Mount Kailash - Holy Center of Four Religions
Mount Kailash as one of the ten mountains in China is located in Burang County, in the far southwestern Tibet. Literally meaning mountain of God, Mount Kailash is a holy mountain worshiped by four influential religions, including Bön, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Like a tradition, every single year, a large number of Buddhist believers from all over the world traveling far here to kora around Kailash, especially in the horse year, the birth year of Shakyamuni. Apart from its religious influence, the nature of the snow-capped mountain is also worth-seeing. Reaching to 6,656 meters, its peak shows a peculiar brilliance under the sunshine. There are numerous lakes around Mt. Kailash, including the holy lake - Lake Manasarovar which is one of the three holy lakes together with Namtso Lake and Yamdrok Lake. Because of the mysterious legendary and breathtaking landscape, thousands of ordinary visitors are attracted here to explore Mount Kailash and Manasarovar.
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Mount Kailash Facts
- Summer & Autumn
- Religious Site, Peak
- 6,656 meters
- Ngari Area, Southwestern Tibet
How to Get to Mount Kailash
As a holy pilgrimage site for different religious faiths, there are different land routes for visitors to reach Mount Kailash. And the most popular way to choose is via Tibet.
Travel from Tibet: the most popular way for most foreign tourists to arrive at Mt. Kailash is travel via Lhasa or Shigatse, so that you can have enough time to adjust the high altitude by sightseeing along the way (Lhasa – Shigatse – Lhatse – Saga – Paryang - Darchen). For experienced plateau-travelers who are free from High Altitude Sickness, it is available to take a flight to Ngari Gunsha Airport from Lhasa and Urumqi. After that, it takes about 5 hours to drive to Darchen from the airport.
Travel from the Border: For Indians and Nepalese pilgrims, you may cross the border via Yadong and Purang respectively to enter Tibet of China. Then transfer to Darchen. A tour to Mount Kailash through border to Yadong or Purang can only organized by several authorized travel agencies.
Note: Darchen, a village located in the right front of the mountain, is the entry of Kailash and the starting/ending point for Mount Kailash Kora.
Learn more about Get to/around Ngari
Religious Influence of Mount Kailash
Being the center of the world, Mount Kailash is the sacred place for many religions to connect with divinity. The Hinduism respects Kailash most. Hindus believe Kailash as the abode of the most powerful Lord Shiva who is in charge of Destroy, Reproduction and Dance. Besides, Kailash region is the source of the Ganges River and Indus River. Mount Kailash is also regarded as the birthplace of Bön which is the indigenous religion of Tibet and has affected Tibetan Buddhism much. The Jains believe Kailash was the place where their lord Rishaba obtained liberation. As for Tibetan Buddhism, Kailash is the proud place where sage Milarepa defeated the Bön, and made Buddhism the primary religion of Tibet. Buddhists also believe Mount Kailash stands for everlasting happiness.
Mount Kailash Kora
As one of the most challenging trekking road in the world, Mount Kailash Kora is the best way to worship this holy mountain and realize your lifetime trip of thoroughly meditation.
Each year, a large number of believers traveled from far away to worship Kailash. It has become a tradition to walk at least a round of Mount Kailash. Pilgrims believe that walking around Kailash can get rid of guilt and gets good fortune. The Hindus even believe that one should at least finish one pilgrimage walking around the Kailash during his lifetime. Pilgrims usually repeat the route three, five, seven, nine or thirteen times (odd number). The ultimate meditation needs one to finish the walking 108 times.
Mount Kailash Kora Route
The whole circled route is about 52km trekking. For some Tibetans, 15 hours will be enough to finish this kora, while it may take 2 nights and 3 days for most tourists on foot. Since every little element of this trip will be arranged well by our tour guide, your journey will be enjoyable. Below is the kora route during these days.
Day One: Darchen - Chogu Gompa - Dirapuk Monastery; start from Darchen and stay overnight at Dirapuk Monastery, today you will trek about 20 km for about 6 hours. During the way, you will climb a slope to Chogu Gompa, and enter a long valley to reach Dirapuk of over 5000 meters high to witness the resplendent north face of the Kailash.
Day Two: Dirapuk Monastery - Drolma-la Pass - Zutrulpuk Gompa; after one day trekking, today you will finish 15 km road for about 7hours. During the way, you will encounter some Rocky road before coming to the Drolma-la Pass, which is most difficult part to walk. Over the Pass, there is about 10 km marsh road to enjoy the old-growth forest before get to Zutrulpuk Gompa to stay overnight.
Day Three: Zutrulpuk Gompa – Darchen; as the last day, you will trek over 14 km for about 5 hours back to Darchen in the clockwise direction.
On route, you will enjoy the stunning landscape of green valleys and crystal blue lakes. Also the views of Mt. Kailas’s are spectacular and majestic. The pyramids shaped mountain with four symmetrical sides, reaching sky by its glistening snow-capped summit, enveloped by white clouds is quite eye-catching. >> Check 16 Days Mt.Kailash Pilgrimage Tour for more Mount Kailash Kora route itinerary.
Note: 1) for the Buddhists and Hindus, Mount Kailash Kora is taking along the clockwise, and for Bon adherents, the Kora is in the opposite direction; 2) most pilgrims will take a Kailash Mansarovar Yatra together when they pay a pilgrim to Ngari.
Useful Travel Tips
● Necessary Permits
Visit Mount Kailash, tourists should not only prepare the Tibet Entry Permit, but also apply for Alien Travel Permit, which is issued by local Public Security Bureau (PSB) of Tibet. For Indians, the formalities may vary from other nationalities, so if you are Indians, please inform us in advance.
● High Altitude Sickness
In order to adjust the high altitude of Mount Kailash and make a good preparation, you should arrange your Kailash trip in the later part of your Tibet tour and drink a lot of water as you can.
● Best Time to Visit
The best time to go is from April to October, especially in the months of April, May, September and October, with more sunny days, since there is a rainy period from June to August. Even though, you should keep an eye on the weather condition before you go and during your visit time. Remember do not let your skin exposed outside or you'll easily get burnt by intensive solar irradiation.
● Food and Accommodation
Travel this particular place with basic accommodation and limited food supply, there are much more you should take, including warm clothes (even in summer time), tent, sleeping bag, a waterproof mattress, some high-calorie food, like chocolate, water, common medicines, etc. Camp stoves are permitted on the mountain.
There are Yaks and Horses available to transfer your stuff for a high cost in one-time or you can hire a porter with a maximum to carry paid per day.
Ngari Travel Guide
Recommended Tour Packages
Escorted by a skilled private drivers and companied by a professional local tour guide to organize all the activities, all you have to do is to enjoy your fantastic Tibet journey. Time can never be wasted waiting for a group, hopping on and off buses or negotiating unfamiliar destinations.
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