Pilgrimage of the Heart: Simikot to Kailash
Approaching Kailash (Photo: Claudine)
Pilgrimage of the Heart (31 days, 30 nights)
Mount Kailash (6,714m/22,028ft), the holiest mountain in the Himalayas, is the spiritual centre for four great religions: Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and the pre-Buddhist animistic Bon. To Tibetans it is known as Khang Rinpoche (Precious Jewel of Snow), and they see it as the navel 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: the River of the Lion-Mouth to the north, the River of the Horse-Mouth to the east, the River of the Peacock-Mouth to the south, and the River of the Elephant-Mouth to the west. Strangely enough, four major rivers do indeed originate near Kailash: the Indus, the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra), the Karnali and the Sutlej. The circumambulation of Mt. Kailash is an important pilgrimage for Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bons. Hindus perform a parikama, Buddhists call it a kora. Buddhists believe that a single kora washes away the sins of one life and 108 circuits secure nirvana in this life. Devout Tibetans often make the 52-km circuit in a single day. Hindu, Buddhist and Jain pilgrims make a clockwise circuit of the peak, while Bon tradition is to circumambulate in the opposite direction.
Our pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash begins in the remote region of Simikot in western-Nepal. Because of the difficult access and the steep restricted area fee, the Limi valley and the Humla region receives the least number of trekkers in Nepal. After seven days of trekking through the western highlands of Nepal we arrive at the Tibetan border from where we take land cruisers to Mt. Kailash. We circumambulate Kailash, sharing the trail with Tibetan pilgrims, and drive back to Purang. Our return is via the upper route through the beautiful Limi valley.
After feedback from past clients, this trek has been planned to minimize the amount of driving involved compared to if one were to travel to Mt. Kailash either via Zhangmu or Lhasa. Although this trip does involve some driving, it is limited to the drive from Purang to Kailash and back. This leaves lots of days for us to trek in the remote Humla district and in the Kailash circuit. Although this trek goes to very high altitude, it is non-technical and suitable for anyone in good shape who likes to hike. This is not a backpacking trip: porters and pack-animals will carry your gear. It is a camping trek: you will be sleeping and eating in campsites in tents along the trail.
Day 01 - Kathmandu
Arrive Kathmandu. Met on arrival and transfer to Hotel. Day free. Overnight Hotel Tibet. (Dinner)
Day 02 and 03 - Kathmandu
Sightseeing of Kathmandu. Overnight Hotel Tibet. (Breakfast)
Day 04 - Kathmandu to Nepalgunj
Fly to Nepalgunj. Expect warm and humid conditions in Nepalgunj. Overnight Hotel. (All meals)
Day 05 and 06 - Dharapani (7,450 ft.)
Fly to Simikot. Meet up with trekking crew and start trekking. Trek to Dharapani. Overnight camp. (All meals)
Day 07 - Kermi (8,300 ft.)
Trek past Khanglagaon, the last Thakuri village in Humla. Ascend to Kermi. Overnight camp. (All meals)
Day 08 - Yalbang (9,400 ft.)
Short trek to Yalbang. Overnight camp. (All meals)
Day 09 - Muchu (9,600 ft.)
Trek past Yangar village to Muchu. Overnight camp. (All meals)
Day 10 - Yari (12,100 ft.)
Trek past Torea village and ascend to Yari. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 11 and 12 - Tharo Dhunga (13,120 ft.) to Hilsa (12,200 ft.)
Trek to Tharo Dhunga and onward to Hilsa. Overnight Camp (All meals)
Day 13 - Taklakot (12,900ft.)
Meet up with your Tibetan guides and drivers at Sher. Drive to Taklakot.
Overnight Camp (All meals)
Day 14 and 15 - Mansarovar Lake to Darchen (15,000 ft.)
Drive to Mansarovar Lake and onward to Darchen from where your trek around Mt. Kailash begins. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 16, 17, 18 and Day 19 - Circumambulate Mt. Kailash
Begin trek. You will cross the 18,600 ft. Drolma la pass on the third day of the trek. Return to Darchen and drive to Mansarovar. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 20 - Taklakot
Drive to Taklakot. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 21 - Manepeme (13,100 ft.)
Drive to Sher and cross into Nepal. After immigration formalities trek to Manepeme. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 22 - Til (11,100 ft.)
Ascend to Lamka Lagna and desend to Til. Overnight camp. (All meals)
Day 23 - Jang (12,900 ft.)
Trek past Halji and climb to a ridge to Jang. Overnight camp. (All meals)
Day 24 - Talung (15,800 ft.)
Climb to Tshom Tsho and the to Talung. Overnight camp. (All meals)
Day 25 - Shingjumna (12,600 ft.)
Climb steeply to Nyalu Lagna and descend to Selima Tsho. Long descent to Singjumna. Overnight camp. (All meals)
Day 26 - Dhinga Laga (12,600 ft.)
Rejoin the trail from Simikot. Climb to Landok Lagna and climb to Dhinga Laga. Overnight camp. (All meals)
Day 27 - Yakba (8,200 ft.)
Short day to Yakba. Overnight camp. (All meals)
Day 28 - Simikot
Trek end at Simikot. Overnight camp. (All meals)
Day 29 - Simikot to Kathmandu
Fly Simikot to Nepalgunj to Kathmandu. Overnight camp. (Breakfast)
Day 30 - Kathmandu
Free day in Kathmandu. Overnight Hotel Tibet. (Breakfast and Dinner)
Day 31 - Final departure
Final departure. (Breakfast) >
- All airport transfers; 3 full day sightseeing in Kathmandu with guide, vehicle and entry fees
- 5 nights twin-sharing accommodation in Kathmandu on bed-breakfast basis; 1 night in Nepalgunj
- Airfare: Kathmandu - Nepalgunj - Simikot - Nepalgunj - Kathmandu
- Camping trek as per itinerary with camp equipment, food, and camp staff
- Simikot Restricted Area fee
- High altitude pressurized chamber and Satellite Phone
- Staff insurance
Price does not include:
- Your international airfare, visa fee for Nepal, and international airport tax
- Personal insurance and emergency/rescue evacuation (required)
- Personal trekking gear including sleeping bag and down jacket
- Meals unless otherwise indicated on itinerary
- Bottled/canned beverages including soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and mineral water
- Tips and gratuities, and expenses of personal nature
TO BOOK THIS TRIP:
A completed reservation form must be either faxed to us or scanned and emailed as an attachment.
Fax: 977 – 1- 4412647
You must also send us a non-refundable deposit of $500 per person and an additional $400 for domestic airfare. The deposit can either be wired to us or paid by personal check. We will refund up to $30 to cover your wire expenses. Wire details will be provided.
The balance of the amount must be paid on arrival, either in traveler’s checks or cash.
If you cancel at anytime prior to the beginning of the trip, you forfeit your deposit. No refunds will be made for unused services on the trip.
Foreign travel can be tiring, so you will need to have patience and a sense of humor. Also keep an open mind that is receptive to the richness and paradoxes of Himalayan cultures.
This trek is rated challenging and involves some long days of hiking - up to 8 hours. Highest elevation reached is at the Drolma La pass (18,500 ft.). The trek requires physical fitness and involves walking through rocky terrain and landslides, but we do not expect to walk through ice (except as a result of any weather anomalies). No technical climbing experience is required nor do you have to be a very experienced hiker.
This trek does involve sleeping and hiking at high altitude. We will, as we do for all high-altitude treks, provide a GAMOW bag for this trip. A GAMOW bag is a portable hyperbaric chamber that looks like an inflatable extra-large sleeping bag. The effective altitude inside the inflated GAMOW bag is about 5000 feet lower than the altitude you are at; it has been very effective in the past in relieving headaches and other symptoms of altitude sickness.
We plan and organize journeys for hundreds of travelers every year. Please ask us for references from clients who have previously trekked with us.
Read Journal from previous trip: Pilgrimage of the Heart - 2004
View Photos from previous trip: Pilgrimage of the Heart - 2004
Other trips in Tibet:
- Lhasa and surrounds (6 days, 5 nights)
- Lhasa to Kathmandu (8 days, 7 nights)
- Himalayan Trilogy Adventure: Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet
PRE AND POST TRIP EXTENSIONS:
Arriving early or leaving late? Nepal (and the region) has a lot to offer besides your main trip to Kailash. Depending on the extra days you have and your budget, we would be glad to match you up with one of the following activities:
- Jungle experience in Chitwan National Park. (3 days or 4 days) - Package costs can range from US$ 200 per person (outside the park) to between US$ 350 to US$ 1,000 per person (inside the park depending on lodge chosen). Kathmandu to Chitwan airfare (US$ 90 approx) or vehicle transfer is extra.
- Rafting in Nepal – (2 to 5 days)
- Short visit to Bhutan - (5 to 7 days)
- Short visit to India – (7 days)
Land Line: + 977 1 4416813
Mobile: + 977 98410-00724