JOURNEY ACROSS KHAM TO
An epic journey through the heartland of Kham
to the Holy City of Lhasa
Best Season : April –
Our journey across the heart of
Kham to Lhasa, the "Holy City" follows
ancient mule caravan trade routes. Starting
at Dartsedo, our gateway & border post with
China, we skirt our way along the Sichuan-Tibet
Highway through mountainous terrain & river
valleys to the historical towns of Tawu, Kanze,
Dege & Chamdo. From Chamdo we follow the
southern route via Kongpo region & the Yarlung
Tsangpo Valley to Lhasa, the Forbidden City.
We visit all the important monasteries in Kham
belonging to different schools of Tibetan Buddhism
including the sacred Katok Monastery of Nyingmapa
School believed to have been miraculously built
by Guru Rinpoche in early 8th century. The journey
is rugged & the facilities en route basic.
DAY 01 : CHENGDU
Arrive in Chengdu. You will be met at the airport
and transferred to a 4 star hotel, where we
will have a short briefing over spicy Sichuan
food ringing with spices.
DAY 02 : CHENGDU-KANGDING
(368 KMS), 2500M
Drive from Chengdu to Kangding (Dartsedo). Once
outside the Sichuan basin, we will begin to
climb the mountain roads of the Erlang Mountains.
Kangding (Dartsedo) is a fairly large city tucked
within a river valley & was the traditional
Tibet's borderpost with China. Visit Dorje Drak
Monastery(a branch of the Dorje Drak Monastery
in Lhasa), Lhamo Tsering Monastery & Ngachu
Gompa (a branch of the Drepung Loseling Monastery).
DAY 03 : KANGDING - TAWU
(8 HRS, 3040 M)
Daofu or Tawu(in Tibetan) is a small town situated
in a narrow basin along the Zhe-chu river. As
you approach the town you will see a huge chorten
& an immense 10 m-sq pile of mani prayer
stones nearby. Nyitso Gompa, is an important
Gelukpa Monastery. At an abservation point beyond
the gompa you can see the 3 sacred mountains
(Rigsum Gompo), to the south over the river.
Day 04 : Drive to Litang
Heading South then west, the road climbs into
the mountains and valleys to the dryer grasslands
of Lithang. At 4100m Litang is one of the highest
towns in the world, set on a broad grassland
with Lithang Gompa overlooking the town which
attests to the powerful sway of Buddhism in
the region. Litang itself has played a central
part in the region, from its days as an independent
Kingdom, allied with Kagyü rulers of the
Kingdom of Dêrge, through its absorption
by the great Gelukpa expansion east in the 16th,
17th & 18th centuries. As with Ganzi further
north, it’s a market town and administrative
centre, heavily coloured by its roots as a trading
post for the Khampa nomads that populate the
Day 05 : Lithang Cultural
Visit the historical Lithang monastery, the
Banyak grasslands and also the birthplace of
the 7th Dalai Lama. Lithang is deeply religious
and closely connected with various Dalai Lamas
including the romatic 6th Dalai Lama who highlighted
it in a visionary poem he wrote close to his
Drive 06 : Drive to Xinlung
After breakfast a day’s drive in a northerly
direction through forested valleys of Yalung
river before we get to Xinlung a historical
stronghold of the Nyingma sect and the pre-buddhist
Bon tradition. It's also known for the Kham
chieftan Gompo Namgyal who rebelled against
Lhasa to form his own empire in Eastern Tibet
in the 19th century.
DAY 07 : TAWU - GANZE(KANZE)
(180 KMS, 3310 M)
Kanze is a small riverside trading town &
the largest in the area. On the northern side
of the town is the Kanze Gompa spread over a
hill commanding a fine view of the snow mountains
& the Kanze town.
DAY 08 : GANZE - BAIYU(PELYUL),
Pelyul, situated on the eastern side of the
Dri-chu that flows between Sichuan Province
& the TAR, is the power base of the Nyingmapa
order of Tibetan Buddhism in Kham region. Important
monasteries to visit here are - Pelyul Gompa
built in the 17t century by the king of Derge
& Katok Gompa. Also popularly known as Katok
Dorjeden Gompa, the seat of this original monastery
has been miraculously laid by Guru Rinpoche
in the early 8th century at the time of the
construction of Samye Monastery.
DAY 09 : PELYUL - DEGE
(3220 M, 190 KMS)
Dege, is the cultural center of Eastern Tibet.
Here we visit Dege Gonchen Monastery founded
in 1448 & belongs to the Sakyapa order of
Tibetan Buddhism. Also visit the famous Dege
Parkhang where Tibetan Buddhist sutras are printed.
DAY 10 : DEGE - JOMDA
After exploring the town of Dege in the morning
we continue our journey. We stop at the small
town of Jomda.
DAY 11 : JOMDA - CHAMDO
(230 KMS, 3240 M)
Drive from Jomda to Chamdo. Reaching the end
of the day would seem like a mighty feat as
we will be crossing over no less than four passes
- Khargang La (4,352 m/14278 ft), Lashi La (4,450
m/14600 ft), Jape La (4,680 m/15354 ft), and
Tama La (4,511 m/14800 ft), with clutters of
prayer flags waving in the wind on the peaks
and friendly nomads waving at us from the grasslands.
Stay in a 3 star hotel in Chamdo.
DAY 12 : CHAMDO
Relax in Chamdo. Straddling the Mekong river,
Chamdo possesses a rich history as one of the
earliest centers of the Tibetan plateau and
home to Kalden Jampaling, the great monastery
founded between 1436-44 and developed through
the centuries by successive incarnations. While
the original monastery was destroyed in 1912
by the Chinese, it was rebuilt when the Tibetan
army seized Chamdo in 1917. We will spend the
day stretching our legs, exploring the monastery
and shopping in Tromzikhang, an open-air market
where colorfully dressed Tibetans pawn their
wares and antique goods.
DAY 13 : Drive to RANWU
The drive to Ranwu is through alpine forest
landscapes. You cross the Salween River on the
way, before arriving at Ranwu, located on the
shore of the blue Ngom Tso (lake), dramatically
girded by snow peaks. After ascending the Anjula
pass, we explore the lake and overnight at guest
DAY 14: Drive to BOME
Stay in a local guesthouse.
DAY 15: Drive to BAYI
Wake up with an unobstructed view of the majestic
Namcha Barwa peak. After a long drive, you arrive
in Bayi, the capital town of Linzhi Prefecture.
Overnight in a guesthouse.
DAY 16: Drive to NAMSHAN
Today you will drive along the Yarlung Tsangpo
River. Stay in a local guesthouse.
DAY 17: Drive to TSETANG
Visit Yumbulagkang, the earliest palace of Tibet,
which was built on the top of a hill beside
Tsetang. O/N Hotel.
DAY 18: Drive to LHASA
En route visit Mindroling Monastery/ Last dinner
in Lhasa, O/N hotel.
DAY 19/20: LHASA
Sightseeing tour of Lhasa.