Mt Kailash (6,740m) is situated to
the north of the
Himalayan barrier, wholly within Tibet. It is the perfect mountain with
awesome beauty, with four great faces. It is the spiritual enter for
four great religions: Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, the Jain religion and
the pre-Buddhist animistic religion – Bonpo. To Tibetans it is known as
Khang Rimpoche (Precious Jewel of Snow) and they see it as the navel of
the world. It is said that a stream from the mountain pours into a
nearby lake and from here rivers flow in the four cardinal directions.
The River of the Lion Mouth to the North, the River of the Horse Mouth
to the east, the River of the Peacock Mouth to the south and the River
of the Elephant Mouth to the West. Strangely enough, four major rivers
do indeed originate near Kailash, the Indus, the Yarlung Tsangpo
(Brahmaputra), the Karnali and the Sutlej. Tibetans believe that it is
the residence of Demchog, a fierce looking tantric deity who lives
there with his consort, Dorje Phagmo. For the Tibetans also, it is a
particularly special place in that their poet saint Milarepa, spent
several years here meditating in a cave.
For the Hindus Mt Kailash is the
earthly manifestation of Mt. Meru, their spiritual centre of the
universe, described as a fantastic ‘world pillar’ 84,000 miles high,
around which all else revolves, its roots in the lowest hell and its
summit kissing the heavens. On the top live their most revered God,
Shiva and his consort Parvati. For the Jains, an Indian religious
group, Kailash is the site where their first prophet achieved
enlightenment. For the older, more ancient religion of Bon, it is the
site where its founder Shanrab is said to have descended from heaven.
It was formerly the spiritual centre of Zhang Zung, the ancient Bon
Empire that once included all of western Tibet. Bon people walk around
the mountain in a counter clockwise manner, unlike the other religions.
Over the centuries pilgrims have constantly journeyed immense distances
to achieve enlightenment or cleanse themselves of sin, braving enormous
distances, particularly harsh weather and bandit attacks.
According to mythology, a single parikrama of Mt Kailash
cleanses one of the sins of a lifetime. However, if you want to attain
complete salvation, 108 parikramas of the mighty mountain are
required. Most pilgrims prefer three parikramas while the
more ardent among them, push themselves to thirteen. The faint of
heart, do not despair. Even drinking the holy waters of the Mansarovar
Lake, which at 14,950 feet is one of the world’s highest fresh water
lakes, frees a person from the sins of a hundred lifetimes.
This region is steeped in
religion and every year hundreds of pilgrims traverse some of the
remotest and toughest parts of the Himalayas to pay homage. It is a
land where Lord Shiva lives with his consort Parvati. Hindus believe
that Goddess Parvati took the form of the Lake and that deliverance is
assured for people taking a bath in it. It is believed that the gods
come to bathe every morning in this lake between 3 to 5 am, the 'Brahmamuhurta'.
and cleanse your soul
Travelling over land from Kathmandu in Nepal to Mt Kailash, is an
incredible journey, an epic pilgrimage that is largely expeditionary in
nature. It is one of the toughest, as also one of the most rewarding
journeys on this planet. En route we see the world's highest mountains,
travel on the world's highest plains, meet nomadic Tibetan pilgrims and
walk amidst burning butter lamps and chanting monks of Tibet's ancient
monasteries. The numbing cold at night, the fierce sun during the day,
the bitter winds, the looming solitude and the everlasting dust are
Roads are almost non-existent and
we travel on the Tibetan highlands, sometimes undertaking hours of
rigorous travel amidst dust storms and cold winds, crossing rivers and
streams, driving through mud and slush on a journey which is literally
on the roof of the world. The benefits derived from this pilgrimage far
outweigh the hazards and hardships we undertake.
Accommodation will be very simple with a cozy room with common
bathrooms and toilets. However, hot water will be provided in every
room for freshening up and for drinking.
The food (vegetarian) will be supplied while camping covering
breakfast, lunch and dinner with an occasional tea break. En route,
meals will at the best available Chinese or Tibetan restaurants.
Depending upon the season, between June and September, the day time
will be pleasant and warm (about 15-20 degree Celsius). Afternoons can
be windy. Early mornings and evenings will be chilly between (-2 to 0
degree Celsius). Look at the recommended clothing list below.
During the drive we will be travelling on a 4-wheel drive (Land cruiser
or similar), with a truck as a backup with all camping gear and support
crew. Maximum five people will be in a Land cruiser. During the Kora,
Yaks will carry the camping equipment and personal heavy gears.
A Tibetan / English speaking guide will escort the group throughout the
trip plus a few Nepali staffs for support.
As Tibet gets very bright sunlight due to the thin air, taking
photographs can be a challenge due to the glare. We recommend you take
the advice from the photographic shop while purchasing the film rolls
for Tibet. Taking photographs inside monasteries will be charged as per
monastery rules. Please ask your guide before taking photographs inside
the monastery or Army Camps.
A 35mm system with interchangeable lens will allow you to get the best
shots in most situations. A wide angle (28-35mm) and a telephoto
(80-200mm) are very useful. Skylight IB filters will protect your
lenses and polarising filters are useful for snows. A brush for
cleaning your lens is important and your camera and lens need to be in
protective cases. 12-15 rolls of film are not too many for the
We suggest you to bring your own first aid kit with adequate medication
regarding altitude sickness, nauseas, dehydration and some painkillers.
We highly recommend all clients to be insured against medical,
accidents and necessary emergency evacuation, if needed. Please check
for details and costs.
Before booking for this trip, you should be in sound good health.
You must be in possession of a valid passport with at least six month
validity to obtain a visa. We will require the following details from
your passport at the time of booking the trip - full name (as in the
Passport, nationality, date of issue, date of expiry, Passport No, date
of birth, occupation.
Acute mountain sickness is a frequent problem in the Himalayan region. Download and read the document
Do not bring things that you will not wear … even though you might
think you will! Shorts or lightweight trousers are ideal in the heat of
the day along with a T-shirt, long sleeved cotton shirt and a sun hat.
During the evenings and at higher altitudes warmer clothing will be
needed. Well fitting, comfortable boots are preferred over training
shoes. Clothing will be required for both extremes of climate, for hot
sun in the day to freezing temperatures at night when camping in the
high valleys. We will send you a detailed checklist of things to carry once you book with us.
General considerations when
Keep the weight and bulk down to a minimum. Most people tend to bring
more clothes than they do actually need. You will only need one change
of clothes for Kathmandu. On the main journey it is important to dress
in layers. When it is hot you will only be wearing a base layer, when
it gets colder you can add to this until you are wearing most of your
clothes and your sack is empty!
How to book
If you are interested in cleansing your soul while undertaking one of the finest journeys in the highlands of the Himalayas, book yourself now. Once we hear from
you, we will let you know all other relevant details.