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Mt Kailash Kora during Saga Dawa Festival

Duration:
14 Days
Price:
From USD3129
Route:
Lhasa – Shigatse - EBC – Saga – Kailash Kora – Manasarovar - Saga – Shigatse – Lhasa
Season:
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter
Tour Type:
Private Tour
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Overview

Saga Dawa Festival falls on 15th, April according to Tibetan Calendar. It's the month when Buddha Shakyamuni was born, enlightened, and attained nirvana. Pilgrims from India, Nepal and Tibetan areas gathered under the sacred Mountain Kailash, erected new Tarboche flagpoles, and do a kora around this mountain for pilgrimage.

If you happen to plan to travel to Tibet from May to June, you may experience the grandeur of the Saga Dawa Festival in Tibet. Besides visiting other landmarks of Tibet such as Potala Place, Jokhang Temple, and Everest Base Camp, your Kailash tour during the annual Saga Dawa Buddhist festival also includes praying for blessings and doing a 3-day kora trek, as well as other activities. It's said that during the Saga Dawa festival, the merits of doing kora will be multiplied so this is also the best time to visit Kailash. It's a pilgrimage trip that every devout pilgrim wants to complete at least once in a life.

DayRouteAttractions & Activities
1 Arrival in Lhasa (3650m) Pick up and transfer to the hotel
2 Lhasa City Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Tibetan Thangka Studio
3 Lhasa Suburb Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
4 Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse Yamdroktso Lake, Karola Glacier, Pelkor Chode Monastery
5 Shigatse - Tingri - Rongbuk - EBC Rongbuk Monastery, Everest Base Camp
6 EBC - Saga Peikutso Lake
7 Saga - Darchen Enjoy the scenery along the way
8 Mt Kailash Kora①: Darchen - Dirapuk (4700m), Drive 5km, Trek 15km, Approx. 7~11hrs Mt.Kailash kora
9 Mt Kailash Kora②: Dirapuk - Zutulpuk (4790m), Trek 22km, Approx. 11~14hrs Mt.Kailash kora
10 Mt Kailash Kora③: Zutulpuk – Darchen; Drive Darchen - Chiu; Chiu Monastery
11 Chiu - Manasarovar - Payang - Saga Lake Manasarovar
12 Saga - Lhatse - Shigatse, 450km, Approx. 9hrs Sakya Monastery
13 Shigatse - Lhasa, 300km, Approx. 6hrs Tashilhunpo Monastery, Yarlung Tsangpo Valley
14 Departure from Lhasa Send off to the airport/railway station

Daily Itinerary

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This is the first day in Tibet. Your guide will greet you at Lhasa Gonggar Airport/Railway Station and transfer you to your hotel. It usually takes around 1.5 hours to drive from Lhasa Airport to downtown Lhasa and takes about 20mins from Lhasa Railway Station. Tourists could have a look at the Yarlung Tsangpo River, the largest and longest river in Tibet on their way to the hotel. After check-in, you can have a good rest first. And if you feel like going out, you can wander around the city. But just remember that don't take too much stuff, try to go with a light pack. Meanwhile, drink some more water, do not move strenuously. It’s really useful to get acclimatized to the high altitude.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

In the morning our guide will meet you at the hotel and first take you to visit the famous Potala Palace, the cardinal landmark of Tibet and the masterpiece of Tibetan architecture. It was first built by the 33rd King - Songtsen Gangpo in the 7th century and rebuilt later by the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century. Now it's a museum and world heritage site. 

In the afternoon, we will go to visit Jokhang Temple in the center of the Lhasa old town. Jokhang Temple is the most sacred temple in Tibet and it is always bustling with earnest local pilgrims since the early days. After that, you will take a walk around the Barkhor Street - one of the most devotional circuits as well as a crowded central market of Lhasa. Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the locals are always proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, it‘s also a must-see place for visitors.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

In the morning, we will go to visit Norbulingka. Norbulingka is a typical Tibetan-style royal garden, the summer resort of the Dalai Lama. There are a lot of towering trees, exotic flowers and plants in the Garden, as well as many collections of cultural relics, Buddha statues, pagodas, thangkas, murals, etc. They are all very precious treasures.

In the afternoon, you are heading to Drepung Monastery, which means Monastery of Rice Heap in the Tibetan language. The entire monastery is large in scale and the white buildings cluster and covers the hillsides. Drepung monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, also the highest-ranking monastery in the Gelug Sect.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

From Lhasa to Gyantse is about 264km, en route you will pass by Gambala Mountain Pass (4790m), where's the best place to overlook the Yamdroktso Lake. Then head to Shigatse via the fertile Nyangchu Valley, a wide agricultural plain where yaks and horses are used by Tibetan farmers to cultivate this land.

Stay overnight in Shigatse

Tibet has a serious rule about the speed limit. Though from Shigatse to Everest region is only about 350km or so, no-more-than-40km/hr speed limitation, and the many road checks dotted on the way, really slow us down. So be prepared to spend around 8~10hrs on the road including mealtime. The upside is the view along the way is superb. Also please take some snacks with you for the long-time driving.

In summer, usually May~Oct, we will stay overnight at Everest Tent Camp; in winter, usually Nov~Apr, we will stay at Rongbuk Monastery’s guesthouse. There are dorm beds available in the 2 places. In both places, you can see the glorious Everest sunset if the weather is good.

Stay overnight at EBC

Get up early to enjoy a beautiful sunrise over the stunning landscape surrounding Mount Everest. You can see Mount Everest gradually emerging, the clouds being blown away by strong winds. If you are lucky, you will have the chance to see the famous "flag clouds" of Mount Everest. In the late morning, we need to travel 330 kilometers from EBC to Saga County via old Tingri, which takes about 8 hours. From old Tingri, you can see Mount Everest, Cho Oyu and Shishapangma at 8000m+ above sea level. The road runs parallel to the Himalayas. On the Nepalese side of the mountain range, it's called the Anapurna Mountains. In addition to overlooking the snow-capped peaks and the desolate wilderness, you can also enjoy the pure scenery of the cobalt blue Peikutso Lake (4600 meters).

Drive from Saga to Zhongba to Paryang to Hor Qu then finally today’s destination of Darchen. A photogenic section of dunes, lakes, and mountain views in 60km from Zhongba. Photos taken along this route can often get steppe, streams, desert dunes and snowcapped mountains in the same shot.

In the morning, you will take an eco-bus (included in the cost) to Sarshung valley and start the trekking from there. Then you will meet your porters and yaks at Sarshung Valley(the cost of hiring yaks, horses, and porters are not included in the package). You’ll trek about 15 km from Sarshung Valley to Drirapuk Monastery along the Lachu River Valleys. During your trekking today, you can see both west and north face of Mt.Kailash. Finally, you will visit Drirapuk Monastery and stay overnight here.

Stay overnight in Guesthouse, Dorm Bed

Today is the most challenging day of the trekking, you’ll climb over the highest pass of the Kora, the Dromala pass(5630m). After a short rest at the top, we will climb down into the long valley and stop for lunch at the Shabjay Dakpo nomadic tent. On the way, you can have a rest in a teahouse. Then you will continue to the Zultulpuk , built by two important religious figures, Milarepa and Naro Bonchung. At last, you will visit Zutulpuk Monastery. You will find the footprint and handprint of Milarepa inside the cave. 

Stay overnight in Guesthouse, Dorm Bed

From Zutul-puk Monastery the trail follows the river closely for an hour or so then climbs above the river valley and enters the lovely Gold & Red Cliffs, a narrow canyon whose walls are stained purple, cobalt and rust.

When the canyon narrows look for holes gouged into the cliff walls. These are not natural but made by pilgrims looking for holy stones. Also look for prayer flags festooned across the river, and in the far distance the blue waters of lake Raksas Tal.

Where the trail emerges onto the Barkha plain, close to the fourth prostration point, Gurla Mandata is again visible in the distance. It’s now an easy 1hr walk back to Darchen along a dirt road.

Then drive to Chiu for the night.

Enjoy the ride back with leisure. Our vehicle will stop along the ride for you to take photos.

We will be driving back from Saga to Shigatse via Lhatse. Along the way, the road curves and stretches, and the mountains are endless. Every time you pass a mountain pass, the altitude drops a little bit, and you'll see villages and farmland at Lhatse.

Stay overnight in Shigatse

In the morning, we will visit the home of Panchen Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery, which was founded by the 1st Dalai Lama in 1447. It is a historic and culturally important monastery in Shigatse. It's located on the central hill of the city. The full name in Tibetan of the monastery means "all fortune and happiness gathered here" or "heap of glory".

Then, we will drive back to Lhasa from Shigatse along the Friendship Highway, via the northern route to Lhasa. It is the most direct route and usually takes around 6 hours to reach the capital. We will make several stops on the way in order to enjoy the views of the Yarlung Tsangpo River Valley.

Your tour ends today. Our guide and driver will collect you from your hotel to transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway Station for your next destination.

Tour Price and Service

From US$3129 p/p

Based on 3-star hotels for 2 people in low seasons. Price varies according to travel season, number of people and level of accommodation.

INCLUSIONS
  • Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance tickets fee for tourist attractions listed in the itinerary;
  • Experienced local English-speaking tour guide;
  • Travel-licensed vehicle according to group size & season as itinerary needed including gas and parking fee;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel, or guesthouse. Please tell us your preference;
  • Breakfasts provided by hotels;
  • Pick-up & Drop-off service from Airport/railway station;
  • Travel Agency Liability insurance;
  • Government tax;
  • Express delivery fee of Permit (eg. SF. Express);
  • Food & lodgings for guide & driver;
  • Oxygen tank for emergency use;
  • Sleeping bags;
  • Two bottles of mineral water per person per day.

EXCLUSIONS
  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese Visa/China Group Visa; (Note: we could help you by providing the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies for your Chinese Visa or the invitation letter for your China Group Visa)
  • Domestic flight/train to and out of Lhasa; (We can help you book the domestic flight/train ticket at the BEST price. Please contact us for details.)
  • Meals are not included but we will recommend some good ones for you according to your requirements. Usually, it takes 3-10 USD per person for each meal.
  • While the gratuity for guide and driver is NOT mandatory, it is expected. Based on their service, you can tip them on the last day of the tour. Each of you is suggested to tip them 5-10 USD/day in total;
  • All the commission and tax charged by PayPal, Bank, and government when making payment. (e.g. PayPal --- 4.2%. Wire transfer --- 2%);
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
  • Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions.

Typically Asked Questions from Our Clients

Asked by Vinc***
2019-01-12

I plan to visit Tibet starting Dec 25 to Jan 15 and like to inquire and potentially sign up for the 14 day tour (Mt Kailash Kora during Saga Dawa Festival) any information you can provide will be helpful and cost. Thank you.

Cherry
Answered by Cherry 2019-01-12

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to have a Mt.kailash tour in December. It is very cold in December at Mt.kailash. There is no Mt.Kailash tour from November to the whole of March. The date of the Saga Festival is Jun.17th in 2019. So, how about having this tour in June?

Asked by DEVE***
2019-01-11

KAILASH YATRA

Cherry
Answered by Cherry 2019-01-11

In your inquiry, you mentioned three of you would like to have the Mt Kailash Kora during Saga Dawa Festival. I am sorry we can't arrange Indian travelers to visit Mt.Kailash. Only two organizations can allow Indian pilgrimage tour in Tibet. The first one is Foreign Affairs Office of TAR(governmental); the second one is Pilgrim Center (non-governmental).

Asked by Shaw***
2018-12-07

I plan to visit Tibet starting Dec 25 to Jan 15 and like to inquire and potentially sign up for the 14 day tour (Mt Kailash Kora during Saga Dawa Festival) any information you can provide will be helpful and cost. Thank you

Cherry
Answered by Cherry 2018-12-07

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to have 14 Days Mt Kailash Kora during Saga Dawa Festival Tour which is a private tour. As travelers less than 5, we often suggest them to join our small group tour to keep the cost down. We have 15 Days Mt.Everest & Mt Kailash Kora Pilgrimage Group Tour. 

There is no Mt.Kailash tour from November to next April. It is very cold at Ngari prefecture from November to next April. How about having this group tour in April. We have 15 Days Mt.Everest & Mt Kailash Kora Pilgrimage Group Tour with the departure date on Apr.15th. 

Asked by Mich***
2018-11-20

Last Two weeks of May. My friends nationality is Cambodia. When is the Saga Dawa festival in 2019?

Cherry
Answered by Cherry 2018-11-20

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to have the 14 Days Mt Kailash Kora during Saga Dawa Festival which is a private tour. As travelers less than five, we often suggest them join our small group tour to keep the cost down. We have 15 Days Mt.Everest & Mt Kailash Kora Pilgrimage Group Tour with the departure date on May.16th. Is it available to you?

The date of the Saga Dawa festival for 2019 has not yet been released.

Asked by Vale***
2018-04-11

I like the sound of the itinerary for the 14 day Saga Dawa Festival and would prefer to travel in the autumn. Can you give me some more information about dates etc.

Cherry
Answered by Cherry 2018-04-11

In your inquiry, you mentioned that you like the 14-day Kailash Kora During Saga Dawa Festival, which is a private tour. Saga Dawa Festival  2018 starts on May 29th.  For a solo traveler, the best option is to join our small group tours to keep the cost down. We have a 15-day Mt.Everest & Mt Kailash Kora Pilgrimage Group Tour on May 23rd. which I think perfectly match your needs. 

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What Our Customers Say
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I just returned to Beijing yesterday and I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful trip to Tibet. Your company arranged everything very well, and Lobsang was an excellent tour guide, I was deeply impressed by how hard-working and dedicated he was, especially when he helped arrange my nucleic a ....

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