How physically close can one possibly get with the sacred Mt Kailash during the typical 3 days Mt Kailash kora? The answer is you can get as close with Mt Kailash as within hand’s reach. On the first day of Mt Kailash Kora, we usually trek from Darchen to Dirapuk Monastery. And just 800m to the north of Dirapuk Monastery, one can trek to get as close to Mt Kailash as physicially possible, almost within hand’s reach.
Dirapuk Monastery (4900m) looks across to the north or gold face of Mt Kailash from the hillside north of the Lha-chu River. Walkers who have followed the Lhachu’s east-bank trail will have to cross the river to reach Dirapuk Monastery and its guesthouse, at the base of the hill below. There’s a bridge here to cross cover to the western side, so your feet don’t get wet.
From Dirapuk Monastery, there are superb views of the impressive northern face of Mt Kailash. Three lesser mountains are arrayed in the front of Mt Kailash: Chana Dorje (Vajrapani) to the west, Jampelyang (Manjushri) to the east and Chenresig (Avalokiteshvara) in the centre.
The 52km circuit of Mt Kailash Kora is one of the most demanding and challenging of treks for pilgrims in the world. As you labour one foot after another, oxygen deprived and lost in a sea of emotions, just as pilgrims for thousands of years have done in the exact same fashion. Pilgrims believe one circuit of Mt Kailash will wipe out the sign of a lifetime; 108 circuits guarantee completed nirvana and a clean sin slate for all your lifetimes.