Kailash Mansarovar Yatra FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

There are various routes and ways to reach Mt. Kailash and lake Manasarovar out of which a 13 days’ road trip from Kathmandu, 11 days Kailash helicopter trekking tour and a 15 to 16 days scenic Kailash journey are most accepted by the travellers. While planning for Kailash Manasarovar yatra tour bookings the pilgrims/travellers usually have several queries in their mind. We have tried to answer here some of the frequently asked questions regarding Kailash Manasarovar yatra and hope that the same will be useful for the pilgrims/travellers.

Q. Which is the best time for visiting Kailash Mansarovar?

Ans. Kailash Mansarovar trekking trips usually starts from late April and continue until October. However depending on the weather conditions most travellers consider May, June, August and September as the best time to visit Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake. For helicopter trips monsoon time (July and first few days of August) are not considered to be favourable, but a large no. Of travellers still travel there due to restrictions with their personal schedule etc.

Q. How many days are requied for this yatra?

Ans. For overland Kailash journey via Kathmandu and Kerung/Nyalam usually 13 days are sufficient, for Kailash journeys by helicopter from Kathmandu 10 days, for Kailash journeys from Lucknow or Nepalgunj usually 08 days are reuiqred and for Lhasa side 15 to 16 days are required to complete the Kailash Mansarovar yatra with trekking of Mt. Kailash. The shortest duration trips are a 06 days trip to Kailash Mansarovar from Lucknow and a 03 to 04 days VVIP trip to Kailash Mansarovar by helicopter from Lucknow or Nepalgunj. Both these trips exclude the Mt. Kailash trekking part. It is recommended that people with high level of fitness should only attempt for the 06 days or shorter trip as the pilgrim/travellers get very less time for acclimatization.

Q. Is this yatra difficult?

Ans. Yes, Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar yatra is a challenging trip in remote lands of Tibetan Autonomous Region and is performed under tough and inhospitable conditions. This yatra is more arduous than Char Dham yatra, Amarnath yatra and vaishno Devi yatra.

Q. What is the age restriction for undertaking Kailash Yatra?

Ans. Usually the Chinese authorities grant permit for traveller upto 70 years of age. Previously it was 65 year. However the policy of the local authority keeps changing and any further change may be announced at any given time by the authorities and it has to be followed. In such cases if your trip is effected or cancelled completely due to sudden change in the policy of the local authority or Govt there is no refund or adjustment of payments is applicable.

Q. Is passport must for visiting Kailash Mansarovar?

Ans. Yes, Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar are situated in Tibet, China. Therefore, passport is required by each pilgrim/traveller to visit Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar. Please ensure that your passport is not handwritten and it is valid for atleast six months from the date of your travel.

Q. I am a single traveller. Can I join this trip?

Ans. Kailash Mansarovar Overland trips from Kathmandu and Kailash Mansarovar helicopter trips from Kathmandu or Lucknow are operated in a shape of group travel. Max Holidays itself and in coordination with its local partners in Nepal and Tibet does organise fixed departure groups to Kailash Mansarovar on such trips. Even a single traveller is eligible to join such Kailash Yatra groups.

Q. We are a group of friends. Can we plan a private trip for ourselves?

A. Apart from the fixed departure group dates for Kailash Mansarovar tour packages we also specialise in organising private group trips for minimum 16 people.

Q. What is the minimum requirement for fitness required to visit Kailash Mansararovar?

Ans. Being physically and mentally fit is a crucial part of Kailash journey. It is strictly advisable to get yourself examined by your doctor and ensure that your health permits you to travel to Mt. Kailash at a height of over 19500 feet in extreme cold and rugged terrain and under inhospitable conditions. Asthma patients are warned in advance that the amount of dust on the roads require them to wear a mask to prevent them self from dust allergy. For the people with back pain, it is to be noticed that the drives can be very long and bumpy which may cause difficulty. It is advisable that you practice walking, do yoga asanas and do some light exercise to prepare yourself for the trip. Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is mostly an act of faith and people with peaceful mind, faith, dedication and strong willpower find it easier to complete this challenging trip as compare with others.

Q. Does applying for the yatra registration confirms my participation?

Ans. Once you apply for the registration in one of our groups travelling to Mt. Kailash and lake Manasarovar through any of the mentioned routes, we start preparing for your trip in coordination with our local team in India, Nepal and Tibet. However, Kailash yatra permit is an essential document to get visa which is issued by the concerned authorities near to the date of the trip and is totally at their discretion. We do not have any control over the same and the yatra is not confirmed unless your name appears in the permit. The trips to Kailash Mansarovar are not only dependent on the rules and terms of the concerned authorities but weather also plays a major role in operation of such trips and especially Kailash helicopter trips which are totally weather permitted. One needs to be ready to tolerate and face the unexpected nature of Kailash Manasarovar trips.

Q. Does the Kailash Yatra packages by private tour operators include food and accommodation?

Ans. Mostly the Kailash Yatra packages operated by Max Holidays and its alliance partners are inclusive of vegetarian meals, accommodation in basic hotels/guest houses, road transport, regular internal flights and helicopter service for heli trips, permit to visit Kailash Manasarovar, normal visa for Kailash and other service as may be specified in the tour package inclusion lists.

Q. What type of accommodation is provided?

Ans. In Kathmandu for overland trips good 3star facilities hotel and for helicopter trips 4 to 5 star htotels are provided depending on the tour package your have booked. At other places we offer best available guest houses and depending on the rush of the pilgrims the accommodation can be even on triple/quad or multi sharing basis in such guest houses. At most places except Kathmandu, Nepalgunj, Lhasa and Shigatse the hotels/guest houses does not provide private bathrooms and common bathrooms are the only options. During the parikrama of Mt. Kailash only open air toilets are available. In Kailash trips and especially in helicopter trips sometimes it is not possible to provide hotels or guest houses as committed during the course of bookings, which can be due to inclement weather conditions, delay or rescheduling of flights, heavy rush of travellers and many other reasons. No guarantee can be made for offering same or similar standard of hotels/guest houses as this trip depend on many factors which are out of control of the operators.

Q. How does the Tibet Permit and Chinese Visa work?

Ans. We apply for your necessary travel permits for Tibet. The permits are in a shape of group on a paper. Once we receive the permit we need your original passports to get your visa.

- Indian passports – we need Indian passports at Delhi to get the visa formalities done.
- Foreign nationals – we need a clear colour scanned copy of passport with one passport size photograph to apply with Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu

It is to be noted that even if you have a Chinese visa already on your passport, you need to undergo this process of permit and visa for travelling to Kailash region.

Chinese authority rules in this regard may change at any given time and the same are communicated to the travellers. The travellers need to go with such changes and make necessary arrangements of getting the visa. All additional expenses in such cases will be paid by the traveller only and for any cancellation of trip (or a part of the trip) occurred due to such changes in the policy of authority/govt, will attract cancelation fee as per the cancelation terms.

Q. During the trip how much walking is required?

Ans. The Kailash trek is for 52 kms and it takes about 3 days walking to complete this trek with 2 overnight halts at Dirapukh and Zuthulpuk respectively. The trekking is performed at a height of over 15000 ft and the highest point of the trek is Dolma La pass which is about 19,500 ft and this is during the second day of Kailash Mansarovar trekking. One can hire a yak or horse for the parikrama from Tarboche (starting point of the trek). Hiring of mule and porter for the trekking is not our responsibility and is not a part of our tour package either. During the first and the third day the walking is in general over the level ground however the second day trek and especially ascend and descend near Dolma La pass is the toughest part of Mt. Kailash trekking tour.

Q. How much charges one has to pay for hiring Yak and porter for parikrama?

Ans. Hiring of mule and porter for the Mt. Kailash kora (parikrama) is not included in our package neither we play any role in advance bookings for yak and porters. Usually the charges for hiring Yak/horse for the parikrama are approx Chinese Yuan 2200 for 03 days and porter to carry your bag is Chinese Yuan 780 for 03 days parikrama package. The prices mentioned here for hiring yak and porter are only indicative expense and they are subject to change without any information or notice.

Q. What kind of medical facilities available during the yatra?

Ans. During the yatra we provide first aid kit which is available with the tour manager of guide. For the case of emergency our team also carries oxygen bottles with limited availability and during the parikrama of Mt. Kailash an oxygen cylinder is also carried by the Tibetan guide. It is advisable to the pilgrims to carry their medicines in enough quantity which they have been regularly taking or may be advised by your doctor. Other than this we also provide a list of medicines and recommend that you carry those medical items with you alongwith other eatables.

Q. What medical test reports are required?

Ans. We strictly recommend that each pilgrim/traveller must consult with his/her doctor and go through proper health check before booking and undertaking the trip to Kailash Mansarovar. Normally we ask the travellers to provide us a ‘Medical certificate’ for their doctor with the report of the tests OR provide us with a declaration from the doctor duly stamped and signed on his letter head mentioning that the person undertaking the yatra is fit medically to travel at a height of 19500 feet and above in tough climatic conditions.

Q. What are the hidden expenses to be paid by pilgrim/traveller directly?

Ans. The following are some important items to be noted, which are not included in a Kailash Yatra tour package, usually:

- Flight ticket to and from the starting point of the trip i.e. Kathmandu/Lhasa/Lucknow etc.
- Travel insurance is not included in the package which is a mandatory item for undertaking the trip to Kailash Mansarovar.
- Charges for mule (yak/horse) and porter for Kailash parikarama
- Rescue or emergency evacuation charges.
- Tibet visa separation cost.
- Medical expenses other than first aid (incase of acute sickness, hospitalisation etc.)
- Additional expenses for food and stay due to delay in the trip.
- Additional expenses such as drinks, laundry bills, extra food bills
- Additional transport expenses in the event of change in your schedule
- Any other item which is not mentioned in the list of inclusions in our package.

Q. Does the cook travel with us in the trip? Can we ask for food of our choice?

Ans. Yes a Nepalese chef and his helper travel with the group alongwith the necessary cooking items. The food is light and pure vegetarian, without onion and garlic. Depending on the availability of items the cook may accept to prepare item of your choice.

Q. Do you provide drinking water on the trip?

Ans. We provide pure natural mineral water on the trip or we made available water purification tablets. Sometimes the availability of water can be limited (especially in the cases of delay in the trip due to any unforeseen reason) and one needs to cope up with the situation. During your stay near Mansarovar the lake water is the only source for bathing, washing clothes etc and boiled water of the lake is made available to drink. During the kora of Mt. Kailash every morning hot water will be made available which one needs to fill in his/her flask and use during parikrama for drinking.

Q. How much additional money one should carry?

Ans. For Nepal side one can carry USDollars or Indian Rupees. But for Chinese side only Yuan must be carried. Our package includes food, accommodation, transport, internal flights,

Q. Can I bring my video camera? Is there charging facility during the trip?

Ans. Yes you can bring your video camera. Though charging facility is available at most places (except the parikrama) but it is strongly recommended that you carry additional batteries too. The voltage in Tibet is 220V.

Q. What type of communication facilities are available?

Ans. It is advised that you carry your Indian mobile phone and ensure that it has international roaming facility. In Nepal usually Indian mobile phone works fairly good but the call and internet charges may be expensive. It is advisable that you download few chat applications in your smart phone especially WeChat which widely works in Nepal and China side. In the China side after crossing the border you may buy a Chinese SIM card for which one requires to give a copy of the passport and 02 passport size photographs alongwith the SIM card charges which are about 50 to 100 Yuans approx.

Q. What kind of fitness is required?

Ans. For Kailash Manasarovar Yatra fitness is very crucial. It is advisable to get a medical examination with your regular doctor before you plan to go on Mt. Kailash Yatra. Anyone suffering from back problems may find the long drives over bumpy roads difficult. People suffering from Asthma or any kind of dust allergy are forewarned that the amount of dust on the road necessitates wearing a mask. Apart from that, it is a good idea to prepare in advance with brisk walking, and some regimen of exercise or preferably yoga asanas and pranayama. Eventually, for most people the Kailash parikrama is an act of faith.

Q. What kind of food is served on the tour?

Ans. For breakfast one gets high energy and nutritious beverages like complan, bournvita, horlicks along with tea/coffee. There is porridge/cornflakes and the menu alternates pancakes, upma, pakoras etc., and bread with butter/ jams etc. are there. Lunch is generally packed and served at a scenic spot near some water pool. It consists of a tetra pack (Frooti etc) or lime water with glucose, puri/chapatti & vegetables, tinned fruits/sweets, pickle. Dinner is at the campsite and the menu is very varied with soup, Indian, Chinese and European cuisine and a desert. Water collected from streams near the campsite is boiled and hence safe for drinking. You can add iodine drops or chlorine tablets.

Q. What if someone is not feeling fit to do the parikrama upon reaching there?

Ans. In such cases the yatri can stay back at Darchen or Lake Mansarovar (depending on bookings made by the guide for the group) and wait for the other group members to return from their parikrama.

Q. What is the difference between outer and inner kora (parikrama)?

Ans. The outer kora is the normal Mt. Kailash parikrama which is usually included in all packages. The inner kora means the kora of Nandi parvat. The inner kora is comparatively more challenging and requires extremely good health conditions. If is not recommended to people with above 60 years age to take inner kora unless they are exceptionally good with the health conditions. Nandi kora takes an additional day and is weather permitted.

Q. How can I register myself for the yatra?

Ans. To register yourself in one of our group travelling to Kailash Mansarovar you need to contact our head office in Delhi via phone +9111-40504050 or Mobile : +91 8800750030 or email [email protected] and mention your desired date and type of yatra. Upon receiving your request, our dedicated team will send you the detailed information of the trip and a registration form with booking terms and conditions for the yatra. You will require to submit a clear colour scanned copy of your passport, a scanned copy of the registration form duly filled and signed by the yatrai himself/herself and a passport size photograph pasted on the registration form. Alongwith these documents, you will also require to deposit the initial registration fee in our bank through Swift/NEFT/RTGS/IMPS/Cash or online credit card payment system. Please note no document and registration is considered ‘received’ unless we have received the registration fee in our account. It is to be noted that such advance payments will include a non-refundable amount of INR 10,000 (incase of Indian national) or USD 250 (incase of foreigner or NRI traveller) per person which will be refundable in no circumstances after you have completed the registration formalities with us. If you do not agree to this term, you should not process your registration formalities.