Mesmerising Mansarovar

Travel tales

Mesmerising Mansarovar

Beginning of this year, my friend and I decided to visit Kailash Mansarovar. However, my friend couldn’t accompany me at the last moment, so I headed out alone.

My mother was a little sceptical about me going alone, but my father was quite encouraging.

Every year at least once, I dedicatedly visit ‘Vaishno Devi’, so this year too, just before heading to ‘Delhi Gujarati Samaj’ for the trip I made a visit to this auspicious place.

For the next four days, before we started off with our trip, we did our medical examination and gathered all the other important information needed for the journey.
There were also a few groups allocated such as luggage group, cooking team, finance team and the rescue team, which I was a part of.

We started our journey on the fifth day, early in the morning for Almora and then to Dharchula. After we reached Dharchula, we had to travel by cab till Narayan Ashram and then it was a five km walk to Sirkha.

The next day’s walk was through the jungles till Gala. The journey was not easy hereafter.

The next day we began out trip to Gunji. In Gunji, we stayed for a day for a health checkup.

We then proceeded to Navidhang. On the way is Kalapani where the river Kali starts and there is a temple for goddess Kali there.

Next day, we started our trek around 3 am with everybody carrying a head torch. The climb was steep and we had difficulties in breathing. The oxygen level dips during night. I purchased an oxygen bottle after reaching Taklakot.

After crossing the border we went through immigration, visa stamping in Taklakot and then reached the hotel around 2 pm (China time). The next day also we rested in Taklakot.

 The following day we took a bus to Darchen. There was a Chinese guide who was able to communicate with us in Hindi. On the way, we stopped at Rakshya Taal and Mansarovar Lake.

The water in both Rakshya Taal and Mansarovar lake is crystal clear. We saw a lot of birds in Mansarovar Lake. The colour of the water also keeps changing with time in Mansarovar Lake. From Darchen hotel, we could see Mount Kailash and Sapta Rishi mountain.

The next day, we left for Yam Dwar. The mountains in Tibet are not as steep as those in India.

As we proceeded, Mount Kailash came closer but we still need to walk 3 km to reach foothills. There is a very good monastery there.

The next day’s journey was from Darchen to Deraphuk and it was the toughest one. Dolma pass is highest peak in the whole journey. There we walked completely on
snow.

After crossing Dolma pass we were able to see Gauri Kund. All three days, it was raining in Tibet.

 After doing ‘parikrama’ there, we came back to Darchen and stayed on the bank of Mansarovar Lake. Mount Kailash was also visible from there. In both the days we took bath in the holy water.

There is a good monastery there. We also visited the Ram temple. It is a pretty big one and takes more than an hour to roam around.

 While returning, the first day we walked 30 km to reach Gunji. In Navidhang, we saw the Om Parvat. The snow disposition pattern is in the shape of ‘Om’.

It was an awesome feeling. Near to it, one can see Ganesha Parvat and at a distance Seshnaag Parvat. Since it was cloudy, only the ‘hood’ was visible.

Once we reached Gunji, we had a fun time at ITBP camp. Since it rained all the time, the water level in Kali river had risen.

During the return journey also, it was not raining but as it had rained earlier, the path was slippery and dangerous to walk. Near to Dharchula, the road was blocked completely thanks to a rock slide. It was pretty dangerous. We have to cross a big stone and the porters helped us cross it. We understand why this journey is considered as the toughest one.

 From Dharchula we came to Jageshwar by a bus. It is one of the 52 ‘Shakti Peeths’ and one of the 11 ‘Jyoti Lingas’.

The next day we started our journey back to Delhi. There were road blocks in few places due to landslide. By the time we reached Delhi it was 8 pm. The most difficult part of the journey was the bus ride through Uttarakhand.

 As far as our food was concerned, we had a lot of soup. It’s better to eat only liquid food.

To prepare for the journey, one should do breathing exercises daily, take water-proof ankle support shoes, a good raincoat and jacket that will keep one warm when the temperature if -5 to -10 degree Celsius.

I never imagined, I would be able to visit Mount Kailash but I did and I’m happy I came back safely. I was able to make friends with come some interesting people.
I don’t understand this but one of my fellow travellers had told me that how I perceive life will change after this journey.

I am looking forward to that.

Bhabani Shankar Agrawala
(The author can be contacted at 9632617744)

 

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