Kailash Overland

Cultural & scenic adventure through south-west Tibet to Mt. Kailash

A remarkable journey, covering the best parts of Tibet and truly a fabulous journey which offers awesomely beautiful rock formation, cascades and canyons slightly hidden under the thin mists. With numerous high passes with stunning views of the picturesque landscape, tranquil lakes, rural villages, large meadows with nomad camps scattered all around the overland trip is one of the best in short duration. Enriched by the ancient most lavishly decorated monasteries and temples with chanting saffron coloured monks, ever-smiling faces of people and their typical lifestyle all contributes to this trip a memory of your lifetime. A land so rich in culture, tradition and steeped in religion with its unique landscape cast an enchanted spell that holds you in thrill and excitement.

Mount Kailash, situated within Tibet to the Northern part of the Himalaya. It is the spiritual center for four great religions:  Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, the Jain religion and the pre-Buddhist animistic religion - the Bonpo. And strangely enough, four major rivers i.e. the Karnali, Sutlej, Indus and the longest one - Brahmaputra, originate from near Kailash mountain. For the Tibetans it is a particularly special place, the poet saint, Milarepa, spent several years here meditating in a cave.   For the Hindus Mount Kailash is the earthly manifestation of their spiritual center of the universe, ‘world pillar’ around which all else revolves, its roots in the lowest hell and its summit kissing the heavens and on top lives their most revered God Shiva. The governments of Nepal and China reached an accord 3 years ago, that allowed the first treks across the border between the two countries. While it had been a route for Nepalese pilgrims for years, the foreign trekkers were never allowed to trek from Nepal to Tibet.

Mt. Kailash 6,714m / 22,028ft is situated to the north of the Himalayan barrier, wholly within Tibet. It is the perfect mountain with awesome beauty, with four great faces, the eastern face is believed to be crystal, the western ruby, the southern sapphire and the northern gold. It is the spiritual centre for four great religions: Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, the Jain religion and the pre-Buddhist animistic religion-Bonpo. To Tibetans it is known as Ghang Rimpoche(Precious Jewel of Snow) and they see it as the naval of the world. It is said that a stream from the mountain pours into a nearby lake and from here rivers flow in the four cardinal directions.

For the Hindus...their spiritual centre of the universe, described as a fantastic ‘world pillar’ 84,000 miles high, around which all else revolves, its root in the lowest hell and its summit reaching the heaven and the abode of their revered God Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati.

For the pre-ancient religion Bon, it is the site where its founder Shanrab is said to have descended from heaven and it was formerly the spiritual centre of Zhang Zung, the ancient Bon Empire that once included all western Tibet. Bon people circumbulate this holy mountain in an anti-clockwise manner, unlike the other religion does it clockwise.

Over the centuries, pilgrims from all corners of the world have constantly journeyed immense distances to achieve enlightenment or cleanse themselves from sins, braving enormous distances, particularly harsh weather and bandit attacks.

Outline Itinerary:
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.
Day 02: In Kathmandu with half day tour.
Day 03: Drive to Zangmu (2,300m) and to –Nylam (3,450m)
Day 04: At Nylam for acclimatisation.
Day 05: Drive to Saga 4,400m. 6 hrs journey.
Day 06: Drive to Paryang 6 hrs.
Day 07: Drive to Horpa eastern side of Manasarovar 4,550m. 6 hrs ride.
Day 08: Acclimatization and Rest Day at Manasarovar.
Day 09: Drive to Darchen 4,600m and begin walk to Dhiraphuk 4,900m.
Day 10: Trek to Zutul-Puk. 4,760m. approx 6 hour walk.
Day 11: Trek to Darchen and drive to Chui Gompa 3-4 hr walk and 2 hrs drive.
Day 12: Retrace the drive back to Nylam via Paryang and Saga.
Day 13: Drive to Nylam.
Day 14: Drive back to Kathmandu.
Day 15: In Kathmandu.
Day 16: Transfer to Airport for international departure.
 Departure Dates  Availability
 11 May-26 May  Available
 10 Aug-25 Aug  Available
 07 Sep-22 Sep  Available
Day 01:

Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.

  On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuwan International Airport you will be received by our staff and transfer you to respective Hotels, where our guide will give you a brief orientation of the Hotel, Kathmandu and Tibet portion, do's and don't and other related information that you might require while in Nepal-Tibet.
Day 02:

In Kathmandu with half day tour.

  After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about the time for your half day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest.
Day 03:

Drive to Zhangmu (2,300m) and to –Nylam (3,450m)

  Morning drive to Nylam via Zhangmu, after a few hours drive at Dhulikhel, continue 4-5 hours drive to Kodari. Kodari the last Nepalese frontier, here your passport will be checked after the formalities walk to the friendship bridge (depending upon the road condition due to monsoon rain) either transfer in local truck or  walk, by truck 1/2 hour drive to Zhangmu from the bridge, by walk a little more than 1 hour uphill, on reaching Zhangmu you will be received by our Tibetan Guide and driver, after a brief formalities at the Chinese Immigration and Custom our drive continues to Nylam a scenic drive on the narrow road at someplace, following the Bhote Koshi upstream in the midst of the oaks-rhododendron and pines forest, on reaching Nylam the tree lines disappears with only high altitude vegetation of berberry bush and some alpine plants. At Nylam transfer to the nearby Guesthouse/Lodges. Dinner at local Chinese Restaurant just across the main road.
Day 04: At Nylam for acclimatisation.
  A necessary acclimatisation day, at Nylam one can go for a short walk and visit the 11th Centaury poet saint Milereppa Cave and its monastery nearby.
Day 05:

Drive to Drive to Saga 4,400m. 6-7 hrs journey.

  Morning wake up call on Beijing Standard Time which is about 2 hours 15 minutes ahead then the Nepal standard time. After breakfast prepare for the most adventurous journey on the Tibetan windswept landscape, today passing through two high passes of Lalung-La at 5050m with great view of Shishapangma (8013m)-Gaurishanker (7134m) Langtang (7234m) and array of other mountain range, the drive continues with a brief stop, drive is on the dirt road passing through numerous villages and farm fields and Nomads camps with their cattle’s of sheep’s and Yak grazing, as you come to town the road improves with the paved-road. Journey turns south at first then heading towards west to the most remote corners of Tibet and probably in the world. After leaving the good road, drive continues passing through many farm villages and high passes. The drive today actually seems long than the other past days then the drive finally ends at the town called Saga.
Day 06:

Drive to Paryang. 6-7 hrs.

  Starting earlier, another long day drive leads past the suburb of Saga for complete wilderness, after few hours ride the drive winds and climbs to a pass of about 4,900m. then descending to the long stretch of Tibetan plains, on a clear day great views of the distant peaks of north western Nepal can be seen while on the drive most of the way. The drive passes few villages after every few hours of this scenic drive and then eventually coming to a desolate windswept village of Paryang. Paryang at approx 4,550m is a village of 15-20 houses mainly serving as Guest houses and Lodge, where the facilities are very simple and basic.
Day 07:

Drive to Horpa eastern side of Manasarovar. 4,550m. 6-7 hrs ride.

  Today's drive leads to more barren, harsh landscapes with occasional stops and passing through some small villages and nomads camps, and large Tibetan tents serving as teahouses and restaurants, the drive continues leaving the vast plains and then climbing up to the last pass of Mayam-la at 5,150m the road meanders to a long ascend the road gains altitude rapidly at first, then levels crossing the barren base below the pass and with a gradual drive of few hours reaches at the shore of Lake Manasarovar for the overnight stop.
Day 08:

Acclimatization and Rest Day at Manasarovar.

  Rest day for acclimatization at leisure or short hike and visit to the nearby monasteries. Manasarovar, a sacred lake, located in West Tibet between Mt. Kailash 6,714m. and the Gurla Mandhata Range 7,694 m. Manasarovar floats beneath the shadow of holy Kailash as the lake formed in the mind of God.  In any language, this is the holiest, most famous lake in Asia.  The best time to circle Manasarovar is in late autumn and early spring when the streams and rivers flowing into the lake are low. It is then possible to walk very near the shoreline. An optional parikrama trip of Manasarovar Lake can be done on request which takes approx. 4-5 hrs.
Day 09:

Drive to Darchen 4,600m and begin walk to Dhiraphuk 4,900m.

  Two hours drive will bring to Darchen, a small settlement with few guesthouses this places can be quite busy with pilgrims during the auspicious time for the parikrama / kora (circumbulation). Darchen, is the starting and ending point of the holy walk around. The holy walk leads west from the guest house compound high above the Barkha plain to a cairn and prayer flags, an excellent view of Mt. Kailash from this spot.  The trail continues across the plain to Shershong, an hour past Shersong is a bridge leading to Chhuku Gompa high on the hill above, The west bank trail leads across the scree slopes to our overnight camp just by the streams on the meadow, before Damding Donkhang that offers a good view of the west face of Mt. Kailash. Kailash (6,714m.), Asia’s most sacred mountain, is said to be at the heart of the ancient Shangshung kingdom, the supposed land of origin of the pre-Buddhist Bonpos.  Mount Kailash is their soul-mountain.  This is the very place where the sect’s legendary founder, Tonpa Shenrab descended from heaven to earth. After 4-5 hrs walks brings you at Diraphuk Gompa. This is a superb little gompa with an exquisite interior and an excellent view of the North Face of Kailash, at present there are few shops and a Lodge on the opposite side of the monastery.
Day 10:

Trek to Zutul-Puk. 4,760m. approx 6 hour walk.

  After a good rest here at Dhiraphuk, walk continues on the gradual path for some time, after the bridges the parikrama route climbs onto a moraine, eventually meeting the trail from the east bank. The trail from here climbs steeply to a meadow for the overnight camp. Parikrama / kora continues with a steep climb for 20-30 minutes with great views of North East Face of Mt. Kailash after reaching the ridge the path leads to a gradual walk for a while till it reaches to the last final climb towards Dromo-la at the highest point of this journey. The trail today leads up past piles of clothing, the local Tibetan pilgrims leave an article of clothing or some of their possessions leaving their past life behind them, the kora continues past thousands of small rock cairns beyond to a stone hut and across a boulder field and up to the high pass of Dromo- la at approx.5, 470m /18,525ft. A big boulder represents the goddess Dolma or Dromo (Tara) is festooned with prayer flags. This spot is the physical and spiritual high point of the pilgrimage kora.
The track from here descends to the plain below, a few hours walk brings to the overnight stop at Zutul-Puk Gompa, Zuthul means cave. The place is named after a cave in which the poet, saint Milareppa stayed meditating. His footprint still remains on the roof.
Day 11:

Trek to Darchen and drive to Chui Gompa. Approx: 3-4 hr walk. and 2 hrs drive.

  The last day of our holy ‘kora’ leads to an easy walk of only 3 to 4 hours on the broad level winding trail, passing numerous mani walls, then coming to a narrow valley and short section of gorge as the route turns towards west to Darchen, the last leg of the trek make a dramatic exit from the river valley on to the plain the walk passes to a mani walls decorated with carved yak skulls. A short walk from here brings you to the windswept little township at Darchen and the end of this great walk. From here drive back to Lake Mansorovar for the overnight halt near Chui Gompa for the overnight stop.
Day 12:

Retrace the drive back to Nylam via Paryang and Saga.

  These two days drive leads back to Paryang and Saga before reaching to Nylam by the same way back.
Day 13:

Drive to Nylam.

  From Saga drive back to Nylam for the last overnight stop in Tibet, Nylam is also the starting and ending point of the Tibetan Plateau where the green vegetation ends and begins with the desert like landscapes.
Day 14:

Drive back to Kathmandu.

  From Nylam the drive leads downhill through the gorge with views of cascading waterfalls and back to rich vegetation and tree lines on reaching at Zhangmu the frontier town after completing the visa formalities drive back to Kathmandu with another visa formalities at Kodari.
Day 15:

In Kathmandu.

  A free day in Kathmandu, please inform our staff if you would like to go on another short tour in and around Kathmandu Valley or for scenic mountain flight.
Day 16:   

Transfer to Airport for International Departure.

  Today as per your international flight time, keep your confirmed air ticket, and your passport handy. Our staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from this amazing country, Nepal.
The price includes following services:
 1.  Accommodation sharing twin room at Hotel in Kathmandu for 4 nights on Bed & Breakfast basis.
 2.  Airport transfers in Kathmandu and Lhasa.
 3.  Guided sightseeing tour as per itinerary with applicable entrance fees.
 4.  Hotel / Guest House accommodation in Tibet as per itinerary on full board basis.
 5.  Transportation by private vehicle.
 6.  English speaking Tibetan Guide throughout the trip in Tibet.
 7.  Camping arrangement as per itinerary backed by Nepali Crew on full board basis.
 8.  All applicable Travel Permit and Entry Fees.
 9.  Yak & Yakmen to carry loads during trekking.
 10. Flight Kathmandu / Lhasa.
 11. Tibet Visa Fees.
However our price does not include followings:
 1.  International flights to / from Kathmandu.
 2.  Nepal entry visa fees.
 3.  Lunch and dinner while in Kathmandu Hotel.
 4.  Travel, Medical and Personal insurance.
 5.  Expenses of personal nature, i.e. tipping, laundry, bottled drinks, bar bills etc.
 6.  Any expense for early returning member due sickness, injury or any other reason. No refund will be entertained for any unused service.
 7.  Extra expense occurred due to unexpected circumstances like cancellation of internal flights, floods, strike etc.
 8.  Personal clothing and Trekking gear



If you are not tied up with time limitations, or have more time before or after your main trip with us, you can join / take following extension trips to make your holiday even interesting. According to extra time you have, you can choose a visit to National Parks for jungle safari viewing rare animals, migrant birds and exotic reptiles or enjoy the whitewater rafting or take a cultural tour of Kathmandu, Pokhara, Nagarkot or even make a quick visit to neighboring countries of Tibet – Roof of the world, India – The country of wonders, Bhutan – The Dragon Kingdom. We can add these extensions before or after your holiday according to the flights that you have booked / can book. Beside these, if you even want just stay in Kathmandu for relax or any independent activities, we can book extra nights at the Hotel. You can book these extensions together with your main trip booking.

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Trip Facts
  • Trip Name : Kailash Overland
  • Trip Duration : 16 Days
  • Trip Grade : Moderate/Adventurous
  • Trip Date :
  • Activity : Trek and Walks
  • Highest Altitude : 5470 m
  • Month : Apr-Jun, Aug-Oct