Mt. Kailash & Lake Manosarovar RETREAT 2020
This transformational retreat to the sacred Mount Kailash and lake Manosarovar will take place September 19th to October 5t, 2020.
The cosmologies and ancient myths refer to Mount Kailash as the ultimate masculine and Lake Manosarovar as the ultimate feminine, the birthplace of the entire Universe. In Sanskrit Kailash means “Luminous Crystal”. Uncannily symmetrical, this remote and remarkable peak is shaped like a natural pyramid. In the Hindu tradition Mt.Kailash is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva. According to legend, the immortal Adi Yogi is enthroned on the top of Kailash and the mountain is regarded as the location of exceptionally powerful transformation.
From the distant past to this day, people seek to circumambulate the 53km (33miles) of this sacred mountain in high altitude to experience its powers. Walking around the mountain is known as a Kora. Typically, one Kora takes three days for Western and Indian people. Some Tibetans do the 53 km circumambulation in a single day, whereas others will take two to three weeks by making full body prostrations along the entire way (about 25 000 prostrations). It is believed that a pilgrim who completes 108 koras around the mountain will gain enlightenment at the time of death. To ensure to have enough time and to acclimatize sufficiently, we will take four days around the mountain.
To be well prepared and get the most out of this trip, our journey will begin before the travels start, with workshops at Namaste Healing & Wellness, (or online for those joining us long distance) learning and practicing sacred breathing techniques that will prepare the body and mind. We will also have a workshop on culture, religion as well as high altitude travel. Two one-day retreats mountaneering a Colorado 14’er will be included.
Once our journey starts abroad, we will all meet in Chengdu, China. From there, we will travel to Lhasa, continuing across the beautiful lands of Tibet, acclimatizing while we visit sacred sites, preparing for the Kora of Mt.Kailash. We have planned our Kora to witness the auspicious full moon on the mountain, soaking up its energy in a powerful meditation. From Kailash and Manosarovar, we will drive through the high desert and lush green, leaving Tibet and finalizing our journey in Kathmandu, Nepal.
This journey is intense on both physical and spiritual levels. Long drives and very simple accommodations require a lot of patience, tolerance and little expectation. In return we will see some of the most untouched and beautiful landscapes, visit some of the most auspicious locations on the planet and will likely meet many genuinely kind and unique people. The reverence and silence held at many of the locations, will give the opportunity for self-examination and expanded awareness.
Our journey will be that of a voyager and spiritual seeker; an expedition through time and space, witnessing the history and culture of those before us seeking the same pilgrimage from ignorance to enlightenment, from ego- centeredness to Oneness.
Detailed Itinarary September 18 -October 5, 2020
Day 1: Saturday: 19-Sep-20. Arrival in CTU Mainland China. Pick up transfer to hotel and permit arrangement.
Day 2: Sunday: 20-Sep-20. Early morning transfer to airport, flight to Lhasa approximately 2 hours. In Lhasa, our Tibetan guide will pick us up from Gongar airport , transfer to hotel located in the middle of the Tibetan old part of the city, close to Potala and Jokhang.
Days 3-5: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 21, 22, 23-Sep-20. Lhasa – Sightseeing: by foot we will explore Lhasa and visit the heart of Tibet - the Jokhang Temple and the Potala Palace of the Dalai Lamas. If time allows, will also visit other less famous, but also important places and temples.
Day 6: Thursday: 24-Sep-20. From Lhasa to Gyantse. We drive via Kambala Pass (4794m) along Yamdrok Tso (Scorpion Lake, 4488m) and Karola pass (5045m) with a beautiful glacier. Later, we will reach Gyantse’s monastery with the famous Kumbum. Hotel; double room with shower (280km, 7-8h).
Day 7: Friday: 25-Sep-20. Gyantse to Sakya. In the morning we will visit the Gyanste Kumbum and the monastery which holds the very precious 14th century clay statues with Yoga mudras. After lunch we drive through Shigatse to Sakya where we stay in a hotel; double room with shower. (241km, 5-6h).
Day 8: Saturday: 26-Sep-20. Sakya to Saga. In the morning we will visit the Sakya monastery, then traveling to Saga through magnificent hilly landscape. (8h drive 460 Km). We will spend the night in simple pilgrim’s guesthouse (public bath).
Day 9: Sunday: 27-Sep-20. Saga – Darchen (4'560m). 9-10h drive (540km). We cross several high passes and enter the high desert of Western Tibet – through beautiful landscape from Paryang to Darchen. After crossing the Mayumla pass (5216m), we drive along the shores of Gung Gyu Lake, before getting our first glimpse of holy Mount Kailash. We stay in a guesthouse (public bath) at the foot of Mount Kailash.
Day 10: Monday: 28-Sep-20. Today we will visit the holy Lake Manasarovar; Hot springs and Chiu Gompa just about 30km drive and will return to Darchen after the visit.
Day 11: Tuesday: 29-Sep-20. Beginning of the Kailash kora. This is a medium trek (20km, 6-8h), slightly uphill. From the south, we reach Tarpoche, the so-called centre of the universe. Then, we pass Chuku monastery (those who have lots of energy can go for a short visit) and the west face of Kailash. Our camp is right below Dirapuk monastery at 4900m with amazing views of Mt. Kailash’s north face.
Day 12: Wednesday: 30-Sep-20. Rest day at Mt. Kailash’s north face for acclimatization. Those who would like to can visit the Dirapuk monastery (famous yogi Gyalwa Gotsangpa meditated there in a cave for long time), make an excursion to the north face (2h), stroll into a side valley (1-2h) or simply enjoy Mt Kailash’s power in the camp right below Dirapuk monastery at 4900m. Meditation.
Day 13: Thursday: 01-Oct-20. This day is the core of the kora and it has been lined up to coincide with October’s full moon. This is a difficult trek (15km, 8-10h), where we need the energy reserves built up from the day before. For the first 2-5h, we slowly ascend towards the Tara-Pass/Drölma-La (5630m). After a break we steeply descend to the valley (1-2h). From here it is another 2-3h slightly downhill to the camp, just 3km before Zutulpuk monastery (4790m).
Day 14: Friday: 02-Oct-20. This day is fairly easy (11km, 3-4h). We pass Zutulpuk monastery and hike slightly downhill back to Darchen where we have lunch. Then drive 240 km 4-5h, to Paryang village, simple guesthouse (no bath).
Day 15: Saturday:03-Oct-20. In the morning we will drive to Upper Kyirong where we have magnificent view of the Langtang range and Ganesh Himal if the weather is clear. Hotel.
Day 16: Sunday: 04-Oct-20. Early Morning we descend 60Km from the high desert and enter the lush green. If time allows, we visit the enlightenment cave of Milarepa. In Lower Kyirong/Rasuwa we leave the Tibetan crew and cross the border and drive from Rasuwa back to Kathmandu. 160Km will take around 7-9 hours. Sleep at a monastery guest-house.
Day 17: Monday: 05-Oct-20. Rest time in Kathmandu. Visit Bohdi district- or fly back home End of service ..
Day 18: Tuesday: 06-Oct-20. Rest time in Kathmandu or fly back home. Free time.
2 workshops at Namaste, 2 one day mountaineering retreats to 14’ers in Colorado (Date TBD).
All visas and permits from USA.
Flight from Chendu to Lhasa, Airport transfer.
All shared lodging in Tibet and 1 night in Kathmandu.
Transportation in Tibet from Lhasa to Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar and back to Nepal, Kathmandu (see itinerary).
Local guides, drivers; road tolls
Entrance fees of Potala, Jokhang, of Gyanste monastery, Sakya, Mt. Kailash, Manasarovar.
Main communal meals in Tibet, (no alcohol).
Excluded: any potential upgrades, personal expenses, porter, horse and horse driver for personal ride; cost in case of an emergency; airport transfer and hotel in Kathmandu past the end of the retreat; insurance; tip.
Your passport validity must be a minimum of 6 months from date of entry.
We will not be responsible for extra cost incurred by landslides, road blockages and other weather-related or political problems.
You are responsible for your own health. The itinerary has been designed to allow sufficient time for acclimatization, but ultimately you are responsible for your wellbeing.
Accommodation will for the most part be in shared rooms or small dormitories. During the Kailash kora we may have to stay in two person tents.
Due to the advanced notice of this retreat, we reserve the right to increase the tour price should exchange rates change or prices increase in Tibet or Nepal.
Hosts: Denisa Ronzani & Sarah Kottke
Denisa is a co-founder of Namaste Healing & Meditation. Her passion for spiritual development has been present as long as she can remember. Denisa has had the great fortune to study intensively with numerous amazing gurus and masters the last 20 years such as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Deepak Chopra and Sadhguru, broadening her knowledge of various traditional pranayama, spiritual and healing techniques. Her most influential and life changing teacher is the mystic Almine who with her genius and unprecedented teachings changed Denisa’s life to one of greatness and miracles, gifting her with several spiritual abilities. Denisa enjoys sharing transformative knowledge with others through various practices and healing methods.
Before establishing Namasté Healing and Meditation, Denisa was the founder and CEO of a medical software development company. Denisa holds a B.A. from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, and attended the Masters program at Atlantic University, Virginia Beach, VA, in the field of Transpersonal Studies.
In her spare time she basks in the company of her husband, children and her wizard cat.
Sarah is a co-founder of Namaste Healing & Meditation. She is a certified yoga instructor and Tibetan Cranial Practitioner, teaching and practicing in the Evergreen community for the past several years. Her desire to help people heal themselves has been a source of drive and inspiration for her becoming an excellent practitioner in helping people through private sessions, classes and retreats.
Sarah holds a degree from Washington State University and is an active member of the Tibetan Cranial Association. She resides in Evergreen with her husband, two children, a few cats and Jack the dog.
Lead Tour Operator: Roger Pfister
Although we will have local guides in the various places of travel, our main tour operator will be Roger Pfister. Roger was born in Switzerland in 1960 but since 1995 lives in Boudhanath, Kathmandu in Nepal. He has been been leading expeditions to remote locations in Nepal and Tibet for over 25 years.
Roger has extensive knowledge of the South Asian religions and culture. He is trained in both the Tibetan and Theravada traditions, completing annual Vipassana retreats in Thailand at Wat Ram Poeng and in India at Bodgaya and Sarnath with Christopher Titmuss. He spent two years in study at Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling, the official seat of very venerable Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, as well as Pullahari Monastery under the guidance of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso Rinpoche. His inaugural trip to Mt. Kailash was in 1996 and since then he has made over 100 circuits of the mountain leading more than 2000 people.