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What can you expect on the famous Kailash Mansarovar Yatra?

Jan 13th 2020 at 12:29 AM

 

The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is a pilgrimage that is held in high esteem, not just in India but across the world. It is significant to the people of four different religions-Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Bon. But as per the Hindu belief, Mount Kailash is the abode of Lord Shiva and thus, the most revered holy place ever!

Mount Kailash is located at an altitude of approximately 22,000 feet in the Kailash range and is regarded as a part of Western Tibet.

The remote location and high altitude together make the Kailash Mansarovar Trek a highly complicated and audacious trek. For the same reason, only a couple of thousands of pilgrims manage to complete the trek successfully, every year. The same reasons also contribute to making this trek an expensive one when compared to other religious treks in India.

The Yatra

The yatra involves performing two basic rituals: Parikrama of Mount Kailash and a holy dip in the Lake Mansarovar. Once the pilgrims complete the arduous trek and reach the magnificent Mount Kailash, they need to go around the mountain in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. This process of circumambulation around Mount Kailash is known as parikrama and is highly significant, especially in the Hindu religion. The process of parikrama can take up to 3 days and can also be performed on Yaks and Ponies by those who cannot walk too much.

Just on the other hand, a dip in the Lake Mansarovar is believed to wash away all the sins of the fellow pilgrims. At an altitude of 4500 meters, at the foot of Mount Kailash, it is the highest freshwater lake in the world. The water in the lake is crystal blue near the shores and emerald green towards the center. It looks like a silver sheet in the light of a full moon. For the same reason, the lake is believed to change colors. The lake is among the holiest rivers in Asia and forms an integral part of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

The yatra is open to individuals aged between 18 and 70. The pilgrims can choose to perform the entire yatra on foot, via luxury AC buses or helicopters. There are two ways of pre-booking the yatra. One can pre-book with the Ministry of External Affairs and follow the required selection process. The other way is to book through a tour operator in Nepal or Tibet.

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra — Mythological significance

The yatra is highly significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Bon. The followers of these religions hold the place in high reverence for different reasons. While the Hindus believe that Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati reside in Mount Kailash; the Jains believe it was here that the first Jain, Tirthankara attained Nirvana. The Buddhists believe that Lord Buddha resides in Mount Kailash and as per Bon, the entire Kailash region is significant in the seat of spiritual power.

Once the demanding Kailash Manasarovar Yatra by Helicopter is over, the pilgrims can spend some time visiting the other major attractions. Some of these include Tirthapuri, a place where pilgrims bathe in the spring pools.

Gauri Kund is another popular place, it is also known as the lake of compassion. Yam Dwar is the point where the parikrama starts; Asthapad is the bottom of Mount Kailash.

Tarboche is a flagpole that has a number of prayer flags tied to it. The tying of flags is an integral part of Tibetan spirituality. The colorful place also forms a major attraction for all the pilgrims visiting the place to celebrate the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

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