Geography

Mt. Kailash is a striking peak in the Himalayan mountains of western Tibet. The source of some of the longest rivers in Asia, Kailash is a sacred mountain for four faiths: Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and followers of the indigenous Tibetan religion of Bön. Next to the mountain are two sacred lakes, the most important of which is Lake Manasarowar, and the second on is lake Rakshastal which also has a legendary significance. Mount Kailash rises to 22,028 feet (6,714 m) in one of the highest and most rugged parts of the Himalayas. Made of black rock, this peak has a distinctive diamond-like shape with four steep facades. The south face has a vertical gash across its horizontal layers, creating the appearance of a swastika - an ancient symbol of good luck in this part of the world. The landscape around the mountain is rugged and dry but crossed by crystalline blue streams and other bodies of water. Near the sacred mountain is the source of the Indus, Sutlej and Bramaputra rivers and on its south side are two freshwater lakes, the easternmost of which is the highly sacred Lake Manasarowar (Mapam). With an altitude of 14,950 feet and it’s the highest body of fresh water in the world. Lake Manasarovar lies at 4,590 meters above mean sea level, a relatively high elevation for a large freshwater lake on the mostly saline lake-studded Tibetan Plateau. Despite claims to the contrary, there are hundreds of higher freshwater lakes in the world, including a larger and higher freshwater lake at 4,941 meters above sea level and 495 square km in size, Angpa Tso (East Chihpuchang Hu), further east on the Tibetan Plateau at 33-24N 90-17E. The largest freshwater lake of its size (290 square km) over 5000 meters elevation is Pumoyong Tso (Pumuoyong Tso), also on the Tibetan Plateau, at 28-34N 90-24E and 5,018 meters elevation. Lake Manasarovar is relatively round in shape with the circumference of 88 kilometers. Its depth reaches a maximum depth of 90 m and its surface area is 320 square kilometers. It is connected to nearby Lake Rakshastal by the natural Ganga Chhu channel. Manasarovar is near the source of the Sutlej River which is the easternmost large tributary of the Indus. Nearby are the sources of the Brahmaputra River, the Indus River, and the Karnali River (Ghaghara), an important tributary of the Ganges River. Lake Manasarovar overflows in to Lake Rakshas Tal which is a salt water endorheic lake. These lakes used to be part of Sutlej River basin and got separated due to tectonic activity. Lake Manas Sarovar can be connected to the Ganga River basin through a fifteen km long tunnel to divert its water for easy availability to Hindus of India who considers its water as sacred.
  • Festivals

    Tibet - The Saga Dawa festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 4th Tibetan month and is one of the most important religious festivals celebrated in Tibet. This auspicious day coincides with three important events in Buddha's life namely his birth, nirvana and parinirvana (death). Since the Saga Dawa festival falls on the holiest month of the Tibetan calendar, it is believed that good deeds and prayers are multiplied thousand fold during this event. So we can see everyone immersed in prayers and trying to appease the gods

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  • Visa & Immigration

    All people willing to travel Kailash must obtain Tibet travel permit. There are two different ways to obtain Tibet travel permit and visa depending upon the entry point.

    CLIENTS ENTERING FROM MAINLAND CHINA:

    If the clients are interested to enter Kailash from China then they should apply and obtain individual China entry visa from their country. While applying visa they should obtain the visa with validity till the end of the Tibet tour date. They can just say that they will travel around China. After obtaining visa, the clients should send us the scanned visa copy and the scanned passport copy at least 3 - 4 weeks prior to Tibet entry date.

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  • Custom Formalities

    Valuable goods taken for personal use (radio, video,camera etc) should be declared at custom office by completing a Customs declaration form and brought back on return journey. Antiques must be properly certified; otherwise they may be confiscated.
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  • Entry to Kailash

    Most of the Kailash tour begins either from Friendship Bridge (Nepal-Tibet Border) located East of Kathmandu or from Simikot – West Nepal or from Lhasa.
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  • Activities

    Mt. Kailash Kora - the pilgrimage/scenic circuit
    The Outer Pilgrimage Circuit is about 52km, and it takes approximately three days to complete the Circuit. Buddhists and Hindus travel clockwise around the mountain while Bonpos travel counter-clockwise.

    Lake Manasarovar Kora - another pilgrimage/scenic circuit
    Together with Mt Kailash, Lake Manasarovar is also a pilgrimage site but the view of this site can be enchanting for even Western tourists.. There is a pilgrimage path around the lake and a circuit is a little over 100km, taking 4-5 days to complete. Chiu Gompa, 30 km south of Darchen, is a good starting point for a circuit around the lake.
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  • Weather

    Weather condition from June to September in Tibet can be expected to be dry and sunny, with precipitation in July and August. Day time temperature can be as high as 22 degrees centigrade in Tibet. The average daily temperature will be 10 degree centigrade, however the intense sun at high altitude can, make it feel even hotter. At this time of the year there is an incredible drop in temperature from early afternoon to evening time; temperatures at night time can drop as low as 0 to – 10 degrees centigrade at altitude of 5000 meters, our highest camp during the Parikrama.

    Summers (May to August) are very pleasant with moderate climate, with average around 15°C. Summers is ideal for all outdoor activities, temple visit, dip in holy waters and also for visiting nearby attractions. A grand religious festival Saga Dawa Festival is usually held at Mt. Kailash around May and June each year.

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  • Clothing & Accessories

    Clothing for both extremes of climate and temperature. While driving to Kailash, it will be warm inside the vehicle and light clothing is required. But as soon as you stepped out of the vehicle, warm clothing will be required to keep off the cold wind of Tibetan Plateau. Evening will be generally cold and warm clothing will be required. We recommend that you bring along following clothing and accessories with you:

    - Down Jacket
    - Warm thick pullover & thin pullover

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  • Communication

    Please be informed that it may be difficult at times to get the international phone connection. If any urgent messages have to be sent to any of the participants, then please note that it is not possible to contact them while they are in Tibet.
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  • Insurance

    We recommend that you insure yourself against sickness, Emergency rescue, accident hospitalization, cancellation, etc. as we accept no responsibility for damages or expenses which may arise from mishaps to person or their belongings during the pilgrimages.
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  • Currency

    All major currencies are accepted in Lhasha or Zhangmu Bank in return for Yuan. The basic unit of Chinese Currency, 1 Yuan equals 10 Jiao & 1 Jiao equals 10 Fen. At present USD 1 = 8 Yuan approx. Credit cards rarely accepted.
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  • Altitude Sickness

    This is an environment – related condition that can affect anyone who ascends too rapidly to high elevations without acclimatizing properly. Those with chronic health problems like heart problem, asthmatic, lung problem and blood pressure should consult the doctor before making travel plans for Tibet. Most people visiting Tibet rarely suffer more than mild discomfort before getting acclimatized. Simple symptoms like headache, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorders can happen before the acclimatization. Here are some of the precautions you may take before entering Tibet according to previous experiences:

    - Physical training beforehand may reduce altitude sickness.

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  • Geography

    Mt. Kailash is a striking peak in the Himalayan mountains of western Tibet. The source of some of the longest rivers in Asia, Kailash is a sacred mountain for four faiths: Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and followers of the indigenous Tibetan religion of Bön. Next to the mountain are two sacred lakes, the most important of which is Lake Manasarowar, and the second on is lake Rakshastal which also has a legendary significance.
    Read More