The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is filled with experiences of self-introspection and spiritual growth. The entire Kailash Range and the surrounding landscapes, towns and villages have so much to offer – both to a pilgrim and a traveller. One of the most significant tourist attractions and places of high religious importance is Ashtapad, a mountain which gives you an opportunity to soak up the picturesque views of the Mount Kailash from close quarters.
If you are planning a trip to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar, you should make sure a visit to Ashtapad is included.
Ashtapad is located in Darchen, which is a tiny village located in Purang County in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The village of Darchen is situated just in front of the Mount Kailash. It is the starting point for any pilgrimage that you want to undertake in the region.
Ashtapad or Ashtapad is of utmost religious importance to Hindus, as it is considered to be an abode of Lord Shiva. Jains also revere this mountain because it is believed to be the place where Rushabhadev gained nirvana.
Situated at an altitude of 4,800 m, Ashtapad is extremely sacred. So much so that every stone of this mountain is regarded as an incarnation of gods. This is one of those revered places where you'll feel the presence of gods at every step. That's why pilgrims who visit this site make sure they keep their behavior simple and treat every stone with utmost respect. Once you have visited this mountain, you'll want to go there over and over again. Such is the spiritual charm of this place.
What to See
Apart from being an extremely sacred site itself, Ashtapad is popular for heart-stirring views of the Mount Kailash. If you want a closer look at the southern face of Mount Kailash, Ashtapad is the place to be.
The village of Darchen presents a host of sights that you'll love soaking up. Previously a sheep station for nomads, the village allows you to experience the day-to-day life in the mountains. In this village, you'll also come across a building which is used as shelter by Tibetan pilgrims.
The drive to Darchen is an adventurous one, as the route is steep and lined with boulders all along. There are many streams that you'll need to cross to reach the village. All in all, it's going to be a quite scenic and adventure-packed drive. Make sure you enjoy the sights and scenes as much as you can.
Take your cameras along so that you can capture some of the most beautiful views during your trip to Darchen and Ashtapad.
The weather remains chilly during winters and pleasant during summers. In the winter months, mercury dips down to -15 degrees Celsius. Summers months, between May and August, are the best for a visit. The region gets a little amount of rainfall during the monsoon season. Since weather can suddenly change in and around this area, you should take precautionary measures to be safe.
How to Reach
Darchen is your last stop before you begin Kailash Parikrama. From the town of Shiquanhe or (Ali), you can take a bus to reach Darchen. The road journey takes one day. Ngari Gunsa is the closest airport.
Accommodation and Eating
Though Darchen doesn't have big hotels, it offers a couple of basic guesthouses where you can plan your stay. Depending on your individual preferences, you can also spend nights in camps. There area has some camping grounds where camping can be a lot of fun and a rich experience.
Darchen also has a few restaurants where you can satisfy your hunger. It is recommended that you also carry some of your own food. Since the village lies quite close to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar, only vegetarian food is eaten here by all the pilgrims during their visit. Limited medical facilities in the form of a few stores is available in the village.
Since Ashtapad is a pilgrimage destination and an extremely revered one, you should always follow the necessary guidelines and tips.
Keep your behavior simple and treat every pilgrim with utmost respect. Don't sit here and there and keep your rubbish in your bags.
If you are on medication, talk to your doctor in advance. You may face some health issues due to high altitude and weather changes.
Before you head to Ashtapad, buy anything that you want in Darchen.
If you don't understand anything or face any kind of difficulties during the trip, let the travel guide or staff know about it quickly.
Places of Interest
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Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Reviews
10 May 2017
"We 04 passengers me, my parents and my husband travelled together to Shiva’s home with Max Holidays and we had an amazing experience. I agree that there were many things not in their hand during this yatra such as …. flight operation, weather condition, accommodation in Similkot …... Hilsa and during trekking etc."
Mr. Anil Malik
02 June 2017
"Dear Ms Vidhushi, I write this note as a token of appreciation for the way you handled Guruji's (Mr. Bhopal) trip to kailash Mansarovar. Our interactions in your office were not only comforting but made us feel confident that Guruji would be well looked after. Your suggestions n attention to the minute details in his travel itenary were a..."
21 July 2017
"Thank you Team Maxholidays for such a beautiful trip to Kaislash Mansarovar.
June 2017 is the Time when me and my 11 Co Passengers found a New Family in you all.
Except for Climate and plane issues (which no one can predict ) everything else will be a memory of my Lifetime.. Thank you once again..."
29 September 2016
"I would like to mention that my trip to Mansarovar from Purang and especially the parikrama of Mt. Kailash was a wonderful experience with Max Holidays! The Nepal and Tibet team of Max holidays was extremely friendly, professional and always ready to help the travellers. Bravo!"
14 September 2014
"Hi Vidushi, Prince, Minakshi, Amit. Thank you for all your help in successful completion of Kailash yatra, it was a crucial journey and not a easy one , really appreciate your efforts!!!"
17 August 2015
"Excellent trip organised by Max Holidays! I will surely recommend all to book their tour to Kailash Mansarovar and Tibet with this agency. They are special and they take care of us like their family and friends. Next time I will be back with more friends and take Inner Kora of Mt. Kailash"