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Gangden to Syame Monastery Trekking

Tibet is one of the most exciting places on Earth for trekking. The high altitude is challenge for some people and for some it is passion. The Tibetan topography with rugged terrain provides a different hiking experience. The moonlike landscape and the unique culture take the walk to a different level.  This eighty Kilometers of trekking takes you through the barley fields, nomadic pastureland, and small Tibetan settlements with welcoming people with great sense of hospitality.

This 12 days exciting trip in Tibet takes you to some of the highest passes in the Tsotup Chu Valley, Shug La (5250m) and Chitu La (5100m). The major attraction in this trail is the monasteries of Ganden and Samye, two of the Tibet’s most important and scared monasteries. Ganden lies about 45 Km from Lhasa and is the most important among the Gelugpa monasteries in Tibet. The Samye monastery with is in the bank of Tsangpo River and was built during the time of Trisong Detsen, the king who contributed to spread Buddhism in Tibet.

Tour Highlights

  • Route - Lhasa - Gonkar
  • Trip length - 12 Days
  • Grade - Moderate to fairly challenging trek.
  • Starts in - Lhasa.
  • Ends in - Kathmandu
  • Accommodation - Hotel and camping
  • Transportation - 4WD Land cruiser with support truck
  • Maximum altitude - 5250m
ganden samye

Brief Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu
Arrive at Kathmandu after a scenic flight over the mountains. Meet the representative of Adventure Mission Nepal Treks & Expedition (AMN) and transfer to Hotel.

Day 02: Explore the city and prepare for the flight to Tibet tomorrow.
You can spend this day exploring some of the World heritage sites in Kathmandu valley for some time and prepare for the trip to Tibet that starts tomorrow

Day 03:  Fly from Kathmandu and Arrive Gongar Airport. Upon arrival transfer to Lhasa.
After a 2 and half hours flight we will arrive in Gongar Airport and half an hour drive from there we will reach Lhasa

Day 04: Sightseeing of Lhasa including Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street
After breakfast we will visit the Potala palace, the Palace of the Dalai Lama. This architectural masterpiece is the symbol of unity of the Tibetans. This palace was built by King Soongtsan Gampo, who was married to Princess Wen Cheng Tang in 641 A.D. It has got 999 houses built on Hongshan Hill with a red building on top. It is one of the grandest Palaces in the world till date.

After lunch we will drive towards the Jokhang Temple, the most scared temple for Tibetan Buddhists. After spending some time at the Jokhang temple we will walk through the Barkhor Street, a traditional old street in Lhasa.

Day 05: Full day Sightseeing of Lhasa covering Norbulingka, Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery
We will start the sightseeing today from Norbulingka - the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, located along the Kyichu River and two kilometers west of the Potala Palace. This Palace has a huge garden covering 360,000 square meters, making it the biggest manmade garden in Tibet. It has got 374 rooms. The second site is Drepung Monastery, made by Chojey Tashi Palden in the 14th Century. It had four departments, of which Loseling, or "The Hermitage of the Radiant Mind," was the largest, housing more than three quarters of Drepung's ten to fifteen thousand monks. Now it is one of Tibet’s premier monastic educational institutions

The last site for today is Sera Monastery, built in 1419; this grand Monastery was home to more than 5,000 monks and five monastic colleges. Although much less active now, with only several hundred monks currently in residence, one of the most interesting times to visit the monastery is in the afternoon when monks, after finishing their morning scripture classes, can be seen debating in the courtyard.

Day 06: Drive to Ganden Monastery (4180m)
We start driving along the bank of the Kyi Chu River towards Medro Gongkar, towards Ganden. We will drive past the Tibet University after crossing the Lhasa East Bridge to and arrive at the Ganden Monastery after one hour of drive.

Day 07: At Ganden (4180m) for acclimatization
We will spend a day for acclimatization at Ganden Monastery today. This beautiful Monastery is the first and most important of the Gelugpa sect and has remained the main seat of this major Buddhist order ever since. Of all the other monasteries in Tibet, it is Ganden that has suffered the most at the hands of the red guards. We will explore the small settlements and Rest.

Day 08: Trek to Yama Do (4250m)
After breakfast we will leave Ganden and walk to the Angor RI. We will climb up for one and half hours and descend west for some time to reach the Hepu village. After a brief rest we walk for another one hours until we reach Ani Panong from where we will start the ascent towards Yama Do, our overnight destination.

Day 09: Trek to Tsotup Chu Valley across 5250 meter Shug La
Today is an exciting day as we walk past the highest point of the trek Shug La, 5250 m from sea level. The pass is distinctively marked with its large cairn wrapped in prayer flags and yak horns. After a brief stop at the pass to savor the grand vistas you make a sharp descent walking past a boulder field. The trail eventually opens into the valley. Up ahead in a distance the trail crosses the Tsotup Chu, a large stream with rich pastures of yaks, goats and sheep. You encounter several herders on the way. After trekking for 4-5 hours, you reach the Tsotup Chu Valley.

Day 10: Trek to Herder's Camp
After breakfast we will leave the Tsotup Chu Valley we cross the Tsotup Chu stream and walk further and complete a 30 minutes ascent to a large basin the trail further opens into the valley progressing south to the Chitu La at 5100 meters capped with several cairns. On the way we will see many herders’s with their cattle and Yaks. After walking for around 4 hours past streams, settlements and Mani walls and chortens we will reach the herder’s camp for overnight stay.

Day 11: Trek to Wango
The journey today starts through the scrub forest, junipers bushes and rhododendron tress on the shadier slopes. After walking for some time we reach the Changtang village, where you can see more animals than people. Further walking we can see the Yarlung Tsangpo valley towards the south. You can ascend steeply up to Yamalung Hermitage for 1 hour. But if you choose not to climb this ascent, you can simply wait near the bridge. Ancient history has it that Guru Rin Poche, after rigorous meditation attained spiritual enlightenment with the blessings from the deity of Amitayus (Tibetan: Tsepame) at Yamalung (also called Emalung). This hermitage houses small temples which shelters monks, sacred springs and stone carvings of 8th Guru Rin Poche, King Trisong Detsen and Indian pundit Shantarakshita. Stone houses come into sight after walking for one hour to the village of Nyango. The trail overlooks the tributary streams cascading from the north-west to join the Samye valley. The old trade route from Lhasa to Samye via the Gokar La follows this valley. The trail further proceeds towards Wango. You further head towards Pisha.

Day 12: Trek to Samye
We will continue on the winding trail across ridge of Dragmar towards the Samye, where a palace, partially rebuilt is on the summit. AS per the historians this was the birth place of King Trisong Detsen.Further off the road, you will find a small red and white temple which is believed to have been built under the shade of white sandalwood tree and nourished by the buried placenta of King Trisong in the ancient time but was chopped off during Cultural Revolution. After walking past the Sangbu village and couple of small settlements we will reach Samye in one hour.

Day 13: Explore the Yarlung Valley
We will explore the surrounding of te Yarlung valley, the valley of Tombs. Our day starts after the visit to Samye monastery after which we will drive to Tsedang, the third largest city in central Tibet. Some significant monuments in the Yarlung valley include Tandruk Monastery, a 7th century monastery, which holds fantastic wood carved altar, interesting relics and murals. Yumbulhakhang, the castle perched dramatically on a pinnacle above the valley is the oldest known dwelling in Tibet, reputedly the home of the Yarlung Kings.

Day 14:  Drive to Gongar Airport and fly to Kathmandu.
We will drive to the Gongar Airport and after a two and half hours flight we will arrive in Kathmandu Airport.

Day 15: Depart Kathmandu to reach another destination or fly back home with memories of the trek.
You can depart from Kathmandu to your home country or extend the trip and head for another trip within or outside Nepal.

Cost Includes:

  • Permits and Visa Applications for Tibet.
  • Hotel with breakfast.
  • English speaking Tibetan guide per as the itinerary.
  • Entrance fees.
  • Guide Fees.
  • Land cruiser for transportation. 

Cost excludes:

  • Drinks, Tips, Insurance and any extra cost occurring from the Unfavorable Circumstances such as weather, road blockade, flight cancellation Etc
  • All personal nature expenses such as tips, donations, bar bills etc.
  • Meals.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Nepal visa fee.
  • Air fare to Lhasa and back.

Note: Please apply for a multiple entry visa in the Nepalese Embassy/Consulate at your country or upon arrival at the airport. Only Dormitory accommodation is available for first two nights in Nyalam and Lhatse. You can have standard accommodation from Day 3 onwards.

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