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Brief Introduction to Mount Kailash

Standing in the heart of six mountains ranges which symbolize a holy and pure lotus, Mount Kailash is a pillar of the world. It stretches its round colorful crown to kiss the heaven and extents its body to the border in China, India and Nepal. With an altitude of 6,656 meters at the summit, Mount Kailash is not the highest mountain, but it shines for its year-round snow-covered peak. There is an unbelievably symmetric structure which makes Mount Kailash quite distinctive from other mountains. Looking from the south side of the mountain, you can see its holy mark – the combination of a hug ice trough and a horizontal stratum – a pattern of “卍” (Swastika) which is the mark of Buddhism spiritual strength and signifies Buddhist doctrine lasting forever.

Religious Significance of Mount Kailash

Being the holy land of four influential religions, Mount Kailash is honored as the Sukhavati (meaning Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss) and the Holy Center of the World. It is said that as more as eighty million sages were born and spread religious knowledges here.

In Buddhism, Mount Kailash is the home to Demchok (Buddha’s warrior attendant), representing supreme bliss. There are also numerous sites in the region associated with Padmasambhava, the practices of who in holy sites around Tibet are credited with finally establishing. In addition, Kailash Mountain is also the birthplace of Yongzhong Bon which is a religion native to Tibet, believing in that the entire mystical region and Swastika Mountain is the seat of all spiritual power. Since Sengge Zangbo River, the upstream of Indus River, originates here, Mt. Kailash is the resident of God Siva according to Hinduism. The Jains believe Kailash was the place where their lord Rishaba obtained liberation.

Beautiful Natural Scenery in Mount Kailash

Breathing the most rarefied air in the most azure sky, and certainly you can also savor the most spectacular landscape. Towering Kailash Mount always make people feel awestruck at the first sight. The transparent glaciers hanging on the soaring mountain present various colors in different seasons. Many rivers like the Ganges River, Indus, Yarlung Zangbo River etc. originates from Mount Kailash, and the melt snow disembogues into sacred Lake Manasarovar. As a result, enough streams in Mount Kailash flowing to the distance just like a devout pilgrim adds some tender feeling to this magnificent mountain. As the sun rises and shines on the crystal surface, Kailash became more touching in a golden pyramid shape. In conclusion, a picture made by splendid snow-mountain, amazing glacier and comely prairie together with the symphony of bubbling stream and rolling stones will give you a great pleasure.

Featured Activities

Pay a Pilgrimage to Mount Kailash

Every year, thousands of followers of different religions come to Mount Kailash to make a pilgrimage from different corners of the world, following a tradition dating back to thousands of years ago. For pilgrims of several religions, a visit to the sacred mountain is a long-cherished dream though the dream is difficult to reach. In order to realize their dream, some people have to start off one year ahead, then cross inhospitable regions, climb over the Himalayas, and finally reach to Mount Kailash. Despite experiencing innumerable trials and hardships, the pilgrims believe that the pilgrimage brings supreme honor and purifies their minds.

Mount Kailash Kora Trekking

Mount Kailash koral trekking tour is one of the most formidable treks. The average altitude of this trekking in Tibet is nearly 5,000 meters, so it is very a great challenge and requires strong perseverance and strong body. It is a rigid test of both the mind and spirit. But simple accommodation and food are available on the trail, so trekkers can enjoy the trek to their heart’s content. It is believed that circumambulating around Mount Kailash one time could wipe off the evil, ten times could help to escape from Hellfire, and one hundred times will lead to Buddhahood. The path for pilgrimage is made in a clockwise direction by Hindus and Buddhists. As for the followers of the Jain and Bönpo religions, circumambulation around the mountain is in an opposite direction. The path around Mount Kailash is about 52 km long and can be made to one day, two days or three days according to physical condition.

Route and Distance: Darchen — 7 km — Sershong — 2.6 km — Chuku Monastery — 5.8 km-Indian Tea House — 4.2 km — hishapangma Guesthouse — 5.8 km — Dromala — 2.6 km — the Third Prostration Point — 5.4 km — Rounding Mountain Eastern Tea House — 4.5 km — Zutulpuk Monastery — 6.2 km-Rdaongsdod Teahouse — 4 km — Darchen

One Day’s Route

Some pilgrims believe that the entire kora should be made in a single day but it never to be an easy task. This tour is made for those who are familiar with the route and little disturbed by the bumpy terrain, altitude sickness and harsh conditions faced in the process.

Darchen(5:00)- Dirapuk Monastery - Dromala(16:00) – darchen(22:00)

Two Days’ Route

Two Days’ Rout is suitable for the pilgrims in good shape and never suffering from altitude sickness.

Day1: Darchen (9:00) – Dirapuk Monastery (15:00)

Day 2: Dirapuk Monastery (8:00) – Dromala (12:00) – the first tea tent (13:00) –Zutrupuk Gompa (16:00) – Darchen (17:00)

Three Days’ Route

This route is most suggested because pilgrims have enough time to adapt to the adverse climates. With abundant time to rest and enjoy the amazing scenery, you will have a more delightful tour.

Day 1: Darchen – Dirapuk Monastery (22 km)

In the first day, your journey starts from Darchen, ends in in Dira-puk Monastery where accommodation and food are both available. After one hour’s later, you will climb to the top of one hill in which you can see colorful sutra streamer. Then you will go up and downs with Lhachu River which leads you to Dirapuk Monastery.

Day 2: Dirapuk Monastery – Zutrupuk Gompa (22 km)

In that day, you will climb to Dromala which enjoys highest evaluation (5630m) of the route. So slow your step and replenish enough energy to protect you from altitude sick. Zutrupuk Gompa is your last destination today where you can stay overnight.

Day 3: Zutrupuk Gompa – Darchen

In third day, you have to cover 4 km for about 5 hours and finally back to Darchen. You will meet with two tents where food is for sale and hot water is available.

>> 13 Days Valuable Tibet Mt. Kailash Kora Adventure Tour
>> 15 Days Tibet Everest Plus Mt. Kailash Pilgrimage Group Tour

Other Top Tibet Tour Packages

- 4 Days Lhasa Essence Tour
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- 8 Days Tibet Classic Tour from Kathmandu
- 8 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via EBC

Mount Kailash Golden Mount Kailash in the Sun
Mount Kailash Magnificent View of Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash Pigrim Praying to Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash Pigrim Prostrating at full-length
Mount Kailash Tourists Trekking around Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash Disciples Kora around the Sacred Mountain

Saga Dawa Festival

Saga Dawa Festival is a traditional Tibetan Festival associated with the birthday and enlightenment of Shakyamuni. It always occurs in the full-moon day (15th day almost) of April in Tibetan Calendar. During the whole month, the disciplines will pray, pilgrimage around the monasteries, kora around sacred mountain or abstain from meat, Saga Dawa Festival is also the popular day to make a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash. Many Buddhist followers will flock to Darchen and join the splendid ritual. After that, they start kora, bending down, kneeling, prostrating at full-length and making a mark with their fingers, showing their reverent belief to a full degree.

Mount Kailash Saga Dawa Festival Held in Mount Kailash

Attractions nearby – Lake Manasarovar

The unconquerable lake - Lake Manasarovar (Manas Sarovar), located in the south of Mount Kailash, is one of the Three Sacred Lakes and regarded as the Mother of Sacred Lake. As the largest lake at the highest altitude in the world, Lake Manasarovar is holy, blissful and worth at least a visit in one's lifetime. It enjoys the maximum clarity among the great amounts of freshwater lakes. The Bonpo refer it as the most holy and pure lake. An old saying goes like that the Lake Manasarovar could wipe off all the annoyance and evil, so there are a lot pilgrims coming here to taking a washing in every spring and summer. On your way to Mount Kailash, you will meet Lake Manasarovar, so combining Lake Manasarovar and Mount Kailash to have a sacred journey is top recommended

Mount Kailash Holy Lake Manasarovar

Location & Transportation

Where is Kailash

Mount Kailash is located in the Burang County of Ngari Prefecture. Darchen Village is the entry of Kailash and starting or ending point for Mount Kailash Kora. Darchen Village is

  • about 36 km from Lake Manasarovar
  • about 197 km from Ngari Gunsa Airport
  • about 945 km from Shigatse
  • about 1216 km from Lhasa

How to Get to Mount Kailash

By Flight

There are several flights in one week from Lhasa to Ngari Gunsa Airport which is located in Shiquanhe Village. If you want to start from Nepal, you can take a flight from Katmandu to Lhasa for about 1.5 hours.

By Driving

The most popular way for foreign tourists to arrive at Mt. Kailash is travel from Lhasa, so that you can have enough time not only to acclimitize the high altitude but also enjoy the amazing view such as Yamdrok Lake, Palcho Monastery, Mount Everest, etc. Starting from Lhasa, via Shigatse, Mount Everest, Saga, and the whole journey goes a distance more than 1,220km and takes about 13~17 days to finish the Kailash tour.

Before 2016, many visitors came to Tibet from the Nepal border, but since the big 8.1-magnitude earthquake in Nepal on April 25 in 2015, the road from Nepal to Tibet has been damaged and the Zhangmu gate has been closed without exact time for reopening. To get the updated information about the transportation from Nepal to Mount Everest, please contact our contact our Travel Consultant!

Yaks and Yaks Walker

There are Yaks and Horses available to transfer your stuff at a high cost in one-time and you can hire walker to carry paid per day. Yaks and Yaks Walkers are included in tour of China Discovery.

Travel with ChinaDiscovery

If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our knowledgeable local tour guide and skilled driver will escort you to Mount Kailash with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

Mount Kailash Yaks and Yaks Walker

Accommodation and Food

There are several basic hotels and small inns in Darchen you can accommodate and dine. During your treaking, you will meet a few monasteries with gestrooms including Chuku Monastery, Dirpuk Monastery and Zutrupuk Gompa which also offer accommodation with power supply. You need to share a room with other people, uauslly one room for 4 ~ 6 people. The food in Darchen mainly focuses on local Tibetan food and Sichuan Cuisine. However, there is little available canteen in the mountain. So taking enough water and adequate food is necessary. Book a private tour with a cook from China Discovery, you will have a more comfortable trekking.

Permits & Documentation Requirements

It is required to get three permits for tourists who is planning to visit Mount Kailash, namely the Tibet Travel Permit, Tibet Boarder Permit, Tibet Alien Travel Permit, and all those permits can be applied only by China travel agencies on behalf of tourists. Since the Tibet Travel Permit is needed when you getting aboard on the train and airport to Tibet and takes about 15 to 20 days to get, you can apply it in advance for 20 to 30 days before you go there. And you can get the other two permits after you reach Tibet. If you travel with China Discovery, we can prepare them for you and send you the Tibet Travel Permit when getting it. See the Tibet Travel Permit for the details!

Warm Tips

  • Independent tour is not permitted for foreign tourists, so you need to contact a travel agency to arrange a tour. China Discovery is always in the service for you.
  • Preparing the Tibet Entry Permit and applying for Alien Travel Permit is issued by local Public Security Bureau (PSB) of Tibet if you visit Mount Kailash. For Indians, the formalities might be a little different, please contact us if you need help
  • The highest altitude in kora-path reaches to 5630 meters, so it’s necessary to pay attention to altitude stress. But not be overstressed and just stop to have a rest if you feel sick on your journey. Carrying some preventative medicines and keeping good mood will be helpful.
  • There are Yaks and Horses available to transfer your stuff at a high cost in one-time and you can hire a porter with a maximum to carry paid per day.
  • Sun blocks and sunglasses are necessary, or you'll easily get burnt by intensive solar irradiation.

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