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Saga Dawa festival at Mt. Kailas, Western Tibet

Western Tibet's wilderness scarcely populated, sometimes hot, other times cold but for sure very high. On the way of self discovery, which includes sacrifice and hope, pilgrims are centuries seeking liberation by Kailas Parikrama. Mt. Kailash has the unique distinction of being the world's most venerated holy place at the same time that it is the least visited. The supremely sacred site of four religions and billions of people, Kailash is seen by no more than a few thousand pilgrims each year.

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Dharma Yatra (Pilgrimage) is very important for Buddhists. When we visit these sacred sites, we are reminded of the Master, Lord Buddha. It develops in us a strong sense of compassion. Ideally, one should be a better person when one returns, otherwise it is not useful, a waste of money and time."  
The Dalai Lama 

Tour departure date: June 6–  June 27, 2008 (22 days)
Min. number of passengers: 12
Max. number of passengers: 18
Booking until: 01. May 2008                                                                    
Price per person in double room: 2628 . €

1. DAY - DEPART FOR KATMANDU

Flight to Katmandu 

2. DAY - KATMANDU ( 1300 m )

Transfer to hotel and orientation sightseeing of Nepal's Royal City. Free evening and overnight in Katmandu

3. DAY - KATMANDU PASHU PATI NATH and BOUDHANATH

Morning preparations for travel to Tibet and in afternoon visit to Pasupatinath the most important Shiva temple in Nepal and Baudnath important Buddhist stupa. Overnight in Katmandu.

4. DAY - KATMANDU – NYALAM

After early breakfast departure by bus to Nepal – Tibet border through the valley of the river Bote and then drive up to Tibetan plateau. Dinner and overnight in Nyalam 3800m.

5. DAY - NYALAM

Day to adjust to the height of Tibetan plateau. Visit to near by monastery where in 11th century lived Tibetan poet and hermit Milarepa. Dinner and overnight in hotel.

6. DAY - NYALAM – LAKE PALKU - SAGA

From here we continue by Japanese Land cruisers. Blue sky white clouds and 5050 m high mountain pass Lalung. From here we can see high peaks of Himalaya including Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu....Dinner and overnight in camp near village Saga.

7. DAY - SAGA - PARYANG

185 km; 7 – 8 h drive. Our journey will be crowned by view on transhimalayan mountains in the north and great mountain peaks in the south. This is Tibet, a land of wide-open spaces, ancient cultures, mystical Buddhist Tradition, Richly decorated monasteries and temples and an aura of Mystery. Dinner and overnight in camp near village Paryang.

8. DAY - PARYANG - LAKE MANASAROVAR – MONASTERY TRUGO

250 km; 8 – 9 h. In distance there are the teeth of Himalayan jaw. Valley after valley and high passes in between. Dusty horsemen herds of yak, scary antelopes or lonely wolf. This are pictures from different world. Then suddenly we see snow pyramid of Mt. Kailas (6714m), lake Mansarovar and Mt. Gurla Mandata (7728m). We pass by monastery Seralung and camp near the lake by monastery Truga.

9. DAY - TRUGO GOMPA – CHIU GOMPA - DARCHEN - DARBOCHE

Lake Mansarovar, the “mother principle,” represents transcendental consciousness. Lake lies 4530m high and covers 330 km2. Morning visit to Chiu Gompa that is situated on a craggy cliff overlooking the lake and has commanding views over the plain to Mt Kailas. Inside is a small Guru Rinpoche cave that forms the most sacred part of the gompa. Then we drive to Darchen, a cluster of buildings within a walled compound that marks the pilgrim’s gateway to Mt Kailas. Darboche is a lovely camping area at 4750m in the Lha Chu valley with terrific views of the south face of Mt Kailas. There is a large
flagpole here which is the focus of a colorful festival that marks the Saga Dawa or birth of Buddha. Nomad tents and their trucks dot the open landscape and are dwarf

10. DAY - KORA, KAILAS PARIKRAMA – DRI RA PHUK (5010m)

We will begin our kora and follow an easy trail accompanied with yaks that will carry our luggage. We head north up the Lha Chu Valley and enter the ‘Valley of the Gods’ The towering cliffs each have a name and are believed to be the abode of supernatural protectors. There are many nomads herding yak and sheep to grazing areas west of the mountain. We cross the Lha Chu to camp below Dri Ra Phuk gompa at 5010m. The views of Kailas’ north face are particularly impressive from above the gompa. Dinner and overnight in tents.

11. DAY - DRI RA PHUK – DOLMA - KHANDO SHANGLHAM

The day begins with a steep climb on a winding path over a moraine ridge to a level meadow area. Our route climbs to the Shiwa Tsal cemetery where Tibetans leave part of their clothing or a drop of blood to symbolize leaving part of their past life behind them. We may see lamas chanting prayers over the prostrate bodies of pilgrims in a ritual to aid their spirits’ journey after death. It is a slow steady climb to the Dolma La which is marked by streamers of prayer flags and the huge Dolma Stone that represents the goddess Dolma. Pilgrims will press their foreheads against the stone and money is pasted to the rock with yak butter. This is the spiritual and physical high point of the kora which can also be a cold and forbidding place. The trail descends by a series of rocky switchbacks above the frozen waters of the holy lake of Gourikund to reach the valley of the Zhong Chu. We follow the river to camp in the vicinity of Khando Shangalam. 

12. DAY - KAILAS PARIKRAMA – TIRTHAPURI - DARCHEN

Our final day on the kora is an easy three hours walking as we exit the Zhong Chu Valley on a trail that contours high above a narrow gorge. In the east in the valley was living famous Milarepa. The hills become less vegetated and more desert like as we approach the Bharka Plain with seemingly limitless views towards the Indian Himalaya. Before returning to Darchen we drive to hot springs in Tirthapuri. They are considered the third most holy pilgrimage site in west Tibet. Tirthapuri is situated on the right bank of the Satlej River. Dinner and overnight in Darchen.

14. DAY - DARCHEN - LAKE MANASAROVAR

Morning visit to Seralung Gompa only one hour walk from our camp and afternoon free to relax before journey back to Katmandu.

15. – 19. DAY - RETURN TO KATMANDU

We drive back to Katmandu opposite direction that may give us new view to Tibetan plateau, richer in experience and without worries. On 19 day will be back in Katmandu. Overnight in hotel.

20. DAY – KATMANDU

Sightseeing of Durbar square with its temples and palaces. In afternoon visit to Swayambhu, monkey temple that dominates Katmandu Valley.

21. DAY - KATMANDU

Free day in Katmandu 

22. DAY - KATMANDU

Transfer to the airport for flight back to Europe

THE ABOVE TREK COST INCLUDES:
Return Air fair from Ljubljana to Katmandu, all airport tax, airports pick up and drop Services.
5 x hotel in Katmandu,  Nepal - China border pick up and drop Services by Tourist bus, all the permits monasteries entrance fee of Tibet, guide, cooks and kitchen supporter from Nepal, all meals during the Tibet Tour and Trek, guesthouses in Nyalam and Darchen, yaks and Yak men for Kailash Parikrama luggage only, all camping and cooking equipment, like  (two men tents for sleeping, mattress, dining tent, tables, chairs, toilet tent, kitchen tent), drive by Japanese Land cruisers as per tour cost, a supporting truck for luggage,  Chinese visa fee of Client
 
THE ABOVE TREK COST DO NOT INCLUDES:
Food that is not in program, personal expenses, optional excursions, tips, insurance of Clients, Emergency Rescue
 
RISK AND LIABILITIES:

Accommodation in Darchen and Nyalam is basic and some places you may have to spend night in dormitory room, we request to our client do not expect high facilities. 

We always effort to make your journey smooth and pleasant. However as all the Tibet tours and treks are run strictly under Tibet Tourism Bureau. Sunny Travel or it’s Tibet counterpart agent shall not be responsible for any alternation or cancellation of program due to any unavoidable circumstances beyond control such as road blockade, landslide, snow, political unrest cancellation of flight, delay arrival, sickness or accident. Any extra cost incurring there of shall be borne by the clients on the spot. Since Tibet is very remote place and road are very rough and bumpy sometime good vehicle may break. 

We highly advised to the clients to have full insurance against Helicopter evacuation, trip cancellation, and medical and personal accident risk. 

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Instructions and terms and conditions

General Terms and Conditions for travel and trips are an integral part of the program. By letter that comes later than 7 days (multi-day trip) or. 3 days (day trips) before leaving the agency Okarina you informed of the details of the program. In the event that notice within that period you did not receive, we must answer the phone or via e-mail. If you do not, assume that you receive our notice. Incomplete information on the application form which does not timely received our notice are not considered as force majeure. The costs incurred in such a case shall be borne by the passenger.
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