Pilgrimage around Mt Kailash

Mount Kailash trek via Simikot

Mount Kailash trek is one of the most demanding and challenging of pilgrimage treks. This trek route in Tibet is widely known as a kora around Mt Kailash. The average altitude of this trekking is nearly 5,000m. The Kailash "Gang Rinpoche", which means "Jewel of snow" is striking in the way it rises high above the surrounding range and always remains snow - capped. Mount Kailash has a unique and distinct shape, with four sheer faces matching the cardinal points of the compass. It is also free standing, solitary.

Regarded as the earthly manifestation of mythic Mount Meru, or Sumeru, the spiritual center of the universe in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cosmology, Mount Kailash is also believed to be the source of four life-giving rivers.

To Tibetan Buddhists, Kailash is the abode of the tantric meditational deity Demchog. Hindus see Kailash as the throne of the great god Shiva, while the Jains revere Kailash as the site at which their first prophet received enlightenment.

A pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and a bath in the Mansarovar is believed to bring about salvation (Moksha).


Day-1: Kathmandu

Day-2: Kathmandu

Day-3: Preparations for the trip

Day-4: Flight to Nepalgunj.

Day-5: Flight Nepalgunj - Simikot. Simikot to Dharapani

Day-6: Dharapani to Kermi

Day-7: Kermi to Yalbang

Day-8: Yalbang to Tumkot

Day-9: Tumkot to Yari

Day-10: Yari to Hilsa. Drive to Purang

Day-11: Mansarovar Lake

Day-12: Continue the drive to Darchen

Day-13: Darchen - Dirapuk Monastery

Day-14: Dirapuk Monastery to Dzultripuk Monastery

Day-15: Trek, then drive to Horchu, Lake at 4500 meters

Day-16: Mansarovar Lake

Day-17: Drive to Paryang

Day-18: Drive to Saga

Day-19: Lhatse

Day-20: Shigatse

Day-21:Drive to Gyangtse (3800meters)

Day-22: Lhasa

Day-23: Lhasa sightseeing

Day-24: Flight: Lhasa Kathmandu.

Day-25: Free day

Day-26: Final Departure


Kharta Valley Detailed Itinerary

Mt Kailash Trek via Simikot Detailed Itinerary

Day-1: Arrive and transfer to Hotel

Day-2: Obtain Tibet Visa / Sightseeing. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner.

Day-3: Preparations for the trip.

Hotel Overnight.

Day-4: Flight: - Nepalgunj.

Free to explore the town on arrival or rest prior to the start of the trek. Stay Overnight Hotel.

Day-5: Nepalgunj - Simikot and prepare for the trek.

At Simikot, we meet our crew who will assist us for our journey ahead. We start our trekking journey by climbing up from the airstrip and walking on a rocky trail. We pass the fields of barley and wheat and ascend to a forested ridge above the town of Simikot. We make a long steep descend and pass Dandaphoya. We continue our trail through walnut and apricot trees until we reach the village of Dharapani. Overnight Camp.

Day-6: Dharapani to Kermi (5hrs)

Leaving Dharapari, we walk on relatively flat trails along the Karnali River. We pass the fields of barley, buckwheat, rice and potatoes on our way. We can enjoy a hot water bath at two natural hot springs located near Kermi. The hot water bath can be an ailment to soothe our aching bodies. On the way, we visit two popular gompas on our trail namely Kermi Laikyo Gompa and Lhundrup Choeling Gompa. Overnight at tented camp. Overnight Camp.

Day-7: Kermi to Yalbang (6hrs)

Our trail goes flat and then takes a steep ascend over a rocky ridge before descending down to the greyish blue water of the Humla Karnali. We cross another ridge to a sandy meadow where the camps are set by the goat herders by the side of the river. Passing the meadow, we reach a valley that down as we cross more ridges to reach the village of Yalbang On the way, we visit a remote monastery - Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery and walk ahead enjoy the views of pine trees and Karnali River. We will also visit the remote. Overnight at tented camp.

Day-8: Yalbang to Tumkot (6 ½ hr)

trek. Today, we walk through a trail above the Karnali River. As we ascend up, the lush in the environment starts to disappear and few small comes to sight. Then we make our way through pine trees and rocky hills to Tumkot. Upon reaching Tumkot, we visit the Dhungkar Choezom Monastery. It is one of the most important Sakya monasteries in the Tibetan region. Overnight at tented camp.

Day-9: Tumkot to Yari

Our walk for the day is comparatively easy. The change in climate and vegetation is drastically noticeable. As we move forward, the landscape grows more wild, secluded and rocky. You can only see small bushes and low junipers in the name of vegetation. We continue our trail until we reach Yari. Overnight at tented camp. Tibet Portion

Day-10: Yari to Hilsa (3720m)/3-4 hrs. Drive to Purang

Trek to Hilsa following the rugged mountain trail and cross the Nara la pass. (4620m). Upon reaching Hilsa we drive to Purang.Meet the Tibetan team or your Mt Kailash trek at border and then drive for about 50 km's to Purang at an altitude of 3780 meters. The trip will take about 2 hours. Overnight Hotel

Day-11: Mansarovar Lake

Drive to Mansarovar Lake at 4590m, arriving after about 3 hours. It is advisable to get some sleep on arrival due to the increase in altitude.

Day-12: Darchen

Continue the drive to Darchen at 4580m, about 30km away. Today will be a short drive of about 1 hour. Overnight Guesthouse.

Start Mt Kailash Kora Pilgrimage trek

Day-13: Darchen - Dirapuk Monastery (6rs, 20km 4800meters) Trek:

During the trek you will ascend and descent in altitude and dependant on the time of year, may be accompanied by a number of other people doing the pilgrimage. During the Saga Dawa festival around May, hundreds of Tibetans flock to this point, some trekking from as far away as China. Some will pass you walking, and others will complete the trek by prostrating themselves on the ground for the full distance around the mountain.

The Kailash kora usually begins on the western edge of Darchen. Only 4km from Darchen the trail climbs up over the southwest end of an east-west ridge to each a cairn at 4730m. The cairn is strewn with prayer flags and marks the first views of Mt Kailash's southern face and the first of the kora'ss four prostration points. Very quickly the trail enters the barren Lha-chu Valley.

After passing a series of ruined chortens and a number of long mani (prayer) walls, the trail reaches a small bridge across the Lha-chu at 4710m. The bridge is about three hours walk from Darchen and is directly below Chuku Monastery perched high above the valley floor. During the pilgrim season, a few nomad tents may be set up on the other side of the river from the monastery, with food (instant noodles and snacks) and water for sale.

Day-14: Dirapuk Monastery to Dzultripuk Monastery (7-8h, 22kms, 9 to 10hrs, 4680meters.)

This is the most challenging part of the 3-day trek as you will challenge the Drolma La Pass (5630m). Walking about two hours, you will reach a rocky expanse of Shiva-tsal (5330m). Pilgrims are supposed to undergo a symbolic death at this point, entering in the realm of the Lord of the Dead, until they reach the top of the Drolma-la and are reborn again. About 30 minutes from Shiva-tsal the trail turns eastward for the completion of the ascent to the highest point of this trail - 5630m Drolma-la. Weather permitting, most pilgrims and trekkers pause at the pass for a rest and refreshments before starting the steep descent. It takes approximately an hour to make the long and very steep 400m descent to the grassy banks of the Lham-chu Khir.

Day-15: Complete the trek (15kms / hrs).

From the monastery, the trail follows the river closely for an hour or so then climbs above the river and enters a narrow scanyon. When the canyon narrows look for holes gouged into the cliff walls. These are not natural but made by pilgrims looking for holy stones. Also look for prayer flags festooned across the river, and in the far distance the blue waters of the lake Raksas Tal.

When the trail emerges onto the Barkha plain, it's now an easy one-hour walk back to Darchen along a dirt road.

Drive to Horchu, (4500 meters) and Lake Mansarovar. This is a holy, sacred lake. Camp Overnight


Spare day to explore the surrounding area of Mansarovar. Camp Overnight . This will be our last night of the trek near the base of Mount Kailash.

Day-17: Paryang

Today will drive to Paryang, rising up to about 4700 meters, 292 kms away. Camp

Day-18: Today, we will drive about 252km to Saga at 4600 meters. Camp

Day-19: Lhatse

Our camp tonight will be at Lhatse at 4050 meters, a 9 hour drive away. Camp

Day-20: Shigatse

After a 5 hour drive, we will arrive at Shigatse at 3700 meters. Hotel Overnight. Shigatse is the second largest city in Tibet with lovely markets and also the Tashilhunpo Monastery. This monastery is one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet. Overnight Hotel.

Day-21: Drive to Gyangtse (3800meters). (95kms, 02hrs). Hotel.

Day-22: Lhasa

We will continue our overland journey along the Friendship Highway towards Lhasa, at 3680m. We cross several high passes , beautiful valleys and Tibetan villages. Hotel

Day-23: Lhasa

This morning we visit the Potala Palace. This spectacular building contains the private quarters of the Dalai Lama. There has been a palace on this site since the 5th or 6th century, but the present palace was constructed in the 17th century.

A visit to the Drepung Monastery founded in the 14th century, this monastery was once the largest in the world, with a population of around 10,000 monks.

This is a leisure day in which we are free to explore further, revisit a favourite monastery or simply sit in a é overlooking the Barkor and watch the pilgrims as they walk around the Jokhang, stopping regularly to peruse the merchandise at the stalls lining the route

Day-24:Flight: Lhasa Kathmandu.

Free day to explore the attractions. Hotel Overnight.


Free day for shopping etc. Hotel Overnight.

Day-26: Final Departure

End of services


Kailash Variations

Mt Kailash via Kathmandu 18 Days Mt Kailash from Lhasa 22 days

Day-1: Kathmandu

Day-2: Kathmandu

Day-3: Kathmandu- Kyirung

Day-4: Rest Day in Kerung

Day-5: Drive Kerung to Saga

Day-6: Drive to Paryang

Day-7: Drive to Horchu

Day-8: Visit Darchen

Day-9: Start the trek

Day-10: Trek. 24kms

Day-11: Complete the trek (15kms / hrs). Drive to Horchu

Day-12: Free Day

Day-13: Drive back to Paryang

Day-14: Drive back to Saga

Day-15: Drive back to Kerong

Day-16: Cross to Kathmandu

Day-17: Free day to explore Kathmandu

Day-18: Final Departure

Day-1: Arrive Kathmandu

Day-2:Full day guided sightseeing

Day-3. Kathmandu to Lhasa (3660m)

Day-4: Lhasa

Day-5: Lhasa

Day-6: Lhasa to Gyantse (3950m)

Day-7: Gyantse to Shigatse 90km

Day-8: Drive to Lhatse

Day-9: Drive to Saga

Day-10: Drive to Paryang

Day-11 : Drive to Horchu

Day-12: Visit Darchen

Day-13: On Trek

Day-14:On Trek

Day-15: On Trek

Day-16: Complete the trek (15kms / 03 to 04 hrs).

Day-17 : Drive back to Paryang

Day-18: Drive back to Saga

Day-19: Drive to Kyirong County

Day-20: Cross the border (Kerung)- Kathmandu

Day-21: Leisure

Day-22: Depart  

Your Questions Answered

The best season to go on this trek is from April to September. May is the peak time to go as this is Saga Dawa Festival time.
The average altitude of this trekking is nearly 5,000m, so it is a very great challenge and requires strong perseverance.
No you only need to carry your day pack as a porter will carry your gear for you.
Age recommendation to pursue Kailash Yatra is 10-70 years. Any person undertaking Kailash Yatra should be medically fit with no serious health condition and breathing related issues as this involves trekking and long hours walk
Yes you can and we can easily plan your trek on dates that suit you.
This is one of the most often asked questions - "how will I cope with the altitude". To be honest, this is an 'unknown' factor as no-one can predict how your body will cope at altitude. People who have been to altitude many times in the past without problems, may on one climb suddenly develop problems. There are many factors that play a role. The only way to help combat this, is to take all of the necessary precautions, and walk slowly, acclimatise correctly, don't ascent too quickly and drink plenty of water.
The tour part uses hotels and guesthouses and then camping on Mt Kailash.
The hike is about 50km which is short but high altitude trip.
Tibet is new to tourism and as such, you may often encounter things running a little differently to the way they do in the west. Time adherence can be slow and facilities e.g. some restaurants and public toilets seriously "wanting." The roads are also prone to wash ways causing delays or detours and often sections of a road will be closed without prior notice. As such, a good degree of patience is required when travelling to Tibet. We do however, endeavour to make your journey run as smoothly as possible despite these issues. When entering Tibet from Nepal, Chinese Visas cannot be used. As such, the visa for Tibet must be obtained from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. As visa's are only issued on Mondays, Wednesday's and Thursdays (except if they fall on a Chinese Holiday), tours need to be arranged to suit these visa issue dates, i.e. any one going on a tour departing for Tibet from Nepal, needs to arrive in Kathmandu at least three days before entering Tibet. When you confirm your trip with us, we will organize your Travel Permit for Tibet, Visa Approval Documents and apply to the Chinese embassy to obtain your visa. We will thus require your full passport details, 3 weeks prior to your arrival at Kathmandu. The final documentation will be done on arrival in Nepal. Please note that visa for Tibet obtained elsewhere has still got to be endorsed by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu.