Mount Kailash – also known as the abode of God Shiva – is one of the world’s most sacred holy places. It is a peak that is believed to be Lord Shiva’s home – located in western Tibet. It stands at 22,000 ft (6,705m), where thousands of pilgrims do the KailashMansarovar tour (yatra) every year. Mainly, people to Kora (Parikrama) of Mount Kailash start/end from Darchen and take a holy dip in Mansarovarlake. The Mansarovar is the highest freshwater lake in the world at an altitude of 14,760 ft (4,500 meters), and it is at the foot of holy Mt. Kailash. Pilgrims take a holy dip at this lake as it is considered one of the most sacred lakes in Asia and a part of the pilgrimage trip.

Why Mount Kailash does not allow climbing?

The main region Mount Kailash is not climbed yet is its religious respect. No pilgrims climb Mount Kailash. All four religions (Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Bon) believe that it would be a serious act of disrespect to put a foot on its slopes. Legend has it that the only person to have reached the summit is the Buddhist champion Milarepa and that all others who have ventured to against the forbidden have died in the process. Tibetan government does not issue any permits to climb this mountain and strictly watching every tourist to reach there to avoid any illegal activities against the holy land.

The fact of Mount Kailash

• Contrary to popular claims, the pyramid-shaped Mount Kailash is the result of the possessed technical expertise of some superhuman divine beings.

• According to the Buddhist and Hindu scriptures, around the Mount Kailash exist ancient monasteries and caves wherein the holy sages reside in their material and subtle bodies. These caves can be seen by only a few fortunate ones.

• Every year, thousands of pilgrims enter Tibet for a pilgrimage to the holy Mount Kailash. A few make it to the region and very few manage to finish circumambulating the sacred peak. As for climbing up the summit, some brave mountaineers have attempted to do so, but no success. Getty Images

• Trekking all the way up to the peak of Mount Kailash is held to be a forbidden act among Hindus for the fear of trespassing the sanctity of the mountain and disturbing the divine energies residing there. As per a Tibetan lore, a monk named Milarepa once ventured far enough to reach the top of Mount Meru (Mount Kailash). When he returned, he forewarned everyone to avoid bothering God resting high up in the peak.

• Two beautiful lakes, namely Mansarovar and Rakshas Tal, are located at the base of Mount Kailash. Of the two, Mansarovar, which lies at an altitude of 14, 950 ft,(4,590 meters), is considered the highest freshwater body in the world.

• While Mansarovar has a deep spiritual significance, its antithesis, Rakshas Tal, was born of the intense austerities performed by the demon King Ravana to please Lord Shiva. For its close association with a demoniac entity, the Rakshas Tal Lake is gifted with salty water and deprived of aquatic plant life and marine life.

• Mount Kailash is believed to be the Axis Mundi aka the cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, the centre of the world, the world tree. It is the point where heaven meets earth. Google Maps have assured the validity of this fact.

• True to its nature, the water of the holy Lake Mansarovar stays placid whether it is windy or not. Also, its next-door neighbor, Rakshas Tal stays more or less turbulent.

• Do not be surprised if you find your nails or hair grown by a few millimeters after returning from your Mount Kailash trip. Tourists and pilgrims have discovered that the air of this ancient peak measures up the process of aging.

• Once a group of climbers of Siberian origin reached ahead of a certain point and immediately aged by a few decades. Shockingly, all of the trespassers died of old age a year after!

Best season to visit Mount Kailash

The best season to visit Kailash is from June to August month. Kailash tour starts from the month of May are still cold and icy path at the highest Dolma-La pass. September month still is a good time but it is already starting off cold temperature. Kailash operation starts from mid of May and goes till mid of September month. The region is rain shadow and months of the rainy season got less rain here. The whole region would cover with thick snow in the winter season. The coldest months in Kailash are from December till February. The month of March, April till mid of May will be still ice on the Parikrama path. Pilgrimage visit to Kailash focuses on Kailash Parikrama, which is three days walking around the Kailash mountain.

What is the altitude of Kailash Parikrama?

Kailash Parikrama is considered the most challenging part of the Mount Kailash Tour. The 52-KM whole trekking starts from Darchen (4,560m). You enter Lha-Chu valley, Lham-Chu Calley, Dzong-Chu Valley, and ends at Darchen. During the KailashKora, you would stay one night in Dirapuk Monastery and another in Zuthulpuk Monastery. The average altitude of the Kora around the Kailash Mountain is about 5,000m, and the moderate walk is about 7 to 8 hours a day. Every pilgrim who comes to Kailash to make the KailashKora walks through the Kailash Mountain in a clockwise crossing the highest pass Dolma La (5645m).

Kailash FAQ's

We have realized that many yatris do not enough information about their yatra of lifetime and do not know what to expect in Tibet while their yatra. Therefore, we have prepared this document with the view that yatris will find it useful.

1 How many days required for Mt. KailashYatra?
Holy Mt. Kailashyatra require
14 days by A/C deluxe coach.
12 Days ByHeli from Kathmandu.
10 days by Helicopter via Nepalganj.
2Any short Details Yatra route ?

14 days Kailash Yatra by by A/C deluxe coach Kathmandu to Kerung (Nepal – Tibet border) non a/c tourist bus will be used. In Tibet, A/C deluxe coach will be used. Routing Kathmandu-Sysbrubesi-Kerung- Holy Mt. Kailash & Mansarovar Lake-Saga-Kerung-Kathmandu

10 days Kailash Yatra by Helicopter Kathmandu – Nepalgang – Simikot – Hilsa (by helicopter) – Taklakot – Mansarovar – Darchen – Dirapuk – Zuthulpuk – Darchen – Mansarovar – Taklakot – Hilsa – Simikot (by helicopter) – Nepalganj – Kathmandu. Also 3 days Mt. Kailash Parikrama.

10 Days Lucknow – Nepalgunj – Simikot - Kailash – Simikot – Nepalgunj - Lucknow

3What sorts of transport/vehicles are provided for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra package (Nepal & Tibet) side both?
Nepal: We always ensure that comfortable and decent mean of transportation is provided to all of its customers. Generally, types of vehicles vary upon group size. For example, non a/c car, bus, hiace, mini bus etc.
Tibet: We have always been assessing the services on the ground. We have been using land cruiser in the past years for our yatris due to the road condition in Tibet. However, upon our assessment, we have found out that, road condition in Tibet has dramatically progressed. Thus, looking at the road condition and comfortable point of view, we have decided to use deluxe a/c tourist coach for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. Our yatris enjoy chanting bhajans whilst their journey in such comfortable coach.
4What sorts of hotels are provided for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra package (Nepal & Tibet) side both?
Helicopter Yatra: 5 Star Annapurna / 5 Star Shangri La or similar Overland Yatra: 4 Star Royal Singi, Grand, Manaslu ,Vaishali or similar
Siddhartha, Vatika, Sneha or similar (For Helicopter Only)
Tibet: Bearing comfort of our yatris in mind, we have decided to minimize use of camping wherever possible. Thus, our Kailash Mansarovar Yatra itinerary includes guest house at all places in Tibet (no more camping).
Nyalam: Guest house New Dongba: Guest house Taklakot: Guest house Mansarovar: Guest house Darchan: Guest house Derapuk: Guest house Zuthulpuk: Guest house
5How can we make payment?
We have following payment options: - Pay online through credit card OR - Swift transfer to OUR BANK account. Contact us for our bank details. - Pay by credit card. - Send a Demand Draft by courier.
6What is Chinese Visa & Tibet Travel Permit?
The Chinese visa is a paper based document known as group visa.
In a first stage of process, we would require completed documentation from you by post. The list of documents that are require are listed in booking confirmation document which we will forward you by post or email once we receive deposit payment. We will obtain your Tibet Travel Permit.
Once, we obtain Tibet permit, will apply for Chinese visa (generally, this happens on a very next of your arrival in Kathmandu). We would need your original passport to do this. We will return your passport once; we obtain Chinese group visa.
Since, all this process is time consuming; we highly suggest our yatris to book or decide Yatra as early as possible.
7Is Asthapad excursion included in our Yatra?
Kailash by Helicopter Yatra includes Asthapad excursion. Our standard Kailash Mansarovar overland Yatra does not include Asthapad excursion. However, we are more than happy to arrange this excursion for you with a little extra cost of £50 per person.
8What is Inner & Outer parikrama?
Outer parikrama: Our standard Kailash Mansarovar overland Yatra and Kailash by Helicopter are generally outer parikrama. These are easy to complete. Inner parikrama: On the other hand, inner parikrama is quiet challenging and takes longer than outer parikrama. Generally, it takes 3-4 days longer than our standard overland tour and cost £399 per person extra. Please ensure you are healthy enough to do this parikrama. We do not recommend inner parikrama for anyone beyond the age of 60 years old unless they are good health condition.
9What if I am unable or don’t want to do parikrama?
If you are unable to do or don’t want to do parikrama, you may choose to stay in Darchen. We will provide you with accommodation and food in Darchen (base camp for Kailash). You will stay in Dacrhen and wait until other return from the parikrama. However, you are responsible to bear any cost for such stay (which you can pay directly).
10Can I return without parikrama and without waiting for group?
Generally, the answer is not. You enter with the group and you exit with the group.
11Can I do parikrama riding on horse (pony) and how much does it cost?
Yes, you can do this. The cost is approximately 2000 -2500 Yuan and may vary payable directly to horse herder or yak man or the porter. Please note that, the package does not include these costs.
12What will be the group size or how many people are in the group?
We provide 1 Sherpa for every 5-6 yatris. Generally, our group size is made of around 25 people.
13Is it essential or good to commence the tour on a full moon day?
You can commence your yatra any day. Some people prefer to reach at Mansarovar or Kailash on full moon day.
Full Moon departures are subject to 10% additional costs.
There are several reasons why yatris choose full moon.
- Festivals in Tibet happen during Full Moon (especially Saga Dawa Full Moon Festival: the holiest day in Tibetan Buddhism) – Full-Moon in Mansarovar: Many yatris prefer doing puja during the Full moon (Purnima) – Many want to see beautiful view of full moon over Mount Kailash – Prefer doing Kora during Full-moon
Disadvantages yatris travelling on Full-Moon:
Tibet might close: Occasionally immolation happens in Tibet during festivals during summertime. Like last year in May 2012, Tibet was shut down by government for a month or so. So many Yatris were stranded or postponed their dates even though they have all the permit and paperwork.
Crowd: Since many people want to go to Tibet during the full moon, there will be overbooking of Guest houses and vehicles in Tibet. To reduce this, a government agency, CIPSC (Chinese Indian Pilgrim Service Centre) has incurred extra 10% charges for the travellers.
Unnecessary price increase: Due to high demand all services in Tibet side, many local people will make goods and services expensive. So if you need any additional goods or services that we do not provide then it might be pricey.
14What sorts of items should I carry?
We suggest you take warm clothes like sweater, trousers, thermo coat, monkey cap, trekking shoes, high neck, gloves etc. For extensive, Kailash kit list, please refer to our trip dossier which we will post once we receive deposit payment.
15Can we keep in touch with our friend & family during the Yatra?
You may bring GSM phone (unlocked) with you and buy Chinese sim card at phone shop on the way to Kailash.
All arrangements within Tibet are solely at the discretion of the China Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB); a government organizations, and we have no control over the quality of vehicles or facilities. TTB has right or can deny permit or even stop giving permits from time to time.
17Do you cater tailor-made itinerary if, yes, and then what are the criteria?
Yes! We are able to tailor-made standard itinerary, but we would require your group size of 25 people at least. Even, in some cases, we may still be able to provide you with tailor-made itinerary but with higher cost. These are known as private yatra.
18What type of food and drink will be provided during Kailash Yatra (especially in Tibet)?
The hygienic and pure vegetarian food will be provided during yatra. We will be providing drinking water.
19What sorts of clothing and accessories are suggested for yatra?
Kailash Mansarovar yatra involve yatris travelling to the high-altitude areas. Hence, the climate tends to be cold. Thus, yatris are recommended to take warm clothes, thermocoat, monkey cap, comfort shoes, masks, walking sticks, sunscreen lotions and sunglasses etc. during yatra. However, please refer to our yatra dossier for extensive list.
20Can we use foreign currency in Tibet?
The answer is No! The currency that is used in Tibet is only Chinese Yuan. You can change your currency to Chinese Yuan once you arrive in Kathmandu or Tibet border.
21In how many days would I finish Mt. Kailash parikrama and how long it is?
Holy Kailash parikarma is approx 52 kms trek to be completed in 2 nights / 3 Days. Night camping/ guesthouse in Dirapuk & Zuthul-puk.
22What is the best time to travel?
Holy Mt. Kailash yatra starts in the last week of April till September every year.
23How many days would I need to hire the Yak / Horse and a Porter during the whole trip and how much it costs?
If you do not want to trek you can hire horse/pony for parikarma. Parikarma (kora) that is for 3 days. It will cost you approx. Yuan 2000 per Yak with Yak man.
24What are the hidden charges i.e., to be paid direct?
Additional expenses incurred due to delay, Accidents, Natural disaster & Political action. Following are the charges not included during yatra.
- Yak and Yak man cost – Rescue or evacuation if need, Tibet visa separation cost – Travel insurance, drink, laundry, Telephone/fax, Additional transportation cost. – If you are not going for Kailash Parikrama due to any reason and staying back at Darchen for three days, you have to pay extra £50 per day for accommodation and food in Darchen. – Airport tax of Kathmandu. To be paid cash direct at the airport while taking return flight.
25How much amount we should carry and in what form whether traveller’s cheque, Dollar or Tibetan cash or Indian Rupees?
In Kathmandu you may use USD OR Indian Currency (however denominations of INR 500 & 2000 are not allowed in Nepal). For Tibet you will need Chinese Yuan only. For 14 days in Tibet, we suggest you carry approx Yuan 3000 Per Person. Which you may need for emergency and to pay for horse during Kailash Parikrama. Balance (unused Yuan) may be exchanged again on the way back.
INR 100 = NPR 160 INR 100 = CNY 14 (CHINESE YUAN) you can exchange Yuan in Kathmandu or in Tibet border. Most of the yatri/customer exchanges their currency in Nepal-Tibet border.
26What is your cancellation policy?
Cancellation Policy:
30 days before departure date, INR 15,000 will be charged as cancellation. 15 days before departure date, INR 25,000 will be charged as cancellation. 07 days before departure date, No refund allowed.
27Do you provide something?
We Provide:
- Camping Equipment’s (to be returned at the end) – Sleeping bags (down with inside extra cover), (to be returned at the end) – Jacket (down) (to be returned at the end) – Oxygen Back-up & Gaymo Bag.
28What medical reports do I need to carry?
No medical report is required but we insist every yatri to consult their doctor before traveling to high altitude. Also, every yatri must declare their physical status and specify if they are allergic to any medicine.
29Besides the passport what other official documents will I need on the yatra?
You need to carry:-
Valid Passport with 4 passport size photographs Medical Insurance Policy
30Can we take children with age group of 6 and 10 years?
Yes, can take children (physically normal) along with you but at your own risk because you know your child better.
31What are the precautions taken for the children?
You have to take same precautions as you are taking for yourself.
32Will one oxygen cylinder be sufficient for four of us?
Our team will provide oxygen cylinder in emergency. Usually, oxygen cylinder is not required. However, some yatri prefer to carry their own handy oxygen cylinders. You may buy small portable cylinder in Tibet. It may cost approx. Yuan 30-40 per cylinder.
33What will be the charges for children?
Yatra cost is same for children.
34Will your cook be travelling with us during the entire trip? Will he be carrying stove and utensils can he make vegetarian items?
Yes, cooks will be travelling with you during the entire trip. They will carry all necessary cooking items with them, and you will get only vegetarian food during yatra.
35Can we prescribe the menu for cooking on daily basis?
Yes, you may discuss and suggest your choice. If possible and other yatris agree our cook will not mind cooking your choice of food.
36Is VISA cost included in the total tour cost?
Yes, cost of Tibet Visa is included. However, cost of Nepal visa is not included (applicable for foreign nationals only). Indian passport holders do not need Nepal Visa.
37Can we find some helpers to help our kids/luggage during the trekking part of the journey? Will they be available there or do we have to take them with us?
Yes, you can get helpers/porters for your kids/luggage; the charge may be approx Yuan 300 per day.
38What will be the arrangement in case there is any break down of vehicle (Coach)?
We will send another Vehicle (Coach).
39Are there any frequent landslides on the way?
No, it depends on weather.
40Is good sanitation available during the camping days?
Yes, toilet tents may be made available.
41Availability of drinking water on the yatra?
Water bottles / pure natural mineral water, or water purification tablets may be made available.
42Can I bring video camera and digital camera? Whether we will have possibility to recharge the batteries or is there any restrictions to use these things?
Yes, you can bring camera & videos along with you. The voltage in Tibet is 220V. Can be re-charging most of the places but not during 3 days parikrama. We suggest to travel with extra batteries.
43What about communication possibilities?
Darchen (base camp of Mt. Kailash) is the last point where communication facility is available. Mobile will not work in Kailash region. It works only in town. Our guides will be using satellite phones during parikrama.
44When we should book the Holy Mt. Kailash Yatra and how to book?
You should book this yatra minimum 45 days in advance. To book, we need copy of passport (1st page only) with 25% advance deposit.
45Is it necessary to send our document with advance 45 days before?
Yes, we must send copy of your passport to China for approval.
46If we are not feeling comfortable or physically fit for parikrama then what we will do?
In such case, you must stay back in Darchen for 3 days.
47Do`s & Don’ts for Kailash Trip?
- For smooth & successful completion of yatra, it is essential to develop good understanding among yatris.
- Do take diamox regularly till you finish the parikrama.
- Drink plenty of water & fluids during trekking. Take liberal amounts of hot, fluids and enough nourishment to provide energy for body.
- Do cover yourself properly and protect yourself from Cold.
- Use good quality tinted snow-glasses or dark sunglasses to protect eyes against snow blindness. Avoid use of cheap, poor quality sun glasses.
- Apply good quality sunscreen lotion (30 SPF) to exposed parts of the body to avoid sunburn, particularly during parikramas.
- If there is heavy snowfall or snowstorms, stay close to each other & avoid being separated.
- Do respect their culture and people.
- Do maintain cleanliness.
- Follow instructions of the Tour officer properly.
- Do not neglect to consume sufficient food & fluids. Do remember that pilgrims suffer from loss of appetite at high altitudes. So, per force consume enough nourishment.
- Do not overexert. Fatigue can lead to cold and more serious problems, especially at high altitude.
- Do not take photographs of Army Officials and Check Post.
- Do not talk about Dalai Lama.
- Do not smoke or consume alcohol during the yatra & especially at high altitudes, as this is dangerous & has serious consequences.
48What we must carry?
Be sure you have the needy items! Warm clothes, water bottle, water purification tabs, sun tan lotion utility knife, dusk musk, medicine for headaches, fever, colds, stomach disorders and diamox (unless you are allergic to sulpha drugs) for altitude sickness, It is also good to carry dry fruit, juice powder, breads, candy, canned or packed food, nuts, pickles and biscuits.
* if you do not have any of the above items, our executive will assist you in Kathmandu.
49Do you have any age restriction?
The age limit is 70 years old. If you are below 70 years old and physically fit you may travel but we insist everyone to consult their doctor and must mention that you are going to high altitude. Couple of old aged people travelled with us and have successfully done the parikrama.