The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-A Complete Guide for 2024-25
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is renowned for its spiritual significance, difficulty, and cultural value. The Yatra entails an extensive walk across the cold, high-altitude terrain that calls for risk-taking and laborious effort. Since the earliest days, pilgrims and followers of Lord Shiva have marched through the chilly desert, despite the hard nature of the yatra.
Not just Hindus but Jains and Buddhists as well place great religious importance on this journey. Unfriendly circumstances, including bitter cold and rough terrain, are present during the Yatra, which requires walking at high altitudes of up to 19,500 feet above sea level. Those who are not in good physical and medical condition may find this to be dangerous.
In reality, it has been acknowledged as a big trekking adventure that may include a high danger to people or property. Therefore, a yatri or pilgrim must follow a few guidelines before organizing the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
Located in the remote corners of the Himalayas, the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is a pilgrimage that has been attracting devotees from all over the world for centuries. The journey takes you through rugged landscapes, high-altitude passes, and picturesque valleys, making it one of the most physically demanding treks in the world. The ultimate goal of the yatra is to reach the holy Mount Kailash, which is considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva.
Situated in a remote and secluded region of western Tibet, the Mount Kailash stands tall as a magnificent pyramid of rock and snow in one of the holiest places on the planet. For centuries, people have journeyed to this location to seek divinity, purity, and redemption from their sins. This sacred site is revered by Hindus, Buddhists, Bonpo, and Jains, who all consider it the “Navel of the Earth,” where the divine takes on a physical form. Pilgrims from all over the world come to pay their respects and complete the ancient ritual of devotion known as Parikrama (kora). This involves trekking through breathtaking canyons and reaching the spiritual peak of the journey at the Dolma la pass. This is a truly awe-inspiring experience for pilgrims who often have a profound spiritual awakening.
Significance of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra holds immense spiritual significance for Hindus. For Hindus, it is believed that a pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar will wash away their sins and lead them to salvation. Buddhists believe that Kailash represents the center of the universe, and circumambulating the mountain will bring them closer to enlightenment. Jains believe that Rishabhdeva, the first Tirthankara, attained liberation at Kailash, while Bonpo followers consider it to be the sacred mountain of the sky goddess Sipaimen.
This blog will provide the necessary guidelines for the holy Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
The Mansarovar Lake
One of the tallest freshwater lakes in the world is Lake Manasarovar. The lake is 412 square kilometers in size and is located at an altitude of 4,583 meters. The lake’s deepest point is over 70 meters, with the northern end being wider than the southern end. One can see through dozens of meters into the lake, which sparkles like jewels when hit by sun rays. Witnessing the beauty of this pristine lake, which is impossible to describe in words, will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life.
According to devotees, the most revered and difficult KORA is the Nandi & Inner Kailash Tour. Both Hindus and Buddhists regard it to be the holiest point in the cosmos. Many pilgrimage groups from around the world travel to Mt. Kailash Tour to get a divine view of Lord Shiva’s dwelling and find freedom from ignorance and misconception.
The Mt. Kailash Tour includes a three-day journey around the sacred peak in a clockwise direction for Buddhists and Hindus and an anti-clockwise direction for Bon believers. Visitors to the adjacent holy spot Manasarovar Lake take a quick dip while on the Nandi Inner Kailash Tour. Particularly some committed devotees choose to use various Koras to travel around the revered Mount Kailash.
Kailash Mansarovar Yatra 2024 – Routes.
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra typically takes around 13-21 days to complete, starting from Kathmandu in Nepal. The journey is divided into two parts – the first part involves driving from Kathmandu to the Nepal-China border at Hilsa, while the second part involves trekking through the high altitude terrain to reach Mount Kailash. The trek is physically challenging and requires a good level of fitness, as trekkers will have to navigate steep ascents, rocky terrain, and river crossings.
1) Private Helicopter Charter
One can opt for a Private Helicopter Charter as an alternative means to visit Mt. Kailash. Although it may come at a steep price, it allows for a personalized trip experience. It is suggested to have a group of five individuals for maximum cost-effectiveness, but regardless of the group size, the expense of chartering the helicopter remains the same.
Another popular route that has been budget and time friendly for most pilgrims in the recent times is the overland trip via Kyirong, a commercial town in border of Tibet and Nepal. This trip traverses through the rocky highlands of Rasuwa district and pierces into tibet. From Kyirong we head westward following small settlement of Saga to reach Mansarovar and start our Kailash Kora.
For Indians, there is another feasible option to choose as you can directly travel to Rupaidiya-Nepalgunj border and fly to Simikot in Humla via scheduled flight. From Simikot you can take a Heli to Hilsa and cross the border to reach the Tibetan town of Taklakot and continue your journey further towards Mansarovar Lake and Kailash parbat.
Mt. Kailash via Lhasa through entering China is another great way. It is 15 days trip include the Lhasa city and Mt. Everest Base Camp along the friendship highway to Nepal-China.
Best time to visit Kailash Mansarovar
Since Kailash Manasarovar is notably marked by many seasons, fluctuating weather and temperature may have a direct impact on how you feel when on a pilgrimage to Kailash Manasarovar. Generally, tours of Kailash Manasarovar are available at any time from May to October every year.
The best months to plan a trip to Kailash Manasarovar are May through June and September through October, when visibility is excellent, the scenery is breathtaking, and the weather is moderate.
During these times, Kailash Manasarovar experiences a majority of sunny days with deep blue skies and very fresh air for Parikrama of the sacred Mountain.
Accommodation and Meals during the Kailash Yatra
Your lodging is simple when you are performing Kora on Mount Kailash. Your entire stay will be in a modest guesthouse without a heating system, power, or even when the generator occasionally cuts out at night. There will be shared bathrooms and dorm rooms.
However, you can find both typical and standard hotels below Darchen. Hotels in Nagqu, Tibet offer comfortable lodging in a 2 or 3-star hotel with an excellent restaurant. Hotels in Nyingchi and Shannan Tibet range from three to four stars, with fine restaurants serving a variety of food.
In cities, Tibetan restaurants serve a variety of distinct foreign cuisine. The primary dish of the Tibetan people is called tsampa. Tsampa is a beverage made with roasted barley flour, butter, dried cheese crumbles, and tea.
Tsampa is delicious and flavorful to eat while it cooks. In Tibet, tsampa is a crucial meal. Momo might be vegetarian, vegan, or a combination of both. The staple foods in Tibet include Tibetan noodles (thukpa), yak cheese butter tea, etc.
Permits and Visa for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
Obtaining permits and visas for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra can be a challenging process, as it involves multiple government agencies and departments. The permits are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nepal, while the visa is issued by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. It is important to start the process well in advance and to provide all the necessary documents to avoid any delays.
Things to Remember while Travelling to Mansarovar
- If you’re thinking about visiting Kailash Mansarovar, be prepared for a life-altering experience. Since this is a tour that is more than just a trek, the Yatra’s breathtaking scenery is not its primary draw. Here are some insightful advice and recommendations for those preparing to embark on the Yatra of a lifetime.
- Anyone who intends to travel should only do so with the doctor’s clear consent. Due to Mount Kailash’s elevation of 22,000 feet, the route will take one to high elevations. The best course of action, therefore, is to make sure that one has the doctor’s approval and guidance before doing anything. This is especially true for pilgrims who are younger or older and wish to travel with them.
- Make sure you have any necessary medications with you because getting them in the area is nearly impossible. It is crucial to have some basic medications on hand for nausea, headaches, fever, dehydration, and body aches, even if you are not taking any prescription drugs.
- Asthmatics or anyone with any other lung issues shouldn’t make the journey, according to personal accounts of those who have traveled on the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. Going would be risky for asthmatic sufferers because the extreme elevations and weather conditions could make their condition worse.
- It’s crucial to pack the appropriate clothing for the Yatra. Wearing several thin garments is preferable to wearing only one or two thick ones. The movement will become quicker and easier as a result. You must have a windcheater with you because there will likely be a lot of wind. Your chosen private tour operator will provide you with a precise packing list for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra as well as a list of items you must bring.
Therefore, despite how challenging this walk must be, it has tremendous religious significance and provides the most breathtaking vista. The trek will be an unforgettable experience that you will always treasure.