Last Updated on April 9, 2022 by asoulwindow
Information about Gauri Kund
Gauri Kund is a high-altitude lake. During Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, Gauri Kund is a major stop. Located in Tibet, this pious lake is revered by crores of Hindu devotees. Gauri Kund is the pond of Maa Parvati, who is the wife of Shiv Bhagwan.
It is a visually stunning emerald colored pond. Hindu devotees visit Gauri Kund in large numbers to offer their thanks to Shiva Bhagwan while performing Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. Here is all you wanted to know about Gauri Kund near Mount Kailash.
Not many know that Gauri Kund is a group of five small and big emerald colored naturally formed water ponds. Filled with drops of purity, it is a highly revered pond. Gouri Kund is the top sightseeing attraction in Tibet. For a true Shiva devotee, Gowri Kund is a must-visit place.
A visit to this perfectly round shaped lake makes the Kailash journey complete. It is a once in a lifetime experience! Do read all my blogs on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. My blog A Soul Window is an authority on all the topics related to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Everything you want to know about this epic Hindu pilgrimage is available to read on my blog, free of cost. I have shared the links of all the related blogs at the bottom of this blog.
This is the most comprehensive travel guide on Gauri Kund of Tibet. You must read all the information packed blogs on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra on my blog. A Soul Window has been rated as ‘Top 10 travel blogs in India’ many times. Abhinav Siingh has been mentioned as the most successful travel blogger in India.
What is special about Gauri Kund? It is a commonly asked question. Gauri Kund has the water of life and purity! Gauri Kund has the boon of Shiva ji, Gauri Maa and Ganesha Bhagwan. Gauri Kund near Kailash Parbat is world famous because this was the place where Maa Parvati used to have her daily baths.
Gauri Kund is also famous because this was also the place where Lord Shiva (as the west calls Him) had severed the head of Lord Ganesh (as the whites call Him!).
And as if this was not enough, the sheer beauty of this emerald-colored lake is a soothing balm to the eyes. Gauri Kund lake is also famous because it is visually stunning. Gouri Kund is surely off the touristy trail and only a spiritual person is attracted by the ancient aura of the place.
I saw something as beautiful at the Roopkund lake during the trek in Uttarakhand in North India. Gauri Kund is one of the most unusual places to see in West Tibet. It is off the beaten track.
Who is Maa Parvati?
For the uninitiated, the sacred Gauri Kund belongs to Gauri who is the daughter of mighty King Himavat and queen Mena. Parvati Maa is the wife of the most powerful Hindu God Shiva Bhagwan. Parvati ji and Shiv ji are also parents of the much-revered Ganesha ji and Karitikeyan ji.
Parvati Maa is a connecting link between a man and a woman. She represents the supernatural energy like Shiva and Shakti.
Difficulty Level of visiting Gauri Kund
Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, the biggest Hindu pilgrimage remains incomplete if a person skips Gauri Kund. Paying homage to this kund of compassion and happiness is the top thing to do during the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. This detailed travel guide on Gauri Kund covers all the aspects of the holy pond.
Many people have a darshan of Kailash Parbat at Deraphuk and leave. The climb from Deraphuk to Gauri Kund via Dolma La Pass is very steep and not easy. Physically weak, differently abled and old people often return back to Darchen after having a darshan at Deraphuk.
I saw many devotees who folded their hands, offered the prayers to Kailash Parbat at Drirapuk and returned to Darchen without visiting Gauri Kund. People do that not to save money but for health reasons. Many people are not able to visit Gauri Kund even on a pony because of medical issues, ailments, physical deformity and old age.
Birth of Ganesh ji at Gauri Kund
As per Hindu history, it was at Gauri Kund of present-day Tibet where Parvati Maa, Goddess of mountains, created her son Ganesh ji, using the dirt of her body. Not many people known about this lesser-known fact. As per other versions of the story, Ganesh ji was formed and made up of lather and froth which resulted from the bath of Parvati Maa at this venerated pond known as Gauri Kund.
Did you know that it was at Gauri Kund of Tibet where Parvati ji used to take bath? All Hindus have grown up hearing of the stories where Ganesh ji defends the door when Parvati Maa was having a bath.
Story of Shiva Ji severing head of Ganesh ji
During one of her daily routine bathing rituals, Parvati Maa created Ganesh Bhagwan with the dirt of her body. She instructs her son Ganesh ji to guard the door while she is bathing. Ganesh ji dutifully guarded the door so that any unknown person was barred from entering while she bathed. All the trespassers were strictly prohibited.
We all know that when Shiv Bhagwan tried to enter the premises of Gauri Kund in order to meet Parvati ji, he was stopped by Ganesh ji, the obedient son of Maa Parvati. At this point, Shiv ji had no idea that Ganesh ji was indeed his son. Enraged at his insult, Shiv ji severed the neck of Ganesha ji, his own son.
When the tearful Maa Parvati realized what happened, she pleaded Shiva ji to bring back her son Ganesh ji at any cost. We all know what happened next? Shiva ji, replaced the head of Ganesh ji with that of a wandering wild elephant.
This is how Ganesh ji was brought back to life and given an elephant head. This made Parvati Maa happy and all was well again.
Shiva ji also granted Ganesh Bhagwan the boon to be the Vighnaharta Devta. This is why, even today Ganesh ji is worshipped before any auspicious work such as buying a car or home or shop etc. So, before starting any big project or work, Hindus please Lord Ganesha (as the west calls him) with prayers and offerings.
Presently, there are no elephants in this region, but I am sure thousands of years ago many elephants roamed here, much like how lions once used to roam Iran in Asia or mammoths roamed in much of the world.
Can we take bath in Gauri Kund?
Can we take a holy bath in Gauri Kund?It is a frequently asked question on Gauri Kund. Ever since the episode where Shiv ji severed the head of Ganesh ji, the tradition of taking bath in Gauri Kund has continued. Bathing in the sacred Gauri Kund is the most auspicious things which a devout Hindu can do! Kailash tirtha is incomplete without a holy dip here.
There have been many instances when Hindu devotees have claimed that their diseases have been cured after having a bath in Gauri Kund. People also claim that all the tiredness which happens due to climbing on the steep path to Dolma La vanishes when once takes a holy bath in Gauri Kund.
However, I didn’t see any one taking bath in Gauri Kund when I visited. In fact, a bath here was prohibited by the authorities. Also, the Hindus believe that Parvati Maa still visits the Gauri Kund. As a mark of respect, devotees are expected to revere the holy pond from a distance.
Gauri Kund Snan Not Auspicious
Rakshas Taal is not holy therefore no one takes a bath there. However, Gauri Taal is a holy pond and still many devotees advise not to take a bath in it. Here is why. Many believe that since Maa Parvati still resides here, one should stay away from the Gauri Kund and just have a darshan from a distance.
As per other versions, Gauri Kund Snan or bath in Gowri Kund and Rakshas Taal is not considered auspicious. Ravan, the demon king from Hindu epic Ramayan had taken a dip in Rakshas Taal. As we know through the ancient Hindu scriptures, Ravan was a great devotee of Lord Shiva (as the whites calls Him). As a King, Ravan was an able administrator and talented.
He went to Kailash Parvat, the abode of Shiv Bhagwan to offer his prayers. Before going to Mount Kailash, Ravan wanted to have a bath. This is why, he took a dip in the Rakshas Taal, which is present very close to Kailash Parbat even today.
After bathing in Rakshas Taal, Ravan proceeded to meet Shiv ji. While he was on his way, Ravan saw Parvati Maa. After meeting Shiv ji, Ravan did his stuti or praise. His bhakti pleased Shiv ji and he told Ravan that he can ask what he wants to. Ravan said that he wants his wife Parvati ji. His mind made him say such a thing because he had taken a dip in Rakshas Taal. After having a bath in Rakshas Taal, wrong thoughts made home in his mind.
There is also scientific reason due to which bathing is not advised in Gauri Kund. There are certain gases which are found in the water of Gauri Kund which makes the water poisonous. Even if bathing in the water of Gauri Kund doesn’t kill you, it can still have negative impact on you. This is why, many believe that it is not right to have a bath at Gauri Lake of Tibet. Now you know all about Gauri Kund Snan.
Soul Window Thoughts
Personally, I would prefer if people stayed away from Gauri Kund and instead respectfully have a darshan of it from a distance, like how I did.
Can I bring back the Holy Water of Gauri Kund?
Maa Parvati showers her blessings to all the devotees and purifies them. All Hindus devotees splash the special therapeutic jal (holy water) of Gauri Kund over their head as blessing. The pilgrims believe that doing so purifies them forever. By splashing the holy water on their body, pilgrims believe that it liberates them from all sufferings of mortal life.
I had also observed some devotees going down, all the way from trekking path to bring the holy water of Gauri Kund in plastic bottles to take back home. This is one of the most unusual things to do in Gauri Kund because not many devotees make the effort to trek down towards the Gauri Kund and collect water.
Soul Window Thoughts
Sumit ji, my co-traveller who also runs the successful Madhuban Foods is an ardent Shiva Bhakt. He travels regularly to perform Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. While we waited for him at the trekking path, he ran on the rocky descend towards the Gauri Kund.
Once arrived at Gowri Kund, he respectfully splashed the holy water on his head and filled the bottles with the holy water. He brought home the holy water when we returned to India via Nepal.
Such devotion and such faith is hard to see amongst urban people of India. Most deracinated youth of Asian and African cultures have become too westernized (including their names) off late and losing touch with their roots. Sumit ji, I am sure has special blessings of Maa Parvati.
Praying at Gowri Kund
Sitting on an uneven rock, as I filled my face with my packed lunch, the sounds of ancient Vedic Mantras vied for my attention. Time stood still, as a couple in front of me chanted the mantras from a small book they had carried with them.
Chanting basic Shiva Mantra at Gauri Kund is supposed to bring health, peace and prosperity in a true devotee. Om Namah Shivay or ॐ नमः शिवाय and Har Har Mahadev is also one of the most common chants I heard during the parikrama. This is the best thing to do in Gauri Kund with family.
Benefits of visiting Gauri Kund
It is said that if a son brings his mother to Gauri Kund, then Ganesh Bhagwan himself showers the devotee with his special blessings. Ganesh ji, after all has special place for those who take care of their mothers.
I never had that privilege, but lucky are those who have been able to take their parents to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Secrets and mysteries of Gauri Kund
There are many secrets and mysteries associated with Gauri Kund. I believe in science but I also believe in the unknown. After all, despite all the so-called scientific progress of the modern world, many questions have remained unanswered.
With all the modern technology and advanced systems in place, we are still unable to unravel the mystery that surrounds ancient places such as Mount Kailash (as the west calls it), Mansarovar Lake and Gauri Kund. But then some mysteries should always remain a secret.
My experience of Gauri Kund
I felt blissful standing near the Gauri Kund. I could not believe what I saw. I had done no prior research on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra before the journey began. I was invited for the yatra and I said yes. I had not even seen how Gauri Kund looks like. I was unprepared to see what followed next after I descended from Dolma La.
Several ponds with eye soothing emerald colored water greeted me as I navigated my way through the rocky descend. Nestled in the foothills of the mighty Kailash Parbat, the scenery stood out. Though I had visited the visually stunning Mansarovar Lake and Rakshas Taal before visiting Gauri Kund, I was still mesmerized. The beauty doesn’t even compare. Every spiritual place here is gorgeous in a different way.
I stood there in silence, looking at the ancient pond, hypnotized in that moment. Since it was an open area, the wind was fierce and so was the sun. Because I left early in the morning, I had arrived at Gauri Kund via Dolma La by afternoon.
Not wanting to leave, I had my packed lunch, sitting at a rock which faced Gauri Kund. This allowed me to lovingly look at this ancient pond for a longer time. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I surely want to go back again for the darshan of the divine!
Do share this exhaustive travelogue on Gauri Kund based upon my own experience. I have shared many deep insights on Gauri Kund here. Such information is not available in mainstream media and traditional guide books.
Altitude of Gauri Kund, Tibet
What is Gauri Kund height in feet? Gauri Kund is nestled at a height of a whooping 18,200 feet or 5608 meters above mean sea level. The height is lower than the nearby Dolma La Pass because the pond is located on a lower surface. Altitude of Dolma La pass is 18,471 feet or 5630 meters.
One needs to descend down from Dolma La Pass to arrive at Gauri Kund. However, most devotees offer their prayers from the trekking path, which is located high above the Gauri Kund.
Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS
Since Gauri Kund is located on a high altitude, care must be taken to avoid AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness. I had taken 1 tablet of Diamox a day ever since I arrived in Kyirong via a road trip from Nepal.
You must take Diamox too as it helps avoid AMS. You should not take Diamox if you have allergy to medicines that have Sulphur in it. Consuming garlic daily and drinking lots of water also helps avoid AMS. I always do that when travelling in high altitudes.
Nomenclature/Etymology of Gauri Kund
As the name suggests, Gauri Kund is associated with Mata Gauri. The same is also mentioned in the ancient Hindu scriptures. This is why Gauri Kund is named after her. Mata Parvati Gauri is wife of Shiv ji and mother of Ganesh ji and Kartikeya ji.
Gauri Kund is also known as the Parvati Sarovar or Lake of Compassion. People also spell Gauri Kund as Gowri Kund or Gouri Kund. Some also call it Gauri Kund Lake or Gauri Lake. They all mean the same and I have used these words interchangeably in this blog.
Other Gauri Kunds
There are many more Gauri Kunds apart from the one in Tibet. These Gauri Kunds also have great spiritual significance and are revered by Hindus. The Gauri Kund of Tibet near Dolma La Pass and Mount Kailash is not to be confused with other Gauri Kunds, which are located across India.
The other Gauri Kunds are listed as below:
- Gauri Kund Gujarat: It is also known as Ajpal Kund. It is located in Vadnagar of Gujarat.
- Gauri Kund Himachal Pradesh: This Gauri Kund is located in Bharmour in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, also in North India. Only women can enter here.
- Gauri Kund Uttarakhand: This famous Hindu pilgrimage destination is located at a distance of only 5 kilometers from Sonprayag in Uttarakhand and 28 kilometers from Guptkashi. This Gauri Kund is located on the banks of Mandakini River in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand in North India. This pond also falls in the route of the trek to Kedarnath Temple, an important stop at Chaar Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand. In fact, it is at Gauri Kund where the trek to Kedarnath starts.
- Gauri Kund Gangotri: Gauri Kund and Surya Kund are located on either side of an iron bridge. It is situated close to GMVN Tourist Bungalow in Gangotri in Uttarakhand in North India. This Gauri Kund is located just 500 meters away from the world-famous Gangotri Mandir.
- Gauri Kund Rajasthan: There is a Gauri Kund in Chittorgarh in Rajasthan as well. I had visited the hilltop fort city and was amazed with the grand views that it offers.
Soul Window thoughts
I had visited temples devoted to entire family of Shiv ji including Ganesh ji and Kartikeya ji. Brihadisvara Temple of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu is one of them. Located in South India, it is the grandest Hindu temple I had visited. My trek to Bhimashankar Temple in Maharashtra in West India was also memorable.
Where is Gauri Kund located?
Gauri Kund is located towards the south face of Mount Kailash. Gauri Kund is situated just 2-3 kilometres uphill from Dirapuk Gompa. Gauri Kund is situated the far west regions of the Tibet in the Ngari Prefecture.
Minutes after I descended after arriving at the Dolma La pass, my eyes were treated with the grand spectacle of Gauri Kund. Yes, Gauri Kund appears while going downwards from the snow-covered Dolma – La Pass. There are many points of attractions near Gauri Kund. Several tourist places in Tibet are located close to Gouri Kund.
Soul Window Observations
The first glimpse of Gauri Kund instantly reminded me of the Roopkund lake I saw during the high-altitude trek in Uttarakhand in North India.
History of Gauri Kund
Historical significance of Gauri Kund is immense. The history of Gauri Kund dates back to thousands of years ago. The Gowri Kund belongs to the times of Shiva ji and Parvati ji. I love traveling to ancient places such as these. It is like traveling back in time!
Soul Window Facts
Shiva Bhagwan or Adi Dev was not born. He was Swavayambhu (self-born and not born in human body!). Shiva ji has existed when there was nothing on Earth. He will also be the one who will still exist when everything is destructed on Earth. This is also the reason Shiva ji is also refered to as ‘Adi-Dev’ the literal meaning of which is ‘The Oldest God of the Hindu History’.
Who built Gauri Kund?
Who constructed Gauri Kund? This is a reservoir which holds natural water. Gowri Kund is a naturally formed cluster of ponds.
When was Gauri Kund constructed?
Gauri Kund is not a man-made pond. Gouri Kund is a naturally formed pond which was created lakhs of years ago. It is an ancient place which has continued to exist since times immemorial. There are many interesting places to see around Gauri Kund.
Top things to do in Gauri Kund
What is there to do in Gauri Kund? Below are the best things to do in Gauri Kund:
- Offer prayers
- Light incense sticks
- Read Vedic Mantras
- Soak in the grand views
- Take photographs and videos
- Splash the holy water of Gauri Kund on your head
- Descend to Gauri Kund for filling the holy water in plastic bottles.
Excursions from Gauri Kund
Below are some of the best places to see near Gauri Kund:
- Yam Dwar
- Dolma La Pass
- Rakshas Tal
- Choku Gompa
- Chiu Monastery
- Yarlung Tsangpo
- Dzultripuk Gompa
- Drirapuk or Deraphuk
- Kuber Kund (located in Inner Kora)
- Taklakot aka Purang or Burang
Places of interest such as Lhasa, Gyantse, Lhatse, Ngamring, Lake Yamdrok, Shigatse, Gampala Pass, Saga and Kyirong are located a little away from Gauri Kund and Darchen. These tourist attractions can be covered on a long trip to Tibet.
Festival of Gauri Kund
Sawa Daga is the most important festival which is celebrated on grand scale in the nearby Darchen. It is a lesser-known fact.
Mahashivratri which happens in the Hindu month of Falgun or Phalgun is when Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is closed unfortunately. So, it is not possible to celebrate Mahashivratri in and around Gauri Kund.
Vegan and Vegetarian Food in Gauri Kund
I relished my packed lunch of methi thepla and alu jira while sitting on a rock that faced Gauri Kund. It was the most picturesque al fresco ‘restaurant’ of the world.
Is it safe to visit Gauri Kund?
To be on a safer side, start taking 1 Diamox tablet daily few days before the yatra begins. Also, since you will be travelling in group, so you can expect someone by your side. Do not leave your group, especially in the remote areas.
There should be someone around you in case an untoward incident happens. Do not trek solo around Gauri Kund because weather and climate conditions can change in a minute.
Souvenirs Shopping Guide to Gauri Kund
There are no souvenir shops in this area except Darchen. There was a large row of souvenir shop outside my hotel in Darchen. I had picked many small wall-hangings from one of the shops. It had a beautiful image of Kailash Parbat, surrounded by a golden ring.
What currency is used in Gauri Kund?
The Chinese Yuan is widely used as local currency across Tibet. You can exchange INR to CNY even in some shops in Delhi or Mumbai or Bengaluru or Kolkata at airports.
ATM in Gauri Kund
There are no ATMS in and around Gauri Kund. I carried Chinese Yuan with me. It is always a good idea to carry lot of cash (a lot!) while traveling through the remote Tibet as most places do not have proper ATMs and not many accept digital payment.
Photography Tips for Gauri Kund
Besides being a center of faith, Gauri Kund is a visual delight. I could spend hours just taking pictures and videos of Gauri Kund. It is that gorgeous! There are very few such places across the world! Try moving back and forth to take pictures of Gauri Kund from different angles.
I also request you to take pictures and videos respectfully without harassing other devotees. It is not a picnic spot but a center of Hindu faith. Gowri Kund is a must-see place for its sheer beauty.
This historical destination is more scenic than you can imagine. No image and video can do justice to the real Gowri Kund. The fact that Gouri Kund is an unexplored place located away from the crowds makes it all the more gorgeous.
Soul Window Travel Tip
It is a good idea to carry extra battery and extra SD card always when doing Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. Since camera batteries delete fast in cold weather and the charging facilities are few and far between, it makes sense to carry at least extra batteries and SD cards.
Hire local tourist guide in Gauri Kund
Hiring a local guide who speaks both, the local language or Hindi or English is a great advantage. It can help smooth many things. Communication is a major hurdle here. Though, most tour operators have their own tourist guides which makes communication a bit easier.
Languages spoken in Gauri Kund
Tibetan, Mandarin, Hindi and English are the most spoken and understood language in this part of Tibet. The local people including porters and pony riders do not understand either Hindi or English.
But since Kailash Mansarovar Yatra receives huge influx of Hindus from various parts of India, expect to meet people who speak and understand Hindi as well as Indian regional languages such as Maharashtrian, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Gujarati.
Books recommendation on Gauri Kund
I would advise you to read books on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra to gain a wider perspective and knowledge on this pious destination.
Entry fee of Gauri Kund
Needless to say, visiting Gowri Kund is a free thing to do here. No separate entrance fee is charged here. The entry fee is included in the tour package sold by tour agents who offer Kailash Mansarovar Yatra packages.
Toilet facility around Gauri Kund
There was no washroom at my stay in Deraphuk. We answered nature’s call in open. There are no toilets around Gauri Kund too. In fact, there is not a single toilet between Deraphuk and Zuthulphuk. Nature’s call is always answered in open fields.
Always be aware of the local Tibetan dogs while answering nature’s call in open. Go in groups if possible. The huge Tibetan dogs are known to create ruckus and even attack humans.
Backpacking Budget Travel Tips for Gauri Kund
Anywhere in Tibet is an expensive place to visit. It is not a pocket friendly destination as it is mandatory to travel across Tibet on a car and with local guide. It is a Government mandate and is strictly followed.
It is thus not very easy to travel to Tibet and do Kailash Mansarovar Yatra on a low budget. Having said that, it is totally worth it to save some money and spend on this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Some journeys deserve that. Expenses in Gauri Kund are not much anyways because everything is covered in the tour package.
Solo Trip Tips for Gauri Kund
It is possible to travel to Gouri Kund solo, though not on a low-budget. As a male or female solo traveller, you can join any group managed by a trustworthy tour operator. Not only will that provide you safety but also help in managing vegetarian Indian food, getting over communication barrier, navigation, sightseeing etc.
Luxury travel Tips for Gauri Kund
For the kind of money, a devotee spends on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, the services offered are below basic. So, while it has a budget of a luxury trip, the devotee travels like a poor person. Expect sharing a mid-size room with 5-10 other people, absence of toilets in Mansarovar and Deraphuk, absence of laundry, absence of most basic amenities etc.
Soul Window Observations
It is like traveling back in time, where there was not much of a civilization or modern frills. For a pre historical place like Kailash Parvat and Mansarovar Lake, it is a good thing that it is bereft of modern facilities. It cleans the mind of all the unnecessary things we hang on to all day in routine life.
This is how it must have been lakhs of years ago! This is where we came from! This profound feeling can only be experienced during Kailash Mansarovar Yatra!
Where to stay around Gauri Kund
No accommodation facilities are available at Gauri Kund. Hindu, Buddhist and Bon people stay at basic accommodation available at Deraphuk, Zuthulphuk and Darchen. Darchen has few low-quality luxury hotels. Stay options at Deraphuk and Zuthulphuk are below basic.
What to wear in Gauri Kund?
Located near Dolma La Pass, the highest point of Kailash Mansarovar yatra, I experienced thin air and cold weather here. The temperature is at its lowest in the area that surrounds Gauri Kund.
I was wearing a good quality down jacket, gloves, muffler, full body thermal inners and many layers of woolen shirts and track pants. Do read my complete guide on how to pack for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
You will need to dress up like this on most Tibet tours because of the unique climate of Tibet.
Timings of Gauri Kund
There is no official set timing to cross Dolma La pass and reach Gauri Kund. However, to be safe from unpredictable weather, most pilgrims leave Diraphuk on foot as early as 5 a.m. The early people start, the sooner they reach Dolma La Pass and Gauri Kund.
Leaving late has many perils and I am sure you are not looking for any avoidable troubles in a place bereft of any basic facilities.
Soul Window Travel Tips on Gauri Kund
If you start early then it is also possible to complete the entire parikrama and reach back to your hotel before dark. I would suggest you to leave Deraphuk between 4 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Best Time to visit Gauri Kund?
The best season to visit Gauri Kund is between May and September every year. May, June, July, August and September are the best months to visit Gauri Kund.
Much like Ladakh region of North India, due to extreme cold and snowfall, much of Tibet is closed in winter months. December and January are the coldest months in Tibet.
I had paid a visit to Gauri Kund in August. The weather of area around Gauri Kund was very pleasant when I visited in the second week of August. It was a sunny and bright day. However, just a day ago the weather of Deraphuk fluctuated. We saw slight rain, cloudy weather, fog, rainbow and a bright sunny day within the span of few hours. Devotees can make a journey to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra only in summer months.
It rains in Tibet from late July to early September. During my 15 days in Tibet, I had experienced a light drizzle only once, on the first day of parikrama from Yam Dwar to Deraphuk. It was manageable with a rain proof down jacket which I was wearing.
Duration of Visit in Gauri Kund
How many days to spend in Gauri Kund? No one stays around Gauri Kund for days. Due to high altitude, risk of Acute Mountain Sickness lack of any facilities, pilgrims spend just a few minutes around Gauri Kund. I had spent 30 minutes having darshan of Gauri Kund.
Itinerary for Gauri Kund
You must wake up early such as 4:00 a.m. or 5 a.m. and leave Deraphuk as soon as possible so that you can reach Gauri Kund via Dolma La Pass by afternoon. After having the darshan of Gauri Kund, I reached Zuthulphuk in next 2-3 hours and tried to arrive back at my hotel in Darchen before dark. That is how I did it and you must too.
Local Transport for sightseeing in Gauri Kund
Only pony rides are available as transport in Gauri Kund. Most people prefer to just trek on the steep hill but the disabled, old people and people with ailments prefer to hire a pony.
In case a devotee is not taking a pony and prefers to trek, then he can also hire a porter who can carry his belongings while he treks. The porters charge extra money for carrying your luggage. You can alternatively leave your luggage at the hotel in Darchen and carry just essentials for the parikrama.
How to reach Gauri Kund
By Road: Darchen is the nearest village from Gauri Kund. I had travelled to Darchen by a road trip on a personal vehicle from Mansarovar lake via Rakshas Taal. While returning, I had joined a bus with a large group of pilgrims from Maharashtra and Gujarat in West India.
By Rail: There is no railway station at Darchen.
By Airport: There is no airport at Darchen.
By Shared Taxis: There are no shared taxis to Darchen. Even if shared taxis were available, it would still be difficult as a local guide accompanying the tourists is mandatory at all times.
Distances from Gauri Kund
Places like Darchen, Yam Dwar, Deraphuk, Dolma La Pass, Zuthulphuk etc are located very close to Gauri Kund. Other places in Tibet Autonomous Region of China, such as Taklakot aka Prang or Burang, Mansarovar Lake, Rakshas Taal, Saga, Kyirong, Lhasa etc are located far away from Gauri Kund and needs a car and a local guide at all times. Of these, Taklakot, Mansarovar Lake and Rakshas Taal are located very close to each other.
Conclusion: Is Gauri Kund worth visiting?
Why visit Gauri Kund? Here are my final thoughts! If you have booked a tour package to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in Tibet, then mostly Gauri Kund will be included by the tour agent. Gauri Kund is a very integral part of this epic Hindu pilgrimage. In a nutshell, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is incomplete without a visit to Gowri Kund.
To summarize, my visit to Gouri Kund was one of the key highlights of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. The tour to Gauri Kund Mount Kailash not only left a lasting impression on me but also changed me as a person. Despite its fame and stature, Gowri Kund is a lesser visited place in Tibet due to high cost and several rules. More people should pay a visit to this hidden gem in West Tibet.
Soul Window Thoughts
To be able to just stand in the same space as that of Gauri Kund and Kailash Parbat is nothing less than a privilege. Very few lucky people are chosen by Shiv Bhagwan every year to complete this once-in-a-lifetime journey. I am blessed to be chosen by Him.
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