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Mount Kailash Tour from Nepal: top 3 classic Kailash Manasarovar tour packages from Kathmandu

Last updated: December,25 2019

Nepal is one of the best locations in Asia from which to visit Mount Kailash, and there are many reasons why. First and foremost, Kathmandu is the only location outside mainland China that has direct flights to Lhasa. With regular flights every day, it is the easiest route direct into Tibet. Another advantage is the ability to spend some time in the beautiful Himalayan country, either before or after your trip to the plateau, and this can be done easily from both directions thanks to the ease with which you can get a Nepal Entry Visa on arrival at the Sino-Nepal border.

Most Recommended Nepal to Kailash Manasarovar Route: Kailash Tour from Kathmandu via Lhasa

Kathmandu to Lhasa Flight

With two major airlines offering a flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu, it is easy to get to the Tibetan capital. Flights are offered by Sichuan Airlines and Air China, for this awesome 1 hour 25 minute flights across the mountains. Air China offers daily flights that depart at around 12:10pm (local time), arriving at around 3:55pm Beijing time due to the time difference. Sichuan Airlines offers flights on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only, departing at 11:10am and arriving at 3:00pm Beijing time. A distance of around 607 kilometers as the crow flies, flights cost around 350 US dollars per person for a one-way economy flight or around US$647 for a round trip.

Lhasa to Shigatse

The second city of Tibet, Shigatse lies around 222 kilometers from Lhasa, in a straight line, and around 359 kilometers by road. The route to the city starts from the capital and heads southwest, crossing the Yarlung Tsangpo River and cresting the Gampala Pass (4,790m) to reach Lake Yamdrok, the first highlight of this amazing route. After stopping for a while at the lake, the route follows the shorelines to travel around the lake to Nagartse and on to Gyantse, where you get the chance to visit the Pelkor Chode Monastery, home to the largest stupa in Tibet. Standing 32 meters tall and containing 108 chapels, the Kumbum stupa is the only one of its kind in Tibet. From there, it is a straight run in the late afternoon to Shigatse, where most tours stop for the night.

Shigatse to Mount Everest Base Camp

After a visit to the Tashilhunpo Monastery, the route takes you out of the city and on along the Friendship Highway to Lhatse and Tingri, where you turn off to head south. The route to Everest Base Camp (EBC) crosses several high passes, including Tsola Pass (4,600M), Gyatsola Pass (5,248M), and Kyawula Pass (5,180m), from which you can get a great view of the panorama of the Himalayas. Following the well-paved Zhufeng Road, the run to EBC is easy and fast, and the whole day’s travel covers a distance of around 341 kilometers.

Mount Everest Base Camp

Mount Everest Base Camp to Kailash Manasarovar

The route from EBC to Darchen, which lies at the foot of the sacred Mount Kailash, covers a distance of around 896 kilometers, and is done over two days. The first part of the route departs from the world’s highest mountain and heads back to the Friendship Highway, where it turns northwest to head to the small town of Saga. The route passes close to the only mountain over 8,000 meters that is wholly in China, Mount Shishapangma (8,012m) and takes you past the beauty of Peiku Tso, one of Tibet’s many stunning lakes.

On the second day of travel along the route to Darchen, the road passes through areas of beautiful grasslands and many local Tibetan villages, as well as crossing the desert area outside Saga. After crossing the high Mayomla Pass (5,112m), you will finally reach Lake Manasarovar and the sacred mountain of four religions, known in Tibet as Gang Rinpoche.

Kailash Manasarovar back to Lhasa

After you have completed the trek around the mountain, which takes three days and covers around 52 kilometers, the tour takes you all the back to Lhasa, passing through Saga and Shigatse again, but traveling direct to Lhasa from the region’s second city. The drive takes three to four days, depending on whether you will stop to visit Sakya along the route or not. On average, the route covers a distance of around 1,206 kilometers, a massive journey across the plateau. Join-in our 15-day Lhasa Kailash Manasarovar tour.

Kailash Manasarovar back to Kathmandu

Another route after departing from Darchen is to head for the border town of Gyirong and cross the border back to Nepal, instead of taking the road to Lhasa and flying back. Our amazing 13-day Lhasa Everest Kailash Kathmandu tour is the ideal tour to give you the chance to head back to Nepal straight from Mount Kailash. The route heads first to Saga, and then changes roads to head to the border at Gyirong Port, where you can cross over into Nepal, getting your visa on arrival at the border checkpoint at Rasuwa Gadhi. From there, it is relatively easy to get transport, either private hire cars, shuttle minibuses, or regular local buses, back to Kathmandu.

Shortest Nepal to Kailash Manasarovar Route: Kailash Tour from Kathmandu via Gyirong Port

Kathmandu to Syabrubesi

The main route from the Nepali capital to Tibet takes you first out of Kathmandu and along the winding Pasang Lhamu Highway, through the towns of Bidur and Trishuli bazaar, to Syabrubesi, close to the border with China. As well as the traditional Nepalese villages that you will pass through, the beautiful landscapes you cross, and the stunning views of the Himalayas, this awesome 135-kilometer route takes you deep into the western fringes of the Langtang National Park, the first of its kind in Nepal.

Syabrubesi to Gyirong

After stopping the night in Syabrubesi, since the border with China closes early in the afternoon in Nepali time, you will rise in the morning and continue the rest of the way to Rasuwa Gadhi, the border port in Nepal. Once at the border, you will exit Nepalese customs and immigration, and cross the Resuo Bridge over the Trishuli River Gorge into China. A trip of just 14 kilometers, it takes less than an hour of driving, and around 30 minutes to exit Nepal. On the other side of the border, at Gyirong Port, it can take around an hour to pass through Chinese immigration, after which you will meet your guide and driver for the trip. They will transfer you to Gyirong Village, 22 kilometers from the border, for your first night on the plateau.

Gyirong to Darchen

The trip up to the sacred mountain is a journey of around 665 kilometers, and takes two days to cross the plateau. After leaving Gyirong Village, you will travel northwest for around 5 hours to Saga, passing over the Kungtang Lhamo Pass (5,236m) and through deep gorges along the route. On the second day, the route continues northwest, passing through the Saga Valley, and onto a region of desert landscapes, after which the scenery changes to one of verdant green plains. After around 6 hours, you finally pass the northern shores of Lake Manasarovar and arrive at the small village at the foot of Gang Rinpoche.

3-day Kailash Kora Trekking

The Kailash Kora Trek is rated as one of the hardest in Tibet, and it normally takes around three days to hike around this 52-kilometers circuit. Starting near the Tarboche Flagpole, a short distance from Darchen, the route follows the valley north, passing by the Chuku Monastery and crossing the small river, to reach the first stop at Drirapuk Monastery, around 13 kilometers from the start at Sarshung Village.

Kailash Kora Trekking

On the second day, the 18km route takes you high into the mountains, crossing the high Dolma La Pass at 5,630 meters, renowned as the highest trekking pass in the world. After cresting the pass, you descend into the lush meadows of the valley below, passing the Kadoe Lake and heading through beautiful grasslands to the second stop at Dzultripuk Monastery.

The final leg of the kora trek takes you from the monastery down the valley to Zongto, around 7km of trekking, where you can get the shuttle bus back to Darchen. The route passes several small Mani Stone Walls, and ends at around noon.

Kailash Manasarovar back to Kathmandu

After completing the trek, the next two days are filled with driving, first to Saga, and then back to Gyirong, where you will cross the border and continue back to Kathmandu.

Most Efficient Nepal to Kailash Manasarovar Route: Kailash Tour from Kathmandu by Helicopter

Kathmandu to Simikot Flight via Nepalgunj

Flights from the Tribhuvan International Airport depart four times a day to Nepalgunj, in the Banke District. The hour-long trip costs around 183 US dollars and covers a distance of around 366 kilometers. From there, the Simikot flights run twice a day, costing around 96 dollars for the 208-kilometer, 60-minute flight.

Simikot to Hilsa Helicopter

Helicopter flights can be easily found to take you to Hilsa, on the border with Burang County of Tibet, which takes around 20 minutes. Before boarding, you will go through Immigration for China, and with around 80 helicopters running this route, it is easy to find one going to the village on the Karnali River.

Hilsa to Kailash Manasarovar via Purang

After arriving at Hilsa, you will hike over the short bridge across the river/border into China, where you will be met by your guide and driver. Once across and checked in, your driver will take you along the road to Purang, the county seat of Burang County, and then on to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. The drive to the sacred mountain covers a distance of around 129km, and the roads are paved along the entire length and easy to travel.

Kailash in Tibet as Gang Rinpoche

Kailash Manasarovar back to Kathmandu

The return journey to Kathmandu follows almost the same route as the outbound, first heading back to the Karnali River to cross the bridge over to Hilsa, then taking the helicopter flight back to Simikot. From there, you can get direct flights to the Nepali capital, with nine direct flights per day. In total, including road and flight distances, it is around 604 kilometers from Darchen to Kathmandu.

Best Time to Visit Kailash from Nepal

Spring, from April to June, is one of the best times of the year to visit Lake Manasarovar and Mount Kailash. Clear skies, warming temperatures, and a more pleasant climate make this an ideal time to travel to the sacred mountain and take on the grueling three-day Kora Trek. Autumn is the second best time to travel to Kailash, which runs from around early September to the end of October. Once the summer has passed and the monsoon rains have gone, the skies clear up quickly and the warmer weather that continues after the summer carries on well into September.

Dining and Accommodation in Kathmandu to Kailash Manasarovar Tour

While there are a wide range of hotels in Kathmandu, from small guesthouses to 5-star luxury hotels, after you get out of the city, there are fewer starred hotels, and the most you can expect is a half-decent three star hotel or the guesthouses, which are the most common types of accommodation as you move west. At Darchen, you can stay in the local guesthouses or small hotels. On the mountain kora route, you have the monastery guesthouses, and if they are full, you can camp in their grounds, with your own tents.

Travel Permits for Kailash Manasarovar Tour from Nepal

The first thing you need is the Tibet Travel Permit, required for all tourists traveling to Tibet. The permit is applied for by us on your behalf once you book your Tibet tour, and we will use scanned copies of your passport to make the application with the Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) in Lhasa. Processing can take 15-20 days, so it is essential to book your trip well in advance.

Tibet Travel Permit is needed to travel to Tibet.

The Alien’s Travel Permit is required for travel to the “unopened” areas outside Lhasa, which includes Shigatse, Everest Base Camp, etc. The permit is obtained in advance, and will be brought to you in Kathmandu before your departure.

The Restricted Areas Permit is required for all tourists that are traveling to the more restricted military-controlled areas of Tibet, which includes Ngari Prefecture where Mount Kailash is. The permit is applied for before you travel to Tibet, using the scanned copies of your passport, as well as the Visa Invitation Letter from the TTB in Lhasa. It can take as much as two weeks to receive the approved permit, so it needs to be applied for well in advance of the trip as well.

The Frontier Pass is the final permit that you will need for the trip to Mount Kailash. The pass is required for all tourists, both international and domestic, who are traveling in the areas close to China’s borders with India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Since you will be visiting Mount Kailash, (close to the Chinese borders with Nepal and India), this pass is essential for all tourists, and must be obtained before departing from the capital.

How much does Kailash Manasarovar Yatra cost from Nepal?

A standard tour to Mount Kailash from Kathmandu, traveling via Lhasa in Tibet, generally costs something in the region of 1,800-2,000 dollars per person. Tours range from 13 days to 17 days, and the cost can vary depending on the tour chooses. Obviously, the longer tours are going to be more expensive, normally. The tours also include visits to Shigatse, Everest, and Saga, on the road to Mount Kailash. - Read more about Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Tour Packages Cost


There is little doubt that a tour to Mount Kailash in Ngari in western Tibet is one of the most exciting adventures on the plateau. And whether you choose to travel to Lhasa first, take the direct route across the border to Gyirong and straight to Darchen, or take the awesome chopper flight to Hilsa and walk over the river brisge into Burang County, you are guaranteed to have one of the most outstanding trips of your life.

Most Recommended Tibet Kailash Tours

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