Purple mountains, pristine blue waters, the perfect white snow, mesmerizing landscapes and serenity in the thin air welcomes you to this God's country. An undiscovered and untouched land Mt. Kailash and Manasarovar in Tibet is every traveler's paradise. As soon as one reaches Kathmandu and starts transceding towards Tibet, one gets a sense of how exciting this journey shall be. After crossing the Nepal Chinese borders we enter into Tibet where the local land cruisers play the traditional Chinese folk songs; well, communicating with locals is surely not easy.
As one starts ascending to the higher altitudes of Tibet, the air becomes thinner and breathing difficult yet the myriad landscapes are truly breathtaking; literally. We come across the beautiful small towns of Nyalam, Dongpa, Saga where one can hire decent and cheap accommodations and stay overnight. Altitude sickness and dizziness are a common phenomenon but once you look at the 'painting like world' you will let that pass.
A few days of ascending into Tibet and finally your body shall become friendly with the altitude. Located in the far reaches of western Tibet, just north of Nepal and India, is one of the most sacred mountains in the world; Mt. Kailash. For the last two thousand years, people from all parts of India, the Himalayan kingdoms of Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal, Kashmir and Laddakh, Central Asia and from even further have devotedly as well as adventurously made the journey to Kailash.
Lying to the south of Mt. Kailash are two lakes. The western lake is known as Rakshas Tal. However, its neighbouring lake to the east, Manasarovar, is by far the more significant of the two in a spiritual sense. Lake Manasarovar is frequented by pilgrims almost as often as Mt. Kailash, and it is associated with many myths and religious.
The limpid blue to the emerald green colours of the lake in contrast to the arid landscape immediately around it and the silver mountains beyond make the lake a highly praised destination for pilgrims. Lake Manasarovar is at an altitude of 14,950 feet above sea level, and is noted as the highest body of fresh water in the world.
For many travelers the very sight of Mt. Kailash and the sacred lake Manasarovar has been an emotional journey for its sheer magnificence and aura. It is believed that the journey to this sacred abode is a spiritual journey of discovering one'sown being. There is no place more powerful for practice more blessed, or more marvelous than their abode of God.
The Parikrama around Mt. Kailash is a three day long and 52 km. trek that passes through some of the most secluded regions of Tibet. There are Yaks and Porters to help the Pilgrims through this tough terrain. The trek trail is usually pretty straight with occasional valleys and troughs. The testing factor is the continuous chilly winds, lack of oxygen and highly unpredictable weather. One only needs to pray that there are no rains as we need to cross river and walk on the snow patches for several km.
The Parikrama starts from Yamadwar and one crosses many beautiful places on the way. There is Shivastal - a place where pilgrims leave some of their belongings as offerings. Gouri Kund (5,608 mts.) is a group of five small kunds of different shapes containing emerald green water. It is also called 'the lake of compassion' where Parvati would go to bathe. Further, the various faces of Mt. Kailash are truly special in their own ways the west face, the north face and the south face.
One needs to be healthy state of mind and body for this may prove to be one of the most challenging experiences ever. However the satisfaction of having 'been there and done that' is beyond words. One needs to experience it and know what it is like 'to skip a heartbeat' at the most spectacular sight. One should also remember to spend a night or two at the most beautiful Manasarovar lake. The lakes beauty grows on to you with each passing moment and just feels like gaping at it for as long as forever.
Whatever be one's motivation-adventurous or religious, the Kailash-Manasarovar Sojourn is an experience of a life-time and surely brings one closer to understanding own self.
As is the belief that the truth of life is incomplete without self-discovery; 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram' - Truth is Eternal and Beautiful.