Kailash Parikrama, 3 days Trek Around Kailash

  • Hemanta Budhathoki
  • Last Updated on May 26, 2024

Table of Contents

Kailash Parikrama

Kailash Parikrama, known as Kailash Kora is one of the holiest walking around Mount Kailash of far western Tibet. Everyone comes to make Kailash Kora walking circuit around holy Mountain Kailash through highest pass Dolma La (5,645m). Local Tibetan people make Kailash Kora in a single day. Most of the foreigners take three days and few foreigners take only 2 days too. It is a 52-kilometer whole walking start from 4,600 miters Tarboche valley. The Kailash Kora route is from Darhen to Dirapuk Juthulpuk and reach back to Darchen. It is called outer Kora.  

                                                                                       Map of Kailash outer and inner Kora

Mount Kailash is the most sacred mountain for mainly four religions. They are Buddhist, Hindu, Bon, and Jain. Pilgrimages from these religions come in this region to have a holy bath at Lake Mansarovar and walk around Mount Kailash. It is believed that taking bath at Lake wash every sin done in a lifetime and get relax from every disease. Making circuits around holy Mount Kailash is a lifetime experience to get blessed from God. Thousand of pilgrimages meet on the way of Parikrama from different countries. The inspiring local pilgrimage peoples come here to make harder Kailash kora by prostrate who will take about 3 weeks' time to complete the whole circuit.  

                                                                                               Local peoples are in Kailash kora

The first day of Kailash Kora/ Kailash Parikrama 

The first day of Kailash kora starts from Darchen. It is about 7 kilometer driving towards Tarboche valley also called the valley of God. Peoples who want to avoid any driving can walk from Darchen, there is a different walking path to starts from Darchen itself. Mount Kailash South face is just a stunning from here. After walking for another 2 hours, we can see the western face of Kailash too. From here we start to walk. It also has the option to take a horse and helper paying extra costs personally. The horse and helper cost in June 2023 was Chinese Yuan 2,700 and it is for 3 days. Pre-booking is required to get a horse and helper in Kora. Your Tibetan guide can reserve it 2 or 1 day an advance. First day is easy walking through bank of the river coming from Indus River valley and north face of Mount Kailash. It is about 21 kilometer takes 6 to 7 hours' time. Those who have hired horses can ride the entire path. Make sure the horse here is not a trained one; it is a kind of wild horse, has to be very careful while riding. There are only local tea houses available on the way to buy water, have some tea and Tibetan noodles. We reach Derapuk (4,900m) at the end of the day where we accommodate in a local guest house. Guesthouses here are only available as group sharing. The north face of Mount Kailash is clearly visible from here. Golden Kailash during sunset and sunrise from Derapuk. Peoples also can have one extra day here to go to Charansparsa (base of Mount Kailash) and return back in the same day. It is part of Kailash Inner Kora.

                                                     Derapuk - River valley, Monastery, local guesthouses, and tent houses 

                                                                        View of Kailash North Face from Derapuk (4,900m)

The second day of Kailash Parikrama

The second day of Kailash Parikrama is quite challenging. If you have done and Trekking in Nepal, it can compare with some of the hardest mountain passes of Nepal. It is walking through a rocky way to reach the highest pass Dolma La (5,645m). From the first, the camp, have to cross more than 700 miters by hard walking into thin air. Serious downhill and longer flat land walking after crossing the pass, night reach Juthulpuk altitude of 4,700miters. It is suggested not staying for more than 10 minutes at the Dolma La pass top. Once you reach there, immediately walking down to the low altitude. A horse can carry peoples only up to the pass. Downhill it is about 2 hours walking have to cross by self walking. Horses are not able to carry peoples in this rocky walking downhill path. The valley is incredible with ice-covered hills and ruins. The decorative Dolma La pass with huge Tibetan prayer flags. Crossing immediately after the pass, beautiful rocky valley with Gauri Kunda including other small beautifully lakes are picturesque. It has the holiest importance of Gauri Kunda. The whole Parikrama day today is about 11 hours walking including resting time in between. The first section of serious uphill till the pass is about 5 hours; another 2 hours to get down till the tent house and again another 3 hours easy walking over flat land till today’s camp Juthulpuk. The view of the North face of Kailash is panoramic with other mountain hills. The eastern face of Kailash can be seen today on the way. When you reach Juthulpuk, you won't see any view of Mount Kailash.   

                                       Mount Kailash and other hills covered by the show - seen from the bottom of Dolma La pass     

                                                                           Dolma La pass (5,645m) with Tibetan prayer flags 

                                                                                  After Dolma La pass, Downhill to Juthulpuk

The third day of Kailash Parikrama

The third day of Kailash Kora is easy and short. It is about 3 hours walking on totally flat land to reach up to the driving station. Walking is through beautiful Juthulpuk valley today. Big grassland grazing fields with yaks and ships can be seen on the way. Nomad tent houses and their lifestyle can be seen from closed. The fourth and last face of Mount Kailash's eastern face is visible if the weather is clear. A horse can carry the entire path if someone has hired it. Kailash Kora or Kailash Parikrama is not so hard if your body is fit in the high altitude and has a habit of walking/ trekking. It is suggested to prepare Kailash Kora for a year's time. Morning jugging, involve in small hiking and regular walking at least 2 hours a day is more helpful for Kailash Kora. Kailash Kora is not easy for every peoples, it is with high risk for sugar and high blood pressure patients. Every person gets altitude sickness at the time of entering Kailash. It has to be treated very carefully. Eating properly, drinking more than 3 littler water every day is more helpful. Altitude might kill peoples if you even do small carelessly.

Join with small group Kailash Tour to get more facilities and tacking care from local staff. Small group Kailash tour is for foreigners other than Indian passport holders and for Nepali. For Indian Passport holders, we have different offers.  

We open booking of Mount Kailash tour through-out the year. The best season is from May till September Month. Kailash Overland Tour, Kailash tour via Lhasa, and Kailash Helicopter Tour. You can choose to join our group or create your own private tour. Send us an email to get more information.

Video about 3 days Kailash Kora/ Kailash Parikrama

How difficult is Kailash Parikrama?

Kailash Parikrama is only difficult for those peoples who are not used to hiking and walking. Much important is current weather condition in the region. Easier if the weather is sunny and clear sky. If weather turns bad, much colder and icefall even during the days which make Kailash parikrama more difficult for all the peoples. Kailash Parikrama starts from an elevation of 4,600 meters which is a high altitude land so your body should fit for altitude. First day reaches at 4,900 meters. Second day has to cross 5,600 meters high mountain pass. Most of the pilgrimages from India choose to hire personal helpers and horses to make their Kailash kora easy. There are some pre-activities to make successful Kailash kora. Here we have described 8 tips to make successful Kailash kora.    

How long is the Kailash parikrama?

Kailash Parikrama is 52 kilometers. It is 3 days trekking and has the option to take a local horse and personal helper. First day Kailash parikrama is easy walking up to 4,900 meters Derapuk north face of Mount Kailash. The hardest day of Kailash Kora is the second day which might go up to 11 hours. The first section is serious uphill about 3 hours to reach 5,600 meters Dolma La pass and another 2 hours steep down to meet the tent camp to get some foods or drinks. Horse only can take you up to this uphill but cannot take you to go down. You have to have completed this section by walking. Again another flat walking is easy but long to reach Juthulpuk overnight. In this section, your hired horse can carry you entirely. The end day of Kailash parikrama is short walking about 3 hours which is flat land and horse can carry you the entire route. Kailash parikrama does not feel that hard for those peoples who are trekkers or sportiest. A person with diabetes and high blood pressure also get a very hard time in high altitude areas so Kailash Parikrama is hard for them and not recommend to do it instead reach only up to Mansarovar and Kailash viewpoint.

Conclusion of Kailash Kora/ Kailash Parikrama

Kailash Parikrama is walking around the Kailash mountain which is a pilgrimage walking. It is totally 52 kilometer walking starting from Darchen the base camp of Mt Kailash. Darchen is in the altitude of 4670 meters. The first day of Parikrama reach at the altitude of 4900 meters after walking about 5/6 hours Dirapuk and Second day is the hardest day to cross highest Dolma- La pass of 5600 meters altitude and walking for 9-11 hours. The second day overnight is in the altitude of 4760 meters Juthulpuk. Third day is easy day walking 3 hours a flag way till Darchen. Parkrama starting place reach after several days driving in the Tibetan highway either from Kathmandu Nepal or from Lhasa the capital city of Tibet. For your parikrama assistance, you can hire a personal helper to handle your bag to be free walker or hire both helper and horse, if you are not able to walk. But horse does not carry person in the down hill that is after Dolma-la pass which should finish only by walking for 3 hours. Local guest houses are for accommodation to overnight.


Hemanta Budhathoki

Hemanta Budhathoki

Hemanta Budhathoki is team leader of Nepal Highland Trekking and travel company. 

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