Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

The revered peak Mount Kailash towering over 22000 feet on the Trans-Himalayan range located in Tibet called Gangdise Mountains is considered holy by the followers of three main religions: Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Other religions followed in those parts like Bon also consider it a sacred mountain. The sources of many long and important rivers that flow through Asia such as the Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra and Karnali are found near Mount Kailash and the two lakes namely Mansarovar and Rakshas taal are also in the vicinity of the great Mount.

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra or the pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake is considered very auspicious and holy by the Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. There are also some Buddhist shrines in this region and many Buddhist visit these sites as well.

The Hindu pilgrimage to Kailash and Mansarovar involves the circumambulation of both; the Mount Kailash or Kailash Parvat as it is referred to in India or Kang Rinpoche in Tibet and the Mansarovar Lake. It is not only a religious exercise but is also culturally significant and physically taxing. Since the area where the Mount Kailash, Lake Mansarovar and the circumambulatory route are located is in the jurisdiction of China, that portion of the pilgrimage is arranged and controlled by the Chinese authority.

The mountain is believed to be the home of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati and visiting the area and worshipping there amidst the tranquil beauty of nature is believed to bring many sublime blessings and remove all pain from life. The divine waters of the heavenly Lake Mansarovar cleanse the spirit and mind and shower you with the divine blessings of Lord Shiva himself. The peace and energy of the place has to be seen and experienced by one’s own self and devotees believe that this extremely spiritual and serene experience changes you forever. However, the arduous trek, cold climate and inclement weather together with poor infrastructural facilities and rough topography of the place make this a difficult pilgrimage to complete.

The pilgrimage takes around 30 days depending upon where you start your journey. Generally out of 28 days, 11 days are spent in India and the rest in Tibet under Chinese jurisdiction. The entire route is rugged but is adorned with pristine nature at its beautiful best. The distance that has to be covered to go round Mount Kailash is 54 Kms and around Lake Mansarovar is about 100 kms. Many people walk, some prostrate themselves all around the mountain and the lake and take much longer that those who walk. Parts of the trek can be done by pony or yak also.

The altitude at which the pilgrimage is undertaken can cause altitude sickness to some and others may suffer from short breath and decreased energy because of the altitude. Acclimatization to the altitude before starting the journey is recommended to counter the effects of altitude sickness.

Weather at Kailash

Tibet where Mount Kailash and the Lake are located is referred to as a cold desert. It is a mountainous and rocky place which is ruggedly beautiful and cold almost all through the year except in the months of June through September. The dry weather can change without warning and become windy and rainy in the months of July and August. Early mornings, late evenings and nights can be quite cold with temperatures falling to 0 to minus 2 degrees Celsius. Afternoons in June, July and August could be pleasant with temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius.

Best Time to Visit

The Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage is conducted only in the summer months between May and September as in summers between May and August, the weather is pleasant and there is not much rain. 

The best season to go on pilgrimage is between May and September. The tours arranged and approved by the Government of India and its Chinese counterparts conducts them in groups from May to September only.

  • In the months of May, June and July, the climate is cool and pleasant climate and provides ideal conditions for the trek as well as other religious places around.
  • August and September may bring in the rains but the terrain is still accessible and the pilgrimage can be successfully completed.


The circumambulatory path around the mountain and the lake has to be taken on foot or on pony or yak. It takes around three days and one has to stay two nights on the way in tented camps. The altitude at which this trek is conducted is around 15000 ft to 18000 ft and the route crosses Tarboche, the Drolma Pass and near the meadows of Dirapuk Gompa and then goes downhill all the way.

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