Helicopter or By Road Tour for Kailash Manasarovar: What to Pick?

Yam Dwar

“The one place where heaven and earth truly meets is none other than the heavenly abode of Kailash Manasarovar.”

Have you ever thought of wanting to rediscover yourself once again? Or has the desolation of the day to day lifestyle made monotony your friend?

Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is one of those rare journeys that will change your perspective of life altogether. The mesmerizing beauty of the world that you get to see on this iconic tour is unlike any other experience you may ever have in your lifetime.

Before we provide information that’ll help you in making a choice between helicopter and land ways, know a bit about why this religious tour is important.

Glimpses of Yatra

Shrouded in mystery and many mythical tales of Supernatural, the Himalayas are perhaps one of the greatest natural beauties of the world that has existed since the beginning of time. The fact that Kailash Manasarovar is also the part of the secret legends of the Himalayas is not a surprise at all.

Geographically it is located in the Kailasha Sacred Landscape of the South Western portion of China, which accounts for over 31,000 sq kilometer area. Comprising Mount Kailasha and Lake Manasarovar, it is a part of the Tibet Autonomous territory of China.

Kailash Manasarovar – The ultimate sacred pilgrimage of the Hindus.

Regarded as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kailash Manasarovar holds importance for four religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Bon religion of China.

Mount Kailash is believed to be the heavenly abode of Lord Shiva, while Lake Manasarovar is believed to be a manifestation of the dream of Lord Brahma. It is a belief among the Hindus that Lake Manasarovar can clear away all your sins and help one reach the heavenly abode of Lord Shiva after death.
Kailash Parbat is believed to be the home of Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati and referred to as Mountain of Heaven, Meru, the peak of Mount Kailash is considered to be unreachable by any human before their death.

The Kailash parikrama, which involves traveling 53 km of the Kailash Manasarovar circuit, is the most sacred circumambulations of the Hindu religion. Lake Manasarovar is the second most crucial aspect of the pilgrimage tour as it is said that bathing in the holy waters of Lake Manasarovar can wash away hundreds of years of sins.

The cost of going on the iconic Kailash Manasarovar yatra

The journey to and from Kailash Manasarovar is a long one. However, the cost of the entire trip varies depending on the mode of transport opted for.

  • By Helicopter – 10-day tour of the Kailash Manasarovar by Helicopter costs 1, 78,000 INR or 2600 $ approximately. This includes the airfare, helicopter charges, Visa, and permit fees besides the living, fooding, and transportation expenses.
  • By Land – The 14-day tour of the Kailash Manasarovar via Land costs 1, 45,000 INR or 2100$ approximately.
Reaching Kailash Manasarovar by Land

Covering 1300 km in 2 weeks by land is not an easy feat to achieve, considering the treacherous terrain and fluctuating temperature in the entire region. However, the beautiful spots on the route the road trip are not reachable via any other mode of transport other than this.

The Journey

Like many other Himalayan treks, the journey begins at Kathmandu. From Kathmandu, it is a 145 km drive to reach Safrubeshi. The 7 hrs long trip ends with an overnight stay in this small Himalayan town guesthouse.

The next day it is a 2 hrs drive to Rasuwagadhi, which is the final stop in Nepal. It is not a common everyday occurrence where you get to cross a country border on foot. Post immigration checks at China border, it is a 125 km bus ride to Kerong where you stay for two days to experience the authentic Chinese life and also acclimatize with the ascending altitude. Covering an overall distance 0f 310 km the next day via Kiyrong, Saga, you reach Dongba to stay overnight and rest. The next day is once again a 7-hour long treacherous drive covering almost 370 km to reach Manasarovar.

The next three days are spent covering various famous destinations of the Kailash Manasarovar parikrama like Darchen, Yam Dwar Parikrama, Derapuhk, Domla pass, Zuthulpukh, followed by return journey towards Dongba on the 11th day and henceforth.

The Highlights

Though the road trip to Kailash Manasarovar is a very long one, it has some positive attributes that cannot be experienced by any other routes. These include:

  • The natural scenic beauty of villages like Lhasa, Ngari, and experiencing their unique heritage and culture.
  • Visit the local monasteries and other sacred attractions on route.
  • Cross the iconic Domla pass.
  • Experience the religious diversity of Kiyrong.
  • Pass through at least 4 of the significant highest peaks of the world.
Reaching Kailash Manasarovar via Helicopter

The Journey

From Kathmandu, it is a 30 minutes flight to Nepalganj. From there, it is a copter ride to Hilsa, with flight change at Simikot. Post immigration check at Nepal-China border of Hilsa, it is a few minutes’ walk to reach the transportation point to begin the drive to Takalkot.

Post acclimatization for a day, it is a 90 km drive to Manasarovar Lake. From there, it is a three days exploration of Darchen, Dirapuk, Yamdwar, Zithulphuk, Domla pass, and the other notable destinations of the Kailash parikrama.

The Highlights

The fastest of all the routes, the helicopter ride has made reaching Kailash Manasarovar viable for many disabled and physically unfit individuals wanting to visit the holy destination. The major highlight of the Helicopter ride includes:

  • Easy to reach.
  • Stunning aerial view of the mighty Himalayan Range.
  • Time taken is significantly reduced as compared to other alternatives.
Choosing the right option to travel to Kailash Manasarovar

Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is a once in a lifetime opportunity that cannot be compared to any other travel experience. Choosing the route of the journey that suits you the best depends on numerous factors.

The road trip that combines trek and drive is suitable for the ones who are in good physical condition. Besides being light on the pocket, this route allows you to explore numerous new destinations and spots on the way.

The Helicopter ride shortens your time span by at least a few days. Besides that, it also reduces the chances of fatigue and exhaustion to a bare minimum. The flights may give you a spectacular aerial view, but you miss the opportunity of exploring many famous spots on land.

If you are genuinely interested in going for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, it is crucial to see how good your health is, besides the money and time as other contributing factors. While a helicopter ride is perfect for anyone who is not in excellent health or has a shortage of time, the drive comes trek trip works well with travelers who are in perfect health and have minimal cash to spar.

The conclusion being that anyone interested in exploring the iconic Kailash Manasarovar has a way of fulfilling their dream. Road, Air, or Walk, it’s all up to you and your accountability.

The perfect time to visit Kailash Manasarovar

Kailash Manasarovar trail is open to pilgrims only between May and September when the temperature ranges between 10 degrees to 22 degrees on average. The clear sky and absence of snow make it easier to travel the entire distance.

However, it is vital to carry heavy-duty thermals and winter-wears because temperatures are known to go into single digits during night time all year round. The trail is entirely closed to the public from October to April due to the sub-zero temperature and extreme snowfall.

What is the necessary documentation needed to be done for going on Kailash Manasarovar yatra?

Since Kailash Manasarovar falls in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, any foreign nationals, including Indians, require a valid passport to apply for Visa. Pilgrimage falls under the Tourist Visa Category.

Besides the Visa, there are a few more permits that need to be taken from the Chinese Embassy in Delhi, Kolkata, or Kathmandu. These permits include Tibet Travel Permit, Alien’s Travel Permit, Foreign affairs permit, and Military permit.

The Final Word

Vouched as a sacred destination for many religions, Kailash Mansarovar is a rare and pure beauty of Mother Nature. The stunning snow-capped backdrop is not just for pilgrims alone. Travel enthusiasts from all around the world have been known to have Kailash Manasarovar in their ‘to travel’ bucket list.

An exhilaratingly tired and arduous journey to rediscover yourself, Kailash Manasarovar yatra, is an experience unlike anything else you may have or might experience ever in your entire life. Take a Leap of faith and start your journey to Kailash Manasarovar to experience something that is unlike any other feeling in this world!