Setting off on an arduous pilgrimage to Kailash Manasarovar in Tibet along with his parents, a sericulture farmer from Channarayapatna in Hassan district has performed Parikrama, circumambulation of Holy Mt Kailash, in record time.
Embarking on the three-day Parikrama around Mt Kailash, the 32-year-old Keerthi C D has completed the last two days of Parikrama spanning 28 km in just seven-and-a-half hours which otherwise would normally take about 18 to 20 hours for any other pilgrims.
Even as his batchmates were resting at Dirapuk (15,944 ft) and apprehensive about their further journey, Keerthi with no prior experience of high altitude trek under extreme conditions with the temperature hovering between -5 and -10 degrees Celsius, and covered the 28 km in just 7.5 hours. With about 12 kg of luggage on his back and two minutes of rest at the completion of every kilometre, Keerthi was able to pull off a rare feat, according to guides and pilgrims who are currently on the Yatra.
Speaking to DH from Darchen in Tibet Autonomous Region of China, Keerthi said that he has no clue about what he had accomplished until the local guides and his fellow pilgrims joined him at the camp to celebrate the rare feat.
“I have no experience of walking in snow and at times it was heavily snowing. The weather was so terrible that even the ponies and yaks of Sherpas refused to tread further. But I just decided to follow a couple of sherpas and completed the Parikrama at ease,” a beaming Keerthi explained. Starting as early as 5:00 am (Chinese Time), Keerthi completed the Parikrama by 1:30 pm and reached Tarchan, the origin point.
A local guide exclaimed, “Usually most of the pilgrims opt to do Parikrama either on horseback or yak’s back. Only a few opt to trek all through the three-day Parikrama. Generally, a devotee, considering the high altitude and risks associated with the trek and also to catch up with the rituals, take about 18 to 20 hours to complete. But Keerthi has done it in about seven-and-a-half hours. It was a surprise among the local communities as well, as they have not come across any devotee finishing Parikrama at such speed.”
Trekking the arduous 28 km in inhospitable terrain, Keerthi kept himself energised with two tins of popular energy drink. “Along with my personal luggage I had kept dry fruits and snacks to be able to fuel my trek. But I had no time to relish on them and instead lived on energy drinks,” said Keerthi who also teaches karate to kids at his village.