Kailash Overland Tour - via Lhasa is an incredible journey through the captivating and remote wilderness of sacred Tibet, offering a chance to witness both its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. This pilgrimage and cultural tour encompasses the most renowned areas of Tibet, including Mount Kailash, and Lake Mansarovar, and historic sites in central Tibet like Lhasa, Gyantse, and Shigatse. Nepal Highland Treks offers you the best and most cost-effective options to reach Lhasa and embark on this unforgettable journey, making it a truly memorable experience.
Nestled in the western region of Tibet, Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar hold deep spiritual significance for Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Bon practitioners. However, they are also a dream destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Lake Mansarovar, a pristine freshwater lake at the base of Mount Kailash, sits at an elevation of 4590 meters. Some of Asia's major rivers, including the Indus, Brahmaputra, Karnali, and Sutlej, originate from the Kailash Mansarovar region. Every year, thousands of people visit Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar during the best season, from May to October. The highlight of this tour is the three-day Kailash Parikrama, a challenging trek around Mount Kailash, which includes crossing the 5600-meter high pass of Dolma La.
The Mount Kailash Overland Tour via Lhasa commences upon your arrival in Lhasa, and you have the flexibility to reach Lhasa either from mainland China or from Kathmandu, Nepal. Spending three nights in Lhasa and visiting its key landmarks helps you acclimatize to the high altitude. In Lhasa, you'll explore historical sites such as the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Norbulinka Palace, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, and Barkhor Square. As you continue your journey, you'll pass through the historical cities of Shigatse and Gyantse on your way to Kailash Mansarovar. The tour includes visits to attractions like Tashilampo Monastery in Shigatse, the scenic Yamdrok Lake along the drive, and Gyantse Zhong.
After exploring central Tibet and its historical treasures, you'll enter western Tibet via Saga. The driving route offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas, picturesque landscapes, interactions with the local Tibetan people, and insights into their unique culture. The Mount Kailash and Lhasa Tour also includes cultural welcome ceremonies and the opportunity to experience the vibrant city lights in the evening. You'll visit some of Lhasa's famous landmarks, such as the Potala Palace, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Market, Norbulingka Palace, and the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lama. This enchanting journey to the majestic Mount Kailash lets you savor the classic route through the formidable Droma-La Pass (5635m) into the mystical realm of the Himalayas.
Mount Kailash Overland Tour via Lhasa
The Lhasa to Kailash Mansarovar Tour is an extraordinary journey that combines the cultural richness of Lhasa with the spiritual significance of Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar. Most tours to Mount Kailash and Lhasa are conducted as group tours, but if you prefer a more personalized experience, it's possible to arrange a private tour tailored to your specific requirements. Nepal Highland Treks specializes in organizing and coordinating group tours, ensuring that your trip is memorable and well-organized.
Here's a detailed explanation of what you can expect from this tour:
Group Coordination: All Nepal Hiking provides expert group coordinators and team members to facilitate your journey. These professionals are well-versed in organizing group tours to central and western Tibet, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience for all participants. They have extensive experience in explaining local cultures and places of interest.
Customization: While the core of the tour focuses on Lhasa and Mount Kailash, you have the flexibility to customize your itinerary. You can choose to include other famous destinations in Tibet, such as Everest Base Camp, Guge Valley, Namtso Lake, the Indus River Valley, and more. Customizing your tour allows you to explore additional attractions and tailor the trip to your preferences and interests.
Here's a general overview of what your tour might entail:
Lhasa Exploration: Your journey begins in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. You'll have the opportunity to explore this historic city, which boasts a wealth of cultural and historical sites. Some of the must-visit places include the iconic Potala Palace, the sacred Jokhang Temple, the beautiful Norbulingka Palace, the serene Sera Monastery, the impressive Drepung Monastery, and the bustling Barkhor Market.
Drive to Mount Kailash: Leaving Lhasa, you'll embark on a scenic drive to reach Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar. The journey offers breathtaking views of the Tibetan plateau and the Himalayan landscape. Along the way, you'll have the chance to witness the local Tibetan culture, interact with the people, and immerse yourself in the unique landscapes of Tibet.
Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar: These sacred sites hold deep religious significance for multiple faiths, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Bon. You'll have time to explore the area, partake in rituals and prayers, and soak in the spiritual ambiance that surrounds Mount Kailash and the pristine Lake Mansarovar.
Customized Additions: Depending on your preferences, you can choose to extend your journey to other destinations in Tibet. For example, if you're an adventure enthusiast, you might opt to visit Everest Base Camp for a close-up view of the world's highest peak. Alternatively, you could explore the ancient ruins of Guge Valley or relax by the tranquil Namtso Lake.
In summary, the Lhasa to Kailash Mansarovar Tour offers a blend of culture, spirituality, and natural beauty. Whether you join a group tour or opt for a private one, All Nepal Hiking ensures that your experience is memorable, well-organized, and tailored to your interests. With opportunities for customization and a team of experienced guides, this journey promises to be an unforgettable adventure in Tibet.
Accommodation and food during the Mount Kailash Overland Tour via Lhasa
In the evenings, after a day of exploration and adventure, you'll be treated to hot and simple dinners at the guesthouses. These dinners are thoughtfully prepared to accommodate the dietary preferences and requirements of the group, ensuring that you're well-fed and ready for the next day's adventures. Additionally, travelers have the option to bring their favorite dry foods or snacks to supplement their meals, providing an extra level of comfort and familiarity during the journey. This thoughtful approach to accommodation and meals ensures that your Mount Kailash Overland Tour via Lhasa is not only spiritually enriching but also comfortable and satisfying in terms of sustenance and rest.
Best season During the Mount Kailash Overland Tour via Lhasa
The best season for embarking on the Overland Kailash Yatra is typically from May through September, with April and October also being suitable, particularly for smaller groups of travelers. This choice of the best season is informed by several key factors that significantly impact the overall experience of this sacred pilgrimage and adventure.
1. Weather and Temperature: During the May to September period, the weather in the Kailash region is relatively mild and favorable for trekking and outdoor activities. Daytime temperatures are more comfortable, with warmer days and milder nights, making it easier for travelers to cope with the altitude and climate challenges. In contrast, April and October are transitional months with slightly colder temperatures but are still manageable for those well-prepared for varying weather conditions.
2. Accessibility: The roads leading to Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar are usually more accessible from May to September. Snow and ice on the roads can be a challenge in the winter months, making travel difficult and risky. During the best season, transportation is more reliable and road conditions are safer.
3. Pilgrimage Activities: Many pilgrims and travelers undertake the Kailash Yatra during the best season, which creates a sense of community and shared experience. Pilgrimage activities, rituals, and ceremonies are more prevalent during this period, enriching the spiritual atmosphere and providing opportunities for cultural exchange.
4. Scenic Beauty: The months from May to September offer breathtaking views of the landscape around Mount Kailash. The region is adorned with vibrant colors, including blooming wildflowers and lush greenery, adding to the scenic beauty of the journey. The pristine beauty of Lake Mansarovar is also best appreciated during this time.
5. Altitude Considerations: The altitude at Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar is considerable, with both locations situated above 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). Traveling during the best season allows travelers to acclimatize more easily to the high altitude due to the milder weather conditions, reducing the risk of altitude-related illnesses.
6. Group Size: While the May to September period is suitable for larger groups due to its favorable weather conditions and accessibility, smaller groups can still comfortably undertake the journey in April and October. Smaller groups may find these transitional months to be quieter, offering a more intimate and serene experience.
In conclusion, the best season for the Overland Kailash Yatra is from May to September, characterized by milder weather, accessibility, vibrant scenery, and a sense of community among pilgrims and travelers. However, those traveling in April and October can still enjoy a meaningful pilgrimage, albeit with some variations in weather and group dynamics. Regardless of the chosen season, proper preparation, including acclimatization, is essential for a safe and spiritually enriching journey to Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar.
Useful Information During Mount Kailash Overland Tour via Lhasa
Overall, careful preparation, proper acclimatization, and consideration of the specific conditions and facilities along the Kailash Yatra route are essential for a successful and enriching pilgrimage to this sacred destination.
Drinking Water: Drinking water is a crucial consideration during the Kailash Overland Tour. Travelers can expect to have access to mineral water supplied in large jars and small bottles. Additionally, hot boiled water is available for filling your water bottles in the morning and evening each day, ensuring a constant supply of safe drinking water. The dedicated team from Tibet Kailash Travel takes care to provide travelers with an ample amount of pure drinking water. It is strongly advised that individuals consume at least 3 liters of water daily to stay well-hydrated, particularly given the high-altitude conditions, and it's recommended to carry an adequate supply of water during the day's activities to remain properly hydrated
Toilet facilities: Toilet facilities in the Kailash region are quite basic and differ from what many travelers are accustomed to. Typically, toilets are located outside of the guest rooms and are commonly shared among travelers. Due to the scarcity of water, these facilities may not always be as clean as desired. It's important to note that, in certain areas such as Mansarovar, Derapuk, and Juthulpuk, people often use open outdoor facilities due to the limited availability of toilets.
Guide: The entire trip is expertly managed by a professional team from Tibet Kailash Travel Nepal, comprising a team leader, kitchen staff, and support personnel. A licensed Tibetan guide authorized to work officially with the Nepali team ensures that the journey runs smoothly. All the drivers are also from Tibet, adding to the local expertise of the team.
Trip insurance: Travel insurance is not mandatory for obtaining the official Kailash permit and visa. However, it is recommended to have travel insurance to cover personal expenses in case of emergency evacuation or other unforeseen circumstances. Travel insurance can be particularly helpful if the need arises to return midway due to health issues or to cover expenses related to emergency evacuation, which is a possibility.
- Emergency evacuation: In the event of an emergency evacuation, such as for health reasons, all associated costs are the responsibility of the individual requiring evacuation. Tibet Kailash Travel makes the necessary arrangements for such evacuations, but it's important to note that helicopter rescue is not permitted in the Tibet region, so evacuations must be done by road in Tibet/Kailash. Once back in Nepal, helicopter rescue becomes a viable option.
Hospital and Medical Facilities: Medical facilities in the Kailash region are limited, with only one hospital located in Taklakot. Most other villages and towns in the vicinity lack medical stores and hospitals. In the case of a medical emergency, travelers would need to drive to Taklakot to access hospital services. To address basic health needs, the team from Tibet Kailash Travel carries essential medicines, and the tour leaders and guides possess basic first-aid knowledge.
- Group size: The group size for the Kailash Yatra is typically organized as group departures, with a minimum requirement of 24 participants to make the journey viable and cost-effective. Group sizes may exceed 24 participants in a single trip, allowing for a collective experience. However, private trips with varying group sizes can also be arranged at different costs, catering to individual preferences.
- Age limitation: There are age restrictions when it comes to obtaining the Kailash permit and visa. Only Indian passport holders up to the age of 65 are eligible to receive Kailash permits from Tibet. These permits are issued by Tibet Tourism, which is part of the Tibetan government.
- Communication facilities: Communication facilities are available in both the Kailash and Nepal regions. Local telephone services are accessible throughout the journey. For mobile phone usage, travelers can obtain a Nepali SIM card while in Nepal and a Chinese SIM card upon entering Tibet. These SIM cards can be acquired after fulfilling certain formalities and can be recharged during the journey. While Wi-Fi is available in the Nepal part of the tour, it is not available in Tibet. Internet connectivity can be established using a Chinese SIM card. Mobile networks may not function for a single day during the Kailash Parikrama, so alternative means of communication should be considered.
- Physical fitness and doctor certificate: Physical fitness is a vital factor in ensuring the success of your trip. Although no doctor's or medical certificate is required to obtain your Kailash permit and visa, it is strongly advised that you prepare physically for the journey. Engaging in physical activities such as jogging each morning in the months leading up to the trip can help you acclimate to the challenging altitude conditions you'll encounter during the Kailash Yatra.
Acclimatization: Acclimatization plays a crucial role in this tour, especially considering the high altitudes involved. To facilitate acclimatization, the itinerary includes two nights of acclimatization in Nyalam before reaching Mansarovar and Mount Kailash. This gradual ascent helps travelers adjust to the thin air and high elevations, reducing the risk of altitude-related issues.
Extra activities: There may be opportunities for additional activities during the Kailash Yatra, enhancing the overall experience. These activities could include visits to Chui Monastery and nearby hot springs near Lake Manasarovar, extending the itinerary by one day to reach Charansparsa from the north face of Kailash, or a drive to Tirthapuri at an extra cost.
Kailash Tour during a full moon: Traveling during the full moon period is not recommended for the Kailash Yatra. This is because it is peak time for pilgrims who aim to reach Manasarovar or the north face of Kailash during this phase, leading to overcrowding and potential difficulties in finding accommodation and transportation. In the past, the Tibetan government has restricted entry for certain groups during this period, causing inconvenience to travelers.
Extra Expenses: Additional expenses may arise during the Kailash Yatra. While the tour is typically full board, personal expenses such as hiring a personal horse and helper for the Kailash Parikrama are additional costs. The tour cost may also include or exclude specific items, so it's important to clarify what is covered before embarking on the journey.
- We provide you with a duffel bag for storing your belongings and another smaller backpack for you to carry with you at all times. You will receive these bags upon your arrival in Nepal. You can also choose to store your bag at the hotel and take it with you when you return from the yatra.
Footwear and Socks:
- You will need comfortable and warm shoes for the entire journey. It's advisable to have a spare pair of shoes or sandals to wear while staying at guesthouses. Three pairs of warm socks should suffice for the entire trip, and you can wash them during the yatra as needed.
- Headcover hat (provided)
- Mouth covering muff
- Warm down jacket (provided, returnable)
- Windproof jacket
- Warm inner thermal clothing
- Two pairs of lightweight T-shirts
- UV-protective sunglasses
- Medium-sized quick-drying towel
- Head torchlight with spare batteries
- Lip balm
- Sunscreen cream
- Trekking stick
- Two-liter water bottle
- Small thermos water bottle
- Hand soap
- Toilet paper
First Aid Kit Box (Containing):
- Antiseptic cream
- Diamox or other tablets for altitude sickness
- Small trekking knife
- Some dry foods
- The camera and its extra batteries
- Mobile phone and charger with small multi-pins
- Warm sweater or lightweight jacket
- Inner down thermal wear
- Water and windproof trousers
- One or two pairs of long-wear trekking pants
- Full-body raincoat
- Water/windproof warm gloves
- Three pairs of comfortable underwear