Settled comfortably on an astounding elevation of 6,638 meters above sea level, Kailash Mansarovar is one of the toughest pilgrimages. Famous as the residence of our beloved Bholenath, Lord Shiva, this peak is situated in the Tibetan autonomous region of China. Kailash Parvat is a religious hotspot for various religions like Bons, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, and many more. Taking the 3 days long Parikrama all along the perimeter of the peak is considered to rid the pilgrims of all their past, present and future sins. On the foothills of Kailash Parbat is the holy, sprawling lake of Mansarovar. Taking a dip in its calm waters and performing puja rituals here is considered to be a soul-cleansing experience. Being located on such a high elevation, the journey to Kailash Mansarovar is not an easy undertaking. The journey can only be a success if every minute detail is taken care of. Although this pilgrimage is physically draining and mentally challenging, the result is rewarding.
Here are some very helpful travel tips for Kailash Mansarovar:
Get Health Check-Ups
Before booking your trip to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, remember to first visit your healthcare provider. A doctor’s visit will shed some light on your health condition and your potential to complete the trip. The pilgrims will be taking a trip on a very high altitude and going there frivolously without getting your health checked first may prove to be harmful to your health. If you decide to go with the MEA-conducted route for the yatra then there are paid health checkup facilities available for everyone. On the other hand, if you decide to go with a private tour operator then every pilgrim will be required to submit a physical fitness certificate by a legit MBBS doctor.
A Well Packed Medicine Bag
The secret to a tension-free yatra is carrying a well-equipped medicine bag. The reason is, the availability of even the most basic medication in the region is next to impossible. Be sure to carry all the necessary medication you need. Even if you are not on any heavy dosage of important medicines, then also carry some must needed medicines. These include Paracetamol, Anti-Pain Spray, Anti Diarrhoea Medicine, Medicine for Stomach Flu, Anti-Fever Medicine, a bottle of Dettol, Cotton, Bandages, Bandaids, Betadine, and antiseptic cream. Also, be sure to carry Diamox which is an anti-high altitude sickness medicine just in case.
Pack The Right Clothes
Packing smart and right is another crucial factor that can make or break your trip. It is best to wear thermal layers which are lightweight and very warm at the same time. Thermal inners help in keeping you warm even in the coldest temperature and preserve warmth in your body. Wearing two thick layers of clothing will make movement tougher while wearing warm lightweight thermals will move a lot more comfortably and easier. You can expect a lot of high-speed wind blowing in the region, so be sure to carry a good quality windcheater to keep yourself secured. Fleece jackets and warm woolen lowers should be always included. Winter accessories like mufflers, woolen socks, gloves, reflector sunglasses, etc.
The Right Footwear
When it comes to the choice of footwear for the Yatra, make sure to invest in some really good quality ones. A good quality, expensive pair of walking or jogging shoes will prove to be worth it purchase. Along with your clothes, the right kind of footwear should also be on your priority list. However, remember to use them for a bit before the beginning of the yatra as they may end up biting your toes. For best results make sure to pair regular cotton socks with your woollen socks. Carry 4 to 5 pairs of good-quality winter socks. You need to keep your feet and toes as dry as possible since that will help in retaining heat from your body. Carry a small bottle of dusting powder to keep your feet as dry as possible.
The high altitude conditions of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra make it extremely inhospitable for human beings to survive. The conditions are tough and the terrain is challenging, unlike any other place you may have seen in the past. To reach the base or the foothills of the peak, pilgrims are required to be in very good physical health as a good amount of trekking is involved. Everyone taking this journey is expected to have good stamina and endurance. It’s advised for everyone to start working out at least a month before the commencement of the trip. Go on regular walks, do yoga, and breathing exercises. This will improve the efficiency of your body to take on any difficult situation and challenges.
Check Weather Conditions
The Kailash Mansarovar will take the pilgrims across the westernmost end of the high-altitude reaches of the Tibetan plateau. Owing to its geographical conditions, the weather here remains incredibly challenging and inhospitable throughout the year. The average temperature in this part ranges “between” – 14 Degrees Celsius to 20 Degrees Celsius all year long. Keep in mind that all these conditions contribute to making the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra one of the most difficult pilgrimages in the world. Summer months remain the most comfortable and convenient time of the year to make this trip. Although summer months still come with its own set of challenges for which you should be mentally prepared.
Types Of Accommodation
There are numerous stays, hotels, and lodgings available in the remote regions of Tibet, however, don’t get your expectations high regarding them. They come with a very limited number of facilities. The amenities are not of the luxury kind due to their seasonal opening nature and remote location. Although there are luxury hotels and resorts in the main city and town region, the closer you get to the Kailash Mansarovar region, the lesser the number of hotels and facilities gets. The trekking route has no solid hotels and the only available type of accommodation here is the campsites and tents.
Being situated in the Tibetan autonomous region of China, the most commonly accepted currency here is the Chinese Yuan. The US dollar is also another type of currency that is accepted widely in the major regions of China. However, to avoid any hassle make sure to carry only Chinese Yuan. Be sure to carry notes since car readers and ATMs are impossible to find in these remote locations.
Visa Permit Information
It is mandatory to have a Chinese VISA and a travel permit while traveling to Tibet. Kailash Mansarovar is located in the remote corner and the restricted region of Tibet. Remember that the Chinese Visa issued is not for a single person but for a group of people. A special paper-based group visa is issued for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. A visa is a mandatory paperwork required to enter and travel within China. Along with this, a Tibet travel permit is also required to gain access to reach Kailash Mansarovar region. All this paperwork is issued by the Chinese government.
Taking Care Of High Altitude Mountain Sickness
Many people suffer from high-altitude mountain sickness while traveling to Kailash Mansarovar. It is best to be prepared beforehand than suffer its consequences which in many cases prove to be lethal as well. Here are some tips to prevent mountain sickness:
- Prevent excessive and unexpected dehydration by drinking lots of water and keeping yourself hydrated.
- Eat healthy foods that are rich in carbs.
- There is no need for you to push yourself. Rather, take short breaks in between treks to regain strength.
- To further avoid dehydration, remember to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Before the commencement of the tour make sure to avoid eating any cold foods.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I Go For The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Solo?
No. The Chinese government only offers travel visa and permit to groups of people.
What Is The Average Cost Of The Kailash Mansarovar Trip Per Person?
A typical Kailash Mansarovar Yatra may cost 1.6 lakh rupees per person.
Do Indians Need a Passport For Kailash?
Yes. A passport is mandatory for traveling to Kailash.
What Documents Are Needed For Kailash Yatra?
An Indian passport with a minimum validity of 6 months, 6 passport-sized colored photos, etc. are required.
What Is The Minimum Age For Going On Kailash Mansarovar Yatra?
A minimum age of 18 years is permitted for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.