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Tibet - Kailash & the Guge Kingdom

From the great monasteries and temples of Lhasa and central Tibet take a pilgrimage to and around the sacred mountain at the heart of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cosmology, spend a night on the shores of the vast blue Lake Manasarovar - legendary birthplace of the great rivers of Asia. Travel through stunning landscapes to explore the religious and artistic heritage of the historic kingdom of Guge, on the banks of the Sutlej River. Cross the vast grasslands for a spectacular close-up view of the world's highest mountain.

Sacred spaces and stunning landscapes! Magnificent temples, mountain passes, snow-capped peaks, nomad camps, pilgrims – this is truly a journey to stir the senses and nourish the soul - of all the destinations in Asia, the most sacred and sublime. The days of travel are long, the roads are dusty and bumpy - and it is a world that will take your breath away.

Explore the heart of central Tibet, the great temples, monasteries and palaces of Lhasa, Gyantse & Sakya before traveling west, back in time and history through dramatic landscapes to Tibet's most sacred pilgrimage sites - Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Tithapuri - and to the region that was once the heartland of Tibet, the ancient kingdom of Guge. The 3-day circumambulation of Mount Kailash is challenging due to altitude, but within the capabilities of any healthy person - and timed to coincide with the full moon, it is an incredible time.

Stunning views of Qomolangma (Mt Everest) and a day trip up to base camp are a highlight before traveling back east to Shigatse and the incredible Tashilumpo Monastery - then follow the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) back to Lhasa for last minute sightseeing & shopping.

Of incredible geomantic power Kailash (Sanskrit) or Kang Rinpoche (Tibetan) marks the center of the Earth for Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and Bon. To Buddhists it is the abode of Demchok, the wrathful manifestation of Buddha Sakyamuni. To Hindus it is the dwelling of Shiva, the destroyer and according to the Sanskrit tradition of Vishnu Purana it is a representation of Mount Meru, the cosmic mountain at the center of the universe. It is the place where the founder of Bon descended to Earth and where the founder of the Jain faith was spiritually awakened.

Kailash is also the geographical watershed of South Asia, here its great rivers are born - the Indus, the Sutlej, the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) and the Karnali / Ganges. At its foot lies the most venerated of Tibet's lakes, Manasarovar, believed by Hindu's to have been formed in the mind of Brahma.

Once the heartland of Tibet, the remains of Zhangzhung date back over 3,000 years. Later the kingdom of Guge flourished from the 9th to the 15th centuries, with its strong links to Ladakh and Kashmir it is extremely important in terms of Buddhist art history. The remains of this kingdom stand in a landscape so overwhelming as to defy description.

Group Departures 2020
June 01-18, 2020
August 10- 27, 2020


Itinerary Lhasa-Kathmandu

01: Arrive Lhasa - transfer to hotel
02: Lhasa sightseeing - visit Drepung & Sera
03: Lhasa sightseeing - Potala, Jokhang & Barkhor
04: drive via Yamdrok Lake to Gyantse
05: visit Pelkor Choede - drive to Shigatse
06: visit Tashilumpo - via Sakya to Shegar
07: to Rombuk & hike to Everest Base Camp
08: drive via Paiku Tso drive to Saga
09: drive to Menshi
10: visit Tirthapuri & drive to Tsada
11: Visit Tholing & Tsaparang (Guge Kingdom)
12: drive via Dungkar & Piyang to Darchen
13: Kailash Kora to DiraPhuk
14: Kailash Kora to Zhutrul Phuk
15: complete Kailash kora - to Chiu Gompa (Lake Manasarovar)
16: drive to Saga
17: drive to Kyirong(views of Shishapangma)
18: Rasuwa border - Kathmandu

Itinerary Lhasa-Kathmandu
Some group departures will also operate Lhasa-Lhasa. All inclusions, sights visited are the same, just slight change of order.
This itinerary will travel Lhasa, Gyantse, Sakya, Saga, Menshi, Tsada, Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Saga, Everest, Shigatse, Lhasa.
As well as being slightly cheaper this option allows for travel back into China (or flight to Kathmandu), avoids Nepali roads in monsoon season & allows you to consider add-ons at the end of the trip including trips to Ganden, Namtso or Samye.

"Just a quick one to say thanks for organising our trip and that we really enjoyed it! JingMi (spelling!?), our guide, was fantastic, as was our driver. The overall arrangements and itinerary were very well planned and executed, with the right amount of flexibility too."