Walking holidays Humla – Kailash 30 Days

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1337m)

You are welcomed to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal renowned for historical monuments, Hindu Temples, and Buddhist Stupas/Monasteries. We meet our guests at the Tribhuvan International Airport. A representative will be waiting with a Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition placard with our guests’ names displayed. After dropping luggage at the hotel, guests are taken for a short sightseeing tour. In the evening, guests are invited to a Welcome Dinner at a Nepali restaurant.

Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu (1337m)

A local guide will be available. According to your wishes, the guide will escort you for sightseeing. Sightseeing may include the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupati,  Boudhanath, Patan Durbar Square, and the Swoyambhunath areas.  Starting after breakfast, usually at 9.00am, the exploration of Kathmandu Valley can continue until 5.00pm. Lunch and dinner, you will be responsible for.

Day 03: Kathmandu – Nepalganj (150m)

we fly to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu today. The flight takes about 1½ hours. Since Nepalgunj lies in the hot tropical region, in the boarder of India, it is quite hot there during summer and has high risk of malaria due to mosquito bite. The flights to Simikot always go in the morning so we spend the night in Nepalganj in one of the standard hotels.

Day 04: Nepalganj – Simikot (2,900) meters

Today, early in the morning we have to report to the Nepalganj airport for the flight to Simikot, Humla main town of the district. The flight is always exciting if the weather is fine for the flight. Also we need to see whether there are enough units available, if not there is possibility of flight delay. The flight will be of approximately an hour and we can see on a clear day some high peaks of the Dolpo region of the Saipal right and the left. After arriving in Simikot we bring everything in order for the journey to the Limi valley and Kailas. Simikot is a flat piece of land high above the Humla Karnali River. From the village we can look deep valley below us and snowy peaks around us. We feel as if we are almost at the end of the world. The population is mixture of Hindu and Buddhist. Hence, we see here the different tribes living together in peace and harmony. Furthermore, there are government buildings of police, military, local development etc. Simikot is the administrative center of Humla. In Simikot yaks or dzos can be hired to carry the burden.

Day 05: Simikot – Dharapuri (2380m) meters

In the initial days of the trek we walk through the route of the Humla Karnali, one of the Nepalese rivers that cut through the Himalayan chain from north to south. After a short climb high above the Karnali (3280 meters) is a day for the first descent of about 800 meters to the river. It’s hot and we camp on a rough pitch just anywhere near a village and a tributary where we can take bath profusely.

Day 06: Dharapuri – Kermi (2800m)

Today we walk through the densely populated low part of the Humla Karnali valley. The river itself is a twirling body of water below us crashing through the valley. We come across a village and we see quite a lot of terraced farmland. The camp is somewhere in the village of Kermi. It is then about a half hour to the sources. The hot springs of Kermi is a boon for body and mind. Boiling water flows through a meter-long crack in the rocks. The plunges in cascades down from coil to coil, becoming cooler. You can do as the temperature of the water, that you
will find lookup best.

Day 07: Kermi – Shinjungma camp in the valley between two pass 3620) meters

We walk across the villages that are predominantly Buddhist with a population of mainly Tibetan descent. Sometimes we meet herds of sheep and goats that are used to carry loads up to 25 kg; mainly rice and salt. Today we can have a nice view of the Saipal Himal which is 7030 meters high. After a few hours we turn into a side valley to the north. From here starts uninhabited area and we walk through beautiful forests.

Day 08: Acclimatization

Today we have a rest for acclimatization. It is essential in the Himalayan region. We explore the area of Shinijungama in the leadership of Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition leader. We acclimatize today so that we can cross a pass over of around 5,000 meters tomorrow. We may get luck to see a snow leopard too somewhere while exploring today.

Day 09: Shinjungma camp – Talung, (4380 m) 7-8-hours

Today is a long hard day. 1400 meters of climbing and descending 700 meters. Fortunately, the scenery is wonderful and then we notice less on our exhaustion. We climb a good part of the day in the valley. Through a very beautiful lake, we surpass the woods and hills here that  are only overgrown with grass and moss. If we look behind us we see a huge pile of: Saipal, the highest mountain in western Nepal. The pass, the Nyalu La is about 5000 meters high and it leads us to the top of the Dimocheketen. The view is amazing. Then follows the descent to a nice flat spot next to the river.

Day 10: Talung – Jang, (3930 m) 6-7 hours

As we are at so high area in the valley, we may encounter yak herders who graze their animals against the flanks of the mountains. We can see the black yakharen tents. We go quietly sometimes jumping over a stream. If the water is too deep, we have to put off the boots. Then we see a beautiful blue lake: the Tshom Tso. That is a former glacier consisting mostly of sand. After we cross the great river on a new suspension bridge we go westward. The valley is almost flat and easy to walk so the last hour to Jang.

Day 11: Jang Resting 

Jang is a great interesting village, as a castle. We visit to the local monastery sticking out between the white gray mud houses. In the monastery, we find many large and small statues. The people are proud and look like Tibetan. For them, Nepal also is a country somewhere “far away”.

Day12: Jang –Til  (3580 me)5- 6 hours

We walk down through the farmland with barley and buckwheat. In Halji we take plenty of time to visit the very well preserved monastery. The village itself has to be one of the most beautiful Tibetan villages in Nepal. Let’ imagine ourselves, we are in a medieval fortress between the high walls of continuous enclosed courtyard to an enclosed courtyard.  The men in the family involve in the business and outdoor activities whereas women remain at home to weave their colorful cloths.

Day 13: Til – Manepeme ( 970 m) 5-6 hours

Before we start today’s trek we can go round the village of Til and visit the small monastery of the village. Then we go through the trail that has lots of ups and downs. Along the way, if we are really lucky we may see blue sheep grazing high on the barren walls of the land. Manepeme is an arena that is widely used by goatherds. We can tell because the ground is covered with goats everywhere grazing. Now the time is approaching to bid goodbye to the Nepali staff. In Tibet, we will be guided by Tibetans.

Day 14: Manepeme – border crossing – Taklakot (3800 m) 5 hour walk, 1-2  hour jeep

Today we head to the border of Tibet and Nepal. The trail definitely goes up and down through the walls of the Karnali valley. At a certain moment we see the green fields at Sher, down by the river. Here is the border with Tibet. The border here is denoted by a large stone on which Chinese inscription is carved. Then we go through the checking of numerous border guards whom we find broadly studying all our documents and lists of participants. Jeeps and trucks carry us through the beautiful village of Khojarnath with a beautiful Tibetan monastery to Taklakot. We find the people of 3 countries living in harmony in the town of Taklakot, Tibetan, Chinese and Nepali. We spend the night in a guest house here.

Day 15: Rest in Taklakot
We go round the city of Taklakot. Taklakot is a quite busy trade hub for the Tibetan tribes: Ngari and drokpa and the Nepali from Humla. The business is done specially on wool, salt, borax, wood, tea, clothes etc. We can go to visit the cave temples of Gungpur and the remains of Shepeling which was once the famous and the largest monastery in Tibet but we need to seek for the permission for the same before we set off.
By the afternoon we drive on the jeeps or walk to the first campsite to Mount Kailas. We rise above the valley of Taklakot. The landscape is widely open and we will have to go to the 7700-meter high Gurla Mandata to come in Manasarowar. Slowly we come to the platform, where we can see nomads who graze their flocks. From Thalladong pass (or Gurla La) We can see it more of Rakas Lake  and Mt. Kailas. The Rakas lake get its water from the lake Manasarowar. The Rakas lake signifies evil where as Manasarowar stands for good, and Mt. Kailas represents the masculine and the  Manasarowar feminine. It is believed that taking a ritual bath in the lake is a absolute way to cleanse us from all the evils. The lake is surrounded by yellow-brown mountains here and there decorated with snow. To the south we can see a sloping ground with the white Himalayan wall. Perfect serenity and calm in perfect harmony with the shapes and colors in the empty landscape! The average height is at 4500 meters. The further we walk to the north, the better we get a view of the Himalayan Range in the south. We spend the night at the Manasarowar Lake at the small monastery Tru Go. The last part we walk to the camp.

Day 16: Tru Gomba – Chiu Gompa ( 4600m)

Walking round the Mansarobar lake is pleasant. We leave the camp and walk along Trugo Gompa. We may see a herd of antelope, wild horses hopping around. Occasionally there is a river door wading, there are waterlogged pieces with multicolored flowers. Then the path turns back to the lake. We may hear geese and ducks making a lot of noise. We have delicious lunch at the `strand`. The lunch includes lamb and chapatti. We see the white gompa Go Tsuk though somewhat higher on the mountainside. After lunch we walk for an and half hours along the big lake and then climb through a small path up to Go Tsuk.Manimuren and prayer flags show us the way. It is a beautiful authentic monastery. Perhaps the most beautiful of the whole trip. We descend to the other side of the monastery and continue the route along the lake. After an hour we arrive at a large chorten with prayer flags and a guesthouse. We reach the place where the jeeps will make us go continue along the lake. The colors in the landscape are beautiful again. We feel now warmer. After walking for one and half hours we will be in a place where we see the rock hermitages where the monks stay. Just down the jeeps are waiting for us, we are warmly greeted by the drivers and the Tibetan guide. We then drive just for 5 minutes to Chiu monastery. There is an old area with a cave and a new section, which is not yet finished. We have lunch outside at wide midow with yak shelters enjoying the view of the lake Manasarowar and surrounding. After a half hour’s walk, we see the cook tent on a beautiful point on the lake.

Day 17: Chiu Gompa –  Guge Kingdom ( 4360 m)( by jeep)

Today we travel by jeeps. We see Barkha with the overwhelming view of the perfect shape of Kailas since it is so near, at the other end of the plain of Barkha. We drive on now to the west for the third important Buddhist pilgrimage site in western Tibet: Tirthapuri. We reach Montser driving through a dry landscape and along the river for 2 and half hours. Then we see the white peaks of Nepal and India with the Api Himal and Nanda Devi. At Montser we stop for tea and then drive the last 8 km to Thirtapuri. Upon arrival we see the steam from the hot springs. We set up our tents beneath the monastery on a soft green field. There will be enough time to wash ourselves in the river at the camp.

Day 18: Guge Kingdom – Tsaparang (4200 m)

we make day and night pilgrims walk, the kora,  then we go together to the wide monastery complex, which is 40 meters higher. Besides just a visitor to Manasarowar lake and Mount Kailas we should have been here as a pilgrim. There are four symbols in the landscape: the tiger, the bird, the tortoise and the demons. Besides the monastery there are many prayer flags, manis, meditation caves, a mini Bodnath and Monkey Temple in Kathmandu, where we can make a widespread kora, a shortened kora. The hot springs are not deep enough to bathe in. Many pilgrims take a bag of soil to take home. It is supposed to be sacred and has medicinal properties. We spend the morning visiting the various places. With heated white feet and removed from the lime we get the jeep and we drive on towards Tholing. We stop for the night at Khyunglung. This is the site with the remains of the oldest Tibetan settlements. It must have been a pretty big city where lived about 2,000 to 3,000 people mainly in caves. There are no things preserved indicating Buddhism or even the Bon Po religion.

Day 19: Tsaparang – Tholing (4300 m)

Today we spend the whole day visiting the various places where we can see the remains of the mysterious Guge Kingdom. The Guge Kingdom was founded in early in the 10th century. It was not so important in terms of power. It had great importance for the reintroduction of Buddhism in this part of the world. Tholing was the first capital. The monastery was built in the same time (approximately 1,000 years ago) and now being Tabo monasteries in office (in Spiti India) and Alchi (Ladakh). In these three monastery we can see the typical wall painting art of that time. The ancient kingdom long ago no longer exists and the monasteries and cities are in decline. One of the great chorten of Tholing been restored to its former glory and painted in the traditional colors. In the early 17th century Tsaparang capital of the empire was established. The fort was built and dug into the mountainside. We can still walk through the narrow semi-covered lanes running upstairs to get a better view of the valley and the river valley.

Day 20: Tholing – Darchen  (4600 m)

The highlight of the trip is getting closer now, we drive back to Mt. Kailas. We stop for lunch in Montser. On the street are pool tables where everyone can use. We drive back through the same landscape as the day before.

Day 21: Rest day in Darchen

Today we can spend the time on our own in Darchen since it is a rest day here. Darchen comprises an elongated street with guesthouses, small shops which nicely decorated Tibetan tents.

Day 22 Darchen – Damding Dong Kang  (4850 m) 4-5 hours

We start our tour to the holy mountain. After about an hour walk is a high mast with the four cardinal directions and the famous prayer flags are seen. Shortly after that we descend to the valley floor and pass the festival area where the Saga Dawa ritual is held annually. At the foot of the first monastery we meet the yaks and their supervisors, the jeeps are here with our luggage. Occasionally we use carriers. Tibetans walk the 52 kilometers long Kora, or holy tour often in one day. For Tibetans represents a time walking around that in any case have been forgiven our sins in this life; we walk the Kora 108 (the sacred number) once you reach still life Nirvana. We walk around at a nice pace in 3½ days time in order to have a peaceful way to enjoy this part of the trip. The path runs evenly and quietly rising. The mountains have beautiful shapes and colors and are covered with snow; clear glacial streams and green pastures beside. Along the way there are teahouses where you can taste butter tea and tsampa. First day of the kora to camp at Belung Chu. We leave Darchen accompanied by barking dogs. We walk towards the west of the village and climb five minutes gradually to a first viewpoint with prayer flags and manis. There are also scattered old clothes, hats and shoes. Pilgrims leave it behind as a sacrifice. Afterwards we descend slightly to the wide valley of the river Lha Chu. Another few kilometers upstream can come here jeeps and trucks. We pass Drachom Ngagye Durtro, this is a place where sky burials. Next to it is a new chorten. We follow the path beside the Lha Chu and left in the rocks is Chuku Gompa. After half an hour walk we see are the kitchen team next to our luggage. The yaks have arrived and are being charged. The valley narrows and the path is adventurous. We climb very gradually up to becoming the Lha Chu (river) to our left. Mount Kailas disappears and then pops and then suddenly again. After 5 hours having been on the road we come to two Tibetan restaurants in flapping tents. Pilgrims here fill up their thermos with hot water or butter tea. It’s wonderful just to be out of the wind. Along with the yaks we walk to our camp by the river Belung Chu, 20 minutes away. It’s not very busy on the route. We set up our tents on the hillside opposite Damding Dongkhang.

Day 23: Damding Dong Kang – Jarok Donkang  (4950 m) 3-4 hours

Today is the second day of the kora to Shiwatshal Cemetry. After a cold night and a hearty breakfast we walk along the river. The sun may shine brightly but we feel cool since the wind is chilly. On the other side of the Lha Chu is Drira Phuk Monastery. There is a path to the Ganjam Glacier. It’s very pleasing. We climb gradually for about an  half hours below the glacier (5375 meters). The path leads to a large extent on the moraine. Here we are suppoesed hang a prayer flag with our names on and kata (white scarf). The Mount Kailas is very remarkable from this side. When we walk back, we remain high on the hillside and therefore stick to the path that leads to the rest house for the Pilgrims. Via a spectacular bridge made of logs we cross about 5104 meters high Polung Chu. Next, a steep climb starts with the go two places where pilgrims leave old clothes. A dressed-rock appears from a distance a man on the lookout! From there we walk two hours to a kind of pass at 5400 meters. Since the camp is also Shiwatshal. It’s a lovely place .From here there is a path to the La Saglam to come out in the valley of the Lham Chu. Here and there we have to cross a river and at the hut Diraphuk we stay a while to have lunch and to let burn the image of the north side of Kailas on our retina. Our camp is again quite a lot higher on a beautiful wide mountainside. We see those giant marmots we encounter as often at the higher pastures in the Himalayas.

Day 24: Jarok Donkang – Zuthrul Phuk (4800 m) over the Dolma La pass (5630m) 6 hours

Today the third day of the kora to just before Zuthrul Phuk Monastery. Even today, many pilgrims walk with us on the kora. We walk two hours to the Dolma La on a good path with steep and less steep bits. There are some snow on the north slope, but otherwise there is no spatter sign of snow. The Dolma la is a very high pass of 5630m high, for the pilgrims (and perhaps also for us) both the physical and spiritual highlight of this trip. Huge mass of prayer flags, clothing, pennies and even teeth are left here out of devotion. The arrival at the Dolma La is impressive: it’s a sea of prayer flags fluttering in the wind. From the pass we cannot see the Mount Kailas. We hang prayer flags and khada (white shawls) and Tibetans stabbing incense. Each of us leaves something behind. In the descent we pass a cave, in which, is supposed the poet Saint Milarepa, lived in.
The descent takes us further along the three lakes of Gauri Kund, the first hour we descend quite steep. Then there is a steep descent to the teahouse at Menla Shabje. We see the Gurla Mandata rising in the distance from the landscape. Then we descend very gradually through the wide, green valley of the Lham Chu. Leaping from stone to stone we cross the river. Eventually we remain on the right side of the river and follow the path up and down the camp by the river Zhong Chu. It is a day that we want to have it all, but still, there is still a curve. Only where the path of La Saglam is down, we see a glimpse of the east side of Mount Kailas.

Day 25: trek Zuthrul Phuk – Darchen and by jeep to Paryang

Today we gonna make the last part of our kora around Mount Kailas. We walk for about two kilometers to the Zuthrul Phuk Monastery, where the Milarepa’s Cave is located. We visit to the monastery. This place is supposed to be the special place and is located 30 meters above the path. Now we continue walking through the trail along the Zhong Chu, the trail goes up and down through a beautiful colorful valley. We see along the way: prayer flags, chorten, maniwalls , etc that denote that we are in the piece of world inhabited by Buddhists. Really interesting and impresive.The last part of the trail  goes through a canyon-like area that has colourful landscape. We stop for lunch in a planned location with beautiful views in all directions: for us, the Gurla Mandata looks like a castle in the valley of Darchen; behind us lies the valley of the Zhong Chu and Chu Lham. We walk for about 20 minutes and reach the last monastery of the kora, meditation cave of Milarepa. We visit to the cave. Photography of the cave is prohibited. It is still about two hours to walk to our endpoint of the kora. Then we get into the jeep. We go for a long drive across the Tibetan plateau. Enjoying the view of brownish gray landscape with white peaks, we move eastward. We go through the check post of Barka Qu. Having the last glimpse of Mount Kailas, we pass the Mayum La and through Satsam we drive to Paryang. We spend the night in a guest house in Paryang.

Day 26: Paryang – Peiko Tso

Today we drive heading to Saga where a ferry will be waiting for us to cross the Yarlung River. We now drive at a rapid speed over the Tibetan plateau. The road is good. After a kind of gap we reach the big lake Peiko Tso. Here, in addition to extremely beautiful scenery, we back again to the tent. We are now close to the north of the Himalayas where we can enjoy the view of spectacular Shishapangma.

Day 27: Peiko Tso – Zangmu

Today will be the ultimate day for the jeep driving. We slowly enter the world which is increasingly inhabited: we see numerous people driving on motorbikes, horses, houses and beautiful Tibetan villages. We see the towering mountains Shisapangma and Gaurishankar. We reach at the last checkpoint, crossing a pass and then reach on the Friendship Highway. We drive through the last high pass: the Lalung La (5131 m) and then we bid emotional farewell to Tibet. Now we see the Himalayas from the north and the road begins to descend to Nepal. On the way we begin to see trees and lots of people working on the land after long time back. After crossing Nyalam we drive straight down through a beautiful green jungle. The road runs along the walls of a deep gorge. Snow Mountains disappear from the sight and we quiver from the depths below us where the river flows to Nepal. Flowers, trees, ferns and moss covered perpendicular walls, waterfalls: a beautiful piece of world. It is artistically pleasing and very different from the landscape that we had travelled in Tibet for long. We drive to the Tibetan border in Zangmu we move into a hotel by the evening.

Day 28: Zangmu – Kathmandu (1337m)

In Zangmu, our passport will be checked and visa for Nepal will be made. With our passport and visa we come across the border without problems. We cross the Friendship Bridge then there will be customs and first passport check on the Nepalese side. By jeep we drive over here. We bid goodbye to the Tibetan guide and driver and start walking across the border. Now we get on the bus to Kathmandu. Now the time  in Nepal is 2 hours and 15 minutes earlier than in Tibet. In the rainy season the Landslides and mud may disturb the road. We descend along the Bhote Kosi river and have lunch with a good dal bhat (rice with lentil sauce). Luggage passes from one bus to another and here we go again. Through Dhulikel, Banepa, Bhaktapur and Thimi. Finally we arrive in Kathmandu and find the hotel.

Day 29 Rest/Shopping in Kathmandu Or Half day Bhaktapur Sightseeing (1401m) 

This day is free too. If you wish, a sightseeing trip to the ancient temple/king’s seat of the world heritage site of incredible Bhaktapur can be arranged.  The tour lasts 4 hours, and will cost an additional upcharge. In the evening, a Farewell Dinner is given by Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition.

Day 30 Departure from Kathmandu (1337m)

A Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition staff representative will take our valuable guests to the airport (3 hours prior to your flight) and bid goodbye. It will be not only goodbye, but also the welcome for next visit to Nepal.