Journeyto Kailas –Manasarovar is the sublimation of all spiritual journeys.
A journey to Kailas Mansarovar is the sublimimation of all spiritual journeys.
The ethernal sights of Mount Kailas,the scene of Mannsarovar, Gaouri Kund, the Rakshas tal, uninhabitated by any livinng forms,the experience to do the Parikrama, adip in the Holy waters o the Mansarovar, perhaps happen but once in a life time.Here, one can be part of the divine dance of Nature
and feel the Universe of the self with Supreme.
(Sanskrit: मानस सरोवर), is a fresh-water lake in Tibet Autonomous Region 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) from Lhasa. To the west of Lake Manasa Sarovar is Lake Rakshastal and towards the north is Kangrinboqê Peak. It is the highest body of freshwater in the world.
Lake Manasarovar lies at 4,556 m (14947.5 ft) above mean sea level. It is one of the highest fresh-water lakes in the worldis relatively round in shape with a circumference of 88 kilometres (55 mi). Its depth is 90 m (300 ft) and its surface area is 320 square kilometres (120 sq mi). The lake freezes in winter and melts only in the spring.
It is connected to nearby Lake Rakshastal by the natural channel this area of himalaya is the source of the Sutlej River which is the easternmost large tributary of the Indus. Nearby are the sources of the Brahmaputra River, the mainstem Indus River, and the Karnali River (Ghaghara) which is an important tributary of the Ganges River, so this region is the hydrographic nexus of the Himalaya.
As per Hindu theology, Lake Manasa Sarovar is the abode of purity and one who touches the earth of Manasa Sarovar will go to paradise. One who drinks the water from the lake will go to the heaven of Lord Shiva. He will be cleansed of his sins committed over a hundred lifetimes
Like Mount Kailash, Lake Manasa Sarovar is a place of pilgrimage, attracting religious people from India, Tibet and the neighboring countries. Bathing in the Manasa Sarovar and drinking its water is believed to cleanse all sins. Pilgrimage tours are organized regularly, especially from India, the most famous of which is the Kailash Manasa Sarovar Yatra which takes place every year. Pilgrims come to take ceremonial baths in the cleansing waters of the lake.
Manasa Sarovar lake has long been viewed by the pilgrims as the source of four of the greatest rivers of Asia namely Brahmaputra, Karnali, Indus and Sutlej. So it is an axial point which has been thronged by pilgrims for thousands of years. The region was initially closed to pilgrims from outside and no foreigners were allowed between 1949 and 1980. But after the 80s it has again become a part of the Indian pilgrim trail.
According to Hindu religion, the lake was first created in the mind of the Lord Brahma. Hence, in Sanskrit it is called “Manas sarovara”, which is a combination of the words manas (mind) and sarovara (lake). The lake, in Hindu religious belief, is also supposed to be the summer abode of swans. Considered as sacred birds, the swans (Sanskrit: Hansa) are an important element in the symbology of the Subcontinent, representing wisdom and beauty. It is also believed the Devas descend to bathe in the lake between 3 and 5 am the time of the day known as Brahma Muhurta.
Buddhists also associate the lake to the legendary lake known as Anavatapta in Sanskrit and Anotatta in Pali, where Queen Maya is believed to have conceived Buddha. The lake has a few monasteries on its shores. The most notable of which is the ancient Chiu Gompa Monastery, which has been built right onto a steep hill. It looks as if it has been carved right out of the rock.The Jains and the Bonpas of Tibet equally revere this spot with great enthusiasm.
Holy Mount Kailash
This Mountain is considered holy by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. In ancient texts, it is referred to as the center of the world.
Hindus regard the peak as Shiva’s symbolic Lingam and worship the holy Mt Kailash, which is the Sanskrit name for the mountain.
According to Hinduism, Lord Shiva, the destroyer of evil and sorrow, resides at the summit of a legendary mountain named Kailāśā, where he sits in a state of perpetual meditation along with his wife Pārvatī, the daughter of Himalaya.
According to one description in the Vishnu Purana, Mount Kailash is the center of the world, its four faces are made of crystal, ruby, gold, and lapis lazuli. It is the pillar of the world; is the center of the world mandala; and is located at the heart of six mountain ranges symbolizing a lotus. The four rivers flowing from Kailash then flow to the four quarters of the world and divide the world into four regions. In fact the Indus, Brahmaputra, Sutlej (a major Indus tributary) and the Karnali (a major Ganges tributary) all rise near the mountain, making it the hydrographic nexus of South Asia.
Tibetan Thangka depicting Mt. Kailash
The Tantric Buddhists believe that Kailash is the home of the Buddha Demchok (also known as Demchog orChakrasamvara), who represents supreme bliss.
There are numerous sites in the region associated with Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), whosetantric practices in holy sites around Tibet are credited with finally establishing Buddhism as the main religion of the country in the 7th-8th century CE.
The Jains, who refer to Kailash as Mount Ashtapāda, believe the founder of their faith,the First Thirthankara Rishabhadeva an incarnation of Lord Vishnu attained Moksha or Nirvana (spiritual liberation) at this place
Bonpos believe the sacred mountain to be the place where the founder of the Bon religion landed when he descended from the sky. Tibetan Buddhists believe Kang Rinpoche, which means Precious Snow Mountain, is a natural mandala representing the Buddhist cosmology on the earth and the Jains believe this is the place where their religion’s founder was spiritually awakened.
Guru Nanak Dev, is one of the few people believed to have ascended the mountain peak. It is widely believed that Guru Nanak conversed with the Nath Yogi’s who meditated on the slopes of Kailash concerning their spiritual beliefs and meditation techniques
Every year, thousands make a pilgrimage to Kailash, following a tradition going back thousands of years. Pilgrims of several religions believe that circumambulating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. The peregrination is made in a clockwise direction by Hindus and Buddhists. Followers of the Jain and Bönpo religions circumambulate the mountain in a counterclockwise direction. The path around Mount Kailash is 52 km (32 mi) long.
Some pilgrims believe that the entire walk around Kailash should be made in a single day. This is not easy. A person in good shape walking fast would take perhaps 15 hours to complete the 52 km trek. Some of the devout do accomplish this feat, little daunted by the uneven terrain,altitude sickness and harsh conditions faced in the process. Indeed, other pilgrims venture a much more demanding regimen, performing body-length prostrations over the entire length of the circumambulation: The pilgrim bends down, kneels, prostrates full-length, makes a mark with his fingers, rises to his knees, prays, and then crawls forward on hands and knees to the mark made by his/her fingers before repeating the process. It requires at least four weeks of physical endurance to perform the circumambulation while following this regimen. The mountain is located in a particularly remote and inhospitable area of the Tibetan Himalayas. A few modern amenities, such as benches, resting places and refreshment kiosks, exist to aid the pilgrims in their devotions. According to all religions that revere the mountain, setting foot on its slopes is a dire sin. It is claimed that many people who ventured to defy the taboo have died in the process
A Journey to Kailas Mansarovar
The Kailash Parvat stands at a height of 22,028ft. Kailash Parvat/ Mount Kailash is also known as the first of the mountains, rooted in the seventh hell and piercing to the highest heaven. The Kailash Parvat and the Mansarovar are revered by almost all religions. So in a way the Mansarovar Yatra also signifies, unity in diversity.
The Legend :
As per the Hindu Mythology, the Lake Mansarovar was discovered by King Mandhata. Mandhata had done the penance on the shores of the Mansarovar Lake at the foot of the Mountains named after him. Now it so happened, that the place where Mandhata was praying, just below it under the earth was a big mansion of the Serpent King. The land of the serpent King covered the Mansarovar Lake. And so the lake has a big Fruit tree, whose fruits fell in the lake with a voice of Jam and thus this Dweep came to be known as JambooDweep. And from there on, the Lake Mansarovar came into limelight..
As per the Skanda Purana there are no mountains like the Himalayas, as it is here that the Kailash and Mansarovar stand. Another myth says that the at the Core of Jambu Dweep , the landmass surrounding the lake Mansarovar, stood the colorful mountain of Meru with four changing colors and faces. The faces were of a Brahmin, a Vaishya, Kshatriya and a Shudra.
Mansarovar Track :
Nepalgunj – Semikot – Tuling- Kermi- Yangar- Tumkot – Nara La Pass – Taklakot – Manasarovar – Derachan – Deraphuk – Mt. Kailash.
» The Yatra :
As per, Hindu Scriptures, significance of Kailash-mansarovar yatra is immense. Kailash is considered as abode of Shiva-Parvatiji. The peak of Kailash is the most beautiful among all other peaks.
Kailash Peak has been center of devotion from ancient times for the Devas, Danavas, Yakshas, Kinners, Vidyadharas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, yogis, Munis, Siddhas, Tapes and humans. A lot of pilgrims visit Kailash-Mansarovar every year.
As a person always pine for visiting his birth place, devotes of Lord Shiva are always eager to visit Kailash-Mansarovar. All the time, they dream of visiting this place.
Kailash which is 22028ft. above sea level is difficult to access. Pilgrims have to cross many mountain ranges to reach there. There are various routes to reach kailash from India.
One route goes from Ladakh region of Kashmir;
Second route passes through Gangotri towards Nailang Ghat;
Third route is from Badrinath via Man Ghat;
Fourth route goes via Niti Ghat which is in North- East direction of Joshi Math;
Fifth route goes via Almora, Dharchula, Gabyang, and Lipu Ghat;
Sixth route goes from Nepal towards Kailash-Mansarovar.
Nepalgunj (Nepal): Nepalgunj is the first point of Mansarovar Yatra. Located in Banke District of Nepal – Behri Zone. The nearest Indian Border is 8kms from here. In Nepalgunj there is a beautiful temple of Shiva. Here the Lord Shiva a moustache, which makes it a Temple of its own kind. Nepalgunj is the place from where you begun the Mansarovar Journey. From here you can take a flight to Semikot which takes approx. 1hr. If you drive to Semikot from Nepalgunj, then it takes 3 and 1/2 hrs.
Semikot : Semilkot is a very small village in Nepal and works as a Halt in Mansarovar Yatra. From here one has to trek to Tuling which takes another 3-4 hrs.
Tuling : You will reach Tuling by afternoon where you can have lunch and dinner. Resting here is the best thing to do. Early morning get up for a 5-6 hrs trekking to Kermi.
Kermi : Yet another small village with no listing of Schools and other general places, yet it has the best view around. With lush greenery and the river flowing by, its the best place for camping. Rest here as much as you can for the next days trekking.
Yangar : A beautiful small town of Nepal, Yangar has a number of Hotels, Chemist Shops, Stores, Fast and Packed foods and entertainment facilities. Its the place where you can refurbish your depleting stocks for further travel. Its a long way from here, so its better to pile up as much as you can walk with. At a height of 3040mts, its a place for night rest. With Good Hotel facilities, its more appropriate to stay in Hotel rather than camping. After breakfast be ready for a 9 Hr trekking to Tumkot.
Tumkot : For the Tumkot Valley one has to climb the route to Yalbang. Taking the trek of Tooth Paling Monastery on reaches Yankhar. From here, 3 Hrs more of trekking to Karnali from where one reaches Muchu Village. From Muchu take the trail straight down to the Tumkot Town. Taking breaks at the mentioned place you reach the valley. Keep your bags here, lit a campfire near the river Tumkot , have your dinner and take rest for the next day. If you need to meet the Doctor ( Apart from the accompanying Dr.). Tumkot is the best place.
Nara La Pass : After the Breakfast take the path crossing the Yari Village. This is the place where you leave Nepal and enter Tibet. Your Passport has to be shown here for further Travel/ Yatra. Yari is the last Nepal Village. From here you walk towards the Nara La Pass which is the Border between Nepal and Tibet. Nara La Pass is at a height of 4325 mts from sea level. On reaching Nara La Pass, you will find a number of prayer flags and Monasteries here. You can see one of the Monasteries, if you wish so. There is also a beautiful river flowing down. It takes another 3-4 hrs to cross Nara La Pass.
From Nara La Pass you move on to Taklakot via Karnail which takes an approximate of 7-8 hrs by bus/ Jeep. Its better to take the vehicle than trekking as the road is good and also because, there are rough terrains from here to Taklakot. You will be passing through the Village called Sher.
Taklakot (Tibet) : Taklakot is a pretty big town with good facilities. After having your lunch, visit the Tibetan Market and shop for food and other things. You can also move around the Trans Himalayan Trade Route by Jeep. See this route simply for its natural beauty. You can also visit the Thegu Gompa built inside the camp. Climb a hill top and you will be able to see the entire Taklakot from there.
After this refreshing change, be ready to see what you have been walking for. The next destination is Mansarovar Lake! This is also the last place where you will see the human beings, animals, birds or any other kind of Living Form Except yourself !
Mansarovar Lake : There are two ways of reaching Mansarover Lake either by foot or by Bus/ Jeep. Bus ride will take 3 – 4 hrs while the walk will take the entire day. The Bus will pass through beautiful lakes – Rakshas Lake ( Demons Lake ) and the Mansarovar. The bus will pass through Chiu Gompa, situated by the side of the river Mansarovar.
Chiu Gompa is also the place of rest of Guru Padma Sambhava. Usually all the camps are situated near Chiru Gompa.
Lord Brahma has created this lake through power of intent, so it is called Mansarovar it is divine it is situated 4485 mt. Above sea level and spread over 320 sq. km. It’s circumference is about 86km and it is 90 mt. Deep in the (middle) central part.
As per Shakt Granth, hands of Sati had Fallen here. As a result Mansarovar is created. There fore, it is considered as one of the fifty one shaktipeetha.
The beauty of the Mansarovar lake is relentless, boundless and speechless. No words, no definition can explain this. The sky you see here cannot be seen anywhere else and the waters are so pure that you can see the Patal or the world inside the water with your own eyes.
Pilgrims are allowed to stay here as long as they wish. They perform meditation , recitation, and penance. Kailash Shikhar is about 30 km away from Mansarovar.
However, there are no boats to take you inside the Mansarovar and Swimming is not permitted. Some people turn back from here and other move on further. The route from here, takes you on a very rough terrain which has to be covered by foot. Oxygen is less from here and the weather conditions are as unpredictable as human nature.
Darechan : The Parikrama of Mt. Kailash begins from Darchen. You can stay in the Darchen which provides only the basic facilities. Usually a room is given to the yatris with Stove. One has to prepare their own food. A stove and the Room is provided by the Chinese Authorities. Darechan is also the last place for making ISD Calls. The Bus from Mansarovar will cover the first 10kms. After these 10kms one has to trek. The English speaking Tibetan Guide will follow you from here. One can also take Yaks for further distance, but mostly people prefer to trek to Mt. Kailash.
Deraphuk and Mt. Everest : The 48 kms of Parikrama of Mt. Kailash begins from Barkha Plains. Deraphuk is 14 kms from Darechen. The last place you will reach by bus/ truck is Yamdwar – Door of Yama. After trekking another 10 kms, one reaches the La Chu Valley or The Valley of Gods. Along the way. you can see the magnificent rocks with Buddhist inscriptions on them. Here, you set onfoot on a trail of 18,600 ft – pass which is supposed to be guarded by Tibetan Goddess called Dolma. From here you will reach a place which has stretch strewn clothes lying around. This place is called the Shiv Sthal where the Yama, God of Death Tests you. Here Blizzards are known to strike without warning. As you descend the Dolma Pass you reach the Gauri Kund, a place where the wife of Lord Shiva is supposed to take Bath, very early morning each day. If you wish to take water from Gauri Kund, then you should ask the Yak Handlers to go down. Do not go down yourself, as the path is rigid and not friendly with everyone.
If the time permits then you can also visit Ashtapad ( South face of Mt. Kailash). The route is beautiful and the Mt. Kailash looks the most beautiful from here. This ends the Parikrama of Mt. Kailash and from here you have to take the rough and flat route back to Deraphuk.
Not to be Missed
Monasteries – As you walk to the Kailash Mansarovar Route, you will find a number of Buddhist Monasteries. You can see them is you wish so.
Books on Himalayas
There many good books & travelogues on himalayas & its mystery’s & its adventures
among them one of the famous is written by
Sri M K Ramchandran about his true & real experience in the Himalayas.
Interviews with Yogis & Yoginis & many more wonderfull experiences.
M. K. Ramachandran is a great traveler as well as an excellent writer from Thrissur, Kerala. In 2005 he won the Kerala Sahithya Academy award for his first book, Uttarakhandilude Kailas Mansarovar Yatra. His other books are Thapobhoomi Utharkhand and Adi Kailas Yathra
Since the emergence of mankind Himalayas attracted every generation. Reaching Himalaya and stride over it is a long cherished dream passion of many. But only a few are fortunate to reach the expeditious destination. Mr. M. K. Ramachandran being one of them has been involved in his spiritual adventure since 1998 and known to be the most venerated ambassador of Himalayan journeys in Kerala. He has been pioneered into the most decorated Garhwal Himalayas, sacred destinations of Kumaon Himalaya, Majestic Eastern Himalayas, and trekked through summits and snow clad peaks of Himachal Himalayas. His love for journeys twisted him into writing and has published three monumental works, viz., the unforgetful revered Kailas Manassarovar Yatra, “Uttarkhandiloodae”, the most fascinating research study of four Dhams (Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath) “Thapobhumi Uttarkhand”, and most recently the detailed account of spiritual enlightenment, the ‘Aadi Kailash Yatra’. His literature appears in a lively and beautiful language in simple style so that the readers can lazily assimilate the art of spiritual evolution. In Aadi Kailash Yatra he unlocks the treasure with scientific clarity the subtle but definite laws in which how the yogis perform mystic miracles, and flashes bright glow of Ancient Indian Spiritual heritage. As an eye witness of the extra ordinary lives and powers of divine yogis, the true stories of saints and masters who experienced the trance of cosmic consciousness will certainly transfix the readers. The author’s enthralling rendezvous with the mystic yogmata ‘Kakki’ at Kuti Village and the unleashing of her unusual metaphysical powers would be an amazing experience to the readers.
Being a disciple of the eminent Sanskrit Scholar Dr.Narayana Pisharody and credited with traditional Gurukula system of education, apart from his modern academics, Mr.Ramachandran’s adherence for Sanskrit language and ancient ethical wisdom imparts him a rare feat, perhaps makes him different from all other authors in the same arena. Mr.Ramachandran is known to have made his entire Himalayan pilgrimage on foot. He is the recipient of Kerala Sahitya Academy Award in 2006, for his outstanding travelogue ‘Uttarkhandiloodae’.
His scriptures blended with Indian epics, and Vedic literature he displays great energy and vigour as he mixes mystery with science. Ramachandran’s observant eyes absorbs the natures beauty that he gives a picturesque description of the flora and fauna of the Himalayan region, the authors’ unusual travelogue leaves the readers the spiritual heritage of India, with the mystic revelation that one’s quest for the secret of divinity never comes to an end. His travel in search of the answers for these mystical queries does not end here… And he believes life is a journey or rather, a pilgrimage.
As a Traveler
M.K. Ramachandran, so far, has visited 39 different destinations in the Himalaya. Chardham yatra, Puncha Kedar Yatra, Dodi Lake and Roopkhund Yathra, Go Mukh – Tapovan and deep in to the Kahatling Glaciers of Gangothri Dham, Trisul Peak Satopanith Lake in the Baadrinath Dhami are some of the important Yathras affected in the Garwhal Himalayas.
Patal Lokg, Aadikailasam, Om Parvath, Kailash Manasasarovar (Tibet) many sacred places in Almora, Bhageswar, and Dharchula, Bhim Tal, Naini Tal are the important pilgrimage spots visited in Kumaon Himalayas, Sacred places in Jammu Kashmir Himalaya included Amarnath, Vaishnav Devi, Dhamundi Devi, Jwalamudhi Devi, Ladhak etc.
In Eastern Himalaya Gagtok, Nathula Pass, Baba Mandir, Khajani Janga and into the deep forest of Jeorthang and the Glaciers there.
In Himachal Pradesh Himalayan Range the following places were visited, Kinnor Kailash, Mani Mahesh Kailash, Srikandh Mahadev Kailas, Rothang Pass, Dharmasala, Manali, Delhouru and through the banks of Satlej, Bhaspa and Raavi rivers.
Shrikant Mahadev Kailash: To reach this destination one has to take up an arduous and dangerous trek over glaciers for about a week. It is located about 120 km from Rampur (nearest motorable destination) in Himachal Pradesh. The Shiva linga is an 80 feet sheer rock face jutting out from the middle of a glacier stretch at an altitude of 21,700 feet above sea level. The pass opens only for a week in a year in the month of July (Shravana Sankramam), from 16 to 24.
Manimaesh Kailash: Located at an altitude of 14000 feet in the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas, it lies on the banks of Manimahesh Ganga, which originates from the peak. The route to Manimahesh is via Chamba, Himachal Pradesh. Motorable road goes till Hadsur and the rest of the path is to be covered on foot, which is about 13km of steep climb.
Sources of origin of the sacred rivers visited include: Brahmaputhra, Satlaj, Sindhu, Karnali, Ganga, Alakananda, Mandakini, and Saraswathi,
Important sacred and spiritual centers like Kasi, Ayodhiya, Gaya, Mathura, Vrindavan, Dharaka, Puri, Khamakhya and venues of south India, were also visited several times.
A journey to Kailas Mansarovar is the sublimimation of all spiritual journeys.
The ethernal sights of Mount Kailas,the scene of Mannsarovar, Gaouri Kund, the Rakshas tal, uninhabitated by any livinng forms,the experience to do the Parikrama, adip in the Holy waters o the Mansarovar, perhaps happen but once in a life time.Here, one can be part of the divine dance of Nature and feel the Universe of the self with Supreme.