15 days Mount Kailash tour for Saga Dawa Festival

⇀ Shigatse
⇀ Saga
⇀ Manasarovar Lake
⇀ Mount Kailash Kora
⇀ Saga
⇀ Shigatse
⇀ Lhasa
Traveling to Mount Kailash at Saga Dawa Festival with local pilgrims will ensure you a unique lifetime experience. Saga Dawa Festival celebrates the birth, death and enlightenment of Buddha, a great time to experience Tibetan religion & culture.
15 days
Festival, Overland
Trip code
From ¥ 11,200 per person

Saga Dawa festival is called 'the festival to free captive animals' in local custom. Through the whole fourth month, monks don't eat meat and don't commit slaughter. They only concentrate themselves on turning prayer wheels and reciting Buddha's scriptures. It is said that on the 1st of the fourth month is the day that Shakyamuni was born, became enlightened and achieved nirvana. And you will see large numbers of pilgrims at Lhasa's Jokhang, on the Barkor circuit and also Mt.Kailash.

Day 01 :
June 09, 2019 Arrival at Lhasa [3,658m]

Upon arrival at Lhasa airport or train station, to be met and transferred to your hotel / hostel in Lhasa. Afternoon have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude. Overnight at Lhasa.

Day 02 :
June 10 2019 Lhasa City sightseeing, visit Potola Palace & Jokhang Temple

Today is your first day of sightseeing on the high plateau, so we have purposely arranged only to visit Jokhang temple and Potala Palace. Jokhang temple is the most scared shrine in Tibet which was built in 7th century and located at the heart of old town in Lhasa, the circuit around it called Barkhor street, which is a good place to purchase souvenirs. Potala Palace is the worldwide known cardinal landmark of Tibet. The massive structure itself contains a small world within it. Mostly it is renowned as residence of the Dalai Lama lineages (Avalokiteshvara). Both of them are the focal points of pilgrims from entire Tibetan world, multitudinous pilgrims are circumambulating and prostrating in their strong faith. Overnight at Lhasa.

Day 03 :
June 11, 2019 Lhasa City sightseeing, visit Drepung monastery, Sera monastery & Norbulingka summer palace

Today you will be arranged to visit Drepung, Sera monasteries and Summer Palace - Norbulingka palace. Both Drepung and Sera monasteries are Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect monastic colleges. Drepung monastery was the seat of the Government prior to Potala, it was once the world largest monastery in the history with 10,000 monks hailed from different monasteries all over Tibet. Sera monastery is famous for its Buddhism philosophical debate practice, the clapping sound and aggressive expression of the monks are well worth to see. Norbulingka is the summer palace of Dalai Lama, you can visit the residences of different lineages of the Dalai Lama. The park is crowded with picnickers and traditional activities during the Shoton (Yogurt festival) in August. Overnight at Lhasa.


Day 04 :
June 12, 2019 Lhasa (3 600m)/ Yamdrok lake (4,300m) / Gyantse (3,900m). 270KM, 6-7hour drive

Morning drive up to Kampala pass (4,794m), you will have a glimpse of Yamdrok-tso and spectacular views of Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar in the distance, the turquoise colored Lake Yamdrok-tso is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, the unforgettable vista of pincer-shaped turquoise water of the lake and amazing spectacle of Mt. Nyenchen Khangsar glacier from Karo la pass are the wonders of the day. Then along the Friendship southern Highway drive to Gyantse, visit the famous stupa - Gyantse Kumbum, the most stunning architectural wonder in Tibet. Overnight at Gyantse.

Day 05 :
June 13, 2019 Gyantse / Shigatse(3,800m) / Shegar. (300KM, 6-7hour drive)

Morning head to Shigatse, there you will be arranged to visit Tashilunpo Monastery and the spectacular tombs of Panchen Lamas, monks of this monastery are nice looking with their home-made traditional shoes. If you like hiking, don't miss the Kora of Tashilhunpo monastery where you can have the nice views of Shigatse and surroundings. Then continues today's driving to Shegar, you will go through several high passes and get to see the first sight of Mount Everest before you reach Shegar. Overnight at Shegar. 

Day 06 :
June 14, 2019 Shegar / Rongbuk ( where to view Mount Everest), 100km, 2-3 hours drive

Early morning start driving to Rongbuk, cross over Gawu la pass[5250m], from the top of the Gawu la you will see the spectacular Himalayan Ranges and its glorious peaks viz Mt.Makalu[8463m], Mt.Lotse[8516m], Mt.Everest[8844m], Mt.Cho Oyu[8201m] and Mt.Shishapama[8020m] from Left to right, climbing down through numbers of switchback bends lead to the dry valley of Tashi Zom and then to today's destination - Rongbuk monastery, it is the highest monastery in Tibet and consist both monks and nuns, it is still a good point to see Mt.Everest. Afternoon explore Rongbuk and see the best view of Mount Everest. Enjoy the sunset over Everest in a clear day. Overnight at local tent guesthouse or Rongbuk monastery guest house(dorm bed).

Day 07 :
June 15, 2019 Everest Base Camp / Saga

After breakfast at Rongbuk, then head to Saga, on the way you will stop to see the stunning lake of Pelku Tso and Mt. Shishapama(8012m), the rest day's driving will be on the grasslands, nomads herders with their yaks and sheep also can be often seen along the road. Stay overnight at Saga. 

Day 08 :
June 16, 2019 Saga(4600m) / Paryang(4750m) / Darchen (4600m) (490Km, 7-8hours drive)

Morning drive from Saga to Paryang, you weave your way through small dusty town of Zhongba amidst enchanting panoramic views, dotted nomads tents are mingled with their herds of animals on the open plateau. Pass numbers of villages and camps of Yak herders with the distance view of snow capped mountains, cross the Mayun-la pass (5,216m), if lucky might see many wild animals at the plateau grasslands. Check in at Darchen and prepare for the following days trekking.

Day 09 :
June 17, 2019 Saga Dawa Festival celebration, Start the 1st day Trek to Dira-puk Monastery, (20km, 6hours trekking)

Morning head west to Tarboche to experience the Saga Dawa Festival, the most important religious festival in Tibet to celebrate the birth, death and enlightenment of Buddha Sakyamuni, the main purpose of the festival is to pray for the long life of all the gurus, for the spreading of teachings of Buddha, and for the happiness of all the sentient beings. Many Tibetans come to join this festival. Many rituals like Buddhism, Bon and Hinduism will be taking place around Tarboche. The most important part of the festival at Mount Kailash is to replace the 'Tarboche Flagpole, every year the flagpole is brought down and a new pole will be replaces. The festival offers a great opportunity for photo shootings.

Afterwards we will start the first day's trekking of this 3 day Mount Kailash Kora, the walk will start from the Sershong and a gradual walk with multitudes of other local pilgrims chanting and praying. From the valley you can see the Choku Monastery up on the hillside. The trail leads to few ups and downs till we reach our camp at Dirapuk (4,750 m). You will meet many more Bon pilgrims going in the opposite direction (Anticlock-wise), because Mt. Kailash is being worshipped by four different religions:  Buddhisms, Bons, Hindus and Jains. Overnight at Dirapuk guesthouse.

Day 10 :
June 18, 2019 Trek from Dira-puk Monastery to Dzutul-puk Monastery by crossing Drolma-la Pass, (15KM,6 - 7hrs)

Today our trekking leads to much higher side of the holy path just beneath the Mount Kailash. The walk will bring us to one of the highest point at Drolma La(5,200m), and the pass is quickly descending to the gradual field towards Dzutul-puk for the overnight camp, Dzutul Puk in Tibetan and which means magical cave, this small monastery is connected to a interesting story of talend competition between Great Yogi Milarepa(Buddhist) and Naropa(Bon). Overnight at Dzutul-Puk guesthouse or Camping.

Day 11 :
June 19, 2019 Trek back to Darchen, 14Km, 2-3 hours trekking / Drive to Lake Manasarovar

The winding gradually comes out of the valley and the river allows to follow in to the Barka plain, the trekking stops at Trangser Trangmar and your car takes you back to Darchen. After a short rest at Darchen, you will be arranged to drive about 50km to Lake Manasarovar, one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. In Buddhism and Hinduism, Manasarovar is the lake of compassion, tranquility and bliss. Climb up to Chiu monastery and have a good view of the lake or wonder along the lake shore to have a relaxing afternoon. Overnight at the local guest house near Chiu monastery (dorm bed).

Day 12 :
June 20, 2019 Lake Manasarovar / Paryang / Saga (480KM, 7hours)

Morning enjoy a brilliant sunrise at Lake Manasarovar, then start driving back to Saga retracing the same route, you will have a last view of the Mt.Kailash on the way. Overnight at Saga.

Day 13 :
June 21, 2019 Saga / Shigatse (456km, 9 hrs)

Today start drive back to Shigatse, enjoy the landscapes on the way. Overnight at Shigatse.

Day 14 :
June 22, 2019, Shigatse / Lhasa ( 280KM, 6 hours drive)

Morning start driving back to Lhasa from Shigatse via northern friendship highway, driving along Yarlutsangpo river and enjoys its beautiful sceneries. Overnight at Lhasa .

Day 15 :
June 23, 2019 Lhasa airport/ train station dropping off

Morning Lhasa airport or train station dropping off, the time come to say your farewells to your guide and driver, end the trip.

Tour notes:

Please note prices are based in CNY.

General inclusions:

All required government taxes and fees.
Please contact one of our Tour Advisors to get a custom quotation made to your requirements.
All required Tibet permits and domestic travel documents.
Necessary oxygen and medicine for the acute high altitude sickness.
Where possible 3 star hotels will always be provided, if the city or town does not have then the local guest house or monastery guest house will be provided (i.e. tent / dormitory bed, no private bathroom etc.)
All entrance tickets as noted in the tour's itinerary.
Local Tibetan guide fluent in English, Chinese or Japanese that is certified by the state tourism build. (If your native language is not listed please let us know, we are certain we can assist your needs.)
Airport and/or train station pick-up and drop-off.
Comfortable and clean 7/8 seats minivan for groups of 5 persons or less; for larger groups minibus and tourist coach are available.

General exclusions:

Personal expenses such as laundry, drinks, internet access, fax, telephone calls etc.
Tips for your guide and driver.
Meals that are not specified in the tour itinerary.
Optional Attractions that are not specified in the itinerary.
Flight tickets or train tickets in and out of Lhasa (Please note: We can offer you train and/or plane tickets in and out Lhasa from all cities within China. Please check the latest price with us via email.)

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