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How to Reach Tibet

There are many ways one can Tibet from India and Nepal. Let’s see what are the best possible ways one can take to reach this beautiful land of Lamas, Sherpas and high sky kissing mountains.

From India

First of all there are No border crossings open for tourists or travellers to cross the border and reach in each other coutries. However, there are legal passes connecting Tibet with India – but these are open only to Indian’s, Chinese nationals and Tibetans. No other forgiener’s are allowed to pass through these. So, the 3 main passes between Tibet and India are:

  • Lipulekh Pass – between Uttarakhand, India and Ngari prefecture, Tibet
  • Shipki La Pass – between Himachal Pradesh , India and Ngari prefecture, Tibet
  • Nathu La Pass – between Sikkim, India and Shigatse prefecture, Tibet

The Shipki La Pass is generally used by local traders from both sides of the border and Indian pilgrims for pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash located in west Tibet. Nathu La Pass too is used for pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash But Nathula La Pass is open only for Indian passport holders.

Friendship Highway
There is this Frienship Highway from Kathmandu which is used to enter or return to Tibet. However, one does require an Indian passport to cross through this highway. One can cross this highway through bus or by flight. So many Indian, Nepal and Tibet carries flight across this belt. However, its a long route if you wish enter INDIA through this path and should check if you really intend to take this route.
The only International airport in Tibet is that in Lahasa. Lahasa International Airport is connected internationally to Nepal andKathmandu. From nepal one can easily fly to delhi, mumbai and kolkata. There are no flights from lahasa to anywhere in india. One has to reach kathmandu first in order to reach india.

From Nepal

The base line here is if you wish to go to Tibet from Nepal then you have to be in a organized tour chalked out by a tour operator. NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE. One needs to have travel permits, a permit  private vehicle, a driver and a guide. Group travel is not required to travel to Tibet; one can travel to tibet as a solo travel. Only thing is that one needs to be a part of a organized group for Tibet touring.

Overland Route                                   
One can enter Tibet via 2 routes. The first is from Kathmandu to Tibet  with border being just 115 kms away from the town of Kodari. From Kodari, Tibet border is just few miles away. One can cross this border via a private vehicle organized by a travel agency.

One you cross the border, one has to show papers to Chinese Customs. From here one can easily go to Tibet and places like Everest Base Camp, Mt. Kailash, Lhasa andShigatse. (This route was closed after 2015 earthquake; exactly when it will be opened is not yet disclosed).

Flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa

There are weekly direct flights from Nepal to Tibet/Lhasa. From months of May to October there are daily flights. Kindly note that there one is NOT ALLOWED to board any flight until and unless one is a part of organized tour group.

Travel permits for Tibet takes a minimum of 14 days. However, if you wish to travel to Western Tibet or Mt. Kailash; then it can take 4 weeks. So, for these routes its a good idea to contact a travel agency 6 weeks in advance.


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