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Pilgrimage Journey to Mount Kailash for the Saga Dawa Festival

7th May – 23rd May 2019

With Sisse Budolfsen & Alex d’Artois

We invite you to take part in experiencing one of the most authentic living traditions in the world, namely the Buddhist culture of the Himalayas, on a pilgrimage journey to the holy land of Tibet. The countless blessings from the accumulation of merit of the many yogis and yoginis who have practiced the path of awakening here for centuries, seep out of every monastery and shrine in Tibet. On this pilgrimage journey we travel to Mount Kailash in the Western part of the country, regarded by Tibetan Buddhist masters in the Himalayan region as one of the holiest mountains on our planet.

The Pilgrimage Journey in a Nutshell

We start the journey in Kathmandu where everyone gathers. After spending two nights here we continue the journey onward to Lhasa. Just half a century ago, very few foreigners travelled to travel to Tibet. Today, it has opened up very rapidly, yet in spite of this exposure to the outside world, it has kept its sacredness and authenticity very much alive; This is a living tradition of awakening the heart of compassion. We will spend a few days acclimatizing in Lhasa, before we head West toward Gyantse, Shigatse, Saga, Chiu Gompa and finally, to Mount Kailash where we will do the three-day kora. We return to Nepal south of Saga and will travel overland into Nepal via the new border crossing between Tibet and Nepal.


Introducing the Facilitators

Alex has studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism and meditation practice for a number of years. He has a wealth of experience in introducing practices and methods within Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice to a Western audience. Alex has been based in Nepal for the last number of years and has excellent local knowlege in connection to the Himalayan region and its sacred spots. For more information on Alex please go here.


Sisse Budolfsen has been based in Nepal on and off for nearly 12 years and has a wealth of experience in Nepal, Tibet and in the Himalayan region. Sisse has studied and practiced Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice throughout her time in Nepal, and Sisse will guide and co-facilitate the meditation and philosophy sessions during the pilgrimage. For more information on Sisse Budolfsen, please go here.


Street life in Kathmandu


Arrival and pick up at Tribhuvan International Airport of Kathmandu. We drive straight to Vajra Hotel and rest till dinner. After dinner there will be an introduction to the pilgrimage journey by your hosts and guides, Sisse Budolfsen and Alex d’Artois.

The majestic Boudha stupa


We have a half day program after lunch, and venture out into Kathmandu, visiting the ancient, holy Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, followed by the Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath. We spend the afternoon getting ready for our next day departure to Lhasa.

The majestic Potala palace, seat of HH. the 14th Dalai Lama


We arrive in Lhasa and go straight to the hotel where spend the afternoon resting before dinner. Lhasa is at an altitude of 3650 meters, so it is important to rest and acclimatize during our first few days.

Monks sitting outside the assembly hall at Drepung Monastery

DAY 4 & 5 - LHASA

In the next couple of days during of our stay in Lhasa we visit the Potala Palace, what used to be the residence of H.H the 14th Dalai Lama, followed by the spiritual heart of Lhasa, the Jorkhang temple.

The following day we visit two of the greatest Gelugpa monasteries of Tibet, Drepung and Sera monasteries, located at the periphery of Lhasa.

Samye Monastery


The following day we venture out of Lhasa to the first ever founded monastery in Tibet, the “unchanging, spontaneously arisen” Samye from the 8th century that hold great importance for the origins of Tibetan Buddhism. On our journey to Samye we drive along the great Yarlung Tsangpo river (Brahmaputra river) and the many willow trees along the banks of the river. We spend the night in Tsetang, near the Yarlung Tsangpo river.


We leave Lhasa and travel Southwest toward Gyantse, our next stay on our way West toward Mount Kailash. This is a ride with beautiful sceneries along the way, and after we have climbed the first pass, we will come to one of the four holy lakes in Tibet, namely the Yamdrok Tso. The turquoise color of the lake is pristine. We spend the night i Gyantse.


After breakfast we travel through farm land from Gyantse to Shigatse on a shorter day’s journey, and spend the afternoon visiting and paying homage to Tashilungpo, residency of the Panchen Lamas. We spend the night in Shigatse.

The vastness of the Tibetan plateau


From Shigatse and morning kora around Tashilungpo, the most important monastery in Shigatse, we travel onto Saga, the last stop before we reach the holy lake of Manesarovar and Mount Kailash.

Chiu Gompa on the hill, where Guru Rinpoche meditated.


We arrive at Chiu Gompa and Lake Manesarovar, and for the first time on our journey we are able to glance upon the majestic Mount Kailash. We camp at the lakeside in tents.


We travel from Lake Manesarovar onto Darchen, the gateway to where the kora around Mount Kailash starts. We spend the night in Darchen.

Mount Kailash behind the clouds


The next morning, we start the kora, and for the coming three coming days we circumambulate the holy mountain. The mountain itself is 6,700 meters high, and the highest point we reach on the kora, Drolma-la pass is be 5,630 meters.

The naked and barren landscapes between Tibet and Nepal


We complete the kora late morning, and travel back to Saga.


This morning we make our journey South to Kyirong – the new border crossing between Tibet and Nepal.

Women carrying weeds on their backs on the road down to Kathmandu


We make our return to Kathmandu. We spend the last night of our pilgrimage journey together in Kathmandu.

WHERE: TIBET –  Lhasa, across Gyantse, Shigatse & Saga, toward Mount Kailash in Western Tibet, see Tibet map

WHEN: May 7th  – May 23rd 2019

PRICE*: EARLY BIRD OFFER UP UNTIL MARCH 21ST  –  Twin room to share: 3550 USD  

– Normal price of a twin room to share: 3700 USD

– Supplement for a private single room for both the ‘Early Bird Special’ and the normal price: an additional 575 USD

*Prices are subject to group size. The above prices are indicated for a pilgrimage group of a minimum of 8 participants.

Please wait with transferring the full amount to us, as well as the booking of your flight ticket before we have confirmed that we have the minimum of pilgrims to run the Pilgrimage Journey.

BOOKINGS  – Please refer to our booking procedures via this link and our cancellation policy via this link.

For bookings and more information about the pilgrimage journey, please email us at:  himalayanhermitage108@gmail.com.


  • All accommodation, meals and transport in Kathmandu & Tibet
  • Flight ticket from Kathmandu to Lhasa & return overland crossing from Tibet to Nepal
  • Tibet Permit and visa
  • Experienced local guides and instructors – Sisse Budolfsen and Alex d’Artois


  • International flight to and from Nepal
  • Personal visa to Nepal (25 USD for 15 days / 30 USD for 30 days to be purchased upon arrival)
  • Any alcoholic beverage during the yoga pilgrimage
  • Personal insurance during the pilgrimage journey
  • Tips for local guide and porters

For bookings and more information info@himalayanhermitage.com

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