Our goal in this post is to give you all the travel tips and tools we know about traveling to holy Mt Kailash, which for many is a highlight of their visit to Tibet.
2020 Travel Advisory: Due to the current health crisis, Tibet is temporarily closed to all foreign travelers. There has been no announcement regarding a re-open date. However, travelers can pre-book travel for a later date, and either re-book or cancel (no fee for either) if Tibet is still closed on your travel date. At the same time, you will support local Tibetan-owned businesses at a time when they are struggling to survive. To learn more, ask us for an introduction to a reliable Tibetan travel agency here.
Known to Tibetans as Kang Rinpoche, Mt. Kailash is one of the most holy and unique spots on earth, and is a sacred pilgrimage site for people of the Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Bon faiths.
Tibet travelers and pilgrims all walk the same route around the base of the sacred mountain — a very high-altitude 32 mile/ 52 kilometer path. While it’s not for every traveler, those who make the journey are forever changed by the powerful experience.
MT. KAILASH Q&A
Where is Mt. Kailash? It’s in the far west of Tibet, near the intersection of Tibet, Nepal and India.
How can I travel to Mt. Kailash? You need to be on an official tour in Tibet (on a private or group tour with a travel agency), starting in Lhasa. If you want help with that, click here to ask us to connect you to a reliable Tibetan-owned travel agent. (Sorry, our agents cannot assist Indian nationals.)
How high is the mountain? 21,778 feet/ 6638 meters
Does the Mt. Kailash trek reach the peak of the mountain? No. The pilgrimage trek circles the base of the mountain on a very high altitude trekking route that tops out at the 18,372ft (5600m) Dolma pass. Mount Kailash itself has never been climbed, because it is considered so sacred to Buddhists and Hindus.
Although it is little known in the western world, Mount Kailash is one of the most sacred spots on earth, and is a holy pilgrimage site for people of the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Bon faiths.
Get an inside look at the extraordinary 3-day trek around one of the world’s most holy mountains…
Here are some practical considerations if you’re considering the Mt. Kailash trek. These tips were compiled by Meg Moser to accompany her guest post. Read more
If you plan on trekking Mount Kailash, and want to avoid getting altitude sickness, this itinerary gives you a relatively slow entry to Lhasa, and ascent to Everest Base Camp, plus an extra rest day before you hit the extreme high altitudes of Kailash.
This collection of Mount Kailash videos were taken in September 2017 by Yolanda O’Bannon and Meg Moser during their kora (a pilgrimage walk around the holy mountain).
In this gallery you will find Kailash photos by artist, papermaker and Tibet traveler Carol Brighton.