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Everything You Need to Know about Mount Kailash Yatra by Road 2019

Located at a high elevation of 6,638 meters above sea level, Mount Kailash is considered to be the most sacred mountain in Tibet. It is revered by followers of four religions, Bon, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. For Tibetan Buddhists, it is the dwelling place of Buddha Demchog (Chakrasamvara). For the Hindu followers, it is the center of the universe and the home of Lord Shiva and his wife. In the Jain faith, it is the place where the first Jain prohet Rishabha achieved enlightenment. Moreover, it is also the nearby place where Thonpa Sherab founded and disseminated Bon.

Aside from being a sacred mountain, it is also a mysterious and dangerous mountain in adventures’ eyes. With snow covered and cloud shrouded all year round, it has never been climbed by any mountaineer.

Mount Kailash Yatra  
Mount Kailash Yatra

For its mysterious, dangerous, and sacred, many devotees and adventures flock there from all over the world to take a Mount Kailash yatra. If you are planning a Mount Kailash yatra, this guide is what you need. In this guide, we will tell you what is Mount Kailash yatra, how to get Mount Kailash, the highlight of Mount Kailash yatra, best time for yatra, detailed itinerary of Mount Kailash yatra, and some packing suggestion.

Part 1. Introduction of Mount Kailash Yatra

The Yatra consists of two parts: Mt. Kailash Yatra and Kailash Manasarovar yatra. The former refers to the kora around Mount Kailash and the latter refer to the kora around Kailash Manasarovar, the holiest lake in Tibet. Both of the two yatra journeys are believed to bring good fortune, help devotees attain enlightenment, and clear sins of their heart. The rugged path around Mt. Kailash is about 32 miles (52km) long and altitude ranges from 15,000 feet at the start point to 19,000 feet at the Dolma Pass. The circumambulation is made in a clockwise direction by followers of Hinduism and Buddhism, but counterclockwise by followers of the Jain and Bon.

According to the saying of Buddhism “Completing 1 circle around Mount Kailash can atone for all the sins committed throughout one's lifetime; Finishing 12 circles will prevent eternal damnation of hell tribulation in one's reincarnations of 500 years; Completing 100 circles will make a person one with Buddha”.

Mount Kailash Yatra  
Mount Kailash Yatra

Mount Kailash Yatra at a Glance

Duration: Three days
Distance: 52km
Difficulty: Medium to difficulty
Start/Finish: Darchen
Highest Point: Drolma – la (5650m)
Nearest Large Town: Ali
Accommodation: Camping or guesthouse

Part 2. How to Get to Mount Kailash

Most travelers and pilgrims begin their journey from Kathmandu or Lhasa. And we strongly recommend starting your journey from Lhasa, not only because there are numerous beautiful sceneries along the way from Lhasa to Kailash, but also because it is good for your body to adjust to the high altitude. No matter which city visitors choose to get to Mount Kailash, they need to apply for additional Tibet travel permit and must be arranged by travel agencies in advance.

Mount Kailash Yatra – How to Get to Mount Kailash  
Mount Kailash Yatra – How to Get to Mount Kailash

After arriving at Mt. Kailash, pilgrims or visitors can start their yatra from Darchen, which is the start and end points of Mt. Kailash yatra.

Part 3. The Highlight of Mount Kailash Yatra 2019

  1. Circumambulation of Mt. Kailash
  2. Gorgeous mountain scenery along the way, including close-ups of the majestic pyramidal Mt. Kailash, pilgrims, local Tibetans, Hindus, etc.
  3. Visit five monasteries around Kailash: Nyari Monastery, Drirapuk Monastery, Songchu Monastery, Gyangzha Monastery and Thailong Monaster.
  4. Bath in Kailash Manasarovar. (the best time to bath at the river is 3-5 am). This period is known as Brahmamuhurta – the time of the gods.

Part 4. Best Time for Mount Kailash Yatra

The best time for Mount Kailash yatra is from April to June and September to October. During this time, the weather is sunny and comfortable with good visibility. If weather allows, some of the greatest Himalayan scenery to be found. In summer (July – August), the monsoon brings rains and fogs, which give tourists and pilgrims bad visibility to see the peaks of Mount Kailash. Before heading off, you’d better learn about the weather of Mount Kailash so that you can avoid bad weather.

Part 5. Detailed Itinerary of Mount Kailash Yatra

This 52-km long yatra trail with the average height over 4800 meters is not easy for most of visitors, only a few strong and devoted pilgrims can finish it with a single day by starting very early and ending very late. While most people have to spend 2-3 days completing it.

Dromala Pass at Mount Kailash Yatra
Dromala Pass at Mount Kailash Yatra

Day 1: Darchen – Diraphuk Monastery (6 hrs, 20km, 200 ascent)

The first day covers about 20 km with small ascending. Along the road, you can see lots of pilgrims from all over Tibet and India, Nepal and Thailand.

Day 2: Diraphuk - Dolmala Pass - Zutruphuk Monastery (7-8 hrs, 19km, 550m ascent)

The second day covers 19km with sharp up and down by passing over the Drolma-La Pass at 5640 meters high. Today’ s trek is the most arduous part in the whole journey since you will trek across a valley up to the Dolma-La, Pass, the highest point during the yatra.

Note: Don’t stay at Dolma La Pass for too long as the thin air, strong wind and intense ultraviolet radiation might be harmful.

Day 3: Zutruphuk Monastery – Darchen (3-4 hrs, 13km, 150m descent)

The third day will be an easy and relaxing walk of only 13km. And your car is waiting for you when you finish the yatra.

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Travelers' Questions Might Help

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

user portrait Mr. Ju*** from: 4 Days Lhasa Holy Landmarks Express

Hi, I plan to arrive in Lhasa on the 9th of March in 2020 by train and would like to do a 4 day tour. Unfortunately there are no tours scheduled between January and April, will there be tours added or are there not any planned?

Kind regards

Julian Franz

Answered by Helen

Hello Mr. Ju***,

    Thanks very much for your inquiry. We currently have no group tour in February and March, if you would like to travel Tibet in these months, we are able to arrange a private tour for you. While there are several confirmed departure date for the group tour in January and April, if your time is flexible, you may consider joining a group tour in April. I will send detailed itinerary to your email, please check it. Warm regards.

Email to Helen about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

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