Introduction: Kailash and Manasarovar Parikarma
Mount Kailash presents probably the biggest irony in the tourism world and pilgrimage destinations. It is the most renowned and divine place visited by devotees across the borders. It is an important religious destination for many religions like Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism and holds different significance to different religions just like the various names it has. The mountain towers up to 22,000 feet above sea level and is considered to be one of the toughest high rises to climb or even reach. Pilgrims even with the toughest of vehicles take weeks to reach here through a journey, which is nothing less than a great challenge.
For Hindus, Mount Kailash is the sacred abode of Lord Shiva, ‘The God of Destruction’ of evil and sorrow. Hindus consider this mountain as eternal heaven and the center of soul and spirituality. As the legend has it, Lord Shiva sits at the top of Mt. Kailash meditating and practicing yoga. The mountain is assumed to be the center of the world and the four rivers flowing through Kailash divide the world into four different regions. In fact, the famous rock-cut Ellora caves in Maharashtra is named after Mt. Kailash. The walls of this cave have many carvings related to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Buddhist calls it Mountain Kang Rimpoche, ‘The Precious One of Glacial Snow’. The locales of Tibet call it Tise. They consider this to be the resting place of Buddha Demchok and the place where the intimidating battle between Milarepa and Naro Bonchung took place. Milarepa was the master of Tantric Buddhism (magic), and Naro Bonchung was the champion of the Bon religion. After a long battle, no results were in sight and both came to the conclusion that the one who reaches the top of the mountain first wins. Soon Naro Bonchung got on his magic drum and proceeded toward the tip, but to everybody’s amazement, Milarepa sat there meditating. As Naro Bonchung was about to reach the top, Milerapa sprang into action and overtook him by riding the rays of the Sun. Since then Buddhism prevails in Tibet.
This begins from Kathmandu with city tours. This is a big opportunity to know about the history, Culture, and People lifestyle of Nepal and Tibet. The drive to Mt Kailash from Kathmandu through the scenic countryside offers you a lovely view of the high mountain range.
Best Seasons for Kailash and Manasarovar Pilgrimage Tour.
Around Tibet with the Lhasa Tour, one can visit from April to October including the monsoon-wet months of June to August, as Tibet falls within rain shadow where all black heavy rain clouds are blocked by high Himalayan Mountain that make Tibet a dry and arid country.
The best times are from April to June during spring and pre-summer season and from September and October months during autumn/fall.
April to June much longer sunlight hours where most days are clear from morning till late afternoon can get cloudy sometimes with a chance of snows around higher elevations cold in the morning and night time.
September and October during autumn/fall when days are crystal clear from morning till mid-afternoon, but days are shorter with sunlight hours, much cold with freezing temperatures in the morning and night as well in shades.
Climate and Weather During Kailash Manasarovar Yatra
Himalayan climate can be unpredictable sometimes even in good best seasons, where April and May to the first week of June will be the best time during spring times when days are longer with enough sunlight hours.
Morning and night time as well in the shade can be cold and much freezing temperatures around high hills.
Other best months during September and October great times for tours when most days are clear for views, although much colder months of the autumn season with extreme cold during morning and night time, where sunlight is much shorter.
When does the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra Opens?
The opening of the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra trek route can vary from year to year, and the exact date is determined by the Chinese authorities who manage the pilgrimage. Typically, the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra trek route opens around May or June and remains open until September or October. However, it's important to note that this information is based on the knowledge available up until September 2023, and the actual opening dates for the trek in any given year may vary. It is recommended to check with the relevant authorities or Nepal Trekking Planner official representatives for the most up-to-date information regarding the opening of the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra trek.
What to Expect during Kailash Manasarovar Parikarma?
The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is a sacred pilgrimage in the Himalayas, primarily undertaken by Hindu and Buddhist devotees. It involves a trek through rugged terrain to reach the sacred Mount Kailash and the nearby Lake Manasarovar. Here's what you can expect during the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra Trek:
- Scenic Beauty: The trek offers breathtaking views of the majestic Himalayan Mountain range, picturesque valleys, and pristine landscapes. You'll have the opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the region.
- Challenging Terrain: The trek to Kailash Mansarovar is physically demanding. The route includes steep ascents and descents, rocky paths, high altitudes, and varying weather conditions. It requires good physical fitness and mental preparedness.
- Altitude Sickness: As you ascend to higher altitudes, the air becomes thinner, and altitude sickness can be a concern. It's essential to acclimatize properly, stay hydrated, and follow the advice of your guides. Taking it slow and allowing your body to adjust is crucial.
- Spiritual Significance: Kailash Mansarovar is considered a sacred place by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Bon followers. It is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva and is associated with spiritual liberation. Many pilgrims undertake this journey to seek blessings, perform religious rituals, and experience a sense of spiritual awakening.
- Religious Rituals: Throughout the trek, you'll have opportunities to participate in religious rituals and ceremonies. These may include bathing in the holy Lake Mansarovar, circumambulating Mount Kailash (a practice known as Kora or Parikrama), and visiting significant monasteries and temples in the region.
- Cultural Experience: The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra offers a chance to immerse yourself in the rich local culture. You'll interact with the local people, encounter Tibetan Buddhism, witness traditional practices, and learn about the region's history and mythology.
- Accommodation and Facilities: During the trek, basic accommodation options such as guesthouses, tented camps, or lodges are available in designated locations along the route. However, facilities may be limited, and it's important to be prepared for basic living conditions.
- Weather Conditions: The weather in the Kailash Manasarovar Region can be unpredictable. It's advisable to pack appropriate clothing layers, including warm clothing for cold temperatures and rain gear for possible rainfall. The weather conditions may affect the accessibility and duration of the trek.
- Group Travel: The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is often organized in groups, and you'll likely be part of a larger group led by experienced guides. This allows for a more organized and safer journey, and also provides opportunities to interact with fellow travelers from different backgrounds.
- Inner Transformation: The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is not just a physical journey; it is also believed to be a transformative spiritual experience. Many pilgrims describe a profound sense of inner peace, self-discovery, and personal growth during and after the yatra.
It's important to note that specific details and arrangements for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra may vary depending on the tour operator, the chosen route, and the duration of the pilgrimage. It's recommended to thoroughly research and plan your journey, consult with experienced organizers, and be well-prepared both physically and mentally for this challenging and spiritually significant trek.
How Many Peoples are Required for Kailash Manasarovar Yatra?
The number of people required for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra trek can vary depending on the specific arrangements made by Trekking Planner Nepal and the regulations set by the authorities managing the pilgrimage. Typically, a group size of at least 4 individuals is preferred for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra Trek. This is primarily for logistical and safety reasons, as it allows for better management of the journey, including transportation, accommodation, and support services. However, it's important to note that these numbers are subject to change, and it's recommended to consult with authorized Trekking Planner Nepal senior office representatives or the concerned authorities for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding group size requirements for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra Trek.
Why is the speciality Kailash Manasarovar Yatra Trek?
The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is a significant pilgrimage and trek that holds deep spiritual and cultural importance for various religions, primarily Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Bon. Here are some reasons why people undertake this journey:
- Spiritual Significance: The Mount Kailash, considered sacred by multiple religions, is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva in Hinduism and the residence of other deities in different faiths. It is regarded as a place of spiritual power and is believed to offer blessings and a transfocrmative experience to those who visit.
- Cultural Exploration: The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich cultural heritage of the region. Travelers can witness unique traditions, rituals, and ceremonies practiced by locals, and gain insights into the religious and cultural practices of the Himalayan region.
- Personal Journey and Inner Transformation: The trek to Kailash Manasarovar is often seen as a personal journey of self-discovery and inner transformation. It involves physical challenges, high-altitude trekking, and facing one's limitations. Many participants find it a profound and introspective experience that helps them gain clarity, peace, and a deeper connection with themselves and the spiritual realm.
- Natural Beauty: The Kailash Manasarovar region is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. The journey takes you through picturesque landscapes, serene lakes, snow-capped mountains, and lush valleys, offering a chance to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the Himalayas.
- Cultural Exchange and Camaraderie: The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra brings together people from different backgrounds and faiths, fostering cultural exchange, understanding, and a sense of camaraderie. It allows participants to connect with fellow travelers, share experiences, and create lifelong memories.
It's important to note that the decision to go on the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is a personal one, driven by individual beliefs, interests, and aspirations. It's advisable to research, plan well, and ensure you are physically and mentally prepared for the challenges associated with this trek.
How to prepare for Kailash Manasarovar Trek?
Preparing yourself for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra Trek requires careful planning and physical and mental preparation. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the journey:
- Physical Fitness: The trek to Kailash Manasarovar involves challenging terrains, high altitudes, and long hours of walking. It is important to focus on improving your cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and strength. Engage in regular physical activities such as walking, hiking, jogging, or cycling. Additionally, consider incorporating exercises that target your legs, core, and overall stamina.
- Altitude Acclimatization: The journey takes you to high altitudes, which can pose a risk of altitude sickness. Gradual acclimatization is crucial. If possible, engage in activities at high altitudes before the trip to allow your body to adapt. During the trek, ensure proper hydration, maintain a slow and steady pace, and listen to your body. Consult with a healthcare professional regarding altitude sickness prevention and any necessary medications.
- Packing Essentials: Prepare a comprehensive packing list based on the recommendations of your tour operator or experienced trekkers. Include essentials such as suitable trekking gear (hiking boots, comfortable clothing, rain gear, etc.), a sturdy backpack, a good quality sleeping bag, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, a first aid kit, and any necessary medications. Pack light but ensure you have adequate layers for varying weather conditions.
- Mental Preparation: The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is not only physically demanding but also emotionally and mentally challenging. Prepare yourself mentally for the trek by setting realistic expectations, understanding the significance of the pilgrimage, and embracing the spiritual and cultural aspects of the journey. Practice mindfulness, meditation, or other techniques that can help you stay focused, calm, and positive during the trek.
- Research and Information: Gain as much knowledge as possible about the trek, including the route, weather conditions, accommodations, and local customs. Understand the cultural sensitivities and etiquettes to ensure respectful interactions with the local communities. Stay informed about any travel advisories or requirements from relevant authorities.
- Seek Professional Guidance: Consider joining a reputable tour operator specializing in the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra. They can provide guidance, handle logistics, and ensure your safety throughout the journey. Their expertise can help you navigate the challenges and make the most of the experience.
Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before embarking on any physical activities or taking medication for altitude sickness. Each individual's preparation may vary, so it's essential to tailor your approach based on your personal health, fitness level, and specific requirements.
What type of accommodations are available during the yatra?
During the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra Trek, the types of accommodations available can vary depending on the route and the arrangements made by the tour operator. Here are some common types of accommodations you may come across during the trek:
- Lodges: Along the trekking route, there are lodges available at various intervals. These are basic accommodations with shared facilities such as common rooms, dining areas, and bathrooms. The amenities may be limited, and the facilities can vary in terms of cleanliness and comfort.
- Tea Houses: Tea houses are small guesthouses that provide basic accommodations, particularly in the Tibetan Region. These establishments offer rooms with simple beds, basic amenities, and shared bathroom facilities. Tea houses may also serve meals and hot beverages.
- Guesthouses: In some towns or settlements along the trek, there may be guesthouses or hotels available that offer more comfortable accommodations. These options can vary in terms of amenities, cleanliness, and services provided.
It's important to note that the availability and quality of accommodations can vary from season to season and may be limited in remote areas. It is advisable to check with Trekking Planner Nepal senior representatives about the specific accommodations included in your package and make any necessary arrangements in advance. Packing a sleeping bag and other camping essentials may be necessary if camping or staying in basic accommodations is part of your itinerary.
What type of foods are available at Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Trek?
During the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra trip, the types of foods provided can vary depending on the tour package you choose and the facilities available along the route. Here are some common food options you can expect during the journey:
- Vegetarian Meals: As Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is considered a holy pilgrimage, vegetarian meals are the norm. You can expect a variety of vegetarian dishes prepared with local ingredients. Staples may include rice, lentils, vegetables, chapatis (Indian bread), and dal (lentil soup).
- Indian Cuisine: Since the yatra starts from India, Indian cuisine is commonly provided during the trip. You can expect dishes such as curries, biryanis (rice dishes), rotis (Indian bread), sabzis (vegetable preparations), and sweets.
- Tibetan Cuisine: As you enter Tibet during the yatra, Tibetan cuisine may also be offered. This can include dishes like thukpa (noodle soup), momos (dumplings), tsampa (roasted barley flour), yak-based dishes, and butter tea.
- Packed Lunch: During the trekking or long travel stretches, packed lunches consisting of sandwiches, fruits, energy bars, and snacks are often provided. These are easy-to-carry meals to keep you nourished during the journey.
- Hot Beverages: Tea and coffee are commonly available during the yatra to keep you refreshed and warm. In the high-altitude regions, herbal teas such as ginger tea or lemon tea may also be served.
It's important to note that the availability and variety of food can be limited in some remote areas along the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra route due to the challenging terrain and limited infrastructure. However, tour organizers typically make arrangements to provide nutritious meals to the best of their abilities, considering the dietary preferences and requirements of the participants.
Can we get altitude sickness during Kailash Manasarovar?
Altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), can be a concern during the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra due to the high altitude you will encounter. The yatra takes you to elevations of over 5300 meters (feet), which can lead to symptoms of altitude sickness in some individuals. Here are some key points to be aware of:
- Symptoms: Altitude sickness can manifest in various ways and may include headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and it's important to pay attention to your body and report any discomfort to your tour guides or medical staff.
- Acclimatization: Adequate acclimatization is crucial to prevent altitude sickness. The itinerary of the yatra usually includes gradual ascent to allow your body to adjust to the altitude. It is important to follow the recommended acclimatization schedule and not rush the journey. Take rest days, hydrate well, and avoid strenuous physical activity during the initial days of the trip.
- Medication: In some cases, your healthcare provider might prescribe medication to help prevent or alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication and to strictly follow their guidance.
- Hydration and Nutrition: Staying well-hydrated is crucial at high altitudes. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, and avoid alcohol and caffeine as they can contribute to dehydration. It's also important to maintain a nutritious diet during the yatra to keep your energy levels up and support your body's adaptation to the altitude.
- Precautions: It is important to listen to your body and be aware of any symptoms of altitude sickness. If you experience severe symptoms or if your condition worsens, it is advisable to descend to lower altitudes and seek medical assistance. Your tour guides or medical staff will be equipped to handle such situations and provide the necessary support.
Remember that altitude sickness affects individuals differently, and some people may be more susceptible than others. It's crucial to be well-informed, follow the guidance of your tour organizers and medical professionals, and prioritize your health and safety throughout the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Local culture and tradition at Kailash Manasarovar
The Kailash and Manasarovar pilgrimage tour is a journey through the heart of Tibetan Buddhism. The tour takes in some of the most sacred sites in Tibetan Buddhism, including Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, and the Yarlung Tsangpo River.
You will meet locals and learn about their culture and traditions along the route. Tibetan Buddhism is a vast and complicated tradition with a lot to learn. You will have the opportunity to tour monasteries, temples, and sacred locations, as well as learn about the history and philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Kailash and Manasarovar pilgrimage Tour is an unforgettable chance to immerse yourself in different religious and spiritual beliefs, primarily Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Bons, Tibetan Buddhist culture and heritage. It is a journey that you will remember for the rest of your life. Some aspects you may encounter on the trials are:
- Tibetan Buddhism: Tibetan Buddhism is important in the culture and traditions of the region. Along the pilgrimage route, you may see monasteries, prayer flags, and prayer wheels. While circumambulating Mount Kailash, the locals frequently engage in prostration, chanting, and other devotional rites.
- Hindu Rituals: Mount Kailash is considered to be Lord Shiva's residence by Hindus. Many pilgrims perform rituals like as Parikrama (mountain circumambulation) and take a sacred plunge in Lake Manasarovar's waters. These rites are thought to be deeply cleansing and spiritually uplifting.
- Jains and Bons: Mount Kailash is also revered to Jains, who associate it with their first spiritual teacher, Rishabhdev. The mountain is also important to the Bons, a pre-Buddhist religion indigenous to Tibet. Their ceremonies and beliefs enrich with the unique cultural tapestry of the pilgrimage tour.
- Handicrafts and Art: The region is well-known for its intricate art forms and handicrafts. Thangka paintings, wood carvings, and Tibetan carpets are highly valued and showcase the region's unique cultural legacy. You may be able to witness craftspeople at work or purchase traditional goods as keepsakes.
- Exploring the local cuisine is a delicious way to immerse yourself in the culture. Tibetan food, such as momos (dumplings), thukpa (noodle soup), and butter tea, is widely accessible in the area. These culinary marvels provide a one-of-a-kind gastronomic experience.
- Festivals: If you plan your vacation carefully, you may be able to witness or participate in local festivals that are widely celebrated. Festivals such as Saga Dawa, which commemorates Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death, are especially important and feature colorful processions, mask dances, and religious rites.
The Kailash and Manasarovar pilgrimage tour is a truly unique and unforgettable experience. It is a journey that will allow you to experience the culture and tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in a way that is not possible anywhere else in the world.