This is a 38-kms / 3 days trek done at an average altitude of 15000 ft and the highest point is the Dolma La (Pass) at 19,500 ft. Attempt walking the entire distance including the trek up the Dolma La only if you are extremely fit physically. If you are reasonably fit, hire a pony (limited numbers available) for the 3-day parikrama (the rate for this service is about Chinese Yuan 2800 for a Yak and a porter). You may need the yak on day 2 of the parikrama on the ascent to Dolma La. But knowing the behaviour of the yaks and the yakmen, you should be prepared for walks on the first and last day of the parikrama. On these 2 days the walks are in general over level ground (i.e. with no major ascents or descents). There will be a walking for approx. 8 hrs. a day. However, there is the option of not doing the parikrama at all and staying behind at Darchen at your own cost. We can pick you up after the parikrama.
Answer. Both mental and physical fitness is required to complete the trip. It is one of the toughest land journeys which you would have ever taken on earth. Physical preparations include ANY or all of the following: walking 4-5 kms. a day, swimming, playing badminton, jogging, freehand exercise, climbing a 10/20-storey building etc. All this not only helps muscle development but also expands capacity of the lungs, which is vital in high altitudes due to lower levels of oxygen. This is not a yatra in which you can depend on ‘palkis’ or ponies to take care of you. You have to depend on your own reserves of strength and stamina. Mental preparation means being absolutely positive about wanting to complete the journey. Yoga helps. A medical check-up is strongly recommended. Take your personal physician’s advice on your participation. If you consume alcohal and smoke, better quit it.
Some useful tips for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra trekking trip:
Try and make friends with the Tibetan guide and driver. They may appear stand-offish initially but are warm and simple people. Small gifts like Hindi movie cassettes, dark glasses, a cap/hat etc. go a long way in overcoming language problems and establishing rapport.
The first two to three days are particularly tough as you get used to the rigours of the journey and acclimatise to the sudden change of altitude. This can cause breathlessness, lethargy, drowsiness, nausea, lack of appetite, sleeplessness, headache, irritation, anger, lack of judgement. Drink plenty of water (4-5 litres a day), remain calm and quiet, avoid petty arguments, rest as much as possible, eat properly at mealtimes. Talk to the helpful and caring staff and inform them of any difficulties.
If you are not allergic to sulpha drugs (please consult your physician), take one tablet of Diamox at Kathmandu the night before leaving for Tibet as well as on the 2nd and 3rd nights, or even longer. Alternatively, take half tablet in the morning and half in the evening. Now a day, we do have non-sulphar drugs available by Ranbaxy. Oxygen cylinders and Gamow bags are carried for anyone having major problems.
If you can’t do the parikrama, say so. Don’t take the altitude lightly. Many people understand at Darchen that the parikrama cannot be done by them and decide accordingly. We will make alternate arrangements for you to stay back at Darchen (at extra cost payable directly to the lodge, approx Rs. 2,500 a day approx).
Answer. No, it is not compulsory. It depends on health and wish of an individual. But if you are travelling in a group you must stay at the base camp of Mount Kailash until the other group members come back after performing kora of Mount Kailash.
Answer. The circle of the mount Kailash from Darchen (base of Mount Kailash) to Darchen is about 52 kms, out of which about 10 kms is covered by vehicle. The trekking of Mount Kailash is about 42 kms total which is performed clockwise and takes 2 nights halt including one night each at Dhirapukh Gompa and Zuthulpukh Gompa.