Who to go with? According to regulations you cannot go [to Kailash] alone and shouldn’t anyway. Nowadays, every major and many of the minor travel agencies offer to get you to Kailash. But whom to choose? I talked to all travel agents in Kathmandu and picked the Karnali Excursions, a Sherpa co-operative. They have knowledgeable guides on both sides of the Nepal/Tibetan border and arranged the right trek, with the right Sherpas, on the right route, at the right time of the year. We reached the mountain in safety, they treated us very well, even pampered us along the way, and it was the trip of my life.

To appease stalwart Western pilgrims searching for the Old Tibet, a handful of companies in Nepal, such as Karnali Excursions (www.trekkinginnepal.com), are taking advantage of relaxed border regulations and offering tours to the far west of the region, which few outsiders have ever visited. It’s the wild west of Tibet where distances are vast, Chinese influence is minimal and visitors can see traditional Tibetan culture intact.

Karnali Excursions has been taking pilgrims and tourists to Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar for over 10 years and is the leading agency for this particular tour. The executive director, Mr. Hira Dhamala, is one of the most knowledgeable persons of Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar and the region.

Kailash-the mountain is in the far west of Tibet and the easiest way of visiting it is with an organized tour… The much cheaper alternative [to other major travel agencies] is to make your way to Kathmandu (where almost all treks to Tibet begin) and contact (www.trekkinginnepal.com) the excellent and reliable Karnali Excursions who are specialists in Kailash and Western Tibet.

Dear Hira, Ramesh and Karnali family,

We remember you and what you allowed us to live with great gratitude.
The effects of the Pilgrimage are unfolding moment after moment within us, and obviously who we are in truth is flowering ever more since we had the great privileged and blessing to imbibe the absolute presence of the Mountain and the lakes.

We also wish for all of you life in peace, in beauty and in love.

Thank you very much for arranging a tour for Mt. Kailash and Manasarovar. Mt. Kailash was the last word in our Hindu pilgrimage.. I was much impressed with the arrangements, food and all other facilities provided by you and staff, and is highly appreciated. Along with me were Rotarians, Industrialists, business people and ladies traveled and all were very much comfortable. I congratulate you and your Karnali team for giving us such a lifetime memorable pilgrimage trip.

I love Karnali Excursions! I used their services for four years while living in Nepal and have recommended them to all of my friends and colleagues. They have organized a variety of trips for both groups and individuals and I have yet to hear a negative comment from anyone who has planned a trip with them. Hira and his staff are professional, friendly and resourceful. They are committed to providing a quality service in a country saturated with travel agencies. Their trips are personalized to fit your needs, they are timely with their correspondence which can be done by email, and they can manage all aspects of your travel including hotel reservations, domestic plane tickets, trekking gear and the rest. Karnali Excursions is a responsible agency that will support your trip from beginning to end – even when the going gets tough which is likely to happen in a fluid environment like Nepal!

With Karnali Excursions, we experienced an unforgettable three-week walking/touring trip through unique and scenic Tibet. From our arrival in Kathmandu, or travel in Tibet and return to Kathmandu, we were in capable, friendly and trustworthy hands. Hira provided us with a warm welcome and knowledge base while Badri guided us with his careful attention to detail throughout our travels. Karnali Excursion helped us to realize a trip of a lifetime.

Thank you Hira for an unforgettable journey. Our pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash was graced by your sensitive leadership, the good spirits of the entire staff and the depth of awareness with which everyone approached this awesome, rigorous, beautiful and life changing adventure. I plan to recommend Karnali Excursions to those I know venturing into Tibet!

To travel to the Himalayas and circle Holy Mt Kailash was a dream I had for many years and, finally, had a chance to realize. I learned of Karnali Excursions through a friend of mine, which proved to be, after comparing a lot of companies on the Internet, the most experienced and appropriate. In fact, even before we started our trip, we felt so much more thoroughly prepared because we were guided through the process via the emails we exchanged. Every question we had was answered to our contentment and quickly.

Our expectations during our journey were beat. We experienced five-star trekking amidst an amazing skyline of the Himalayas. I cannot really describe the touching feelings I felt while in the presence of these Holy Mountains, lakes and landscapes; to sleep in tents, and to see above the numerous bright stars, or to travel with land cruisers through endless deserts above you an infinite clear sky. You have to experience this for yourself. These landscapes, mountains and lakes will transform you in a most gentle way. Just being there, will open your heart; you may experience the best qualities of yourself. But what I can describe and recommend is the very safe guide we had, the solicitous caring and the delicious meals we have been served. We will never forget our morning tea while waking up, or the cake we have been served at the foot of Mt Kailash to celebrate a wedding anniversary of our friends. Everything we needed was taken care of. Even a warm shower was available in the very cold lake Manosarovar. There was not one day where we were not surprised by something very special, shown much kindness, generosity and humor by our guides and cooks. Karnali Excursions is a most pleasing, secure and caring company to travel with.”

Thank you very much Karnali Excisions for making this wonderful and amazing journey happen!

Dear Hira,

Everyone at Karnali did such an outstanding job!! Although at times I might have seemed critical of certain little aspects, we have to tell you that we are so satisfied with our total experience with all of you guys!! Again and again our pictures tell such an amazing story of adventure and a happy teamwork. This was no ordinary Trek/Tour/Expedition. We planned our Tour and Karnali pulled it off for us. We spent close to sixty days with Geyaljen and Shiva with nothing but smiles. We both appreciated their work and hope that they appreciated us too. Nawang Sherpa is truly our Hero!! This is a smiling Buddha of Light who is a true PROFESSIONAL!! We both appreciate WHO HE IS!! Nawang and his family touched us deeply. Thank You!! And of course, our Tibetan Team of Thupten, Nima and Migma made our Expedition a TOTAL SUCCESS!! So, thanks for the PERFECT EXPEDITION/EXPERIENCE!!

Dear Hira and all Karnali team,

I have been thinking of you so much, and what a wonderful time I had traveling under your care.

Dear Hira,

Tibet tour was truly wonderful. For us it was as time goes on more and more of a ‘life-changing experience’. I think the magnitude of the experience is only now sinking in, and it would no have been so significant if it was not for our wonderful people at Karnali who made this trip possible. Thank you once more for being the best trekking and excursion company in the world.

Dear Hira and Karnali Family,

Thank you for thinking of me during this magical time of the year. My son, Will, and I fondly remember our times with you. I consider those weeks as some of the most inspiring of my life. Thanks again for giving us a trek we always will want to remember.

Dear Hira and Karnali team,

Our experiences in Tibet are still fresh in my mind – experiences I will never forget. I want to thank each and everyone who contributed to making my pilgrimage such a memorable occasion. You guys were absolutely wonderful, always optimistic, always ready with a smile that brightened up our days. You are truly the greatest!

Dear Hira,

Thank you and your staff very much for a delightful and highly enjoyable trek. Mustang exceeded my expectations. Thank you for your terrific service.

Dear Hira and Dawa,

Thanks again for the best trek ever.

Dear Ramesh and Karnali family,

The whole journey was a great experience. For us and we enjoyed it a lot. Also thanks again to you and your colleagues, and of course especially to Ningma and Gonpo! During our whole stay, we felt very nicely taken care of and we really appreciate how professionally Karnali managed our whole vacation.

Dear Nawang,

We are indeed back in our homes, but our thoughts are often in Nepal. As you know, we have many many pictures to remind us of Nepal and we look at them regularly. As we told you many times on the trek,you have a wonderful and beautiful country. But even more important, it was you who made our trip so wonderfully successful. Your thoughtfulness and guidance made every day of the trek an exceptional experience. You were very good at assessing our physical conditioning and pushing us, just enough, to increase our altitude adaptation. A special thanks is also due you for caring for those of us who were not always feeling well. Furthermore, I’m sure we all feel especially grateful for the breadth of experience and local knowledge you made available to us every day of our trek.

Namaste Hira,

I wanted to write and express one more time how pleased I (we) were with all the efforts you and your company put forth in our behalf. We had a wonderful experience in all aspects. The communication was impeccable and was only surpassed by the caliber of persons in your employ!

We felt very welcomed by Mr. Shree, very well informed by Mr.Tanka on our excursions around Kathmandu, very well cared for and led by Nawang Sherpa (and our two porters, Karhma and Pasang), and well supported by yourself in all aspects.

Your choice of hotel was excellent in Kathmandu, the transportation was very comfortable and safe, and the itinerary proposed for the trek was excellent, especially with the additional day trip up the valley from Dingboche.

We could not have asked for anything better, and compared to other trekkers we met along the route, we felt particularly fortunate to have the caliber of guides and porters that we had. We had total confidence in your staff and felt that they had our best interests in mind throughout the complete trekking experience.

If you want to be looked after, body and soul, then travel with Hira! I travelled with Hira in July, 2007, and was amazed at the quality of service from the whole team, especially in such testing conditions. Everyone was kind and helpful, and the experience of the team shone through. It could not be bettered.

Dear Hira, Shree, Ramesh, Ngima…and ALL my friends at Karnali,

I really miss Nepal and have to thank all of you again for an amazing experience I will never forget. I got the mandala that I bought at Boudhanath framed and it now hangs proudly behind the desk in my new office. It reminds me everyday of Nepal.

Dear Hira,

Thank you again for arranging the Everest Advance Base Camp trip-it was indeed a very wonderful experience for me!

Dear Hira,

Upper DolpoTrek: in general, the best trek ever. Thank you and your whole group for a wonderful experience in Nepal !

Dear Hira,

“Why I am going to trekking, why not staying in the luxuries house and rest?” These are the questions that I had asked to myself when I landed to Pokhara and first 2 days of the tour. I had a perfect spicy dinner in Pokhara, assuming that I would not have it for the following 10 days. I sent mails to my friends and family who are far away. First couple of days, the weather was really bad and I felt that I was dying when climbing the stairs in the second day. My team was taking care of me very well like advising me not to eat meat, try to talk about Nepal and try to know me. They made to get used to ginger tea, Tibetan bread in Poonhill. They taught me to play cards and then each night I won but they did not want to accept the situation.

I cannot forget the view of Himalayas, up and down hills, food, junior mayla’s (Dipendra Adhikari) sense of humor, playing his flute, senior malya’s (Wangchu Sherpa), being serious in his work but still has a good sense of humor. They saved my life when I was about to be frozen, which I had a new start in my life.

I would like to thank Karnali people who helped to have a wonderful time in the other part of the world that I am still living and never forget.

Hi Hira,

Thank you for your message. We had an excellent trip home and Nepal continues to occupy much of our thoughts each day. We had a marvelous time in your country and feel so priviledged to have come and met such wonderful people! Your assistance throughout our trip made our travel and recreation times extra special. Thank you so much for all of your help.

Dear Hira,

Just wanted to say thanks again for all of your help while we were in Nepal. All of you really went out of your way to help us and we appreciate that. I sent a thank you note to Badri; please express our thanks to your brother as well. You really made us feel welcome there.

It was only unfortunate that I came to know of Karnali excursion only last year, otherwise my long standing desire to visit holy Kailash could have been realized much earlier. It is not unusual that the promises and claims of a travel agent do not meet the performance but it is very unusual if even under toughest conditions, in the remotest corner of earth the service is unexpected better then it clamed to be. Our trip to heaven turned out to be the most heavenly experience.