Mount Kailash Tour

Ultimate Tibet: Journey to Mount Kailash


Magnificent temples, flag-draped mountain passes, snow-capped peaks, pilgrim camps, this is truly a journey to stir the senses and nourish the soul. The three-day circumambulation (kora) of Buddhism’s most sacred mountain is challenging, but cleanses you of the sins of a lifetime. You may walk at your own pace and our support staff will assist you. Relax afterwards beside Lake Manasarovar, legendary source of the four great rivers of South Asia. Saga Dawa is one of the most significant of all Tibetan festivals, commemorating both the enlightenment and the earthly death of the Shakyamuni Buddha, and Mount Kailash is the most important place to celebrate. Travel to Tibet on this comprehensive pilgrimage, and you will be forever changed.


  • Circumambulate holy Mount Kailash during the full moon; celebrate Saga Dawa with Tibetan pilgrims
  • Visit Tholing, the first capital of the Guge Kingdom, with Ladakh Himalaya as it’s backdrop
  • Explore the holy sites of Lhasa and the monastic complexes of Gyantse, Shigatse and Sakya
  • Enjoy exquisite Himalayan scenery like turquoise Lake Yamdrok Tso flanked by snow-capped peaks
  • Spend the night at Rhongphu Monastery and hike to Everest Base Camp
  • Attend Saga Dawa ceremony at Tarpoche
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Pilgrims circumambulate Mt. Kailash during Saga Dawa

  • 1
    Day 1: Arrival in Chengdu

    (see note for arrival in Kathmandu)

  • 2
    Day 2-5: Lhasa

    Exlpore the colorful and historic holy city of Lhasa including the Potala Palace, the Jokhang, the huge university monasteries of Drepung and Sera and the Barkhor pilgrim circuit.

  • 3
    Day 6: Gyantse

    A spectacular drive to Gyantse, with unforgettable views of Turquoise Lake, Yamdrok-Tso enroute. Visit Gyantse Dzong, Pelkor Choede and the fascinating Gyantse Kumbum.

  • 4
    Day 7-8: Shigatse

    Visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, seat of the Panchen Lama and one of the most important monasteries of the Gelukpa order.

  • 5
    Day 9: Sakya - Lhatse

    Sakya, once the seat of political power of Tibet, is the last stop before we set out to fully experience the splendor, enormity and isolation of western Tibet as the camping section of our trip begins.

  • 6
    Day 10-12: Western Tibet

    Magnificent valleys, herds of grazing yak, goats and sheep, passes topped by prayer flags and few permanent settlements mark our journey toward Tibet's ancient heartland.

  • 7
    Day 13-16: Guge Kingdom

    En-route to Guge the dramatically situated gompa and hot springs at Tithapuri are linked to Padmasambhava and traditionally visited in conjunction with a Kailash kora. The road into Tholing, once the most important monastic complex in western Tibet, is one of the most awesome sights in a region of awesome sites. Below stands the first capital of Guge with skyline offering a vast sweep of the Ladakh Himalaya.

  • 8
    Day 17-20: Saga Dawa Festival & Kailash Kora

    Attend Saga Dawa Festival with local Tibetans. Embark on a 3 day kora (circumambulation).

  • 9
    Day 21-22: Saga - Rombuk - Everest Base Camp

    Venture into Qomolangma National Park. Some of the most stunning views of the mountain are from the tiny Rhongphu Monastery seven kilometers below Everest Base Camp.

  • 10
    Day 23: Zhangmu

    We reach the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. As the road descends sharply towards the Nepal border, moisture returns to the air, the colors change, trees appear, lush green vegetation and the Bote Khose River thunders below.

  • 11
    Day 24 Kathmandu

    Rich in cultural and artistic heritage, Kathmandu is a vibrant, chaotic, colorful city. The markets, bazaars and narrow streets are home to holy men, sacred cows, bicycles, street sellers…you name it, it’s here.

  • 12
    Day 25: Depart

    Transfer to airport for flight home.

  • Trip Length

    25-day trip begins in Chengdu, China or Kathmandu, Nepal and ends in Kathmandu

  • Dates

    June - depends on Saga Dawa date

  • Land Cost

    From $TBA

  • Accommodations

    3/4-star hotels in Chengdu, Kathmandu and Lhasa
    Best available guesthouses and 9 nights camping in Tibet

  • Group Size

    2-12 guests

  • Included Meals

    Daily breakfast, 9 lunches, 9 dinners

  • Reading List

    Suggested Reading
    Suggested Reading

Chengdu, Sichuan, China

Lhasa, Tibet, China

Gyantse, Xigaze, Tibet, China

Shigatse, Tibet, China

Lhotse, Xigaze, Tibet, China

Western Singing & Dancing Hall, Lhasa, Tibet, China

Everest Base Camp, Xigaze, Tibet, China

Zhangmuzhen, Xigaze, Tibet, China

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