At an altitude of 6638 meters, Mt. Kailash is located in Tibet, a Chinese autonomous area. At a height of 4590 meters, Mansarovar Lake is located in the same region, approximately 45 kilometers before Mt. Kailash. Mt. Kailash is not only the world’s highest peak, but also the source of four of the region’s most powerful rivers: The Brahmaputra, Sutlej, Ganges, and Indus.
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is the holiest form of the journey to Mt. Kailash, Lord Shiva’s spiritual habitation. Thousands of pilgrims go from all over the country and the world to participate in the heavenly yatra each year.
Mount Kailash, together with the Manasarovar lake, is profoundly embedded in the spiritual core of Asia, kindling human imagination since time immemorial. The lake was created in the thoughts of Lord Shree Brahma, according to Hindu belief. As a result, it is known as Manasarovar in Sanskrit, which is a simple combination of the two terms ‘Manas’ (mind) and ‘Sarovar’ (lake).
At a height of 21,778, this pilgrimage spot in the Himalayan range provides travelers with inner calm and holiness. According to Hindu legend, Lord Shiva’s sojourn is Kailash, while Lord Bramha’s thoughts created Mansarovar Lake. The lake is magnificent and wonderful, and it feeds four holy rivers: The Bramhaputra, Sutlej, Ganges, and Indus. As a result, a few days of holiness can transform one’s life.
- Holy Darshan of Mount Kailash
- Holy Dip in the Mansarovar lake
- Attend all spiritual rituals at Mansarovar Lake
- Circumambulation of Mt. Kailash.
- Holy Lake Manasarovar parikarma (Circuit) by bus
- Darshan of Gauri Kund
Best Time to Visit Mansarovar
Summer and monsoon seasons, often from May to mid-October, are the finest times to visit Kailash Mansarovar. It is an excellent time for outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, and pilgrimage, as well as visiting local tourist destinations. During this period, the Saga Dawa festival, a Tibetan Buddhist festival, is also held.
Best Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Package Itinary
|Day 01:||Drive to Kerung | Altitude: 2774 M | Drive: 8-9 Hrs|
|Day 02:||Acclimatization Day|
|Day 03:||Kerung to Saga | Altitude: 4450 M | Drive: 7-8 Hrs|
|Day 04:||Saga to Mansarovar | Altitde: 4600M | Drive: 8-9 Hrs|
|Day 05:||Mansarovar to Darchen | Altitude: 4565 M | Drive: 4-5 Hrs|
|Day 06:||Trek start from Darchen to Dirapuk | Altitude: 5000 M | Trek: 6-7 Hrs|
|Day 07:||Trek from Dirapuk to Zutulpuk | Altitude: 5670 M | Trek: 7-8 Hr|
|Day 08:||Zutulpuk- Darchen- Saga|
|Day 09:||Saga to Kerung|
|Day 10:||Kerung to Kathmandu|
Important pre-departure information:
Kailash Mansarovar Yatra: Journey to the Sacred Abode
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is a spiritual and religious pilgrimage that holds immense significance for Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and followers of various other faiths. Located in the remote and rugged region of Tibet, this journey takes pilgrims to the revered Mount Kailash and the holy Lake Mansarovar. The yatra is not just a physical journey, but a spiritual odyssey that tests one’s determination, endurance, and devotion.
Historical and Religious Significance
Mount Kailash, standing tall at 6,638 meters (21,778 feet), is considered the abode of Lord Shiva by Hindus. It is believed that Lord Shiva resides at the summit of the mountain along with his consort Parvati. Buddhists also hold Mount Kailash in high esteem, as it is considered the center of the universe and an important site associated with the life of Lord Buddha.
Lake Mansarovar, situated at an elevation of 4,590 meters (15,060 feet), is believed to be the creation of Lord Brahma’s mind, hence the name “Mansarovar” which means “mind’s lake.” Taking a holy dip in the waters of Mansarovar is believed to cleanse one’s sins and lead to spiritual enlightenment.
The Pilgrimage Journey
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is not just a physical journey, but also a test of one’s spiritual devotion and physical endurance. Pilgrims embark on a challenging trek that usually begins from Kathmandu, Nepal. The route takes them through the Tibetan Plateau, rugged terrains, and high mountain passes.
The traditional route for the yatra involves crossing the high-altitude pass of Lipulekh or Nathu La, depending on the route chosen. The journey is not for the faint-hearted, as pilgrims have to overcome harsh weather conditions, low oxygen levels, and strenuous trails. However, the difficulties encountered during the yatra are believed to purify the soul and bring the pilgrims closer to divine blessings.
Spiritual Significance and Rituals
Throughout the yatra, pilgrims engage in various rituals that hold profound spiritual significance. Circumambulating Mount Kailash is a central ritual; pilgrims walk in a clockwise direction around the mountain, which is known as “parikrama” or “kora.” This ritual is believed to erase the sins of a lifetime and pave the way to enlightenment.
Another significant practice is taking a dip in the icy waters of Lake Mansarovar. This ritual is thought to cleanse the body and soul, washing away accumulated karma. Pilgrims also engage in meditation, prayer, and chanting along the way, seeking a deeper connection with the divine.
Challenges and Preparations
Undertaking the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra requires careful preparation. Due to the high altitudes and challenging terrain, acclimatization is crucial. Pilgrims are advised to undergo medical check-ups, physical fitness training, and mental preparation before embarking on the journey.
Altitude sickness is a real concern during the yatra. It’s important for pilgrims to ascend gradually, stay hydrated, and pay attention to their body’s signals. Proper clothing, footwear, and gear are essential to withstand the cold and unpredictable weather.
Permits and Visa Process for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
Undertaking the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra requires several permits and a visa to enter the region, as the pilgrimage route passes through Tibet, an autonomous region of China. Here is a detailed guide on the permits and visa process for the yatra:
1. Chinese Visa:
Before anything else, you need to obtain a Chinese visa, specifically a “Group Tourist Visa” (Type L). This visa is usually issued for the duration of the yatra and is organized by tour operators who arrange the pilgrimage. To obtain this visa, you must submit your passport and required documents to the tour operator, who will then process your visa through the Chinese embassy. The visa is often issued as part of a group and is valid only for the dates of the yatra.
2. Tibet Travel Permit:
Once you have your Chinese visa, your tour operator will also apply for the Tibet Travel Permit on your behalf. This permit is necessary to enter Tibet and is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. You cannot apply for this permit individually; it must be arranged by a registered travel agency.
3. Alien Travel Permit:
This permit is required for travel to areas outside of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Since the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra involves traveling to remote regions, you will need this permit. Your tour operator will also arrange this permit for you.
4. Military Permit:
Certain areas along the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route are considered border regions, and a Military Permit is needed to travel through these areas. Again, your tour operator will take care of arranging this permit.
5. Indian Government Approval:
For Indian nationals, in addition to the Chinese permits, you need to obtain approval from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) before embarking on the yatra. This approval is usually facilitated by the tour operator as well.
6. Booking through a Registered Tour Operator:
The entire process of obtaining permits and approvals is usually handled by registered tour operators who specialize in organizing the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. It’s important to choose a reliable and experienced tour operator to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.
7. Required Documents:
When applying for the permits and approvals, you will typically need to provide the following documents:
- Passport with valid Chinese visa
- Passport-sized photographs
- Filled application forms provided by the tour operator
- No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (for Indian nationals)
8. Timely Application:
It’s important to apply for permits well in advance, as the process can take some time, and there might be limitations on the number of pilgrims allowed during specific periods. The yatra is usually organized during specific months, primarily during the summer, to ensure safe travel due to weather conditions.
In summery, the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra involves a complex process of obtaining permits and visas due to the remote and sensitive location of the pilgrimage. Working with a reputable tour operator and adhering to the application timelines and requirements is essential to ensure a successful and spiritually enriching journey.
Traveling to Tibet is best done in casual clothing and comfortable walking shoes. Bring thick clothing because the nights and early mornings can be chilly to bitterly cold. Pilgrims from India are strongly encouraged not to wear saris. Bring all of your medications, cosmetics, personal toiletries, and other necessities from home because they will be difficult (if not impossible) to obtain on the road. It’s also a good idea to include a modest first-aid kit. It’s also beneficial to have a route map so you know where you’re going and where you’ve been each day.
What to take:
Winter wear: Gore-Tex material, despite its high cost, is highly recommended for surviving the bitter cold. Carry a down jacket, raincoat, or windbreaker, thermal underwear, jackets, warm trousers & woolen shirts (cotton will suffice), warm sweaters, woolen gloves, sun hat, sunglasses, comfortable shoes, light leather boots in case of snow, woolen balaclava (‘monkey cap,’) & scarf/dust mask to protect your eyes and nose from dust and cold.
Bring with you:
Snacks will be available along the route. Chocolates, dried fruit, toffees, glucose; ‘nankeen, and other sweets Water purification tablets and a strong water bottle Diamox pill and personal medical kit (for high altitude), Sunglasses, sunblock or sunscreen lotion, moist tissues (fresh ones are wonderful for wiping off the dust), clothes-line/clips, needle & thread, deo-spray (handy for smelly boots/feet and for a round of spray in the toilet tent! ), toilet paper, flashlight & spare batteries, daypack (small shoulder bag), Cameras and movies, Binocular.
You are likely to feel symptoms and discomfort of altitude sickness (headache, lack of appetite, nausea, weariness, sleeplessness, dyspnea, etc.) while traveling through high terrain until your body adjusts to the elevation. Depending on the person, this could take a few days or longer. We have made it obligatory to remain two nights at Kerung before moving on to the higher altitudes for this reason alone. Maintain a calm demeanor and refrain from exercising. Prior to and during the tour, do not consume alcohol or smoke. You should also have a strip of Diamox tablets with you. If you’re unsure about the dosage, talk to your doctor. On this journey, we supply a Gamow bag (specific equipment for preventing high-altitude sickness).
Kailash Mansarovar Yatra FAQs:
Mount Kailash is located in Tibet, where it is known as ‘Kang Rampoche,’ which means ‘Precious Jewel.’
The individual must register for the Yatra. They must first supply a copy of their passport together with the booking fee. On that premise, we arrange for a permit. Guests must submit their passports in original for Visa requirements approximately 10 days before to travel. Before departure, the guest will receive the original passport as well as the Visa.
Kailash Mansarovar’s climate is typically chilly and dry. Throughout the year, Mt. Kailash is covered in snow. From May to August, the weather is somewhat cool, with an average temperature of 15°C and pleasant. The months of September through November are cooler, with an average temperature of 10°C. Heavy snowfall is common in December and beyond.
The Nepal route does not require a medical examination. Because the yatra is expected to pass through high altitudes, it is necessary to visit a doctor for precautions and medications in the event of High Altitude Sickness, Respiratory difficulties, and other ailments.
Shiva’s dwelling is said to be Lake Manasarovar and Mount Kailash. This is where Shiva is said to have tamed the sacred river Ganges and sent it to irrigate the rich regions beneath the Himalayas.
Many religionists see Mount Kailash as the sacred mountain. Hindus believe it is Shiva’s home and the world’s core; Tibetan Buddhists say it represents infinite happiness; Jains believe it is the site of their ancestor’s enlightenment; and Bons believe it is the universe’s center.
Mount Kailash is said to be the axis of rotation of the celestial sphere, according to many scientists’ studies. Kailash Parvat has been scientifically discovered as the axis Mundi, having been mentioned in the Vedas and legendary book Ramayana.
Trekking all the way to the summit of Mount Kailash is considered a sin by Hindus, who fear infringing on the mountain’s holiness and disrupting the heavenly spirits that reside there.
The height of Kailash Parvat is 6,638 m above sea level.
People who spend the night in the Kailash, or rather at Lake Mansarovar, have reported seeing enigmatic lights, which they believe belong to Kailash’s self-realized sages. The splashing of the Mansarovar’s water has been heard by those living in tents.
The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is a physically demanding and difficult journey. Yatris must go to places as high as 19,500 feet above sea level, often in harsh conditions.
Yes, pilgrims who wish to participate in the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra must have a valid passport.
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is a sacred pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar in Tibet, revered by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and other faiths.
You need to book through a registered tour operator that specializes in organizing the yatra. They will handle the necessary permits, approvals, and logistics.
The yatra usually takes place during the summer months, from May to September, when the weather is relatively milder and the routes are accessible.
The yatra involves trekking through challenging terrain and high altitudes. It requires a certain level of physical fitness, acclimatization, and mental preparation.
You need a Chinese visa, Tibet Travel Permit, Alien Travel Permit, and Military Permit. Indian nationals also require approval from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
The duration of the yatra varies depending on the route and the tour operator. It can range from around 10 to 21 days.
No, the yatra must be organized through registered tour operators due to the requirement for permits and approvals.
Mount Kailash is considered the abode of Lord Shiva by Hindus and is revered by Buddhists as well. Lake Mansarovar is believed to cleanse sins and offer spiritual enlightenment.
Pilgrims circumambulate Mount Kailash (parikrama), take a dip in Lake Mansarovar, meditate, pray, and engage in chanting to seek spiritual blessings.
Altitude sickness is a significant concern due to the high altitudes. Pilgrims must acclimatize properly, stay hydrated, and be prepared for varying weather conditions.
Preparation involves physical fitness training, medical check-ups, purchasing appropriate gear, and mental readiness for the challenges of the journey.
Accommodation can vary from basic guesthouses to tents, depending on the route and tour operator. Food arrangements are usually simple vegetarian meals.
Yes, the yatra is open to people of all faiths who seek a spiritual experience and are willing to respect the sanctity of the pilgrimage sites.
Children and elderly individuals can undertake the yatra, but it’s important to consider the challenges and consult with medical professionals before deciding.
Guides and tour operators usually provide assistance with translation and communication.
Yes, photography is generally allowed, but it’s important to be respectful of the cultural and spiritual significance of the sites.
Tour operators are equipped to handle medical emergencies. It’s advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical evacuation.
Follow “Leave No Trace” principles, respect local customs, and avoid littering to minimize the environmental impact of the pilgrimage.
Due to the challenging terrain, the yatra is not wheelchair-accessible.
The yatra offers a profound sense of spiritual connection, self-discovery, and purification as pilgrims engage in rituals, meditation, and introspection amidst the awe-inspiring natural landscape.
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is not just a physical journey, but a spiritual quest that attracts devotees from across the globe. It offers an opportunity to experience the divine in the lap of the majestic Himalayas, amid breathtaking natural beauty and challenging conditions. The yatra teaches pilgrims valuable lessons in devotion, resilience, and the quest for higher truths. As pilgrims return from this sacred journey, they carry with them a sense of accomplishment, purification, and a deep spiritual connection that lasts a lifetime.