Nepal and Tibet
An itinerary that develops between the mythical Himalayan countries, Tibet and Nepal, with both naturalistic connotations, for the spectacularity of the highest mountains in the world, and spiritual, for the mysticism of the places visited. The movements take place through high passes of the Himalayan range. From Kathmandu, you follow a circular route to discover the Nepalese and Tibetan cultures, through high mountain areas at high altitudes, small villages of shepherds, flocks of sheep and yaks, monasteries.
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu
Arrival at the airport in Kathmandu and meeting with our staff. Transfer to the hotel. Visit of the historic center of Kathmandu, at 1330 meters above sea level, founded in the 10th century by King Gunakamadeva, including the Palace Square with its pagoda temples and Kumari Ghar, where the "child goddess" lives, considered the incarnation of the goddess Kali. Climb to the Swayambhunath stupa, the monkey temple, about 2,500 years ago, one of the holiest places of Buddhism. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu
Breakfast and visit of the Buddhist stupa of Bodnath, 36 meters high, symbol of Kathmandu and UNESCO heritage. Visit of Pashupatinath, a UNESCO heritage site, the most important Hindu temple in Nepal, dedicated to Shiva, along the Baghmati river, a place of rituals and cremations. Entrance to the sacred area allowed only to Hindus. In the afternoon, visit to the medieval city of Badghaon, a UNESCO heritage, capital until the second half of the 15th century, with Durbar Square where the Palace of 55 Windows from 1427 AD is located. which is accessed from the "Golden Gate". The Newari-style area has pagoda-like temples, including the famous five-story Nepalese-style Nyatapola, from 1702 AD. Visit of the Tachupa Square, with the wood carving shops and of the Potters' Square. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 03: Kathmandu / Lhasa (by flight)
In the morning, I fly to Lhasa. Lunch on board. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Afternoon dedicated to rest and acclimatization. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 04: Lhasa
After breakfast, excursion to Drepung Monastery, the largest in Tibet and still an important center of study. From 1416, the monastery, at 4,000 meters high, is the first of the three main monasteries of the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Buddhist School, the most followed branch of Buddhism in the country. The Dalai Lama lived here before the fifth Dalai Lama's reconstruction of the Potala Palace between 1645 and 1694. Since 1982, Drepung has been a national cultural heritage. In the afternoon visit the 8th century Buddhist temple of Jokhang, the most important in Lhasa where pilgrims perform the "kora", before entering to pay devotion to the Buddha statue. Visit of the typical Tibetan market of Barkhor. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 05: Lhasa
Breakfast and visit of the Potala, symbol of Lamaist power, former residence of the Dalai Lamas until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India, following the Chinese invasion and the failed 1959 uprising. Visit of the Gelug monastery in Sera, in 1419, where the monks reproduced the Tibetan sacred texts. Visit of the 16th century Norbulinka monastery, which was the summer residence of the eighth Dalai Lama until 1950, the date of his exile. The palace is 3 km away. from the Potala: both are UNESCO heritage. Dinner with local dances and overnight at the hotel.
Day 06: Lhasa / Gyantse (km 259 - approx 8 hrs)
Breakfast. Departure for Tsangpo in Chusul, to go up to the Kampa La pass (4,794 m.s.l.m.) with an extraordinary view of the blue waters of Yamdrok Tso Lake (4,450 m.s.l.m.). Descent to the Samding monastery, at 4,423 mt. high, to admire an unmissable view of the lake. Go up the Karo La pass (5,010 m.s.l.m.), spectacularly enclosed between the Ralung Ri (6,236 m.) And the Nozing Khang Sa (7,223 m.). Arrival in Gyantse (3,900 m.s.l.m.) once the control center of the caravans bound for Bhutan and Sikkim and today the third largest city in Tibet, at 3,977 meters above sea level. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 07: Gyantse / Shigatse (km. 93 - approx 3 hrs)
Breakfast and visit of the Kumbum stupa, from 1427, 35 meters high, with the golden dome, a pyramidal masterpiece on nine levels. The stupa houses murals (Kumbum indicates “10,000 images.), Statues and numerous chapels that pilgrims visit, from bottom to top, clockwise. In the afternoon continue to Shigatse (3900 meters above sea level), with a detour to the monastery of Shalu, an ancient center of study and academic training with marvelous frescoes. Arrive in Shigatse and visit the grandiose Tashilumpo monastery, founded by the first Dalai Lama in 1447 and the historical seat of the Panchen Lama. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 08: Shigatse / Sakya / Shegar (km. 245 - approx 8 hrs)
Breakfast and visit to the 1153 Nartang monastery which preserves engraved wooden plates used for printing the various religious books; visit to the Sakya monastery, built between 1268 and 1365, which houses a colossal collection of Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, murals and thangkas, a prayer room, tall wooden columns, statues covered with gold. Through the Gyatso La pass (altitude 5220m) you enter the Himalayan chain and, along a spectacular route on the Friendship Hwy, you arrive at Shegar (altitude 4300m). Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 09: Shegar / Zangmu ( km. 250 - approx 8 hrs)
Breakfast and visit of Shegar Dzong and continuation through the passes of Lalung La (4900 masl) and Tang La (5050 masl) framed by the spectacular peaks of the best known 8000, the Everest, the Cho Oyu and the Shisha Pangma, visible during the day it is clear. Descent towards the village of Nyalam (3750 m.s.l.m.) and Zhangmu (2400 m.s.l.m.), and visit of the cave and monastery where the hermit poet Milarepa lived. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Zangum / Kathmandu (km. 145 approx 3 hrs)
Handling of customs formalities to enter Nepal and continuation to Kathmandu, through the Nepalese tropical forest. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 11: Kathmandu
Free time available. In the afternoon, visit Patan, the oldest of the royal cities in the valley; the area of Durbar square, the ancient center of power of the Malla, is one of the seven monumental areas of the Kathmandu valley declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city is believed to have been built in the 3rd century BC. from the Kirat dynasty, later enlarged by the Lichhavis dynasty in the 6th century AD. and the Malla dynasty in the medieval period. Patan is a center of Hindu and Buddhist culture, full of religious art, temples and monasteries. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 12: Depart from Kathmandu
Transfer to the international airport for boarding the flight to return home.