Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kailash Manasarovar Yatra

Kailash manasarovar

About Mount Kailash

The holy Mount Kailash is situated in the western Tibetan plateau in the northernmost region of the Himalayas. Also referred to as Mount Meru and Kang Rinpoche, or snow jewel, Mount Kailash is a 22,028 ft high peak known for being the abode of Shiva. Hindus perform a 'parikrama' or walk around the 32-mile circumference of Mount Kailash, an act that is believed to wipe away all sins. Four holy rivers originate from Mount Kailash: the Indus, the Brahamputra, the Karnali and the Sutlej

Kailash Mansarovar is in the western part of the Tibetan Himalayas at an altitude of 6,714 m.  The Kailash Mansarovar yatra or journey takes around 30 days of combined travel by bus or jeep, and then by foot. The journey is along the fixed route chosen by the Indian and Tibetan governments and bookings have to be made with the  Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam. Another way is to fly to Kathmandu, and then drive to Mansarovar - this is a relatively easy route. A quick, but very expensive way of doing the trip is to book a 9 or 12 day helicopter tour...

About Mansarovar Lake

Travel 18 miles southeast of Kailash, and you arrive at the placid blue circular Lake Mansarovar, also known as Tso Rinpoche or 'precious lake' in Tibetan. Bathing in the freezing cold water of the lake which is said to contain miraculous powers is considered to be of massive spiritual benefit.

About the Yatra

The duration of the Yatra is 26 days. In addition, Yatris will need to spend 4 days in New Delhi to obtain visas, undergo a comprehensive medical examination and complete other formalities. This year, 16 batches each consisting of a maximum of 60 pilgrims will take part in the Yatra. The first batch is expected to depart from New Delhi in the last week of May/first week of June and continue till the end of September 2008.

Cost of Travel

Applicants should ensure that they possess an Indian Passport. The cost of the Yatra will include Rs. 19,250 to be paid to Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN), Rs. 1,950 to be paid to ITBP for medical examination / tests at Delhi, and US$ 700 to be paid to the Chinese side, besides additional expenditure on equipment, clothing, food, baggage, ponies, etc.

An Arduous Yatra

The Indian Mountaineering Foundation has recognized the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra as a trekking expedition with an element of life risk involved. The Yatra is extremely arduous - much more than Vaishnodevi or Amarnath Yatra, and involves trekking at altitudes as high as 19,500 feet, under hostile conditions, in extreme cold and on rugged terrain, and may prove hazardous for those who are not physically fit.

Best Time To Visit : June To September

Route map:
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How to reach:

There are 3 ways to reach Mount Kailash from India.

1) By road from India.
The Government of India organises tours to Lake Manasarovar. This is a 30 day trek but the disadvantage is that it has to be booked well in advance and there is no certainty that one can go despite being in physical shape, because the number of seats is limited. About 400 people make it from the 6000 that apply each year.

2) By air to Kathmandu and from there by road to Lake Manasarovar at the base of Mount Kailash. Nepal Airways has flights from Mumbai to Kathmandu. They are not particularly renowned for reliability. Flights are often delayed or cancelled. Most travellers prefer to take Indian Airlines from Delhi.
This has become the most popular route.

3) Helicopter tours of Kailash for those who are short of time or cannot take the rigours of a grueling high altitude road journey. The tour uses fixed wing aircraft for the flight from Kathmandu to Nepalganj and from there to Simikot. From Simikot a helicopter flies to Hilsa. Landcruisers are then used to reach Manasarovar via Lhasa.

Places of Interest:

Sacred Lake Manasarovar (4588m) is located in the Western Tibet between Mt. Kailash (6714 m) and Gurla Mandhata Range (Memo Nani, 7694m). For Hindus, Lake Manasarovar floats beneath the shadow of holy Kailash and was created to show the omnipotence of Brahma's mind (manas). Tibetans know it as Maphan Tso, 'the Unconquerable Lake'. For many, this is holiest lake in Asia.


Parikrama or circumambulation of the Kailas Parvat encompasses walking around the 32 miles with great devotion. The Tibetans used the term Kora for the clockwise circumambulation. It is interesting to note that whatever be the name, all the devotees does the walk with the same belief that it would alleviate them from all their sins and proffer them with the much awaited salvation.

Gauri Kund

This water body is described as the lake of compassion in the Shiva Purana, which unfurls the funny but touching story of the elephant headed god. A steep descent from the Dolma Pass will fetch the devotee to this lovely lake that lies at an altitude of 5608 metersThis lake is popularly called as the Parvati Sarovar since it was here that Goddess Parvati breathed life into the image of Ganesh, which she had created from the soap foam on her body. Though difficult to get in, this lake offers the beholder some of the awe inspiring vistas of Himalayas. One would get the beautiful reflection of the Chhota Kailash peak in its surface and it is undeniably awesome and would definitely took the breath of the on looker.

RAkshas Tal:

Rakshas Tal at a height of 4515 meters bears a legend associated with the demon King Ravana. Rakshas tal and Manasarovar are considered as sister lakes and are divided by a narrow hill. Rakshas Tal appears dull and grumpy and it hence it is often linked with the forces of darkness.
Apart from its mythological significance, Rakshas Tal offers mind blowing sites of two beautiful islands.

Health Fitness:

Fitness is crucial. It is advisable to get a medical examination and check with your regular doctor before you plan this trip. Anyone suffering from back problems may find the long drives over bumpy roads difficult. People suffering from asthma or any kind of dust allergy are forewarned that the amount of dust on the road necessitates wearing a mask. Anyone with serious health problems are advised to get a medical check up done and strictly go by the advise of their doctor. Apart from that, it is a good idea to prepare in advance with brisk walking, and some regimen of exercise or preferably yoga asanas and pranayama. While the average age of yatris is 45 plus, fitness cannot be over-rated. Eventually, for most people the Kailash parikrama is an act of faith.

Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra - Some Tips
1. During electric storms, don't point upwards metallic objects like wireless aerials which can attract lightning. Also, keep away from conical rocks. Don't take shelter under a tree. Don't remain on the top of hills. Open space is safer. One can even sit down on a non-coducting sheet etc. if one has.
2. Wear more thin clothes, instead of one or two thick clothes. Have a wind cheater.
3. Practice walking with trekking shoes on before the yatra begins. Keep the shoes inside the sleeping bag during yatra nights, otherwise they may freeze.
4. Wear two socks: One woolen and the other cotton.
5. Feet must be dry. Use dusting powder. Wet shoes cause blisters.
6. Extremities like hands and feet must be protected against extreme cold. Exposure of extremities can lead to high altitude pulmonary oedema.
7. Take lots of water and fluids. Body needs a lot of energy.
8. Wear good sunglasses to protect eyes against snow blindness.
9. Apply sun cream or calamine lotion on exposed parts to avoid sunburn.
10. Cuts, blisters and ulcers need proper, urgent treatment.
11. Keep moving fingers, toes and facial muscles.
12. Stay close together to remain warm.
13. Begin trekking early in the morning.
14. Walk steady and always with a companion.
15. High altitudes kill appetite and can cause loose motions also. Do not neglect food.
16. Don't get separated from the group.
17. Don't sleep with the boots on.
18. Don't overexert.
19. Avoid alcohol.

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1 comment:

  1. I have visited various destinations, but whenever i read your blog, my senses are left spell bound for a minute and i'm forced to go weave the imaginative cob webs in my mind. I liked your blog and would like you to explore more on Kailash Manasarovar Yatra 2013, Pilgrimage tour packages in India.