Travelers from India with an Indian passport are generally placed into two categories for Tibet Travel Permits. First, ordinary Indian citizens who plan to visit places other than the Ali Prefecture (including Mt. Kailash) can obtain the usual Tibet Travel Permit and proceed with tours just as with foreign travelers from other countries. The second category of Indian travelers is religious pilgrims or others who desire to visit Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar even if the latter are not visiting the area for religious purposes. The methods for obtaining a Tibet Travel Permit for a Tibet tour are different for these 2 different types of tourists from India.
Tibet Travel Permit Application and Tour Organization for the Ordinary Indian Tourists
If you are an ordinary Indian citizen planning to visit Tibet without traveling to the Ali prefecture, simply email a photocopy of your passport and Chinese visa at least 20 days before the date of your entry into Tibet. We will take care of the rest of the Tibet Travel Permit application according to the Tibet travel plan that will work best for you.
To enter Tibet, as most tourists do, you will need to enter Mainland China first and then take the train or fly to Lhasa from a Mainland China city. For Indian citizens entering China from Nepal, a group tourist visa is required from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. In that case, we would need a scanned copy of your passport in advance of your tour and we can handle the rest. We have a local office in Kathmandu that specifically deals with these types of group tourist visas.
Tibet Travel Permit Application and Tour Organization for Indian Pilgrims
A Tibet Travel Permit Tibet for pilgrims or other Indian citizens wishing to visit Mt. Kailash and the Ali Prefecture must be verified and issued jointly by the Foreign Affairs Office of TAR, the Tibet Military Region, the Armed Police Tibet Frontier Corps and the Department of Public Security of TAR. There are only two organizations that can authorize Indian pilgrimage tours in Tibet. One is the Foreign Affairs Office of the TAR (governmental organization); the other is the Pilgrim Center (a non-governmental organization), also known as the Tibet-India Pilgrim Reception Center, located in the Tuanjie New Village of Lhasa. Other organizations and travel agencies In Tibet are not allowed to receive pilgrims.
As an official agent of the Pilgrim Center, Tibet Odyssey Tours is authorized to provide a free Tibet tour consultancy service for pilgrims. Nevertheless, only the 2 organizations mentioned above can arrange practical Indian pilgrimage tour services (accommodations, transportation, itineraries, guides, yaks, etc.) for Indians traveling to Tibet.
Due to the Pilgrim Center basically having a monopoly over pilgrimage tours, the cost of such tours is much higher than other ordinary Tibet tours. However, other Indian tourists can avoid these high costs because there is a wide range of travel agencies that can handle their travel needs in Tibet. Please contact Tibet Odyssey Tours and our professional Tibet travel consultants can help you customize a tour to meet your needs. .
Before the catastrophic Nepal Earthquake in May 2015, most pilgrims entered Tibet overland via the Zhangmu Border (also called the “Kodari border” in Nepal). However, the massive earthquake has made access from the Zhangmu Border to Tibet virtually inaccessible. The best method of entry into Tibet from Nepal is a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa to begin your pilgrimage tour there, or fly into Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu or other cities in Mainland China before taking another flight or train on to Lhasa.