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How to Get to Mount Kailash: Reach Mount Kailash from Lhasa or Nepal

Written by Senior Expert Felicia|Updated: 2023-12-19

Taking a journey to Kailash Mansarovar, a sacred site nestled in the remote corner of Tibet, is both a spiritual pilgrimage and China's Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Regionolving high-altitude treks and rigorous travel across challenging terrains. However, the ethereal beauty of Mount Kailash, coupled with the serene Mansarovar Lake, makes it a destination worth striving for. Whether you plan to start from Lhasa, Kathmandu, or any other gateway city, planning is crucial. Here, we provide a comprehensive guide to help you navigate your way to this revered destination, ensuring a memorable and safe journey.

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  • triangleMount Kailash is Located in Which Country & Where is Kailash Manasarovar?
  • triangleHow to Go to Kailash: by Road, by Air, or by Train
  • triangleHow to Reach Kailash Mansarovar from Lhasa, Tibet
  • triangleHow to Visit Kailash Mansarovar from Kathmandu, Nepal
  • triangleHow to Plan A Kailash Mansarovar Tour from Lhasa
  • triangleExplore Tibet with Asia Odyssey Travel

Mount Kailash is Located in Which Country & Where is Kailash Manasarovar?

Mount Kailash, also known as Gang Rinpoche, is located in the Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Region of China. It's situated in the southwestern part of Xizang, near the borders with India and Nepal. The mountain is part of the Kailash Range, which is a segment of the Transhimalaya.

Lake Manasarovar, also known as Mapam Yumtso, is located near Mount Kailash, approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of the mountain. Like Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar is also in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.

Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar hold a sacred religious and historical status, complemented by unparalleled high-altitude natural scenery, attracting numerous domestic and international tourists. It's important to note that independent travel in Tibet is not permitted for foreign visitors.

Mount Kailash tour
Sacred peak of Mount Kailash, a pilgrimage destination.
Mount Kailash tour
Adventurous trekkers conquering the majestic Mount Kailash trail.

How to Go to Kailash: by Road, by Air, or by Train

Go to Kailash Mansarovar by Air

Nagri Gunsa Airport, located approximately 200 kilometers northwest of Mount Kailash at an elevation of 4200 meters, is the closest airport to the mountain. It serves domestic flights to nearby cities such as Lhasa and Kashgar in Xinjiang but does not cater to international connections. To expedite the journey to Mount Kailash, one might contemplate flying to Lhasa first, then to Ali. A 3-hour road trip follows the flight to reach the Mount Kailash region. However, this approach is not advisable due to the high travel expenses and the potential challenge of adapting to the elevated altitude, which could impact health.

Go to Kailash Mansarovar by Road

Traveling by road to Mount Kailash is the most common and cost-effective method for group tours. The journey typically starts from either Lhasa or Kathmandu. From Lhasa, it's a 4-day overland journey by road to reach Darchen, the starting point of Mount Kailash Kora. The route passes through Shigatse, ebc, and Saga. If you start from Kathmandu, you would typically travel by road to Jilong for 1 day, the border of Nepal and Tibet, then continue the journey by road in Tibet for another 2 days.

Go to Kailash Mansarovar by Train

At present, no direct train services are available to Mount Kailash. Shigatse Railway Station serves as the closest rail connection. If this mode of travel appeals to you, a train ride from Lhasa to Shigatse takes roughly 3 hours. Following your arrival in Shigatse, a typical course of action involves a 3-day overland road through Everest Base Camp and Saga, finally arriving at Darchen.

Mount Kailash tour
Serene and peaceful atmosphere at the base of Mount Kailash.
Mount Kailash tour
Mesmerizing beauty of Mount Kailash captivates every adventurer.

How to Reach Kailash Mansarovar from Lhasa, Tibet

The road distance between Lhasa and Darchen is roughly 1500 kilometers. Travelers need to spend four days to go to Mount Kailash from Lhasa by road.

Day 1: Lhasa to Shigatse through Yamdrok Lake (400 km 7 h)

Embark on your journey from Lhasa to Shigatse. En route, experience the breathtaking beauty of Yamdrok Lake, one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet, known for its turquoise-blue waters. Moreover, capture the majestic Karola Glacier, another standout attraction of the day.

Day 2: Shigatse to Everest Base Camp through Dingri (340 km 7 h)

Travel from Shigatse to the Everest Base Camp via Dingri. Marvel at the awe-inspiring vistas from Gawula Pass, offering panoramic views of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest, the world's highest peak.

Day 3: Everest Base Camp to Saga City through Pekucuo (340 km 6 h)

Depart Everest Base Camp for Saga City, stopping by Pekucuo, a picturesque lake in the region. Begin your day with the unforgettable sight of sunrise over Mount Everest, and then enjoy the tranquil beauty of Pekucuo.

Day 4: Saga to Darchen through Zhongba (500 km 7 h)

Travel from Saga to Darchen, passing through the small town of Zhongba. The highlight of the day is the unique Zhongba Colorful Desert, offering a stark contrast to the region's snowy peaks. Upon arrival at Darchen, you'll be at the base of Mount Kailash, ready to start your pilgrimage.

Mount Kailash tour
Serene and peaceful atmosphere at the base of Mount Kailash.
Mount Kailash tour
Divine experience during the sacred Mount Kailash trekking expedition.

How to Visit Kailash Mansarovar from Kathmandu, Nepal

The road distance between Kathmandu and Mount Kailash is roughly 830 kilometers. Travelers need to go to Mount Kailash from Kathmandu, Nepal by road for three days.

Day 1: Kathmandu to Gyirong Port at the China-Nepal border (120 km, 6 h)

While the distance is a relatively short 120 kilometers, the journey can take about 6 hours due to narrow, rugged roads and possible road damage. Upon arrival, you reach Gyirong Port, the border crossing between China and Nepal. Here you'll cross into Xizang/Tibet, China, and begin your journey to Mount Kailash.

Day 2: Gyirong Port to Zhongba (380 km, 7 h)

Once inside Tibet, the roads become smoother. Starting from Gyirong, which is at an altitude of approximately 4200 meters, you'll travel to Zhongba, enjoying the high plateau scenery along the way. Midway, you'll pass through the town of Saga. From Saga, it's about 180 kilometers or a 2.5-hour drive to Zhongba. You can choose to overnight in Saga if you wish.

Day 3: Zhongba to Darchen (340 km, 5 h)

Set off early, and after admiring the Zhongba Colorful Desert, continue onwards to Mount Kailash. Before entering Darchen, consider spending about an hour visiting the picturesque Lake Manasarovar.

Mount Kailash tour
Enchanting vistas of snow-capped peaks during Mount Kailash trek.
Mount Kailash tour
Awe-inspiring landscape surrounding the revered Mount Kailash.

How to Plan A Kailash Mansarovar Tour from Lhasa

To plan a Kailash Mansarovar tour from Lhasa, start by spending your first two days in Lhasa to acclimatize to the high altitude. Then, embark on a 4-day journey to Darchen, the base town for the Mount Kailash Trekking, passing through Yamdrok Lake, Shigatse, Everest Base Camp, and Saga. Spend the next 3 days performing the Kailash Kora, a pilgrimage circuit around Mount Kailash. On the tenth day, consider visiting Zanda to explore the ancient Guge Kingdom ruins and observe the Zanda Clay Forest. Finally, returned to Lhasa by land over 4 days. Alternatively, if the budget allows, you can choose to fly from Ali Airport back to Lhasa, which only takes about three hours. It's important to remember that the journey involves significant altitude changes, so it's crucial to take preventative measures against altitude sickness to ensure a safe trip.

Check more details about How to Plan a Kailash Mansarovar Tour>>

Explore Tibet with Asia Odyssey Travel

With over 10 years of local expertise in Lhasa and Tibet (Xizang), our dedicated team at Asia Odyssey Travel brings you carefully curated Tibet tours for an authentic and unforgettable experience.

Drawing upon our extensive experience, we have meticulously crafted a range of Tibet tour packages, including Lhasa tours, Mount Everest Tours, Mount Kailash Tours, Tibet Trekking Tours, Tibet Train Tours, and Tibet Overland Tours. Whether you prefer the comfort and flexibility of a private tour or the budget-friendly option of a group tour, we have you covered without compromising on quality.

Additionally, we cater to various travel preferences, whether you wish to commence your Tibet tour from one of the popular gateway cities in China, embark on Nepal Tibet tours, or even explore the mesmerizing Himalayan region. Whatever you desire, Asia Odyssey Travel has the perfect tour to meet your needs, ensuring that your expedition to Tibet (Xizang) becomes an unforgettable adventure.

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