You might be an avid traveller and you might also have crossed many continents – but nothing prepares you for a trip to Kailash Mansarovar – the abode of Lord Shiva. At 21,788 ft above sea level, this journey is the pinnacle of all destinations. And, however, much you want to do the parikrama up there – it is destiny that has the last word.
Cutting across nations, cultures and landscapes, this trip to Mansarovar is simply life changing, to say the least. And like all things legendary, there is a long checklist that needs to be fulfilled before you embark on your journey. Being physically as well as mentally fit is the primary criteria and people between the age group of 18-70 alone are allowed to take this journey. Though the journey takes a little over 2 weeks, the preparation starts months in advance with application for permits, medical NOC etc. It is advisable to book a complete package through a trusted travel agent in order to avoid unnecessary hassles.
The journey begins
In this particular trip, the journey is as important (if not more) as the destination itself. There are two primary routes to reach Mansarovar – the 14-day land route from Kathmandu and the 9-day air route from Nepalgunj. If you are taking the trip from India, you will be crossing two countries, Nepal and Tibet(occupied by China), before you reach Kailash Mansarovar. The journey is most amazing as you get to see the best of nature’s wonder and also face the worst challenges along the way. The temperature can dip as low as -40 degrees and the weather conditions too can get really bad. But like all good things in life, it is worth all the pain. Though you will be given special winter jackets and oxygen masks, one should carry enough warm jackets and good walking shoes for the trip.
The Holy dip & the ultimate parikrama
This trip is the ultimate spiritual journey one can take. Though Hindus from across the world come here to pay obeisance at the abode of Lord Shiva, Mount Kailash is also visited by believers of other faiths such as Buddhism and Jainism. Taking a holy dip at the Mansarovar Lake and doing the puja, especially on a full moon night, is considered most auspicious. It is believed that a holy dip along with the parikrama of Mount Kailash can help one attain moksha.
You will be staying close to Mansarovar Lake for a day – where you will have enough time to do puja as well as take a holy dip. Usually, the travel agent with whom you are travelling arranges for a pandit and also provides all puja items. Next in the itinerary is the much awaited 3-day parikrama of Mount Kailash. Spread across 3 days, you will be covering around 40kms. You have the liberty to walk all the way or do the parikrama on a pony; the choice is yours. The 2nd day of the trek is the most difficult one where you have to cover 22kms.
Majestic beauty at its best
Though this can easily be pegged as the ultimate spiritual journey for one and all – the mesmerising natural beauty that you see along the route is incomparable. Crossing different varied topographical boundaries, the landscape keeps changing frequently. From frozen glaciers, rugged mountains to forest beauty, it is like visiting multiple nations at one time. While you get to see the majestic beauty of the Himalayas upfront, this is also the originating point of important rivers such as the Indus and Brahmaputra. The azure and glistening beauty of Mansarovar lake and the majestic sight of Mt. Kailash, all make for a lifetime of memories.
So, whether you are travelling for the soul or for pure adventure – this yatra will change you forever. Take the plunge and you will give a completely new meaning to your life.
Some Tips for Mansarovar yatra
- Start your fitness regime much before the actual trip.
- You can start by running/walking 5kms thrice a week.
- Increase your stamina by eating the right food. You can consult a dietitian for the same.
- During the trip you will be served only vegetarian food, so get yourself acclimatized to vegetarian diet.
You can pack your energy bars and nuts.
- Make sure to wear the right attire. Arm yourself with waterproof trekking shoes, down jacket, gloves etc.
Most important – travel light