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Health Concern

The Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrimage is not an easy trek that physically unfit people can undertake. The selection of pilgrims is a pointer to the necessity of physical fitness in this arduous pilgrimage that takes almost a month to complete. It is recommended that a doctor should be consulted to find whether you are fit enough to take this journey and also take a fitness certificate to testify the same.

It is advisable to carry a medical kit containing first aid items such as disinfectants, Band-Aid, gauze etc. for blisters, minor cuts and injuries, medicines for aches and pains, fever etc. Since a lot of walking and climbing is involved, sturdy hiking boots that will protect the feet and prevent sprains should be used.

Since the pilgrimage is conducted at a very high altitude, precautions have to be taken to acclimatize to the altitude before starting the actual pilgrimage. It is also advisable to start making preparations relating to health and fitness for the pilgrimage months in advance so that you do not yield to the strain of the pilgrimage and the harsh environment. It has been recently added that pilgrims above the age of 65 should not be selected for the Yatra.

Fitness of Yatris

It is not only necessary that Yatris or pilgrims be free from any debilitating illness such as high blood pressure, diabetes etc. but should be also physically and mentally fit to withstand the rigorous pilgrimage for a protracted period and be in good shape to be able to complete the pilgrimage that last almost a month. Obese people who might not be able to stand the hardships are not allowed to participate, it is recommended that only those who have a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or less are selected for the pilgrimage. Since the pilgrimage is conducted at very high altitudes, almost all pilgrims are affected with altitude sickness if they do not acclimatize themselves to the height. The degree of altitude sickness varies for different individuals and it is seen that fitter people suffer less from this sickness.

Indemnity Bond and Declaration

An indemnity bond stating that the pilgrims are undertaking this Yatra of their own will and risk has to be provided. In emergencies, pilgrims may be required to be evacuated by helicopter. Another undertaking has to be provided that the yatris have no objection for such an evacuation if needed. In case, there is death during the Yatra, consent has to be given to cremate the mortal remains in Tibet itself. To get visa for the Yatra, the pilgrims have to see that their passports are valid for at least six months after September 1 of the particular year.


Clothing required for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra has to be appropriate for the weather during the Yatra. The temperatures could be very low and there could be rain or snow. The right footwear is also important for the long walks and climbs that are a part of the pilgrimage. At least one down jacket which is available on rent should be taken along. Warm cloths and underclothes, comfortable and hardy shoes, light shoes and sandals, raincoat with hood for the possible rains, few pairs of socks and a few changes in case you get wet are required. Towel, napkin, gloves, scarves are also needed. Accessories and other essential items should be carried. Since, there is no laundry service adequate clothing should be carried.


Since credit cards are not accepted, money has to be carried in cash. Yuen is the unit of Chinese currency. At present, USD 1 equals 7 Yuen.


Transportation during the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra depends on the kind of Yatra you have opted for. The Government sponsored Yatra uses buses for transportation wherever there is a motorable road and ponies, mules, yaks and porters to carry man and material wherever possible. The Indian Government looks after the transportation of Yatris and their luggage on the Indian side and the Chinese Government looks after transportation of people and goods on the Tibetan side.


At every night, halt accommodation is made available to all Yatris. Tents for two, three or four Yatris or tents with dormitory facilities, tented toilets and bathrooms are available at campsites. Beds and beddings, sleeping bags, blankets, duvets etc. are all provided. Laundry facility is not provided.

Food and Beverage

Hot vegetarian meals are provided on the Indian side of the pilgrimage. You have to cook your own meals on the Tibetan side where utensils etc are provided at the camp sites. It is advised to carry ready-to-eat snacks, nuts etc. as during the long and hard treks, energy is depleted very quickly. It is also advised to keep yourself hydrated at all times.

Visas and Documentation

Indian citizens below the age of 65 and who have a valid passport with remaining validity of at least 6 months can apply for a visa for Tibet for the purpose of the pilgrimage alone. Two passport sized photographs have to be submitted with the visa application and the visa fee.


It is recommended that insurance against illness, emergency rescue operation, accidents and hospitalization is taken before the Yatra commences as these are unforeseen circumstances that the government or the tour companies are not responsible of and do not take liability of.

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