Thousands of pilgrims and tourists from across the globe visit Kailash Mansarovar every year. Since the journey involves visit to multiple countries, they do need Visa application as per their plan of the journey. Just like for traveling to any other foreign country, applying for and getting Visa is important for any traveller. But specifically for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, the need of Visa is little different. This is the reason why a lot of people who are planning to visit to this holy place often ask a lot of question about the required Visa application, and the related processes.
For people who visit China for their business or personal needs, the Visa application and process is common. But specifically those who choose the route to the Mount Kailash that passes through China, need to apply for a special Chinese Visa, which is not as same as other Chinese Visa. Actually, this special Visa is a paper based Visa given to only groups of travellers, who want to visit Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar. This implies that any tourist or pilgrim who want to go Kailash Mansarovar through China needs to join a group of other travellers who are going there, to get this group Visa.
As required by the Chinese government, one needs to send his passport copies to the tour operator or travel agent he has chosen to make bookings for the Kailash Yatra. With the passport copy, the agent will first apply for Tibet Travel Permit.
Once an individual receives this permit before his departure date for the Yatra, he will also need to submit his passport for Group Visa processing. Indian travellers or pilgrims need to send their original passport to the chosen travel agent for it, while people from other countries can send the coloured copies of their passport to the agent. Passports will be returned after the Group Visa application process completes up.
As detailed above, it takes a good amount of time to get the Visa process completed for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. This is the reason why travels who are willing to do this Yatra are required to make bookings for the same as early as possible.
For Indians, it is best to visit Kailash Mansarovar through Nepal, the neighbouring country for which they do not need a Visa to enter into.
But other than Indians, other foreign nationals who are first coming to India for this Yatra and have plans to travel ahead to Nepal, Nepal Visa will be required. Also, they can directly get their Nepal Visa by their tour operator, if they choose to directly reach Kathmandu, Nepal via air travel.
Also, travellers coming from India to visit Kailash will need Tibet Travel Permit, and need to apply for it as detailed by the chosen travel agent.
As detailed, even Indian and other foreign nationals who are first coming to India, can plan to visit Mount Kailash through China route, which has been detailed above.
A lot of travellers who visit China first, to reach to Kailash Mansarovar feel confused about the need of Tibet Group Visa. This is because they must be already having a Chinese Visa stamped on their passports. As per the rules, A Tibet group Visa is compulsory for all tourists entering into Tibet from either Nepal or China, irrespective of whether they have a Chinese Visa already or not.
For tourists or pilgrims who want to enter Tibet from Nepal to do their Kailash Yatra, it is very important to get Tibet Group Visa from Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu.
China India Pilgrims Service Centre (CIPSC) is a government organization, which has its monopoly over what to be taken care of in terms of arrangements to be made for Indian pilgrims in Tibet side. It also has the right to fix or vary rate of commodities and travel cost there, which it does as per foreign markets, value of US dollar as per Indian rupee, domestic labour cost etc.
Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) is also a government organization which takes care of all arrangements for tourists within Tibet.
One should also know that no travel agent can have any control over these organizations, in terms of facilities. These organizations can even deny giving permits to travellers sometimes, at their sole discretion.
In case it has been foretold that entry of tourists into Tibet has been closed, it is best for all the tourists to change their travel plan accordingly, after the blocked entries open up.
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