Your browser does not support the running script, you cannot get a perfect browsing
HOTTake China Group Tours in 2024 to enjoy a 30% discount compared to a private tour. Same Experience & Lowest Price! Learn more

How to Plan A Kailash Mansarovar Tour in 2024?

Written by Senior Expert Felicia|Updated: 2024-04-26

Embarking on a journey to Kailash Mansarovar in Ngari, Tibet, is not just a physical adventure, but a spiritual expedition that invites introspection and self-discovery. Recognized as one of the most sacred places on Earth, Kailash Mansarovar is a pilgrimage site for millions of people from diverse faiths.

Planning a kailash tour requires careful consideration of several factors such as the best time to visit, necessary permits, travel route, accommodation, and how to prepare physically and mentally for the high-altitude conditions. This article aims to guide you through each of these steps, ensuring you have a safe, memorable, and enriching experience on your Kailash Mansarovar tour.

Content Preview

  • triangleTop Attractions around Kailash Mansarovar in Ngari, Tibet
  • triangleTravel Documents Needed for a Kailash Mansarovar Tour
  • triangleHow to Go to Kailash Mansarovar
  • triangleHow Long to Stay - Suggest Travel Length & Itineraries
  • triangleHow Much Does it Cost to Go to Kailash?
  • triangleBest Time to Visit Kailash Mansarovar: May to September
  • triangleAltitude & How to Avoid the High Altitude Sickness During Kailash Tour
  • triangleWhat to Eat When Travel to Kailash Mansarovar from Lhasa
  • triangleWhere to Stay When Travel to Kailash Mansarovar from Lhasa
  • triangleExplore Tibet with Asia Odyssey Travel

Top Attractions around Kailash Mansarovar in Ngari, Tibet

Mount Kailash

Revered as a sacred mountain in Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Bon traditions, Mount Kailash stands majestically at an altitude of 6,638 meters. It's believed to be the abode of deities, and a circumambulation is said to cleanse one's sins. The Kailash Kora, a 52-kilometer trek around the holy mountain, is a spiritual journey attracting thousands of pilgrims each year. The trek is not only a religious rite but also a way to immerse oneself in the region's breathtaking natural beauty.

Mansarovar Lake

Positioned near Mount Kailash, Mansarovar Lake is one of the world's highest freshwater lakes. Believed to be born from Brahma's mind in Hindu mythology, the lake's serene turquoise waters offer a perfect reflection of the holy Kailash peak. Pilgrims take a holy dip and circumambulate the lake, believing it to bring good fortune. The lake is also a habitat for numerous migratory birds, making it a paradise for birdwatchers.

Mount Kailash tour
Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash tour
Lake Mansarovar

Guge Kingdom Ruins

The mysterious ruins of the Guge Kingdom in Zanda County tell the story of an ancient civilization that once flourished here. The kingdom was known for its Buddhist art, and the ruins house countless sculptures, murals, and stupas. Exploring the Guge ruins feels like stepping back in time, with the sand-carved caves and the impressive fortress revealing the region's rich cultural history.

Zanda Clay Forest

This natural phenomenon in Zanda County boasts unique geological formations created by erosion. The forest-like landscape of towering clay columns presents a surreal sight, particularly at sunrise and sunset when the clay formations take on a dazzling array of colors. It's an ideal spot for photography enthusiasts.

Tholing Monastery

Once the religious and cultural hub of the Guge Kingdom, Tholing Monastery is a treasure trove of Buddhist art. Despite the ravages of time, the monastery still showcases incredible murals, sculptures, and ancient chapels. Walking through its corridors gives visitors a profound sense of the artistic and religious fervor that once pervaded this site.

Mount Kailash tour
Guge Kingdom Ruins
Mount Kailash tour
Zanda Clay Forest

Travel Documents Needed for a Kailash Mansarovar Tour

Passport: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry

Chinese Visa: As Mount Kailash is in Tibet, China, you need a Chinese visa. However, please note that if you are entering Tibet from Nepal, you need a special Chinese group visa issued by the Chinese Embassy in Nepal, which is usually arranged by your tour group.

Tibet Travel Permit (TTP): All foreign tourists need this permit to enter Tibet. It is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau and is usually arranged by your travel agency.

Aliens' Travel Permit: Required for travel in 'unopened' areas of Tibet, including Mount Kailash. This is also arranged by your tour operator.

Military Permit: For travel in some sensitive border areas, including Mount Kailash, a Military Permit is required. Your tour operator should arrange this.

Please note that independent travel in Tibet is not allowed; you must join a tour or hire a guide. Your tour operator will generally handle all the permits on your behalf.

Mount Kailash tour
Tibet Travel Permit
Mount Kailash tour
Tourists should travel to Mount Kailash by group tours

How to Go to Kailash Mansarovar

Reaching Kailash Mansarovar involves a journey from either Kathmandu, Nepal, or Lhasa, Tibet. From Kathmandu, you can take a road trip to the Nepal-China border at Gyirong, followed by a three-day drive to Darchen, the base for the Mount Kailash Trekking. If starting from Lhasa, a four-day overland journey through Shigatse, EBC, Saga, and Lake Mansarovar will take you to Darchen. Once there, a three-day trek, known as the Kailash Kora, around Mount Kailash begins. Note that this high-altitude journey requires good physical fitness and special permits, typically obtained through a guided tour.

Check more information about How to Get to Mount Kailash>>

How Long to Stay - Suggest Travel Length & Itineraries

A typical trip to Mount Kailash, including acclimatization, sightseeing in Lhasa, and trekking, usually lasts 12 to 15 days. This timeline accounts for a five-day overland journey from Lhasa to Darchen or Zanda. To reduce travel time, consider flying directly back to Lhasa after the Mount Kailash Trekking, potentially saving three days. The specific itinerary depends on your tour operator's arrangements.

Lhasa (2-3 days)

Spend time acclimatizing to the high altitude in Lhasa, Tibet's capital, while exploring its rich cultural heritage. Key attractions include the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, and bustling Barkhor Street.

Lhasa to Kailash via EBC (4 days)

Embark on a scenic drive from Lhasa to Mount Kailash, stopping at Shigatse, Everest Base Camp, and Saga. The journey offers breathtaking views of Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, the Himalayas, and a unique opportunity to stand at the foot of Mount Everest.

Mount Kailash Trekking (3-4 days)

Experience the spiritual journey of a lifetime by trekking around Mount Kailash, a sacred site revered by four religions. The trek is challenging but rewarded with awe-inspiring landscapes and a sense of profound tranquility.

Check more details about Mount Kailash Trekking >>

Back to Lhasa/Kathmandu (3 days)

Conclude your adventure by returning to Lhasa or continuing to Kathmandu in Nepal. The journey offers time for reflection on your experiences, while also providing further opportunities to appreciate the region's stunning natural scenery.

Mount Kailash tour
Divine experience during the sacred Mount Kailash trekking expedition.
Mount Kailash tour
Enchanting vistas of snow-capped peaks during Mount Kailash trek.

How Much Does it Cost to Go to Kailash?

The cost of a Kailash Mansarovar tour can vary greatly depending on the route, the mode of transport, and the level of comfort you choose. A basic overland tour from Kathmandu or Lhasa might cost between $1,800 and $2,500 per person. This typically includes permits, transportation, basic accommodation, and meals. These are rough estimates and prices can fluctuate based on various factors, so it's recommended to check with tour operators for the most current prices. Join a small group tour of Kailash can be significantly cheaper than going on a private tour.

Check more details about Mount Kailash Trip Cost>>

Best Time to Visit Kailash Mansarovar: May to September

  Weather Forecast  

The best time to visit Kailash Mansarovar is generally between May to September. During these months, the weather is relatively stable with less rain and snow, making both travel and trekking conditions safer and more comfortable. The temperatures, while still cold, especially at night, are milder than in the winter months. The peak months of the pilgrimage season are usually August and September.

However, it's important to remember that weather in this region can be unpredictable, and visitors should be prepared for changes and have appropriate clothing and equipment. Always check the local weather forecast and consult with your tour operator before planning your journey.

Check more details about Best Time to Visit Kailash Mansarovar>>

Altitude & How to Avoid the High Altitude Sickness During Kailash Tour

The journey from Lhasa to Mount Kailash involves significant changes in altitude. Starting from Lhasa, situated at the lowest point of 3700 meters, the altitude steadily rises. The average elevation along the route from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp is around 4000 meters. After entering the Ngari region from Saga, the average altitude increases to approximately 4300 meters. The path around Mount Kailash reaches the journey's highest point at Drolma La Pass, 5600 meters, with the trek's average altitude around 4700 meters. Remember, adequate acclimatization is essential to prevent altitude sickness.

Mount Kailash tour
Adventurous trekkers conquering the majestic Mount Kailash trail.
Mount Kailash tour
Awe-inspiring landscape surrounding the revered Mount Kailash.

Tips to Avoid High-Altitude Sickness During Your Travel to Kailash

Acclimatization: Spend a few days at a lower altitude (like Lhasa or Kathmandu) before moving higher.

Gradual Ascent: Avoid increasing your altitude by more than 300-500 meters per day once above 3000 meters.

Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Diet: Eat a diet high in carbohydrates and low in salt, which can help manage symptoms.

Rest: Get ample sleep and avoid strenuous activity for the first few days at high altitudes.

Medication: Consult your doctor before your trip. They might prescribe medication to help prevent AMS.

Descend if Necessary: If severe symptoms occur, such as persistent headache, vomiting, or confusion, descend to a lower altitude immediately and seek medical help.

Walk Slowly and Steadily: Go at a pace that is comfortable for you and take breaks as needed.

Mount Kailash tour
Mystical aura surrounds the sacred Mount Kailash pilgrimage site.
Mount Kailash tour
Mesmerizing beauty of Mount Kailash captivates every adventurer.

What to Eat When Travel to Kailash Mansarovar from Lhasa

Dining options vary when traveling from Lhasa to Kailash Mansarovar:

In Lhasa and Shigatse, you'll find a diverse range of cuisines including Tibetan, Chinese, and even international foods like Indian, Nepalese, and Western dishes.

In remote towns like Saga, Darchen, and Zanda, Chinese food is predominant, with options like stir-fry, hot pot, dumplings, and noodles.

At Everest Base Camp, food availability has improved. Tents serve dishes like dumplings, noodles, stir-fries, and Tibetan mini hot pots.

Along the Mount Kailash Kora, meals are simpler, with supply points selling convenient foods like sweet tea, butter tea, and chocolate.

Where to Stay When Travel to Kailash Mansarovar from Lhasa

Accommodation options vary along the route, ranging from hotels in larger towns to basic guesthouses and tented camps in more remote areas.

Lhasa and Shigatse: The two largest cities in Xizang/Tibet offer a range of hotels from luxury to budget options.

Everest Base Camp: The Rongbuk Monastery offers basic guesthouse accommodation. There are also tented camps during warmer months from late April to late October.

Saga and Darchen: Accommodation here is typically more basic, often in the form of guesthouses.

Mount Kailash Trekking: Accommodation during the trek is usually in monastic guesthouses or tented camps. It's essential to have a good quality sleeping bag as heating can be minimal to non-existent.

Please remember to book in advance, especially during peak travel periods. And always check with your tour operator as accommodation might be included in your package.

Mount Kailash tour
Mount Kailash hotel
Mount Kailash tour
Mount Kailash trekking

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.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact us by submitting the following form and we'll immediately get back to you.

Ask Us for More Information

loadingData in submission...
Why with Asia Odyssey Travel
  • icon
    Find Inspiration and ​Information for Your Next Trip
  • icon
    Get a Local Travel Consultant to ​Plan Your Personalized Trip
  • icon
    Book & Travel Securely with ​Our Money-back Guarantee
  • icon
    24/7 Customer Support to ​Help Every Traveler
  • icon
    Offering 500+ Customized ​Trips in China & Asia
Customize Your Own China Trip
loadingData in submission...
travel guide
china group tours 2023/2024
Contact Us