Places to see in Kailash

Mt. Kailash

Mount Kailash 6,638 m (21,778 ft.) is a peak on the Gangdise Mountains, which are a portion of the Himalayas in Tibet. It is located near the source of some of the largest Asian rivers: the Brahmaputra, Indus, Sutlej (a prime tributary of the Indus) and the Karnali River (a tributary of the Ganges). The mountain is nestled near Lake Rakshas Tal and Lake Mansarovar in Tibet.
Kailash is considered as a holy mountain by a number of faiths and cults like Bon, Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. The Hindus consider it as the abode of Lord Shiva, as the unusual contours of black granite look like a Shivalinga.

Through ages, yogis, monks and pilgrims from across the globe have undergone hardships to reach this abode of gods. In Hindu religion, a pilgrimage to Kailash is considered as the ultimate yatra. Moreover, the journey to Kailash is also quite difficult.

Mansarovar Lake

The sacred lake of Mansarovar, situated at a height of 4556 meters is related with many legends and myths. The lake spans an area of 350 sq km and has a depth of 300 ft.  This lake creates an enchanting backdrop to the Kailash peak. Every year pilgrims from all over the world undertake the famous Kailash Mansarovar tour. It is firmly believed by the devotees that the serene water of the lake purifies the body and soul from all sins.

According to Hindu religion, this lake originated in the mind of Brahma. According to mythology, this lake is the haven of swans, which are traditionally considered as sacred and wise. Buddhists also believe that Queen Maya conceived Lord Buddha at this very place.

There are a number of monasteries at Mansarovar, among which the most remarkable is the Chiu Gompa Monastery. The lake is flanked by Gurla Mandhata on the south and Kailash on the north.  Rakshas Tal lies on the west side of the lake whereas some hills lie on the eastern side.

Chiu Gompa Monastery

Chiu Gompa is an ancient monastery in Tibet visited by many pilgrims who embark on Kailash Mansarovar tour. It sits on top of the steep and reddish Santok Perli Mountain.

Chiu in Tibetan means Sparrow. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche had been guided to this place by a sparrow. There is a cave in the Chiu Gompa Monastery that houses an ancient temple of Guru Rinpoche with his footprints from the 8th century. Hence the monastery is also known as Sparrow Monastery.

The Chiu Gompa Monastery offers an amazing view of Lake Mansarovar and on a clear day, one can also spot Mount Kailash to the north from here.

Chiu Gompa Monastery is one of the most popular monasteries located near the shore of Lake Mansarovar. It is situated at a distance of about 35-40km from Darchen which is the base for Mount Kailash Parikrama in Tibet.

One has to trek some stairs to reach the Chiu Gompa Monastery. It is a little tough to climb the stairs. Hence it is advisable to be very careful with the same. In case you have any doubt then it is better to bow your head for downstairs only and not climb the stairs.

The Chiu Gompa Monastery is considered holy by the Tibetans. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche spent his last seven days of life here. Guru Rinpoche is believed to be the person who introduced Tantric Buddhism in Tibet and built the first monastery there. Therefore his meditation cave in Chiu Gompa Monastery is highly respected by the Buddhists. Ancient Buddhist scriptures have also been preserved in the monastery.

Yam Dwar

Situated 15 km from Darchen in Tibet, Yam Dwar is nestled at an altitude of 4,724 m above sea level. The meaning of Yam Dwar, which is a Hindu word, is ‘gateway of the God of Death’. It is the starting point of the circumambulation of Mount Kailash. As per the belief, Yam God himself is guarding the door of the abode of Lord Shiva. One has to cross this place to visit Mount Kailash. As per Hindu mythology, if someone completes the circumambulation of Yam Dwar then that person gets a place in heaven.

Saptarishi Caves

Seven sages from ancient India who were endowed with divine powers and an ocean of knowledge. They were adept with weapons, and each Saptarishi is a representative of a Tatva (basic elements like spirit, fire, water, stone, nature, sky and air). Saptarishi Caves, situated under the Mount Kailash, is accessible through a very challenging trek where one has to climb a wall which is almost 90 degree vertical. It is said that many sages still live under the Mount Kailash in these caves.

Consisting of 13 Chortens, the Saptarishi Caves are assumed to be the home of the seven rishis who were an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva…

The Saptarishi Caves are considered to be an extreme hub in the Nandi inner Parikrama as well these caves are counted amongst the most difficult treks experienced at the time of the Inner Kora. This Kora is done at the time of Kailash Manasarovar tour that is majorly prominent as an immensely favored journey to witness the divinity of Mount Kailash. Not only its shape is highly unique, but Kailash’s mysteries as well as the spirituality associated with it are responsible for making this peak majorly recognized by a large portion of the world’s population. Whether they are Hindus, Buddhists, Bon Pons or Jains, Mount Kailash holds equal importance for each one of them as a result of which it is not solely a place for a single religion but for many of them. However, the fascinating spiritual stories associated with this tall peak differ from one religion to another. There are a good number of spiritual hubs spotted in the midway of Kailash Manasarovar tour and one of these are the Saptarishi Caves.

The Saptarishi Caves are located at a great elevation of approximately 6000 meters and also are known to be one of the very hard treks in the Kailash Manasarovar tour. Leave Atmalingam and then you will be facing a wall that is almost vertical so that it can be climbed for the pious Saptarishi caves. These caves consist of the thirteen chortens which are well managed as well as maintained by the Gengta Monastery situated in the Inner Kora also known as the Inner Parikrama.

Also, there is the prevalence of a long horizontal crack in the cave itself that is present solely with an intention of ensuring that nor the rocks neither the snow falls on these 13 well reserved Chortens in the cave, also protecting it from some external damages. The walls of these caves are red in color since it has followed the Tibetan tradition and also, many find it unique as majority of the visitors who come here put their books, and other belongings at a specified space in these caves with the sole aim of paying homage to Lord Shiva and thanking him for his eternal blessings on them.

Those who are present here are surely going to witness abundant religious books in these caves which you can read and have a look on. Also, one is going to see the Nandi Mountain from the Saptarishi Caves and the Nandi Mountains resemble Nandi the bull to a great extent that is a sacred vehicle of Lord Shiva as well as the messenger who is responsible to transfer devotees’ wishes to Lord Shiva who is engrossed in deep meditation.

Talking about the treks of Inner Kora, Saptarishi Caves’ trek is considered to be the toughest as a result of which only the experienced mountaineers can have an access to its trekking. The Saptarishi caves are located at a distance of 11.3 km away from Darchen and one can reach Serlung Gompa right from Darchen with the help of a local transport and the real phase of Kora commences once you de-board the bus and start walking to continue the Parikrama. Mentioning the accommodation facility for those who are seeking to visit Saptarishi Caves, it is considered to be at Darchen. Darchen is a hub of the lodging facilities for the tourists.

Going to Saptrishi Caves is officially not allowed. The Chinese authorities have banned the Inner Parikrama of Mount Kailash after 2013

Nandi Parvat

Lies near Mount Kailash, Nandi Parvat is dedicated to the most ardent and loved devotee of Lord Shiva named Nandi. This is among the most revered peaks of the region and among Hindus. Nandi was a bull and a sacred vehicle of Lord Shiva. He was also the gatekeeper and guardian of Mount Kailash. The divinity of Nandi Parvat is beyond description and it holds spiritual significance among the devotees of Lord Shiva. During Kailash Parikrama, you will get across Nandi Parvat which is the best place in and around Mount Kailash.


The nirvana attainment Centre of the first Jain Tirthankar Bhagwan Rishabhdev, Ashtapad near Mount Kailash is witnessed as the most massively followed pious shrine for the Jains.

Carrying the meaning ‘eight steps’ and incorporating an array of abundant caves, the Ashtapad is one of the most beguiling pilgrimage spots in Jain religion…

Mount Kailash also considered as the ‘heavenly abode of Lord Shiva’ is accompanied with high divinity and a really pure beauty. A lifeline for some of the majestic rivers in Asia as well as the spiritual Centre for the main religions- Hinduism, Jainism as well as Buddhism, this majestic peak is continually acting as a sheath for the devotees from all across the globe. The pilgrims have to participate in the 53 km Parikarma of the mighty Mount Kailash that is considered to be a difficult one but its results are meant to be very fruitful. The place experiences varied weather conditions and during some months they are even worse and thus, the tour of Mount Kailash is open for the devotees for a period of three to four months.

Ashtapad is considered to be one of the most splendid pilgrimage hubs and is spotted by the tourists when they are on their way to the holy abode Mount Kailash. This destination is prominently recognized as the utmost satisfaction both spiritually and historically for each and every participant present in the Kailash Manasarovar tour. Also known as the Ashtapad Tirth, this is none other than a mountain that is ardently looked upon by thousands of pilgrims every year for a definite period of time. This Tirth is widely renowned because as assumed and notified, Bhagwan Rushabhdev who is the first Jain Tithankar was facilitated with the attainment of Nirvana and as a result is thus named as the most pious Jain Shrine. When he received the Nirvana, his son named as Chakravarti King Bharat established a temple intending for treating it as a memorial for the commemoration of the his father’s Nirvana. The palace was made with crystal and the gemstones.

Ashtapad means ‘eight steps’ which might be informing that the ascending of the mountain can be done in eight giant steps or there exists an array of eight mountain peaks and also because the eight giant steps might lead to the palace. However, there is the prevalence of eight mountain peaks in Ashtapad. But, still there lie many facts related to this name too. Amongst all the destinations falling in between the Kailash Manasarovar tour, the Ashtapad is concluded to be the most beautiful one accompanied with abundant natural beauty along with some of the very unique elements present here. This peak is known to be tucked in South West China’s Sichuan Province lying quite near to the Tibetan border. There stands a dire need to seek permission from the local Lamas for anyone striving to visit the Ashtapad Mountain. According to some of the documents and publications, it has been notified that the experiments and the research with an intention of deriving the Ashtapad’s exact location is still under progress and no definite results have been pointed out so far.

The first Tirthankara i.e. Rishabhanatha is the most important figure in Jainism and is also known to be the one who has existed for millions of years ago. Also called as Ādinātha carrying the meaning as ‘Adi- First’ and ‘Natha- Lord’, Adishvara, Yugadideva, Prathamaraja as well as Nabheya, he has already attracted millions of Jains for the most devotional worship. According to the different sub-traditions of Jain, Rishabhanatha is known to be the ultimate founder of Jainism and has lived for more than approximately 8,400,000 purva years and had a height of 1,200 feet and such descriptions which are recognized as those belonging to the Non-humans were seen prominent in the next 21 Tirthankaras present in the Jain texts. He perceived Nirvana in Ashtapad and this makes the hub ardently followed by the people belonging to Jainism and that too beyond limits. Ashtapad is continually visited by thousands of pilgrims each year with the sole intention of attaining the salvation and filling their soul with purity as well as serenity.

Charan Sparsh (Touching Feet of Mount Kailash)

In a trip to Kailash Mansarovar, Charan Sparsh literally means touching feet of the holy Mt. Kailash which is considered to be Lord Shiva himself. During the trekking of Mt. Kailash one choose to perform trek towards the holy mount Kailash in order to touch the feet of the supreme Hindu God Lord Shiva.

Come and discover the aura and magnificence of Mount Kailash and indulge in Charan Sparsh of the supreme God of Hindu religion.

Stands as a mammoth of serenity and divinity, its unparalleled beauty mirrored in the pristine surroundings. It's not just a mountain; it's the abode of Lord Shiva, a source of spiritual awakening, and a pilgrimage site like no other. Cloaked in perennial snow, exudes an enigmatic charm that draws spiritual seekers and adventure enthusiasts. Wrapped in profound religious faith, where the almighty resides, it hides numerous unexplained mysteries, adding to its allure as an enigmatic marvel of the natural world.

Earning the title of Mount Kailash, Kangrinboqe, and Gongdisi Shan and reputed as the abode of Lord Shiva in Hinduism, it holds spiritual allure for Buddhists, Jains, and Bon practitioners. Symmetric shape, pristine surroundings, and remote location contribute to its charm. Regarded as the axis mundi, linking heaven and earth, and the center of the cosmos. Buddhists believe it to be the home of the deity Demchok, who stands for ultimate happiness. Jains connect it to Lord Rishabhdeva, the first Jain Tirthankara. The unmatched spiritual force of Mount Kailash is derived from this convergence of religious beliefs. Mount Kailash is one of the highest points in the Himalayas at 6638 meters (21778 feet) above sea level. It goes by several names, including Gang Tise and Gang Rinproche.

Kailash has great religious significance since it is the holiest and most sacred place on Earth of Lord Shiva. The history of Kailash is described in several Hindu sacred texts. As per the Hindu religious scripture Srimad Bhagavatam Mahapuran, Rudra embodies the omnipotent Lord Shiva. Even after the cosmos was destroyed, the five-faced manifestation of Shiva, established who lived in Kailash, was unkillable. Kubera worshiped Lord Shiva while residing in Kashi. Shiva chose to relocate to the Kailash Mountain and live near Kubera in the human form of Rudra after bestowing upon him the boons of the deity. Shiva lived in the stunning Kailash Mountain in this manner. Mount Kailash, the most sacred peak in the world, is home to the all-powerful Shiva, who rules the entire cosmos. Hindus, Buddhists, and Jainites travel worldwide to undertake the trekking to the Charan Sparsh of the sacred Mount Kailash.

The word Charan Sparsh combines two Hindi words: Charan means foot, and Sparsh means touch. Thus, the word means to touch the feet. Charan Sparsh in Kailash Mansarovar tour means touching the feet of the lord Shiva. To do that, countless individuals have made every effort to reach the summit of this peak, and they have yet to succeed. But it has been said that the only person who is said to have been able to ascend Mount Kailash is the Tibetan sage Milarepa. The incredibly holy aura of Mount Kailash incorporates a maze of unanswered questions. Countless theories, myths, stories, and other elements are somehow related to this mountain; they have yet to be fully resolved. People and scientists have different views and must decide what to consider. The "Mount Kailash that is unclimbed till now" is one of them that stands out as the most significant mystery.

Situated at the base of Mount Kailash's north face is Charan Sparsh. On the first day of the Mount Kailash Parikarma, one might go for Charan Sparsh. It is 10 kilometers from Yamdwar to Dhirapuk on the first day of the Mount Kailash Parikarma. To reach Charan Sparsh, trek 4–5 km after arriving at Dhirpauk. The walk is exceedingly challenging because there is no official route to Charan Sparsh, and the area has severe weather. According to scientific studies, the human body vibrates, and touching the feet promotes the flow of blessings, energy, and happiness. Thus, participating in Charan Sparsh during the Kailash Mansarovar tour provides great fulfillment and revitalizes the minds and spirits of Bhole Bhakts. Many enigmatic locations with spiritual significance will come into view while traversing the Kora. The intriguing Thukje Zingbu Hermitage, the vibrant prayer flags fluttering in the wind at the Tarboche flagpole, and the hallowed caves of Milarepa are just some of the sites that will captivate the senses and strengthen the tie to the divine.

With the Kailash Charan Sparsh Tour, drive through blooming hills, farmed fields, and quaint towns to the Kerung Border. Go over the border into China to experience the distinct culture and scenery of the Tibetan Plateau. After passing through the migratory town of Saga and pausing to take in the tranquil beauty of Pikutso Lake, proceed to the holy Mansarovar Lake and Tsu Gompa Monastery. Whether an adventure enthusiast or a devout seeker, a Kailash Charan Sparsh tour promises an immersive, life-altering, once-in-a-lifetime experience that transcends boundaries and connects with the divine in a way that words can't fully capture.

Kailash Parikrama/Kora

Kailash Parikrama is considered as the most difficult part of the journey. It is believed that Mount Kailash is the holy icy abode of Shiva and Parvati and thus pilgrims need to perform a Parikrama/Kora to show reverence. 

This Parikrama/Kora or circumambulation of the Kailash Parvat involves walking around 53km. It takes three days and includes trekking rough terrain, scaling steep trails, crossing streams, jumping from one boulder to the other and traversing a pass high in the mountains at an altitude of 19,200 ft.

Camping is generally done on the mountain side. The term Kora is used by Tibetans to refer to clockwise circumambulation. It is believed that the Parikrama will sanctify the soul from all sin and is a path to attain salvation.

The parikrama is generally performed in clockwise direction. However, believers of Bon perform the activity anticlockwise. In case of Buddhists, the Parikrama around Kailash is same as experiencing a cycle of life and rebirth into a new life.


Shivasthal is one of the sacred places on the journey to Kailash Mansarovar. It is a site revered by Tibetans, hence one can spot prayer flags and other Tibetan ornaments in abundance at Shivasthal.

You will pass through Shivasthal on Day 2 of Mount Kailash Parikarma. The second day of Parikarma of Mount Kailash is from Dirapuk to Zuthulpuk which is 22 km. After trekking uphill for 6km, the pilgrims reach Dolma La Pass (the highest point of Kailash Mansarovar tour). It is right before Dolma La Pass about 100-200 meters you get to see Shivasthal.

Shivasthal is a symbol of life and death. There is a belief that if you donate clothes, gold, etc at Shivasthal, then you will get it in your next life. Sometimes people donate bad clothes which leads to creating litter in the region. We recommend not to donate anything at Shivasthal and better to donate the stuff to the Local poor people and Lama (priest).

Dolma La Pass of Mount Kailash in Nagri

The holy Parikarma of Mount Kailash includes many dangerous treks. The one from Diraphuk to Zongzebru is considered to be such a tough trek. Usually one faces it on the very second day of the Kailash Parikarma. This trek is considered to be the toughest trek of the entire Kailash Parikarma. One has to cover 26 kilometers from Diraphuk to Zongzerbu and also cross the Dolma La Pass at an elevation of 19500 feet. It’s not only the highest altitude that makes the pass very tough one to cross; weather could change here at any moment, and this unpredictability of weather makes the trek all the more dangerous.

As one begins the ascent towards the Dolma La Pass (5650m) in the background one can see the north-eastern face of Mount Kailash.

Tibetan Plateau. After passing through the migratory town of Saga and pausing to take in the tranquil beauty of Pikutso Lake, proceed to the holy Mansarovar Lake and Tsu Gompa Monastery. Whether an adventure enthusiast or a devout seeker, a Kailash Charan Sparsh tour promises an immersive, life-altering, once-in-a-lifetime experience that transcends boundaries and connects with the divine in a way that words can't fully capture.

Dolma La is the Tibetan name of Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva believed to be residing at Mount Kailash. The pass can be treacherous if the weather is not favorable. It is said that one can cross the pass only if the goddess bestows her grace upon him/ her.

One is warned not to linger around for too long at this altitude for the air is very thin here. From Dolma la pass, one gets a very fine and marvelous view of Gaurikund down the pass.

The Dolma La pass is at an elevation of 19500 feet, which is the highest altitude of our entire tour. Dolma La is the Tibetan name of Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva residing at Mount Kailash.

The pass can be treacherous if the weather is not favorable. It is said that one can cross only if Goddess Dolma allows you to. Today, she was kind enough to bestow her blessings and we crossed the pass with no hindrance at all.

We were warned not to linger around for too long at this altitude for the air is very thin here. We only spent a few moments at the top of the pass and quickly hurried down towards Gauri Kund.

We made a tour (pilgrimage) to the holy land of Mt. Kailash and Manasarovar Lake in Tibet in September 2007. It is only now that I have begun posting pictures from our journey! So enjoy the tour on Flickr and if you have been to the Kailash Manasarovar region, do contribute your pictures to the Kailash Manasarovar tour group.

Gauri Kund

Another major sightseeing location of Kailash region is the Gauri Kund, associated with a number of legendary tales and mythological stories. Popularly known as Parvati Sarovar, Gauri Kund lies at an altitude of 5608 meters.
According to the Shiva Purana, this water body is described as the lake of compassion. The reflection of the Chhota Kailash peak falls on the surface of the lake.


Tirthapuri is closely associated with Padmasambhava, who is also known as Guru Rimpoche. Along with his consort Yeshe Tsogyel, Guru Rimpoche believed to do meditation here in Vajravarahi Cave is locked in the monastery complex. Tirthapuri Monastery originally belonged to the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Tirthapuri hot springs are also famous places to visit near Kailash Mansarovar as they have medicinal properties. Parikarma around the pilgrimage site is also popular among devotees. It takes 1 hour to complete the circumambulation in Tirthapuri.


Tarboche is a popular flagpole that stands on the great Mount Kailash. The flagpole remains draped in colorful Tibetan prayer flags. Every year a very famous festival of Tibet ‘Saga Dawa’ takes place here. One of the key parts of the festival is replacing the Tarboche flagpole. In this ceremony, the flagpole is brought down and a new pole is erected in its place. This festival is celebrated to commemorate Sakyamuni’s enlightenment.

Rakshas Tal

Lake Rakshas Tal lies near the west of Lake Mansarovar and Mount Kailash. River Sutlej originates from the north-western tip of Rakshas Tal. It spans a total area of 70 sq km and is located at an altitude of 4,752 metres.

Though the lake is a short roll away from Lake Mansarovar, Rakshas Tal is not equally revered as its east neighbor. It is because Rakshas Tal, the ‘lake of the rakshasa’ is associated with the ten-headed demon king Ravana. It is believed to be the dwelling of Ravana, the demon king of Lanka.

In Buddhism, Lake Mansarovar and Lake Rakshas Tal lie in contrast to each other. Buddhists consider the round shaped Lake Mansarovar as the symbol of brightness whereas the crescent shaped Lake Rakshas Tal symbolizes darkness.

Again, the water of Lake Rakshas Tal is salty, which lies in sharp contrast with the fresh water lake of Mansarovar. The water of Lake Rakshas Tal, which nurtures no fish or aquatic plants, is considered as toxic by local dwellers. 

There are four islands in Lake Rakshas Tal, namely, the Dola, Topserma (Dose), Lachato and Dosharba. Local people only visit the island during the winter season and utilize it as winter pastures for yaks.

However, Lake Rakshas Tal is also admired for its beauty. The lake is connected with Lake Mansarovar by a natural channel, Ganga Chhu. The hills, islands and the white cobbles along with the deep blue lake draw a large number of tourists. 

Further Information: contains as much information as possible about Mount Kailash & Tibet Tours and Treks. However, if you have any questions regarding trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours. If you want to book a trip, you can send us an email or contact us directly by phone: 0977 98510 36844 (Ram Kumar Adhikari).