Kailash and Lake MansarovarYatra with Adventure Club Trek is a once in a lifetime spiritual journey- one that is a pilgrimage and a scenic exploration of one of the most remote regions in the Himalaya.Mt. Kailash is a peak (6,638 m) in the Kailash Range which falls in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and is a part of Transhimalaya. Lake Mansarovar is the highest freshwater lake in the world, and it is near Mount Kailash. The lake is sacred to four religions-Bön, Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.
A parikrama (Circumambulation) of Mt. Kailash and taking a bath in the lake Mansarovar is believed to cleanse you of sins committed over a hundred lifetimes and bring you salvation. Kailash and Lake MansarovarYatra is a journey to the foothills of Mt. Kailash where Lake Mansarovar lies in its pristine and tranquil form.
The most convenient route to Kailash and Mansarovar is through Nepal, most people who have made the journey would agree. We start the trip with a ride from Kathmandu to Kerung where we stay the next day to acclimatize. The next day we drive from Kerung to Saga. The day after we ride from Saga to Mansarovar and the following day we make around ( parikrama) of the lake Mansarovar in a Jeep.
The two days following the Parikrama of Lake Mansarovar are the most difficult. The first day is a 6-8 hour walk at the height of over 4,500m for DeharaPukparikrama. The second day is the toughest with 10-12 hours hike crossing Dolma La (high pass) at 5,944m and ending the Parikrama. You have now completed the holy 13-day-long Kailash and MansarovarYatra pilgrimage which only a couple of thousand people can manage to do every year. We drive to Saga after the Parikrama ends, then to Kerung next day and from Kerung to Kathmandu the day after. Experienced guide/s can make what seems like an impossible pilgrimage a reality for you.
For those looking for a shorter trip to Tibet along with a tour of Everest Base Camp, Adventure Club Trek has Lhasa and Everest Base Camp Tour- 8 Days and Kathmandu to Lhasa Tour via Everest Base Camp-9 Days. For those looking for a shorter trip to Tibet, Tibet to Kathmandu Tour-6 Days and Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour (Fly in-drive out) are ideal. Kailash and Lake MansarovarYatra Facts Country: Nepal, China and the Autonomous Region of Tibet
What are the Highlights of Kailash and Lake Mansarovar Yatra
The ‘’yatra’’ holds significance for two things mainly- performing a parikrama of Mount Kailash and taking a dip in the holy Lake Mansarovar. These two acts are believed to rid the pilgrims of sins committed in a hundred lifetimes and bring salvation. Pilgrims believe that a kora (parikrama or circumambulation of Mt. Kailash) gives them a new life, that they are re-born.
What is ‘‘The Parikrama?’
The walking around in anti-clockwise or clockwise (done clockwise by the pilgrims) direction is called a Parikrama. Pilgrims to Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar circumambulate the area which takes 2-3 days on foot, one can also hire a yak or a pony or a Jeep for some parts. For, non-religious people, the journey is simply one of the most scenic routes in one of the most remote places on earth. Mount Kailash is not only visually stunning but a real challenge to get to as well, and Lake Mansarovar situated on the foothills of Mt. Kailash is not only one of the holiest lakes in the world, but also one of the most visually pleasing.
1. Mount Kailash and the mythology related to it: Mt. Kailash is more than a summit to Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Bon followers. The 6,638m tall peak in the Kailash range is a part of the Tibetan Transhimalaya and is sacred to Hindus. Hindus believe Mt. Kailash is the abode of Lord Shiva, to Jains the mountain is where Tirthankara the first Jain attained Nirvana, for Buddhists Kailash mountain, is where Buddha resides in his supreme bliss and Bön religion believes the entire region is the seat of all spiritual power. The high altitude and its remote location in western Tibetan Himalaya result in only a few thousand pilgirms doing the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra every year.
2. Lake Mansarovar: It is one of the two most important element of Adventure Club Tre’s 13-day long Kailash and Lake Mansarovar Yatra. At the height of 4,500 meters, Mansarovar is the highest body of the freshwater lake in the world and is considered one of the holiest lakes in the world. The lake is believed to be clear blue near the shores and change the color to emerald green towards the center. The lake looks stunning in full moon.
Other Major Attractions of Kailash and Lake Mansarovar Yatra
Besides Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansoravar, other attractions include Tirthapuri-where one can bathe in spring pools, Gauri Kund (known as the Lake of Compassion), Yam Dwar where the ‘parikrama’ initially starts, Dolma La (a high pass), and the scenic drive from Sera to Kerung among others. Lake Rakshash or Rakshashtal even though not mythically favored, is just as much of a visual delight as Lake Mansarovar.
Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International airport in Kathmandu, a representative from Adventure Club Trek will receive you and transfer you to your hotel where you can rest and make any necessary preparation for the tour or tomorrow’s Pashupatinath Darshan (visit), and Boudhanath and Patan visit. Welcome dinner from the company. Overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu.
Since we are here for the holy pilgrimage to Mount Kailash, we cannot skip a visit to Pashupatinath. After the Pashupatinath visit, we stopover Boudhanath Stupa, it is one of World’s largest stupas and then to Patan-it houses the Golden Temple, Patan Durbar Square and Krishna Mandir among other historically and the religiously important structures-the trip ends with a discussion about our journey to Kailash that we start tomorrow. Overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu
Buckle up for an early morning drive! It is a 154 km long ride to Rasuwagadhi from where we have to drive an additional 23 km to reach Kerung, Nepal-China border. In this process, we pass through Langtang National Park, and thus we have to go through many check-posts as well. Overnight in Kerung.
Kerung, a VDC in Solukhumbu District in north-eastern Nepal is Nepal-China’s commercial border as well. We start the day with a filling breakfast and tour the small village of Kerung. We are spending this extra day in Kerung for acclimatization. We will be at 4500 m altitude in two days. Overnight in Kerung.
The 5-6 hours’ drive (including lunch time) from Kerung to Saga is scenic as much as it is holy-we cross the holy Brahmaputra River today! Other major highlights of today’s drive include the crossing of the Lalung La (a high pass) at 5000m and views of snow-capped high mountains like GauriShankar (7,134m), Shishapangma (8,013m) and Langtang Lirung (7,227m) We rest the night at Saga- a small quiet town at 4,640 meters in Shigatse Prefecture in southern Tibet.
Today’s drive in an auspicious one-we will witness the first glimpse of Mt. Kailash and visit Lake Mansarovar. We also take a dip in the holy lake Mansarovar; the holy dip is said to get rid of all our sins and bring salvation to the pilgrims. After the dip, we relax for a while and then explore the Mansarovar area. Overnight in a tent/camp or a guesthouse.
We start today with a ‘havan puja’ on the Mansarovar lake. Then, we circle the Mansarovar (make a Parikrama) by Jeep. We continue the drive to Lake Rakshash Tal (lake of the devil). In Buddhism, Lake Mansarovar is like the sun and Rakshastal is shaped like a crescent which means they respectively connote ‘’brightness’’ and ‘’darkness.’’ Both Lake Manasarovar and Lake Rakshashtal lie in the proximity of Mount. Kailash, so as we are going to Lake Mansarovar, we are also performing Parikrama of Mount. Kailash. We overnight in a tent/camp.
The days of jeep rides are over! We continue our Parikrama we started from Lake Mansarovar; today we reach the DeharaPuk after a 6-8 hour-long walk, the walk is on a relatively flat trail, so the only obstacle we face is the altitude. We will witness excellent up-close views of Mt. Kailash as we near Dehara put in our Parikrama. Overnight in a tent/camp.
Today is the hardest day of this trip, but it is the holiest and most rewarding as well. As we get close to Dolma-La (pass), we cross Yamasthal (meaning the place of the god of death) and Shiva-sthal (meaning the abode of Lord Shiva, god of destruction). At the top of the pass, you can make holy offerings and sit down to meditate, if you wish. On the way to the pass, we also see Parvati-sthal (meaning the place of Parvati, Hindu Goddess and the wife of Lord Shiva) and GauriKund (Gauri is another name for Parvati. We will also observe ZuthalPuk or the cave of miracles, later in the afternoon. Overnight in tents
Our holy circling of Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar ends today. We conclude the Parikrama after the 3-hour-long walk. We will find our driving crew waiting for us at the end of the trail and proceed to drive to Saga with them. Overnight in a camp/guesthouse in Saga.
After an early morning breakfast, we continue our drive from Saga to kerung. It is a pleasant ride with views of Tibetan Himalayan landscapes, Buddhist settlements, lakes and fantastic views of the clouds hovering over.
We have to go through check-posts at Kerung-Rasuwagadhi border before meeting the Kathmandu representative from Adventure Club Trek who will drive you back to Kathmandu from Kerung. Overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu.
As much memorable and auspicious this 13-day-long journey to Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar was, it had to come to an end. You can exchange contacts and photos with your team if you already haven’t. A representative from Adventure Club Trek will drop you to the airport for your next flight. We will be happy to assist you in your future adventures.
Note: Your safety is of the utmost concern whilst you are travelling with Adventure Club Trek. We will make every effort possible to follow the original itinerary but we reserve the right to change that itinerary if a segment of it becomes a safety issue. Certain mountain regions are remote, natural disasters can happen, weather conditions can decline and there can be illness or an injury. To avoid dangerous situations we may occasionally have to make changes to the itinerary to ensure everyone’s safety. That having been said, Adventure Club Trek will strive to provide you with the best possible trekking experience and to keep your safety our number one priority. We thank you for your understanding.
Flying out to Tibet requires a Chinese visa and a Tibet Travel Permit which can both be acquired in Kathmandu with the help of a travel company (Tibet via Nepal). A valid visa for China isn't the same as a Tibet Travel Permit. Those with a Chinese traveler visa will at present need to apply for a Tibet travel permit. The permit is still required for remote foreign traveler traveling to Tibet from territory China. To obtain the permit you have to book a guide for your whole trip and pre-organize private transport for trips outside Lhasa. The trip outside Lhasa likewise requires extra permits which are arranged by the travel agent you are going with.
The weather in Tibet is similar to that of Mainland China, though with lower temperatures due to higher altitudes. Summers have warm days with strong sunshine and cool nights, but summer days can even be chilly at higher elevations. Winters are cold but there isn't all that much snow. Lhasa enjoys much sunshine even in winter. Most of Tibet experiences frost at least 6 months of the year. Some high lakes are frozen from October to March. The weather varies a lot from region to region. Lhasa is an ideal destination because it is in a valley area of lower elevation.