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Kailaash Maanasarovar-1
See Next Page for a sample of a Tour Agency which organizes Tours for Kailaash.
This is a sample video on Youtube  -

Kailaash Maansaovar Yaatraa (Pilgrimage)
The entire area echoes with spiritual vibrations. I discovered new balance amidst that fathomless serenity. One has to experience it. With no railways, roadways or air route anywhere close to Mt. Kailaash, this is no easy place to reach. Only physically fit and mentally tough people who are totally devoted towards their journey to Kailaash can reach their goal. What can I tell you? Yes, spirituality should be easy to follow, but unfortunately we are so complicated! Every religion says basically the same, and it sounds simple enough, and yet we spend our lives fighting, stressing, and focusing our energies on trivial and many times negative issues.

Each person must find a way to approach the Divine in a personal, compassionate and joyful way - the Kailaash Maanasarovar Yaatraa has put me on that path! I let go of so many negative attitudes, it was not as if I was making a big effort. In that atmosphere they all seemed so silly, a waste of time!

--Who said what, why did so and so behave in a particular manner?
--The food has too much spice, no spice, oily, not tasty, why was it continental, or Chinese or Indian?
--Why were there no clean or for that matter proper toilets?
--No place to bathe for 8 consecutive days
--No clothes to change for 4 consecutive days (because there were not enough yaks to carry all the stuff during the Parikramaa and so the guide decided to send all our clothes back and just carry the food stuffs)
--No clean bed linen, no electricity, no privacy, no roads, no so many things.
--Programs and schedules changing by the day.
--Acceptance, making the best of the situation, being thankful and grateful for plenty of warm drinking water, freshly cooked food, delicious soups, hot cups of tea, juices, a comfortable bed, warm blankets and quilts to keep one cozy in subzero temperatures and strong winds - this is what made the Yaatraa so much more enjoyable!

There was so much to be grateful and thankful for
--The experience and skill of our handlers, Basantaa, Arjun, Ashok, the Sherpas, the cooks the baggage handlers ,the Chinese guide
--The skill of our Tibetan land cruiser drivers
--The fact that we had no vehicle problems
--That we found hotel accommodation in every town, every location
--That we did not have to stay in tents and brave the cold and the wind
--That we had no landslides, rain or snow
--That the weather was perfect - beautiful sunshine
--The horsemen, horses, and porters provided comfort and safety
--Each of us remained in good health
--None of us had any mishaps

All this was the grace of the Divine shining down us, The common belief is that only those who are ordained get to complete the Parikramaa. This is true because of the more than 20 people who originally signed up for this Yaatraa on Jan 2010 from the UAE and Muscat no one went except me and completed the Yaatraa. As a matter of fact the whole Yaatraa was cancelled in April 2010 and that is when I ran the phone lines hot trying to get in touch with Himalaya Holidays and their counterparts in India . Basanta and Bibhu promptly put me in touch with Countryside Adventures in Bombay. Bindi Shah was just as prompt in taking my details but told me she could not assure me anything as no group had been formed and that I would have to wait. In May I got confirmation and so with a group of total strangers I was on my way!

I firmly believe that having issued a personal invitation to all 17 of us who completed the full Yaatraa the Lord as a gracious host ensured a wonderful atmosphere wherein each of us could enjoy, imbibe, absorb and savor his Divine energy. There was divine hospitality at every step in the most inhospitable conditions.

Each of us has come back different. While many of the changes are subtle, I believe that each one of us will experience a permanent shift to the next higher level of spirituality as what we have experienced gradually sinks into our being.

For those contemplating the Yaatraa be prepared your invitation is on its way. You will just know when it is time for you to make the trip and nothing can hold you back. You must go, However what most Yaatraa operators fail to tell you is Diamox, Dettol wipes and Drive - the 3 Ds.

--If you want to continue breathing comfortably and walk at the same time at high altitudes Diamox is a must. No need to test your endurance, just take it and feel strong enough to enjoy the Yaatraa.
--Dettol Wipes? Yes compulsory! - Many on the trip told me I had OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) because I had plenty of Dettol wipes. Some even suggested that I should have calculated how many wipes I would use a day multiply that by the number of days on the Yaatraa, add another 10% for good measure and should have bought accordingly.
--Needless to say who had a ready supply to share when we did not bathe for 8 consecutive days, did not change ANY of our clothes for 4 consecutive days and many of us had diarrhea because of the altitude!!

Drive As in Determination
When the going get tough and rough the tough get going! All you need to do is focus on as why you are there? why you are making this journey? Believe me you will have to remind yourself constantly of the goal, your purpose in coming, in staying, in moving forward and literally upward.

Drive in the literal sense - Long hours in Land Cruisers - not what you will expect! Very old models, no A/Cs, not much leg room!

Roads are non-existent and most of the route is in sand, rubble, across streams. There is dust everywhere and you will be cooped up for hours in a closed vehicle, all windows shut, no A/C, and no circulation of air! It will be hot, suffocating and very very uncomfortable. Tempers will run high but guess what your Tibetan driver does no understand you and frankly does not care; his only objective is to get you to your destination ASAP! Our driver did allow us to roll the windows down an inch when there was no dust however others were not so lucky and their drivers used the automatic lock to shut the windows. If you have ever been Wadi and Dune bashing in the UAE just multiply that by a 100 times and you will have a fair idea of the drive.

As you move into higher altitudes you will lose your appetite and tastes will change. It is important to remember this is not on an exotic trip with gourmet meals nor is it a home away from home where you expect to be served food as you eat at home. Poha, khichdi, aaloo with Pooris will cause acidity, heartburn and diarrhea as we discovered because the 9 member gang from Pune refused to eat pasta, noodles or pizza which is the recommended diet. If you don't eat much of this, better start eating this now occasionally in preparation for your pilgrimage to Kailaash.

Walk, jog, run! Do exercises to strengthen your quadriceps muscles. You will need well developed leg and thigh muscles, as you climb, and descend the Dolma pass the highest point 18,500 ft, pretty steep, loose stones, slippery at places and very low oxygen. No pony will take you up or down!

Cardio is a must
If you can run 6 kms in 1 hour, during the Parikramaa you will be able to walk 2 kms in 1 hour, because of the altitude your oxygen levels will be low and pulse rate very high.

Yaugik breathing exercises are highly recommended.
Being well prepared on all counts will leave you free to savor and enjoy imbibe and absorb the superior energies, communicate on a spiritual level, take pleasure in and benefit as you wash yourself in the holy waters of Manasarovar and spend precious time at Mount Kailaash.

Maansarovar Lake
Maansarovar Lake is at the highest altitude in the world. Its diameter is 55 miles.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 06/05/12