Is passport must?
Yes, it is must for all the travel.
Does my India Mobile work?
Yes, but kindly take international roaming from your provider.
Can a single person or a couple join the group?
We have fixed departure tours by Helicopter and also by 4500 CC MOdel Landcruiser Vehicles which one can join subject to availability in the specific departure. All our departures are GUARANTEED.
What are the different ways of travelling to Kailash?
There are 4 ways to reach Mount Kailash from India.
By road from India. The Government of India organises tours to Lake Manasarovar. This is a 28-30 day trek but the disadvantage is that it has to be booked well in advance and there is no certainty that one can go despite being in physical shape, because the number of seats is limited and participants are chosen by a draw by MInistry of External Affairs, India. About 400 people make it from the 6000 that apply each year.
By air to Kathmandu and from there by road to Lake Manasarovar at the base of Mount Kailash. One may fly to Kathmandu from Delhi, Varanasi, Kolkata & Mumbai. Banglore flight is suspended as of now. This has become the most popular route.
Helicopter tours of Kailash for those who are short of time or cannot take the rigours of a grueling high altitude road journey. The tour uses fixed wing aircraft for the flight from Kathmandu to Nepalganj and from there to Simikot. From Simikot a helicopter flies to Hilsa. Landcruisers are then used to reach Manasarovar.
Tour via Lhasa wherein one will fly to Kathmandu and then to Lhasa by China Air and from there one will visit various towns in Tibet like Shigatse, Gyantse, Lhatse, Prayang etc. and will reach Mansarovar. On the way back, there are three options :
drive back to Lhasa and fly back to Kathmandu
drive to Hilsa and fly via Helicopter and fixed wing aircraft to Kathmandu
drive back to Kathmandu via Kodari Border (Friendship Bridge).
What kind of fitness is required?
Fitness is very crucial. It is advisable to get a medical examination with your regular doctor before you plan this trip. Anyone suffering from back problems may find the long drives over bumpy roads difficult. People suffering from asthma or any kind of dust allergy are forewarned that the amount of dust on the road necessitates wearing a mask. Apart from that, it is a good idea to prepare in advance with brisk walking, and some regimen of exercise or preferably yoga asanas and pranayama. Eventually, for most people the Kailash parikrama is an act of faith.
How safe is it for Indians to move around in Katmandu these days?Also given the recent disturbances in Nepal with the insurgents, do you think the road trip in Nepal going north of Kathmandu (i.e. to and from Zhangmu) may have some security problems?
Nepal is pretty safe to travel. Otherwise also, till date in the history of Nepal, moists have never hurt any tourist. Now as moists are also a part of the government, Nepal as a destination becomes even more safe.
What kind of food is served on the tour?
For breakfast one gets high energy and nutritious beverages like complan, bournvita, horlicks along with tea/coffee. There is porridge/cornflakes and the menu alternates pancakes, upma, pakoras etc., and bread with butter/ jams etc. are there. Lunch is generally packed and served at a scenic spot near some water pool. It consists of a tetra pack (Frooti etc) or lime water with glucose, puri/chapatti & vegetables, tinned fruits/sweets, pickle. Dinner is at the campsite and the menu is very varied with soup, Indian, Chinese and European cuisine and a desert. Water collected from streams near the campsite is boiled and hence safe for drinking. You can add iodine drops or chlorine tablets.
Which is the best time to go on the tour?
While tours operate from April to September in that region, please check the fixed day tours, and itinerary for details on dates. The Tibet plateau is a dry region and rain/precipitation is very little so any month between May-September is good except for August when you can expect heavy rainfall in Tibet. Weather wise although May and September will be colder. However, June-Sep, is the rainy season in Nepal and on the road to the border, landslides do take place and might require a 5-6 km walk on extreme cases. Weather in Tibet is very uncertain.
What is the layout of the campsites?
Campsites have excellent locations usually next to a clean water source. Sleeping tents are laid out next to each other. The dining tent (with table & chairs) and the kitchen tent are near the water source. The toilet tents are at an extreme end of the campsite. The toilets have dug-pit loos. High altitude sleeping bags and carry mats which can withstand very low temperatures are provided.
Try and make friends with the Tibetan guide and driver. They may appear stand-offish initially but are warm and simple people. Small gifts like Hindi movie cassettes, dark glasses, a cap/hat etc. go a long way in overcoming language problems and establishing rapport.
The first two to three days are particularly tough as you get used to the rigours of the journey and acclimatise to the sudden change of altitude. This can cause breathlessness, lethargy, drowsiness, nausea, lack of appetite, sleeplessness, headache, irritation, anger, lack of judgement. Drink plenty of water (4-5 litres a day), remain calm and quiet, avoid petty arguments, rest as much as possible, eat properly at mealtimes. Talk to the helpful and caring staff and inform them of any difficulties.
If you are not allergic to sulpha drugs (please consult your physician), take one tablet of Diamox at Kathmandu the night before leaving for Tibet as well as on the 2nd and 3rd nights, or even longer. Alternatively, take half tablet in the morning and half in the evening. Now a days, we do have non-sulphar drugs available by Ranbaxy. Oxygen cylinders and Gamow bags are carried for anyone having major problems.
If you can't do the parikrama, say so. Don't take the altitude lightly. Many people understand at Darchen that the parikrama cannot be done by them and decide accordingly. We will make alternate arrangements for you to stay back at Darchen (at extra cost payable directly to the lodge, approx Rs.2,500).