Mount Kailash ( Tibetan: Kang Rinpoche) is a sacred mountain in the far west of Tibet.
This Mountain is considered holy by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. In ancient texts, it is referred to as the center of the world. The reason can be understood from the geographical significance of it's place: within 30 miles radius, are the sources of mighty rivers Indus (north called "Sindhu" in India), Sutlej (in west), Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsang-po in east), and Karnali (largest tributary to the Ganges in south). According to the religious belief, most sacred and worthy time to make the Mt.Kailash pilgrimage is in the year of horse, as this holy site is believe to be opened first for pilgrims in the year of horse, and 2014 is horse year and happens once in twelve years, so there would have hundreds of pilgrims gather at the Mt.Kailash and carry their ritual ceremony.
Hindus regard the peak as Shiva's symbolic 'Lingam'and worship Mt Kailash, which is the Sanskrit name for the mountain. Bonpos believe the sacred mountain to be the place where the founder of the Bon religion landed when he descended from the sky. Tibetan Buddhists believe Kang Rinpoche, which means Precious Snow Mountain, is a natural mandala representing the Buddhist cosmology on the earth and the Jains believe this is the place where their religion's founder was spiritually awakened.
Flora and fauna
It is generally cool during nights and warm during days at Mt. Kailash.
Summers (May to August) are very pleasant with moderate climate, with average around 15°C. Summers is ideal for all outdoor activities, temple visit, dip in holy waters and also for visiting nearby attractions. A grand religious festival Saga Dawa Festival is usually held at Mt. Kailash around May and June each year.
Monsoons (September to November) are accompanied with little rain falls and also temperature drops down to 10°C.
Winters (December to April) are chilly days with average minimum touching near 5°C. Minimum can touch sub zero levels to -15°C. Snow falls often during winters. The best season to visit Kailash Mansarovar is from May to November.
May to November offers cool and pleasant climate and the right period to spend meditation and also good for visiting temples in and around. December to April is snow bound and chilly. Tourists typically keep off chilly snow bound days in winters.
There are only four land routes to reach Mt. Kailash.
The Indian government facilitates travel to Kailash-Mansarovar each year in the summer months. All arrangements for permits, etc are duly made. Please refer www.mea.gov.in
The entry point for Mt. Kailash is Darchen. Located right in front of Mt Kailash, this is the starting point for pilgrims going on the Khora.
Y50 per person no matter how many times they circumambulate the mountain on one visit. Porters or yaks will cost about Y65 per day.
Apart from the Entry Permit for Tibet, which is issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, for the trip to Mt.Kailash, the visitors need other 3 permits, Alien’s travel Permit and Foreign affairs permit, military area entry permission, which are issued by different part of government. For all the permits, local travel agency will apply for it at a time on behalf of tourists.
As Mt.kailash is located in Tibet and all the permit formalities to visit the area is exactly same as other Tibet tours, so you can only obtain all the travel permits from a Tibet local authorized tour company. Tibet Permits may also be arranged through providers in the original country of departure or residence.
As Kailash is also very holy place for Hinduism in India, every year there are thousands of Indian pilgrims making their spiritual journey to Kailash, but their permit formalities are different from other foreign nationalities, there are only few authorized companies that operate the Kailash tour for Indian pilgrims and obtain the related travel permits.
Since 2008, Tibet travel permit situation is changing time to time without prior notice, so it is highly recommended to know the latest Tibet travel permit situation while you planing your visit to Tibet
The main attraction of the mountain is the pilgrimage circuit around the mountain. It normally takes 3 days and should only be undertaken by the well-prepared and fit.
The peak of the Mt. Kailash is always enveloped by white clouds. Therefore the locals think if someone can clearly view the peak, he or she will be very lucky. For hundreds of years, Mt. Kailash has been an alluring mountain to pilgrims and explorers. However no one has reached its top until now.
Along the trekking route, there are local restaurants and guesthouse at the stop of everyday. Now tourists do not need to prepare their own food and tents.
Weather conditions can change rapidly here and you should be prepared for the worst.
It's unlikely you will have problems with the altitude other than shortness of breath, and less energy than you are used to as you will have been at altitude for quite some time just to get here, however altitude sickness is unpredictable, and you should always keep your plans flexible enough to give your self a rest day if needed.