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Kailash Yatra Guidelines


Kailash Yatra Guidelines

We have realised that many yatris do not enough information about their yatra of lifetime and do not know what to expect in Tibet while their yatra. Therefore, we have prepared this document with the view that yatris will find it useful.

Why Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Guidelines?

We have realised that many yatris do not enough information about their Yatra of lifetime and do not know what to expect in Tibet while their yatra. Therefore, we have prepared this document with the view that yatris will find it useful.

Special Notes:

Delays are expected on account of roadblock & weather conditions. Our effort will be to continue with the trip as per the schedule & make you as comfortable as possible. But in such situations we may have to compromise on the campsite / hotels & adjust to these situations then & there. The itinerary should be viewed as ideal & we may have to make some spot changes due to various reasons. The distances & altitude mentioned in the above itinerary are to the best of our knowledge & information; marginal variance in the actual distances & altitudes is possible.

General Information:

Our effort is to give a clear idea about the various aspects of the trip to avoid any misunderstandings during the trip, so we request you to please read all the information given herewith carefully.

Fitness:

This trip involves traveling in jeeps & trekking at high altitude. The trek is strenuous & involves walking 6 – 8 hours daily. Previous walking experience at high altitude is helpful. The highest altitude that we attain on this trip is 22028ft (6714m). We do not recommend this trip to people with chronic problems like epilepsy and those related to blood pressure or heart.

Basic exercise like brisk walking or light jogging before the trip is recommended. We request you to complete our medical declaration form when booking.

Group Size:

Minimum group size of 25 paying pax. However, size of group may go up to 30, plus leaders. Larger groups take away the fun of travelling and make it difficult for us to maintain a personal touch.

Mode of Travel:

Cost excludes International flights. All the travel in Nepal will be by bus & in Tibet by A/C Tourist Deluxe Coach, making the journey more comfortable.

Please note that the breakdown of coach is expected due to bad road conditions. The coach drivers are good mechanics & generally fix up the problem within a few minutes. There may be delays due to such situations.

Stay:

In Kathmandu: 3/4 star hotel on twin sharing AP basis. The stay in Tibet will be in combination of guest house / lodge / tent house / Camping. All the meals are included in the stay.

Accommodation at guesthouses in Tibet will be in 4-bedded or 6-bedded rooms (depending upon the availability). In these dormitories linen is fairly clean, the toilets are basic. Accommodation during camps is on twin sharing basis, in small camping tents. We have dry toilet tents. Separate kitchen & dinning tents.

Food:

Food during your stay in Kathmandu is on AP, all meals (pure vegetarian) included. Food served during our journey in Tibet is from our camp/guesthouse kitchen. The food is good, simple, sumptuous vegetarian food. We can include eggs in our menu on request. Our Staff are trained more for continental food & North Indian food. However, we recommend you to bring sufficient supplementary food like chocolates, biscuits, nuts, bhujhya and your tinned products to add varieties to the meal.

On The Trek:

The luggage will go on yaks whereas you can hire porters at extra cost to carry your personal backpacks on the trek. Please do not carry any hand baggage on the trek. Ensure that your rucksack has sturdy straps. One can also hire a riding yak or horse at extra cost.

The approximate rates per day are as follows:

Porter: Approximately USD 50 a day Riding Yak: Approximately USD 100 a day Riding Horse: Approximately USD 100 a ay

Please Note: The Horse or the Yak should be used only as a backup arrangement & riding is not advisable. The yak men would often request you to alight during difficult sections of the trail for your safety & also during descent from Dolma La pass. The yak & horsemen are nomads; it is very difficult to “communicate” with them. At times it is extremely difficult to manage them, so we do arrange for the extra yaks & horses for our guests but do not take responsibility on their behalf.

Equipment:

You are required to take Sleeping bags, down jackets, small backpack & duffel bag. These items can be either bought or hired in Kathmandu. Your personal luggage should be packed in duffel bags or Kit bags.

Luggage & Porters:

We request you to travel light & not carry more than the one duffel bag. Please note that any additional load more than 15 kg may be charged extra. It is important to note that the personal porters accompanying you will not carry more than 10 kg and would prefer carrying the load in backpacks & so avoid any hand luggage.

Tour Escort:

For smaller group sizes our tour escorts are locals with good experience in leading trekking & other trips. Most of these escorts are good at communicating in English. For group sizes of 12 & above, another equally experienced tour escort accompanies the group.

Temperatures:

Daytime temperatures expected during June to September are approximately 15° Celsius and average night temperatures are between 5° to 8° Celsius. The temperatures can go sub-zero at higher altitudes.

Note:

During this trip there are many uncertainties that we may have to deal with such as weather conditions, overall fitness of the group, breakdowns, non-availability of guesthouse etc. This may cause a few changes in the itinerary. In such cases the group escort’s / manager’s decision will be final.

Medical Help:

This tour takes us through remote regions where professional medical help may not be available. We carry with us a comprehensive medical first-aid kit advised by a doctor and our leaders, though not qualified medically, are all competent to give first-aid if and when required. It would be advisable to speak to your group escort in case of any health problems that you may face on the trek.

We carry with us a Gamow Bag (High altitude portable chamber) to assist clients in case of emergency. We will also have an oxygen cylinder with a regulator and also provided in Tibet will be Oxygen canisters which are easy to carry and easy to use. Please note that Oxygen or PAC is to be used only in case of emergency.

Any medical & evacuation expenses incurred for any group member will have to be borne by that member.

First aid medical kits:

We highly recommend you to consult with your own doctor before you start the trip and bring the medications as per doctor’s advice. However, following items are worth full to bring:

Daimox – 20 tablets
Paracetamol (crocin)
Pain killer
Eye drops for burning eyes
Multivitamin pills
Muscle relaxant
Antibiotic
Motion sickness and high altitude sickness medicine
Vicks vaporub
Water purification tablets
Neosprin ointment
Band aid
Antihistamine (contact cc)
Kee-cap
Electric powder
Thermometer

Travel Insurance:

Any kind of insurance on luggage, accident, life or other allied matters is not provided for by us. Therefore, full travel insurance coverage for emergency evacuation, loss of life and property and trip cancellation is strongly recommended. It is important that you have the valid travel insurance for your Kailash yatra. Please note that, many health or travel insurance companies cover for standard holidays and do not cover traveling to high altitude. Therefore, please ensure you are covered above 6638 meters altitude. Clients coming on our trips will have to make their own arrangements for the same. We advise you to take insurance for international travel, also ensure if your insurance would cover any evacuation needed for medical reasons, such as Acute Mountain Sickness. Lumle Holidays has partnered with Holiday Extras, you can purchase policy by quoting U8601.

Booking:

The tour booking will be confirmed only upon receipt of non Refundable deposit amount of £200 per person, in addition to charges such as air, rail fares, etc along with completed personal information form. Outstanding balance must be paid 60 days prior to departure. (The trip will be considered confirmed only if there is no default in the above payment procedure.)

Cancellation by you:

In the event of any cancellation by you, the initial deposit amount paid, shall stand forfeited and further cancellation shall be levied as per the following terms:

Days before departure Charge applicable

More than 60 days Loss of deposit Between 60 and 40 days Loss of 40% of total booking cost Between 40 and 30 days Loss of 60% of total booking cost Between 30 and 15 days Loss of 80% of total booking cost 15 days or less Loss of 100% of total booking cost

Cancellation or change by Lumle Holidays Ltd.

We reserve the right to cancel your booking or change any of the facilities, services or prices described in our brochures or website. We will endeavour to advise you of any changes known at the time of booking.

The information about trips/tours given in this brochure and website is subject to change. Where practical, any changes will be reflected in the Trip Notes that are sent to you with your Final Documentation. It is your responsibility to review the up-to-date Trip Notes sent to you with Final Documentation. If you make a booking less than 60 days before departure you must ensure you are fully aware of the contents of the Trip Notes. The information and conditions in the Trip Notes will be deemed to be part of the contract.

We plan the arrangements for your tour/trips many months in advance and may occasionally have to make changes, sometimes at short notice, most of which are minor. If a major change becomes necessary, we will advise you of the change as soon as possible. Whether a change is ‘major’ depends on the nature of the tour and may include: alteration to the scheduled departure or return time of your flight by more than 12 hours (but not a flight delay); a change to a lower standard of accommodation; or a change of departure airport (excluding a change between London airports). When a major change occurs, you will have the choice of either accepting the change, or accepting a replacement tour from us of equivalent or closely similar standard and price, or cancelling your tour, in which case we shall refund you in full. However, no refunds will be made at any cost for insurance (Stand Alone Safe Seat Plan), credit card handling charges & loss made due to exchange rates. All these charges will be calculated and deducted from the payment due to you.

In all cases, except where a major change arises from circumstances amounting to force majeure or consolidation, we will pay you compensation as appropriate.

Days before departure Compensation applicable per person

More than 60 days Nil Between 60 – 15 days £20 Between 15 – 0 days £30

Compensation will not be payable if we are forced to cancel, or in any way change your tour for reasons of consolidation due to minimum numbers not being attained or force majeure. Operation of all tours is dependent on a minimum number of persons booking the tour. If that number is not achieved, we reserve the right to cancel the tour. Your trip may be varied at short notice, even after its commencement. Changes may occur because of Force Majeure, poor road conditions, weather, the availability of tickets, vehicle breakdowns, changes in transport schedules, or other circumstances beyond Lumle Holidays Ltd control. Lumle Holidays Ltd does not accept any responsibility for loss of enjoyment, delays or compensation resulting from changes due to Force Majeure or any reasons beyond Lumle Holidays Ltd control. Group sizes may also vary.

In no circumstances we will cancel your tour less than 4 weeks before the scheduled departure date except for reasons of consolidation, inadequate insurance cover provided by you, force majeure or failure on your part to pay the final balance. We strongly recommend that you make no travel arrangements to your point of departure, make any connecting travel that is non-refundable or non-changeable or incurs penalties or incur any costs in respect of visas or vaccinations until such time as your travel itinerary has been confirmed. If you make such arrangements which you are then unable to use due to a change in your itinerary we shall not be liable to you for the cost of those arrangements.

If we are forced to cancel your holiday after departure we will, wherever possible, make suitable alternative arrangements. If we are unable to make such alternative arrangements, or you reject these for good reason then we will return you to your point of departure and refund you for any unused services, if appropriate.

Force Majeure:

We will not pay you compensation if we have to cancel or change your travel arrangements in any way because of war, riot, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances that may amount to force majeure. . If such events occur before the departure date, we will do our best to make alternative arrangements. Period before departure within which notice of cancellation of major change is notified to you.

Terms of Payment:

Payment to be made either in cash, credit/debit card or by cheque / DD in favour of “Lumle Holidays Ltd. Trust Account” payable in United Kingdom. Payment can also be made to directly to our NatWest Bank plc Account No: 45182523 Sort Code: 50-41-01. Credit card payments are subject to 2.5% handling charges.

Kit List (Recommended):

1. Duffel bag 2. Small backpack with sturdy straps 3. Proper trekking boots with spare laces – please ensure that the shoes are broken-in before the trek. 4. Slippers / floaters (Sport sandals) 5. Sun cap 6. 3 pairs liner socks, 3 pairs cotton/thicker socks, 3 pairs woollen socks 7. For trek- 2-3 pairs of trousers, 3 T-shirts, 3 full shirts 8. Full sleeved thick sweater or fleece 9. Down jacket 10. Thermal base layers 11. Wind shirt (wind breaker) 12. Woollen or fleece cap 13. Woollen or fleece hand gloves 14. Sunglasses (good quality, 100%-uv-protection, not blue shade) 15. Cold cream and sunscreen lotion 16. Torch with 2 sets of cells or headlamp (no pencil cells torch) 17. Light camp towel 18. 1 litre water bottle (it might be worthwhile to carry an additional bottle) 19. Adequate underclothing 20. Personal toilet kit, toilet paper 21. Pen knife 22. Water proofs (poncho or pant & jacket)/ collapsible umbrella 23. Air Pillow / small cotton pillow (optional) 24. Personal medicines (with written instructions). 25. Buff to protect yourself from dust. 26. Camera & film / memory card (optional) 27. Plastic bags to contain all above, plus a few spare ones.

Miscellaneous:

Alarm clock
Video and camera with extra batteries
Torch with batteries
Music cassettes
Nylon ropes
Note book.
Water can with m-seal for bringing the Manas holy water
Related books
Whistle to hang around neck while doing Parikarma/Kora
Cigarette lighter – 1
500 ml thermos flask holder with mug cover
Swiss army knife & swing kit

Important Travel Information for Tibet:

Tibet still remains one of the most remote & unknown regions of the world. It is not featured on the world tourism map because of the inadequate information & lack of proper tourism infrastructure such as hotels / motels, restaurants, roads etc. Journey to Tibet can be best enjoyed if viewed as adventure and not as a well-organized sight-seeing tour. Tourists may have to deal with a lot of uncertainties on various occasions. We hope the following information would be useful for your travel in Tibet.

Time:

China has only one time zone; the local time everywhere is the same as Beijing time. Beijing local time is GMT +08:00 hours or Indian standard time + 02:30 hrs. We need to adjust our watch as per Beijing time as soon as we enter China to avoid any confusion.

Altitude Sickness:

We will be traveling at an average altitude of 4500m, highest altitude attained is 5630 m / 18470 ft at Dolma La, during our Parikrama. Minor altitude symptoms are experienced such as mild headache, nausea, loss of appetite etc.

One needs to take precautions to avoid acute mountain sickness. For further details please read notes on high altitude attached herewith.

Important Note:

All the tourism activities are strictly regulated & monitored by the Chinese Government authorities. The authorities may alter itineraries as they see fit & substitute hotels other than those mentioned in the itinerary. The Chinese guide is more of a liaison officer & he is the only communication link between the tourist, staff from Nepal, drivers, porters, yak men, other locals & government officials.

Most of the aspects are beyond our control & we cannot be held responsible for any delays, change in the itinerary etc. Any additional expenses on such account should be borne by tour members.

Photography:

There are strict controls on taking photographs in the monasteries. Please check with your Tibetan guide before taking any photographs near a bridge or police / military check post. Also it is advisable to take prior permission from the locals before taking their individual photographs.

Restrictions:

Please do not carry any photographs, books of Dalai Lama or posters, T-shirts of free Tibet, or Tibetan flag, or any political magazine or book. Possessing such things may be considered as an offence by Tibetan / Chinese authorities.

Currency:

Approximate exchange rates are 1 British Pound Sterling = 10.60 Chinese Yuan. One can exchange currency at the border town of Zhangmu or Lhasa or Shigatse in China.

Business hours:

10:00 hours to 18:00 hours are the normal office hours on all working days. On Saturdays the offices close in the afternoon & on Sundays they are closed.

Customs formalities:

Still cameras, Video cameras, tape recorders and radios are allowed but need to be registered with the customs on entry in China. Customs regulations forbid the export of art objects prior to 1959 or souvenirs deemed to be excessive in numbers. Printed matter considered unsuitable by the Government are prohibited.

Visa & Documentation:

Your passport should be valid for minimum 6 months after the completion of the trip. For issue of visa we need 3 Xerox copies of your passport, with 3-passport size photographs. We request you to give all these details on confirmation of your booking. Indian Passport holders should have ECNR stamp. Visa formalities are stringent for people having diplomatic passports & for journalists; visas may be denied.

Notes on Acute Mountain Sickness:

Key to acclimatization: adequate hydration, adequate nutrition & managing personal comfort through adequate layers lead to acclimatization.

Following extracts are taken from “The Wilderness First Responder” by Buck Tilton, director of Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS, USA

Dehydration:

Without water there would be no life – at least no life, as you know it…

Water puddles inside every one of your cells, and flows through the microscopic spaces between cells. In water, oxygen and nutrients float to all parts of your body, and waste products are carried away. When your kidneys remove waste from your body those wastes have to be dissolved in water. Digestion and metabolism are water-based processes, and water is the primary lubricating element in your joints. You even need water to breathe, your lungs requiring moisture to expedite the transfer of oxygen into blood and carbon dioxide out of blood. Sweat, as mentioned, is mostly water. The water in your blood carries heat from warmer body parts to cooler areas of your anatomy when you are exposed to cold. In short, if aren’t well hydrated, you won’t be able to stay healthy, maximize your performance, or even maintain joy at being outdoors. The water in your body, the fluid that keeps you alive and active, leaves you at an alarming rate. Estimates vary widely, but an average person at rest on a normal day loses between two and three litres of water.

One to one-and-a-half litres rushes out as urine, and another one-tenth litre in defecation. Moisture is lost from act of breathing, more than half a litre per day, and that rate increases in dry winter air.

Then there’s sweat. The fluid lost in perspiration can climb to one to two litres per hour during periods of strenuous exercise. Compared to watching TV all day, one hour of exercise may demand approximately a 50 percent increase in the amount of water your body uses.

Your thirst mechanism that feeling of ”Gosh, I need a drink of water”, doesn’t kick in until you’re about one to one-and-a-half litres low. Down three to four litres can leave your endurance decreased to 50 percent and your oxygen uptake reduced close to 25 percent

Acclimatization:

The medical problems collectively referred to, as “altitude illnesses” are the results of hypoxia, insufficient oxygen in the blood for normal tissue function, a result of the decreased barometric pressure at higher altitudes. When you go up, the barometric pressure goes down, the concentration of oxygen in the air decreases, and the chance of altitude illness climbs.

Since there is a measurable increase in ventilation and decrease in aerobic exercise performance above 4,000 feet elevation, “high altitude” can be said to start at that point. Complications seldom occur, however, below 8,000 feet. In defining terms, consider 8,000 to 12,000 feet as high altitude, 12,000 to 18,000 as very high altitude, and 18,000 plus as extreme high altitude.

The human body will adjust to dramatic changes in barometric pressure, given enough time. Altitude illnesses – which range from mildly disturbing to completely fatal – are determined, primarily, by three factors:

1. How high the patient goes. 2. How fast the patient attains a specific altitude, and 3. Predisposing factors such as genetics and previous upper respiratoryillnesses. Critical to acclimatization is adequate hydration and nutrition.

Prevention:

As mentioned earlier, most people will adjust to altitude given enough time. Staged ascent is the key to acclimatization and, therefore, the key to preventing altitude illnesses. Adequate hydration is critical to the prevention of altitude illnesses. You should drink enough water to keep your urine output clear and copious.

A high calorie diet is essential for the energy needed to ascend and acclimatize. Avoid respiratory depressants, such as sleeping pills and alcohol.

…But physical fitness prior to ascent is a bonus in the game of safety and enjoyment. Fitness does not, however, protect against acute mountain sickness. (Friends: this is just to inform you about these important factors that we would be dealing in on the mountain. I know that there would be a lot of questions in your mind – how does one acclimatize, what food is to be taken, what are the early signs and symptoms that would alert me to start taking extra efforts to stay hydrated/acclimatized, etc. etc.)

Risks & Liability:

Lumle Holidays Ltd and its associates will put every effort to make your journey smooth and pleasant. However, all the tours in Tibet are conduct strictly under the rules & regulation of Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB). Therefore, Lumle Holidays Ltd and its counterpart shall not be responsible for any change and alteration in the program due to unavoidable circumstances such as landslide, road blockage, flood, snow, political unrest, and cancellation of flight, delay arrival, sickness or accidents. Any extra cost incurred thereof shall be borne by the clients on the spot.

Also see: Kailash FAQs

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