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According to mythology, the land encompassing the two regions of Kedar Khand and Manas Khand, extended from Haridwar to Mount Kailash and Mansarovar, and was known as Uttarakhand.  But now Kailash and Mansarovar are in Chinese Tibet and the remaining part in India is called Uttarakhand.


          Most interestingly, a mountain looking very much like Mount Kailash lies within Indian territory in district Pithoragarh. Slightly smaller in height, it is known as Chhota Kailash or the minor Kailash.  Just as Mansarovar is the huge lake at the foot of Kailash, there is the ParvatiSarovar, a smaller lake located on an eye-catching meadow called Jolingkong, at the foot of Chhota Kailash.  It is this striking similarity  which lends this geographic formation the name of Chhota Kailash.


For many years  the trek to Chhota Kailash started from Tawaghat, 15 km from Dharchula.  Upto a place called Gunji the treks to both Kailash and Chhota Kailash are the same. At Gunji they bifurcate to different directions.

Now the road has gone further up to a place called Mangti.  The trek to Chota Kailash can now begin from the road-head at Mangti, 17 km further up, or any point that may become the last motor head. From Mangti trekkers take a different route through Lakhanpur, and join up at Malpa with the old route coming from Tawaghat. Around 20km of trekking distance can be saved by starting the trek from Mangti.


The entire trek is full of natural extravaganza, with fascinating camping grounds.

 I –  The old route

Place Altitude (m) Distance (km) point to point
Tawaghat 1489 0
Pangu 1692 8 trek
Sirkha  2000 7 trek
Gala 2440 5 trek
Malipa 2018 10 trek
Boodi 2461 8 trek
 Gunji 3076 11 trek
Kooti 3852 12 trek
Chota Kailash 10 trek


 II – The new route

Place Altitude (m) Distance (km) progressive
Tawaghat 1489 0
Mangti 2240 17 motor
Gala 2240 23 trek
Malipa 2018 33 trek


Onwards to Chota Kailash as given in the old route.

This region also has the enigmatic Oam Parvat, so called because the hindi word  Oam appears inscribed in snow on the mountain face. This lends the mountain its holy name. Oam Parvat can best be seen from Nabidhang, a place  on the route to the Lipu Lekh, crossing which one enters Chinese Tibet.

Inner Line – Chhota Kailash is beyond the inner line and it is essential for travellers to obtain a visiting permit from the District Magistrate in Pithoragarh.  The rules concerning permits for inner lines keep changing. Travellers are advised to check about these rules well in advance. Foreigners or their handling agents will do well in checking on this point with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Loknayak Bhawan, Khan Market, New Delhi.



Note: From Jolingkong it is possible to climb the Senla Pass, cross over to the beautiful valley of Darma, and return to Tawaghat-Dharchula via Boan, Dar and Sobla villages.