Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash
5
MountainsHiking TrailsReligious Sites
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Gangs Rin-po-che is the Tibetan name of Mt. Kailash which is considered as a sacred place in four regions: Bon Religion, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. Every year, thousands make a pilgrimage to Kailash for the faith they believed that circumambulating Kailash by foot will bring good luck and clear the sins. The trek begins and ends at Darchen which is at 4,575m elevation.Mount Kailash trekking is one of the most challenging and sacred treks in the world. The trek is widely known as Mt. Kailash kora which is scared in four religions, Bon Religion, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. What’s more, this holy mountain is also the headstream of four famous rivers in Asia: Indus River (also called Shiquan River in China), Sutlej River (a major tributary of the Indus River), Yarlungzangpo River (also called Brahmaputra River) and Ganges River. Every year, thousands make a pilgrimage to Kailash for the faith they believed that circumambulating this holy mountain by foot will bring good luck.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
The area
Address
Within Pulan County Humla Simikota, Burang County 859500 China

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles200 reviews
Excellent
175
Very good
16
Average
1
Poor
4
Terrible
4

nareshraghavan
Aurora, IL18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2016 • Friends
I visited Mt Kailash and Lake Mansarovar as part of a guided spiritual trip by Isha Foundation of Coimbatore India and these are my experiences.
A little bit about me. I am a software consultant, male, 49 years living in Chicago IL. I am a fairly active person who runs about 5 kms 3 times a week.

Back to the trip. It’s a 15 day trip which starts at Kathmandu, Nepal. Kathmandu was the meeting point for the 62 participants who traveled from all over the world. While majority of the participants were from India there were a few participants from USA, Malaysia, Europe. I am new to the Isha foundation and my interest was due to a generous invitation from my mother to accompany her. My mother has been a part of the Isha foundation since the past few years and came to know about this trip from one of her trips to the Isha ashram in Coimbatore, India.
Overall the trip was flawlessly organized by Isha with all aspects of the travel, food and stay impeccable. It’s quite pricey at Rs 2.50 lacs per person (around USD 3,800 at INR 66 to 1 USD conversion). But well worth it.
First the preparation: The final trek to Mt. Kailash is about 13 kms (8 miles) at altitudes of 15,000 to 16,500 feet. This is what you really need to prepare for. Walking 13 kilometers at sea level is easier than at high altitudes. This is because the amount of oxygen in the air above 10,000 ft is lesser than at sea level making it difficult to breathe. As a reference point I had traveled to Machu Picchu in Peru a year ago and found breathing difficult in the city of Cusco which is at 11,200 ft. So 15,000 ft is a big deal. Fortunately we were advised to take 125mg Diamox twice a day- an altitude sickness pill, from Kathmandu itself to combat the altitude sickness and that served very well.
So if you wish to walk up the 13 kms start practicing walking. If you are already into running and physical activity it’s easier, but if not, consult a trainer or professional. Start by targeting 5 kms, then progressively scale up. By the week before the actual trip you should have done at least one 10 km walk. If you don’t have walking trails do it on the treadmill. Don’t bother too much about the incline. Get your body into shape first. If you decide you are not the walking type you have the option of riding on a horse at a cost of about 900 Chinese Yuan. If you want a Sherpa to carry your backpack it’s an additional 500 Yuan. No, you cannot ride a horse with your backpack on!
Even if you wish to ride a horse you have to be in pretty good shape as it’s a 4 hour trot each way. So shape up and you will enjoy the beautiful sights along the way rather than being in discomfort.
The other aspects of preparation are fairly expensive stuff that you could shop at a REI store in the US or a Decathlon or similar outdoor activity store. Water proof Trekking shoes, trekking/hiking poles, down jacket, rain proof jacket, gloves, 20 ltr waterproof backpack, hiking clothes, sun hat, flashlight, hand sanitizers etc. Remember to keep everything light- you will be wearing or carrying it all the way. Your tour guide will give you a more comprehensive list- follow that.
Day 1-3: Kathmandu was for getting to know each other and indulging in some local sightseeing. We stayed at the Radisson which was a very nice hotel. We also started on Diamox. I carried about INR50,000 for personal expenses most of which was spent on shopping souvenirs and my mom’s horse ride. If you are fit and wish to walk up, Indian rupees 25,000 should suffice for contingencies. Isha takes care of every meal for the entire trip as well as water bottles- 3 liters provided to each person each day. I.5 litres during breakfast and 1.5 litres provided at lunch. Between these two bottles I never needed additional hydration. Hydration helps combat altitude sickness. Regarding visa for Kathmandu- Indian citizens don’t need one but as US citizen I had to apply one on arrival- it’s easy and costs about $25. Carry some passport photos just in case.

Day 3 we flew into Lhasa. Keep in mind Tibet is China. So remove social media posts sympathizing with the Dalai Lama etc. before the trip or your visa could get denied. We had a group visa arranged by Isha. We stayed 2 days in Lhasa in a nice hotel getting acclimatized to the altitude of 13,000 ft. Even simple tasks like tying my shoe lace was making me breathless! We visited Jhokang temple and Potala Palace (home of the Dalai Lama until 1959) as part of our local sightseeing.

Day 5: Started our bus ride to Shigatse. The distance from Lhasa to lake Manasarovar is about 1000 kms! Speed limits and mountainous roads means we only cover about 300 kms each day. So the road trip was 3 days each way. Reached Shigatse around sunset. Spent the night in a nice hotel. The topography started changing now. Trees started fading giving way to just shrubs, and of course the beautiful Himalayan mountains.

Day 6: Left at 8 AM for Saga. Stayed overnight at a nice hotel in Saga. Beautiful views along the way. Random lakes. The bus stopped every 2 hours for restroom breaks. But there are no ‘restrooms’ as such, You have to be prepared to relieve yourself in nature. So yes the hand sanitizers are very important.

Day 7: Day 3 of bus journey we finally reached Lake Manasarovar around 6 PM. Stayed at a rustic Ashram there. All modern facilities stop here. No more electricity or bathrooms and running water for the next 4 days! Be prepared for this. We did some intense meditation on the banks of the lake and almost everybody took a full dip in the freezing lake! The water temperature must have been about 10 degrees Celsius. It was faith which gave everyone the strength and courage to dive into the cold water.
Anyway, from here on all modern facilities cease. No more electricity, bathrooms or running water. I and pretty much most people wore the same clothes for 4 days so plan for comfortable layered clothing. I survived on dry-fit clothes- light and comfortable yet keeps you warm and comfortable.

Lake Manasarovar is a beautiful lake surrounded by the Himalayas.

Day 8: After the overnight stay in an ashram on the banks of the lake we set out the next morning to Mt Kailash. The bus ride was about 2 hours. Once we reached the horses, Sherpas were assigned to whoever had requested for it. Then we started the hike!
The sights were truly stunning! It was one of the most beautiful landscapes I have seen.

We get a glimpse of Mt.Kailassh as we started the trek. We kind of circle half way around the mountain. Unfortunately it was quite cloudy so we could not get a very clear view of the peak. The peak is about 18,000 feet.

This is the closest we got to viewing Mt.Kailash. The trek took me about 4 hours. The last person to arrive the top took about 7 hours. Your personal fitness will be a key factor in how much you enjoy the journey. Taking longer can be fun too as long as you are enjoying the sights and enjoying the moment.
We stayed overnight at some rustic quarters. Again no bathrooms, electricity or running water. Relatively this accommodation is much better than a few years ago when they didn’t have any buildings and everyone had to sleep in tents. Of course it can also be argued that sleeping in tents has its own charm. There is also a beautiful Buddhist monastery facing Mt.Kailash.

Day 9: We did some intense chanting and meditation on the mountain facing Mt.Kailash, had lunch and started back down.

Walking down was relatively easier and the group completed it in 3.5 to 6 hours. A couple of our team members could not complete the climb up due to altitude sickness which was very unfortunate. But keep in mind that yoru life and safety is more important than forcing your way up against the doctor’s orders. We had two doctors who were monitoring our Blood Pressure and Oxygen levels in our system twice every day! Once at breakfast and once at dinner time. These doctors pretty much kept us in shape and I am very thankful to them. They were a part of the Isha group’s arrangements.
We reached back to the ashram at Lake Manasarovar by dinner time and stayed overnight.
Day 10 we boarded the bus back to Saga. We also got some clear shots of Mt Kailash from Lake Manasarovar.

Evening of day 10 we checked back into the hotel at Saga and showered and rested. Was great to get back to civilization!
Day 11 we drove all day to Shigatse
Day 12 We left Shigatse and drove all day to Lhasa.
Day 13 We rested in Lhasa and indulged in some local food, shopping etc.
Day 14 we flew back to Kathmandu
Day 15 we all took our respective flights home!
Overall I would say that the arrangements of the trip by Isha foundation was without a single hitch or shortcoming. I would rate it 5 out of 5 stars!
Written 9 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelLikeaMartian
New York City, NY173 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Hi,

My husband and I did the kailash trek this year. The trek was amazing but we just wanted to share a few notes with ppl.

No matter who you book the tour through from india or nepal - they eventually group all tours together with a larger group so even if you are a private group of 10 ppl you will be grouped together with others. we were a group of 15 who eventually landed up being with 60 other ppl (all seniors) .. yep .. so make sure you clariify that or are at least prepared for that coz you wont know that till u reach nepal.

Also when we booked the tour it was thought oriental tours and travel. The guy Manoj was so good. We were so convinced that we will have a great trip. He was honest with us and told us we will be joining other ppl. What we did not know was that eventually we all join the Richa travels from nepal coz indian tours dont operate in tibet. Richa tours is supposed to be the biggest tour for kailash. And they are terrible. They have so many ppl to deal that

We were from the US who were with a indian group. When we went to pashupatinath they told us we will get a special guide coz we are not indians. the guide that we got said that we need to pay him $20 per person to do darshan from the front else the line is very long. we wanted to see the temple and so paid him the money and later on found that the others got to do that without paying any money. we felt so cheated. after that we were very careful with where we spend money. it was like being with thugs. Be very careful if you are a foreigner. they will try to get your money every way.

When we got back we met a few other ppl who said they had a bad experience too. wish we had met them before we paid for the tour. we just wanted to warn everyone else who is going. the trip to kailash is our of this world. life changing. just try not to go with Richa travels (the guys name was lopsang I think).

- Mya
Written 31 August 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sash0131
Massachusetts426 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2014 • Family
My wife and I had a recent trip to Tibet, visiting the holy Manasarovar lake and Mt Kailash circumambulation (called Parikrama in Sanskrit and Kora in Tibetan) in September 2014. With our love of travel and the frequency of our travel (4-5 international trips/year), I generally write a few accounts of any trip. However, we feel compelled to write a detailed blog of this trip for a variety of reasons, the major one being the fact that such a trip is arduous for most people and in our case the stars were so aligned (to borrow the non-existing Star Wars quote, ‘the force was strong one in this trip’) to make this journey a physical, spiritual and religious success. Specifically, we were thrilled with the experience that included the overall organization of the trip by our tour company, as well as the group alignment and dynamics of the fellow travelers. Since we had a less than pleasant experience during our previous trip 5 years ago, We feel that we will be able to help future travelers interested in a similar trip.

Background

Let me start with some background on the region. Mount Kailash (21,778’) in the western part of the Tibetan plateau is one of the holiest mountains in the world, worshipped by 4 major religions - for Hindus it is the abode of Lord Shiva, to the Buddhists it is the home of Demchok or Chakrasamvara and the region frequented by Padmasambhava & Milarepa, to the Jains its the site where the first of their saints attained Nirvana (enlightenment) and to the Böns (the religion predominant prior to Buddhism in Tibet) its the mountain upon which their founder alighted to heaven and is a major seat of spiritual power. Apart from this, the fresh water lakes of Manasarovar and Rakshas Taal (at 15,000’) and major rivers in Asia (Brahmaputra, Sutlej, Indus and Karnali) are sourced from this region. Part of the attraction for us was also the ill-fated earlier visit in 2009, when we were ‘stuck’ in Nepal for 5 nights, forcing us to abandon our hopes of the Kailash Parikrama at that time. We had to revisit and do the Parikrama around the holy Kailash - this year was the ‘year of horse’ according to the Tibetan especially auspicious according to the Tibetan beliefs - it is considered to give you the 12-fold spiritual merit or karma if you perform the Kora in this year. In fact, they don’t go on the ‘Inner Kora’ (the one which gets closer to Mt Kailash) unless they have completed the outer Kora at least 12 times.

Also an interesting sidebar, and it was not realized at that time, that just a few months prior to this trip we visited Israel which is a home to 4 major religious groups - Jews, Christians, Muslims and Bahais (we were also exposed to another religious sect called Druze, although it is a minority in Israel). In a short of span of 4 months, we were blessed to visit the source of religious forces of 8 different religions!

Back to Mt Kailash and Manasarovar. We traveled from Mumbai to Kathmandu on Sept 14 and here is a rather detailed account of our daily activities:

Day 01 - Sep 14, 2014 - Kathmandu (Nepal)

We reached Kathmandu by noon. For US citizens, visa is required but available on the spot. We were pleasantly surprised by the modern kiosk to get the visa. We quickly generated the paper printout of the ‘visa’ after entering some information and scanning our passports. However, the entry process was not finished, there was some ‘manual’ processing to be done - it took a while to get the small line through and we managed to get out after some delay. When we got out, we had a staff member from Shree Kailash Yatra (the tour organizers for our trip led by Ms Vaishali Patel Shah) greeted us and escorted us to the Jeep waiting for us. We were driven to our hotel (Hotel Himalaya) and got settled in the room.

In the evening, we had a detailed briefing by the tour director along with the staff members.

We were a bit overwhelmed by the size of the group - there were 60 members in our group. From what we understood, this size had enlarged from its normal size, mainly because of the situation earlier in the year when the Chinese authorities had rejected visas. Additionally, in August, there was a disruption of many visitors due to a large landslide that affected road travel between Kathmandu and Kodari, the town bordering Tibet.

Right from the time that we had booked this trip, Shree Kailash Yatra had been in constant communication regarding the planning and preparation checklist. During the briefing, the list of items to take (including those that will not be needed) along with the items that were to be provided for us to carry - this included a large duffle bag, heavy winter jacket, a sturdy rain poncho, document organizer as well as religious items such as Indian rosary, muffler, etc.

We had a nice buffet dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.

From today itself, we were all given the medicine (Diamox or Acetazolamide) to help with the high altitude. Typically, at the altitude of about 12,000’ the body starts to show the symptoms of high altitude sickness. From our previous experience on the altitudes above this, we have found the Diamox to help if started a couple of days in advance of reaching 12,000’ . Since this day, every morning and evening distribution of Diamox at meal times was handled by the staff members.

We rearranged our luggage and repacked what was absolutely necessary in the duffle bag for each of us.

Day 02 - Sep 15, 2015 - Kodari (Altitude 7,500’, Nepal)

Got up early and after breakfast, assembled in the lovely garden on the hotel property. Had morning prayers and some pranayam (breathing exercises) and light exercises. We went to the domestic airport by bus and got ready for the helicopter ride to Kodari. In the mid-August, the road to Kodari was closed due to a massive landslide and the work on fixing the road had not been completed yet. So it was pre-planned to have every one ‘hop’ to Kodari by a helicopter ride (about 20 minutes). We reached in batches and from the ‘helipad’ were transported by bus to our hotel Himalaya.

Kodari reminded us of Simikot in Nepal where we were stuck for 5 nights due to mismanaged operation by Bharat Trivedi (in 2009). We were soon transported to the hotel where we were supposed to stay - hot lunch was served. It started pouring heavily once again a disturbing reminder of our prior nightmare of a trip to Mansarovar. Fortunately second batch made it soon.

We met up with other Kailash groups who had successfully completed their journey and were returning. They were getting ready to the walk around the landslide, involving many hours of strenuous walking. In the afternoon, we visited a large waterfall near the hotel - a beautiful view, albeit dampened a bit by the drizzle. Later a few of us walked on a path upwards on the mountain accompanied by a local (he was an innocent villager with limited communication, but lots of eagerness to help us). We saw a beautiful monastery and got a distant view of the same waterfall were had seen earlier. As we were returning, we saw a beautiful rainbow defying the dark clouds, uplifting our somewhat anxious nerves with the hopes for the brighter rest of the trip.

Day 03 - Sep 16, 2015 - Nyalam (Altitude 12,300’, Tibet)

Crossed the border over the friendship bridge. Walked from the Kodari hotel to the border. Had a porter who had taken us to the monastery on the previous day in Kodari. He took our extra luggage to help us walk.

There was a lot of chaos at the Chinese side of the border. First we were lined up on the bridge in a given order of the passport (India, US and UK) just to let us pass through to the real checkpost where we were asked to fill out forms and go one by one through a proper check of the passport. It was fairly hit by the time we got out and we went to our assigned bus of DL0667 parked along the narrow roadway. There were 3 buses with generous amount of space per passenger (each bus had a capacity of 35 and there were only 20 passengers per bus).

On our way to Nyalam we saw a long row of stranded trucks stretching over many miles. This is due to the big landslide and apparently the stress if having locked inventory and lack of liquidity drove a few truck owners to commit suicide.

The time in Tibet was Beijing time which is 2.5 hrs ahead of India. Since the area we were visiting is far to the west of Beijing, this meant that the sunset will be well past 8pm.

The road to Nyalam was beautiful with the valleys carved with the fast flowing rivers, green trees and rocky ridges hugged by beautifully shaped low clouds and in many instances the Tibetan flags spanning the entire valleys with at incredible heights from one side of the mountain to the other. Tibetans believe that the flags with pictures of deities and prayers carry positive energy in the cosmos for everyone’s spiritual uplift. So it is not unusual to see such flags in remotest and hard to reach areas. In our buses, there was always one Chinese policeman throughout our drive in Tibet. For whatever whim he had, he did not allow us to take pictures of the beautiful scenery around us:-(

Reached Nyalam in a recently built guest house by Nyalam County Tourism Board (translated loosely from the equivalent Chinese name) or also known as Shishapangma Hotel named after the 8000 m peak in Tibet (14th highest peak in the world) close to the Nyalam pass at 18,500' that we would cross tomorrow.

We had Wifi in the hotel, so lots of us utlized our iPhones and FaceTime effectively!

Shree Kailash Yatra cook and the staff had taken over the cooking from today, so we started enjoying very nice Indian cooking from starting with tonight’s dinner. The head cook (Hriday’dai from Nepal) was someone we had met on our previous trip to ‘Chardham’ in India organized by the same operator). We were pleased to find that he had not lost his touch in the intervening 3 years:-)

Day 04 - Sep 17, 2014 - Nyalam (Altitude 12,300’, Tibet)

This was to be the acclimatization day at Nyalam.

After the prayers went up the adjoining mountain for a beautiful surrounding view and visit of the Tibetan flag temple. We went up about 1000’ in altitude and returned in a few hours.

Relaxed for the rest of the day and went to the market to get some fruits for the journey next day. Also tried to get the SIM card for usage while in Tibet. Apparently the Chinese authorities have made it stricter to get and use the phone for international dialing. Passport was necessary which made it impossible to get the SIM. Later I went back to the hotel to get the passport from our staff manager Youbakbhai.

(As it turned out, the voice plan of the phone was useless as the caller could not hear us at all - the data plan was working for some functionality, but could never get emails on my Gmail or browse google.com for searches - perhaps something to do with China’s issues with Google!)

We purchased some fruits for the next day’s long journey to Saga. In the evening, there was a prayer session along with the recital of Hanuman Chalisa and Sunderkand.

Day 05 - Sep 18, 2014 - Saga (Tibet)

The morning routines for the rest of the trip included early morning ‘Herbal tea’ brought to our rooms by the staff members as a part of our wake up call. We got spoiled and pampered to the extent that most of us reminisce about missing it even now!

After breakfast, we all walked along the highway for about 2-3 km to a nice view point of the mountains and the valley. Afterwards we boarded our buses and left for Saga. Chinese authorities have imposed a speed limit of 40km on the roads and it is enforced by having many checkpoints along the way. The roads are built beautifully (in contrast to our previous visit when the constructions was in progress to replace the original dusty roads) and 40km is too slow to accomplish. Since the checkpoints enforce the timings between each passing, most of the time buses drive about a km short of the checkpost and wait there until the suitable time approaches for crossing.

This was a long journey.

We reached a high pass along the way (Nyalam Pass, altitude 16,880’). Normally we can see Shishapangma (last of the 8000m summits and 14th highest mountain in the world, altitude 26,289’) but could not see it due to the clouds. There are signs of more constructions and helpful signage being erected on the pass. Given its location, the pass had very high winds, our first taste of what can be expected on the cold days with high wind chill on the Tibetan plateau at 15,000’ and above.

Later on we passed the incredibly bluish green Paiku Tso lake which is also known as the Emerald Lake. Stopped to take abundant pictures before continuing on towards Saga.

We reached Saga late in the day and got settled in the Saga Hotel (the same one we had stayed 5 years ago - there were signs of wear & tear). Once again there were signs of lots of construction and new hotels and properties being built. We had dinner in our rooms.

Day 06 - Sep 19, 2014 - Manasarovar (Tibet)

After a long drive from Saga interrupted with check points, had a lunch at a nice location (puri/sabji). Walked to the top for a great view of the expansive Tibetan landscape with a feeling of some sadness due to the ever expanding Chinese military presence.

As soon as we reached the Kailash Mandala region, we had a very satisfying first view of Mt Kailash with clear blue sky.

We transferred to the environmental bus provided by the Chinese govt to go around the lake (no private vehicles or buses are allowed).

The ‘Holy Dip’ in the sacred lake was organized towards the southwest corner of the Manasarovar lake with plans for everyone to wear ponchos while going in. The water was extremely cold, but the time of the day with its sunny warmth made the dip very rewarding and religiously fulfilling.

The bus took us to the southern part of the lake and then towards the Ravanna Taal or Rakshas Taal with a close view of the imposing mountain called Gurla Mandata (25,243’) in fading light of the sunset.

Reached our resting location by 9pm and had the wonderful dinner of Khichadi, Kadhi and Sabji.

Day 07 - Sep 20, 2014 - Manasarovar (Tibet)

In the morning the staff of Shree Kailash pitched a few tents in the grounds. They hauled the holy water in large drums from Manasarovar for all of us to take hot water bath. After the bath another nice tent was pitched for the Havan (Hindu ritual ceremony) where everyone got Puja 'samagri' and Maheshbhai and Vaishali conducted a 1.5 hr Havan with a full view of Kailash'ji throughout the puja. Just before the Havan, we saw that there was a strip of thin cloud hovering above the Kaliash, just like a garland adorning the deity. We were wondering if it might cloud up the summit as the time passed. Instead, the cloud rose up slowly above the Kailash just as the ceremony and chanting began. It stayed well above the peak as if it was a crown on Shree Kailash!

After the Havan, there was a lunch and after lunch we went up to the monastery called Chiu Gompa (Chiu means sparrow) - one of the earlier Tibetan Budhist guru Padmasambhava meditated on this location. Since we were to go to this Gompa on the next day, we walked towards the temple on a smaller hill across (Jiwusi Temple) and took pictures. We had not taken any water and it was getting very windy, so we returned back to the camp fairly dehydrated (it is very important to drink lots of water well before the trip).

After lunch some left in a jeep towards Darchen to do the mini Parikrama before heading to Taklakot for helicopter evacuation on the next day to Kathmandu.

Day 08 - Sep 21, 2014 - Darchen (Tibet)

In the AM after the prayers went up the hill towards the Chiu Gompa, the monastery.

Took pictures along the way and witnessed the religious ceremony by monks in the newly built monastery on the top. The older monastery was closed.

After lunch we were transported to Darchen.

The bus took us to the heavily guarded entry point near Darchen, to ensure that only those with the permit for the Parikrama are allowed in.

In Darchen, went out for shopping, primarily for the mineral water but for other things as well. We ended up with 2 Dorje's that we had hunted for in Bhutan and could not find.

We took lots of pictures of local Tibetans at the next cross road near the market. The locals were out in full force roaming the streets both window shopping as well as purchasing items on the roadside merchants. There were beautiful views of Kailash (just the top, the lower part being hidden by the mountains close to Darchen) and Gurla Mandata on both ends of the road that ran from South to North.

Day 09 - Sep 22, 2014 - Derapuk (Tibet)

Day 1 of Parikrama

Started from Darchen around 9 am - first by bus to the starting point of the walk near the Yamdwar (Chorten Kangyi). First we had to pass through a highly secured checkpost equipped with the xray and body frisking. Chinese have really increased their military presence in the region that was annexed since 1950’s. This year being the Kumbha year (which comes every 12 years and considered as very auspicious to do the 'Kora' or the Parikrama) there were thousands of Hindus along with Tibetans who want to come to the region. For reasons not known, the Chinese had denied permissions to not only many Indians but even the Tibetans. Indian passport holders are also affected from reaching out to other areas as we noted later during the trip.

We reached the point called Darpoche, where there is a prayer pole where Buddha and his 500 ardent devotees had circumambulated - there were many who performed this in a counter clockwise fashion to ensure that they would see Buddha during every round. It is believed that this is equivalent to doing the Kailash Parikrama, especially if one can't go around.

The starting point had the drama of matching the pilgrims with their horse and the horseman or woman. Most of the people including my wife and I had opted for the horse and a porter as well as an additional porter for managing my large camera bag. The 'Tibetan porter union' has devised a system of lottery to match the horse with the patron (possibly to avoid chaos or other inequities in hand picking porters). It did not seem to reduce any chaos though. We stood in a line along with our luggage on display presumably for the porter to approve or disapprove. Everyone picked a name from the hat and sealed their fate (for three days) with a horse and the porter as their companion. Vaishali had adequately briefed is on the process so it was not much of a surprise but even then it was fun to witness and be a part of this circus with a few porters clowning around and engage in horse play with each other. One porter saw me loitering with my camera bag and started pointing towards himself saying 'me ... me' which started a chain with few more porters joining with ‘mera’, ‘era' chant (meaning mine in Hindi). They must have thought that they would have to carry that small camera bag. Little did they know that I had a big rucksack that weighed 30 pounds, and not to mention that the camera bag itself weighs about 25 pounds!

Anyways, when our turn came, we had two girls, one smaller built than the other one. Almost exclusively there were no separate porters but the horse keepers were doubling up as porters and my sack was certainly a concern for the petitely built woman who was supposed to carry my load. As an extra porter, I got the horse man for Dr Amrish Gor who had opted to hire just the horse.

After some discussion the extra porter (his name was Sangay) took my backpack and the woman with my horse carried the camera bag (her name was Romma, as we learnt as we started walking and were incessantly getting quizzed about everyone's names as in 'mera naam' or my name - my wife's horse owner was Sesank and our horses' names were Mambu and Khambu respectively). We were urged to ride the horse for a short distance even if to just get acquainted and possibly bond with the horse team). We stayed on for about 10 minutes and got down and continued to walk the rest of the way.

As it turned out, Sangay swapped the rucksack with the camera bag and I retrieved my camera out of the bag since it was nearly impossible to have Sangay stay with us. We had an excellent horse team in Romma and Sesank as they kept entertaining (perhaps themselves more than us with whatever little communication we could accomplish) but mostly staying close to us asking repeatedly if we wanted to ride the horse with the phrase 'Ghoda'?

On the way we continued to see the majestic Kailash - now from the west face - tried to see the faces of Ganesha and other members of the family on the rocky flanks of the mountain. We saw some musk deers along the way.

About half way, we stopped for lunch. Distributed a few of the items like apple, Frooty drink and candies to our porters.

When we reached our home for the night, we had another fantastic Darshan of the north face of Mt Kailash.

Our room was on the second floor with a precarious iron staircase to climb up - defininitely something to watch out at night when we have to venture out on our nature call (forced by the Diamox being consumed on a daily basis to cope with the high altitude).

after a quick partake of popcorn with our tea, we strolled up about 500’ towards the north face to a Tibetan flagpole and power ('Shakti') point. The crisp mountain air and the colorful flags on the mountain with the view of the south face of Kailash was very invigorating. We met a Chinese duo who had just returned from visiting the glacier closer to the mountain. We returned at night and had dinner that was served by the staff right in our room.

Day 10 - Sep 23, 2014 - Zuthulpuk (Tibet)

Day 2 of Parikrama

Dolma Pass - 18585' (the highest point of the trip)

Started early in the morning while it was still dark - although it was stressed that the first part of this leg was very hard ascent upto the height of 18,500', we decided to not use the horse as we started. There was a slow and steady progress and soon we made it to the pass - since we were walking and taking pictures along the way, possibly we were one of the last ones at this point. We found our Chinese guide and the Nepali staff member who were sitting atop. The atmosphere was colorful with the prayer flags and the mantra carved stones. The Tibetans had small paper prayer stack that they threw up in the air like confetti and had food offering that they left as offering to Gods. I chose a spot with a relatively flat stone to perform Shirshasana (the yoga upside-down pose) - and the obligatory photo thereof.

We were urged to leave the spot (because of the high altitude and winds) quickly. We kept going down on a steep descent where we crossed many fellow yatri’s who were being assisted down by staff members as they could not use the horse going down on steep slopes. Some of the seniors were having a rough time as the loose dirt covered path was fairly slippery. After passing the Gauri Kund on our right and reaching about 16,000' level we stopped for lunch.

We continued onwards on a relatively flat path towards the Zuthulpuk base. Along the way we saw the east face of Kailash, albeit just a part of it. I climbed up the flank of the mountain on our left to see if there could be a better view of the face.

We reached the base, got settled and purchased some water for the next day. This camp was a bit more basic but the cabins were reasonably airtight to keep them warm despite the heavy wind.

Had some dinner with Daal, sabji and rice, once again brought to our rooms by the friendly and ever-smiling staff members.

Day 11 - Sep 24, 2014 - Manasarovar (Tibet)

Last day of the Parikrama

Started in the morning and walked for less than 2 hours to reach our pick up point - relatively easy and gradual descent of less than 500' over 6km.

Picked up by bus to the stop at Darchen where the luggage was stored. Had a great lunch of Chhole bhature. Those of us with non-Indian passports proceeded for the excursion to Teerthpuri, which was situated to the west of Manasarovar. It took us about 1.5 hr to get there by bus.

On the way we had a nice viewing of Mt Kailash (yet another day of red carpet of weather rolled out for all of us). Stopped for a brief photo of the 'Nandi' mountain right on the south side of Kailash. We saw a very complete South face and Southwest face of the mountain along with the Ashtapada which is very special for Jain religion.

Teerthpuri is known for the legend of Bhasmasur - the devil who worshipped The Lord Shiva and got a special power that will make him turn anyone into 'bhasma' or ashes, simply by putting his hand on the head of a person. After the indiscriminate misuse of the power, and many failed attempts by many gods to subdue him, Goddess Parvati got him engaged into a classical dance at this spot luring him into a series of steps and mudras. As the tempo of the dance increased, she performed a particular step and its mudra involved putting the her hand on her own head. Bhasmasur was so engrossed in the dance, that he also put his hand on his head and he turned himself into ashes. In a way this would have been one of the first 'selfie' in mythological history!

We took pictures on the ash hill that is supposed to be the remnants of Bhasmasur ashes and collected some as a souvenir.

Then we saw the monastery complete with its outdoor entrance crowned with the golden 'globe' with 2 sitting deers facing inwards, the vestibule with colorful paintings if the circle of life, Padmasambhava or Guru Rimpoche and other frescos typical in Buddist monasteries. The inner sanctum was equally colorful and very serene and soothing giving a sense of powerful meditative force.

We stepped out and walked towards the complex that had stupa's and 12 Jyotirlings (these were natural reddish structures that looked like large ant hills).

Walked down to the spot where there is believed to be a rock form of Parvati who subdued Bhasmasur. At the same spot there was a large rock overhang that housed the tiny room complete with a small kitchen, sleeping quarters, prayer corner. As we peeked inside we saw the Buddhist monk rotating the mani wheel with its Buddhist mantra of 'Om mani pemehu'.

We saw the hot spring as well as some stone carvers who used both the manual implements as well as the electric grinding cutter to carve the lettering a of the same mantra on rohnded river stones about 1' in size. These stones along with many other writings that are strewn in the landscapes across Tibet. These are often accompanied with the prayer flags In a tent formation. It is not unusual to see these flags span big rivers or from mountain peak to mountain peak across valleys.

We returned back to Mansarovar where we settled down in the same place we had stayed before.

Day 12 - Sep 25, 2014 - Tingri (Tibet)

Got up at 5:30 and left by the bus for a long ride at 7:00am. Some of us were headed for the Everest Base Camp and the trip to Tingri was a long one. The bus did not have any heater and everyone was freezing for the first 3-4 hours until the sun came out 8:30am and warmed up everything.

Reached at 7:30pm - multitudes of check points and stops to maintain the speed limit of 40km per hour.

Stayed at the Lhasa Hotel. Cozy rooms.

Dinner of Khichadi and Kadhi.

Day 13 - Sep 26, 2014 - Nyalam (Tibet)

Everest Base Camp day.

Got up at 6am. After the Breakfast of porridge and toast, left for the EBC at 7am. After picking up the permit left on the route to the base camp.

Everest is called Qomolangma in Tibetan language (and Sagarmatha in Nepalese).

There were some clouds in the Tingri valley side but away from the direction of Everest. Reached the base camp motor route head (the so called Tourist Base camp) at 11am. Beautifully clear peak of Everest north face was visible in its full glory. Along the route we also passed Cho Oyu, another majestic 8000er.

Visited Rong Pu Monastery and took pictures including that of doing Shirshasana.

Returned back to Tingri by 3pm. Had lunch of Pav bhaji and started for Nyalam.

Reached Nyalam at 7:15pm and rejoined with the rest of the group who had not joined us for the Everest Base Camp visit.

Day 14 - Sep 27, 2014 - Kathmandu (Tibet)

Got up at 6am with Herbal tea and had quick bf of tea and puri. We had already packed and submitted the duffle bags before sleeping on the previous night.

After a short prayer session, we went to our buses for our ride to the border. Everyone was anxious to leave now that the trip was coming to an end. We left by 7:30am to make sure that we can cross a bridge slated for repair work and hence likely to be closed for traffic. Since this bridge was just before Zhamgmou, it would mean transferring the luggage out of the bus and possibly walk a few km until the Friendship Bridge. The friendship bridge was built originally in 1952 and the new one in 1984 after the old one got washed out.

We reached in good time to the border (around 9:30am) and found ourselves at the end of a big queue stretched upto the narrow street leading upto the bridge. The passing through of the immigration point was slow and chaotic when the process began eventually at 10am. We found all the Nepali kids and porters who had helped us to carry our backpacks upto the bridge on our outbound trip. Most latched on to their previous patrons - our porter Ganesh being one of them and I gave my backpacks (big and the small one carrying my laptop) to him.

After finishing the immigration formalities, our passports were collected by the staff members for stamping by the Nepali authorities and that did not involve us at all.

We were picked to go with the first batch on the helicopter but upon reaching the helipad, opted to go with the smaller chopper giving way to the seniors. Our smaller chopper arrived almost a couple of hours later when the second bus load of passengers also arrived before that. We had a 20 min ride to Kathmandu in the front enabling to indiscriminate but somewhat constrained clicking of the aerial views.

At the hotel, the lunch was waiting. Had a shave/shower and the. Went out to Thamel area for some purchases of sun hats, books, posters and maps.

After the return back to the hotel, there was a session of prayers and thanks for all the staff members - it was very touching with a few words added by various members of the group.

Afterwards we had a wonderful dinner topped with Jalebi’s and Ice cream.

Day 15 - Sep 28, 2014 - Return back to Mumbai

Got up at 6am and packed all our bags. Breakfast and goodbye’s in the common hall designated for the Mansarovar passengers.

Final Words:

We hope that this rather lengthy account is useful for those who are planning to visit Mr Kailash and Manasarovar in future. One of the most significant memories of the trip include the amazing group of fellow travelers who were with us. We felt a real positive alignment and energy despite the diversity of ages (we had from 22 to 72 year olds), backgrounds, careers and nationality (albeit all were of Indian origin). Everyone became a part of the family.

The second point about why this trip became special was the tour organizer. Since Kailash Manasarovar is a spiritual and religious undertaking at a high altitude, the operator not only needs to be well equipped to handle the logistics of the remote Tibetan landscape, but also needs to be well versed in the religious expectations. We are happy to note that Shree Kailash Yatra proved to be a perfect choice for us. Most of the tour organizers mean well and offer a good service, but one needs to anticipate the inevitable surprises due to weather, natural disasters (such as landslides), and health changes (we had a couple of folks who needed to be treated for the altitude sickness like Pulmonary edema and had to be evacuated - luckily, there was a competent doctor as well as oxygen, medications and experience to handle the tricky situation), visibility, etc. We had to deal with a rather nasty landslide in Nepal in August that has ruined many trips and local business people - we were prepared and set up for the helicopter rides to make this possible.

Good luck and Om Namah Shivay to all who wish to visit the "heaven on earth". May the force be with you!
Written 29 October 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Natarajan K
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Friends
Group of 30 members from Sydney undertook Kailash yatra commencing 3 Aug 2014 from Kathmandu with disaster tour operator Eco Trek (Nepal). Members paid elite premium prices US$2900.
http://www.ecotrek.com.np/
Our disaster features are as follows:
• Await pick up at Kathmandu Airport for 2hrs (Reason cited was traffic jam but real reason was waiting for other passenger for bulk pick up in bus. Stingy in allocating proper transport as flights and passengers arrived.
• Pasupathi Nath temple visit required guidance/ explanation on this World heritage site. No explanation and an unprofessional tour conduct.
• Boudhnath was in our itenary but Eco Trek never took us and sited traffic jam.
• Water bottles were meant to be provided through out the tour contractually but never provided in Nepal to Saga.
• Suffered long wait in Buses in Dhulikhel on the way to Helipad without explanation, followed by long standing and waiting in the helipad. Heli was not successfully or professionally arranged. Members had to return dejected only to be followed by a long wait in the bus challenged by hot, humid weather and huge mosquitos. We were meant to be accommodated in a hotel just 1 km away but EcoTrek made us wait for 3 hrs, again for bulk transport of the Australian cattle team.
• Accommodation by Eco trek in Hotel Ravine Sunrise Dhulikel was a disgrace and meant for prisoners of serious crimes.
• Goof up in obtaining Chinese permits for some Kailash tourists.
• Long wait again in a bulk Bus after crossing the Friendship bridge without food and water. No explanation whatsoever and No soul to communicate. We were meant to be moved in teams in Four wheel drives from Kodari to Nyalam and beyond. The only person travelled in Four wheel drive was arranged in isolation for the AU agent Mrs Shalini Patel who had NO or little interaction with other tourists. How ethical was the conduct of the Group leader?
• Accommodation in Nyalam was seventh world accommodation six in one room with just 2 common public toilets, No Nerve Gas mask could stop the toilet stench. Members began to fall sick here onwards due to this disaster facility. Instead of pleasant attached baths as promised, team had to seek external services for hot water shower at 40 Yuan, a total disrespect for premium fee paying tourists.
• Accomodation again in Saga. 4 in 1 rooms, with NO space. 1 bed meant for two laid on the floor with half of the bed slanted on the vertical wall, incomprehensible thought. No hot water available when required. Leaky bathrooms/ washbasins, rodents on rampage in some rooms. Disgusts galore.
• Poor accommodation and services continued at Mansarover, Darchen and others. One day delayed start was then compromised by deleting a day’s stay in Mansarover on return, which the tourists resented.
• Gross over charges for Pony services. Tourists were forced to hire for all three days even if not required. While there was an option for short term pony on Day 2 of the parikrama, this was never informed to tourists but were availed by few free travelling elites, associates of the AU agent and friends of EcoTrek. Discrimination personified.
• No receipts or few were issued by Eco Trek despite several reminders.
• A side trip to Muktinath for six members was also poorly arranged that we went half way to Pokhara, returned without going to Muktinath as we were told there were No flights or Heli. The next day, Eco Trek staff clandestinely discriminated some members and arranged a heli just for the few while ditching others. How ethical can this be?

In Summary, a sincere advice to fun loving travelling fans is KEEP AWAY from ECO TREK (NEPAL) and its Australian agent Mrs Shalini Patel. One need not let ourselves to be exploited just because, wetend to forgive on a fulfilment achieved such as the completion of a yatra of this nature. In my view, this does not affect the Punyam/ Papam balance of any individual. They all stay as it is. This balance is an outcome ofhow good the human being is in all spheres of life.
Written 27 October 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MarkSmith100
Kathmandu, Nepal3 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Couples
Mt Kailash is a unique and awe inspiring travel location, and it is a spiritual once in a lifetime experience to stand beneath it. Unfortunately Kathmandu based travel agents are taking advantage of people's religious faith to profit at the expense of guests who are being not only deceived regarding what they are paying for, but are put in hazardous situations and offered a bare minimum service.

We signed up for a tour with Samrat Travels in Kathmandu and can share the following appalling experiences:
- We signed up for a tour of 20-25, yet after paying the final installment were told there would be 68 people.
-The Nepali staff worked extremely hard, yet we were grossly understaffed for the number of people they were serving, and were ill equipped to cope with the large number of illnesses amongst guests at this hazardous high altitude location. There was nobody trained in primary medicine, and inadequate equipment (no Gamow bag, insufficient oxygen)
-Accommodation on the way was far below the standard we had set out to expect. Guests were packed in up to 8 to a room, food was served in unhygienic conditions on the roadside. No running water. Shared toilet facilities were filthy and abominable.
-We were unable to complete the parikrama due to the group being understaffed. This was the main reason we had come on the trip. We were told many lies at first (snow on the pass, police stopping Indians), yet when we saw many other groups setting off for the pass we realized the real reason. We were flatly refused any partial refund even though this was due to no fault of our own.
-Tibetan guides were aggressive and rude to all the guests and told the Nepali guide that they will leave the guests who decides to complete the Parikrama. Their attitude towards the guest was appalling and had no respect.
- guest were brought back to Nylam a day early, but the Nepali/Tibetan staff refused to organize any tour/day walk for the guest. Guests were left in a very gloomy hotel to spend a day. Some of the guests decided to come back to Nepal a day early as a result. Guests had to pay for visa cancellation and transport back to Kathmandu themselves.
-When we met with the manager, Mr. Rajaram Tiwari, he informed that the parikrama is only done in ideal circumstances, (e.g. no sick members of the team, perfect weather with no snow, supportive attitude of Tibetan guides). For all our grievances, he refused to take any responsibility and blamed everything on the Chinese authorities.
Written 9 June 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alan
Dublin, Ireland1,056 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2016 • Friends
We recently did the 3-day kora (pilgrimage) around Mt Kailash. All along, we were worried incase we physically wouldn't be able to deal with it or the altitude as we'd read many stories, particularly about Indian pilgrims who weren't able to manage....we've since seen the reason for that 😂

The walk was actually alot easier than we had thought.

Day 1 was 20km and a lovely very gradual incline to the first guesthouse. It took around 6-8hr. Scenery is stunning so remember to keep the camera handy.

Day 2 we got up before dawn and started walking at around 6.30am....the light of the moon was amazing. We did 22km that day and reached 5600m at Domola Pass. It was much tougher but a very doable walk. Be prepared for around -8C, it's very cold!!!!! We completed that day in just under 8hr.

Day 3 was an easy 16-18km walk back to Darchen. It took maybe 4-5hr.

Advice:

1. Do a little exercise regularly in advance of the trip, it'll make a difference. If I can complete the kora, anyone can!

2. Take your altitude medication, either Diamox or Dexamethasone - it's an absolute lifesaver!!! One couple in our group had to abort on day 2 due to altitude sickness. The bizarre thing is, they had the medication with them but refused to take it!!!

3. Slow and steady wins the race. No need to hurry, it's not a race!!!

4. Drink lots of water ~3L/day & eat small regular meals. We found having a constant supply of snacks was a great help.

5. Bring lots of snacks as food choices are simple in the guesthouses. Teahouses on the way tend to sell pot noodles only. They are actually ok but you get tired of them. I also brought a supply of tea and coffee from home as I got tired of the teas etc on the trek.

6. Toilet facilities are absolutely horrendous, and communal, so if you're like me, performance anxiety becomes an issue. You might need to bring fibre pills from home and laxatives. A godsend! The shocking diet the Tibetans have doesn't suit my western bowel haha.

7. UV is intense. Lather on the SPF even if cloudy and wear a hat!

8. Buy multiple camera batteries/phone batteries as electricity is not guaranteed in the guesthouses. I had 3 camera batteries but only needed to use two.

9. Hire a porter!!! Cost is ¥210/day (plus tip). Best €€ we spent. Porter will carry around 8-9kg. We bounced along carrying around 3-4kg while the others in our group strained under 10kg.

Written 26 September 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Arun Bhagat
Dombivli, India1,078 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2018 • Friends
The word "MOUNT KAILAS" itself is enough to describe all,... what more should I say about... Still this is an attempt to put it forward in my own words...

As my title says it's really an ultimate destination or a last destination... I traveled to Kailas Mansarovar as a regular Hindu Pilgrim. It's said the one has to be fortunate to take this yatra and yes, I am the one... The first darshan of Kailas gives you the Exceptional Divine Feeling. The more you go closer more you will be attracted and surrender yourself to this divine power which attracts you more towards it... The place is worshiped by Hindus, Jain, Buddhists and Tibetans for their own religious reasons...

We traveled with a private tour operator who did the excellent job. Our route was Mumbai - Lucknow - Nepalgunj - Simikot (3000 Mtrs) - Hilsa (3800 Mtrs) - Purang (4250 Mtrs) - Darchen (4700 Mtrs) - Deraphuk (4890 Mtrs) - Zuthulpukh (4750 Mtrs) - Darchen - Mansarovar (4580 Mtrs)- Hilsa - Simikot - Nepalgunj - Lucknow - Mumbai.

The Kailas Parikrama starts from Darchen, from where you reach to Yama Dwar by bus / car and start walking or a horse ride from here onwards for 12 Kms. You can see the North Face of Mount Kailas the most closely from this point. The Parikrama is scheduled for 3 days and your first stop is Deraphuk. Few years back there were no stay facilities available and pilgrims / tourists had to spent nights in the makeshift tents but fortunately for the last few years a simple guest house have been built so that one can spend a night peacefully. The rooms are simple but clean and with good warm linen. No TOILET facilities are available or are very basic in nature hence be prepared to get it done in OPEN. I suggest to carry enough toilet tissues and wet tissues along.
Fortunately, I nearby to our Guest House, could see some construction work going on, learnt to be, of a luxury hotel. Surprisingly I could see people talking on Mobile Phones even during Parikrama which is much in the interior and remote area of Tibet with almost no human in habitations in and around. The climate is highly unpredictable here with the extreme frequently changing climate with very low oxygen levels.

The next day parikrama is the hectic and tiring one; where one has to travel for next 28 Kms to reach Zhuthulphuk. Enroute you climb (ascend) 7 Kms to reach the highest peak of Parikrama and reach Dolma-La pass (5670 Mtrs) then you start descend for 9 Kms and pass through a beautiful Gauri Kund. After descend its 12 Kms straight walk to reach Zuthulphuk. Third day is the easiest one with merely 6 to 7 Kms of easy way. After reaching at certain.point you can travel back to Darchen by a bus or car an complete the Kailas Parikrama...

If one has to experience Kailas then he / she has to take up the yatra at least once to feel it closely... For me, I feel I should visit the place again to go further closer to this divine power...

Some dos and don'ts to be followed...

1. In case you wish to book the Yatra; check the itinerary properly. Ensure the operator has spare reserve days included and also has enough stays for acclimatization at each place before you start Kailas Parikrama. I believe one needs min 1 night in Simikot (3000 Mtrs) and 2 Nights in Purang (3800 Mtrs) and 1 night in Darchen (4750 Mtrs). Also check whether personal tour manager accompanies the tour else most of the operators take your booking and hand you over to Nepal tour operators upon reaching Nepalgunj or Kathmandu. Our operator was with us right from start to end point and ensured that we faced minimum or no difficulties. We had stranded in Simikot for 4 days due to bad weather as no flights were operating; already we had 2 spare days in itinerary but due to 2 extra days at Simikot we missed our Mumbai Lucknow flight but still our operator managed it well and rebooked our tickets. His personal touch with Tibetan Guides and Legend Officer ensured the best priority services for us.

2. Seriously follow all instructions of your Tour Manager / Sherpas. You are in a different country which is really not very friendly with Foreign Tourists.

3. Ensure you do not have any photo / write up related to "Dalai Lama". At Nepal Tibet Border personally check your mobile phone, tablets, cameras and laptops. If they find any materials related to Dalai Lama, you or entire group may be refused the entry in TIBET (CHINA). Better format your mobile phone and clean Your WhatsApp Media after backing up. Be patient with all formalities rather make up your mind and go there to be ill treated as the immigration / custom officers test your patience during immigration formalities.

4. Clothing : Firstly do not overload your luggage. You are allowed to carry only 10 Kgs in a small flight and helicopter. But carry enough warm clothes. Min 2 Body Warmer Sets, Sweaters, some T Shirts, Jackets, Pull overs, Socks and Hand Gloves and a monkey cap. Carry scarf to cover your mouth and neck. I bought the one at Purang which was made of thin cloth and hence was comfortable for breathing while mouth and nose were covered.

5. Do not bath once you leave Kathmandu or Nepalgunj till the time your reach back (on return journey) to these places. Bathing at higher altitude may cause you the health issues. We experienced this as 3 persons from our group did not follow this instruction of your manager and 2 of them fell sick with high fever and cold. You get a chance to bath / take a dip (?) at Mansarovar. Do not spend much time in cold water. Just a single dip or take little water for bath and then immediately dry yourself with towels and wear your set of clothes.

6. Start taking Diamox 250 right from Simikot. In fact our manager personally ensured that each one of us had the tablet every evening.

7. Eat your food on time to time. At high altitude most of the times people do not eat their lunch and dinner or eat less... This brings your energy level down. Carry some extra dry snacks / laddus, chocolates and small packs of mixed dry fruits which will work as supplement. Take Rest at each destination this will help you retaining your energy levels.

8. Do not forget to carry Tissue Papers (small pouches to keep in hand bag), wet tissue paper packs and most importantly TOILET TISSUE ROLLS... In Deraphuk, Zuthulphuk and Mansarovar either toilets are not available or the conditions are very worst. I found tissue papers very handy at these places. Carry a torch - it's very useful in the above mentioned 3 places.

9. The parikrama is much easier now a days compared to the situation few years ago. Some people may try to scare you with the stories of difficulties but those were earlier days. Now it's much easier. But at the same time don't be over confident. If you follow proper instructions and diets all will be well and smooth.

10. Last but not least... If you wish to stay connected with your family and beloved ones I suggest to get your phone International Roaming enabled.... In entire Tibet you have a great connectivity and signal strength including the parikrama route. In case you wish to use WiFi at Purang / Darchen hotels getting WiFi connection is the biggest issue and the hotel people won't entertain any request; in this situation install Turbo VPN app - it works and pulls extra bandwidth from WiFi for your Mobile phone.

To conclude it was a super experience for me and would really love to do the Yatra again...
Written 13 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ravi Prasad S
Bengaluru, India4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2014 • Friends
With our group I completed Kailash yatra through Shankar treks, Bangalore. They have taken care so well and entire team enjoyed and experienced the presence of Divine. Don't miss it.
Written 10 December 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mridul G
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India76 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2016 • Family
Just got back from the yatra to kailash mansarovar. I did the yatra with a delhi based private tour operator.

I am not reviewing Mount Kailash, because this is beyond ones limit and I am not qualified enough to dare to review the holy Kailash parvat. I am sharing my experience of the whole trip.

Our tour operator took the Nepalgunj - Simikot - Hilsa - Taklakot (Purang) - Mansarovar route to reach Darchen (A town just in laps of the Holy Kailash Mountain). The problem is that we got very little time to acclimatize. We stayed in Simikot (1 Night), 1 night Taklakot (purang), 1 night Mansarovar lake, and 1 Night in Darchen which according to my opinion is very very less. If you wish to take the 3 days parikrama, I would seriously recommend to stay at these places for at least 2 nights each to acclimatize properly. Without it, you wont be able to make it or you may get sick on the way, which will spoil the whole trip. My Parent, both in their mid 50's got sick because of the sudden change in altitude.

More people in the group, regardless of age had the same problem. And keep in mind that there are absolutely no medical facilities at Mansarovar Lake. In Darchen, hospital opens at 10 am morning and closes at 6 PM. So if you get sick, there's a little medical help available, plus the language barrier.

Some tips for travellers of all age group…

Get your thorough CHECKUP done from family doctor or a good physician, DO NOT go if your doc don’t allow.

(1) Start taking Dimox tablets 2 days before starting the trip, this is a magical pill and would help to acclimatize with changing altitude. You will reach more than 15000 feets in Darchen (Yama doaar)

(2) Carry Torch and extra batteries, there is power problem at lake mansarovar.

(3) Carry all your medication, emergency medication along, there’s a very little chance you will get help on the way, if you are taking a group tour, the group would not wait for you.

(4) Most important: CARRY you OWN portable oxygen cylinders (price 25-40 Yuan), carry at least 2 per person, you may get in Purang (Taklakot) upon entering China . If you feel breathless, DO NOT test yourself (even if you are a fitness athlete), take 2-3 puffs and you will feel better.

(5) Toilet Paper: If you are staying at Mansarovar Lake, you’ll have to spend a night in a mud-house, the toilers are dirty and stinky. So, carry 2 rolls of toilet paper.

(6) Take small packets of snacks, biscuits, namkeens, chocolates, glucose, toffees, dry fruits for instant energy.

(7) DO NOT carry too much luggage, it’ll become a headache for you, 1 Kg at your home will feel 10 kgs at Darchen. Oxygen level is so low, that you will loose your stamina quickly. In my 8 days trip, I just had the opportunity to bathe 4 times. So no need to carry everyday new clothes. Max weight that you must carry is 10 kgs (including one small backpack)

(8) Stay hydrated all the time, drink small sips of water all the way, try consuming 3-4 liters everyday. If you are dehydrated, altitude sickness can happen.

(9) The best solution for altitude sickness is to get down asap. If you feel really sick. Try loosing 500 – 1000 fts.

(10) If you are taking a private tour operator, who provide winter Jackets, DO not depend on those, carry your own jacket as well, carry Inners sets 2 pairs at least, windcheater, Monkey Caps, gloves, more as per individual needs.

I hope these points must help a lot of people. Stay hydrated, stay healthy, stay safe, and I wish you all the very best for the Holy Kailash Yatra.
Written 30 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelLikeaMartian
New York City, NY173 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016
I have written another review on our experience with the kailash tour but forgot to mention - this is specially for ppl traveling from india. You may think you have done a lot of yatras but kailash is very difficult mainly coz of its altitude and thin air. Indians are not used to this. Our group all the older folks refused to book horses when asked at the middle of the tour / when they got to the mountain half of them were already not feeling well - the others then wanted horses but could not get - coz you cannot get a horse over there - need to book before. So only 3 ppl landed up doing the parikrama out of 40. My suggestion pay the money and book a horse. Ask the horse to walk with you if you don't want to sit and want to do the Yatra on foot - but if you need it you have it. Not the place to save money. You have already spent a lot more to get there - remember.
Written 11 August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 166
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Mount Kailash, Burang County

FlightsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars