In the far west of Tibet is Mt. Kailash, the most sacred mountain in Asia, which is venerated by Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and the ancient Bon religion of Tibet. From it flow four great rivers – the Karnali, the Indus, the Sutlej and the Brahmaputra – which drain the vast Tibetan Plateau. It is an important site for pilgrims who make a 53km circuit, or kora, of the mountain. This circumambulation, clockwise for Buddhists and Hindus and anti-clockwise for Bon followers, is said to erase the sins of a lifetime. The mountain itself is 6714m high and with its four sheer walls and snow capped peak is an awe-inspiring sight.
Only 30km from Mt Kailash is another important pilgrimage site, the beautiful and serene Lake Manasarovar. According to mythology it was formed in the mind of Brahma, and Indian and Tibetan pilgrims can also be seen circumambulating this lake, a distance of 90km.
Considering the significance of <strong>Mt. Kailash Tour</strong>, you will see untold number of religious and ritualistic sites along this difficult 50 kms trek. Amid views of plains, rivers, glaciers, and the majestic mountains of Nepal, Tibet and India, you will pass unending rows of prayer flags, lucky chortens, several prostrations points, and monasteries.
Along the way are also places that are steeped in legend. The sky burial site of the 84 Mahasiddhas was once used only for lamas and monks. Sky burials are traditional ceremonies in which the corpse is left in the open for vultures to consume; the belief is that the body is thus returned to the sky. Although there may be sky burials going on while you are at Mt. Kailash Tour, don’t venture into the area and disturb the proceedings. They are extremely private and foreigner with cameras are not welcome.
Lake MansarovarThe Hindus believe that to plunge into the freezing cold waters of the Lake Manasarovar and walk around its circumference is to erase a whole lifetime of sins. Tibetans believe that they can negate their wrongdoings merely through walking.
To the Tibetans, this lake they call “ Victorious” is the holiest in the land, believed to be where the gods washed Buddha’s mother before she gave birth. According to the Hindus, Brahma created the lake for his sons to bathe in while they medicated on Mt. Kailash. Whether Indian pilgrim, Tibetan pilgrim or western traveler, one can see Lake Mansarovar’s holy origins manifested in its breathtaking beauty. It’s ringed by mountain peaks and filled with clear, bright-blue waters that look just a breath away from the sky. The lake was once surrounded by eight monasteries, which symbolized the eight points of the wheel of Dharma, but red guards destroyed most of them during the cultural revolution. Restoration is in the works.
Mt. Kailash Tour Mansarovar is home to many other Buddhist mythological landmarks, as well. There’s the Memmo Nanyi, a peak where the goddess of wisdom lives. The lake also represents the sun or lightness, while its smaller neighbor , lake Rakshas Tal, is its complementary moon or darkness. According to to Tibetans, it’s a good omen when the waters of Mansarovar flow into the Rakshas Tal, and while the former’s waters are healing, Rakshas Tal’s are poisonous.
Most travelers explore the lake during day hikes from Chiu Monastery, which lies on the northwest corner of Mansarovar. The Monastery overlooks the lake from a hilltop, the views from the roof are tremendeous. There is also a cave at the monastery that is considered one of Guru Rimpoche’s meditation sites.
Only a handful of zealous travelers undergo the four to five day kora around Lake Mansarovar , due to its challenging terrain. It basically goes along the circumference of the lake, diverging slightly at the northern shore to avert the marshes. Beginning at Chiu Monastery, the kora moves in a clockwise direction, of course. On the trek you will see mountain views, hot springs, mani stones, geysers, glaciers, caves, cliffs, ritual bathing sites and several monasteries.
Day 1: Drive Kathmandu to Nyalamu(3800m) 165 km /8 hrs.
Day 2: Drive Nyalamu to Paigutso( 4850m) 221 km/ 7-8 hrs.
Day 3: Drive Paigutso to Saga(4640m) 115 km /6-7 hrs.
Day 4: Drive Saga to Paryang (4540m) 185km/7-8 hrs.
Day 5: Drive Paryang to Darchen(4700m) 290km /7-8 hrs.
Day 6: Start Kailash round to Dira Puk(4909m) 18 km/7-8 hrs trek.
Day 7: Continue over Domala pass (5650m) to Zuthul Puk 22 km 7-8 hrs.
Day 8: End Kailash round near darchen(4700m) 14km/3-4 hour
Day 9: Full Day excurssion to Lake Mansarovar.
Day 10: Drive Lake mansarovar to Paryang94540m) 277km/7-8 hrs
Day 11: Drive from Paryang to Saga(4840m) 185km/8 hrs.
Day 12: Drive from Saga to Paigutso(4850m)-115km 6-7 hrs
Day 13: Drive from Paigutso to Nyalamu
Day 14: Drive from Nyalamu to Kathmandu.
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