What are the different ways of travelling to Kailash?
There are 4 ways to reach Mount Kailash from India.
1 - By road from India. This is a 28-30 day trek but the disadvantage of this trek is that it has to be booked well in advance and there is no certainty that one can go despite being in physical shape, because the number of seats is limited and participants are chosen by a draw by the Ministry of External Affairs, India. About 400 people out of 6000 applicants go for this yatra each year.
2 - By road from Kathmandu and from there by road to Lake Manasarovar at the base of Mount Kailash. One may fly to Kathmandu from Delhi, Varanasi, Kolkata or Mumbai. This is the most popular route for doing Mount Kailash Yatra.
3 - Our Helicopter tours of Kailash are perfect choice for those who cannot afford to spend 15-16 days for the Yatra or who are not very comfortable with high altitude road journey. This tour uses fixed wing aircraft for the flight from Kathmandu to Nepalganj and from there to Simikot. From Simikot a helicopter flies to Hilsa. Landcruisers are then used to reach Manasarovar.
4 - Tour via Lhasa wherein one will fly to Kathmandu and then to Lhasa by China Air and from there one will visit various towns in Tibet like Shigatse, Gyantse, Lhatse, Prayang etc. and will reach Mansarovar. On the way back, there are three options :
a - Drive back to Lhasa and fly back to Kathmandu
b - Drive to Hilsa and fly via Helicopter and fixed wing aircraft to Kathmandu
c - Drive back to Kathmandu via Kodari Border (Friendship Bridge).
What kind of fitness is required?
For Kailash Mansarovar Yatra fitness is very crucial. It is advisable to get a medical examination with your regular doctor before you plan to go on Mt. Kailash Yatra. Anyone suffering from back problems may find the long drives over bumpy roads difficult. People suffering from Asthma or any kind of dust allergy are forewarned that the amount of dust on the road necessitates wearing a mask. Apart from that, it is a good idea to prepare in advance with brisk walking, and some regimen of exercise or preferably yoga asanas and pranayama. Eventually, for most people the Kailash parikrama is an act of faith.
What route does the Kailash 15 day tour follow?
After 2 nights at Kathmandu, the group leaves for the Tibet border (Zhangmu) on the 3rd day. There is a 2-night halt at Nyalam, with an additional date for acclimatising to the height. Thereafter halts are at Saga, Paryang and the sacred Lake Manasarovar. This is followed by the 3 day Kailash parikrama. The return route is the same. Each day there is an incredibly beautiful and equally exhausting drive for 8 hours or more, on rough and rugged terrain. There are very few metalled roads in this part of Tibet.
What kind of food is served on the tour?
For breakfast one gets high energy and nutritious beverages like complan, bournvita, horlicks along with tea/coffee. There is porridge/cornflakes and the menu alternates pancakes, upma, pakoras etc., and bread with butter/ jams etc. are there. Lunch is generally packed and served at a scenic spot near some water pool. It consists of a tetra pack (Frooti etc) or lime water with glucose, puri/chapatti & vegetables, tinned fruits/sweets, pickle. Dinner is at the campsite and the menu is very varied with soup, Indian, Chinese and European cuisine and a desert. Water collected from streams near the campsite is boiled and hence safe for drinking. You can add iodine drops or chlorine tablets.
Some useful tips :
- Try and make friends with the Tibetan guide and driver. They may appear stand-offish initially but are warm and simple people. Small gifts like Hindi movie cassettes, dark glasses, a cap/hat etc. go a long way in overcoming language problems and establishing rapport.
- The first two to three days are particularly tough as you get used to the rigours of the journey and acclimatise to the sudden change of altitude. This can cause breathlessness, lethargy, drowsiness, nausea, lack of appetite, sleeplessness, headache, irritation, anger, lack of judgement. Drink plenty of water (4-5 litres a day), remain calm and quiet, avoid petty arguments, rest as much as possible, eat properly at mealtimes. Talk to the helpful and caring staff and inform them of any difficulties.
- If you are not allergic to sulpha drugs (please consult your physician), take one tablet of Diamox at Kathmandu the night before leaving for Tibet as well as on the 2nd and 3rd nights, or even longer. Alternatively, take half tablet in the morning and half in the evening. Now a days, we do have non-sulphar drugs available by Ranbaxy. Oxygen cylinders and Gamow bags are carried for anyone having major problems.
- If you can't do the parikrama, say so. Don't take the altitude lightly. Many people understand at Darchen that the parikrama cannot be done by them and decide accordingly. We will make alternate arrangements for you to stay back at Darchen (at extra cost payable directly to the lodge, approx Rs.2,500).
Does my India Mobile work?
Yes the Indian mobile does work during the Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake Yatra (except the day of Mount Kailash Parikarma) , but kindly take international roaming from your provider.
How much walking is required on the 15-day tour?
During the rainy season in Nepal (late June to Sep), there is a strong possibility of landslides en-route to the Tibet border. This stretch varies from 3-5 kms and has to be walked, if required. After that, you will need to walk during the parikrama, if you decide to undertake it. This is a 52-kms / 3 days trek done at an average altitude of 15000 ft and the highest point is the Dolma La (Pass) at 19,500 ft. Attempt walking the entire distance including the trek up the Dolma La only if you are extremely fit physically. If you are reasonably fit, hire a pony for the 3-day parikrama (). , you should be prepared for walks on the first and last day of the parikrama. On these 2 days the walks are in general over level ground ( i.e. with no major ascents or descents). THere will be a walking for approx. 8 hrs. a day. However, there is the option of not doing the parikrama at all and staying behind at Darchen .
What kind of Hotels in Nepal & Tibet side?
- 5 Star hotel
- 4 Star hotel
- 3 Star hotel
For the comfort of our guests, we have changed all itineraries to provide Guest House at all places in Tibet side (no more tents) for the same package cost.
- Nyalam: Guest House
- Taklakot: Guest house
- Mansarovar: Guest house
- Darchan: Guest House
- Derapuk: Guest house
- Zuthulpuk: Guest house/tent
What kind of Transportation in Nepal & Tibet side?
- Nepal Side: We will provide a decent transportation by non-AC Bus.
- Tibet Side: It will based on your selection, however, AC Coach for best value and save money.
- By Luxury AC Coach: Since road conditions in Tibet side are excellent nowadays. AC Coach is very high standard providing comfort and moreover, you will be together with friends and can sing Bhajan and have fun. You can also walk around inside bus, so many people find it more comfortable. Moreover, in the coach you will be together with Sherpas and friends in case you need help in any way. We have pictures below this post.
- By Land Cruiser: Most comfortable journey 4 pax in one car and one driver.
Chinese Visa / Tibet Permit
- The Chinese visa is a group Visa paper based.
- First of all we need your passport copies by email to apply for Tibet Travel Permit (required by Chinese government).
- We will get Tibet permit before 1 month of departure date. After that we need your original passport for Group Visa processing:
- Indian Nationality: You have to send your original passport to our office address for Visa processing.
- NRI or Foreign Nationals: You have to send your COLOR copies of passport by e-mail for Visa processing. You will get group paper visa.
- After you get group Chinese Visa, we will send your passport back to you
- Therefore, since it takes time, we suggest our Yatris to book as early as possible, so that your yatra can be begin in your desired departure date.
What is the registration procedure?
You can either submit the form online or a registration form can be sent to you on request. You are also required to send us three copies of your passport (front and back pages with all relevant personal and passport details) along with four passport size photos. A passport scan via email is also accepted. A medical form is attached with the registration form with necessary instructions. This should be signed by a registered medical practitioner.
Commonly made mistakes while filling in the registration form
- Incomplete address
- Illegible email id and Phone no.
- Clerical error while filling in the passport details
What is the eligibility criteria to be a part of the Kailash Manasarovar sojourn?
- You must be medically fit, holding a valid passport with 180 days of validity.
- Entry into Tibet on diplomatic passport is not permitted.
- People above 65 years of age are requested to undergo additional medical tests to determine their physical fitness.
Participants must be between 18 and 65 years of age. Participants below the age of 18 must either be accompanied by a parent/guardian or a consent form needs to be signed by them. People above 65 years of age are requested to undergo additional medical tests to determine their physical fitness.
How do I get visas to Nepal and Tibet?
A valid passport is needed with a minimum validity of 180 days from the last date of the Kailash sojourn.
- Indian nationals do not require a visa for Nepal
- Non-Indian nationals require a 15-day multiple entry visa which can be availed on arrival at Kathmandu airport, Nepal.
- Visa for Tibet will be organized by Yatra-India
Will there be any major expenditure that I am likely to Incur?
There could be an expenditure if you choose to hire a personal porter during the trek. However the transportation of your luggage during the Parikrama will be organized by Yatra India. Likewise, if you are travelling in Plan B, you may have an additional expense if you choose to hire a pony.
How many hours of travel is involved at a stretch?
You may be required to travel for a 5 hr � 8 hr stretch.
What are the arrangements for communication en-route, like cell phone or satellite phones
Pay phones are available in Kathmandu, Zhangmu, Nyalam and Saga. Airtel Roaming works fairly well till Lake Manasarovar. The Yatra - India coordinator will be equipped with a sattalite phone at Kailash for any emergency communication.
Could you give me details on the accommodation conveniences provided?
The following is offered:
- Five/Four (as per the plan you may choose) star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on twin-sharing basis
- Best available hotel/guest houses accommodation in Tibet
- Tent accommodation at Lake Manasarovar for two nights
Facilities in Tibet are very limited and therefore the quality of accommodation will vary from one place to another. Rest assured, we will be providing the best of what the place has to offer.
Do we need to undergo medical tests? Why is it necessary?
Yes. Details are available in the medical form. You are required to trek through high altitude region. In such places, the atmospheric air is under low pressure and people may suffer from Hypoxia (less oxygen). In the rarefied atmospheric conditions, a participant may develop ailments like pulmonary oedema/cerebral oedema and acute mountain sickness, etc. Participants hence need to be screened thoroughly before they are taken to high altitudes.
I have been to high altitude last year and my stay was uneventful. Do I need a medical exam?
Yes, it is necessary to undergo medical examination every time before going to a high altitude region.
How can I qualify medically?
By undergoing all the medical tests mentioned in the medical form and consulting your physician about your fitness to travel to a high altitude of 19,000 feet and above.
Do I need to carry the medicines which I have been taking and prescribed by my doctor?
Yes, you are advised to take sufficient stock of medicines to last the entire duration of the trip.
In case of emergencies, what are the steps that will be taken by you?
A qualified and well-equipped doctor especially trained to handle high-altitude sickness and other conditions that may arise, will accompany you throughout the program. In case an emergency evacuation becomes necessary, you will be immediately driven back to Kathmandu with the necessary care and precaution required.
Will we have sufficient time and training to acclimatize for and during the journey?
What are the facilities in Tibet? Will it be possible to have shower everyday or have a single room accommodation?
Tibet, referred to as the highest region on earth, is also one of the least developed parts of the world. Being extremely remote and isolated, the conveniences for pilgrims although being upgraded are still at a basic and limited scale. So, on entering Tibet, it might be necessary at times to share a room with a few others or participate in an outdoor toilet adventure, or go without a shower for a few days. In any case, we will always be there to support you and make the journey a pleasant one.
Where can I buy warm clothing and shoes? Any recommendations?
Warm clothing such as thermal wears, gloves, woolen socks, etc are available in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, etc. For shoes, any brand such as Nike, Adidas or Reebok offers good water-resistant shoes and are available in almost all cities and towns.
Will there be time for shopping at Kathmandu?
There will be some time available for shopping after sightseeing. However sometimes due to strikes and bandhs, the markets may be closed so please take all your trip essentials from India and do not risk buying those in Kathmandu.
Can I go for Mt.Everest and Mukthinath?
Going to Mt. Everest is not recommended given the high rate of aircraft accidents. Travel to Mukthinath is possible if the weather is good and you are willing to stay for extra 3 � 5 days along with the additional cost.