Mt Kailash - Mansarovar, following a tradition since thousands of years, thousands of pilgrims make a pilgrimage to Kailash every year. Pilgrims of different religions believe that circumambulating (parikrama OR kora) of Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that brings good fortune. Hindus & Buddhists perform Kailash Parikrama in a clockwise direction whereas Jain and Bonpo religions perform Kailash Kora (Parikrama) in a counterclockwise direction. The trek around Mount Kailash is 52 km (32 mi) long starting from Darchen.

Some pilgrims believe that Kailash Parikrama of 52 km should be completed in a single day, which is not easy. A pilgrim (yatri) must be in a good shape walking fast would take approx 15 hours to complete 52 km trek (Ex Darchen).

Holy Mt Kailash parikrama (kora) has to be done on foot or pony, taking three days of trekking starting from height of around 15,000 ft (4,600 m) past Tarboche (flagpole) to cross highest Drolma pass (Dolma-La-Pass) 18,200 ft (5,500 m), and 2 nights stay en-route. First night near the meadow of Dirapuk Gompa, some 2 to 3 km (1.2 to 1.9 mi) before the Dolma-la-Pass and second night after crossing the pass and keep walking till zuthul puk (viewing Gauri Kund).


A number of mountaineers have tried to climb Holy Kailash but Mount Kailash has never been climbed.Hugh Ruttledge, in 1926, studied the north face and estimated 6,000 ft (1800 m) high and utterly unclimbable and thought about an ascent of the north-east ridge, but he ran out of time. Ruttledge was exploring the area with Colonel R C Wilson, who was on the other side of the mountain with his Sherpa named Satan. According to Wilson, The Sherpa Satan told Wilson, “Sahib, we can climb that!.... as he too saw that this (the SE ridge) represented a feasible route to the summit. Further excerpts from Wilson’s article, show that he was utterly serious in his intention to climb Kailash, but, as with Ruttledge, he ran out of time.

Herbert Tichy was in around Kailash in 1936, attempting to climb Gurla Mandhata. He asked one of the Garpons of Ngari – whether Kailash is climbable, the Garpon replied, “only a man, free of sin could climb Kailash”. And he wouldn’t have to actually scale the sheer walls of ice to do it – he would just turn himself into a bird and fly to the summit.

Chinese government given opportunity to Reinhold Messner to climb the Kailash Mountain in 1980s but he declined. In 2001, Chinese permitted a Spanish team led by Jesus Martinez Novas to climb the Mt Kailash peak, but in the face of international disapproval the Chinese decided to ban all attempts to climb the Holy Kailash.