Mount Kailash is the holiest peak in South Asia, which attracts thousands of followers every year. This 22,000 feet high peak in the Kailash Range is in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The spirit of sanctity, this mountain denotes a lotus and is near the source of several of the longest rivers, which are – Karnali, Indus, Sutlej, and Brahmaputra River. The mountain is known as ‘Kang Rinpoche’ among the locals and is holy to the supporters of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Bon religions. There are five Buddhist temples situated around this holy mountain, each of which is covered with centuries of magic and mystery. At the foot of the holy Mount Kailash is the Lake Manasarovar, which is situated merely 15 miles away from Mt. Kailash and is another imperative spot for visitors who wish to wash their past sins by taking a dip in its primeval waters.
Other than Lake Manasarovar, some other attractions of the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra are – Yam Dwar, Tirthapuri, Asthapad, Gauri Kund, and Tarboche. All these major attractions are covered along with the yatra.
The incomparable natural beauty of this untouched area makes the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra one of the most incredible pilgrimages through Tibet’s rural areas. Surrounded by the devout virtue and great beliefs of numerous religions, the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is one of the holiest pilgrimages, which takes travelers to the admired place of Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. Every year thousands of pilgrims go on this trip towards the sanctified lands, with zeal for the unconventional virtue of faith and belief that they can wash off their past sins.
The holy Mount Kailash is believed to be the universe’s center. Supporters of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Bon religion have faith in the primary belief that the Mount Kailash pilgrimage washes off their sins and provides them with a chance of going through a heavenly intrusion.
The Hinduism religion believes that Lord Shiva lived at the top of the Mount Kailash, where he meditated along with his wife Parvati. Moreover, the mountain is said to be the earth’s pillar. According to Jainism, Rishabh deva, the first Jain Tirthankara got moksha at Ashtapada, which is the peak next to Mount Kailash. Furthermore, it is assumed that after Rishabhdeva got moksha, his son king Bharata Chakravartin built three stupas and memorials of the twenty-four Tirthankaras. Meanwhile, Buddhists consider that Kailash Parvat is the place of the Cakrasaṃvara, who signifies ultimate pleasure. There are copious places in the area linked with Padmasambhava, whose tantric activities in the holy places around Tibet are believed to have ultimately established Buddhism as the chief religion of the nation. Furthermore, Bon religion believes that the complete spiritual Kailash region is the axis mundi.
The top of the Kailash Mountain is nearly always swathed in the clouds, and the local people believe that anyone who is able to see the top clearly will be extremely lucky. For many years now, the mountain has been an appealing location for visitors and numerous travelers have trekked to the region in order to explore this divine site. Nevertheless, so far, no one has been able to reach to the top.
There are a lot of secrecies and questions surrounding the majestic Mount Kailash. One such mystery is – why Mount Kailash is still unclimbed now. A lot of climbers have tried to reach the top of this mountain but without any success. The people who have tried climbing this mountain have stated that the mountain changes its position, which is believed to be the chief reason because of which the climbers are not able to climb the magnificent peak.
Lake Manasarovar is one more place in Tibet that draws pilgrims from all over the world, and from various religions. The lake is Tibet’s sacred lake and is also believed to be the highest freshwater lake in the whole world. The lake is situated in far western Tibet and is very near to the holy peak of Kailash. Bordered by the huge Himalayan peaks to the south, the Manasarovar Lake is a chief pilgrimage destination for people of various religions.
Just as with the Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar also has many beliefs associated with it. According to Buddhist’s religion, Lake Manasarovar is linked with the renowned lake Anavatapta, where Maya, (Buddha’s mother) is supposed to have conceived Buddha. It is also believed that Buddha meditated near the Manasarovar Lake on numerous instances. Meanwhile, the Hindus believe that the Lake was first of all made in the mind of Lord Brahma because of which it got the name ‘Manasarovar’. The word ‘Manasarovar’ comes from the two roots – ‘manas’ and ‘sarovar’, meaning ‘mind’ and ‘lake’ respectively in the Sanskrit language, and stands for the ‘lake of mind’. In the Hindu religion, it is also believed that Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva used to bath in this Lake and hence divulged the mystic power to the lake’s water. According to Hinduism, bathing in the Manasarovar and drinking its water is said to wash off all sins. According to Jainism, Rishabhadeva, the first Jain Tirthankara got moksha at Ashtapada mountain. Meanwhile, the Bon religion is also linked with the sacred abode of Zhang Zhung Meri holy divinity. When Tonpa Shenrab, the Bon religion’s creator went to Tibet he washed in the lake.
Surrounded by snow-capped mountains the sight of the Manasarovar Lake is extremely alluring. With its crystal-clear water, the lake has extraordinary beauty, which changes from a clear blue colour near the shores to a deep emerald green colour at the center. There are some monasteries on the coast of the lake. The best time to visit the lake is during springs, because during this season the lake melts, which lets the people bathe in its divine water. It is assumed that bathing and drinking this water brings good luck and washes off all the previous sins.
Lake Manasarovar is known for its rare glory and has a stunning appearance, which attracts many tourists every year.
Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is recognized for its spiritual value, cultural importance, scenic splendor, and exciting nature. The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is one of the most difficult and exciting treks for the travelers. This route covers endless sections of lush green valleys, unfertile land, snow-covered mountains, and untouched blue lakes. This journey is an undeniably an experience of a lifetime.
After the challenging trek that takes people to the Mount Kailash, travelers are then needed to travel around the Mount Kailash. This walking around in clockwise or anti-clockwise direction is called parikrama. The Yatra includes the parikrama of the Mt. Kailash, and a lot of travelers do this parikrama. This divine ritual of parikrama is said to bring good fortune, and support them to achieve awakening. It is said that anyone who does the parikrama will be able to wash off the previous sins, and the ones who complete 13 parikramas will experience awakening within their lifespan. Moreover, it is believed that the one who completes 108 parikramas will achieve instantaneous awakening. The Kailash trek is 52 kilometers long and the starts from Darchen village, which is at an elevation of 4680 meters. The majority of the people take 3 days to complete one parikrama.
Different religions have diverse views regarding the parikrama of Mt. Kailash. While the Buddhist and Hindu followers walk clockwise for completing the parikrama, the Jain and Bon followers walk anti-clockwise for completing the parikrama.
The length for the Kailash parikrama is around 56km, which is completed in 3 days. The landscape for this journey is fairly perilous and rough. In order to complete this yatra, the travelers are required to be physically fit and get over their altitude sickness. In remote parts of Tibet, travelers must be prepared to get poor lodging, food and other services of the local facility, which is nothing in comparison with the services provided in Lhasa, Saga, Taklakot or Kerung.
The food and accommodation available are of extremely basic quality. The guesthouses and small inns are available at remote places and provide only basic dorm beds. Owing to the harsh geography environments, these places usually lack water and electricity. There is no availability of fresh meat or vegetables locally and if it is available, the prices are quite high. Therefore, it is always a great idea to get your own food while going on this yatra. Even though Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is a long and stimulating yatra, it is still worth a visit.
Benefits of Kailash Manasarovar Yatra
Believed to be one of the most stunning peaks in China, Kailash is a heavenly mountain, with around four even sides, its snow-covered peak gleaming white in the sunshine. Surrounded by the spiritual asset and divine philosophy of several religions, the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is considered to be one of the most holy pilgrimages that takes devotees to the illustrious place of Mount Kailash as well as Lake Manasarovar.
Hindus visit the Kailash Manasarovar with the belief that this tour will wash away all their past sins and they will go to the heavens, upon death. The trek to the Mount Kailash is believed to be the pathway to final salvation by the people of several religion. Moreover, the devotees when return from the Kailash Manasarovar tour, they find their nails and hair grown by a few millimeters. The devotees have found that the air of this peak amps increases ageing. The exquisiteness of the snow-covered peaks and its religious significance make Kailash Manasarovar Yatra an extremely divine journey where one can achieve Nirvana. People of diverse religions take part in this holy trek, which is a mix of devotion, adventure, faith and belief. Taking the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra tour is a great experience for people of all ages as it is symbol of an exclusive blend signified by cultural connotation, spiritual values, mythical prominence and wonderful beauty.
Anyone in the age group of 18 – 70 years is eligible to apply for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra. Those who hold foreign nationalities are also eligible, however the cost varies. The individuals who are below 60 years of age are only eligible for the Kailash parikrama.
However, just being eligible for the yatra is not enough. There are some other factors (physical, mental, economical), which you should consider before finalizing your yatra. The fact is the yatra although spiritually satisfying can be hard on the pockets. Therefore, it is important that you consider your economic situation before planning this yatra. In addition, as the yatra is extremely challenging, it is very important that you be in the best state of health – both physically and mentally, before you think about the yatra.
Best Time to go for Kailash Manasarovar Yatra
Owing to the remoteness and dangerously high altitude of the Mount Kailash area, the place can merely be visited safely during a particular time of year. Winter is not suitable to trek to Mt. Kailash, as, during this time, the passes from India into Tibet are usually blocked. Owing to the great chance of heavy snow and cold temperatures, there would be no trekking around Mount Kailash other than when it is a trekking season.
Preferably, the best time for the Yatra is from mid-May to October. During these months, the climatic conditions are ideal for the extended treks across the highland. Most of the devotees travel to the area during this time. During the month of May-October, the weather conditions are close to normal, therefore, you would be able to see an astonishing backdrop of the Tibetan background. This time is the best for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra as during this time, the climate is significantly unchanging and the visibility is at its best. Nevertheless, if you are planning to take the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, do keep in mind that the temperatures can change extensively, which can result in extremely cold nights.
How to prepare for Kailash Yatra
The preparations for the Kailash Yatra start much before the actual physical journey. The journey to the Mount Kailash is extremely mystical; therefore, the preparation for the tour itself is like a journey. But, don’t worry the below guidelines and tips will prepare you about the journey ahead.
Do not have any expectations
Frequently devotees go with the mindset that they will get to see miracles or visions while on the Kailash trip. However, this is not always the case. Not everyone who takes this tour gets to see visions or experiences something different, and there are huge chances that the magic would be for a specific soul and not for you. So, don’t keep your expectations high and go with an open mind.
Eat soul food
While on this trip, try to adopt a new lifestyle and follow all the set rules. It is imperative to refrain from eating meat. Consume fruits and vegetables, which have been exposed to the sun. Avoid alcohol, smoke and drugs.
Stay away from negative energies
Keep your thoughts clean and pure. Stay away from negative thoughts like – hatred judgment, greed, anger, etc. and engage in spiritual behavior.
You should also indulge yourself in certain spiritual practice for some days before the start of the journey; this will ensure that when you engage in some spiritual practice on your trip you connect immediately and don’t do it mechanically.
The parikrama around Mount Kailash is extremely difficult and requires you to walk a lot. Therefore, in order to prepare your body for the trek ahead, it is better to start some form of exercise at least two-three months before taking the tour.
In the majority of the places on the trip, there are no proper toilets. However, you will usually find toilets in the hotels. During the parikrama, you will not find any built toilets. Therefore, don’t forget to carry hand sanitizers and some toilet rolls along you.
Keep yourself light
Make it a point to carry just the essential things, which are actually necessary during the journey. As it is a difficult trek, it is advisable to carry only the essential items and keep oneself light.
Altitude sickness can hit anyone; therefore, devotees should be extremely cautious about it. It can even be deadly. Therefore, make it a point to listen to your tour guide and follows directions. Take slow walks and be calm. You should not lie down immediately after reaching a higher destination. However, make it a point to walk slowly in order to accustom yourself to the increased height. As soon as you feel a dull headache make sure to alert your tour guide. Also, make it a point to drink lots of water.
Make it a point to keep a good pair of waterproof shoes along with warm clothes and a waterproof winter jacket. Also, make it a point to carry appropriate medications for – altitude sickness, pain, blood pressure vomiting, fever, etc. With this, make sure to carry some extra Chinese currency; sunglasses; torch; dry fruits and snacks; toiletries and hot water bottle.
Before finalizing your plan for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, make sure that you are holding a valid passport. Passport is an important document that would be required for the yatra.
Before the trip, make it a point to take a proper insurance policy, which covers Indians, specially created for Kailash pilgrimage.
However, no matter how much you prepare yourself for the Kailash Yatra, the fact is that no amount of preparation can prepare you for the yatra, as it is extremely unpredictable. Therefore, don’t go with a preset mindset and just go with the flow.
Consult your Doctor to evaluate the state of your health. With the personal prescriptions by your doctor, a First Aid Kit is crucial for the travel. Ask your physician to prescribe efficient medicines for some common ailments.
Also, make it a point to carry glucose-based items for energy. Moreover, on the trip, you would be required to take multi vitamins and vitamin-C tablets daily.
Major obstacles and Health pre-caution
While on the yatra, you will also pass the dolma la pass, which is the highest altitude of the yatra. The high altitude makes the pass extremely difficult to cross. Also, here, weather can change any time, and this fickleness of weather makes the trek all the riskier. The pass can be extremely difficult to cross if the weather is not good. It is suggested to not stay here for long, as the air here is extremely thin.
Moreover, it is a well-non fact that oxygen is less at higher altitudes. The extreme weather and high altitude result in some kinds of illness usually not common in the plains. These illnesses are common to all regardless of age, sex and physical fitness. In order to avoid this kind of discomfort, one should try to adjust gradually in this new condition. The best thing to do in such situations is explained in the below guideline.
- Keep your luggage light.
- Keep smiling.
- Take proper rest.
- Avoid taking pain killers and tranquilizers
- Avoid arguments and negative emotions.
- Do not exert yourself and keep a positive attitude.
- Talk less in order to save energy
- Walk slowly.
- Whenever you feel uncomfortable, just stop.
- Stay away from smoking, alcohol and drugs.
- Drink lots of water.
- Never leave the group.
- Chant a prayer or listen to your favorite chanting, music, bhajans, etc.
- Make sure to wear protective clothing
- Always concentrate on the road ahead
- Always listen to your guide.
Getting to Mount Kailash
All foreign travelers traveling to Mt Kailash are required to be on an organized tour, which comprises numerous travel permits, a tour guide, a private vehicle, and a driver. There is no possibility to travel to Mt Kailash on your own, without being on an organized tour. The Kailash Manasarovar Tour can only be arranged through a travel agency.
It is advisable to get in touch with a travel agency at least 8 weeks prior to the date want to travel so that there is sufficient time to arrange your journey. It should be noted that group travel is not prerequisite in Tibet; still, being part of a small group will lower your costs as you can share the costs of the services. However, traveling solo or with friends/friends will mean that you would be able to go for a private tour where you can modify your travel route, something that is not possible while traveling in a group.
For assistance on planning a tour to Kailash Manasarovar, please contact Pavitra Kailash Yatra.
Before planning the Kailash trip, it is important to understand that Tibet is a remote, high elevation section of the Himalayas. The place is not a luxury travel destination, which is something that makes it pure and different.
Although Lhasa has several good 3 and 4-star hotels, still sometimes they cannot be as good as the hotels in other parts of the world. Outside Lhasa, hotels are usually extremely plain and in certain parts, there are just some very simple inns providing shared bathrooms with no facility of hot water. This is because, at such high altitudes, hotels are not easy to maintain.
Once you reach outside Lhasa, you will find extremely simple restaurants, which are of Tibetan style. These eateries provide a combination of both Tibetan and Chinese meals, whereas other eateries would offer certain Indian or Nepali dishes. The offered food typically comprises noodles, fried rice, momos, vegetable dishes, curry, potato dishes, etc. The quality of food served in these eateries is usually good and hygienic. Owing to the isolated sites of these eateries, the prices of food are higher when compared to that in Lhasa and in other parts of China. However, on the Kailash trek, you will get only basic vegetable dishes, vegetable noodles, and vegetable fried rice. It is not usually possible to get meat dishes along the Kailash trek.
As the Kailash Trek takes merely 3 days and there are basic eateries all around the mountain, there is no need to carry a lot of stuff. For this trek, you should carry only a basic backpack with things like – a sleeping bag, some water, snacks, toiletries, and some extra clothing. In case you need a porter or yak, you need to inform your guide beforehand.
The yatra is open for people between the age of 18 and 70 years. The travelers need to be of good physical condition and are required to carry their medicines along with them. If during the travel they are deemed unfit to travel, they are barred from carrying out the parikrama.
From Lhasa to Kailash
You can reach the Mount Kailash through various ways. However, the most common way is to travel by land from Lhasa to Mount Kailash. The roads for this route are good, therefore, one can use this route.
From Kathmandu to Kailash
One other way to reach the Mount Kailash is through the land from Kathmandu, via border crossing in Kyirong. This route is known as by Road.
From Simikot to Kailash
One other way to reach the Mount Kailash is through the small village of Simikot. This route is by Helicopter.
Other than the Manasarovar Lake, travelers are also probable to come across certain other extremely stunning and exceptional places, which are –
The Pashupatinath Temple is a well-known and holy Hindu temple, which is situated on the banks of the Bagmati River. This temple is said to be the oldest Hindu Temple located in Kathmandu. The temple is one of the Kathmandu 8 UNESCO Cultural Heritage sites and is seen as the most conspicuous cremation place for carrying out the last rites of the Hindus.
Gauri Kund, also known as Lake of Compassion, is a blue pond which can be visited on the way when going down from Dolma – during the Kailash yatra. The people believe that splashing the water from this kund on the head purifies the body.
Tirthapuri is also seen as a significant Buddhist pilgrimage site in western Tibet. Located at the northwest of Mt.Kailash, Tirthapuri is well-known for its holy hot springs. Usually, after the conclusion of the Mt.Kailash kora, travelers come here, bathe in the hot spring pools, and then proceed towards the Tirthapuri monastery.
The Rakshas Tal is a lake, which lies in the west of Lake Manasarovar. According to In Buddhism, Lake Manasarovar, which is of the shape of the sun, is regarded as “brightness”, while the Rakshastal, which is of the shape of a crescent, is regarded as “darkness”. Although the Rakshas Tal is extremely close to Lake Manasarovar, still unlike Lake Manasarovar it has salty water, and has no aquatic life; also, the lake is believed to be poisonous.
Yam Dwar is located in Tibet, and is known as “the gateway of the God of Death”. It is the place from where the parikrama of the Mount Kailash starts.
Ashtapad is the place where Rishabhadev, the first Jain Tirthankara achieved moksha.
Plan Kailash Manasarovar Yatra
Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is more than the Kailash Parvat and the Manasarovar Lake, as in this journey you will get to experience various other pilgrimage places and astonishing wonders.
Therefore, undertake this mystical journey to revive yourself within the captivating sceneries of the Himalayan ranges. The trip starts from the wonderful city of Kathmandu from where you will get to visit numerous places of religious significance. These stunning places offer a heavenly as well as a holy haven from the routine of daily life. With our tour packages by helicopter from Lucknow and Kathmandu, and by road from Kyirong, as well as Yatra via Lhasa Tibet board on the holy Kailash Manasarovar Yatra to visit the place of Lord Shiva and was off all your past sins.
If you are planning to undertake the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, book your packages with Pavitra Kailash Yatra at the best price. Contact us to have the best experience of your lifetime.