Frequently asked Questions

Do we need a passport?

Yes, passport is a must because Kailash Mansarovar is located in the Autonomous Region of Tibet, China.

What about our Chinese visa?

Please Note - This is not regular Chinese travel visa, If you have Chinese visa that is not valid at Tibet. Your visa and permit for travelling to Kailash Mansarovar is organized by us with the help of our Tibetan counterparts. Indian passport holders need to provide us the original passports for visa application. Foreigners can send us a scanned copy of their passports to us. Their visa for Kailash will be obtained in Kathmandu. The visa charges differ based on nationalities but it is included in our tour price.

What is the duration of the tour?

The overland tour can be successfully completed in 13 days and a helicopter tour may take a minimum of 11 days.

Can we shorten the tour further?

The helicopter yatra could be minimized to 8 days by skipping the Kailash Parikrama. We could have a bath in the holy Mansarovar Lake, catch a glimpse of the Holy Moutain, visit Yam-Dwar and then return ASAP.

Which part of the year can one go to Kailash?

The period between the first week of May till the last week of September is conducive for the smooth conduct of the holy tour.

Which is the best time to visit Kailash by land?

There are pros and cons for every month. May and June are climatically ideal but one cannot avoid the huge rush. The chances of encountering a snowy trail during the Parikrama cannot be ruled out. Guru Poornima which usually falls during the month of July attracts a lot of yatris as well as rains. August again mostly a wet period. The sky is very clear in September, the rush is limited, but likelihood of a mid-September snowfall looms large. Take a decision according your instinct or convenience.

How many members are required in a group?

All our fixed departures are always certain so even a single person can confirm with us. In our fixed departure groups, we avoid over 40 pax so that we can provide personal attention to each and every member. We can organize exclusively for any family or organization. The tour price would depend on the number of yatris and facilities asked for.

How is the overland tour conducted?

We fly to Kathmandu. There the tour members are put up in a 4/5 star hotel depending on the package availed. All their meals are taken care of. The local sightseeing of Kathmandu including, Pashupatinath Temple, which is one of the Jyotirlings, Then they are taken to the Shambhunath, Boudhnath and the Sleeping Vishnu Temple. After returning to the hotel, the evening is free for shopping. Later on we brief you about the tour and prepare ourselves for the onward journey. Over night at Kathmandu then early morning we leave for the border town of Kodari in a bus. It is a 5 hours drive, there we clear the emigration and cross the Friendship Bridge- the Bridge that connects Tibet and Nepal. On the Tibetan side our entire luggage is kept in a truck along with our tents, foodstuff, gas and other requirements. The pilgrims are driven off in a Japanese Land Cruiser which is a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Not more than 4 pilgrims are seated in one Jeep. After clearing the Chinese Customs/Emigration at the town of Zhangmu, we proceed towards the town of Nyalam. An English/Hindi speaking Tibetan Guide accompanies us throughout our journey in Tibet.

How many days do we drive every day?

An average of 7 hours is spent on traveling. We leave early in the morning after breakfast, carrying our packed lunch. Dinner is cooked wherever we halt. The drive from Kathmandu and back would be approximately 1800 km over 12 days.

Do we travel during the night?

We travel only during the day unless we are forced by the Tibetan authorities due to closure of the roads for development work carried out during the day.

How is the helicopter tour conducted?

The helicopter tour could originate either at Kathmandu or Nepalganj. Please check our itinerary for further details.

Which is right time for the helicopter tour?

The month of May, June and September are suitable. Yatras conducted during these months rarely get affected by weather conditions.

Where do we stay at night?

We stay in guesthouses or hotels depending on your package. Tents are also carried by us if incase we need to camp due to unavoidable circumstances.

Is it very cold?

Yes, the temperature is always low at night and it is very windy at Tibet side. Therefore we stay at guest houses at all places and we provide mattresses and sleeping bags at camps during Kailash Parikrama. Day temperature is between about 20C to 25C and night is about between -5C to 5C. 

Then why do we need to use sun-screen lotion?

Despite the cold wind, the sun is very hot and could affect our skin. Hence it is advisable to apply the sun-screen lotion during the day (30+ SPF is must). Wash your face in the evening and apply cold cream for the night.

What about bath?

We advise everyone to avoid insisting on bathing everyday in Tibet. The absence of proper bathrooms, chilly weather conditions and effects of acute mountain sickness are not suitable for bathing. Shower shops in most of the towns enroute could be utilized at a price (min.20 yuan). Hot water though is provided for morning brushing.

What about toilet?

Civic sense and facilities in the region we travel are very dismal. The toilets are extremely dirty and stinking. The call of Nature needs to be answered despite the dreaded scenario or else constipation will add to personal woes as well as that of the group.

What type of food is served?

We serve pure vegetarian food. In the morning we provide tea/coffee or milk, then breakfast consists of either parathas, porridge, puri-bhaji, bread-butter, sandwiches etc. We also serve south Indian dishes like dosas, vadas and idlis. For lunch and dinner we serve chappatis, dal, rice, vegetables, soup etc. We also try to respect the sentiments of the Jains by serving them whatever type of food or timings demanded by them. Desserts, mineral water and tetra-packed juices are also provided. Our cooks are mostly Indian and helpers are Sherpas, born and brought up in high altitude. They are very hospitable and caring.

Is there a temple there?

No. There are no temples. You will only find old Tibetan monasteries called Gomphas.

Is there a possibility of wandering animals?

No there are no animals to harm human life.

Can we have a bath in Lake Manas Sarovar?

Yes, we can and must bathe when it is sunny and warm. We can also bring back the holy water in cans.

Is the Kailash Parikrama difficult?

It depends on the mental and physical state of the person at that time. The path is very safe and secure in every respect.

Do I need to submit a medical certificate if I wish to join your group?

Yes it is very important that you get yourself checked up by a doctor since we constantly travel at a high altitude (above 16000 feet above sea level) throughout Tibet. A sound mind and body is very necessary. It is a must to be free of chronic diseases like diabetes, epilepsy, heart ailments, blood pressure etc. There is less oxygen (70%) in the atmosphere and hence it is very important to have strong will and lung power.

Does a doctor travel with the group?

Usually our special groups have doctors. Many a times the presence of a Yatri, who is a doctor by profession also helps. Even if we do not have a doctor accompanying us, we manage to take advice/services from the local medical facilitators.

What are the various difficulties faced during the pilgrimage?

A common symptom is headache caused by the high altitude for which we provide the Diamox tablet. We stay at Nyalam for 2 nights to get acclimatized to the high altitude. We should eat on time and keep ourselves warm throughout the journey. Please read our page on High Altitude Sickness.

What about landslides?

Landslides are common on the Nepalese border during the monsoons. Sometimes pilgrims do get stranded for hours till the obstacles are cleared. This is not prevalent in Tibet because we traverse along the plateau of Tibet.

We hear a lot of people die during the Yatra-is it so risky? A few years Protima Bedi also died on her way to Mansarovar?

Death is a reality of life and can occur anywhere in the world and at any time. During the journey too there are stray cases of people breathing their last. But most of them are natural deaths and not due to the pilgrimage. Protima Bedi had taken the Governmental route via Garhwal and Nepal, which involves a lot of trekking over 28 days. She breathed her last in Uttarakhand,India.

What is the Government route?

This tour is conducted by the Garhwal /Kumaon Vikas Mandal under the supervision and guidelines of the Indian Government. One has to apply in advance and only 800 people are granted permission. This tour involves a trekking of over 400 kms. Through the hilly terrain of the Himalayas and takes about 35 days.

What happens in case of a death?

The relatives of the deceased are informed and the body is airlifted to Kathmandu and then forwarded to the destination desired by the relatives. All this would cost extra depending on the distance and mode of transport, and would have to be borne by the relatives.

What happens if someone is altitude-sick?

We carry oxygen cylinders for emergency. Medicine and pills could be given to the affected yatri for relief. In case the yatri doesn't respond well, we provide a Gamow Bag, which is a portable altitude chamber, that has a sea-level temperature. The effected person is put into the bag to be brought back to normalcy. Now days Hospital facility is available at saga and Purang near kailash.

Can we do the Parikrama on the Horse or Yak ?

Yaks are basically untamed animals used for transporting goods. Riding on the back of the yak is not advisable. A horse can be hired by the yatri, but we need to keep in mind that the total distance of the parikrama cannot be covered on horse-back. The descent on the second day of the parikrama after reaching the highest point (Dolma pass- approximately 19000 feet) will have to be done only on foot since the path is too narrow and covered with huge boulders/rocks.

What is the mode of payment in Tibet?

In Tibet one has to have the Chinese currency Yuan. 1.00 Chinese Yuan = approximately INR10.00 & USD $1.00 = 5.00 Yuan. You can get exchange at Kathmandu. It is advisable to carry Chinese Yuan to avoid unhealthy rates and futile bargaining at the Kodari Border or at Zhangmu.

Can we contact our relatives back home?

Yes, Public Telephone booths are available at all our halt destinations except for Dirapuk and Zuthulpuk. Your cell phone too will be accessible all the places except for the 2 places mentioned. Kindly check the international roaming charges applicable on your network.

How much walking is involved in the Yatra?

The route from Kathmandu to the Kailash Region and back is motorable. Walking is involved only during the Kailash Parikrama. Hiring a horse will reduce the trekking to only 6-7 kms approximately. The Parikrama is a trek of around 52 kms. Divided into 2 and half days. Slow trekking is undertaken during the day and we camp for the night. The Sherpas travel along with the tents, sleeping bags, gas cylinders and foodstuff. All this is loaded on the back of the accompanying yak.

Can we carry Doctor's brandy for cold?

Consumption of alcohol and smoking should be totally avoided. Brandy or Cognac can be used for external application if necessary.

What special benefits do you provide for senior citizens?

We would look after them like we would look after our own parents. They would be attended at every step of the journey.