Kailash Manasa Sarovar

Preamble

By end of year 2013 We were discussing our next trek in 2014.  I started researching the the locations. Reading the travel blogs of many others travellers and gaining insight from their experiences. One day wife intervened and said why not Kailash Manas Samovar.  We regularly watch a religious / spiritual TV program on which is there frequent info and advertisement on Kailash Parikrama. (Circumambulation of the Holy Mountain). I had heard and read about Kailash Manasa Sarovar. It was any way part of discussion time to time, but visiting the place was not the part of discussion. I got curious and curiosity got slowly firmed up as I read through further.

So It was Kailash Manasa Sarovar in 2014. No other treks.

I started looking for my friends who could join me. Regular friends were not keen for one or the other reason. Number of days, and the cost to be incurred (This costs a substantially more than our regular trek). This is not just a trek, but trekking pilgrimage.

My wife did not like the idea of me alone joining some pilgrimage group. But she in the process got more and more interested. So she suggested to take my son along. My son did not have any issue with it. He said ok, subject to his academic schedule, exams etc. On the hindsight, I feel my wife was also making her mind to join, I guess.

I chose a Bangalore based trekking company – Shanker Treks who organises such package tours.

I booked two seats paying some advance in late 2013. The schedule was August 2014. The plan was that If my son can join He would accompany me, if not my wife would join. As I said She was mentally ready to join me. She is more religious person than me. Since this was not regular trek but more a pilgrimage, that too of once in a life time type, she was considering it. She other wise is not keen on trekking at all.

As the days progressed, it was more or less evident that my son would not be able to join. Hence I finally submitted visa papers (Visa to Tibet in China) for myself and my wife. 

No prior Visa is needed to Travel to Nepal from India. It is VISA on arrival. 

We booked our flight from Delhi to Katmandu, Nepal. on 16th August 2014. 

Sculpture of Sun God at Delhi Airport.

As Our journey unfolded……

A week before the travel, there was news of landslide at Sindhupal Chowk in Nepal blocking the only road to China Border. This was also tragic as about 150 people in a village got killed….

This also had a direct impact on our schedule and we were at our wits end as to what lay ahead, even contemplating if the Kailash trip would materialise. As is the case with never say die spirit of human beings, more importantly of the Nepalese, we came to know from a returning colleague that helicopters started plying between Tibet  Border (Kodari) and Kathmandu and price for ferrying a passenger for a 20 minutes ride was quoted around Rs. 12K to Rs. 15K one way. And a trek route was opened too and that this could take many hours.

Here is how our journey began with day to today details.

16 Aug 2014: 

We reached Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal by noon. 

Escort met us at Airport and dropped us at Everest Hotel (4 Km away) near Baneshwar Chowk.

Headed for lunch on 7th floor and notable dish was alu parwal (curry made of Potato and Pointed Gourd fingers), nicely done. Curd was sweetened.

There were people from different walks of life, VIPs, luminaries, business folks, employed, students, retired employees and we were a mix of young, middle aged and old people, more skewed towards middle aged and old.

We were also briefed that we would have to go very early to Pashupathi Nath Temple on 17 Aug.

Shanker Trek gave us a duffel bag, a rain coat as part of the package. We were to carry our personal small backpacks / camera only. Main bags were carried by the porters / a vehicle through out.

17 August 2014:

Woke up at 4 30 am and came down to lobby to catch a bus to the ancient and famous Pashupathinath temple 5 Km away. Main deity though in “Linga” form, had a face with eyes with a massive Nandi in front of the main deity. The temple itself boasts of thousands of Shiv lings and river Bagmati flowed alongside temple. Much like Benaras  in India (Varanasi), this temple had Ghats where the dead as I understand get pushed into river as part of last rites. 

No Camera was allowed inside Temple, hence no Pictures.

Prayed lord for a safe trip and returned to hotel for breakfast. Breakfast was noisy and busy as the entire group of about 100+ odd people wolfed the offerings. Post breakfast, we packed the belongings and brought them down and checked out now in trekking gear minus winter wear.

As we got into a bus and bus started rumbling through Kathmandu, we intermittently dozed off as we headed to Sindhupal Chowk about 80KM away from Kathmandu as informed by our Nepal guide Mohan who had a penchant for repeating prefixing and suffixing OK for every instruction he had to belt out. About 50KM of flat road and 30K of climbing and descending through mountainous route, Mohan announced packed lunch will be given at trek start, though I had good breakfast, hunger returned by lunch time and were hoping for something substantial. To our utter disappointment, packed lunch consisted of a half biscuit pack and a juice pack and Mohan deftly side stepped our questions and got busy with negotiations with Sherpas for luggage transfer.

Reached Sindhupalchowk by about 12PM. 

From here road was closed due to landslide. We had two options. One – Trek through treacherous route, Second – take helicopter.

I chose helicopter. It cost us 11k INR each. I did not want get tired in beginning of the trek itself, that too with my wife. It is about 20 minute ride. Helicopter ride a first time experience to me and wife. Eerie but very nice Aerial view.

Helipad ! A football ground.
Check in, Security !!!
a six seater Helicopter.
Refuelling ……………
Cockpit…………………….
Aerial View
Aerial View
Another Aerial View – River Kosi
My wife landing…………..

We were then taken to transit lodge soon after landing.

We were given a room after a while. I changed to light dress and walked on to street, had tea and clicked many pictures.

Our stay was a transit lodge with about 20 rooms with just a couple of toilets and bath rooms each.

Small town – place of Transit Hotel.

Dinner was served at 7 30PM rice, two vegetables, watery dal and apologies for lassi / curd. Slept well in the night. 

18 August 2014:

Nice kadak (Strong ) chai ( Tea)  – 3 times in nearby joint and lot of photo clicks. For breakfast had rubbery puri  ( Indian Freid Bread) and choley (Chick peas) and packed luggage and handbag and loaded into bus for journey to Kodari 25Km away (Tibet  border).

Plan was to stay at Kodari for the day and obtain visa on August 19, 2014. Road to Kodari condition very bad due to landslide rather mountain slides. No wonder the bus we travelled had about 2.5 feet ground clearance. Climbing into the bus was also an effort.

Reached Kodari in an hour and cooled heels for one more day as visa processing was expected to happen only next day. We were comfortably lodged at Hotel at Tatopani along the mountain slopes with Kosi River snaking down with full force. Our tryst with vegan diet began with milk supplies frozen due to landslide.

There was a hot water spring in Tatopani where one can enjoy hot water bath. It is really a nice experience to enjoy the bath.

Tiny wonders of mother nature. I took lots of picture, few of them are above.

19 August 2014:

Woke up at 5 am, took cold water bath, had breakfast around 7 30 am and walked to customs port and bought few essentials from the department store. 

Over the breakfast, guide announced that we can go to customs port soon after lunch and all our duffle bags went first. We assembled at customs port, alas visa and permit were not received until 3 PM Nepal time (5:30 PM China Time). We had to return after a long wait.

It was frustrating not to have got the VISA today also.  Some gave pieces of their mind to the guide and to the volunteer leader as we were told lies about the permit all along. 

River Kosi
River Kosi valley – another view

Some one called Anand, the leader. He dispelled any thoughts of extension. China government had apparently tightened rules for restricting number of passengers per bus to 17 passengers due to a chilling accident in which 36 Indian pilgrims were killed due overload/ over speeding.  And therefore for our group, additional buses had to be arranged by China Government and it would take another day more and also the China Guide had to come over too.

20th August 2014:

Chinese guide and buses did not arrive at border presumably to bungling by Shankar Treks in delaying visa/ permit application. It was really really frustrating. Our return tickets from Kathmandu to Delhi was done. I did not want to delay it. 

I moved around and clicked lot of pictures of tiny wonders of animal kingdom. 

A small bunch of beautiful flower

We spoke to Anand and he now sounded defensive and ready to refund full amount for returnees. Decided to wait until next morning to see if the border movement happens, otherwise go back. 

We continued to enjoy hot water bath at Hot spring spot.

21 August 2014:

Woke up at 0600 am, had poha breakfast with chai (with milk powder) soon after shower and signal to proceed to border came, we custom cleared under the stern but watchful eyes of Chinese officials. Once we completed immigration in an hour and half, we were suddenly greeted by money changers for conversion into Chinese Yuan. These were Tibetan girls who spoke or understood Hindi well. Later we got into transit bus which was plush and comfy. Well before this our guide team got our passports stamped at Nepal Border.

The Driver was a young Tibetan and handsome enough to be passed as an actor. At last we are in China territory and Kailash Yatra looked plausible now. By this time our strength was 108 people with a convoy of Six Buses, One Land Cruiser, three trucks carrying food and luggage.

Nyalam Market

Reached a village or town called Nyalam along the banks of Bhote Koshi about 45 Km away after snaking through hills on Road blocked one way due to stranded trucks (due to landslide) and through Zhangmu Town, got a room with 4 others. The journey to Nyalam took us more than couple of hours with checking at various points to prevent buses from over speeding. 

This 45 Km distance meant we left a comfortable 6000 feet at Kodari to 12560 approx feet above sea level at which height air starts thinning down considerably. All the passengers felt a bit of strain on the lungs without an exception. And the temperature was colder at 12° C. No wonder Tibet is called the Roof of the world.

Nyalam is a small village but China Government put lots of investment in this small village to promote tourism and cater to tourists. Development works still in progress. Other side of border in Nepal has poor infra, but people at least were warm and spoke Hindi fluently. Walked down the market and bought food items, had tea in a Tibetan shop.

Our lodge had Wi Fi connectivity and was able to keep in touch constantly with my son. No Google or Gmail connectivity as these were blocked in China by the government

Bought two climbing sticks for 15 Yuan (Rs. 10/- per Yuan). Walked back to lodge and rested. Lunch packs were delayed as one bus that had lunch did not start at China Border as the driver was carrying a forged passport and China Police took him into custody. But noticing the plight of passengers left in the lurch, Police on compassionate ground let the bus go. 

22 August 2014:

Post breakfast of humble poha and chai, we were made to do a small trek of 400 meters up the nearby hill and we saw snow capped peaks nearby and it was a pretty view. No pollution at all. Came down the hill and headed to market to buy fruits and water. Came back to lodge and lunch was served, simple lunch and tasty one.

Acclimatisation Trek.
Acclimatisation Trek.

One can buy relatively good quality warm clothing stuff here. 

23 August 2014:

Woke up and quickly got ready. Again a humble breakfast of poha with chai and we were ready to leave Nyalam. 

We left at 9:40 am (2:30 hours ahead of India Time) local time to a destination New Dongba about 400KM away. On the way we touched the highest motorable road about 18000 ft above sea level on the Tibetan plateau with a breathtaking sight of snow capped mountains of great Himalayan range called Shishapayang

Himalayan Mountain Ranges
Snow capped Himalayan Mountain Ranges
Our Buses
Dry, bald mountainous range along the nice road
Great Himalayan Mountain ranges
Ganesh Parvat (Ganesh Mountain). If you discern you will get to see the face Sri Ganesh
Saga Town on the way. Relatively developed.

Could not but marvel the efficiency of Chinese in construction and super maintenance of roads in such an inhospitable terrain. Inhospitable may be, but I could see settlements of native Tibetans, Yaks and sheep lazily grazing and crops being grown in small patches.

Cattle, lambs, Yaks lazily grazing along the road side.

As our convoy rumbled along we came to a stop as one of the cargo vehicles broke down as its axle broke and we waited for an hour and a half for a make do repair. 

We rested while one of vehicle broke down and was getting repaired.
Our Convoy

We started and after some time the cargo vehicle broke down again. We went ahead with the team calling for a replacement vehicle or part. We had lunch near Piku lake overlooked by Ganesh mountain range. This was a very dry area with few desert patches on the way. 

The mighty River Brahmaputra (only River in India with a masculine name) originates from the glaciers on the Ganesh mountain range. Post lunch, we started towards Saga on the banks of Brahmaputra River. From a bitumen road, we were riding now a dusty but firm metal road. This meandered through few of the mountain ranges (roads at high point were around 5000+ meters above sea level) and plateau and after about 65KM through amazing ups and downs, we neared a town called Saga and stopped briefly to pray where the river Brahmaputra was flowing placidly.

Mighty River Brahmaputra, originating in Ganesh mountain ranges

The convoy stopped briefly at a repair shop to clean air filter and grease the joints. After 2 hours from here, we came to New Dongba. Went down the market for a walk and came in time for chai and biscuits, we settled into the room with 4 others, room was very comfortable and warm. Toilets were common but very basic and primitive basically left to nature. 

We came back to room for soup and dinner. gave passport to guide team as we go over to Manasa Sarovar next day.

24 August 2014:

Started for Manasarovar at 9 am and crossed Paryang and waited an hour and a half at the Aali Border for another bus to catch up as it had broken down. Had lunch and moved on to Manasarovar start at Horchu. Kailash Mountain’s South face was clearly visible as it rose majestically across the horizon and looked fabulous.  Bang opposite Kailash Mountain is the snow capped Guru Mandala Mountain Range, majestic snow capped mountains. Legend has Gurus on this range identified and allowed Kailash as the place for Lord Shiva’s abode to control the fall of raging Ganga from heavens by his Jatha (knots of hair) and let Ganga flow into Bharata varsha (India).

Holy mount Kailash viewed from Horchu

After crossing the check point, got on to a Government run bus and traveled another 10 km along the banks of Manasa Sarovar and settled down at a neat bank of the lake. As we took a refreshing bath in cold water after customary prayers and Gayatri Japa, took dips and changed to fresh set of clothes. Usage of soap was not allowed. Few of the group members quickly started Rudra Japa (prayers to Lord Shiva) and performed homa (fire ritual). We also collected Dakshina (offering) for Lord post homa and the collections went to Sherpas. As we finished Manasarovar engagement, circumdrove around Manasarovar and saw Rakshastal that was created by King Ravana by Brahma and we were lodged at Chu Gompa (Monastery Village) instead of Darchen base town for Kailash trek.

Crystal clear – Manasa Sarovar
Crystal clear water – we took holy dip and said prayers. We could not remain in water for more than 5 to 8 minutes.
My wife at Sarovar after the Holy dip.
Me at Sarovar
Me and my wife
Rudrabhisheka at sarovar ( Prayer to Rudra / Shiva)

The air was very dry and chilly. The nose started burning. Used Camphor to smell so that some cooling effect was perceived.

Guide team again mismanaged by wasting our time for a day. Night at Chu Gompa was another matter.

The sky was lit with stars and with a resplendent view of milky way galaxy in a majestic arc across the sky. Early in the morning we were woken up to witness shooting stars.  

Dusk at Manasa Sarovar

Also it was a new moon day.

25 August 2014

We finished breakfast and trekked to the nearby Chu Gompa monastery. This was at a considerable height and helped a grand view of Kailash South face, Manasarovar and Rakshas Tal. This monastery became famous as the place where Buddha (Padmasambhava) had meditated for a few months.

Chu Gompa
Chu Gompa
View from Chu Gompa

We were also saluted by Chinese soldiers in the nearby camp with a wide grin and clapping. They were also doing their physical exercise and training

Reached Darchen

Soon we had lunch and left for Darchen. Tibetan women were selling handicrafts. Bought few articles and went into market for a brief survey and came back to lodge. Had dinner and retired to bed.

Our Dormitory at Darchen
Darchen Town. South face of Holy Mount Kailash is clearly visible
South face viewed from Darchen.
South face during dusk.
Me at Darchen – Cowboy lookalike.

26 August 2014. 

Had a quick breakfast and embarked on day 1 of Parikrama (going around the mountain on foot). Started at 10 am, reached Yamadwar, went around and came through the Yamadwar and trekked to Dirapuk at a height of 16700 ft above sea level and 12 km away. 

Puja (Worship) at Yamadwar
First Day Parikrama (Circumumabulaotion)
We literarily became humble with mighty mountains over looking us as we trekked
Our First Day Parikrama.
More views of first day Parikrama
West side face the Mount Kailash
Closer view of west side view of Mount Kailash
West side view of Mount Kailash
At Dirapuk the North face of Holy Mount Kailash
Close up of Holy Mount Kailash – North face. You can clearly see the snake hood on top (Shesh Nag)
Our dormitory at Dirapuk.
North face of Holy Mount Kailash

Easy trek, but the last 2 km was tough as air became thinner and we stopped frequently to gulp more air. On the way we saw the West face of Kailash.

North face of Holy Mount Kailash

Light snow fall greeted us as the air became chillier. A beautiful sight of Kailash’s North Face feasted our eyes. The Kaal Sarp’s (Snake On Lord Shiva’s head)  hood form on top was a clear evidence of the mysticism around Mount Kailash. At the base of North face, Lord Shiva’s feet are supposed to manifest but we were not allowed to approach as it was an hour away from Dirapuk and a combination of ice and snow at the base made approach difficult with deep crevasses and Chinese Government prohibited visits.

Had packed lunch on the way (one vegetable Bonda, half packet of sweet and salt biscuits and a fruit juice pack) and were served with tea and later on soup and dinner. We went to bed thereafter. Common rooms with beds. 

Guide team came and mentioned about precautions (few of the facts were exaggerated for e.g. height of the highest point Dolma La Pass on day 2 trek was at 19.5K feet above sea level, uphill climb was 6-7 Kms, Descent was another 6 KM) and spooked many fellow trekkers. He gave us half tablet of Diamox. It did not suit me and my wife. Whole night was terrible. I never took this tablet through out the trek thereafter. This Tablet is supposed to relive you if you have any high altitude sickness. I and my wife did not have any such symptoms, Gods grace.

Even few of the experienced but old passengers were dissuaded even though they were fit and wanted to ride ponies through the rest of Parikrama.

Finally came to know there were many drop outs as they were unable to cope up with height as they suffered cold or intense breathlessness or few of them just gave in to Guide Team’s threats.

There were few good reasons behind Guide Team’s precautions forcing drop outs, one they did not want any mishap understandably so and lose their license or get suspended and two there was limited accommodation at the next stop Zuthulpuk. Group leader was seemingly more worried about the second reason.

We did hear of unfortunate incidents of couple of middle aged people who breathed their last at Manasarovar Lake and Darchen presumably falling prey to high altitude sickness perhaps compounded by ailments that these two souls did not care to disclose before start from India. These were part of pilgrim group from Maharashtra who were to do the Parikrama a day before…  

That said aspiring pilgrims are advised to undertake this trip only after examination by reputed physicians and key is disclose your body condition to your physician and eschew risks. Reasonable fitness in any case is very important.

27 August 2014:

Started the day early as was becoming a norm and had a golden view of Kailash as early morning sunlight lit up the snow clad Kailash Mountain. 

Early morning – Golden view of North face.

Started the supposedly difficult day 2 trek in an absolutely clear sky at local time 8 15 am. As we were forewarned by guide team, we were prepared mentally for hardship ahead. Fortunately that was not to be. It was an exhausting trek alright but our bodies seem to have acclimatised to limited oxygen and responded as needed. We had a good view of Jatha (Hair) of Lord Shiva in the form of Ice, East face, Gowri Kund (Goddess Parvati’s bathing pond and place where she gave life to Lord Ganesha in his human form earlier) and the highest point in the trek Dolma La Pass turned out to be only 18550 feet above sea level about 5.3 KM from Dirapuk.

Dolma La Pass
Dolma La Pass
Gowri Kund

For Tibetans this time being a holy period that repeats every twelve years the entire path was crowded by Tibetan coloured fabric. They worship their gods and ancestors by tying flags of multiple colors that have Buddha’s hymns and believe that the hymns are carried on by the wind for peace and prosperity. Many Tibetans with their young ones on their backs or walking with their parents made a short work of trek and low oxygen never troubled them.

After Dolma la Pass
Glacier at down hill after Dolma La Pass

We rested at Dolma La Pass, finished our packed lunch and descended. Descent was slippery in some places due to loose soil. This took us about 2:30 hours. 

As we came down, we treaded towards Zuthulpuk about 10 KM away. On the way we took couple of breaks and at one break sipped Tibetan tea (basically hot water with pinch of tea leaves). We reached Zuthulpuk in about 8 hours considered fast otherwise for non-locals.

Got a room and slumbered off for an hour and other members slowly came in good two hours or more after we came in. 

28 August 2014:

Day 3 trek – about 6 km with no challenge and total anticlimax.

3rd and last Day trek

Finally we accomplished our Parikrama (Circumambulation) We waited for bus pick up which did not come in until 10 am and we left for Darchen thereafter. We reached Darchen in the next 15 minutes. We got our duffle bags to sift out needy change overs and hand over to Sherpas again.

Few co members of the group.

That done, we left for Manasarovar start point at Horchu to transfer to regular buses. Meanwhile police team who had to accompany us, were ferried from Darchen by the Guide team. Poor planning again. 

This ate away 90 precious minutes. As soon as we left Horchu and crossed check point, we stopped for a tasty lunch aside one of the streams feeding into Manasarovar. 

Post lunch we headed for Saga intermediate station. After 4 hours of drive, one of the buses met with an accident as one careless truck driver tried to be ambitious while trying to jostle into highway coming out of a fuel station. Clearly the adventurism was not warranted. A great presence of mind on the part of the driver prevented major damage and all the passengers were safe. Amazing part was how the local police reacted fast in minutes, assessed the situation, booked and negotiated with no rancour. 

Fortunately the bus’s damaged tyre was replaceable and replaced and we were on our way to Saga again. We reached at around 2 30 am to our lodge, Sherpas greeted us with chai and hot khichdi (Rice/ lentil Porridge)  and helped to hit bed quickly. For the first time since we left Kodari, we had power through the night. Saga is a well developed town and we were able to charge our mobile phones through the night.

Beautiful sunset on the way

29 August 2014:

Sherpas woke us at 5 30 am and we got ready and left at 6 35 am to Zhangmu/ Kodari crossing. From Saga dusty road began that lasted 65 KM through plains, mountain passes and we finally came on to bitumen road and smooth ride followed. 

After covering another 65 KM, stopped for breakfast near Piku lake. Some non-descript lentil prep with upma. While we approached Kodari border, due to smaller road width our progress to customs clearance was hampered. That achieved we finally passed customs and stopped for lunch at Eco hotel. 

Our Bus Convoy on the back

We again took helicopter ride (otherwise we had to trek back to cross over) We had company of 17 others. Few of the rest of the fellow travellers decided to trek back as they were sick of further stay at Eco Hotel. It however turned out be longer than usual due to lack of support from Shankar Treks. Rest of the folks decided to continue for one more day at Eco Hotel.

Helipad

Soon after lunch, we quickly departed to a make shift helipad at Kodari. Each helicopter sortie could take only 6 passengers and as we rose in the sky, it was a majestic view below with roaring Kosi cutting through verdant mountains (though not as high as in Tibet) , terrace farms, scores of houses on the hill slopes and majestic waterfalls. To our surprise and delight we touched down at Kathmandu airport’s heliport. We were informed earlier we will be dropped at Dhulikhel about 15 Kms from Kathmandu.  As we touched down at Kathmandu, this was the last sortie for the pilot and we checked with him about our original drop at Dhulikhel though we were happy to be at Kathmandu. The pilot a cool chap, made a quick phone call, asked us our place of stay at Kathmandu and assured us that he will drop us at Airport Taxi parking. That said, he disappeared for a few minutes, changed into civvies and came back in a mini truck and ferried 6 of us with our luggage up to taxi parking while driving through the concourse abutting runway of Kathmandu airport. We came out of the airport with Security quizzically looking at few of us in the back of the truck. Could not help but think of how tightly security is managed at Indian airports. 

We hired a taxi for a 4 Km ride to hotel. As we reached hotel, we ordered tea at the café. Thereafter we had a refreshing bath after a week since we left Kodari and changed into fresh set of clothes. We went to Thamel – like Brigade Road in Bangalore or Connaught Place in Delhi to do some last minute shopping. Picked up Rudrakasha –  Malas and Wrist bands. Trek gear shops at Thamel were well stocked of premier brands.

We came back to Hotel for a nice dinner spread. Post dinner, we repacked our duffle bags. 

Appreciate the staff / Chefs who took care of us during the journey
Basu pandit and Tikaram Rai (Chefs) few others.

30 August 2014:

We quickly visited Lord Pashupatinath temple. Lord Shiva has been kind to us. We returned to Hotel, bathed and had a good breakfast. We bade good bye to the Nepalese guide Mohan and others at the Hotel and were dropped at the Airport.

We boarded our flight and landed in Delhi as scheduled. 

Sheshu & Sekar from Bangalore

I must mention about these two fellow trekkers. These two gentlemen from Bangalore (Sheshu and Sekar) who were part of the 100 plus strong group. We became friendly in the beginning of the Parikrama. We were put up in the same room most places. They were such a good friends, I have not witnessed such strong friendship among any other two people so far. They were very fit and were always in forefront of the trek.

Sheshu wrote a very detailed itinerary and shared after the trek. I shamelessly extracted large part of his write up and edited to suit my part. The pictures are mine of-course.

I share the cost sheet, shared by Sheshu verbatim. (August 2014) Hope he does not mind that I reproduced the same. This is equally applicable to all participants, more or less. Helicopter cost was not part of original package. It is additional and optional. I reproduce it verbatim. Add 11k more per person for Helicopter from Sindhupal chowk to Kodari to the list below. If the road were to be intact Helicopter ride would not be required at all.

Word about Kailash Yatra from India :

Mount Kailash falls in Tibet. China controls the entire location. Technically it is travel from India to China through Nepal. China government provides the group permission to Organisers. You need to have an authorised tour operator who would arrange all the formalities. It is normally covered under the total cost you pay to the organising tour operator. There could be some changes in schedule, charges from China Government etc. So have some flexibility in your schedule and have some extra cash.

China government does not provide individual VISA to Tibet to Indian Nationals.

There are many such organisers for Kailash Yatra (Pilgrimage) in India. The Government bodies conduct such  trips through a separate dedicated route through Nepal or through Nathu La pass, India. There are varying schedules and costs associated with it. Government schedule is less expensive but takes more number of days about 3 to 4 weeks and lot more bureaucratic procedures to follow.  Private organisers have been given a  separate route and they normally complete the trip in 15 days or less.

In short If I sum up the travel it is Delhi – Kathmandu – Kodari – Tatopani – China Border – New Dongba – Darchen, Dirapuk – Zutulpuk – Darchen – China Border – Kodari – Kathmandu – Delhi. From 16th August to 30th August 2014.

The things to carry and DOs and DON’Ts.

The Pilgrimage is not difficult in the sense the terrain or the location. Few places like Uphill & down hill at Dolma la Pass are quite steep. It would not be snowing if it is August or September. However the altitude you need to cross over is about 18500 ft. It is quite tiresome to walk even for ten minutes at that altitude. The weather is cold, air is thin and dry. It could be dusty at times. Acclimatisation is key. A good amount of physical fitness, endurance, mental strength are required to make it successful. Carry least weight. Put maximum things in the duffel bag since it is carried by the support vehicle.

There are few basic things to carry, basic rules to follow. You may click here for detailed checklist https://wanderthroughlens.com/2019/04/17/checklist-and-dos-donts/

In addition, you can carry small quantities of Ghee (Butter oil), Honey, Bilva Patra, Rudra Pathana Book for Homa (Fire Sacrifice) at Manasa Sarovar. These are specific to this Yatra only.

Acknowledgement and vote of thanks:

Lord Shiva has been very kind to us. The entire trip has been very safe, successful.

Spiritual connect with the God, as we trekked the cold, arduous route with complete surrender to the lord. It has been a once in life time experience to take holy dip in Manasa Sarovara and Parikrama of abode of Lord Shiva.

Acknowledgements are also to the Trek Organizers, Support staff (Guide Team, Sherpas, Chefs), Bus Drivers, Co-Passengers and Chinese Government. Special thanks to ever smiling Sherpas and Chefs who provisioned all our needs even in bitter cold and never complained…. As I mentioned earlier, it is God’s will and unsung human support that makes the Yatra successful…

Acknowledgements are to fellow trekkers who kept each others spirit high through out.

Jai Bolenath. Har Har Mahadev.

Published by wander through lens

An avid trekker, traveller, who finally freed himself from a corporate cobweb. Loves lush green, snowy mountains, blue sky and crystal water.

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The Shooting Star

Just a girl who travels.

FootLoose Dev

Tips on how to solo-travel around the world!

ಮಿಂಚು

capture the moments

Stray thoughts.....

capture the moments

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