Tibet Local Travel Guide service team provides one stop Kailash tours.
14 Days Mt.Kailash & Lake Manasarovar Parikrama
Based on 359 Reviews
Our two-week Manasarovar and Kailash FULL MOON pilgrimage Yatra is designed specifically for overseas Indian pilgrims who have plans for a once-in-a-lifetime journey to the holy lake and mountain. The journey starts in Lhasa where you can acclimatize to the Tibetan high altitude and explore the world class attractions in the capital city. Soon afterwards, we travel westward across the vast Tibetan Plateau and reach Ngari area. You will spend plenty of time on the bank of Lake Manasarovar and then embark on your kora circuit around Mt. Kailash. With quality services from our agency, this tour will give you the best time of your life and helps you obtain an especially unforgettable divine experience. Enquire us now for more details!
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Medium Group
We can easily help overseas Indian pilgrims get all the necessary documents to travel to Tibet. Please contact us for more details.
*Overseas Indian pilgrims refer to travelers of Indian descent who hold non-Indian passports. If you are an Indian citizen/passport holder, there is special requirement for you if you want to travel to kailash. Email us for more information.
14 Days Indian’s Lake Manasarovar-Mt. Kailash Yatra Itinerary Summary
Day 1 Arrive in Lhasa. Pick up and transfer to hotel and rest for acclimatization. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 2 Lhasa sightseeing: Norbulingka, Sera Monastery(except Sunday). Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 3 Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Bakhor Streets. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 4 Lhasa-Gyantse-Shigatse. 370km, 8hrs. Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Pelkor Chode Monastery. Overnight in Shigatse.
Day 5 Shigatse-Saga. 450km, 8hrs. Landscapes of the great Tibetan Plateau. Overnight in Saga.
Day 6 Saga-Lake Manasarovar. 495km, 10hrs. Lake Manasarovar sand dunes. Overnight in local guesthouse.
Day 7 Lake Manasarovar-Darchen. Prepare for Mt. Kailash kora trekking. Overnight in Darchen. (Himalaya Kailash Hotel is the best available.)
Day 8 Pilgrimage Trek Day 1: Darchen-to Tarboche (or by environmental bus optional)-Dirakpuk, 20km, 6-8 hrs. Overnight in local guesthouse.
Day 9 Pilgrimage Trek Day 2: Dirakpuk-Zuktulpuk, 18 kms, 7-10 hrs. Overnight in local guesthouse.
Day 10 Pilgrimage Trek Day 3: Zuktulpuk-Darchen, 14 kms, 3hrs. Overnight in Darchen. (Himalaya Kailash Hotel is the best available.)
Day 11 Darchen-Saga. 5ookm, 8hrs. Overnight in Saga.
Day 12 Saga-Shigatse. 450km, 9hrs. Overnight in Shigatse.
Day 13 Shigatse-Lhasa. 280km, 6hrs. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 14 Depart from Lhasa and conclude the tour.
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners & dining
- All accommodation including tea houses en route
- All transportation including taxis and coaches
- Flights from Heathrow if booked inc. of flight
- Tour and trekking guide for entire journey
- Travel insurance and other emergencies
- Visa fees and entry clearing fees
- Single room accommodations
- Liquors, beeers and bootled beverages
- Photography ccessories like cameras etc.
Scenic Tour of City
After you arrive in Lhasa either by train or flight, your guide will greet you and transfer you to your hotel. You will spend the rest of the day acclimatizing to the high altitude. If you feel like going out, you may take a stroll on Potala Square or in the historic center of Lhasa. It is important to have a good night of sleep and not rush to the attractions. Overnight in Lhasa.
Lhasa free day, optional sightseeing: Norbulingka, Sera Monastery (except Sundays).
You can take the time to continue to rest. You also have the option to do some sightseeing. We recommend a visit to Norbulingka in the morning and Sera Monastery in the afternoon. Norbulingka is the summer palace of Dalai Lama. It is the largest artificial garden in Tibet with three beautiful lake palaces inside. Sera Monastery is one of the three great Gelugpa universities and famous for monk debate session in the main courtyard. Overnight in Lhasa.
Lhasa highlights: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Bakhor Streets
We visit the single most iconic architecture in Tibet, Potala Palace, which is the winter palace of Dalai Lama. You will see both the public offices and residential quarters of Dalai Lama, as well as a massive collection of artworks and religious treasure, including stupas of past Dalai Lamas and a statue of Tsongkhapa. After lunch, we will head to Jokhang Temple, the most important and sacred temple in Tibet. The architecture of the temple displays influences from Indian, Tibetan and Nepalese design. Numerous famous Buddhist teachers have also conducted teaching there. Today, it houses a variety of Buddhist scriptures and objects. Surrounding the temple are Bakhor streets, a busy and lively area for dining, shopping and entertainment. You will also encounter many local Tibetans performing pilgrimages and ritualistic prostrations. Overnight in Lhasa.
We head west towards the second largest city in Tibet, Shigatse. On our way, we cross Kampala Pass (4797 m) and then Karola Pass (5050 m). We will first encounter the stunning holy lake of Yamdrok-Tso and then Karola Glacier only steps off the main road. We will visit Pelkhor Chode Monastery in Gyantse that houses the most important Tibetan paintings in Kumbum Stupa, and the majestic Gyantse Dzong (fortress) that overlooks the valley. We will finally reach Shigatse before dinner. You will have plenty of time to rest. Overnight in Shigatse.
We visit the prominent Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. Built in the 15th century by the first Dalai Lama, it has since been the seat of Panchen Lamas. We recommend that you do Kora pilgrimage around the monastery. We then drive all the way to Saga. Along the way, you can enjoy plenty of different Tibetan landscapes, including vast grassland, wild animals, nomadic tents and snow-capped mountains. Overnight in Saga.
We will depart from Saga early, follow Yarlung Tsampo River (Brahmaputra in India) to the west and reach Lake Manasarovar after long hours of driving. Overnight in guesthouse beside Lake Manasarovar. (Please be noted that the accommodation here is quite basic.)
After spending more time at Lake Manasarovar, we will travel to Darchen at the foot of Mt. Kailash and prepare for the upcoming trekking days. You will want to organize your belongings and do some last minute shopping, before getting a good night of sleep. Overnight stay in Darchen, hotel category ranges from guesthouse to the best-Darchen Hymalaya Kailash hotel)
Mt. Kailash Trek Day 1: Darchen – Dira-Puk Monastery (5050m) 20 km, about 6-8 hours
We begin the Mt. Kailash Pilgrimage in the clockwise direction. 4km into the path, we reach the height of 4790m and the first prostration point that marks the first views of Mt. Kailash’s southern façade. The next important landmark is Tarboche flagpole (4750m), where the main rituals of Saga Dawa Full Moon Festival takes place here every year. You may take a visit to the nearby Chorten Kangnyi and Sky-Burial Site Of The 84 Mahasiddhas. Coming up next is Chuku Monastery (4820m), where you can find a revered marble statue inside. After some break time when you can take in more views, we will head towards the second prostration point, where you see prayers flags and views of the west side of Mt Kailash. The second Buddha footprint is a short distance ahead. There are several trails to reach our final destination of the day: Dira-Puk Monastery (5080m). It faces the north side of Mt. Kailash, and also provides viewpoints for peaks in other direction. Overnight stay at guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom) near Dira-Puk Monastery. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Please be noted that: for the 6 kms from Darchen to Tarboche, travelers can take the local environmental vehicle (CNY 60 per person optional), for those who want full trekking, you’d better get up early in the morning to begin the trekking.
Mt. Kailash Trek Day 2: Dira-Puk Monastery - Zuthul-Puk Monastery (4790m) 18 km, 6-8 hours
We continue on the main Kora path towards the east. We pass through Kangkyam Glacier and Jarok Donkhang (5210m) meadowland. A short distance above is Shivatsal (5330m). Pilgrims go through a symbolic death here and are reborn at Drolma-la (5630m), which is half an hour away. After some rest and refreshments, we soon arrive at lake Gauri Kund. We gradually descent to the grand valley of Lha-chu, and begin a long journey in the grassland. The day concludes at Zuthul-Puk Monastery. Overnight stay at guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom) near Zuthul-Puk Monastery. Sleeping bag is recommended.
Mt. Kailash Trek Day 3: Zuthul-Puk Monastery- Darchen (4670 m) 14 km, 3-4 hours
We follow the river and then climbs the Gold & Red Cliffs. Pilgrims search for holy stones on these cliff walls. We will see prayer flags across the river, and Lake Rakshas Tal in the far distance. After reaching the fourth prostration point, the final walk back to Darchen is quite easy. Overnight stay in Darchen.
Return to Saga from Darchen. Overnight stay in Saga.
Return to Shigatse from Saga. Overnight stay in Shigatse.
Day 13: Shigatse-Lhasa(280 km) Return to Lhasa from Shigatse. You will have time for shopping gifts and souvenirs to bring home. Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Return to Lhasa from Shigatse. You will have time for shopping gifts and souvenirs to bring home. Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Depart from Lhasa
You will enjoy your last moments in Tibet. Our driver/guide will then pick you up and transfer you to the airport or train station. We hope you have fullfilled your memorable spiritual trip in Tibet, and we wish you the safe journey back home!
Staying in comfortable and deluxe Hotels in Lhasa can definitely add more value to your Tibet Trip! Therefore, we present you with two best hotels at the foot of Mt. Kailash — Himalaya Kailash Hotel & Himalaya Purang Hotel. Check out the Kailash and west Tibet accommodation listed below!
Enjoy Your Stay at the Best Hotel at the Foot of Mt. Kailash
Once you step into this scared spiritual land, you’ve gained the chance to be closely in touch with Tibetan culture and natural wildness. So, after the sightseeing and adventure in the daytime, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay and good rest in Kailash and west Tibet accommodation at night.
However, West Tibet is far away from our ordinary people and it’s lost in Internet. You cannot find ways to book accommodation in far west Tibet such as in Saga, Mt. Kailash, Ali, etc. Due to our many-year tour operation experience in Tibet, we can directly collect the local tourism resources and offer you the best deals.
Human-friendly Service and Modern Facility
Due to its unique location, it appeals to lots of foreign travellers who plan a pilgrimage tour towards Mt. Kailash. In general, those two hotels will leave guests an impressive memory with its high-quality service and well-equipped facilities. Himalaya Kailash Hotel & Himalaya Purang Hotel are the best two of Kailash and west Tibet accommodation. You can go through each one at the links below and make a decision under your circumstance.
Shigatse Gesar Hotel is a 4 star Tibetan style hotel in downtown Shigatse. The hotel is close to major shopping center, transportation hubs and banks in Shigatse. It is also only 1km away from the great Tashilhunpho Monastery. The hotel has 120 beautiful rooms with advanced amenities such as flat-screen TV, 24-hour hote water, broadband internet, air conditioning, etc. The hotel also boasts wonderful facilities such as business center, sauna room, teahouse, banquet hall, etc. The restaurant provides a variety of cuisines to guests.
How can I get my Tibet Travel Permit?
It is critical to book your Tibet tour with a local travel agency like “Tibet local Guide travel service” for smooth travel permit application. Photo copy of your passport and the China visa copies are required for applying Tibet permits.
Please note that you will have to show the original permit in hand while asking for boarding pass and security checking in for flight to Lhasa or Copy of it while boarding the Train to Lhasa. However, Chongqing, Xi’an and Lanzhou railway station may also check original permits.
We will send it to your hotel in your flight departure city in China. While in urgent cases, we can send our permits delivery person to drop it to you at any China domestic airport if you just have few hours transit flight stop.
We do not send your Tibet permits to your home country, because permits come out regularly only 1 week to 2 weeks prior to your arrival date, and Tibet post companies have no efficiencies for handling international package delivery, so it is not trustworthy and not reliable to send your permits to your home county.
For more details of Tibet travel permits, you can email to firstname.lastname@example.org for instant Tibet local policy update.
What are the differences between travelling to Tibet from Nepal and entering Tibet from other Parts of China?
Foreign travelers have only two possible ways of getting to Tibet, one is from Nepal to Tibet by air or overland, while the other is from mainland city in China by train, air or car. Here below are the major differences.
- If you travel to Tibet from other provinces of China, you will need a valid China visa which allows you to travel, work or study in China, with this visa you can come to Tibet (but journalist, diplomats, public government service people, military persons and reporters, etc. must travel via Chinese government specified authorities, in most cases, these people are not allowed in), any Tibet travel agencies here in Tibet do not organize tours for those people whose jobs are listed as above. And the regular China visa categories are “L” tour visa, “Z” or “M” “Q” visa etc.
- Foreign travelers from a few countries such as Singapore and Japan may not need a China visa for specific period of time, in this case, these travelers can get Tibet entry permits without China visa. But please be noted that, you need to double check with your local china consulate to assure how long you can travel in China without a visa.
- Once you can travel in China legally, you can also get Tibet entry permits from local Tibet travel agency like us easily.
- To apply travel permits for foreign travelers entering Tibet from a city in China, none-restricted occupation travelers need to provide valid passport, valid China visa at least 2-3 weeks prior to arrival date to Tibet, and different travel destination in Tibet may require you to provide these documents even 30-40 days prior to arrival date because of many more complicated permits application process. These destinations are Kailash, North-loop-the Grand of Tibet, east Tibet bordering Kham (Sichuan province).
- Foreign travelers entering Tibet from mainland China can choose flight, train or overland driving. All the trains to Tibet will go through Xi’ning, Qinghai province, while the popular driving route is from Chengdu and Shangri-La or Kashgar or Xi’ning. The most picturesque driving adventure is between Tibet and Sichuan or Yunnan.
- If you enter Tibet from Nepal, you can go only by air from Kathmandu to Lhasa or by overland driving via Gyirong port or Purang (Taklakot) border, these are the only open borders between Nepal and Tibet. Currently the Indian-Tibet Sino border is not open for public.
- All foreign travelers from Nepal to Tibet must have 3 working days in Kathmandu to wait for the “Tibet Group Visa” prior to departure date for Tibet. This A4 size Tibet group visa (actually it is a china visa) document paper can only be issued through a registered travel agency in Kathmandu, but the important point is: any registered travel agency in Nepal has to obtain an official visa invitation letter photo copy issued from Tibet tourism Bureau here in Lhasa. To get this visa letter, a local Tibet travel agency like us can apply together with the Tibet permits around 2-5 weeks before visitor’s arrival in Tibet. So, travelers only need to bear in mind that, they do not apply any visa or permits by themselves, they just need to provide passport photo copies to Tibet based agency like us and we will handle all the rest.
- There is no train between Nepal and Tibet however. Kathmandu-Lhasa airfare is more expensive than via Chengdu, Chongqing, or Xi’an city in most cases.
- The overland driving between Kathmandu to Tibet border Gyirong is time consuming. The overall short distance may take around 10-15 hours especially in rainy seasons of July and August.
- No matter you enter Tibet from Nepal or mainland China, valid China visa (or Tibet group visa from Nepal) and Tibet permits are mandatory. And different permits are for different travel itineraries and specified schedule.
- When you fly from a city in China to Lhasa, original permits will be needed, however, if you fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa, you only need Tibet group visa for flight checking in(our Tibetan tour guide will take original permits to pick you up)
What documents do I have to send to you to secure all necessary Tibet Travel permits?
A short document list as below:
- Photocopies of valid passports data page for all travelers.
- Photocopies of valid China visa.
- Working certificate or student Id card copies if you do not hold “L” China visa but Z or F type of China visa.
- Marriage certificate or relatives’ statement with signature if you hold Q category China visa.
While booking your Tibet tour, we would like you to send us the copy of your Passport and China Visa for every member of the group. The copy of passport should be the same one you will be using to get your Chinese visa. If you renew your passports, but the China via is on the expired passport, please provide both passports photo copies.
If your visa is not the “L” category, i.e., tour category china visa, you will need to provide us the additional supporting document such as student certificates, resident and Work Permit and so on.
Please provide passport copies at least 2-4 weeks before arrival date. For Tibet tour without Kailash, eastern Tibet, North-loop Grand Tibet, we can accept urgent tour booking 2 weeks before your arrival date, but if your trip covers the places mentioned here, you’d better send us your passport photo copies 4 weeks to 5 weeks in advance at least, most of our Kailash travelers provide us passport copies half year in advance. And they can provide China visa copies 1 month in advance.
If you travel to Tibet from Nepal, we will only need your valid passport copies. Yet, we will have to apply for the Chinese Group Visa from the Chinese Embassy in Nepal.
Can I apply for Tibet Travel permit or Tibet group visa by ourselves?Definitely No, you cannot apply for Tibet travel permit or Tibet group visa directly. Tibet Travel Permit is only issued by Tibet Tourism Administration in Lhasa, together with other Chinese authorities such as military office, and foreign affairs office, national security office, public security bureau, etc. Therefore, an only local registered travel agency based in Lhasa can help you apply for it. Hence it is impossible for you to apply permits by yourself, and you will have to book your Tibet tour directly or indirectly with a local travel agency in Lhasa.
What is the Tibet travel documents list so I can check before coming?
During your traveling in Tibet, the three main primary documents are passports, China visa (or Tibet group visa) and Tibet entry permits. Different tour destination will need further document such as military permits, foreign affairs border passing permit, alien’s travel permits,
- Valid Passports.
- Valid China visa (for entering from China);
- Tibet group visa (for entering from Nepal);
- Tibet entry travel permits for all Tibet tours;
- Alien’s travel permits for trip covering Everest. Tsetang (Samye monastery), Kailash and north-loop Grand Tibet, eastern Tibet such as Draksumtso lake;
- Foreign affairs permit (policy keeps changing on this section)
- Border defense passing allowance permit (trip between Nepal and Tibet)
- Military permits.
Can a foreigner travel Tibet without travel permit?
Definitely No. it is not possible to travel to and in Tibet without a Tibet travel permit. No international travelers can visit in Tibet autonomous region of China without Tibet travel permit. It is mandatory for all the foreign nationals to get this permit prior to your arrival in Tibet. Only a local Tibet travel agency here in Tibet can help you make this document in Lhasa.
At all the entry and exit point to Tibet, the authority people will check the permit, passport, and Visa.
Can I have a few days as my own free time in Lhasa without hiring a guide?
Definitely Yes. it is possible but your activity is very limited. You can have some days free time in Lhasa to walk around, and do your shopping, try some local food, drink tea, coffee, and spend your leisure time, etc., BUT never enter a tourist attraction if without a tour guide. Furthermore, you cannot leave Lhasa for any other places in Tibet individually, especially when there is no tour guide and a licensed tour vehicle. You cannot extend further since there are many permits and identity checking points for exiting Lhasa.
How can I apply for a Chinese visa from my home country?
You can apply it through the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country. Tibet local guide travel service team strongly recommend applying it without mentioning about your travel plan to Tibet. Your application might get rejected as Tibet is a sensitive region of China. We helped many foreign travelers providing China tour itinerary references together with their own flights booking references, hotel booking references, etc., they can normally get China visa without any hassles.
If you do mention your trip covers Tibet, we will have to apply and send the Chinese Visa Invitation from Tibet Tourism Bureau office here in Lhasa. For this, you will need to go to the Chinese Embassy, not the consulate to apply China visa. The Visa invitation will only address to Embassy, not to the consulate. So, we suggest you try to avoid complicated and time-consuming process but choose the simplified and workable process. However, China visa application is beyond our Tibet travel agency, and policy keeps changing due to many factors such as political climate, international relationship, etc., please consult with your local visa agent for more information.
For your reference, the Visa invitation letter can be only applied after Tibet permits application approval. Therefore, you will have to book the tour with us and send us the Passport copies to start making the permit at least 2-3 months beforehand. Please remember, we can never complete the Permit process without the copy of your China visa. So, you will have to email your passport copies to us as soon as you get it.
For what kind of Tibet tour do I need additional permits?
Technically Tibet entry permit is enough to go if you are only visiting the Lhasa Prefecture. If you are visiting other prefectures in Tibet, you will need the additional permit depending on the region you will be visiting.
The military permit is required if you are traveling to Mount Kailash, traveling overland from and to Xinjiang and traveling overland to and from Yunnan and Sichuan.
Alien’s Travel Permit (ATP) is needed if you are visiting from Lhasa to other prefectures in Tibet. Therefore, Mount Kailash in Ngari prefecture, Mount Everest in Shigatse prefecture, Samye Monastery in Lhoka prefecture and Nyingchi prefecture.
Additionally, there is another permit called Borders Permit. You will require it if you are traveling to any border region and arriving from Nepal to Tibet by flight.
But you will not need to worry about it all. Experienced Tibet travel agency in Lhasa will know which permits are required as per the tour itinerary.
How long does it take to apply our Tibet travel permit?
The duration of the Tibet travel permit application process varies from 2 weeks to 4 weeks prior to your arrival date. The authorities do not accept very early permits application submission. Sometimes those people in authority slow down the process without prior notice and all agents have to wait. As professional and experienced Tibet local travel agency and tour operator, “Tibet Local Guide travel service” team always suggest foreign travelers book Lhasa tour at least 3 weeks before arrival date, and book Kailash tours or other restricted regional tours at least 4-6 weeks prior to arrival date. To submit permits application for any Tibet tours around 4 weeks in advance can ensure on time application. If you have urgent booking, please talk with our consultants and see if it is doable or not, and urgent handling cost may occur. Every year, we did help some travelers for last minute Tibet tour booking.
Do I need multiple entry China visa to continue with china tour after Tibet?
Definitely No, Tibet is a part of China, called TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region of China) , single entry China visa or the Tibet group visa can allow your China tour after Tibet. BUT, please remember that, if you hold Tibet group visa (entering Tibet from Nepal) but want to travel to China after Tibet, you will need to hold individual pieces of the group visa to travel individually in China by yourself; while if you travel with the name listed group members together, all people can hold one “Group visa paper documents) since all are travelling together. Otherwise you will get issues when checking in hotel in China. Since 2019, most hotels in China need passengers to have face scanning and ID and or passports registry to check in a hotel room. Most travel agencies in Tibet do not know this, especially many agencies out of Tibet do not have this kind of experiences.
Do you provide Tibet Permit only service?
No, we don’t sell Tibet Permit service only since it is illegal. No agent is allowed to sell the Tibet Travel Permit. Even though on the permits itself, it says free and no commission fee, the permits application process and responsibility of managing foreign traveler’s travel in Tibet is strictly regulated. Tibet permits application is locally and lawful per the China local rules in Tibet for foreign travelers to ensure Tibet long run development, we have to obey the local rules and respect local policy regulations. So do not just book a permit only service, as local experienced Tibet travel agency, we can organize your trip with your maximum free time in Lhasa, meanwhile, not requesting you to hire a guide all the time. This is good for LHASA tours, if your trip covers places out of Lhasa, you will need to book tour including guide, driver and car at least.
Furthermore, we are only allowed to apply the permit when we provide Tibet tour service, which includes professional tour guide, tourist licensed vehicle with a driver and/or hotel accommodation.
All Tibet travel permits application is submitted by local registered travel agencies here in Lhasa, Tibet. No matter the agency is Han Chinese registered or Tibetan registered, if there is legal tourism license, permits can be applied. However, an agency like “Tibet Local Guide Travel Service” official name is Tibet Norpel Lin Travel service has many years experiences with focus on serving only foreign travelers, we can provide hassles free permits and quality Tibet tour services. It is one-stop shop Tibet tour solution with better local prices.
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