The main reason anyone comes to Darchen is to to make the three-day walk around the Mt Kailash kora, but there are also a couple of good acclimatisation hikes around town.
Worth a Trip: Warm-Up Hikes Around Mt Kailash
If you’ve got extra time at Darchen, or you want to spend a day acclimatising before setting out on the Mt Kailash kora (pilgrim circuit), you can hike for an hour up the ridge to the north of the village for fine views of Mt Kailash. To the south you will be able to see the twin lakes of Manasarovar and Rakshas Tal. It gets very windy here in the afternoon
Since 2016 it has not been possible to continue up the switchbacking dirt road behind Darchen to Gyangdrak Monastery, largest of the Mt Kailash monasteries, or to Selung Monastery, where a short walk leads to a viewpoint popular with Indian pilgrims for its views of Kailash and Nandi peaks. The secret ‘inner kora’ of Kailash starts from here but is only open to pilgrims who have completed 13 main koras of the mountain.