Kailash Mansarovar Tours takes you to the holy Mount Kailash and the sacred Mansarovar Lake in remote western Tibet. A sacred pilgrimage destination of Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Bons, Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar are revered and worshipped by followers of these faiths.
Mount Kailash is the abode of Lord Shiva, one of the three major gods in the Hindu religion. According to the Hindu religious texts, he stays at Kailash with his consort (goddess Parvati), sons, and followers.
For Jains, the mountain is sacred because the first Jain Tirthankara, Rishabadeva, attained enlightenment here. Buddhists consider Mount Kailash as Mount Meru – the center of the universe. It is also the place where Milarepa (a Buddhist saint) meditated. Practitioners of Bon religion regard the mountain as the ‘axis mundi’ or the point connecting the earth to the heavens.
The beautiful Lake Mansarovar stands under the shadow of Mount Kailash. It is fed by the glacier of Mount Kailash, Surrounded by brown hills and frozen peaks; this heavenly lake is said to have originated in Brahma’s (the Hindu god of creation) mind. Before getting to Mount Kailash, you stop by this lake to worship or soak in the views.
Your Kailash Mansarovar Tours begins from Kathmandu with a sightseeing tour to the city’s world heritage sites. Drive to the Nepal-Tibet border on a private vehicle and after completing the immigration formalities, enter Tibet. You meet your Tibetan driver and guide in Kerung, the border town on the Tibetan side.
Tibet, also known as the Roof of the World, the average elevation in Tibet is 4,380 meters. As you will be traveling to places above 5000 meters, it’s important to allow your body to adapt to the rarefied air. From Kerung, you head to Saga and onward to Lake Mansarovar.
Like a blue jewel surrounded by snowcapped peaks, the crystal clear water of Mansarovar appears spellbinding. After meditating and taking pictures of the holy lake, you move towards Darchen.
Your Kailash trek or kora begins from Tarboche, which lies a short drive away from Darchen. It takes three days to circle the sacred mountain. You can complete the kora or circumambulation on foot or hire a pony or a horse to take you around. Enjoy views of all four faces of Mount Kailash’s summit while walking around the mountain.
The final leg of the trek involves crossing a high mountain pass, the Dolma La. Situated at an elevation of 5630 meters, this is the highest point of your trip. Close to Dolma La is Shiva Sthal, a place where pilgrims leave behind a personal item to signify leaving behind their old life and starting anew.
After the kora is complete, you descend to Darchen and drive to Saga via Mansarovar. Then you will be driven to Kerung and return to Kathmandu via the same route.
The best months for Kailash Mansarovar Tours are May, June, July, August, and September. During these months, the days are warm and the nights cold. Most sections of the trail remain free of snow and ice, making it easier to navigate.
The duration of the trip is thirteen days. The overland journey from Kathmandu to the base of Mount Kailash and back will be on a private vehicle. If you plan to complete a kora around Mount Kailash, then it will take three days. The trek starts from Tarboche. There are not many steep ascents, but the trail is gravely and filled with loose stones. The most difficult part of the trek is the crossing of Dolma La.
You will be staying overnight at local lodges or guesthouses. During the trek, you may have to stay in dormitories due to the lack of accommodation around Mount Kailash. Vegetarian meals are available at all stops. As this tour takes you to one of the remotest corners of Tibet, the facilities en route will be basic.
Kailash Mansarovar Tours is for those who are physically fit and healthy. You will be traveling through places where oxygen levels are low and nighttime temperatures dip below freezing point. Those with respiratory and heart ailments should consult their physicians before booking this tour.