TREK: SIMIKOT – KAILASH

A pilgrimage to Mount Kailash is one of the biggest events in a person’s life. It is also a fascinating adventure starting from far west Nepal in Nepalgunj. A plane ride to Simikot and the journey begins. Crossing rivers, high passes, and valleys, it’s a long, hard journey leading up to Mount Kailash. Joining the hordes of pilgrims, the kora is completed and then a walk on the shores of the holy Manasarovar Lake. The pilgrimage over, the return journey by road to Nepal begins.

The Pilgrimage trail for Hindus and Buddhists to Mount Kailash

Kailash also called Mount Meru is the most sacred mountain in the world, the abode of Lord Shiva. This trek on the border of Nepal and Tibet is more than a journey. It’s an adventure and a pilgrimage to a mystical mountain steeped in religion. A religious tradition that goes back a thousand years, it brings pilgrims from all walks of life, walking with a single purpose. We cross valleys inhabited by mixed Tibetan-Nepalese peoples to reach the sacred sites of Lake Manasarovar and Mount Kailash. The trip culminates in high altitude with a Kora and crossing of the 5,630m pass of Dolma La.

HIGHLIGHTS
- The sight of Mount Meru/ Kailash after a trek through the mountains.
- Kora around Mount Kailash and Manasarovar Lake.
- Old-style trekking in bivouac with a very caring team.
- Mountain flight between Nepalgunj and Simikot.

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Gallery

Itinerary

  • Level of Trek: Difficult
  • Best Period: May - June & September
  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Highest Altitude: 5700 Meters
  • Flights: Kathmandu - Nepalgunj - Simikot
  • Accomodation: Hotel/Lodge/Guest House

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Day
Airport pick- up, transfer to hotel and check-in.
- Accommodation: Hotel

- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

Fly to Nepalgunj, a city close to the Indian border in southwest Nepal.
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day.

After a 30 minute flight over the Karnali river, we land at the airfield in Simikot, a sleepy capital of Humla region. We meet with our team and the trekkers. We start hiking up, climbing gradually to ascend 300 m. Then we follow the high Karnali valley. After riding for 3 hours on a donkey, we cross the Karnali River and arrive at the Thakuri village of Dharapuri (2,400 m).
- Ascent : + 300 m
- Descent: - 600 m
- Duration of hike: 3 ½ hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tent

We follow the left bank of the Karnali River crossing marijuana fields and a wild peach forest. Occasionally, we cross paths with salt caravans that come down from Tibet. We then set up camp in Kermi. A 30-minute walk takes us to the hot springs, where we can relax in the pool.
- Ascent: + 600 m
- Descent: - 150 m
- Duration of hike: 5 ½ hr
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

The trail takes us up and down through Himalayan pine forests. Great views of the Saipal Himal range (7,031 m). On the way, we cross a suspension bridge on the Chhungsa Khola. We come across Yalbang, a Tibetan village. We then visit a big monastery of the Sakyapa school.
- Ascent : + 450 m
- Descent: - 200 m
- Duration of hike: 6hr
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

This day’s hike is through a forest and the climb is gradual, leading to the village of Muchu. After reaching Muchu, we cross a bridge over the Muchu Khola, which is a tributary of the Karnali. We then descend to Tumkot and visit the monastery which houses a few monks.
- Ascent: + 350 m
- Descent: - 400 m
- Duration of hike: 4 ½ hr
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

After an hour of walking, we cross a suspension bridge and leave the Karnali valley. From then on, we follow the Kumchiyakhola River. We pass through Yari, a Tibetan village of about fifty houses. The trail we follow from here climbs continuously in a zigzag pattern up the slope. We reach a meadow at Thado Dhunga where we set up camp.
- Ascent: + 950 m
- Duration of hike: 5.5hr
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

Day of rest and acclimatization at Thado Dhunga
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

We finally reach the Tibetan plateau where the vegetation becomes scarce and the land becomes arid. At first, we have an easy climb followed by a steep ascent just before reaching the Nara La pass (4,620 m). We then descend to Hilsa, a border village and we’re back in the Karnali valley. We enjoy views of the snowy peaks of the Gurla Mandhata (7,728 m) on the Tibetan side. We see yak and goat caravans carrying salt, wood, and alcohol. The descent from here passes through some steep sections.
- Ascent: + 600 m
- Descent: - 900 m
- Duration of hike: 4 ½ hr
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

We cross the Tibetan border after completing the usual formalities. On the Tibetan side of the border, another team awaits us with a jeep. We drive towards Purang, an important Tibetan fortress in western Tibet described in his books by the scholar, Prof. Tucci in the 1950s. It is also an important town for the Tibetan salt trade in Nepal.
We reach the road to Lake Manasarovar passing through the foot of the Gurla Mandhata. We now travel on the Tibetan plateau, along with herds of yaks and horses and goat caravans carrying salt on the steppes. We arrive at the monastery of Gossul, on the way to the pilgrimage to circumambulate Lake Manasarovar.
- Duration of drive: 6 hr
- Accommodation: Guesthouse

We walk for a few hours along the shores of Lake Manasarovar. We will be accompanied by groups of Tibetan or Indian pilgrims who perform the ritual circumambulation of the lake and perform many ablutions in the icy waters! Finally, our vehicles pick us up to head for Chiu Gompa, a small monastery on a rocky peak, dominating the sacred lake from where we see Mount Kailash off in the distance. We then drive to Tharboché in the afternoon.
We then prepare for the Kora.
- Duration of drive: 3 ½ hr
- Duration of hike: 3hr
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

We just need to follow the pilgrims to perform the ritual circumambulation of the mountain. We also use this opportunity to take time to immerse ourselves in the spirituality of this extraordinary place. The Kailash tour is done in one day by some pilgrims, while others take much longer, prostrating themselves at every step and yet others put up their tents to meditate at the foot of this sacred mountain.
- Duration of hike: 5hr
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

This is the most difficult day of our journey as we have a very high pass to cross, the Tara Pass (Drolma La, 5,700 m) before we descend to our camp over the Milarepa cave that we will reach the following day. The pass is the highest point of the pilgrimage and most pilgrims stop here for a few minutes to give thanks.
- Duration of hike: 7 to 8 hr
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

We come to the end of the pilgrimage (3 hours walk), then a short route takes us to Darchen and Lake Manasarovar. In the afternoon, we walk along the shores of the sacred lake.
- Duration of hike: 3hr
- Accommodation: Same as previous day
We drive for about 4 hours to reach Baryang, some 270 km away.
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

From Baryang we drive to Kyirong which is 490 km away and takes about 7-8 hours to reach.
- Accommodation: Hotel

From Kyirong we make a 24 km descent to the bottom of the Bhote Khosi/Trishuli valley at the Sino-Nepalese border. We then go through the Langtang National Park via Syabrubesi and Dhunche, where most of the inhabitants are Tibetans and Tamangs. Then we return to Nuwakot, where there’s lush vegetation with terraced hillsides. We climb 8 km up a winding road through sal and pine forests to reach Nuwakot Durbar, an ancient fortress, and palace built by the kings of Gorkha. At the moment it is undergoing restoration as a result of the earthquake of 25th April 2015. We visit the bazaar, temple, and the palace. We overnight in a typical farmhouse that has been converted into a charming resort.
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

From Nuwakot we drive for 3 hours to reach Kathmandu around noon time. Late afternoon free in Kathmandu.
- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

- Accommodation: Same as the previous day

Transfer to TIA (Kathmandu Airport) for your return flight.
End of our services.

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