21 days Simikot – Mount Kailash – Simikot Tour
Mt. Kailash is a mysterious mountain for travelers. But for Buddhist, Hindus and Bon faithful it is the abode of God Shiva; it is their sacred land. Kailash peak and Manasarover Lake are situated at 4500 meter above sea level; it is at the highest elevation on the Tibetan plateau. It is the source of holy rivers of south Asia like Indus, Sutlej, Brahamaputra and Karnali. Despite its barren and dry features the lake and the mountain has magnetic influence to devotees and visitors alike. The journey starts from Simikot, travel to Yari, cross a high pass at Nara La and descend to Humla Karnali River to reach the border village of Hilsa and Khojarnath. Drive to the region’s trading center at Taklakot (Purang). Green and wet monsoon weather changes to dry, cold and sunshine at the plateau. The sky there is deep blue with scattered cloud.
Lake Manasarovar is the highest freshwater lake in the world, located at the foot of Mount. kailash in Tibet. It is the holiest lake in Asis and an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus and Buddhists alike.
Mt. Kailash is a striking peak in the Himalayan mountains of western Tibet. The source of some of the longest rivers in Asia, Kailash is a sacred mountain, for four faiths: Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and followers of the indigenous Tibetan religion of Bön. Next to the mountain are two sacred lakes, the most important of which is lake manasarovar.
Simikot – Mount Kailash – Simikot Tour Itierary
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu.
Transfer to Hotel. Overnight at Hotel.?
Day 02: After breakfast Briefing about your tour to Mt. Kailash/Manasarover and sightseeing tour of Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath. Lunch at hotel and afternoon clothing inspection. Overnight at Hotel.
Boudhanath Stupa is the largest stupa in Nepal and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. It is the center of Tibetan culture in kathmandu and rich in Buddhist symbolism. The stupa is located in the town of Boudha, on the eastern outskirts of Kathmandu.
History Boudhanath stupa
Bodnath was probably built in the 14th century after the Mughal invasions; various interesting legends are told regarding the reasons for its construction. After the arrival of thousands of Tibetans following the 1959.the temple has become one of the most important centers of Tibetan Buddhism. Today it remains an important place of pilgrimage and meditation for Tibetan Buddhists and local Nepalis, as well as a popular tourist site.
What to See around Boudhanath stupa
From above, Bodhanath Stupa looks like a giant mandala, or diagram of the Buddhist cosmos. And as in all Tibetan mandalas, four of the Dhyani Buddhas mark the cardinal points, with the fifth, Vairocana, enshrined in the center (in the white hemisphere of the stupa). The five Buddhas also personify the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether), which are represented in the stupa's architecture.
There are other symbolic numbers here as well: the nine levels of Boudhanath Stupa represent the mythical Mt. Meru, center of the cosmos; and the 13 rings from the base to the pinnacle symbolize the path to enlightenment, or "Bodhi" — hence the stupa's name.
At the bottom, the stupa is surrounded by an irregular 16-sided wall, with frescoes in the niches. In addition to the Five Dhyani Buddhas, Boudhanath Stupa is closely associated with the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Padmapani), whose 108 forms are depicted in sculptures around the base. The mantra of Avalokiteshvara - Om Mani Padme Hum - is carved on the prayer wheels beside the images of Avalokiteshvara around the base of the stupa.
The base of the stupa consists of three large platforms, decreasing in size. These platforms symbolize Earth, and here you can look out at the mountains while listening to the chants of the devout doing kora, walking around the stupa praying.
Next come two circular plinths supporting the hemisphere of the stupa, symbolizing water. As at Swayambunath Bodhanath is topped with a square tower bearing the omnipresent Buddha eyes on all four sides.
Instead of a nose is a question-mark-type symbol that is actually the Nepali character for the number 1, symbolizing unity and the one way to reach enlightenment—through the Buddha's teachings. Above this is the third eye, symbolizing the wisdom of the Buddha.
The square tower is topped by a pyramid with 13 steps, representing the ladder to enlightenment. The triangular shape is the abstract form for the element of fire. At the top of the tower is a gilded canopy, the embodiment of air, with above it a gilded spire, symbolic of ether and the Buddha Vairocana. Prayer flags tied to the stupa flutter in the wind, carrying mantras and prayers heavenward.
The main entrance to the upper platform of Bodnath Stupa is on the north side. Here Amoghasiddhi, progenitor of the future Buddha, presides. Below Amoghasiddhi is the Buddha Maitreya, the future Buddha.
Surrounding Boudhanath Stupa are streets and narrow alleys lined with colorful homes, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, and street vendors.
Festivals and Events
During the festival of Losar (Tibetan New Year) in February or March, Boudhanath hosts the largest celebration in Nepal.
Day 03: Fly Kathmandu/Nepalgunj on the southern border of Nepal. O/n at Hotel
Day 04: Fly to Simikot (2910m). Trek to Dharapuri (2,270m). O/n camp.
?Day 05: Trek to Kermi (2,690m). O/n camp.
?Day 06 :Trek to Yangar (2,990m) . O/n camp.
?Day 07: Trek to Torea (3,380m). O/n camp.
?Day 08: Trek to Tharedunga (4,100m). O/n camp.
?Day 09: Trek to Sipsip (4,300m). O/n camp
.?Day 10: Trek to Hilsa (Nepal Border & Sher (Tibet Border) Drive to Purang?
Day 11: Drive to Lake Manasarovar. O/n camp.
Myth & Mystery of manasarovar lake
According to Hindu tradition, Manasarovar was created by Brahma, god of creation, to provide an appropriate place for religious rituals. It is said that he had 12 sons, who were holy men and performed rituals and austerities on the dry land at the site. To give them a more suitable place to earn merit, Brahma created the beautiful Lake Mansarovar.
The lake's Indian name derives from this legend: Brahma had a mind (manas) to create a lake (sarowar). For Hindus, a circumambulation of Mount Kailash and a dip in the cold waters of Lake Mansarowar removes the sins of all lifetimes, bringing salvation from reincarnation.
Buddhists associate Manasarovar with Anotatta Lake, where the Buddha was mystically conceived. According to Buddhist legend, the Buddha's mother was transported here by the gods, where she bathed in the sacred waters of Manasarovar until her body was purified. She then saw a white elephant running to her from Mount Kailash, as the Buddha entered her womb.
History of manasarovar
There were once eight Buddhist monasteries around the lake, symbolizing the Wheel of Life. Pilgrims circumambulated the lake, visiting each of the monasteries along the way, representing a turn of the wheel. Most of the monasteries have now disappeared (the most notable survivor being Chiu Gompa), but Buddhists still make the pilgrimage around the sacred lake.
What to See around manasarovar lake
Located at the southern base of Mount. kailash, Lake Manasarovar is famed for its exceptional beauty. Its color changes from a clear blue around the shores to a deep emerald green in the center; it looks positively magical in the moonlight. The lake is 55 miles (88 km) in circumference, 330 feet (90m) deep, and 120 sq mi (320 sq km) in total area.
The journey around the lake is 64 miles long and usually takes four days. Many travelers opt to pitch a tent by the lake for a couple days instead, recuperating from the strenuous journey around Mount Kailash.
Day 12: Drive to Darchen (4,620m). O/n camp.
What to See around Mt. kailash
Mount Kailash rises to 22,028 feet (6,714 m) in one of the highest and most rugged parts of the Himalayas. Made of black rock, the symmetrical peak has a distinctive diamond-like shape with four steep facades. The south face has a vertical gash across its horizontal layers, creating the appearance of a swastika - an ancient symbol of good luck in this part of the world.
The landscape around the mountain is rugged and dry but crossed by crystalline blue streams and other bodies of water. Near the sacred mountain is the source of the Indus, Sutlej and Bramaputra rivers and on its south side are two freshwater lakes, the easternmost of which is the highly sacred Lake manasarovar (Mapam). With an altitude of 14,950 feet, Mansarovar is the highest body of fresh water in the world. The other lake, Rakshastal, also has legendary significance.
Myth & Mystery of Mount. Kailash
According to Hindu mythology, Shiva, the god of destruction and regeneration, resides at the summit of a legendary mountain named Kail???. Mount Kail??? is regarded in many sects of Hinduism as Paradise, the ultimate destination of souls and the spiritual center of the world.
According to a description in the Puranas, Mount Kailash's four faces are made of crystal, ruby, gold, and lapis lazuli; it is the pillar of the world; rises 84,000 leagues high; is the center of the world mandala; and is located at the heart of six mountain ranges symbolizing a lotus. From it flow four rivers, which stretch to the four quarters of the world and divide the world into four regions.
This legendary mountain has long been identified with the striking peak in the Himalayas that now bears its name. Shiva is therefore believed to dwell at its summit. Some traditions say the mountain is Shiva's linga, while Lake Manasarowar is the yoni of his consort.
The importance of this holy mountain in Hinduism is reflected, among other places, at the famous ellora caves in India, where the largest and most important rock-carved temple is dedicated to Mount Kailash.
Tibetan Buddhists believe that Kailash is the home of the Buddha Demchok (also known as Demchog or Chakrasamvara), who represents supreme bliss. They also say it was on this sacred mountain that Buddhism displaced Bön as the primary religion of Tibet.
According to legend, Milarepa, champion of Tantric Buddhism, arrived in Tibet to challenge Naro-Bonchung, representative of Bön. The two magicians engaged in a great sorcerous battle, but neither was able to gain a decisive advantage.
Finally, it was agreed that whoever could reach the summit of Kailash first would be the victor. While Naro-Bonchung soared up the slope on a magic drum, Milarepa's followers were dumbfounded to see him sitting still and meditating. Yet when Naro-Bonchung was nearly at the top, Milarepa suddenly moved into action and overtook him by riding on the rays of the sun, thus winning the contest and bringing Buddhism to Tibet.
In Jainism, Kailash is known as Mount Ashtapada and is the site where the founder of their faith, Rishabhadeva, attained liberation from rebirth.
In Bön, the religion which predates Buddhism in Tibet, the mountain is believed to be the abode of the sky goddess Sipaimen.
Pilgrimage around Mt. kailash
Every year, thousands make a pilgrimage to Kailash, following a tradition going back thousands of years. Pilgrims of several religions believe thatcircumambulating (walking around) Mount Kailash will remove sins and bring good fortune. The pilgrimage around the sacred mountain is called the Kailash Kora.
It is said that one trip around the sacred mountain will wipe away all the sins (bad karma) of one's current lifetime; 108 revolutions will remove the sins of all one's lifetimes and bring salvation from reincarnation (moksa). Alternatively, pilgrims who complete one circumbulation of Kailash and bathe in the frigid waters of lake manasarovar will also bring salvation.
No pilgrims climb Mt. Kailash; all four religions believe it would be a serious act of sacrilege to set foot on its slopes. Legend has it that the only person to have reached the summit is the Buddhist champion Milarepa (who flew to the top in the 12th century) and that all others who have ventured to defy the taboo have died in the process.
The rugged path around Mount Kailash is 32 miles (52 km) long, following a blue mountain stream much of the way. Altitudes range from 15,000 feet at the start to 19,000 feet at the Dolma Pass. The circumambulation is made in a clockwise direction by Hindus and Buddhists but counterclockwise by followers of the Jain and Bön religions.
A typical journey lasts about three days, but some try to earn extra merit by completing the entire walk in a single day. Braving the uneven terrain, high altitudes and variable weather, these hardy souls can complete the trek in about 15 hours.
Other pilgrims seek special merit by taking much longer to circle the holy mountain: instead of walking, they perform body-length prostrations for the entire 32 miles. The pilgrim bends down, kneels, prostrates full-length, makes a mark with his fingers, rises to his knees, prays, and then crawls forward on hands and knees to the mark made by his/her fingers before repeating the process. It requires at least four days of physical endurance to perform the circumambulation this way.
The mountain is located in a particularly remote and inhospitable area of the Tibetan Himalayas. Only those in the best health are able to undertake the journey even to the starting point of the circumambulation, let alone walk 52 km in a single day. A few modern amenities, such as benches, resting places and refreshment kiosks, exist to aid the pilgrims in their devotions.
Most pilgrims and trekkers take three days to complete the journey around Mount Kailash from the city of Darchen, aiming for Drirapuk Monastery on the first night, crossing Dolma La Pass and arriving at Zutrulpuk Monastery the second night, and finally returning to Darchen on the third day.
Monastery accommodation is not always available, so travelers must carry tents and food. To help with the burden, yaks and porters can be hired in Darchen for about ¥100 per day. The path frequently crosses mountain streams, so waterproof boots or an extra pair of shoes is essential.
Most pilgrims begin their journey overland from Kathmandu or lhasa. From there, they travel over the Tibetan plateau (ranging 10,000-16,000 feet in elevation) in a rented Jeep. It is a long journey with four night stops in camps, finally arriving at Darchen (elevation: 4600 m).
Day 13-14: Trek to Driraphuk and Zutulphuk crossing Dromala Pass. O/n camp.
Day 15: Walk back to Darchen and drive to Lake Mansarovar. O/n camp.
?Day 16: Drive to Sher & trek to Hilsa. O/n camp.
?Day 17: We pass through the villages of Torea, Salle Khola & Dharapuri on our way to Simikot.?
Day 18: Trek to Simikot . O/n camp?
Day 19: Fly to Nepalgunj and then on to Kathmandu.?
Day 20: explore kathmandu
Day 21: Final Departure.
All the best wishes for your continue happy journey.