Walking kora (circumambulation) around Mount Kawa Karpo is said to purify the negative karma of a lifetime. The rugged environment and beautiful scenery make a make it a premiere trekking destination.
The mountainous region is remote and wild, perched on the border of Yunnan Province and Tibet. The Kawa Karpo kora is a 12-stage trek across six high passes with altitudes ranging between 3,000 and 4,800 meters. While the Kora itself lasts 14 days, the entire trip lasts about 20 days. This includes preparation, acclimatization, community visits and cultural activities in Shangri-la and Deqin, and one or two days of rest after the trekking. During the trek, nights are spent in tents, with occasional local homestays.
Kawa Karpo is located near Gyalthang, a region traditionally part of Kham, Eastern Tibet, which is part of modern-day Yunnan Province in southwest China. Kawa Karpo is one of the most the most sacred mountains in Tibetan Buddhism, and approximately 20,000 pilgrims visit it annually.
The Meili Mountain Range (Meili Xueshan in Chinese) has over 20 peaks with permanent snow cover, including six peaks over 6,000 meters (19,700 ft). The highest portion of the range is in the north, although Kawa Karpo is centrally located. The range rises high over the deeply incised valleys to the east and west, leading to dramatic relief. The range is highly affected by the monsoon, leading to especially unstable snow conditions. As of now, all of the significant peaks of the range are still unclimbed. For pilgrims and adventure travelers, walking the Kawa Karpo kora is an unforgettable experience.