16 +
Nepal, Tibet
Mar through Dec
20 Days

The Mt Kailash Tour via Simikot is a unique spiritual experience as the route leads you to the sacred Mt. Kailash and includes the 3-day Kora around the mountain. The Kora is the holy circulation of the sacred mountain. However, many Tibetans do the Kora in one day, and you will also meet prostrators who take around three weeks to complete the circuit. Certainly, Mt. Kailash is Tibet’s and one of the world’s most sacred mountains, and a destination for many pilgrims.

Further, trekking from Simikot to Tibet provides an opportunity to experience both Nepalese and Tibetan culture. First, Sightseeing in Kathmandu and trekking through Nepal’s himalayas will give you insights into Nepali culture, history and traditions. Further, we arrive in Simikot, opened to trekkers only in 1993. In fact, it is the seat of Nepal’s most remote district, Humla, several days’ walk from the nearest major village. There is a continuous stream of “Humli” people from surrounding villages trading, buying supplies and dealing with various bureaucracies. After a few days of trekking, we reach a stone pillar that marks the Nepal-Tibet border. However, just across a rickety wooden bridge, it is perhaps one of the most informal border crossings in the world. It’s a short climb to Sher, a Tibetan salt trading post at 3860m. After a short drive to Taklakot, the Chinese border guards will want to see your passport and Chinese visa. The upcoming days in Tibet and especially the Kora are going to be an unforgettable experience!

Outline Itinerary:

01 Arrival in Kathmandu

02 Sightseeing in Kathmandu & trip preparation

03 Flight to Nepalgunj: 1 hour

04 Flight to Simikot (2,985m/9,790ft), and trek to Dharapori (2,360m/7,740ft): 4 – 6 hours

05 Dharapori to Kermi (2,860m/9,383ft): 5 – 6 hours

06 Kermi to Yalbang (2,879m/9,445ft): 5 – 6 hours

08 Tumkot to Yari (3,663m/12,017ft): 6 – 7 hours

09 Yari to Hilsa (3,647m/11,965ft) via Nara La pass: 5 – 6 hours

10 Hilsa to Purang (3,772m/12,375ft): 2 – 3 hours

11 Purang to Montser (4,450m/14,599ft) and sightseeing in Tirtapuri: 3 – 4 hours

12 Sightseeing of Garuda Valley, then transfer to Darchen (4,560m/14,956ft): 3 – 4 hours

13 Kora day 1: Dira Puk Monasteries (5120m/16,792ft): 5 – 6 hours

14 Kora day 2: Zuthulphuk (4790m/15,765ft) via Drolma La Pass (5600m): 6 – 7 hours

15 Kora day 3: Back to Darchen (4,560m/15,000ft): 3 – 4 hours, and transfer to Manasarovar

16 Tour of the Mansarovar Lake

17 Mansarovar to Saga (4,600m/15,088ft): 8 – 9 hours

18 Drive Saga to Kerung

19 Drive back to Kathmandu via Syabrubesi (7-8 hrs)

20 Final Departure


Arrival in Kathmandu

After arriving at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, you will be greeted by a representative from Nature Trail Trekking, who will drop you off at your hotel. After checking in, oyu can take a rest or visit Nature Trail’s office. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Nature Trail where we get acquainted with the excellent Nepalese cuisine.

Full day sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley, visa and permit preparation day

Kathmandu Durbar Square – Kathmandu Durbar Square lies in the center of the Kathmandu valley and has some of the most interesting monuments in Nepal. The Kasthamandap, the building from which Kathmandu derived its name, the Kumari Ghar, the House of the Living goddess Kumari, the Taleju temple and the most interesting the Hanuman Dhoka Palace, now a museum are some of the interesting buildings in Kathmandu Durbar Square. Besides that the program of different kinds and gathering of people from all over Nepal makes it a lively place and the best place to understand Nepal.

Swayambhunath Stupa– Swayambhunath stupa is also referred as the ‘Monkey temple’ and is one of the 7 UNESCO world heritage sites of Kathmandu. Situated on a hill top about 4 Km from the city center this stupa is one of the oldest monument in Kathmandu and comes from the Vajrayana sect of Mahayana Buddhism. With a pair of eyes in each direction this place is a spiritual center for the locals and tourist visiting this area. The hill top also offers the scenic view of the Kathmandu valley and the Himalayas.

Khokana and Bungmati– These two Newar Villages are located in the outskirts of the Patan District and are proposed as Tentative UNESCO heritage sites by the Nepal government. Khokana has the temple of Rudryaini and is also famous for the Mustard oil production. Bungmati, 20 minutes walk from Khokana through paddy fields is full of old Newari houses and architecture. These twin villages are one of the best places to experience Nepal’s age old heritages and to observe the daily life of the People. You will feel like walking in the 18th century Europe as you go through these streets.


Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

After our short excursion in Kathmandu, we take an hour-long flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, located in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj, a town near the Nepal-India border is the gateway to Simikot and the Humla region. The town itself is an interesting Terai town that showcases the diverse culture of Nepal. In Nepalgunj, we visit the local market, mini-zoo and nearby villages. Overnight in Nepalgunj.

Flight to Simikot (2,985m/9,790ft) and trek to Dharapori (2,360m/7,740ft)

We take a 40-minute flight from Nepalgunj to Simikot and admire the beauty of the soaring mountain cliffs from our airplane. Simikot, the headquarters of the Humla District, is cut off from the rest of the country due to its remoteness. While here, we learn about the local people and their rich culture, which is closely tied to the Tibetans because of the close proximity of the two places. We have lunch at Simikot and also register for the permit at the police office. From Simikot, we ascend for a while, then descend towards the village of Tuling. We continue walking through jungles and villages along the Karnali River towards Dharapori, where we stay overnight.

Walking time: 4-6 hours


Dharapori to Kermi (2,860m/9,383ft)

Today our walk is on relatively flat trails beginning with the trail alongside the Karnali River. We walk along the fields cultivated mainly with barley, buckwheat, rice and potatoes. There are two hot springs near Kermi where we may soothe our aching bodies. We can also visit ancient Buddhist monasteries close to Kermi: Laikyo Gompa and Lhundrup Choeling Gompa. Overnight in Kermi.

Walking time: 5-6 hours


Kermi to Yalbang (2,879m/9,445ft)

Today’ trek is a flat and steep ascent until reaching a small pass and crossing a suspension bridge over the Salli River. From here one can enjoy views of the beautiful pine trees and the mighty Karnali River. We will also visit the remote Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery. Overnight in Yalbang.

Walking time: 5-6 hours


Yalbang to Tumkot (3,073m/10,082ft)

We walk on a trail above the Karnali River. As we ascend further, the greenery begins to vanish and so do the smaller bushes. They give way to pine trees and rocky hills. After reaching Tumkot, we visit Dhungkar Choezom Monastery, one of the most important Sakya monasteries in the Tibetan region. Overnight in Tumkot.

Walking time: 5-6 hours


Tumkot to Yari (3,663m/12,017ft)

Today’s trek is on a relatively easy trail above the Karnali River. After walking a few miles we begin to notice the change in climate, vegetation and landscape which becomes more rocky and secluded. The trees that you see are not pine trees anymore. They are now short and low junipers. Overnight in Yari.

Walking time: 6-7 hours


Yari to Hilsa (3,647m/11,965ft) via Nara La pass

We cross the first pass of the trek today, the Nara La pass (4,620m). The vegetation is bleak by now and the landscape is familiar to that of Tibet. After crossing the pass we will be greeted by excellent views of the beautiful Tibetan plateau and Yari Village. From here on, it is a shaky descent down until Hilsa, a border town which is also a dropping point for the pilgrims on their way to Mt. Kailash by helicopter. Overnight in Hilsa.

Walking time: 5-6 hours


Hilsa to Purang (3,772m/12,375ft)

We walk across the Friendship bridge at Hilsa where the Chinese officials will check our permits and passports. We also meet our Tibetan guide here. We ascend from Hilsa to Purang and pass Rinzin Zangpo Gompa and Kangje Village along the way. In Purang, we visit the ancient Purang Gompa and explore the unique Buddhist frescoes of the 12th century. Overnight in Purang.

Walking time: 2-3 hours


Purang to Montser (4,450m/14,599ft) and sightseeing in Tirtapuri

On our way to Montser we pass through Rakshas and Mansarover lakes. After reaching Montser, we settle down for a while then visit Tirtapuri (4510m). Located northwest of Mount Kailash, the Tirthapuri Hot Springs are closely associated with Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche). Pilgrims bathe in pools fed by the springs, visit the monastery containing the guru’s footprint and dig for healing stones along a one-hour pilgrimage route. After touring Tirtapuri we return back to Montser to spend the night.

Walking time: 3-4 hours


Sightseeing of Garuda Valley, transfer to Darchen (4,560m/14,956ft)

It takes us around 2 hours to reach the Garuda Valley that lies to the southwest of Mt. Kailash. It contains mysterious caves, some of which have never been explored. Many believe that this was the cradle of the Tibetan civilization during the time of the Shang Shung kings, long before Buddhism reached the roof of the world. For those interested in the archaeological and historical sites, Garuda Valley will be a dream come true. After touring the amazing valley we move to Darchen, a small town situated right in front of the sacred Mount Kailash. Overnight in Darchen.

Walking time: 3-4 hours


First day of Kora: hiking to Dirapuk Monasteries (5120m/16,792ft)

Today, we begin our Kora of Mt. Kailash. The first day out of Darchen involves a six-hour hike in a deep valley through walls of red rock. We continue across the plain to Shershong. We further cross a bridge leading to Chuku Gompa which is high on the hill visible from the valley. The trail leads to Dirapuk from where we will have a stunning view of the north face of Mt. Kailash. Overnight in Dirapuk.

Walking time: 5-6 hours


Second day of Kora: hike to Zuthulphuk (4790m/15,765ft)

Today will be the most difficult section of our journey. We climb Drolma-la Pass at 5,750m/19,910ft. The pass whose name literally means the pass of Tara is beautiful and is filled with five-colored praying flags. From Drolma-la Pass, we descend to Zuthulphuk . At Zuthulphuk , we come across the incredible Thugje Zinbu (Lake of Compassion) and a few ancient meditative caves. Overnight in Zuthulphuk.

Walking time: 6-7 hours


Third day of Kora: hiking to Darchen (4,560m/15,000ft), transfer to Manasarovar

We gradually wind out of the valley towards Barka plain. After completing the holy Kora of Mount Kailash at Darchen, we drive for 2 hours to Mansarovar Lake. The lake holds religious significance for both Hindus and Buddhists. As per Hindu theology, Lake Mansarovar is a personification of purity, and one who drinks water from the lake is believed to go to the abode of Lord Shiva after death. Buddhists also associate the lake with the legendary lake known as Anavatapta in Sanskrit where Queen Maya is believed to have conceived Buddha. Overnight in Mansarovar.

Walking time: 3-4 hours


Tour of the Mansarovar Lake

Today, we circumambulate the beautiful Mansarovar Lake which has a circumference of 90 km making it one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world. The belief is that the Kora of Mount Kailash is completed only with a holy dip in the lake and a drink of its holy water relieves one from the sins of a hundred lives. We circle round Mansarovar by Jeep, and if time permits, we visit Chui Gompa, another attraction of Manasrovar. Overnight in Mansarovar.

Mansarovar to Saga (4,600m/15,088ft): 8 – 9 hours drive

Today, we have to accomplish a long drive from Mansarovar to Saga traversing through the sacred historic Chiu Monastery. We continue driving past Hor Quo and across the Mayum La pass (5,200m). While passing through, we will have glimpses of small towns like Zhongba and Paryang. This journey covers 270 km from Mansarovar to Paryang and adjoins Saga, 255 km away from Paryang. From Saga instead of going towards Lhasa, we drive along a different route to Kathmandu. Overnight in Saga.

Drive Saga to Kerung

We retrace our journey back to Kerung from Saga. Kerung is a border town where we will spend the night. Overnight at a hotel in Kerung.

Drive back to Kathmandu via Syabrubensi (7-8 hrs)

We clear our customs in Kerung before driving back to Kathmandu. Now you need deep trekking massage and some relaxation. Overnight at hotel.

Final Departure

The Kailash adventure in the Himalayas comes to an end today. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. A representative of Nature Trail will take us to the airport approximately 3 hours before the scheduled flight.

The Mt. Kailash Tour

Trekking Nature Trail’s  19 days Mt. Kailash trekking tour via Simikot gives the adventurous traveler an opportunity to enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of both Nepalese and Tibetan landscapes. On this challenging trip which begins with a pleasant drive from the Nepal-Tibet border, we make our way to Mt. Kailash, completing a six-day-long and beatiful walk from Simikot. The Mt Kailash trek via Simikot gives the adventure-seeking traveller an ultimate adventure experience! The six-day trek through Simikot is helpful in acclimatizing to the high mountainous region, and minimizes the risk of high altitude sickness. This is why the Simikot trek is most widely used by tourists who plan on visiting the Mt. Kailash area. Unfortunately, there is no direct flight from Kathmandu to Simikot. You must fly 1 and half hours to Nepalgunj on the Southern border of Nepal, spend a night and take an early morning flight to Simikot. If you want to walk to Simikot, takes about 15 days from Surkhet. It takes about 50 minutes to fly the 218 km from Nepalgunj to Simikot, almost the entire width of Nepal, over a 3800-metre pass.

The trek will also delight those who seek a taste of the spiritual side of Tibet and Nepal.

Mount Kailash, a holy Mountain

Mount Kailash (Kangrinpoche) situated at western part of Tibet, has been considered sacred by Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and Bonpos for thousands of years. For Hindus and Buddhists it is the center of the Universe. It is atop this mountain that Lord Siva dwells in meditation. A pilgrimage to the mountain and around it is a sacred goal for the faithful. Pilgrims walking overland for weeks or months, feel they are really approaching the Center of the Universe as they reach Kailash. It has been a pilgrimage site for centuries. Mt. Kailash is also revered as the source of four of the great rivers of Asia, fueled by the waters of the nearby holy lake Mansarovar.

We have been operating the Kailash tour for years, along different routes. Below is a normal itinerary for a round trip to Mount Kailash. E-mail or fax us for alternative routes based on your specific time and budget considerations.

Spiritual journey of a lifetime

After six days of walking, and one day of driving, we reach the foot of the mighty Mount Kailash! Here, we begin the Kailash Kora or Parikrama; a spiritual walk across a panorama of extraordinary scenery. This walk is a pilgrimage for both Buddhists and Hindus who revere the mountain which was once believed to be the abode of their deities.

A visit to Gyandrag Monastery may be arranged if the traveler wishes to make an additional one-night stay at Darchen. The monastery is located about five kilometers from Darchen village and takes approximately three hours to get to. Gyandrag Monastery was built in the 12th century by Zhikon Kuyay Ganpa and offers a glimpse into more than 800 years of fascinating history. This Monastery belongs to the Kagyu sect and was renovated in 1985. It provides comfortable accommodations, and the additional time spent at the monastery helps the traveller better acclimatize to the high altitude of the region.

Symbolic of spiritual beliefs as well as an oasis of natural beauty, a visit to Mt. Kailash will surely exceed all expectations of travelers to the region! The King of Holy Mountain, Mt. Kailash is also known as Mt. Meru. This mountain is the center of the Buddhist world where the founder of Buddhism, Sakyamuni, performed Buddhist rites. It is also known as the Hall of the Lord Shiva in Hinduism. This is no imagined world described in Abhidharmako satra of Buddhist scripture, but a real Mountain, offering deep, spiritual peace, that the traveler may experience first-hand. Mt. Kailash’s peak is the highest snow-capped peak in the grandiose range, and the meaning of the name, Kailash, is precious snow mountain or saint in the Tibetan language. Mt. Kailash is a Sacred Mountain in Tibet. The elevation of Mt. Kailash is 6,714 meters above sea level. The picture of Kailash is often placed together with the figure of Buddha on the Buddhist shrines of Tibet. Travelers making the Mt. Kailash trek via Simikot have the opportunity to visit more spiritual sites as they make this wonderful pilgrimage around Kailash.

Lake Mansarovar

The great lake Mansarovar is situated in the south-west corner of Tibet and in the north-west of Nepal . It beyond high Himalayas which borders Nepal and
China . Tibetan plateau in itself is unique in its geographic make up with its fauna and flora and mythical setup of ecosystem. The lake is 20 kms from Mount Kailash and is one of the most beautiful and sacred lake in Asia . It can be circumambulated in four or five days. It is often a gem like cobalt blue color
but during storm, it can turn into a churning black sometimes.

According to Hindu and Buddisht epics, the four great rivers of the Indian sub-continent, the Indus , Ganga , Sutlej and Brahamaputra actually arise from
Mansarover. In reality, only the Sutlej originates from the lake. Lake Mansarover has been circumambulated by the Indian pilgrims at least since being extolled in the sacred Sanskrit literature called the Puranas around 1700 years ago. Legends has that the mother of Buddha, Mayadevi was bathe at Mansarovar by Gods before giving birth to her son.

In a hundred ages of the gods i could not tell thee the glories of [the Himalaya…there is no mountain like…the Himalaya… for in it
are Kailash and Manasarovar. From the Hindu epic Ramayan.

How to avoid Altitude Sickness during the Kora:

High attention should be paid to the altitude sickness during your Tibet tour, especially when taking the strenuous Kailash tour or Kora. All ‘Nature Trail Trekking’ guest are supposed to have trekking experience at an elevation of above 4,000m before kora around Mount Kailash. Since there are enough time for tourists to get used to the high altitude on the way from Lhasa to Mt. Kailash, one should not worry too much thought! And there are some tips on avoiding altitude sickness when taking an adventure around this holy mountain or any other thinking in Nepal above 4000m.

Avoid the High Altitude Sickness during Mount Kailash Tour or Kora all valuable Nature Trail guests are request to follow following guides lines to avoid suffering from the high altitude sickness during their trips.

1. Move slowly and steadily during your kora, do not get too excited. Do not ascend too fast on the way, especially when climbing the Drolma La. Drink plenty of water before departure, since dehydration may be caused by sweating due to the dry and cold air in the high mountain.

2. In order to fully acclimatize, stay two or three days rest days in Nepal before heading for Mt. Kailash to better adapt to the high altitude. Do not take a cold shower on the first two days after you enter Tibet.

3. Bring the necessary medicines in case you suffer from mild altitude sickness or catch a cold. Recommended medicine includes – Ibuprofen Sustained Release Capsules (treating low fever and headache), Oral Magnesium Gluconate Solution (replenishing one’s strength), multi-vitamins, anti-motion sickness drug, Quick Acting Heart Reliever, Diamox Sequels (acetazolamide (Rx),etc.

4. Ensure adequate sleep and have a good rest. Do not be nervous, since the symptoms of altitude sickness will get worse once you get stressed out.

5. Prevent yourself from catching a cold. When travel around Tibet or higher altitude, you should attach importance to the cold, since it can be easily transformed to other serious altitude sickness, like pulmonary edema and encephaledema, or high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE). If you catch a cold before entering Tibet, you’d better reschedule your trip to regain your health first.

6. If you suffer from altitude sickness during your kora, showing some symptoms as losing appetite, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, dizziness, headache, breathlessness and breathing irregularity etc, you should stop ascending immediately; otherwise more serious problems may occur and even cause death sometimes within just a few hours.

7. It is not suggested to inhale oxygen to copy with mild hypoxia symptoms, so that you can acclimatize the high altitude environment in less time. Normally, slight altitude sickness can be self cured. Do not turn to the oxygen bottle frequently in case you become dependent. Keep consulting with your guide and team leader how your body acting.

8. Do not pack too many things in your backpack. Try to travel light as possible as you can to conserve strength. If you do feel tired or exhausted during your trekking, you can also hire a horse or Yaks from locals to carry your luggage.

Price and Service Details:

JOIN GROUP 3 before departure from Kathmandu.
All airport pickups and drops both international and domestic including Nepalganja
A full day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu Valley.
N3 nights hotel in Kathmandu with Bed and Breakfast Basis.
1 Night hotel on Nepalganja on full-board Basis.
Fully catered camping trek on Nepal side, (all meal cooked by our staffs on daily basis; breakfast, lunch and dinner), and while trekking in Tibet (during Mt. Kailash Kora) accommodation and meal in local tea-houses or in lodges.

Complete Pre-departure information, Flight ticket for Kathmandu – Nepalgunj- Simikot with airport departure taxes
All necessary paperwork including China Visa, Tibet travel permits and all other paper works for Tibet, Mt. Kailash area permits.
Jumla/Simikot restricted area special permits, royalties and local taxes/permits, entrance fees
4WD 4500 model Japanese Toyota LandCruiser or van or Hiace or bus, depend on group size, for transportation in Tibet and support truck for carry food and luggage’s. Starting from Hilsa border till the Mt. Kailash trek (Kora) starting point and at end, and drive further to Kerung border (Nepal-Tibet border), and further transportation from Syprubesi-Kathmandu(private jeep or other private vehicles based on group size.
English-speaking, Government Licensed holder trained and experienced local guide, and assistant guide, and other necessary staffs such as cook, and porters, kitchen boy, helper during the trip period as per itinerary.
English speaking Tibetan guide & one professional tour Manager
Lake Mansorver Kora bus fee, other required porters or horses or Yaks from Simikot to Hilsa and during Kora.
If necessary sleeping bag , down jacket, and duffle bags and all other necessary Kitchen & camping equipments.
Oxygen for emergency use , Medical kit bag / First Aid kit.
Nature Trail’s gift T-Shirt, stickers, one duffle bag, one back pack, one cap, one passport holders, one water proof wind-cheater jacket as a souvenir gift from our company
Farewell Dinner in a typical Nepali restaurant with domestic culture show in Kathmandu before departure.
All applicable taxes and service charges
Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu “a farewell dinner is included”.
A Nepal entry visa fee, (we have on arrival service except 15 nationalities)
Any kind of alcoholic, cold drinks, bucket hot shower (during the trekking).
Alcoholic beverages, Mineral water, laundry, phone calls, Internets.
Any others expenses which are not mentioned on ‘price includes section’ and other all kind of personal expenses
Natural or political disturbance which beyond our control. Emergency rescue evacuation if required. Or other personal accident insurance or Helicopter rescue.
Liability for expenses against sickness, flight cancellation, road blockage, accidents, and other occurrence, beyond our control
Any other optional services, sightseeing tours not mentioned above in itinerary
Tips, gifts, souvenirs for involved trekking staff.
Mt. Kailash commencing from Nepal

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