Adi Kailash in Pithoragarh : Travel Guide

Adi Kailash

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About Adi Kailash:

Adi Kailash, also known as Chhota Kailash, is a revered mountain located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. This majestic peak stands tall at an elevation of approximately 6,191 meters (20,312 feet) above sea level. It holds profound significance in Hinduism, drawing pilgrims and trekkers alike to its mystical beauty.

Adi Kailash, also known as Adi Kailas or Chotta Kailash, is a mountain peak located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is part of the Kailash Range in the Himalayas. Adi Kailash is situated near the Indo-Tibetan border in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, India. This region is known for its natural beauty and religious significance, drawing both trekkers and pilgrims to its stunning landscapes and sacred sites.

History of Adi Kailash:

  1. Spiritual Significance: Adi Kailash is often considered an abode of Lord Shiva. It is believed to be a sacred place where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati reside, making it a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus.
  2. Mythological References: The mountain is closely associated with the Hindu epic Mahabharata. It is believed to be the place where the Pandava brothers undertook their final journey to attain salvation, known as ‘Swargarohini Yatra.’
  3. Trekking Adventures: Apart from its spiritual significance, Adi Kailash offers breathtaking trekking opportunities. Trekkers can embark on an adventurous journey to circumnavigate the mountain, known as the ‘Parikrama.’ This trek offers awe-inspiring views of the Kailash range.
  4. Natural Beauty: The region around Adi Kailash is adorned with pristine landscapes, lush forests, and pristine lakes, adding to its natural allure. The serene beauty of the surroundings makes it a haven for nature enthusiasts.
  5. Cultural Encounters: While visiting Adi Kailash, travelers often get the chance to interact with the local Bhotia and Tibetan communities, gaining insight into their unique cultures and traditions.
  6. Trekking Tips: When planning a trek to Adi Kailash, it’s crucial to be well-prepared with proper gear, permits, and a knowledgeable guide due to the challenging terrain and high altitude.

In conclusion, Adi Kailash is not just a mountain; it’s a place steeped in spirituality, history, and natural beauty. Whether you seek spiritual enlightenment or an adventurous trekking experience, Adi Kailash has something profound to offer to every traveler.

Why Adi Kailash is Famous:

  1. Spiritual Significance: Adi Kailash is famous primarily for its deep-rooted spiritual importance. It is regarded as a sacred abode of Lord Shiva and a destination for devout pilgrims seeking blessings and enlightenment.
  2. Mythological Relevance: The mountain’s fame is linked to the epic Mahabharata, where it is believed to be the spot where the Pandavas embarked on their final journey towards salvation. This mythological association adds to its allure.
  3. Unique Parikrama: Adi Kailash is renowned for the ‘Parikrama’ – a circumambulation trek around the mountain. This challenging yet spiritually rewarding trek draws adventure enthusiasts and pilgrims alike from all over the world.
  4. Natural Beauty: The scenic beauty of Adi Kailash is another reason for its fame. Towering peaks, pristine lakes, dense forests, and picturesque landscapes make it a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.
  5. Cultural Encounters: Travelers to Adi Kailash often have the opportunity to interact with the local Bhotia and Tibetan communities, immersing themselves in unique cultures and traditions.

Things to Do in Adi Kailash:

  1. Parikrama Trek: Embark on the challenging Parikrama trek that encircles Adi Kailash, offering breathtaking views of the mountain and surrounding landscapes.
  2. Visit Om Parvat: Nearby, you can explore Om Parvat, a mountain famous for its naturally occurring ‘Om’ symbol on its surface.
  3. Seek Blessings: Visit the sacred temples and monasteries in the region, including the Adi Kailash Temple, to seek blessings and immerse yourself in the spiritual ambiance.
  4. Nature Photography: Capture the mesmerizing beauty of the Himalayas, serene lakes like Parvati Sarovar, and the diverse flora and fauna that inhabit the region.
  5. Cultural Interaction: Interact with the warm and hospitable Bhotia and Tibetan communities, gaining insights into their lifestyles, art, and traditions.
  6. Adventure Sports: For the adrenaline junkies, the region offers opportunities for camping, rock climbing, and exploring the rugged terrain.
  7. Relax and Meditate: Find peace and solace amidst the serene surroundings. Meditate by the lakeside or simply enjoy the tranquility of the mountains.

In summary, Adi Kailash’s fame arises from its spiritual significance, mythological connections, unique trekking experiences, natural beauty, and cultural richness. Whether you’re a spiritual seeker, an adventurer, or a nature enthusiast, Adi Kailash has something extraordinary to offer.

Things to Know about Adi Kailash:

  1. Sacred Pilgrimage: Adi Kailash, also known as Chhota Kailash, is a revered pilgrimage site for Hindus. It holds significant religious importance, attracting devotees seeking spiritual enlightenment.
  2. Location: Adi Kailash is situated in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, in the Pithoragarh district. It lies near the Indo-Tibetan border and is part of the Kumaon region.
  3. Altitude: The mountain stands at an elevation of approximately 6,191 meters (20,312 feet) above sea level, making it one of the lesser-known high-altitude destinations in the Himalayas.
  4. Mythological Connections: Adi Kailash is linked to the epic Mahabharata, where it is believed to be the starting point of the Pandavas’ journey towards heaven. It is also considered an abode of Lord Shiva.
  5. Trekking Paradise: Beyond its spiritual significance, Adi Kailash offers a challenging and rewarding trekking experience. The ‘Parikrama’ trek around the mountain is a popular route, known for its rugged terrain and breathtaking vistas.
  6. Natural Beauty: The region is characterized by pristine landscapes, dense forests, alpine meadows, and glacial lakes. Parvati Sarovar, a sacred lake, adds to the area’s natural charm.
  7. Cultural Diversity: Adi Kailash is home to the Bhotia and Tibetan communities, providing an opportunity for cultural interactions and an insight into their traditions.

How to Reach Adi Kailash:

  1. By Air: The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport in Uttarakhand. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Pithoragarh, the closest major town to Adi Kailash.
  2. By Rail: The nearest railway station is Tanakpur, which is well-connected to major cities in India. From Tanakpur, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Pithoragarh.
  3. Road Journey: Pithoragarh serves as the base for the Adi Kailash trek. From Pithoragarh, you can hire local transport or trek to reach the starting point of the Parikrama trek.
  4. Trekking Route: The Parikrama trek usually starts from Gunji or Kutti village. It’s advisable to hire a local guide and obtain the necessary permits for the trek.
  5. Permits: Adi Kailash is located near the India-Tibet border, so permits from local authorities and the Indian Army are required for foreign travelers.
  6. Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to visit Adi Kailash is during the summer months, from May to June, and the early autumn season, from September to October, when the weather is favorable for trekking.
  7. Preparation: Trekkers should be physically fit and prepared for the high-altitude conditions. Adequate trekking gear, warm clothing, and camping equipment are essential.

In conclusion, Adi Kailash is not only a spiritual haven but also a natural wonder, offering an unforgettable trekking experience. To visit this sacred mountain, careful planning and knowledge of the region’s accessibility are essential for a fulfilling journey.

Travel Tips for Adi Kailash:

  1. Physical Fitness: Prior to embarking on the Adi Kailash trek, ensure you are in good physical condition. The trek involves steep ascents and challenging terrain, so physical fitness is crucial.
  2. Acclimatization: Acclimatize properly to the high altitude to prevent altitude sickness. Spend a day or two in a nearby town like Pithoragarh before starting the trek.
  3. Local Guides: Hire an experienced local guide who is familiar with the trekking routes and the region’s nuances.
  4. Permits: Obtain the necessary permits from local authorities and the Indian Army, especially if you are a foreign traveler. Ensure you have all required documents before starting the trek.
  5. Pack Light: Pack only the essentials and travel light. Carry warm clothing, trekking gear, a first-aid kit, and high-energy snacks. It’s crucial to keep your backpack manageable.
  6. Water and Hydration: Carry a sufficient supply of clean drinking water or water purification tablets. Staying hydrated is essential at high altitudes.
  7. Weather Awareness: Dress in layers and carry rainproof and cold-weather gear, even during the summer months.
  8. Respect Local Customs: When visiting temples and monasteries in the area, dress modestly and respect local customs and traditions. Seek permission before taking photographs in religious sites.
  9. Campsite Etiquette: If you’re camping during the trek, follow Leave No Trace principles. Leave campsites clean and dispose of waste responsibly.

Best Time to Visit Adi Kailash:

  1. Summer (May to June): This is the most popular time to visit Adi Kailash. The weather is relatively mild, with daytime temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). The trekking trails are accessible, and the views are spectacular.
  2. Early Autumn (September to October): Another favorable time for trekking, with pleasant daytime temperatures around 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). The skies are clear, offering excellent visibility of the surrounding mountains.
  3. Monsoon (July to August): Avoid visiting during the monsoon season due to heavy rainfall, which can lead to landslides and difficult trekking conditions. Trails may be slippery and dangerous.
  4. Winter (November to April): The winter months are extremely cold, with temperatures dropping well below freezing, making trekking and camping nearly impossible. Adi Kailash is best visited during the warmer seasons.
  5. Note: Weather conditions in the Himalayas can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to check the local weather forecast and be prepared for sudden changes in weather, regardless of the time of year.

In summary, planning and preparation are key when visiting Adi Kailash. Follow these travel tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable trek, and choose the best time to visit based on your preferences and the prevailing weather conditions.

Places to Eat Near Adi Kailash:

  1. Local Dhabas and Tea Stalls: Along the trekking route to Adi Kailash, you’ll come across small local dhabas (roadside eateries) and tea stalls. These are perfect for a quick meal or a cup of hot tea to rejuvenate during your trek.
  2. Guesthouses and Homestays: Some guesthouses and homestays in nearby villages like Gunji and Kutti offer meals to trekkers. These meals often include local cuisine, giving you a taste of the region’s flavors.
  3. Pack Your Own Meals: Due to the remote location of Adi Kailash, it’s advisable to carry some of your own non-perishable food items such as energy bars, nuts, and canned goods to ensure you have sustenance throughout your trek.
  4. Packed Lunch from Trekking Agencies: If you’ve booked a trekking tour with an agency, they may provide packed lunches for you during the trek. Check with your tour operator for details.

Nearby Places to Visit Around Adi Kailash:

  1. Om Parvat: Om Parvat, famous for the naturally occurring ‘Om’ symbol on its surface, is a must-visit destination near Adi Kailash. It holds immense spiritual significance and is accessible on the trekking route.
  2. Parvati Sarovar: Parvati Sarovar is a pristine glacial lake located near Adi Kailash. It’s an ideal spot to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
  3. Kailash Mansarovar: While Adi Kailash is often considered the ‘Chhota Kailash’ or ‘Little Kailash,’ the famous Kailash Mansarovar, located in Tibet, is a major pilgrimage site and can be visited by those seeking a more extensive spiritual journey.
  4. Gunji: Gunji is a picturesque village and a popular starting point for the Adi Kailash trek. It offers stunning views of the Himalayan peaks and serves as a base for trekkers.
  5. Kutti: Another village on the trekking route, Kutti provides an opportunity to interact with the local Bhotia community and experience their unique culture and traditions.
  6. Narayan Ashram: Located on the way to Adi Kailash, Narayan Ashram is a serene place for meditation and spiritual reflection. It’s nestled amidst beautiful surroundings.
  7. Pithoragarh: After your Adi Kailash adventure, you can explore Pithoragarh, the nearest major town, to experience the local culture, visit temples, and sample regional cuisine.
  8. Darma Valley: If you have extra time, consider exploring the Darma Valley, known for its pristine landscapes, alpine meadows, and opportunities for trekking and adventure.

These nearby places offer a blend of spiritual experiences, natural beauty, and cultural interactions, enhancing your visit to Adi Kailash and making it a more holistic journey.


In conclusion, Adi Kailash, also known as Chhota Kailash, stands as a majestic symbol of spirituality, natural beauty, and adventure in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Its rich mythological connections, the challenging Parikrama trek, and the serene surroundings make it a destination that caters to the spiritual seeker, the avid trekker, and the nature enthusiast alike.

To make the most of your journey to Adi Kailash, it’s essential to be well-prepared, respect local customs, and choose the best time to visit based on your preferences and the prevailing weather conditions. Exploring nearby places like Om Parvat and Parvati Sarovar further enriches the experience, offering a glimpse into the cultural and natural wonders of the region.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about Adi Kailash:

1. Is Adi Kailash the same as Mount Kailash in Tibet?

  • No, Adi Kailash, often referred to as ‘Chhota Kailash’ or ‘Little Kailash,’ is a separate mountain located in Uttarakhand, India. It shares a spiritual connection with Mount Kailash in Tibet but is distinct in its geographical location.

2. What is the significance of the Parikrama trek around Adi Kailash?

  • The Parikrama trek is a sacred circumambulation of Adi Kailash, symbolizing a spiritual journey. It holds religious importance for Hindus and is a challenging trekking route offering breathtaking views of the Himalayas.

3. How can I obtain permits to visit Adi Kailash?

  • Permits can be obtained from local authorities and the Indian Army, especially for foreign travelers. It’s essential to secure these permits in advance before starting the trek.

4. What is the best time to visit Adi Kailash for trekking?

  • The best time for trekking to Adi Kailash is during the summer months (May to June) and early autumn (September to October). These periods offer favorable weather conditions and clear views.

5. Are there accommodations available near Adi Kailash?

  • Basic accommodations like guesthouses and homestays can be found in nearby villages such as Gunji and Kutti. However, be prepared for rustic lodging options during the trek, and consider carrying camping gear for a more immersive experience in the mountains.

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