Mount Kailash Pilgrimage
All faithful Buddhists seek out opportunities to visit Mt. Kailash on a pilgrimage. The sacred mountain holds great spiritual value, and spending time there and taking the time to follow the traditional route in reverence is a very meaningful endeavor. The trip has become a very popular commercial affair since so many people from the Buddhist world and even many Hindus seek out the experience.
It's a 2 day drive from the Nepali border inside Tibet. It is necessary to get a travel visa from China to enter and set out on the tour. You book a trip with a travel agency in Kathmandu, and they send your passport number to a travel agency in China, and they arrange for the visa. Using the Chinese 12-year calendar, the year of the 'horse' is the most significant year for pilgrimages. Making that pilgrim tour in that year is worth more spiritual ‘points’ for benefit in your next life. You need to go on the trip as many times as you can.
In Tibet the tour members take all tents, food and equipment in a Land Cruiser. The trip lasts 25 days and costs about 150,000 Rupees each, or about US $2,200. You wear casual clothing (pants, jacket). You will visit many well-known monasteries and significant landmarks in the area. It takes 3 days to hike out to mountain, then the group laves the trucks behind since there are no roads. The group will rent yaks for carrying equipment and supplies. Next, the highlight of the tour, is 3 days hiking around a long trail at the base of the mountain, staying at 3 camp sites along the way. Pema has made the walk around the mountain, and he says the it takes so long because you must prostrate yourself and crawl as you circle the base of the mountain.