In Tibetan, Mt. Kailash is known as Ghang Rinpoche, which translates to “Precious Mountain”, and it is just that. Holy Mt. Kailash is the most sacred mountain in the world, and it is not just sacred to Tibetan Buddhists. As a holy mountain to four different religions – Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Bonpo – the mountain is considered to be the most sacred place in the world. A precious and prominent peak, Mountain Kailash is a symmetrical, pyramid-like mountain made of black rock and is surrounded by a beautiful, yet dry and rugged landscape.
Lake Manasarovar is also revered in Tibetan Buddhism, and is one of the most holy of lakes. The highest body of freshwater in the world, Manasarovar holds religious significance in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.Traveling to these two beautiful sites is not possible all year round. Kailash and Manasarovar are in the northwest region of Tibet, in Ngari Prefecture, and winter in the northwest can be very cold, with plenty of snow on the ground, making travel in the region almost impossible. Knowing when to visit is important, as these two sacred sites are more beautiful at certain times of the year.
Best Time to Visit Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake
Obviously, the best time to visit Kailash and Manasarovar would be during the Saga Dawa Festival. This is one of the most important festivals in Tibetan Buddhism, and celebrates the birth, enlightenment, and death of the great Buddha Sakyamuni. However, the number of Indian tourists in the region at the time of the festival is huge, and they book up all the hotels and guest houses months in advance, so the chances are you would not be able to get in.
Outside then, the best time to visit Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar is in the shoulder seasons in Tibet. The Tibetan tourist season runs from April to October, and the peak time for tourism is in July and August, the summer months. While it is not the ideal time, the rains are not that hard in the northwest of Tibet, and it is possible to tour Kailash.
The “shoulder” seasons in Tibet are normally spring and autumn, from April to the end of June and from September to the end of October, or early November if the snow is not yet come. The skies at these times are clear, and the sun is strong, making the region a little warmer than it normally is. The highest part of the Tibetan plateau, the northwest region is still cold all year round, so bring some warm clothes.
Winter is an impossible time to try and visit any part of Ngari Prefecture. The snow is deep and blocks roads and mountain passes with heavy drifts, making travel in the region unfeasible. Even when trekking, it is dangerous to do so in the depths of winter, as the snow shifts with the winds, and heavy snowstorms and blizzards can come on suddenly, leaving trekkers stranded and lost.
Kailash Manasarovar Weather Condition
The summer months in Tibet are also the rainy season, and while it is not impossible to visit Kailash and Manasarovar in the summer, it is not the ideal time to go, especially if you are intending to walk the kora route around the mountain. November to March is not an good time to visit the mountain either, since you may be camping out during the trek, and it is too cold in the winter months. The mountain and the passes are also covered by heavy snow in the winter, making it dangerous to trek the kora route.
The best time to trek around Mt. Kailash would be either from late April to early June, or from September to the end of October. The weather at these times is the best for trekking around the mountain, as the skies are clear during the day and it is not too cold at night. What is more, is the views of the mountain. With the clear skies and warmer climate, the mountain seems to shine with its own light, as if the gods really do live there, and the views from the famous Dolma La Pass are at their most spectacular.