In Tibetan it is called: Gang Rinpoche; and in Sanskrit Kailash Parvat; is a peak in the Gangdise Mountains, which are part of the Himalayas in Tibet. It lies near the source of some of the longest rivers in Asia: the Indus River, the Sutlej River (a major tributary of the Indus River), the Brahmaputra River, and the Karnali River (a tributary of the Ganges River). It is considered as a sacred place in four religions: Bön, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism. In Hinduism, it is considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva and as a place of eternal bliss. The mountain lies near Lake Manasarowar and Lake Rakshastal in Tibet. There have been no recorded attempts to climb Mount Kailash; it is considered off limits to climbers in deference to Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. It is the most significant peak in the world that has not seen any known climbing attempts.

The word Kailash means "crystal" in Sanskrit. Chandra (1902: p. 32) in his dictionary identifies the entry for 'kai la sha' which is a loan word from Sanskrit 'kailāsa'. The Tibetan name for the mountain is Gangs Rin-po-che. Gangs or Kang is the Tibetan word for snow peak analogous to alp or himal; rinpoche is an honorific meaning "precious one" so the combined term can be translated "precious jewel of snows". "Tibetan Buddhists call it Kangri Rinpoche; 'Precious Snow Mountain'. Bon texts have many names: Water's Flower, Mountain of Sea Water, Nine Stacked Swastika Mountain. For Hindus, it is the home of the mountain god Shiva and a symbol of his penis; for Jains it is where their first leader was enlightened; for Buddhists, the navel of the universe; and for adherents of Bon, the abode of the sky goddess “Sipaimen." Another local name for the mountain is Tisé mountain, which derives from ti tse in the Zhang-Zhung language, meaning "water peak" or "river peak", connoting the mountain's status as the source of the mythical Lion, Horse, Peacock and Elephant Rivers, and in fact the Indus, Yarlung Tsangpo, Dihang, Brahmaputra, Karnali and Sutlej all begin in the Kailash-Lake Manasarovar region.

In Hinduism:
An illustration of the Hindu significance of Mount Kailash, depicting the holy family of Shiva, consisting of Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha and Muruga (Kartikeya). According to Hinduism, Lord Shiva, the destroyer of the evil and sorrow, resides at the summit of a legendary mountain named Kailāśā, where he sits in a state of perpetual meditation along with his wife Pārvatī, the daughter of Himalaya. Mt. kailash. According to one description in the Vishnu Purana, Mount Kailash is the center of the world, its four faces are made of crystal, ruby, gold, and lapis lazuli. It is the pillar of the world; is the center of the world Mandala; and is located at the heart of six mountain ranges symbolizing a lotus. The four rivers flowing from Kailash then flow to the four quarters of the world and divide the world into four regions. In fact the Indus, Brahmaputra, Sutlej (a major Indus tributary) and the Karnali (a major Ganges tributary) all rise near the mountain, making it the hydrographic nexus of South Asia. The Ganges River formed in this mountain. The largest and most important rock-cut temple, Kailash Temple at Ellora, Maharashtra is named after Mount Kailash. Many of its sculptures and reliefs depict episodes relating to Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati, including Ravana's tale. (Ravana was a devotee of Lord Siva. Ramayana does not document Ravan shaking Kailasa mountain.) Ravana's mother had fallen ill, as they were great Lord Shiva devotees, he had attempted to carry the temple on his back to bring it closer to his mother. Shiva being stunned by his bravura, had blessed him with immortality as Ravana had passed Lord Shiva's test on devotion.

In Buddhism:
Tibetan Thangka depicting Mt. Kailash, The Tantric Buddhists believe that Kailash is the home of the Buddha Demchok (also known as Demchog or Chakrasamvara), who represents supreme bliss. There are numerous sites in the region associated with Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), whose tantric practices in holy sites around Tibet are credited with finally establishing Buddhism as the main religion of the country in the 7th-8th century CE. It is said that Milarepa (c. 1052-c. 1135 CE), champion of Tantric Buddhism, arrived in Tibet to challenge Naro Bön-chung, champion of the Bön religion of Tibet. The two magicians engaged in a terrifying sorcerers' battle, but neither was able to gain a decisive advantage. Finally, it was agreed that whoever could reach the summit of Kailash most rapidly would be the victor. While Naro Bön-chung sat on a magic drum and soared up the slope, Milarepa's followers were dumbfounded to see him sitting still and meditating. Yet when Naro Bön-chung was nearly at the top, Milarepa suddenly moved into action and overtook him by riding on the rays of the sun, thus winning the contest. He did, however, fling a handful of snow on to the top of a nearby mountain, since known as Bönri, bequeathing it to the Bönpo and thereby ensuring continued Bönpo connections with the region

In Bön:
The Bön, a religion which predates Buddhism in Tibet, maintain that the entire mystical region and the nine-story Swastika Mountain are the seat of all spiritual power. Introduction on Lake Manasarovar: Lake Manasarovar lies at 4,556 m (14947.5 ft) above sea level. It is one of the highest fresh-water lake in the world. Lake Manasarovar (Mapam Yumco) is relatively round in shape with a circumference of 88 kilometres (55 miles). Its depth is 90 m (300 ft) and its surface area is 320 square kilometres (120 sq miles). The lake freezes in winter and melts only in the spring. It is connected to nearby Lake Rakshastal by the natural Ganga Chhu channel. Mapam Yumco (Manasarovar) is the source of the Sutlej River which is the easternmost large tributary of the Indus. Nearby are the sources of the Brahmaputra River, the Indus River, and the Karnali River which is an important tributary of the Ganges River, so this region is the hydrographic nexus of the Himalaya. The Himalayas, the crown of the Indian peninsula has remained the cultural locus for its teeming millions. It is in the Himalayas, as the Skanda Purana records, where Lord Shiva lives, and there the mighty river Ganges fell from the foot of Lord Vishnu like “the slender thread of a lotus flower”.

The myths descend down from Mount Kailash to the shores of Lake Mansarovar. It is said that Maharaja Mandhata has discovered the Lake. The legend goes: Mandhata had done penance on the shores of Mansarovar at the foot of the magnificent mountains named after him. According to the legend, there was a big mansion down below on its bottom. It is said to be the abode of the king of Nagas – the serpent gods – and in the middle of the arc like surface of the lake once there stood a huge tree. Its fruits fell into the lake with the sound ‘Jham’; thus, the surrounding region came to be known as “Jambu-ling” or “Jambu-Dvipa” in the Hindu Puranas. In some Pali and Sanskrit Buddhist works, Mansarovar is described as Anotatta or Anavatapta – the lake without heat and trouble. Buddhists believe that in its centre there is a tree, which bears fruits of celestial medicinal properties that may cure all known physical as well as mental ailments. The human ideal of mount Meru rising from the descent of the seventh hell and rising to perforate through the loftiest of the heavens – the great mountain at the centre of the universe itself – comes to rest at Kailash. The Skanda Purana therefore acknowledges, “There are no mountains like the Himalayas, for in them are Kailash and Mansarovar”. One myths goes that at the core of the Jambu, the landmass surrounding Lake Mansarovar, stood the glorious mountain of Meru with four colours and faces: white like a Brahmin, the priest, on its eastern surface; yellow like a Vaisya, the merchant, on the south; red like a Kshatriya, the warrior, on the north; black on its western side like a Shudra, the menial.

Pilgrimage:
Every year, thousands make a pilgrimage to Kailash, following a tradition going back thousands of years. Pilgrims of several religions believe that circumambulating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. The peregrination is made in a clockwise direction by Hindus and Buddhists. Followers of the Jain and Bönpo religions circumambulate the mountain in a counterclockwise direction. The path around Mount Kailash is 52 km (32 mi) long. Some pilgrims believe that the entire walk around Kailash should be made in a single day. This is not easy. A person in good shape walking fast would take perhaps 15 hours to complete the 52 km trek. Some of the devout do accomplish this feat, little daunted by the uneven terrain, altitude sickness and harsh conditions faced in the process. Indeed, other pilgrims venture a much more demanding regimen, performing body-length prostrations over the entire length of the circumambulation: The pilgrim bends down, kneels, prostrates full-length, makes a mark with his fingers, rises to his knees, prays, and then crawls forward on hands and knees to the mark made by his/her fingers before repeating the process. It requires at least four weeks of physical endurance to perform the circumambulation while following this regimen. The mountain is located in a particularly remote and inhospitable area of the Tibetan Himalayas. A few modern amenities, such as benches, resting places and refreshment kiosks, exist to aid the pilgrims in their devotions. According to all religions that revere the mountain, setting foot on its slopes is a dire sin. It is claimed that many people who ventured to defy the taboo have died in the process.

Location of Mt Kailash:
Following the Chinese army entering Tibet in 1950, and political and border disturbances across the Chinese-Indian boundary, pilgrimage to the legendary abode of Lord Shiva was stopped from 1954 to 1978. Thereafter, a limited number of Indian pilgrims have been allowed to visit the place, under the supervision of the Chinese and Indian governments either by a lengthy and hazardous trek over the Himalayan terrain, travel by land from Kathmandu or from Lhasa where flights from Kathmandu are available to Tibet and thereafter travel over the great Tibetan plateau by car. The journey takes four night stops, finally arriving at Darchen at elevation of 4,600 m (15,100 ft), small outpost that swells with pilgrims at certain times of year. Despite its minimal infrastructure, modest guest houses are available for foreign pilgrims, whereas Tibetan pilgrims generally sleep in their own tents. A small regional medical center serving far-western Tibet and funded by the Swiss Ngari Korsum Foundation was built here in 1997. Walking around the holy mountain—a part of its official park—has to be done on foot, pony or yak, taking some three days of trekking starting from a height of around 15,000 ft (4,600 m) past the Tarboche (flagpole) to cross the Drölma pass 18,200 ft (5,500 m), and encamping for two nights en route. First, near the meadow of Dirapuk gompa, some 2 to 3 km (1.2 to 1.9 mi) before the pass and second, after crossing the pass and going downhill as far as possible (viewing Gauri Kund in the distance).

SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:

  1. Do not sit or climb on sacred sites. 
  2. Pass mani stones to the right. 
  3. Turn prayer wheels in a clockwise direction. 
 
SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

01: How fit should I be for Mt. Kailash Parikrama in Tibet ?
Ans: We expect everyone to be physically fit and healthy before taking up the trip. But most important thing is your determination and to overcome difficulties. However, we strongly recommend that you should see doctor before booking this trip to Tibet as Tibet is the roof of the world and the average altitude is 3,500 meter and above. Keep your blood pressure in normal condition. Though every precaution is taken before the trip, ultimately it is your own responsibility to make sure that you are fit enough to take the trip. Specific immunizations are advisable.

02: What is the age factor for this kind of trip?
Ans: Age factor has never been a barrier to take this trip since we have taken people ranging from age group from 14 years to 60 years. However, one should have sound health as this trip involves long drive of 6-7 hours sometimes on the average altitude of more than 3,500m. If you could endure few hours jerking journey that people normally do in India, age will not be a hindrance for you to have Darshan of abode of Lord Shiva.

03: What kind of medical check-up should I go for before taking up this trip?
Ans: It is highly advisable to every guests to go through a thorough medical check-up for normal heart beat, respiration, blood pressure, diabetics, dental problem and other sickness before taking up the trip.
 
04: How many hours of exercise should I do after booking this trip?
Ans: Any normal exercise that makes you feel better like normal walking, jogging for an hour, aerobic, swimming or simple physical work-out for an hour will make you fit
for travelling. The above mentioned exercises will help you to adapt with the long drive and walk in the high altitude of Tibet.
 
05: I am a vegetarian. Will this annoy other people in the group or trouble camping kitchen and cook?
Ans: Vegetarian is not a problem at all. We do have mostly vegetarians in this kind of group for Mt. Kailash Trip. If you happen to be the only one in the group by default as a vegetarian, we will make sure that your meals will be served and cooked separately. The cook and the kitchen staff and guides will be briefed well in advance about you and the meals will be cooked as per your choice and taste.
 
06: I am physically fit, but I have fear travelling with other people and in strange countries like Tibet, what do you suggest?
Ans: you don't need to worry about it as long as you are fit for this trip. Other members in the group might feel the same way as you do but while traveling in a group, everyone seems to be a member of one big family and this is the best opportunity to make friends with people from all walks of life.
 
07: Is language barrier a big problem, because I can only speak my native tongue and understand English very little?
Ans: Language is not a big barrier. It's the positive attitude that counts on this kind of travel. Most of our staff can speak Hindi and English fluently, even our Tibetan guide in Tibet can understand Hindi a bit. With the group, our head guide or leader will carry-out most of the communication with the locals if required.
 
08: What happens if someone gets very sick and has to be evacuated immediately in a place like Tibet?
Ans: Your safety is our highest priority. To make sure that everything goes well in Tibet we send an experience guide with medical knowledge, first aid kits and portable oxygen and Gamow Bag (Pressure Bag). However, sometime some people might get sick due to harsh conditions and continuous driving. In this case we will do our best to make sure that she/he gets immediate medical relief from our guide. If his/her condition deteriorates despite of our medical assistance, he/she will be taken back to Nepal in a vehicle with all medical equipment like oxygen accompanied by our guide where the helicopter can pick him/her up for further medical treatment. It is advised that you should make it clear with your insurance company that the cost of emergency evacuation and other sundry medical expenses should be borne by insurance company. Depending upon the person's condition and seriousness, we will take the patient to the lower altitude and to the nearest medical help, hospitals or medical post accompanied by our Sherpa guides who can speak understand English, Hindi and Tibetan as well.
 
09: How much money should I carry for this trip after paying all in the trip package?
Ans: You need extra money for your own personal expenses, such as tipping, souvenirs, gifts are entirely your domain.
 
10: I am physically fit, but I am a diabetic patient as well, which troubles quite often, any suggestion?
Ans: To make your trip easy and trouble free, we suggest you to take your doctor's advice and carry the medicine as prescribed. Please remember that you will not get large medical stores en route in Tibet which fulfill your requirement. Pre-informing us about your special dietary so that our cook will serve as per your request. If you need to be fully assured about your medical care, please inform us with your medical history so that we could follow as per your doctor's suggestion.
 
11: Is it right to ask negative question like the Chinese occupation in Tibet, to the local Tibetan Guide?
Ans: This question is frequently asked by many clients. Sometimes, there are policemen disguising in plain clothes, mingling with the crowd in monasteries and other public places. They might understand what you are talking about and can give you a hard time, especially to your guide. A big problem may create which makes your trip unpleasant. So to be on safe side and to have a hassle free time in Tibet, it is wise, not to talk negative things about the Chinese Government or to show softness on Dalai Lama's cause.
 
12: What kind of magazines, reading materials should one carry in Tibet, as we have heard rumors, pictures of Dalai Lama and other ousted Lamas are completely banned?
Ans: Any magazine, film, photo or book which has negative impact upon the Chinese Government is not safe to carry with you on this trip. They may not search your bags thoroughly but if they happen to find them by default, there will be a serious problem and can create a big trouble beyond your imagination. Even talking about Dalai Lama or his admires and other expelled high priests are forbidden in this land, not to mention the "Free Tibet" T-shirt and stickers
 
13: What height do we cover and what is the highest elevation on this trip?
Ans: Elevation gains gradually from 3,600 from Lhasa or Nylam to 4,400m on an average with high passes of over 4,900m to 5,200m. On Parikrama day we begin our walk from Darchen which is approx. 4,600m and slowly we take higher elevation over 300-400m on 5-6 hrs walks and going through the highest pass on this trip at Drolma-la 5,630m.
 
14: Is there any chance for a hot bath on this trip and what kind of toilet facilities are being provided while camping and staying in en route lodges?
Ans: You will be accommodated in a clean, good guest houses and the hotels with common and attached bath depending upon the places. 
 
15: What type of food & hygiene do we expect while staying in en route lodges?
Ans: While staying in lodges and hotels, we make sure that food is always expertly and hygienically prepared. It is our primary concern that you should remain in good health. We generally serve a mixture of local (Nepali / Indian / Chinese) and European style meals and you will be amazed by the quality and variety of the dishes that our cooks can produce while camping. We are accustomed to catering for vegetarians and make a special effort to provide as much variety as possible. While staying in guest houses en route, the meals provided cannot be up to your standard. Our guide will try his best to give the required order even if it is a simple meal, but we always take our client where there's is a nice clean and hygienic restaurant.
 
“HEALTH GENERAL”
 
The high altitude Tibetan is dry, cold and windy, Diurnal variations are large. Nights are cold and windy. Heavy snow falls, torrential rains and strong icy winds are common features – any time. The altitude averages above 3500 Meters. The route less covers many high altitude passes. Oxygen is less at higher altitude . The inclement weather and high altitude induces Certain illness generally not encountered over the plains. Headache, Nausea Lassitude, Breathlessness, General uneasiness malaise, irritability, light loss of balance, disorientation, incoherence and insomnia are a few. It is common to all, irrespective of the age, sex and physical fitness. Reset, relax and do not exert yourself. Do not be excited. Reduce talking, walk  slowly – adopt one third of your normal speed & space, keep your load light, walk and rest for 5 minutes light weight warm clothing and boots would help reducing strain and burden. Never let yourself into boredom, Boredom inducts fatigue, mental abrasion and exhaustion.
 
Do not exercise, breath slowly never fast, Whenever you feel uncomfortable, just stop, rest and relax. Ignore the sudden outbursts of fellow pilgrims and avoid arguments. Observe silence with smile. Remember never go too high too fast. Avoid smoking and alcohol drugs or intoxicants. Consume plenty of liquids, never proceed with empty stomach. 
 
In addition to medicines, your first aid kit must contain the following : Vaseline, Toilet paper, cotton, Bandage roll, Nose inhalers, Dust cover Surgeon’s mask, Cologne, Facial Tissues, Rubber bands , Chopstick, Cough drop Body Lotion Vicks, Eye masks, Band aid , Mouth fresheners, Dettol Listerine antiseptic, Candle and Lighter, Dark sunglasses, small plastic bags, Ear muffs.
 
MOUNT KAILASH YATRA - CLOTHING'S: 
 
Pure wool and thick cotton stocks Long johns wool or mixed combination, Down jacket: Light, quilted wool pullovers Polo neck, Flannel shirts, Thick wool trousers, Warm light gloves, Balaclava Scraf, Cotton undergarments, towels, Hot water bottle, Keds boots, very light skid proof, water resistant, ankle protection and soft interior, - 2 Pairs, Break, in earlier for comfortable use, Light shoulder, bag, Rain Coat with hood, personal clothing as required.