Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, a pilgrimage that only God can help you complete it! But you also need the will power, of course. Standing tall at 22,000 feet, Mount Kailash—known to be the abode of Lord Shiva famously known as Kailash Parbat is one of the world’s most revered holy places. A peak in the Kailash range, Mount Kailash is a part of the Transhimalaya in Tibet. It is one of the most beautiful treks on the Indo-Tibetan border, yet very dangerous and tedious. There is a long process of application which the pilgrims have to go through. They make sure all pilgrims are fit physically as well as mentally. It is organized by the Ministry of External Affairs of India. Anyone who is an Indian Passport holder is eligible for the trek, but there are also strict rules and guidelines which every passenger has to adhere. They organize it every year from June to September, through two different passes- Lipulekh pass (Uttarakhand) or Nathu La pass (Sikkim).
The selection Process is a Long one:
1. You have to apply online and make sure the spelling, dates should be correct; else the trip will automatically get cancelled in the further process.
2. Once you get your slot, you will have to go for a medical checkup in Delhi. They will do certain body tests and find out themselves if you are medically fit for the trek. The maximum BMI requirement is 25. If you have some time, you may want to reduce some weight by exercising regularly and eating right.
3. Once you get selected for the trek there will be one more medical check in the initial stages of the trek to see how well you acclimatize to the weather conditions, if for some reason you fail this test, you will no longer be eligible to proceed further. And the amount is also non- refundable.
4. After the entire process is in place, everyone gears up for the trek chanting Lord Shiva’s name.
How to start?
Lipulekh Pass: It is located between the border of India (in Uttarakhand) and China, Tibet You can reach there from Delhi in flight to Dehradun, Uttarakhand and drive to the pass for 13-14 hours.
The total number of batches are:18
Duration (Approx): 24 days
Expenditure: 1.8 Lakhs
Nathu La Pass (Sikkim): Located between Sikkim and China, Tibet. You can reach there by taking a flight from Delhi to Bagdogra. And from Bagdogra it’s a 2 hour trip to the Nathu La Pass.
No. of Batches: 10
Duration(approx): 21 days
Expenditure: 2.5 lakhs
The Significance of this trek:
Main reasons for people to take up the trek are-
The Parikrama (Kora)
The Parikarma, or circumambulation, of the natural shrines forms an important part of the journey to Kailash and Manasarovar. The Shiva Purana says: 'There is no sin in the world which cannot be destroyed by circumambulation. Hence, one should dispel all sins by circumambulation alone. The parikarma or circumambulation of Holy Mt. Kailash is a three - day trip, 53 km long, and the most sacred for all yatris. It is performed in a clockwise direction. Followers of Bon, The Pres - Buddhist religion of Tibet, perform it anticlockwise.
For the Buddhists, the Parikarma around Kailash is equivalent to going through a cycle of life and rebirth into a new life. Performed around a central point, the parikrama is also recognition of the unifying force of the Divine that holds the cosmos together. It is symbolic of seeing a thing from every side, in its totality.
It’s mainly Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bon that consider Mount Kailash as a sacred place. As per the Hindu belief, Lord Shiva, along with his wife Parvati, resides at the peak of Mount Kailash in a state of meditation. According to Jains, Kailash is the place where the first Jain Tirthankara attained Nirvana. In Buddhism, the belief goes that Kailash Parvat is where the Buddha, representing supreme bliss, resides. The Bon (a religion which predates Buddhism in Tibet), however, believe that the entire region is the seat of all spiritual power.
The highest freshwater lake in the world, at a height of 4500 meters, Lake Mansarovar stands at the foot of the sacred Mount Kailash. Located in Tibet, it’s considered as one of the holiest lakes in Asia and is an important part of the yatra. This lake is also believed to change colors. While it is clear blue near the shores, it changes to an emerald green color towards the centre. The lake looks absolutely stunning in moonlight.
Lastly, I just want you all know that this trek is a visual treat, with a lot of hastle, when it comes to applications and registrations and medical checkups, but it is all worth it if you are physically and mentally fit. Once you take a dip in the Mansarovar Lake, it is the best feeling, not because it has something to do with the “mythological” importance, but on the other hand, it is a spiritual journey which ensures your peace from within...