Kailash attracts thousands of pilgrims every year who attempt to walk the 52 km/ 32 mile-long trek surrounding it

Mount Kailash Pilgrimage Trek

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The Kailash Gang Rinpoche, which means Jewel of snow is striking in the way it rises high above the surrounding range and always remains snow - capped. Mount Kailash has a unique and distinct shape, with four sheer faces matching the cardinal points of the compass. It is also free standing, solitary. 

Mount Kailash is also called the "Stairway to Heaven" at 6,638meters (21,778 feet) high is the most famous peak of Kailash mountain range. Climbing it is not permitted due to its sanctity. Regarded as the earthly manifestation of mythic Mount Meru or Sumeru, the spiritual centre of the universe in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cosmology, Mount Kailash is also believed to be the source of four life-giving rivers. To Tibetan Buddhists, Kailash is the abode of the tantric meditational deity Demchog. Hindus see Kailash as the throne of the great god Shiva, while the Jains revere Kailash as the site at which their first prophet received enlightenment. A pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and a bath in the Mansarovar is believed to bring about salvation (Moksha).

Mt. Kailash Kora is 52km long, usually takes three days to complete. The altitude ranges from 4675m at Darchen, the starting point to 5630m at Drolma-la, the highest point of the kora.

Most people start the tour to Kailash via  Lhasa with a visit to the Potala Palace and its surrounding ancient monasteries to acclimate, then drive to Shigatse and stay overnight. Then they go on to Darchen via Saga and Payang. It is better to spend a day acclimatizing in Payang before reaching Darchen.

The tour can be done by driving from Kathmandu, trekking in from Simikot in Nepal or via Lhasa.

everest base camp cho la trek profile
frequent questions
route options

Simikot Option: 26 day tour, 7 days trekking   

Lhasa Option; 22 day tour, 7 days trekking                                  

Kerung option: 18 day tour - 7 days trekking             

best time to climb

The hike can be done throughout the year, however, Autumn (Sep - Nov) is often considered to be the best season for hiking in Tibet with a great climate and several festivals. although it is a little colder than Spring, the skies tend to be much clearer. 

The best season to go on Kailash Ttrek is from August to October and mid-March to mid-April. This is the peak time of the year to go on this trek, and you will find many other trekkers along with you on the journey. With May being summit season it will be very busy and also the time of year when trekkers are restricted. Saga Dawa in in May which is the most auspicious time to be there.

travel insurance

The cost of a medical evacuation from the mountain is expensive, which is why adequate travel insurance  is required on all climbs booked through us. Adequate, means you must be covered for 1) Trekking or hiking – this may sound strange, but many insurance list that as an exclusion. 
2) Altitude up to 6,000 meters. Most travel insurance providers do not include this under their standard cover and often limit it to 3500m or less. 
3) Sprains strains and physiotherapy – yes, many insurers exclude this; though ironically, this is what you will most likely need cover for. 
4) Personal accident – this is the horrible part of insurance. Yes, you need to be covered in the case of death. We are often told by clients – “if anything happens to me, just leave me there.” It is not that simple.

Mount Kailash Overview

Day-1: Kathmandu 
Day-2: Kathmandu 
Day-3: Kathmandu to Lhasa (3660m)
 Day-4: Lhasa 
Day-5: Lhasa 
Day-6: Lhasa to Gyantse (3950m) 
Day-7: Gyantse (3950m) to Shigatse (3900m) 
Day-8: Drive to Lhatse 
Day-9: Drive to Saga 
Day-10: Drive to Paryang 
Day-11 : Drive to Horchu 
Day-12: Visit Darchen 
Day-13: On Trek 
Day-14:On Trek 
Day-15: On Trek 
Day-16: Complete the trek (15kms / 03 to 04 hrs). 
Day-17 : Drive back to Paryang
Day-18: Drive back to Saga 
Day-19: Drive to Kyirong County 
Day-20: Cross the border (Kerung)- Kathmandu 
Day-21: Leisure 
Day-22: Depart  

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Day-1: Arrive Kathmandu  and transfer to Hotel. 

Day-2: Full day Guided sightseeing around Kathmandu valley.

Day-3. Kathmandu to Lhasa  (3660m)  

Transfer to the  airport for the hour-long flight across the main Himalayan range.  Afternoon at rest to acclimatise to Lhasa' s high altitude.

Day-4: Lhasa 

We will visit Lhasa' s many monasteries and sites, such as the Sera Monastery, and the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai  Lama.

Day-5: Lhasa

We visit the   Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery founded in the 14th century, and once the largest in  the world, with a population of  around 10,000 monks. The afternoon, is a time to relax or  further explore the area.

Day-6: Lhasa to Gyantse (3950m) 

Travelling by jeep along the  Friendship Highway we cross the  Khamba La (4794m) and continue westwards over another high pass the Karo La (5045m) with incredible glacial views. We  spend the night in a Hotel at Gyantse. [261km]

Day-7: Gyantse to Shigatse  (3900m) 

After an early morning tour of some of the  Gyantse Dzong (14th Century fort) and the Kumbum, a large  stupa, we head off on a short 90km drive to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. In the afternoon we will explore  the area, local monasteries and market. Overnight at the Hotel.   [90km]

Day-8: Drive to Lhatse

(4050 meters). (150kms, 5hrs). Camp      

Day-9: Drive to Saga

(4600 meters). (290kms, 9hrs) ,  Camp    

Day-10: Drive to Paryang

(4700 meters). (252 kms / 8 hrs). Camp       

Day-11 : Drive to Horchu

4500 meters. (290 kms / 8 to 9 hrs). Camp          

Day-12: Visit Darchen

(4580 meters) and prepare for the trek. (40 kms / 01.5 hrs). Camp at Guest House      

Day-13: Trek

Today we start the trek up to an altitude of 4800m. It will take us about 7 hours to complete a distance of 14kms, due to the altitude. Camp overnight. 

Day-14: Trek

Today, we will drop in altitude as we trek about 24kms over 9 hours to about, 4680meters. Camp  

Day-15: Trek

On this final leg of the trek, we will walk for 15km in about 3-4 hours and then drive on to Darchen and explore the surrounding area of Mansarovar Lake . (4500 meters). (40kms, 1½ hrs). Camp    

Day-16 : Drive back to Paryang

(4700 meters). (292 kms / 08 to 09 hrs). Camp          

Day-17: Complete the trek and drive to Saga

Early morning after breakfast, we complete our trek and then set off by road to New Dongpa or Saga

Day-18: Drive to Kyirong County

(270 kms / 5.5 hrs. Guest House.                 

Day-19: Cross the border  (Kerung) and drive to Kathmandu

Today we say goodbye to the Tibetan guide and driver and walk to Nepalese Immigration Control in  Kerung where our Nepalese staff will meet us. After completing the re-entry formalities we continue the drive to Kathmandu, which, depending on road and weather conditions, should take about 8-9 hours. Hotel Overnight.  

Day-20: Free at leisure to explore Kathmandu. Hotel Overnight.                       

Day-21:  Final Departure.                                                                                   

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Kailash Frequently Asked Questions

What is the height we reach on this trek?

The high point is on day two at 4680m

How difficult/challenging is this trek?

The actual day to day trekking is not difficult but it is very rocky and also at high altitude.  It does not involve technical climbing, but does require physical fitness and stamina and most importantly, mental fitness. A good exercise and training program is essential and your training should include a lot of hill walking. The higher you climb, the harder the trek will become due to the altitude. 

What is the accommodation like?

The tour part uses hotels throughout until Rongbuk where a guesthouse may be used. The rooms are all generally basic with squat toilets. There is no heating and electricity is often solar and on only for a few hours in the evening. Rooms have a bed, pillow and a thick blanket a small light. The rest of the hike is a camping trip

When is the best time or months to trek to Mount Kailash

The best season to go on this trek is from August to October and mid-March to mid-April. This is the peak time of the year to go on this trek, and you will find many other trekkers along with you on the journey. With May being summit season it will be very busy and also the time of year when trekkers are restricted. Saga Dawa in in May which is the most auspicious time to be there.

Can I charge my camera batteries and mobile phone during the trek?

Whilst travelling to base camp yes you can. After that you will need to rely on your own solar charging system or battery back ups

What visa is required for Tibet?

There are actually a number of required documents.

If starting your tour in Nepal you will need a multiple entry visa or if starting in Tibet, an entry visa for Nepal. Both can be obtained on arrival for $50.

For Tibet, who will need a China Visa. These can only be applied for in Kathmandu if travelling in via Nepal, otherwise from a visa agent if entering directly into Tibet.

You then also require a special Aliens Travel Permit to allow you to enter certain areas of Tibet such as Everest Base Camp and then a Tibet Travel Permit. Tibet Travel Permit can only be obtained by a registered tour operator, and is required to gain entry to Tibet, including boarding the plane or train, and will be checked at any of the checkpoints throughout the region. Both of the latter as well as the visa for Tibet if entering via Kathmandu are arranged by us.

You must of course also be in possession of a valid passport which is valid for at least 6 months from the end of the tour

How will the altitude affect me on the trek?

This is a really difficult one to answer directly - "how will I cope with the altitude". To be honest, this is an ' unknown' factor as no-one can predict how your body will cope at altitude. People who have been to altitude many times in the past without problems, may on one climb suddenly develop problems. There are many factors that play a role. The only way to help combat this, is to take all of the necessary precautions, and walk slowly.                  

Where can I get climbing Insurance for Kailash Trek?

If you are going hiking or climbing or trekking then you need extra cover for your activities. Hiking and Climbing have become popular for many adventure seekers looking to add a climb up Kilimanjaro or a trek to Everest Base Camp, Annapurna or even Island Peak to their list of amazing adventures. But any climb to high altitude carries with it a number of risks and having the correct and good trekking insurance is an absolute must. We recommend two different groups depending on which country you reside in. For further details, click on the icon