Kailash Mansarovar, a pilgrimage for the followers of four religions, is the toughest pilgrimage in the world. Situated some 20 km from the Mt Kailash, the lake Mansarovar further holds a prime significance in the mythology. This region sees an inception of four of the prime rivers namely Sutlej, Indus, Brahmaputra and Karnati. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is known for its cultural significance, religious value, physical beauty and thrilling nature. It is started by hundreds of people every year. Holding importance for the Hindus as the abode of Lord Shiva, it embraces religious importance also for the Buddhists and the Jains.

Every year, the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is arranged by the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs beginning early May/early June to September. The Yatra or pilgrimage is open to all Indian citizens above 18 years of age who wish to visit Kailash and Manasarovar for religious purposes. Let us have a look at the factors that makes this expensive (1.5-1.7 lakhs round trip) Kailash Mansarovar yatra toughest pilgrimage in the world.

Extreme Geographic conditions

The geography of the Mt Kailash and the Mansarovar takes it to the top of the list of the toughest pilgrimages of the world at an altitude of 19500 feet or 5900 metre. Lake Mansarovar is situated in the remote and inhospitable Himalayas of the Tibet plateau in the Chinese demography. The distance between the Mt Kailash and the Lake Mansarover accounts for more than 20 km. This 20 km trek is termed to be a dangerous field trek considering the highs and lows in the Himalayan region. This geography accounts for tough yatra of Kailash Mansarovar.

Medical Reasons


Why Kailash Mansarovar is one of the toughest pilgrimages?

The rigid geography of the location gives birth to medical issues without any second thoughts. Such is the place that any normal human being may be prone to certain ailments on visiting the place. Atmospheric air being under the low air pressure prompted the Indian government to scrutinise the applications based upon the medical tests. The geography stimulates diseases like the acute mountain sickness, coronary artery diseases, bronchial asthma and many more heart ailments along with respiration issues. Not only this, the hypoxia or the low levels of oxygen test the limits of any average human existence. Thus, medical constraints make up for the toughness of this Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

Miles of journey on feet as a trek

Route Options

Kailash Mansarovar Route options from India

Route via Sikkim

Kailash Mansarovar  Route Map via Sikkim

Route via Uttarakhand

Kailash Mansarovar  Route Map via Uttarakhand

Few miles in the plains or the surfaced land appear to be a no pain! But when this has to be up taken as a trek in the geography of the Himalayas at a higher altitude, eliminate the level of the easiness with no seconds. Currently, there are two methods to reach Kailash Mansarovar from India. One is via Lipulekh pass of Uttarakhand and the second is from the Nathu La pass in Sikkim. What adds to the toughness is that while one needs to trek for 35 km via Nathu La pass, Lipulekh pass is synonyms to 200 km of trekking. The resolute geography and medical claims are adding stiffness to the holy Kailash Mansarovar yatra.The Lipulekh Pass route was more popular earlier, now is damaged owing to floods in Uttarakhand, thus the route via Sikkim crosses the India-China border at the Nathu La pass.

Requirements needed for the Yatra

While you are applying for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, you must be qualified on the basis of documents and health that are needed for travelling. Anyone who is applying for the Kailash Yatra must have a valid passport. You should pass the medical examination, as your body should be accustomed to the freezing climate. People might find less oxygen to breathe as the Yatra is carried out from the mountain and lake peaks. The journey of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is extremely challenging, mentally and physically and anyone having any health issues is surely not capable for the journey. Because of the beliefs carried on, every individual should do trekking of the entire mountain. As the Yatra lasts for 22 days, you need to have good co-operation with the locality and the tourist guide you are travelling with.

There are limited places that you would like to visit for shopping, once you enter Tibet. Some handicrafts, Tibetan jewelry and souvenirs can be taken back for gifting. Due to the locations situated at the peak of the mountains, you’ll find smaller eating joints. Tourists might find Dhabas that serve tea, coffee and some local snacks.

The Kailash Mansarovar yatra is incomplete without the parikrama of abode of Lord Shiva which take 3 days. Looking at the complexity involved, it is suggested for 70 years old and above people and anyone with medical discomforts to refrain from the yatra. Everyone certainly needs to go through the legal formalities and the fitness tests to start the journey. Even after the medical tests are passed, one shall proceed if he or she is sure of his body and take few fitness tests before finally landing for the dooms day!