2350 meters, climb over aridge past swarms of lizards sunning themselves as you approach kermi, situated beside a stream at 2690 meters. The route by passes kermi village itself, the only camp nearby is below the left side of the trail about 10 minutes beyond the village. There is a hot spring about an hour’s climb above kermi.

DAY 06: KERMI –to-YANGRE KHARKA 5 HOURS WALK (2850 meters) camp.
Climb over a ridge into a big valley with walled potato and buckwheat fields, and then climb through a sparse pine forest to a rock cairn on a ridge at 2990 meters. Make switchbacks down to an extensive growth of wild marijuana and nettles on the bank of the chumsa khola cross the stream on a huge log, climb a steep rocky ridge and drop back towards the fast ?flowing light grey waters of the Humla karnali. Climb over another ridge, and then descend to Yalbang Chaur, a meadow where goat herders camp beside the river at 2760 meters. In November an annual trade fair, or meal at this site.
Above this sandy meadow the humla karnali valley narrows and the sides become quite steep. Climb over two mores. The trail follows an irrigation canal to a huge rock just to the north of the village. Yalbang shares a hydroelectric power supply with its neigh bour yangar, a few km away. Thake the lower, left hand fork and contour up and around to a house and horsE pasture on the ridfe below, you can see a bride over the humla karnali and a ridiculously steep trail on the opposite side the leads to puija (Poyun) the village where yalbang people live during the summer. This is also a trade route to the once important Humla trading center of chala and on to Bajura south of Humla climbs over another ride at 2930 meters and descend gradually to the extensive fields surrounding the compact village of yangar at 2850 meters.

DAY 07: YANGAR -TO- MUCHU 5 HOURS WALK, (2920m.) Camp.
An old route followed a steep trail over a 3500-metre-high ridge, the Illing La, beyond Yangar. Fortunately you can now follow a new, lower path that avoids the climb. The trail passes through the compact settlement of Yangar, in some places in tunnels beneath houses, then climbs behind a rock spur to a fast-flowing stream. Decline the old trail and follow the new route across a scree slope and out to the end of the ridge before dropping to the river at 2770 meters. The trail wends its way precariously close to the river on a track built up with rocks and wooden props and a few stretches where the path was blasted out of the cliff. After more than an hour of ups and downs you will reach a new suspension bridge at 2800 meters. Cross to the south bank of the Humla Karnali and a big rocky Camp beside the river. Climb to a stream, rock-hop across it and ascend past apricot orchards to a totally defunct kani that marks the entrance to Muchu village at 2920 meters.

DAY 08: MUCHU –TO- YARI 6 HOURS WALK, (3640m) Camp.
The trail passes below the gompa and stone houses of Muchu. Climb through the orchards and fields of the village to a ridge, then drop into a ravine and climb to a chorten on the opposite side. There are a few house, just behind it is the ridge near the chorten offers a good view of the upper part of the valley and of Tumkot village also known as Mota gompa and it’s large white gompa on the next ridge enjoy the next easy strech of trail as it contours down to the Tumkot Khola, follows the rocky stream bed for a short distance then cross it on a Long bridge. Don’t climb the hills towards Tumkot follow the trail around the foot of the Ridge and cross the Bomchiya khola on a wooden bridge at 2900m the Humla Karnali disappears into a steep cleft to the north behind a high ridge that provides you with the opportunity to climb up hill for the next two days, the first part of the climb from the Bomchiya Khola is quite steep about half an hour up there is one obvious trail Junction take the lower left hand trail the upper trail which eventually rejoin the lower trail is a short cut for gots the route enters a steep rock, field gully it’s a long slow sloge upto a ridge at 3270m the path level out as it ascents to a cairn at 3310m, Out as it ascents to a kind at 3310m then descents gently through Juniper trees and climbs again to Pal bang, we will get on bright yellow mustard (tori) fields. From toria the trail ascents to stream and deep in got dropping then contours upto a small cairn at 3660m where rounding a ridge you can see the extensive field of Yari the trek follows on irrigation cannel into the Huge valley of the Jyakthang chu market by a many wall at 3640 meters climbs gently to Yari. A compact settlement of stone house.

The trail makes steep continue ascents along the side of the ridge above Sipsip to huge rock cairn atop the Nara lamgma at 4580m. A short distance below the pass you will roind a ridge for the view of Tibetan platue the Humla karnali and the green barley fields of Shera. This hill without a few slips and slides. The trail contours around a large canyon before making a final steep, dusty drop to the Humla Karnali at 3720 m. It is a walk of only a few minutes along the river to Hilsa. O/n Camp.

Guest house,Surrounded by Barley fields a stone pillar that marks the Nepali and Tibetan boarder is just across a long bridge perhaps one of the most informal boarder crossing in the world. Climb a short distance to Shera a Tibetan Salt trading post at 3860m where if you have made prior arrangement and all goes well you will find a jeep waiting for you to make the one and half hour drive in to Taklakot. All of China is Beijing time which is two and half hours faster than Nepalese time so set your watch accordingly because the Ngari region of Tibet is so far west of Beijing this means that its dark when you arise at 7: am and light until about 10: pm, during the season, for this trek in july and August the Shera is where Humla People sells woods and rice from Nepal. The Illigal trade in wood beams further helps to deplete Nepal’s froest resourses, the grain/salt trade is responsible for the 1000 of goats you have seen on the trail is carrying upto 10 kg Humla people make as many as 6 or 7 trips a year and traders from throughout western Nepal make a single trip each year exchanging one major of rice for two major of Salt some how this turns out to be a profit able trip, though it is baffling that it is so. In upper Humla they grow two kinds of millet ?finger millet (kodo) and common millet (chinu) ?and two kinds of barley ?‘naked? Tibetan barley (uwa) and regular ‘bearded?barley (jau) ?amaranth (Marcia), wheat, buckwheat (phaphar), potatoes and radishes. In the lower portions of Humla they grow winter barley; in higher villages such as Yari, only one crop per year is possible. The drive from Shera to Taklakot:
From the Nepalese boarder at Shera the road makes a long descent to a stream and some miles then follows the Humla Karnali to Khojernath at 3790m, Khojernath is the first large village in Tibet and boasts an important gompa of the sakya sect. This gompa escaped most of the excesses of the Cultural Revolution thogh the silver status and other items described by early travelers have disapperard the new status are of chenresig (Avalokitesvara), Jamb yang (Manjushree) and Channadorje (Vajrapani). The monks, familier with Indian pilgrims, explain these gods as the Buddhist manifestations of Ram, Laxman and Sita.
Also of inerest in the gompa are the stuffed carcases of a yak, Indian Tiger, Snow leopard (chen in Tibetan) and wolf (changu) hanging from the ceiling those are also replacements dating from 1985. The road climbs over 4000m passes.
Talakot which is the Chinese and the Tibetans call puran is a large training centre and is composed of many distinct settlement the route from Shera enters from the south along a walled road lined with willow trees. This is the Chinese section of town where the bank police including immigration and public secuirity post office and tourist hotel are located there are two descent.

Day 11: THE DRIVE FROM TAKLAKOT TO TIRTHA PURI.4560m) at Tirtha puri Camp.
It is about 160 km from Taklakot to Tirthapuri. From Taklakot the road climbs past many Tibetan-style settlements to the Gurla La at 4590 m. Much of the road is an ad hoc route made by drivers who created one where they saw fit, with only the straight line of telephone poles defining the way. At one point more than 15 parallel lines of vehicle tracks scar the plateau. This drive is best done in the morning; by afternoon the melting snows of Gurla Mandata (7728m) have caused streams to rise so high that fording them may be impossible. Watch for huge jack rabbits and wild asses (kiang) along the route.

Drive to Guge Visit Gurge kingdom & tholing monstery. Hotel.

Day 13: visit to Tsaprang Guge kingdom and back to same hotel.
Day 14: Return from Tsaprang to Darchen and camp at Tarpuche.(4750m)
Day 15: Attend to the Saga Dawa -Camp (This date is the main Sagadawa festival day so, we have to reach here 1 day before for nice camp side and attending the Sagadawa festival in Tibet in 2006)

Saga Dawa Festival
This is the story about one of the most impressive moments we have ever witnessed anywhere. "Saga Dawa is an important Tibetan Buddhist festival, held each year on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, to celebrate Sakyamuni 's enlightenment.", that's what every guidebook will tell you. But actually having been there, at that moment it is more like being part of a magic event, something that gets a total grip on all of your senses. So what's going on? Each year, they replace the Tarboche flagpole, a huge pole that stands round of Kailash. People from all over Tibet gather here that day to attach their prayer flags they brought from home, to pray, and to help erect the flagpole. The flagpole should stand perfectly upright, or else things are not good for Tibet. A Lama leads the whole ceremony from the nearby monastery. It's his job to make it work 'right first time'.

Day of Saga Dawa: People circulate the flagpole that is down on the ground now. They pray and throw 'wind horses' (little pieces of colored paper with Buddhist scriptures on them) into the air. They help to remove last year's prayer flags and attach new ones. As a visitor you are almost forced to follow them as they go around and around, time after time. Along the sides, on the slope of the nearby hills, a lot of people are sitting to watch the 'spectacle' and there are musicians, which play all the time on their horns and symbols.

The flagpole is first erected halfway, using A-structures and ropes. The Lama continually gives instructions on how to do it, when to stop and when to go on. Everyone can help pulling the ropes, that's the 'non-organized' part of it, but there are always plenty of people doing this spontaneously. When they cannot go further using the A-structures, they pause for about half an hour. The Lama sits on the side, and all the time people come to sit in front of them, to talk to him, to give him some gift (mostly some drink!), to ask him for good fortune. They do not 'queue' however, as soon as someone is gone, someone else comes out of the walking crowds - it all seems not organized, but in fact it's a very special way of organization!

Then comes the final part, the last step that has to result in the perfect upright position of the flagpole. A steel cable is attached to two trucks, engines are warmed up, and then, on the sign of the Lama, and they go backward, pulling the flagpole. To be able to control the movement, on both sides of the flagpole people pull ropes too, to prevent it doesn't incline to one or the other direction. Once the trucks start moving, it all goes very fast, the flagpole is moving, the A-structures that were supporting it, fall down, and only seconds later it is all over. And then big magic occurs, the flagpole stands upright, and at that very moment, thousands of wind horses fly into the sky... like an explosion of prayers going to the heavens. You can really feel a sudden great sense of happiness surrounding you.

The next moment, people start incubating the flagpole again, this time to assure themselves the job is well done, and that all is well. We join them in some kind of almost euphoria. Some hours later the place is empty again, except for the tents further away belonging to the people that will spend the night here, maybe to return the next day, or to do the Kailash parikrama.

The Saga Dawa festival has been held here for the last thousand years... Having been part just once is such a powerful experience.

Day 16: TARBUCHE - Dhirapuk (4,890m.) (6HRS) and Camp
Day 17: Trek Dhirapuk -Zutul Puk 4790m. Domala Pass and descend ti Zuthulpuk (6-7hrs) 22km Camp
Day 18: Trek to 14 KM and 1 hour drive to Mansarovar Lake(4510 m)and camp
Day 19: Rest day in Mansarover on the grass land camp
Day 20: Drive to Paryang (4560m.) (7-8 hrs.) 277km. Camp
Day 21: Drive to before Lhache.7/8 hrs.
Day 22: Drive to Sakya Monastry visit and back to Lhatse and drive to shigatse, overnight hotel holy land.
Day 23: After breakfasr Visit to Tashihunpo Monastery and drive to Gyantse- 90 Km(3900mvisit of palkhor monastery en route, overnight hotel
Day 24: Drive Gyantse - Lhasa,– 259 Km. overnight Xiong bala hotel in Lhasa
Day 25: Private tour potala, hotel in Lhasa Xiong bala hotel in Lhasa
Day 26: Am private tour Drepung monastery, pm trekking tour to small hill and overnight in same hotel..
Day 27: after your good break fast drive to Gongar Lhasa airport and fly back to Kathmandu. And free day.
Day 28: Reporting Airport to fly back to your country depature transport to international Airport.

The cost for the above program is:
For 2 Pax US$ 3895 (3255 Euro) per person. With one land cruiser and one truck.
For 3-4 Pax US$ 3345 (2795 Euro) per person. With one land cruiser and one truck.
For 5-6 Pax US$ 3099 (2589 Euro) per person. With two land cruiser and one truck.
For 7-8 Pax US$ 2795 (2335 Euro) per person. With two land cruiser and one truck.

Includes in above cost are:-

1) Arrival pick up on your arrival day and private transport to your hotel
2) Welcome dinner and trekking briefings.
3) Trekking Guide, Cook, Assistance guide, kitchen helper etc.
4) Trekking permits and Conservation fee and Humla Restricted area Special trekking permit.
5) Foods 3 times a day; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and Tea, coffee etc and boiled water for drinking during
the trek.
6) Necessary porters with well equipments .
7) All staffs and porters life insurance and well paid salary.
8) Hot Water bag for bed for the guests.
9) For the Guests: Pillow, Waterproof form mattress with extra thin mattress.
10) Porter equipments (Windproof and water proof very warm trouser and Jacket, Warm woolen hat, Sunglass, Woolen gloves, Woolen Shocks, Shoes)
11) First Aid kit.
12) Climbing Dome Tent for the guests.
13) All ground transportations and air fare for the staffs.
14) Staff Tent.
15) Porter Tent and Porter mattress.
16) Hotel Harati in Kathmandu according to Programe in BB plan in a/c deluxe garden side room
17) Inner sheets for the Guests.
18) Kitchen Tent.
19) Dinner Tent.
20) Necessary Kitchen Utensils
21) Tables and back folding chairs.
22) Shower Tent, Tools, ground sheet, hot water bucket, Jug, Soap, Towel etc.
23) Toilet Tent, Toilet commot.
24) Nepalgunj hotel and half day sightseeing.
25) Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, Nepalgunj to Simikot all airfare with Airport Tax and airport private transportations.
26) All foods,camping gears,camping staffs will be from Nepal
27) Oxygen.
28) All Tibet Visa for the staffs and guest.
29) Nepalgunj to simikot Staff's airfare and the cargo fare.
30) All special permits fees from Purang.
31) Kodari To Kathmandu private transportations for the staff and luggege.
32) All private transportations between Airport and Hotel (In Nepalgunj and Kathmandu).
33) In Tibet transportations by deluxe Toyota land cruiser 45000 with expenses for jeeps & drivers in Tibet.
34) One experienced knowledgeable Tibetan tour guide.
35) All entrance fees of the sightseeing in Tibet.
36) All necessary permits fees of Tibet side for whole trip.
37) Service charge of Tibet side
38) Yaks & yak men for trekking in at Kailash Kora.
39) All grass land fess & ferry fees.
40) During your stay in purang all foods and camping.
42) with best service for whole trip in Tibet and Nepal.
43) Lhasa kathmandu air fare with airport transportations & air port Tax.
43) Departure transfer to International Airport from your hotel at your departure time.

Excludes in the above cost are:-

1) All personnal expenses.
2) Coke, Fanta and Mineral waters.
3) All Alcoholic drinks.
4) Tips for staffs.
5) Personnal travel insurance.
6) Nepal re-entry visa fee.
7) During your stay in Kathmandu hotel your lunch and dinner.