KAILASH-MANASAROVAR HELICOTER TOUR: 11 DAYS
For many travelers, Tibet has a special appeal. This is particularly true of the remote south-western corner where the great curve of the Himalaya swings northwards tilting the Tibetan plateau towards the heavens. Here in isolation, is a solitary mountain and two azure lakes that have been a focus for human interest since earliest times.
Hindus regard Mt. Kailas as the earthly manifestation of Mt Meru, their spiritual centre of the universe. It is also known as a “world pillar,” 84,000 miles high around which all else revolves. On the summit sits Lord Shiva who shares this lofty peak with his consort Parvati, daughter of Himalaya. Below, Manasarovar floats in the shadow of holy Kailas as the lake formed in the mind of God. It was created to show the omnipotence of Brahma’s mind (Manas). To bathe in the lake and to drink its waters is to be delivered to the paradise of Brahma and to cleanse the sins of a hundred lifetimes. Lying as they do beneath the symbolic temple of Kailas, Manasarovar and Raksas Tal represent the water tanks present at the entrance to every Hindu temple. The round shape of the former is like the sun and the curved outline of Raksas Tal symbolizes the moon. These ideas are expressed in the names of the two lakes, Manasarovar being associated with ‘light’ and Rakshas Tal meaning the ‘lake of the demons’. To Hindus Manasarovar symbolizes the receptive, female aspect of creation, the yoni; while Mt Kailas symbolizes the active male aspect, the lingam. In 1948 some of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were ceremonially scattered on the holy lake.
For the Jains, Kailas is acclaimed as the site where their first prophet achieved enlightenment.
The area is also the land of origin of the pre-Buddhist Bon-pos and the site where their founder Shenrab descended from heaven. It is the spiritual centre of the ancient Bon empire which once included all of western Tibet. Mt Kailas is their soul mountain. They also call it ‘nine-storey Swastika Mountain’, thus describing the mountain’s prominent markings and recalling that the swastika is an ancient Asian symbol for ??. When a Buddhist revival embraced this area from Ladakh in the tenth century it absorbed many Bon traditions. The Bon-pa also circumambulate Mt Kailas but in their traditional anti-clockwise manner, opposite to Buddhists and Hindus.
Mt Kailash is known to the Tibetans as Kang Rimpoche, ‘Precious Jewel of the Snow.’ Like the Hindus, Tibetan Buddhists recognize Mt Kailas as the manifestation of Mt Meru, the ‘navel of the world,’ rising ‘like the handle of a mill-stone’ into the heavens. It is said that from the slopes of Mt Meru a stream flows into Manasarovar and from this lake four mythical rivers flow in the four cardinal directions to the ocean. These rivers are now associated with the four major rivers originating near here; the Indus, Tsangpo, Karnali and Sutlej.
Manasarovar, to, Tibetans know as Mapham Tso, the ‘Unconquerable Lake’. The name records a magical contest between the Tibetan poet and mystic Milarepa, and the Bon priest Naro Bhun Chon which occurred here in the tenth century. Their tussles are marked in numerous sites around the region. In any language it is the holiest most famous lake in Asia. For Tibetans, Mt Kailas is the mythical palace of Demchok, the powerful Tibetan tutelary deity who ‘tears asunder the elephant-hide of ignorance’ and his consort Dorjee Phagmo. The two symbolize compassion and wisdom, making Kailas and Manasarovar the perfect complement: father and mother of the earth.
Route: Kathmandu- Nepalgunj- Simikot- Taklakot- Lake Manasarovar- Kailash & return the same way.
|Simikot or Hilsa||2 nights|
DAY 01: ARRIVAL KATHMANDU
Your arrival in Kathmandu. Our representative will meet you & greet you at the airport, then transfer to hotel. Check into the hotel following with welcome drinks. Afternoon; at leisure on your own. Evening, tour orientation program.
DAY 02: KATHMANDU SIGHTSEEING TOUR, THEN FLY TO NEPALGUNJ
Morning after breakfast, you will set off for sightseeing tour. You will visit Pashupatinath temple (the most sacred temple of Hindus), Mata Guheswori temple & Budhanilkantha temple (Shesh Shaiya Vishnu, also known as sleeping Vishnu).
After finishing the tour, you will return to the hotel. Lunch will be served between 12 Noon to 1 p.m. After lunch, you will be transferred to the domestic airport for your flight to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj, situated south-west from Kathmanu, is the gateway to far Western mountain regions of Nepal. The duration of flight is about an hour. Our representative will meet you at Nepalgunj airport then transfer to hotel. Evening, you will have leisure time on your own.
Overnight hotel Siddhartha Cottage | twin sharing room | 3 star
Kathmandu to Nepalgunj flight: 1 hour
DAY 03: FLY TO SIMIKOT & OVERNIGHT STAY
Early morning, at 5.00 a.m., transfer to Nepalgunj airport for your flight to Simikot. The flight between Nepalgunj and Simikot takes about an hour. The air route to Simikot passes over the remote mountain region of Nepal where whether often gets cloudy and notorious. Generally, the weather in the mountain area, in the morning, is calm and clear. This is the reason why we should fly to Simikot early morning.
Simikot is situated at an altitude of 2910 m., this is an ideal place to make a night halt for acclimatization motive. Simikot has a STOL airport (Short Take Off and Landing) where only small aircraft can go. The aircraft, we fly from Nepalgunj, can carry only 15 people at a time.
We stay overnight in Simikot for acclimatization.
Overnight Sunvalley Resort or Nepal Trust Guesthouse (dormitory room & common bath room).
Nepalgunj to Simikot flight: 1 hour
Aircraft type: Dronier or Twin otter
Carrying capacity: Only 16 people at a time.
Elevation of Simikot: 2910 m | 9545 fts.
Expected temperature: day time:- 18 to 25 degree Celsius | night time:- 4 to -2 degree Celsius.
Climatic condition: Generally cloudy & rainy
DAY 04: FLY, SIMIKOT- HILSA (BY HELICOPTER) THEN ENTER TAKLAKOT (TIBET)
Early morning, after breakfast, you will pack up our baggage then trek down to the airport and board on the helicopter. The helicopter flight from Simikot to Hilsa takes about 25 minutes (one way) only. The flight route passes through deep Karnali River-gorge and narrow remote valleys, where weather normally turns windy & cloudy from late morning onward. So, we try to operate more shuttle flights early in the morning and bring all group members to Hilsa.
We operate Euro copter (B3) that can carry only 5 persons + 10 kg luggage at a time. Since, helicopter has limited capacity to carry, we request you not to carry any unnecessary stuff. We use two helicopters at a time, so we can airlift our group members to Hilsa as soon as possible.
After all group members shifted to Hilsa by helicopter, you will cross the border then drive to Taklakot (Purang). As per the visa rule of the Chinese government, all group members should enter together and exit together. So, until and unless all members do not come to Hilsa, no one can cross the border.
The drive from Hilsa to Taklakot takes about 45 minutes. The driving distance is about 27 k.m.
Simikot to Hilsa: by helicopter
Flight duration: 25 minutes (one way)
Carrying capacity: 5 persons + 10 kg baggage each.
Hilsa to Chinese immigration (Sher village): only 10 minutes walk.
Sher to Taklakot: 27 km | 45 minutes drive by Bus.
Elevation of Taklakot: 4025 m. | 13202 fts.
Expected temperature: day time:- 22 to 28 degree Celsius | night time:- up to -3 degree Celsius.
General climatic condition: mild windy
DAY 05: TAKLAKOT TO LAKE MANSAROVAR
As usual, after having morning meal, we pack our belongings, then board on the vehicle and be ready to move towards Lake manasarovar. Right from the begining, the highway commences making gradual ascend. The road still keeps ascending up to the high pass, that lies before Rakshas lake. The lake ‘Rakshas’ represents the devil force. This is where Ravana, ‘the mighty King of Lanka’, had performed a penance to lord Shiva for 5000 years. We will take a brief halt at the shore of lake Rakshash, soak in views and take pictures; then continue our journey towards lake manasarovar. We check in to the Guesthouse of lake manasarovar (Chiugompa) then walk to the lakeshore for having sacred dip and performing pooja. After pooja, we will have afternoon meal; board on the vehicle then set off for circumambulation around the lake. The entire circumference of the lake is presumably 82 km, and it demands a minimum two hours to accomplish this part of the journey.
Overnight guesthouse (dormitory room with common Tibetan toilet).
Taklakot to Lake Manasarovar: 88 km | one & half hour.
Elevation of Lake Manasarovar: 4550 m. | 14,925 fts
Expected temperature: day time:- 22 to 32 degree Celsius | night time:- -3 to -4 degree.
Climatic condition: windy.
DAY 06: DRIVE, MANASAROVAR TO YAMA DWARA- THEN TREK TO DERAPHUK:
Today is the highlighted day of our journey. The most exciting part, sacred circumambulation around Kailash, commences today from Yama Dwara. Morning, after breakfast, we depart from lake strand to Yama Dwara (also called ‘Tarboche’ in Tibetan) that demands approximately one & half hour to reach there. We should make a brief halt in Darchen because some travel documents obtained from local Police and Army officials as well as we have to make group entry in the region. From Darchen, it is another half an hour to reach Yama Dwara. Our Yaks, porters and horses are waiting here for us. Those who are making circumambulation around Kailash on feet can instantly proceed for Deraphuk; rest of members can commence their journey after taking their horse/s and porter/s. The Total walk to Deraphuk is for 4 to 5 hours but the timing depends on your own pace. The route is quite easy, flat but mild ascend. Due to its extreme elevation, we feel tired while walking and need to have break very frequently.
Overnight at Shisapanga Guesthouse.
Lake manasarovar to Yama Dwara: 45 km | 1 & half hour drive.
Yama Dwar- Dhriraphuk: 10 km | 5 to 6 hours trek.
Elevation of Dhriraphuk: 4920 m. | 16,138 fts
Expected temperature: day time:-12 to 18 degree Celsius | night time: -5 to -8 degree.
Average climatic condition: windy and partly cloudy & rainy.
DAY 07: TREK, DERAPHUK TO ZUTUPHUK
Today you have to cross a significant distance through the rugged portion of the trail around the mount Kailash before reaching Zutulpahuk. You have to commence your journey from Deraphuk very early in the morning. Right from the initial moment, the trail commences leading you rapidly up, however in between it turns into flat with gentle ascend. Up to Dolma-La (5600 m.), the path keeps you taking up & up. Dolma La is the highest bit of this journey. From here onward, the trail leads you all the way down to the valley floor. This particular portion of the trek is a rapid incline and the track is full of boulders and screes, so one should pay continue attention while trekking down.
While descending from Dolma La, we will pass alongside a small glacial pool, which is almost frozen during May through September. This is Gaurikunda. The legend of this pool is connected with Mata Parvati, the consorts of lord Shiva.
Once we make descend journey to the valley floor, the trail becomes flat & easy. The trail is easy and flat up to the Zutulphuk.
Overnight Norpel Guesthouse or Monastery guesthouse (Mud house)- dormitory.
Dhiraphuk to Zutulphuk: 21 km | 8 – 9 hours trek.
The highest point to cross over: Dolma La pass (5600 m. | 18,368 fts)
Elevation of Zutulphuk: 4820 m. | 15,810 fts.
Expected temperature: 14 to 22 degree Celsius | night time: -3 to -5 degree.
Average climatic condition: windy
DAY 08: END TREK THEN DRIVE BACK TO PURANG/ TAKLAKOT
Undoubtedly, today is the most hectic day of your journey. You, yet to go for another 08 km walk to accomplish the circumambulation; then drive all the way to Hilsa. As usual after morning meals, you will pack up your belongings then be ready to move on to Darchen. It requires presumably 3 hours to reach the other end of the trail where our vehicle is waiting to fetch you up. After getting-together of all members, you will board on vehicle and proceed for Taklakot.
Overnight Purang Guesthouse
Zutulphuk to trek ending point: 08 km | 3 hours.
Trek ending point to Taklakot: 105 km | 2 hours.
DAY 09: TAKLAKOT- HILSA- SIMIKOT
It takes 45 minutes to reach Hilsa, where you have to go through the immigration formalities. From Taklakot, a military person will accompany the group to escort towards Hilsa. After having luggage checked and going through some formalities again in the boarder, you will cross over the suspension bridge of Karnali river, then enter into the territory of Nepal then fly to Simikot.
Overnight Hotel Sunvalley Resort
Taklakot to Hilsa boarder: 27 km | 45 minutes.
Hilsa to Simikot flight by Helicopter- 25 minutes.
DAY 10: FLY TO NEPALGUNJ THEN CONTINUE TO KATHMANDU
Early morning fly to Nepalgunj by aircraft then continue fly or drive to Kathmandu.
DAY 11: DEPARTURE
It is time to say Good bye!!! You will be transferred to Tribhuvan International airport for your flight back home. As per the international flight regulation; your presence at the airport check in counter should be three hours prior to the departure time. We will arrange vehicle accordingly!!! Have a pleasant journey back home!!!
- Two nights hotel in Kathmandu on twin sharing basis with vegetarian meals
- One night hotel in Nepalgunj on twin sharing with vegetarian meals (twin sharing)
- One night hotel in Simikot (basic dormitory room with common bathroom) with all meals
- Pick up & drop transfers in Kathmandu
- One half-day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
- Necessary arrival / departure transfers in Nepalgunj (very normal vehicle available here)
- Kathmandu- Nepalgunj- Kathmandu air ticket (fixed wing)
- Nepalgunj- Simikot- Nepalgunj air ticket (fixed wing- Twin otter aircraft OR Dronier)
- Simikot- Hilsa- Simikot by Helicopter (only 4 or 5 persons can be carried at a time)
- Domestic airport taxes (all sectors)
- Tibet group visa and travel/trekking permits
- Guesthouse in Tibet (for the entire journey)- except in Taklakot all places have dormitory Guesthouse with Tibetan common toilet
- Indian vegetarian meals during the tour in Tibet (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
- Transportation in Tibet by Luxury Bus
- Tour around Lake Manasarovar on green vehicle (not the vehicle the we take from Taklakot)
- English speaking Tibetan guide
- One tour Manager from our company throughout the tour
- Necessary supporting crew (Cook, assistance cook, Sherpas from our company)
- All necessary Kitchen & camping equipment
- Yaks & Yak men during the Parikrama to carry foods and baggage
- Oxygen for emergency use
- Medical kit bag / First Aid kit
- Humla region restricted area permit & royalties (US $ 40 per person or equivalent)
- Porter cost in Hilsa (while going and coming back)
- All applicable taxes & service charges
- Riding Horse during the Parikrama
- Your travel insurance
- Insurance for emergency rescue & evacuation (helicopter cost, hospital bill, vehicle bill etc.)
- Asthapad darshan (it is banned to visit Asthapad)
- Personal expenses & bottled drinks
- Tip for guide & driver
- Extra accommodation charge in Nepalgunj, Simikot and Hilsa, if the flight canceled due to bad weather condition
- Any additional cost due to natural calamity and unforeseen circumstances
|SUPPLIMENT COST FOR NRI/S||–||–||–|
|U.S. NATIONAL||US $ 550||For domestic air ticket cost different, visa & permit|
|NRI/S OTHER THAN U.S. NATIONAL||US 450||For domestic air ticket cost different, visa & permit|
|SINGLE SUPPLIMENT (for having single room in Kathmandu)||INR. 5500||Single room can be provided only in Kathmandu.|