This towering snow-capped peak of smooth black rock is located in the Himalayan Mountains of western Tibet. Mt Kailash is a sacred destination for multiple religions, including Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bon followers. Despite varying beliefs, each sect believes this sky-high peak to be among the holiest sites.
Rising up some 22,000 feet above sea level, the surrounding terrain is beautiful, but unforgiving. Two freshwater lakes, including Lake Manasarowar, the highest body of freshwater in the world, as well as several streams and breathtaking scenery make a voyage to Mt Kailash a truly epic adventure. A 32-mile path winds its way up the moutain and typically calls for three days to complete, but travelers say only foreigners make the trip to the top, since religious pilgrims believe walking around the mountain’s base 108 times will remove all sins.
Since Mt Kailash sees such little foot traffic, amenities are few and far between. Travelers should plan to carry water and supplies and prepare for a harrowing, but memorable, journey. Guides are recommended, and porters can be hired in the nearby city of Darchen.
Travelers and pilgrims typically start their journey to Mt Kailash from the city of Darchen. Yaks and porters can be hired for about Y100 per day, and permits are required.