Home > Humla & Mount Kailash Trek - 20 / 21 days (11 trekking days)

Duration: 20 / 21 days (11 trekking days)
(Category - Moderate to Strenuous)
Route: Simikot - Nara La - Hilsa - Lake Manasarovar - Mount Kailash
After Mount Kailash, drive to Lhasa or Kathmandu
Best time: April - October


Highlights of the trek


Walk the famous kora of the holy Mount Kailash
Walk part of the kora of the stunning mythical Lake Manasarovar
Encounter authentic Buddhism and Bonpo culture
Crossing of the high pass Nara La (4620 m), with spectacular views over the Himalayas
Walk through desolate, stunning landscapes
Sleep in authentic, small Buddhist villages and camp in amazing spots amidst the snowcapped mountains
Chance to see snowleopard, bluesheep, jackals, hyenas and musk deer
Combine your trek with a visit to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet

Introduction

Humla is an important gateway for the holy Mount Kailash and the mythical Lake Manasarovar.

Hindus, Buddhists, Jain and Bon followers see the 6714m high Mount Kailash as the holiest mountain on earth. It is considered to be the abode of the great Hindu God Shiva, as well as the axis of the universe, from which four rivers, the Indus, Brahmaputra, Sutlej and the Karnali have their source and flow into the four directions. Stepping on the shore and taking a bath in Lake Manasarowar, or drinking from the water cleans the sins of a hundred rebirths.

From Hilsa you cross the border to Sera (also spelled Sher). Here jeeps are waiting to drive you northwards past Gurla Mandata mountain to the shores of Lake Manasarovar and Rakshas Lake. You then walk the ‘kora’ (Tibetan) or ‘parikrama ’ (sanskrit), a holy-walk, circumambulating the lake. In summer, wild geese and Himalayan swans swim on its waters. There are eight gompas (Buddhist monasteries) around the lake, of which six have been rebuilt.

From the lake you drive to Darchen, situated at the foot of Mount Kailash. From Darchen, you can make the ‘kora‘ or ‘parikrama ’, the holy walk circumambulating the mountain, in clockwise direction, in 3 or 4 days. You share the trail with many Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Bon pilgrims. The last ones circle the mountain anti-clockwise. Most Buddhist people are walking with their prayer wheels spinning at all times, mumbling their prayers. You see some prostrating the whole kora. The kora goes through an impressive desolate landscape, the Mount Kailash towering high above you many times. Mount Kailash resembles a huge natural temple. Stones, springs and hills along the way have a deeper religious meaning to the pilgrims. All along the way you encounter Buddhist shrines, like chörten, mani walls, holy footprints and of course Buddhist monasteries. The kora (parikrama) goes over a high pass of 5630 meter, the Drolma La (also spelled as Dolma La). For pilgrims this pass is, besides being the highest point, the spiritual highlight of their odyssey. The pass is decorated with masses of prayer flags and out of devotion people leave clothes, coins and other personal belongings here. Devout pilgrims mumble their prayers and ring the brass bells in front of the holy rock in which, according to legend the goddess Drolma disappeared after she had guided the first pilgrim here. To pilgrims it is the symbolic passage through the gates of death after which one is cleansed and prepared for a good rebirth.

After completing the kora, you drive eastwards by jeep through the vastness of the Tibet Plateau and along the mighty Yarlung Zangpo river. Along the way you enjoy fantastic mountain views of the Himalayas. You can drive to Zangmu to re-enter Nepal at the Friendship Bridge or travel to Lhasa, via Lhatsa and Gyantse and Sigatse.

A possible day-to-day itinerary is (returning to Kathmandu after Mount Kailash):

Day
Program
01
Fly to Nepalgunj
02
Fly to Simikot (2950 m)
03
Trek to Dharapuri (2300 m) 4 hrs
04
Trek to Kermi (2670m) 3 hrs
05
Trek to Yalbang (3020m) 5 hrs
06
Trek to Muchu (3120 m) 4 hrs or to Tumkot (3380 m) 5 hrs
07
Trek to Yari (3700m) 5 hrs
08
Trek to Hilsa (3720 m) via Nara La (4620 m) 6 hrs
09
Trek to Sher and drive to Purang (3900m)
10
Drive to Manasarovar Lake (4600m)
11
Trek at Manasorvar lake
12
Drive to Darchen (4520 m)
13
Day 1 Mount Kailash kora, trek to Dira Puk, (4775m)
14
Day 2 Mount Kailash kora ,trek over Drolma La (5630 m) to Zuthul Puk (4700m)
15
Day 3 Mount Kailash Kora, trek to Darchen, drive to Manasarovar Lake (4600m)
16
Drive to Paryang (4600m)
17
Drive to Saga (4450m)
18
Drive to Nyalam (3750m)
19
Drive to Zangmu, cross the border with Nepal at Friendship Bridge, drive to Last Resort
20
Drive to Kathmandu (1350 m)

Another possible day to day itinerary is (going to Lhasa after Mount Kailash):

Day
Program
01
Fly to Nepalgunj
02
Fly to Simikot (2950 m)
03
Trek to Dharapuri (2300 m) 4 hrs
04
Trek to Kermi (2670m) 3 hrs
05
Trek to Yalbang (3020m) 5 hrs
06
Trek to Muchu (3120 m) 4 hrs or to Tumkot (3380 m) 5 hrs
07
Trek to Yari (3700m) 5 hrs
08
Trek to Hilsa (3720 m) via Nara La (4620 m) 6 hrs
09
Trek Hilsa to Sher and drive to Taklakot (also spelled Purang) (3770m)
10
Drive to Manasarovar Lake (4588m)
11
Trek at Manasorvar lake
12
Drive to Darchen (4520m)
13
Day 1 Mount Kailash kora, trek to Dira Puk, (4775m)
14
Day 2 Mount Kailash kora ,trek over Drolma La (5630 m) to Zuthul Puk (4700m)
15
Day 3 Mount Kailash Kora, trek to Darchen
16
Drive to Paryang
17
Drive to Saga
18
Drive to Lhatse
19
Drive to Shigatse
20
Drive to Gyantse
21
Drive to Lhasa