The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand
Generally, The pilgrims in India start their spiritual journey to Kailash and Mansarovar Yatra from the Pithoragarh district in Uttrakhand state. Pithoragarh is located near Tibet towards the north and Nepal towards the east. This distance from Pithoragarh to Mount Kailash is 196 km.
The magnificent Mount Kailash is a stand-alone mountain peak with a height of 22,000 ft. Among Himalayan mountain ranges, this majestic mountain is cupped with glacial crest and is formed of glistering granite stone which gives the pilgrims a captivating and powerful view of the mountain. Mount Kailash is located in Tibet occupied by China, near the Mansarovar lake and Rakshastal lake. Hence it is also home for the four largest rivers in Asia Indus, Brahmaputra, Karnali, and Sutlej.
In Hinduism, Mount Kailash is said to be the abode of Lord Shiva as he resides there along with his consort Goddess Parvathi and his disciples. The mountain is sacred to Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Bon (Tibetian Religion)
Once Lord Brahma thought about a lake in his mind. As a result of this beautiful lake appeared on the earth which is Mansarovar lake. It is believed that whoever drinks the holy water reaches the abode of Lord Shiva after their life on Earth. Therefore, yearly thousands of Pilgrims visit Mansarovar to take a bath and drink the holy waters to absolve from sin committed.
This mountain is the abode of the universal self, Lord Shiva where he is meditating to protect the entire universe.
Many Hindu Puranas mention Kailash as the centre of the universe. The first Himalayan mountain range formed is Mount Kailash. It is not only a sacred mountain but also an important mountain range among other Himalayan mountain ranges.
Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Yatra
The journey starts from Lipulekh pass in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. This is the border between India and Tibet occupied by the China trijunction of Nepal. Therefore pilgrims from Uttrakhand enter the Taklakot in Tibet for the Kailash and Mansarovar yatra. Kumaun Mandal Vikas Nigam is conducting this yatra along with alliances of the Indian government.
There are multiple routes to reach mount Kailash. Pilgrims who start their journey from Lipulekh pass yatra duration time is 24 days. The cost of this yatra will be 1.6 lakhs per person which has 18 batches, each batch contains 60 pilgrims. On the way, pilgrims pass through Narayan Ashram, Chialekh valley beauty, Patal Bhuvaneshwar, and OM Parvat (natural OM symbol made of snow).
After Reaching Taklakot in Tibet pilgrims can take rest in the allotted accommodation. From there, pilgrims start their journey towards Darchen, a small village located in front of Mount Kailash. Then pilgrims can travel in allotted transportation. The route from Taklakot to Darchen is the modern road which is 102 km. After travelling for an hour pilgrims will come across a beautiful saltwater lake which is called Rakshastal lake. From there you have a spectacular view of Mount Kailash.
Near to Rakshastal lake, separated by a strip of land there lies a beautiful pure water lake, Mansarovar where you can drink and take a bath. Then from here, you have a very good view of the most powerful and sacred Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva.
Parikrama to Mount Kailash
The main importance of this yatra is to do parikrama around mount Kailash and to drink holy water of Mansarovar to absolve sin. Pilgrims do parikrama either in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction which is 52 km and takes 3 days to complete Parikrama. As it is very difficult many you can either do it on foot or with the help of pony or yak.
Parikrama trekking starts from the Yama Dwar ( Tibetian called this as Tarboche ) southern side of the Kailash. Thus pilgrim has to cross the god of death to reach the cosmic abode of Lord shiva. Few people return to Darchen after visiting Yama Dwar, as this 3-day trekking will be extremely difficult as weather conditions and routes won’t be favourable. Remaining others will continue towards Kora.
Everyone once in their lifetime should visit the abode of Lord Shiva and the holy lake created by Lord Brahma to absolve one’s sin. Therefore plan a trip to Manasarovar and Mount Kailash yatra along with your family to get the blessing of the universal being.