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Although it is little known in the western world, Mount Kailash is one of the most sacred spots on earth, and is a holy pilgrimage site for people of the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Bon faiths.

Pilgrims and tourists alike perform a seriously challenging kora – a walk circling a sacred site – around the base of Mount Kailash. This is no walk in the park – the Kailash kora is a 32 mile (52 km) trek that starts at 15,000ft (4600m) and includes an 18,372ft (5600m) pass!

To visit, you will need to commit significant time and resources for the journey to what Tibetans call Kang Rinpoche — roughly meaning Precious Jewel of Snows — usually three or so weeks for an overland trip out of Lhasa. And you may want to do it sooner than later, as we are hearing that the Chinese government is actively working on tourist development plans for the area that will very likely change the traditional experience forever.

The Kailash Area

Mount Kailash is remote, deep in Ngari, the Western most part of the Tibetan plateau. The nearest largish town is Ali, which is the Chinese-built administrative center for Ngari prefecture. But there are a number of nearby destinations of major interest which you can include on your trip: especially Lakes Manasarovar and Rakshastal and the Guge ruins, but also Tirthapuri Gompa, Purang (near Nepal border)