Best Time to Visit Kailash Mansarovar
- by Catherine
- Last Updated: 2023-08-24
Regarded as the center of the world, Mount Kailash(6638 meters) is located in Ngari Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It's the holiest place for Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Bon (an original Tibetan religion). For the devotees of the above four religions, to have a Kailash Kora or Yatra (trekking around Mount Kailash) trip is an aim at least once in a lifetime. Because according to the scriptures, a kora around Mt. Kailash could reduce the sins they’ve made. The more times you make, the less punishment for the sins you have to bear.
Located at the foot of the sacred Kailash mountain, Lake Mansarovar(4588 meters) is the highest freshwater lake and the only mother lake honored in the Buddhist scriptures. Mansarovar, which is said to be the wife of Kailash, is regarded together as the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage site. Pilgrims have always regarded circumambulation around the lake and dipping in the lake as the greatest blessing in their lives. They believe that lake water is the honeydew given to people by the Lord Buddha. It can purify people's minds.
Therefore, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is the most sacred travel route in Tibet. Thousands of believers and tourists make pilgrimages here every year. Well, what's the best time to visit Kailash Mansarovar?
Best Time to Visit Kailash Mansarovar
In Terms of Months, May-October is the Best Time to Visit Kailash Mansarovar.
May-October is the best time for Kailash Mansarovar yatra recommended by many experienced travelers. Why is it best to go from May to October?
First of all, the temperature is suitable, so it will not be too cold to cause danger during the trekking. When the weather is warm, the snowy and icy roads along the way will be greatly reduced, and your hiking will be less difficult.
Secondly, more pilgrims visit Kailash during this time period, so you do not feel lonely during the 50 kilometers trekking, and you get a chance to communicate with them. You can see many devotees prostrating and praying on the road along the way. Their hands and clothes are dirty, while their eyes and soul are pure clean. You will be impressed definitely. That’s why we call a Kailash Kora is a spiritual journey.
Third, the supply of travel equipment and food is sufficient. During this time period, both shops in Darchen town and the supply points along the way will basically be open, which can fully guarantee a sufficient supply of materials.
In addition to Kailash kora, the devout Tibetans will also spend a few days making Mansarovar kora. Making a circuit around the lake is about 85 kilometers and takes four to five days, which is not easy for most people. The best visit time is from May to late June. During this time, the weather is fine and it probably lasts for 6-8 days. The rainy season starts in early July, with the most rainfall in July and August.
November to April of the Following Year is Not a Good Time for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
First of all, a lot of snow covers on the circumambulation route, the road conditions become very poor, and it becomes more difficult to walk on the road, which also increases the risk.
Secondly, the temperature in Mount Kailash is low, and the air is thin, which increases the probability of altitude sickness. It is not suitable for outdoor trekking.
Finally, from November to April of the following year, Darchen Town, the starting and ending point of the Kailash Yatra, has fewer shops opening. In addition, the camping points along the way are rarely opened, which makes it difficult to complete the whole trekking.
In Terms of Years, Kailash Kora in the Horse Year and Mansarovar Kora in the Goat Year is a Great Time.
In Tibet, there is a traditional custom that having a Kailash Kora in Chinese Zodiac Horse Year is the best, and so is the Mansarovar kora in the Goat Year. In light of the myths, when you make a trip to Mt. Kailash in the Chinese year of Horse, you can easily get your blessings which is 12 times powerful than in other years. However, this is not a common date, as it comes only once every 12 years. The previous Horse Year was 2014 and the Goat Year was 2015. The next Horse Year will be 2026, and the Goat Year will be 2027. If you want to get more blessings, you can wait to visit Mount Kailash until 2026 or visit Mansarovar until 2027. In fact, you do not have to wait until the Horse or Goat Year to make a pilgrimage, as long as you visit Kailash Mansarovar religiously, you can get the blessings.
In Terms of Specific Dates, April 15th of the Tibetan Calendar is a Good Time.
For foreign travelers, there is another special time to have a Kailash trekking tour - Saga Dawa Festival on15th, April in the Tibetan calendar(Notice, it's the Tibetan calendar. The date will be different each year, roughly between May and July each year. It is said that having Kailash Yatra during the Saga Dawa festival will gain double blessings. Saga Dawa Festival is to honor the birth, enlightenment, and death of Sakyamuni. During this time, hundreds of the Tibetan locals will have a trekking tour around Kailash with the international pilgrims. And you can see many religious ceremonies that are rarely seen on ordinary days. So, it’s the best time to explore Tibetan culture.
Weather in Kailash Mansarovar
Mt.Kailash and Lake Mansarovar are located in the Ngari area, where belongs to the plateau mountain climate. There are two major features of the climate: high elevation and cold temperature, causing this area to be dominated by winter, while summer is short.
Ngari's Weather in Four Seasons
Winter: From November to April of each year, the temperature is below the freezing point and the wind is strong. Despite the low temperature and strong wind, it is accompanied by a clear sky. It's recommended to pack warm underwear, knee pads, climbing clothes or down jackets, and trekking shoes.
Summer: From May to September each year, the temperature is between 5 °C to 20 °C. The weather is cool during the day, while it drops to around 5 °C at night. This period is also in the rainy season in Tibet, but the weather in Ngari during the day is mainly sunny. It's recommended to pack knitwear, long trousers, outdoor jackets and light down jackets.
Spring and Autumn: The spring and autumn seasons in the Ngari area are not obvious.
Average Temperature in Ngari
|Avg. High Temp||-4 ℃||-4 ℃||2 ℃||8 ℃||13 ℃||19 ℃|
|Avg. Low Temp||-20℃||-18 ℃||-13 ℃||-7 ℃||-2 ℃||5 ℃|
|Avg. Temp||-12 ℃||-11 ℃||-5.5 ℃||0.5 ℃||5.5 ℃||12 ℃|
|Avg. High Temp||22 ℃||22 ℃||17 ℃||10 ℃||4 ℃||0 ℃|
|Avg. Low Temp||10 ℃||9 ℃||3 ℃||-6 ℃||-13 ℃||-17 ℃|
|Avg. Temp||16 ℃||15.5 ℃||10 ℃||2 ℃||-4.5 ℃||-8.5 ℃|
Summary: Although the Ngari area is dominated by winter for a long, it is still necessary to prepare adequate sunscreen products to avoid sun damage to the skin. In addition to the dry weather in the Ngari area, it is also necessary to prepare moisturizer at any time.
Things to Do During Kailash Mansarovar Tour
Visiting Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar, in addition to admiring its magnificent appearance, the kora is the main purpose. Pilgrims have always regarded it as the greatest blessing in their lives to do a kora around the mountain and lake, or take a bath in the lake.
Mount Kailash Kora
Mount Kailash Kora is one of the most well-known trekking routes in Tibet, and it is also the best way for pilgrims to worship the gods in their hearts. Generally, those who do Mount Kailash Kora first stay at Darchen Town at the foot of the mountain, which is the starting point and the endpoint of the kora. There're two kora routes, outer and inner. Most tourists have the outer kora route, which is the big circuit with Mount Kailash as the core and takes 2 to 3 days on foot. According to the locals, only those who have had the outer kora for 13 times are eligible to have the inner kora.
The road on the first day is relatively gentle. Starting from Darchen, it takes about 5 hours to reach Dirapuk Monastery, where the altitude is about 5100 meters. It is necessary to notice the occurrence of altitude sickness here. The second day is most difficult, especially the mountain path from Dirapuk Monastery to Dolma La Pass at an altitude of 5,630 meters, which is the highest point of this kora route. This section is about 5 kilometers in length, mainly rocky paths, with a slope close to 60 degrees and a steep rise of more than 500 meters in elevation. When seeing a hillside full of prayer flags from afar, it indicates that you have come to the Dolma La Pass. On the way, you will pass an ancient celestial burial platform, surrounded by prayer flags and Tibetan personal belongings. On the third day, after passing through a weedy swamp, you will see a wide expanse of the river valley, where's 22 kilometers away from Darchen. When the magnificent figure of Namnani Peak appears in the front, the kora is almost over.
Lake Manasarovar Kora
Lake Manasarovar Kora is an expression of the sincerity of devout believers. It takes about 7-10 days to do the kora. Many pilgrims will take a bath in the lake because the water can not only remove the dirt on the skin but also cleanse the five poisons in mind, and prolong life. For tourists, you may sit by the lake, bask in the sun, wash your face with the holy water, or stare at the Namnani Peak in the distance, etc.
There are 8 temples around Manasarovar, which are distributed in all directions of the lake. On the west side of Manasarovar, there's a ghost lake called Rakshastal in Tibetan, which means a poisonous black lake. According to legend, it is the sister lake of Manasarovar. The two lakes are connected by underground waterways. What is interesting is that the water in Manasarovar Lake is freshwater, while the water in Rakshastal Lake is so salty that there is no grass on the lakeside.
Chiu monastery is the best viewpoint to watch lake Manasarovar. This monastery is located on a small hill, after climbing up the hillside and looking down from the top of the hill, you can have a panoramic view of Lake Manasarovar.
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