The Epic Journey To Mount Kailash: Your 2023 Travel Guide
Mount Kailash, the most revered and sacred place for Hindus around the world, is said to be the holy abode of Lord Shiva.
Mount Kailash, with all its majestic glory, is situated at a high altitude of approximately 21778 ft above sea level and is a place full of mystery that is unknown to the world.
It falls in Tibet and witnesses thousands of pilgrims yearly during the Mount Kailash Yatra Season, from May to September.
Even though Mount Kailash’s height is 21778 ft, the highest point one can reach is the Dolma La Pass which is approximately 18000 ft above sea level and is covered by the pilgrims on the second day of Kailash Trek or the Kailash Parikrama.
The journey to Mount Kailash is often called the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. Now what is Mansarovar, and where exactly is it?
Mansarovar is a sweet water lake which falls on the way to Kailash mountain. The best part is that you can see Kailash Mountain from here, and its reflection in the Mansarovar Lake is a view that will last in your memories for ages.
On the other hand, close to Mansarovar Lake, you will find Raakshastal, which is a saltwater lake. You can take a bath in Mansarovar Lake and cleanse your sins.
Mount Kailash Trek
Mt. Kailash Trek, also known as the Kailash Parikrama, is approximately 40 km and can be completed in three days. You can travel from Mansarovar Lake to Yamdwar, where the Mt. Kailash trek starts.
Yamdwar has a temple, and it is believed that if you go through the temple, all your unintentional sins will be forgiven, so it’s an excellent chance to cleanse your heart and soul before you go and witness the holy abode of Lord Shiva.
Day 1: On your first day, the Mount Kailash trek will be a 10 km trek from Yamdwar to Dirapuk, where you can stay overnight.
Day 2: Your second-day parikrama will be 22 km, you start in the early morning as you have to climb a steep slope approximately 6 km long and then descend 6 km, so you should start early morning before the sun comes. The rest of the trek is plain, so it will be comparatively more straightforward for you to complete. Once you reach Zuthulpuk, you can take a halt for an overnight stay.
Day 3: The duration of the Mt. Kailash trek will be 8 km, and your parikrama ends here. The trek will not be rigorous but the climatic conditions can make you feel uneasy at times.
There are horses available, if you feel that you cannot walk for such long distances, you can hire a horse for the entire Mount Kailash Parikrama of 3 days and make it easier for yourself. However, you must inform the authorities well in advance that you will require a horse. It’s best that you mention your requirement for horses at Mansarovar Lake.
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How To Reach Mount Kailash?
Two common routes are followed to reach Mount Kailash:
The helicopter route is a route where you will require mixed transportation. You start from Lucknow via bus, reach Nepal, take a flight to Simikot, and then take a helicopter to Hilsa, the Nepal-Tibet Border. From here, you can take the bus, which will take you as far as Yamdwar, from where you will start your Mount Kailash Trek.
Another route that you can follow is the bus route from Kathmandu, this is for people who prefer bus journeys over flights. The entire journey will be covered by the bus, and again the bus will take you to Yamdwar, from where the Kailash trek will start.
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Best Time For Mount Kailash Trek
The best time for Mount Kailash Trek depends on your preferences. If you wish to visit during the time it opens, then that is quite a good time to do Mount Kailash Trek because the weather is good at that time. However, during July and August, people usually don’t prefer it because of the monsoon season. If you are looking for a quiet and peaceful time to do your Mount Kailash trek, September is probably the best time to visit Kailash. There is hardly any chaos, and the weather is pleasant as well.
Eligibility For Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
- The minimum age to visit Mount Kailash is 10 years.
- The maximum age is 70 years.
- You should be medically fit to travel.
- You need a fitness certificate from any MBBS Doctor stating that you are fit for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Things To Carry During Mount Kailash Yatra
It’s crucial to know well in advance the essential things to carry during your Mount Kailash Yatra.
The visa and permit for Kailash Yatra are essential things to carry. You will get a staple visa for the yatra, which must be applied well in advance, at least 2 months before the trip.
- Trekking Stick: If you plan to trek, you must buy a trekking stick to make your trek easier.
- Snacks: Travel companies that take you on Mount Kailash tour usually offer you some packed food. However, you should keep snacks because you might feel hungry during the Mount Kailash trek. It’s best to keep protein bars because they last longer in your stomach, and you can immediately get rid of your hunger pangs.
- Camera: The Mount Kailash tour will be a journey of a lifetime, and even if you take 1000 pictures, it will still not be enough because you will want to stop at every place to take pictures.
- Power Banks: If you are not taking your camera, you will be using your phone a lot, so it’s best to keep your phone charged to take pictures. Since you will be travelling most of the time, you must carry your power bank so you don’t have to rely on getting a charging point everywhere.
- Mask: You should have a mask because the wind near the mountain makes your throat dry. You can avoid it by wearing a mask during the trek.
- Water Bottle: Now, this is an essential item, and it doesn’t even need to be mentioned because you will be trekking for a long time, and you are going to be thirsty. Thus, you should take at least two water bottles with you and drink small sips of water now and then to keep yourself hydrated.
- Cash: Keep cash, and that too in the form of change for easy transactions during the trek.
- Water Gallons: Once you visit the Mansarovar Lake, you might want to take the holy water from the Mansarovar Lake to buy the water gallons from here. However, you can also fill your empty water bottles with Mansarovar Lake’s water. Instead of throwing it, collect all these bottles and later fill them with holy water.
All these things should be in a small backpack during your trek because you will need these. Ensure that this bag has everything mentioned above. It wouldn’t make sense to bring all this from home, so it’s best that you buy it from the local markets there. You can buy plenty of stuff from the local markets here.
Things To Keep In Mind During Mount Kailash Yatra
You are on a pilgrimage and are about to see the holy abode of your Lord, the least that is expected from you is your patience. There can be delays due to weather or immigration, and for plenty of reasons, but you have to keep in mind that God himself will test your patience. This journey will be the biggest and the most important of your life, it’s not supposed to be smooth. The fun is where it gets tougher, during the Mount Kailash trek, where you may feel tired but wouldn’t want to stop because if your God wants you to worship him, no powers can stop you from doing that.
Respect For Others
During your Mount Kailash yatra, you are going to meet a lot of new people along the way from different cultures and beliefs. You may even meet people who will be performing the Parikrama anti-clockwise. You have to ensure that you respect their beliefs and faith and not mock them for doing things the way they are doing them.
Help Fellow Yatris
When you see someone struggling, try to help them. Do not just worry about yourself and your family members. Help as much as you can so that when you complete your journey, people remember you as the person who helped during their parikrama. Would it not be a nice thing to be remembered like that?
Helping others is fine, but it’s also important to ask for help when you feel like you need it. If you feel like you cannot continue further during any time of the journey, inform the tour guides or sherpas and ask for immediate help.
Get Your O2 Checked
Since you will be trekking in a high-altitude area, it’s mandatory to keep checking your oxygen level now and then, and you should keep one oximeter in your bag. As soon as you feel that you are having trouble breathing, just wait a few minutes and check your 02 levels, and if it’s shallow, then call for help.
Don’t Push Yourself
Sometimes, it so happens that during the yatra, people start fasting and don’t eat anything. This is not advisable because you are at higher altitudes. You cannot afford to have empty stomachs because you may start throwing up. Eat your meals three times a day, along with soup, and stay healthy. The most stupid thing you can do is push yourself to do something when it’s clear that your body isn’t allowing you to move further.
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Mysteries of Mount Kailash
Popularly known as the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, the journey is absolute bliss for pilgrims worldwide, chanting the name of Lord Shiva. However, this holy mountain is full of mysteries that none have been able to find.
Who Climbed Mount Kailash?
One question that might pop up in your mind is if anyone has been able to climb the top of Mount Kailash. Well, to answer your question, till now, only one person in the entire world has been able to climb Mount Kailash, whose name was Milarepa.
Milarepa has his name etched in the history of Mount Kailash because even the most skilled trekkers haven’t been able to do what he has done.
Milarepa was a Tibetan sage of the 11th Century who preached Buddhism throughout the Tibetan Plateau after being a murderer for a long time. He turned into a saint and wrote poems.
Now the real question is that Mount Kailash is just 22000 ft. In contrast, Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, is approximately 29000 ft above sea level, and still, somehow, people climb Mount Everest every year. Yet, Mount Kailash, with a lower elevation, is unclimbable. How is that even possible, and even if it is, what is the mystery behind this glorious mountain that makes it impossible for ordinary humans to summit it?
If Milarepa, a former murderer turned into a saint, could do it, then why not others?
Several people have attempted to climb Mount Kailash, but none have succeeded for one reason or another. Climbers who tried to summit the mountain believe it changes its course as if its energy resents people from climbing it.
It is believed that time moves faster on this mountain, a group of Siberian climbers tried to summit the mountain, but upon the realisation that they could not move further, they returned and realised that they had aged almost a decade. Shocking, isn’t it?
All these climbers died mysteriously within a year of coming back, probably because they were no longer young and somehow the mountain had escalated their age, and they were old now.
It is also said that time moves faster on Mount Kailash, and compasses don’t work there. Is time travelling a real thing, and even if it is, does that mean it happens right here on Kailash Mountain? The most astonishing part of this holy mountain is that time not only moves faster on the mountain but also when a person returns. For instance, your nails and hair grow within hours on the mountain, which naturally takes a week for others on the plain surface. Even after returning, the growth of hair and nails can be seen. Does that mean that time travels faster on this mountain, and somehow, when anyone tries to visit the mountain, their bodies start functioning at that particular pace?
Reinhold Messner, an Italian trekker famous for trekking almost 14 highest peaks around the world, was requested by the Chinese authorities to climb the mountain. Still, he refused to do so, maybe because he knew it was impossible to climb, and it would be a stain on his track record if he failed. From that time onwards, the Chinese government banned climbing the mountain.
When Milarepa returned, he asked others not to climb the mountain because it disturbs the Gods resting there, and one should not invite the wrath of the Gods. Locals believe that Lord Shiva is still meditating on Mount Kailash, which makes it unclimbable.
The question is that trekkers worldwide couldn’t do it, but Milarepa could summit the mountain. If it’s beyond the powers of an ordinary man to summit this mysterious mountain, does that mean that Milarepa was no ordinary man?
What did Milarepa find at the top of Kailash Parvat that he advised others not to climb it?
The mysteries behind it are still unknown to the world.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What did NASA find in Mount Kailash?
Ans: Mount Kailash Height is approximately 21778 ft above sea level; according to scientists, it is located in the Earth’s centre. It is said Nasa has recently captured a picture of the mountain where the face of Lord Shiva can be seen on the Mountain, and so far, there has been no valid explanation for that.
2. How should I prepare for Mount Kailash?
Ans: Since you will be travelling in a high-altitude area, it’s best to start exercising and jogging at least 2 months before the journey. Doing this will increase your stamina and strengthen your body.
Besides, eat healthily, and if you are a smoker or an alcoholic, try quitting it as soon as you book your trip. Smoking or drinking at Kailash Mountain is neither ethical nor logical because it will weaken your lungs, and at such altitudes, you would not want to get into any health issues.
3. Is it possible to go to Mount Kailash?
Ans: Yes, it’s possible to go to Mount Kailash. However, the route has been closed for three years due to the pandemic, but now the relaxations have been eased, so you can also plan your trip this year.
But if you are asking if you could climb the mountain, then that is not possible, for only one man in the history of mankind has been able to climb that mountain. His name was Milarepa, a Tibetan Sage of the 11th Century. Currently, China has banned climbing the Mountain due to several casualties.