How to travel Tibet from India

Tibet is adored by Indians for its charm, especially the sacred Kora regions. Lake Manasarovar and Mount Kailash hold significant value in Hindu scriptures as Lord Shiva’s dwelling and the essence of life. India’s religious acceptance and interest in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism led Indian pilgrims to visit Tibet for the Kora around these sites. Tibet’s popularity as a tourist spot for Indians is due to its location and allure.

To travel from India to Tibet, choose China or Nepal.

Travelling from India to Tibet Via China

Flight Information

  • From major cities in India (such as Delhi, Mumbai, or Kolkata), you can find direct flights to major cities in China like Beijing, Shanghai, or Chengdu.
  • Major airlines operating these routes include Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and IndiGo.

Tibet Travel Permit

  • Before entering Tibet from China, you will need to obtain a Tibet Travel Permit, also known as the Tibet Entry Permit.
  • To get this permit, you must travel through a travel agency that is authorized to process the permit for you.

Best Option of Travelling to Tibet

  • After arriving in China, you can choose to travel to Tibet by train or by flight.
  • The most popular and scenic option is taking the train from China to Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. The Qinghai-Tibet Railway offers breathtaking views of the Tibetan plateau.
  • If you prefer a quicker option, you can take a domestic flight to Lhasa from major cities in China like Beijing, Shanghai, or Chengdu.

Tips and Helps for Travelers

  • It is important to plan your trip well in advance and book your train tickets or flights early, especially during peak travel seasons.
  • Make sure to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit through a reputable travel agency that will help you navigate the permit process.
  • Acclimatize yourself to the altitude gradually once you reach Tibet to avoid altitude sickness.
  • Respect the local customs and traditions of Tibet. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites and follow the guidance of your local guide.

Travelling from India to Tibet Via Nepal

Flight Information

  • From major cities in India, you can find direct flights to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.
  • Airlines like Air India, IndiGo, and Nepal Airlines operate this route.

Tibet Travel Permit

  • To enter Tibet from Nepal, you will need to obtain the Tibet Group Visa instead of the Tibet Travel Permit.
  • You can apply for the Tibet Group Visa through a travel agency in Nepal. The agency will arrange the necessary paperwork for you.

Best Option of Travelling to Tibet

  • After arriving in Kathmandu, you can choose to travel to Tibet by road or by flight.
  • If you prefer a scenic road trip, you can travel from Kathmandu to Tibet via the Friendship Highway. This journey takes you through beautiful landscapes and includes a stop at the famous Everest Base Camp.
  • Alternatively, you can take a direct flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa if you prefer a quicker option.

Tips and Helps for Travelers

  • The road journey from Nepal to Tibet can be long and challenging, so be prepared for rough terrain and altitude changes.
  • Plan your trip during the best season for road travel, which is from April to October when weather conditions are favourable.
  • Obtain the necessary travel permits and visas well in advance to avoid any last-minute delays.
  • Engage the services of a reputable travel agency in Nepal that has experience in organizing trips to Tibet.

Remember that travelling to Tibet requires proper permits, and it is advisable to go through a travel agency to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey. Additionally, always check the latest travel advisories and guidelines from the respective governments before planning your trip.

Visa and permits are needed for Indian travellers visiting Tibet.

tibet travel permit for indian
Tibet travel permit for indian

Indians travelling to Tibet can get two visas: a Tibet Visa or a Tibet Travel Permit. Tibet Visa is for tourists visiting most parts of Tibet. To obtain it, present a passport and Chinese visa. We assist in getting your Tibet Visa and send it to your China hotel before you travel to Lhasa, Tibet.

Travel from India to Tibet via Nepal

If you decide to travel from Nepal to Tibet, you need to acquire a Tibet Visa and a Group Tourist Visa. The Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu usually handles the issuance of these visas. You can obtain these visas instantly from our office in Kathmandu or the Chinese Embassy.

Visa for Indian Pilgrims

Indian travellers must obtain a Tibet Visa, which needs to be endorsed, validated, and approved by the Foreign Affairs of the Tibet Autonomous Region, under the supervision of the Department of Public Security of TAR, Tibet Military Region, and the Armed Police Tibet Frontier Corps. Only two organizations, namely the government agency Foreign Affairs of Tibet Autonomous Region and the non-governmental Tibet-India Pilgrim Reception Center, have the authority to grant approval to Indian travellers.

These organizations provide various services to assist their pilgrimage, such as arranging accommodations, transportation (including yaks), itineraries, and guides, all free of charge.

India to Kathmandu, then get to Lhasa from Kathmandu

Travelling from India to Kathmandu offers two convenient options: by air or by road. Seven direct flights depart from Delhi to Kathmandu, with a flight time of approximately one hour and thirty-five minutes. Airlines such as Royal Nepal Airlines, Air India, Jet Airways, and IndiGo offer direct flights. Alternatively, connecting flights may take up to 6 hours and 40 minutes.

The road journey to Kathmandu follows regulations and halts at Firozabad, Faizabad, Mugling, and Sanouli for customs. Food stops are also made. Necessary documents include valid photo IDs issued by governments, like passports and Voter cards. Tourists need passports and Chinese/Tibetan visas.

Kathmandu to Lhasa

Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa

Kathmandu to Lhasa can be reached by road or flight. There are around ten flights every week. Airlines flying to Kathmandu include Sichuan Airways, Air China, China Southern, and China Eastern. The journey takes about 1 hour and 35 minutes. Flights operate daily, with Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Thursdays offering slightly lower fares. Connecting flights take a minimum of 6 hours and 30 minutes, with Chengdu being the common stop. 

Kathmandu to Lhasa by overland

The distance from Kathmandu to Lhasa is 1120 km. Many tourists choose to travel this distance overland, either by bike or car. The journey starts in Kathmandu and passes through Gyirong Port, Lhatse, Tingri, Sakya, Shigatse, Gyantse, and finally Lhasa. It takes about 13-16 days to complete. The altitude change is significant, going from 1400m to 3650m. Along the way, tourists can visit famous monasteries and other Tibetan sites. The best time for this trip is from June to October. 

There are many pathways to Tibet with beautiful journeys. Visit between May to October. In Lhasa, explore Ganden Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace, Barkhor Street, and more. Start your Tibet journey in Lhasa.

About the author

The Tibetan Travel website's creator, hailing from Lhasa, is a cultural enthusiast. They promote responsible tourism, connecting the world to Tibet's beauty and heritage. Awards recognize their contribution.

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