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Kailash Mansarovar Travel Guide

Well renowned religious journey, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is the most difficult treks of Asia. Pilgrims from all parts of globe participate in this journey of spiritual significance to Mount Kailash.

Every year certain number of batches go with a lot of pilgrims. Between June and September pilgrims undertake this pilgrimage for customary circumambulation (Parikrama).

Mount Kailash and the Mansarovar Lake altogether are regarded as one of the sacred pilgrimage destinations in Himalayas and it is considered to be of great religious importance in Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. It’s a must thing for pilgrims to be physically fit as this journey involves trekking up to a height of 19,500 feet in an extremely cold weather.

A Complete Travel Guide to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
Holy Mount Kailash

Religious Significance of Mount Kailash

Mount Kailash is the striking peak standing in the remote south west corner of Tibet in the Himalayan Mountains. It is known as one of the most sacred mountains and has become important pilgrimage for four faiths: Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Tibetan religion of bon.

It is believed that visiting Kailash and following this tradition will bring in good fortune and washes away sins of one’s lifetime. Also, Mansarovar Lake, located at the southern foot of mount Kailash has exceptional beauty that varies from crystal clear blue water near the shores and a deep emerald green color at the centre.

As per Hindu mythology, it is believed that the Lake was formed by Lord Brahma. The best time to visit Mansarovar Lake is during springs.  The yatra also includes circumambulation (Parikrama) of Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake.

Best Time to Visit Mount Kailash

Summers (May-August) - The climate is moderate and pleasant with an average temperature of 15 degree Celsius then climate is ideal for outdoor activities. Around May and June, Saga Dawa, a huge religious festival is celebrated at Mount Kailash.

Monsoons (September-November) – Along with the drop in temperature to 10 Degree Celsius, little rainfall is experienced. Only professional trekkers can embark on this tour in monsoons as the way becomes slippery and the region is prone to landslides.

Winters (December-April) – With the minimum temperature of 5 Degree Celsius, the days become chilly. Snowfall is often witnessed during winters and the temperature scales between 0 to -15 Degree Celsius. Also, only trekking professionals with full experience are only advised to take the journey as the entire route is covered by snow.

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Cost

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra by road starts from INR 1, 05,000/ person for 12 nights and 13 days and the helicopter yatra cost starts from INR 1,60,000/ person for  9 nights and 10 days. The itinerary covers the following destinations -Kathmandu, Nyalam, Dongba/Paryang, Mansarovar, Darchen, Diraphuk and Zulthulphuk.

The cost is exclusive of service tax of about 3.09% of the total bill. Along with these, airfares from home - Kathmandu - home, photography, beverages, telephone call, clients travel insurance, extra cost in the event of landslide for hiring additional transportation, expenses of personal urgent visa fee, etc   are some of the exclusions from the cost of the package. Horse/yak riding for Kailash Parikrama is also an additional expense. The cost is directly payable to the horse/yak rider.

Kailash Yatra Package Inclusions

Some of the inclusions are arrival and departure transportation, accommodation in descent hotels, guide, first aid kits, permits and sightseeing tour of Budhanikantha and Pashupatinath

Accommodation Facilities for Pilgrimage

For the accommodation of yatris the arrangements are done in descent hotels. The rooms of these hotels are well-equipped with all modern amenities to ensure a high level comfort. Also, there are campsites, where camps are arranged and these campsites are facilitated with all the basic amenities such as hot/cold water, washroom, heater  and other comfortable facilities for pilgrims. Moreover only vegetarian food like dal, chawal, roti, khichadi, papad, kheer, juice, fruits, mineral water, tea, coffee, bread, milk, cornflakes and more is served at guest houses and campsites. Additionally, pilgrims are suggested to carry sufficient snacks to add a little variety to their meals.

Nathula Pass : A New Route for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
Nathula Pass : A New Route for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

Alternative Route for Kailash Mansarovar

Now Indian pilgrims would be able to visit Kailash Mansarovar in the Tibetan autonomous region of China through the new route of Nathula in Sikkim from next year, announced by state tourism department officials. Work is in good progress and the Sikkim government is aiming at the first batch of pilgrims visiting Kailash Mansarovar using this new route in June,2015.

More than 1600 pilgrims, moving in ten batches are expected to take the Nathula Pass route to Kailash Mansarovar next year.  The tour is expected to provide them with an even better understanding of the feasibility and further requirements of this pilgrimage.

Facilities for proper weights and measures, warehouses, inspection posts, rest houses, improved transportation facilities, proper roadway and better opportunities for tourists need to still be provided for further growth.

FAQ For Kailash Mansarovar Yatra (frequently asked questions)

1.  How can one travel to Kailash Mansarovar?

Mentioned below the various mode of travel to mount Kailash :

a. Kailsah Mansarovar Yatra by Road
One can fly to Kathmandu as there are various connecting flights from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Varanasi, and from Kathmandu there are roads connecting to Kailash Mansarovar Lake.

b. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra by Helicopter
Those who don’t have time, helicopter yatra is the best option for them. The itinerary includes flight from Nepalgunj and thereafter connecting to Simikot. Further it flies to Hilsa and finally reaches Mansarovar. The entire pilgrimage is completed in 10 days.

c. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra via Lhasa
After reaching Kathmandu, fly to Lhasa (China visa is required by both Indian and foreign traveler). Therefore, to reach Mansarover one needs to travel Tibet towns namely Gyantse, Shigatse, Prayang, Lhatse, etc.

Returning Options:
  • Drive to Lhasa and then fly back to Kathmandu.
  • Drive to Hilsa and then fly back to Kathmandu.
  • Drive back to Kathmandu via Kodari border.

2.  Things to do in Kailash Mansarovar

The most religious thing to do during the Yatra is circumambulation (Parikrama) of Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake. Also, one can attend Saga Dawa, a huge religious festival which celebrates the three life events of Buddha’s life- Birth, Nirvana, Parinirvana; that is celebrated at Mount Kailash.

3.  Kailash Mansarovar Yatra during Full Moon?

Full Moon days are considered auspicious in Hindu religion so it becomes more crowded. But special arrangements are prepared to manage the crowd.

4.  Do we need to carry our Passports?

Yes, valid passports should be carried during the yatra.

5.  How important fitness is to undergo this expedition?

It’s a must thing for pilgrims to be physically fit as this journey involves trekking up to a height up to 19,500 feet in an extremely cold weather. People suffering from asthma or dust allergy are forewarned and suggested to carry mask. Also, people with back problems should avoid yatra, as long journey over bumpy roads might be a problem.

6.  Does Indian mobiles work over there?

Yes, Indian mobiles work here, but don’t forget to take international roaming from your service provider. There might be unavailability of networks on the day of Parikrama.

7.  Are there any specific clothing guidelines?

Descent and comfortable clothing is required as the yatra is strenuous.

Note : Are you willing to know more about pilgrimages? Must read about the 5 Famous Hindu Yatra in india

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Nathula Pass : A New Route for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

Nathula Pass, A New Gateway to Kailash Mansarovar
Nathula Pass, A New Gateway to Kailash Mansarovar
India and China have signed a bilateral agreement regarding the access of Nathula route; this will be an alternate route for the existing Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand.

It is expected that more than 1600 pilgrims, in ten batches will be taking Kailash Mansarovar yatra through Nathula Pass, Sikkim route by June next year.

For this purpose, two senior officials of Ministry of External Affairs have inspected whether all the plans have been efficiently implemented or not.

The new route eradicates the hardships of the pilgrims and aims at providing ease especially to the senior citizens. 17th Mile and Sherathang have been finalized as acclimatization centers for the pilgrims. As per the proposal, pilgrims will be required to halt for at least two days in Gangtok and then head to 17th Mile and Sherathang for further acclimatization before getting into thinner air of Tibet.

Also, the pilgrims can now drive through this route to reach Kailash Mansarovar. For this, they will be starting from Gangtok (Sikkim) to Shigatse (Tibet). And from Shigatse they can hire a van or board a bus in order to reach Mansarovar and Kailash.

Talking about Nepal route, it takes about ten days to cover the journey. Uttarakhand route takes twenty-seven days. And the Nathula Pass route takes eight days. Nathula Route is open from March to November, while Lipulekh route is open from June to September.

[ If interested? Check out the list of Packages for Kailash Mansarovar ]

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Khajuraho Temples: A Catalogue of Desire

Khajuraho Group of Monuments better known as Khajuraho Temples consists of 20 temples; Hindu temples and Jain Temples. Off course their erotic ornamentation has played a significant role in making Khajuraho an important tourist site, but there are more to these magnificent temples than those sculptures carved on the exteriors of the structures.

Precision in the carvings and legendary tale of these temples are captivating. UNESCO has listed Khajuraho Group of Monuments as a World Heritage Site. Get to know more about Khajuraho group of temples as you read forth.

View of Kandariya Mahadev Temple in Khajuraho
View of Kandariya Mahadev Temple in Khajuraho

What is the history of Khajuraho Temples

The temples are sculpted in the Nagara Style of architecture and date back to 950 AD, during the reign of Chandela dynasty. According to the records, by the 12th century Khajuraho had about 80 temples, out of which only 20 have survived. The temples roughly cover an area of 6 km sq. Out of these 20, Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is considered the best of all. Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is the largest and grandest of all, and is believed to have been built by King Ganda. The temple of Vishnu (aka Temple of Lakshmana) was built by Yasovarman and his successor indulged in the making of the temple of Parsvanatha, Visvanatha and Vaidyanatha. Read further and know more about Khajuraho.

Where is Khajuraho Temple Located

Khajuraho Group of Temples have been divided into three groups as per their locations: Eastern Group, Western Group and Southern Group. Khajuraho is located in Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh, India. 

What is the Entry Fee to visit Khajuraho Temples

Price of the tickets varies between INR 20 (daily) and 600 (seasonal). Ticket worth Rs 600 is meant for the people who plan to attend all the events all throughout the week. While in the INR 20 ticket, you can attend one or two performances in one day. There are separate charges for the camera (RS 100), on per day basis.

Sound and Light Show

Khajuraho Light and Sound Show is conducted the tourism department. As dusk starts to set in, the gardens of western group of Khajuraho Temples start to glimmer with different shades of light. This show reflects the lifestyle during the Chandela Dynasty, informing about the construction, significance and history of these temple (In English and Hindi). The stories are narrated in the voice of Amitabh Bachchan.  Timings of the show are- English: 6:30 Pm to 7:25 Pm, Hindi: 7:40 Pm, to 8:35 Pm.

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments

The Khajuraho Group of Temples has Hindu as well as Jain Temple. All of them are built similarly, and it is said that the temples intended to create a harmony between these two religions. You can find most eminent temples in the western zones like Varaha, Lakshmana, Matangeshwara, Mahadeva, Kandariya, Chopra Tank, Chitragupta, Prvati, Vishwanath and Nandi.

While in the eastern and southern groups, don’t forget to visit Ghantai, Adinath, Parshvanath, Shantinath, Chaturbhuj and Dulhadeo. The temple of Vishnu (aka Temple of Lakshmana) was built by Yasovarman and his successor indulged in the making of the temple of Parsvanatha, Visvanatha and Vaidyanath. Listed down are the best temples of the group, and you must not miss them.

1. Eastern Group of Temple

These are divided in two parts- Jain Temple and Hindu Temples. Some of the best temples in eastern side are Hanuman Temple, Vamana Temple, Parsvanath Temple, Adinath Temple, Ghantai Temple and Brahma Temple.

2. Southern Group of Temples

Dulha Deo Temple and Chaturbhuja Temple are the two very important temples. Dulha Deo is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built somewhere around 1100 AD and 1150 AD.

3. Western Group of Temples

This group is mainly comprised of Hindu Temples like Kandariya Mahadeo, Chaunsat Yogini Temple, Chitragupta Temple, Varaha Temple, Lakshmana Temple, Vishwanath Temple and Matangeshwara Temple.

Archeological Museum

The museum was established in 1967 and exhibits a collection of archeological findings and artifacts. This is an open-air museum and is located near the Matangeshwar Temple of the western group of temples.

Festivals in Khajuraho

Khajuraho Dance Festival

Khajuraho Dance Festival

The festival is organized by Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad. It is a weeklong festival that falls in the month of February. People gather in this spectacular venue, in an open air auditorium and behold the performances of various Indian classic dance forms like Kathakali, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam and others.  Usually the gathering takes place in Chandragupta Temple, Surya Temple or Vishwanatha Temple.

How to reach Khajurao

By Air

Khajuraho has its own airport called Khajuraho Airport. It is connected to Delhi, Agra and Varanasi, with the services of Jet Airways, Air India and SpiceJet.

By Train

Nearest railway station from Khajuraho is Mahoba, at a distance of about 77 Km. Mahoba railway station is a broad-gauged railway station connected to different cities of the country. You can further opt to take a train for Khajuraho or hire a taxi.

By Road

Khajuraho is an important city wherein there is ease of transportation. From bus services to private cabs, you have many options for commuting in and around Khajuraho.

Best time to visit Khajuraho

Khajuraho in summer - From April till July

Summers are recommended to be avoided, as the weather gets really hot and uncomfortable. May and June are the hottest months of the season and the temperature may rise up to 47 degrees Celsius.
Khajuraho in Monsoon - From July till September

Monsoon season brings life to Khajuraho. This is a brilliant tune to visit Khajuraho, as it gets refreshing and pleasant during this season. 

Khajuraho in winter - From October till March

Winter is the best time to visit Khajuraho. In the coldest months December and January, temperature dips to 4 degrees Celsius. Visit Khajuraho in February and don’t forget to be a part of Khajuraho Dance Festival.
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First Winter Chardham Yatra Starts From Mukhba

First Winter Chardham Yatra Starts From Mukhba Village
The winter Char Dham Yatra has officially been commenced from 16th November from Mukhba. Mukhba is a village located 25 kilometer ahead of Gangotri. Congress MLA Vijay Pal Singh left for the yatra as administration, temple officials and Army assisted him. 

"For now, the winter Chardham yatra has begun in Mukhba but soon it will begin in Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath." He said. According to the MLA, arrangements are being made to offer comfort and ease to the pilgrims

The state government pleaded the temple committees to temporarily place the deities somewhere else in the winters. This proposal was approved after the temple officials held a meeting with Chief Minister Harish Rawat on 14th October. 

The deities have hence been relocated from Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri to lower regions. Earlier the routes to the original seats of the deities used to get blocked because of the snow. Now, it would be easier for the pilgrims. 

[ If Interested? Book your Chardham yatra Tour Packages
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Mount Abu: The Lone Hill Town of Rajasthan

Nestled in the Arabuda Mountain Range in Aravalis and the only exception in otherwise arid and hot Rajasthan, Mount Abu is one of the most popular places to visit in Rajasthan in summer as well as winter. This verdant paradise dotted with plenty of natural and manmade attractions appeals not just to the local crowd but visitors from overseas in equal numbers.

During summers as well as winters, Mount Abu is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in North India. The 80 odd Dilwara Jain Temples makes this hill town in Rajasthan a major Jain pilgrimage destination too. For wildlife enthusiast, 289 square kilometers stretch of Mount Abu wildlife sanctuary is a place to explore and discover the rich flora and fauna of the area.

Attractions in Mount Abu

Nakki Lake

Nakki Lake in Mount Abu, Rajasthan
View of Nakki Lake in Moun Abu
Nakki Lake is surrounded with green valleys, restaurants, hotels and bustling local markets. This lake is Mount Abu’s highlight and is thronged with visitors looking for boating, photography and picnicking. Also known as “Love Lake” of Mount Abu, Nakki Lake is inspired by the love story of Sage Rasia Balam and Kunvanri Kanya. In recent years, government spent good amount of money to restore it and make it better. Its divinity has however never been overlooked and Nakki Lake is venerated as a sacred lake.

Achalgarh Fort

Achalgarh Fort in Mount Abu, Rajasthan
Achalgarh Fort in Mount Abu, Rajasthan
Rajasthan, located on the western part of India is world famous for its stunnig forts & palaces which are also inscribed as UNESCO world heritage sites. Achalgarh Fort is known for the Achaleshwar Mahadeva and Jain Temples, in and outside it. The Achaleshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and also has a brass of Nandi. And the Jain Temples were built in 1513. The Achalgarh fort was built even before 16th century and stands dilapidated, but still allures its visitors with its unique and mysterious ambience. This fort was commissioned by the rulers of Paramara Dynasty and was later renovated by Maharana Kumbha.

Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary

Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary

Located in one of the India’s oldest Hill Ranges (Aravali Ranges), this wildlife sanctuary is stretched until Gurushikhar, the highest peak of the state. This is one of the few flourishing and green areas of arid Rajasthan and must be visited if you fancy a trek amidst the woods having numerous plant species. Here, you can find sambhar, mongoose, Indian hare, wolves, jungle cats, langur, hedgehog, wild boar, bear, sloth bear and others.

Sunset point

View of Sunset Point in Mount Abu
Located on the south-west side of Nakki Lake, Sunset Point, as its name suggests offer a wonderful sight of the sun setting down beyond horizon. The Sunset Point is close to food stalls and markets, making a perfect place to spend enough time. Also, sandalwood idols, carved marble statues, wooden toys surround the area. Children can enjoy pony rides and adults can stop for a while and hail the view.

Dilwara Jain Temples

Dilwara Temples is accentuated because of the fine carvings it is filled with. These five marble marvels date back to 11th and 13th century and were built by Vastupal Tejpal. Dilwara Temples have ornamented inscriptions in its pillars, ceilings, entranceways; everywhere. Apart from its architecture, the temples are believed to be one of the holiest shrines in Buddhism. The best part of the temples is its Pooja, which is enlightening and soothing.

Shopping in Mount Abu

It is impossible to think of heading home without stuffing your luggage with Rajasthani paintings, artifacts, clothes and everything else. Mount Abu offer wide variety in genuine Rajasthani stuff. Here, you can get the best Kota saris, bangles, linen with sanganeri prints, Jaipuri quilts, stone crafts, leather articles etc. Some of the best shops of Mount Abu are Rajasthali, Piccadily Plaza, Chacha Museum, Kashmir Cottage Emporium, M/s Bansilal Bhurmal, Fair Price Rajasthan Emporium and Khadi Bhandar.

Festival in Mount Abu

Exotic location and vibrant culture makes the celebration of Summer Festival an unforgettable experience. This festival falls in the month of May and is started off by a ceremonial procession. This procession commences from RTDC Hotel Shikhar and is set to sparkle by fireworks, and Guajarati and Rajasthani cultural folk performances. Tug-of-war, Panihari Matka Race, Horse Race, CRPF Band Show, Skater’s Show, Skating Race and deepdaan are the major highlights of this festival.

[ Read More about Fair & Festival in Rajasthan ]

Best Time to Visit in Mount Abu

Mount Abu is a hill station in the state of Rajasthan, its green valleys and sapphire lake make it a highly inviting place. Any time is the best time to visit Mount Abu. The winters are chilling and pleasurable. In monsoon, Mount Abu receives highest rainfall in whole Rajasthan. But still, there are moderate to average amount of rain showers that take place here. And summers can come out to be a savior in Mount Abu, far away from scorching heat of the deserts.

How to Reach in Mount Abu

Mount Abu is easily accessible through all the major modes of transport. Nearest airport from Mount Abu is in Udaipur; connecting to Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur.

Nearest railway station is Abu Road. This railway station is at a distance of 22 kilometers from Mount Abu and is connected to trains running to and from Mumbai, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and others.  Mount Abu can also be reached via state and privately owned buses.

Where to Stay in Mount Abu

Mount Abu is a popular tourist destination; and having said this, it becomes pretty obvious that you have easy access to all your needs here. Talking about accommodation, you can go for budget or luxury hotels. I suggest that you consider; Hotel Welcome Heritage Connaught House (Heritage Hotel) , Palace Hotel (Heritage Hotel) Udaigarh Hotel (Heitage Resort), Hotel maganji’s (3 star), Hotel Hiltone (3 star), Hotel ChaCha Inn (2 star) and Hotel Vinayak (1 star).

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