Why are there many Indian tourists and pilgrims who are aching to visit Tibet? Well, the answer to this query is quite obvious, for aside from Tibet’s enchanting beauty (which enthuse Indian tourists), Tibet and India also have a common religious heritage. For this reason, many pilgrims from India are desirous of visiting Tibet. This common religious heritage dates back to the ancient times when Hinduism, Buddhism, Bon, and Jainism, were still in their incipient stages of development.
Tibet as a Pilgrimage Site!
Tibet is the location of Mt. Kailash which is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva—the destroyer of evil and the transformer of the universe. Lord Shiva is a main deity of Hinduism, Buddhism, Bon, and Jainism. Hence, Mt. Kailash is sacred to these four religions. This is also the reason likewise why many religious pilgrims from India wish to visit Mt. Kailash and perform the traditional Kora—a sacred meditative practice wherein pilgrims would walk clockwise around a sacred site. Aside from Mt. Kailash, Tibet has the Lake Manasarovar which is also sacred to these four religions.
How to Plan a Pilgrimage to Tibet?
According to Stephen Covey, a famous bestselling author: “Everything is created twice: first, in the mind; then in reality.” Taking a cue from Mr. Covey, it would be best to thoroughly plan your pilgrimage at the onset. The following queries can best help you plan your pilgrimage to Tibet:
- What is the best time to visit Tibet?
- What permits you should secure to make your travel hassle-free?
- Which route are you going to take to reach Tibet and Mt. Kailash?
- What you should bring with you and what precautions you should take into consideration?
- Which Tour Package is best for pilgrimage?
There are other questions you can add to this list of queries; but once you have properly addressed all the above-mentioned queries, you can then confidently begin your pilgrimage to Tibet.
Best Time for Pilgrimage to Tibet
If you are a pilgrim desirous of making a pilgrimage to Tibet, your best time to do the pilgrimage would be from June to early October. During this timeframe, Mt. Kailash is generally not blocked by snow, allowing you to easily access the base of Mt. Kailash to perform the “Kailash Kora.”
What Permits You Should Secure?
There are basically two types of permits you should secure when entering Tibet. First, you should obtain the Tibet Travel Permit which you can easily secure from the Tibet Tourism Bureau. It would be good to hire a travel consultant who will help you facilitate the processing of this permit. It usually takes 1 to 3 weeks to process this permit. Hence, several weeks prior to your pilgrimage, you should have already secured this permit.
Secondly, if you are planning to visit Tibet as a pilgrim, you should secure your visa from the two available centers that authorized tours for the pilgrims in Tibet. These two centers are the Foreign Affairs Office of Tibet and the Tibet-India Pilgrim Reception Centre.
Which Route are You Going to Take to Reach Tibet?
Tibet is like a mysterious and beautiful mountain fortress, and there are very few gateway options to access it. Of course, if you are coming from India, you have two viable access points: first, you can enter Tibet via Nepal; second, you can enter via a direct flight from India to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.
- The Nepal Option to Tibet
If you are coming from India, you can reach Kathmandu (capital of Nepal) in two ways: either you can take a flight from Delhi to Kathmandu or take a road trip to Kathmandu. The flight from New Delhi to Kathmandu usually takes an hour and half. Airlines like the Royal Nepal Airlines, Jet Airways, Air India, and IndiGo offer direct flights from Delhi to Kathmandu. Moreover, there are also direct flights to Kathmandu from other Indian cities like Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Goa, and Bengaluru, and indirect flights from Hyderabad and Kolkata. Flight tickets from New Delhi to Kathmandu is usually around 6,500 rupees on average, and there are almost daily flights from India to Kathmandu.
If you opt for a road trip from India to Kathmandu, you can readily take an air-conditioned bus from Delhi to Kathmandu, and this usually costs around 2,300 rupees. The bus generally makes stopovers at several cities like those of Firozabad, Mugling, and Sanouli. As a caveat, you should always carry your passport and other necessary documents with you during this trip. From Kathmandu, you can either make a road trip to Lhasa or opt for an airplane ride.
- Direct Flights to Lhasa from India
Your second option is to take a flight from Delhi to Lhasa. This is an easier and more comfortable option compared to a road trip to Kathmandu. Flights from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport to Lhasa’s Gonggar Airport usually cost around 67,725 rupees on average and take around five hours and thirty-nine minutes to complete. Yet, if you choose this option, you would surely miss the scenic views that a road trip affords tourists.
What Should You Bring with You?
The weather and daily temperature in Tibet are constantly fluctuating because of its high altitude; hence, you need to prepare heavy winter clothes, warm sweaters, heavy overcoat, and all the necessary things that can make yourself comfortable. You should likewise bring a backpack, but not a suitcase which will surely be out-of-place in Tibet. You should also bring with you your mountaineering equipment if you intend to engage in trekking. You should likewise condition yourself for high-altitude weather by engaging in regular hefty exercises and body conditioning prior to your trip to Tibet.
Which Tour Package is Best for Pilgrimage?
The best way to facilitate your pilgrimage to Tibet from India is to avail of a Pilgrimage Tour Package from a reputable and reliable Tour Travel Agency. This agency can help you process your Group Tourist Visa and Tibet Visa and can facilitate for you the acquisition of all the necessary documents, accommodations, and reservations during your travel to Tibet. This travel agency will likewise provide you with a tour guide and a driver during your trip.
If you are looking for a travel agency that can facilitate your pilgrimage to Tibet, you can readily contact us via email or phone, and we will gladly help you realize your Tibet pilgrimage and make this pilgrimage hassle-free.