A surreal phenomenon. A majestic epiphany. A staggering revelation- Mount Kailash is not a destination, it’s a journey- a journey beyond all form of human imagination that takes you to an elevation of 21,788 feet, and changes your life forever. Conquering formidable peaks, walking along arduous terrains, a sense of isolation envelopes you on more instances than one during this expedition. Overcoming this emotional upheaval while being constantly challenged physically, you return home a winner beaming with invincibility. An evolution so palpable, the story of this metamorphosis is going to be the stuff of bestsellers.
The abode of Lord Shiva for Hindus, home of Buddha Demchok according to Buddhists, the spiritual seat of power per Bon followers, and the place where Rishabhadeva, the creator of Jain religion attained Nirvana- Mount Kailash is a hero of mythological legends and an ultimate spiritual destination. While thousands of pilgrims attempt this cathartic journey, only the ones truly driven are able to complete it successfully. And if you are reading about it so intently, we are in no doubt about your superlative motivation.
The first step to this two-part life altering experience begins at Kathmandu where we offer prayers at Pashupatinath and Budhanilkanth Temples to seek strength for the next 13 days. The prime reason that drives people to take this demanding sojourn is the Lake Manasarovar Parikrama in which you circumambulate around the mountain to wash away all your sins. This place is also known to be the gateway to Nirvana or Moksha. Deem 70% of this ritual complete once you reach the highest glacial lake near Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar. The remaining 30 ends with the trek.
While on the trek, you cross some of the most stunning landscapes, serene mountain towns, unique mountain terrains, and high passes. A thrilling yet gruelling ordeal, your climb to an important milestone of the route - the Derapukh, is worth every ounce of energy spent on the hike. The breathtaking view of the first rays of the sun touching the peak, Mount Kailash painted gold, often called the “Golden Kailash” will concretise your faith in it being called God’s very own.
Fierce winds, harsh weather, testing situations- you will have a million reasons to give up. But no one said reaching God is going to be easy. The courage to keep going is deep within your heart and call it transcendental, but to every impediment on the way lies a solution that appears in front of you just when you think you have hit dead end.
Nothing better than what Sadhguru said, to sum up the trek to this spiritual realm,
“If you can really be with Kailash even for a few moments, life will never again be the same for you. It is a phenomenon beyond all human imagination.”
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu
Gear up for one of the most memorable adventures of your life today as you reach the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Our representative will be there to welcome and ensure a smooth transfer to your select hotel. After check-in, you can spend the day to relax and get acquainted with the the beauty called Kathmandu.
A bewitching city in the foothills of the Himalayas, exploring Kathmandu is an experience- an emotion so blinding- you will instantly fall in love with the place. With an air of affability, be prepared to be welcomed with open arms as you visit one of the many busy streets of the city or stop by the courtyard's filled with dry chilies and rice. Seek blessings at the temples or revel in the exquisite cultural glory of the place as you view its enchanting sites. Dinner will be served at the hotel in the evening after which you get a good night's sleep for the next day that marks the beginning of this fantastic trip.
Day 02: Kathmandu
Wake up to a beautiful morning and gorge on some appetizing breakfast (served at 6:30 AM) before we head out to explore some of the best sightseeing spots in Kathmandu. We reach Kathmandu by 8 AM, and it's only fitting we begin our sojourn by seeking blessings at two of the most revered temples in Nepal, Pashupatinath Temple and Budhanilkanth Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu respectively. This will take up your entire day post which you return to the hotel for a lavish spread of your afternoon meal.
The evening is booked for a short briefing program where you will be introduced to all your group members. After having explored new places and made new friends, it’s time to get some sleep in the comfort of your room.
Optional Trip: If you are interested in visiting some of the highest mountain peaks in the world that are in Nepal, you can also opt for the optional mountain flight tour. An hour long flight that takes you over the highest peaks, this is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience, which can be availed at an additional cost. If you choose this, make sure you are ready at the hotel by 5.30 AM since the flight departs at 6.30 AM. Do note - the flights are weather dependent.
Day 03: Kathmandu - Dhunche (126 KMS | 6 hours) or to Shyabru Besi (145 KMS | 7 hours)
Mark this day as the first big step to your Kailash Mansarovar journey. Today, we drive from Kathmandu to Dhunche, which is about 6 hours, or to Shyabru Besi, which is about a 7-hour, drive. The choice of the place is dependent on the road conditions and traffic. Although the overall drive is smooth, traffic conditions can make the journey time consuming and tiring. Your stay is booked at a guesthouse, where dinner will be served before you retire for the night.
Day 04: Dhunche /Shyabru Besi – Rasuwagadhi - Kyirong (125 KMS | 4-5 hours | 13550 feet)
It's not often in your life that will get a chance to cross borders and step in another country on foot. Well, today is one of those rare days that you will! After breakfast, we to drive to Rasuwagadi to move to the other side of the Nepalese border - the China side - on foot. A short halt till our team sorts the immigration formalities; you will soon find yourself in a Chinese bus that takes you to Kyirong. The bus, controlled and guided by Tibetans are sturdy and comfortable. The Nepalese Sherpas accompanying you will make sure food, water, and other equipment for your comfort are loaded on the bus.
Ensuring your smooth check-in at the guesthouse, we leave you to relax and spend the rest of your day at leisure. With not much to do, you can take a walk to the nearby market while our help will set the kitchen and serve you light snacks along with tea and coffee. An early dinner (served between 7 - 8 PM), we suggest you rest well for the next day.
Important Remark: It may take some time for you to acclimatize to the weather in the city considering you will be at the height of 13550 feet. To combat the feeling of discomfort, we suggest you drink as much water as possible. It is also advised you consume soup, juice, tea, coffee, or hot water at regular intervals to keep yourself hydrated and to keep breathing even.
Day 05: Kyirong
Today is the day (the only one during the tour) when you get can ample sleep and rest. Reaching such high altitudes can be challenging for even the most experienced trekkers; so don't worry if you find it tough to adjust to the climate of the place. Our experienced trip managers will be happy to take you around the place on short hikes to familiarize you with the air and temperature of Tibet. You can also opt to stay indoors and become a part of the bhajans and kathas that happen at frequent intervals.
Day 06: Kyirong - Saga - Dongba (310 KMS | 7 hours | 15091 feet)
After having adjusted to the place, we move on in our journey to Dongba. A beautiful drive through mountain terrains, and past the panoramic view of the blue lake, Pieko-Tso. The spellbinding views of the Yarlung Zangpo (the Brahmaputra River) as it flows alongside, and the northern route through the beautiful town of Saga (15879 feet above sea level), will leave you amazed at God's beautiful creations. Soon there is a shift in scenery and in front of you soar the high plains of Tibet - so soft, so gorgeous, and just so photogenic. We then drive to Dongba, which is our halt for the night. You may want to begin getting used to dormitory style rooms at your guesthouses or lodges by this time!
Day 07: Dongba - Lake Manasarovar (370 KMS | 6-7 hours | 15085 feet )
Seek divine blessing as we begin this challenging yet fulfilling journey to one of the highest and holiest lakes in the world - Lake Manasarovar. Start your day with a scrumptious breakfast at 7:30 AM post which we begin our drive to the lake. Our first stop is at Mayumla Pass, 4900 m above sea level where we halt for permit formalities and lunch. Crossing the Mayumla Pass and Prayang County, you will catch the first glimpse of Mount Kailash close to reaching the shores of the lake. While the colossal mountain may seem intimidating, you feel a surge to conquer it - no matter what! Before heading to the lake, we visit our guesthouse at Hor Que to check-in (We may have to change our vehicle at this point depending on the authorization from the local authorities. We may have to use the local buses operated in the region).
Congratulate yourself for achieving the feat of having reached Lake Mansarovar. Only those truly driven are able to complete this part of the trek, which also marks completing 70% of the Sarovar Parikrama. The rest will be completed when you trek to Mount Kailash. Spend some quality time at the lake as you revel in its beauty. Breathe the fresh air, soak in the beauty of the place and meditate before we return to the guesthouse. Overnight stay in your dormitory rooms at the lodge/guesthouse.
Note: If you are traveling in full moon group, your stay will be near Mansarovar Lake on full moon.
Day 08: Lake Manasarovar - Darchen (80 KMS | 2 hours | 15990 feet)
You spiritual sojourn truly begins today as we check out of the guesthouse in the morning and prepare for a dip at the Lake Manasarovar. The holy dip is an overwhelming experience and you begin to feel the spirituality of the place seep in you. Meanwhile we make sure all your needs are taken care of. We arrange shower tents for ladies for changing clothes, and also find an apt spot for pilgrims to take the dip. You are also free to do a puja or havan at a place near the lake. Once the rituals are done,, we begin our journey to the base of Mount Kailash - Darchen.
Get a glimpse of the Rakshas Tal (Demon's Lake), which lies on the other side of Lake Manasarovar during our drive to the place. The base of Mount Kailash and the administrative hub of Kailash region, Darchen is your stop point for tonight from where the circumambulation around Kailash begins. Explore the local markets in the evening and return to your guesthouse for an overnight stay.
Optional Trip: We also arrange the Asthapad excursion trip from Darchen on request. However, one must be prepared to trek from Darchen to Asthapad and back if there is no transport available. The tip is also subject to the permission from local authorities. Tibetan Guides can be hired on direct payment basis.
Day 09: Yam Dwar (8 KMS Drive) Parikrama - Derapukh (12 KMS | 6 hours trek | 16587 feet)
The beginning of the end, we begin the trek to Mount Kailash today. A light breakfast will be served before we move to Tarboche. Everyone in the group visits with the Yama Dwar, also known as the Gates of the Lord of Death. This is the starting point of the Kailash Mansarovar Trek. People not going to the parikrama will return to the guesthouse and wait for two days at the Darchen guesthouse for the others to return. The others will continue their onward journey for the parikrama. You can either opt to travel on foot or hire a horse/ yak or porter to successfully complete the journey. You can also get your Tibetan guide to help you with the hire on direct payment basis. The horse/ yak or porter assigned to you will stay with you throughout this journey. Managing your food needs, we will hire Yaks and Yak-men to carry our kitchen and other logistics for Kora. Before beginning the trip, pilgrims to make sure they have their packed lunch and hot water bottles with them.
The first day is a gradual ascent making it an easy trek for you. Walking along the Glacial River, we will be able to reach Derapukh in 5-6 hours. We take a halt in between to consume our packed lunch. Since Derapukh is freezing at most time, our lodging will be booked in advance. Derapukh is one of the closest points to Mount Kailash, and the North face of the mountain is explicitly visible from here. Spellbinding, mammoth, and breathtaking- the moment when you first view Mount Kailash will remain etched in your memory forever. The temperature at night falls below zero degrees, so make sure you are well covered. As soon as we reach the destination, we quickly check-in and eat a light dinner (Khichdi, soup etc.) and retire in our beds.
Note: Hot drinkable water will be made available in the morning for the day. Please fill your bottle.
Optional Trip: Charan Sparsh (17962 feet) is a 6-kilometer trek from Derapukh. If you want, you can opt for this tour, which is like a trailer to the final climb that you make. However, this trek is not a part of the package and taking it will depend on the decision of your guide.
Day 10: Derapukh - Dolma-La Pass - Zuthulpukh (22 KMS trek | 10 hours | 18471 feet)
Gear up for the toughest day of the trek. Waking up as early as the crack of dawn, you witness the falling rays of the sun on the Mount Kailash turning it into 'Golden Kailash.' The effort of waking up so early seems worth every minute once you witness this gleaming beauty. A quick light breakfast, packing yourself some lunch and a hot water bottle, we begin our trek to Zuthulphuk. The hike begins with a steep climb up to the Dolma-La High Pass (5539 m). This may take up to 4 hours. The next few kilometers till Gauri Kund is a steep descent. You soon touch a flat surface where you will have to walk for about 2.5 hours. The entire process is about 9-10 hours and can prove to be pretty strenuous for an individual.
Try and maintain a consistent pace during the trek so that the maximum route is covered before the winds start setting in. At the top of Domla-La, we visit a place called Shivasthal. Covered with prayer flags and other Tibetan ornaments, the religious faith suggests that people who leave their clothes or other personal items here will find it in heaven after their death. This is one place where you truly feel the divine connect, and it is no wonder that people who return from here are usually not the same any more.
A visit to Mount Kailash changes everything around them - inside and out. The downhill trail from here begins after you have enjoyed your packed lunch. It is going to be a tough descent because of all the rocky paths and loose stones that cover your path. This chunk of your trek needs extensive care and concentration. For people traveling on yaks and horses, it is advised you get down from it for a few kilometers and cover this path on foot. As soon as we reach Zuthulphuk, we will have our guesthouse or fixed tent with beds, bedsheet, and warm blankets. Stay in your dormitory till your meal is prepared and after a quick dinner, get back to the warmth of your bed.
Note: Hot drinkable water will be made available in the morning for the day. Please fill your bottle.
Note: About 3-4kms trek (ascend and descend) near Dolma La pass is steep and rocky.
Day 11: Darchen (8 KMS Trek) and drive to Dongba (3-4 hours trek| 8 KMS | 340 KMS | 6 hours drive)
The last day of the trek is relatively shorter and quicker. 3-4 hours of trekking and we reach the base camp to move to the town of Darchen. Ambling downhill, you will soon see an accessible road from Darchen, which will take you to the guesthouse to join the other members of the group.
Sharing travel stories and eating lunch with them, we continue our drive to Dongba. This marks the end of the parikrama. If folklore is to be believed, you have successfully washed away all your sins of this birth and are on your road to attaining nirvana. Finally, relax at the guesthouse today and overnight stay at Darchen.
Day 12: Dongba - Keyrong (310 KMS | 7-8 hours drive)
Wake up to a beautiful morning with the feeling of accomplishment of having completed the Lake Mansarovar Parikrama. We make our way to the town of Saga, and once again cross the bridge over the shimmering Brahmaputra River. Covering the beautiful vast plains of Tibet, stunning Himalayan views keep you company all through the trip, and enhancing the beauty of the landscape are the Shishapangma and the Pieko- Tso Lake. Well pitched roads and mountainous terrain, this driving adventure ends when we reach Kyirong and stay there overnight.
Day 13: Kyirong – Rasuwagadhi – Kathmandu (270 KMS | 8-10 hours)
Say goodbye to Tibet today as we drive towards the border after breakfast. Taking the required permission from Nepalese Immigration Control in Rasuwagadi, we sit in a vehicle to drive to the Nepal side. Sit back comfortably for the next 8-10 hours till you reach Kathmandu. This is the best time to recollect every moment spent on the trek, every hurdle crossed, and every new experience you’ve gained during your time here. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 14: Departure
Today, pack to take a flight back home from Tribhuvan International Airport. With renewed energy and a fresh perspective on life, return to your folks with exciting tales of your last 14 days
Maximum altitude: 18471 feet
Note: Foreign passport holders – US$ 2270 per person
British passport holders - GB£ 1925 per person
American passport holders - US$ 2540 per person
Single room supplement (Kathmandu only)
per person for three nights with all veg meals – INR 7800 | US$ 210
Additional night stay in Kathmandu
per person per night sharing basis with all veg meals - INR 3450 | US$ 80
Up-gradation to 5* hotel in Kathmandu
per person per night on sharing basis with all veg meals - INR 3600 | US$ 75
1. Airport to hotel return transfers in Kathmandu
2. 03 night stay Kathmandu on sharing basis
3. 03 breakfasts, 03 lunches, 03 dinners in Kathmandu hotel (pure vegetarian buffet meal)
4. Kathmandu city sightseeing including visit to Pashupatinath Temple by private non a/c bus
5. Kathmandu to Keyrong border return transfers by Nepalese non a/c bus
6. 01 night stay in a guest house at Dhunche/Shyabru Besy with all meals (pure veg)
7. 03 nights stay in a guesthouse at Keyrong on sharing basis with all veg meals
8. 02 nights at Dongba/New Dongba in a guesthouse with all veg meals
9. 01 night stay in a guesthouse near Lake Manasarovar on sharing basis with veg meals
10.01 night stay in a guesthouse at Darchen
11.01 night stay in a guesthouse/mudhouse at Derapukh
12.01 night stay in a guesthouse/camp at Zuthulpukh
13. Light breakfast, packed lunch and light dinner during parikrama days
14. Transport in Tibet side by Luxury air conditioned bus
15. Support truck to carry kitchen equipment and other material
16. English speaking Tibetan guide in Tibet side
17. Nepali tour leader supported by cook, helper and sherpa
18. Basic medical support for emergency (first-aid kit and oxygen cylinder during parikrama)
19. Necessary group permit for visiting Mt. Kailash
20. Normal Tibet single entry group visa to visit Kailash Manasarovar
21. Nepal-China border tax, all Nepalese and Tibetan Government taxes
The fact that this doubles up as a pilgrimage as well as a trek is great! I loved the experience of completing the Parikrama. Loved the whole vibe of it. The Sherpas were extremely helpful at each step. As far as the documentation was concerned, it was hassle-free and was done way before time so that was relieving. Next goals is to send parents on this heavenly trek. Everyone must have at least one experience of this spiritual trip once in their life. Thank you, Adventure Nation for making this possible.
Hello, I took the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra from Kathmandu a few months back with my friends. I had wanted to go on this trek for the longest time. Had the opportunity to book this one through Adventure Nation who put us in touch with the right people. Right after the booking, the follow up was great on their part and all my questions were answered on time. My only concern was whether we would be able to this high-altitude trek without falling sick. Even though some of us experienced mild symptoms, none of us fell fully sick which was thanks to medication that we started on even before we began this journey. So, my advice would be to make sure you take a proper medicine kit and consult a doctor for altitude problems. Good luck!
Words fall short when I try explaining what we experienced on this life changing trek to Kailash Mansarovar. When we booked Kailash Mansarovar tour package with Adventure Nation in June, I was a bit unsure in the beginning of how it will all go because of the difficulty of the altitude. But throughout the trek, I felt like we were constantly inspired by each other and even the sherpas were so helpful. Day 1 we begun from Pashupathinath and from there on to the day of holy parikrama, it felt as though everything was guided by a spiritual power. What an experience, truly spellbinding!