My trip to Kailash and Mansorav,Tibet

MY TRIP TO MANSARAVOR AND MT. KAILASH and A DIP TO MANSORAVAR                                         

cowboy with yaks           
Mt. Kailash , a marvelous mountain in the far west of Tibet in Himalayas with it’s mythological flavor and four faces is a great spiritual center for Hindus,Budhists, jains and Bopnas of Tibet.                         
Trekking lovers would love to circumambulate Mt. Kailash, as it is the highest trekking route , so far my knowledge is concerned.                          
And the     beautiful               Mansoravar,at an altitude of 4550 m and covering approximately 320 sq.Km., according to hindu mythology is a creation of Lord Brahma. It is believed that circumambulating Mt.Kailash (53 km) and a dip in this holy soravar wash out all sins and brings about salvation.                
With Tebetian vendors

With Tibetan Kids,who deserves a better  living
     The great rivers Brahmaputra, Sutlej Indus and Karnali are                                
originated here, flowing in four directins east, west, north and south respectively.On the 7th Sept/2010, we left Kathmandu for Kodari(Nepal-Chinese border) in the morning. We were scheduled to reach Kodari within 4 to 5 hours . But due to landslides, we had to wait in several places. In the afternoon when the border was just few Km away, we were again stopped due to landslide, and we had to wait there till 10 pm , when we were told by our sherpa that we have to go on foot about 2 km and to cross a spring flowing over the road with moderate current. We proceeded in the darkness and reached Kodari at around 12-30 am.
Next day(8th Sept) we had to stay at Kodari just for nothing(courtesy our travel agent) and after paying extra cost of transportation due to landslide as demanded by the travel agent , we started for Nyalam on 9th Sept.                                                                                                                  

We crossed the friendship bridge(Nepal-chinese border) on foot and after all immigration formalities were done in the Chinese side of the border(Zhungmu) we reached Nyalam by an old Toyata cruiser in the afternoon.                                                                                            

As we got out of the car heavy cold wind greeted us. I was allotted a separate room in a private guest house of very basic nature. After packing myself with warm clothes and having a cup of tea, I went outside to have a roam around. It’s a very small locality with hotels, shops restaurant and a police station. I also noticed one spa, a disco-thek and an internet cafĂ© there. Next day(10th Sept) we stayed at Nyalam for acclimatization. I spent whole day going here and there and spent a lot of Yuan for having taste of Chinese massage.                    
I found there beggars , I found a mother doing the job of a day laborer , with her baby lying in the roadside nearby, I found no fixed price shop there, everywhere one has to bargain . I also came to know there are licensed prostitute in this remote part of Tibet for entertaining Chinese army men and other govt. officials who resided there far away from their home.                                                                                   

Next morning (11th Sept) we started for Saga(250 km). Road is not good in that part of the world and there are many places where there are no roads at all. But Chinese govt. has started making metalled road, and within few years travel to Kailash would be more smooth and easier. We reached Saga(4500 m) in the afternoon via Lalug La pass(5050 m) . I was very much excited to see Brahmaputra (Yarling Tsangpo) on the way to Saga. Every body was feeling unwell after reaching Saga due to high altitude sickness.. However after taking medicine everybody was fit in the next morning(12th sept) and was ready to leave Saga for Prayang(225 km).                                              
After reaching Prayang (4560m), it took about an hour to have a complete round of the locality and before dusk, I returned back to our guest house .                                                                                                

According to tour program , we had to go to Harchu from Prayang. But our sherpa and Tebetan guide took us to Chugumpha , cutting short their time and cost. It was noon when we reached Chugumpha and had the first glimpse of Mansorabar with its beauty under the clear blue sky We happily took our bath in the serene blue water of great Mansoravar. Taking bath there was so refreshing; and serenity of the Soravar filled our mind with a joy of different kind.                                        

While other members of the group were performing hovan and jagna in the bank of the Soravar, I went to a monastery nearby on the top of a hillock. I was warned by the sherpa to be aware of the dogs there, who are very dangerous and even kill people. But I found them very gentle. After visiting the Monastery, when I was returning, a dog was following me till I reached our guest house and gently gave a pose before my camera.      
Performing rituals on the bank of Mansorabar
We were ten in the group. As seven members of the group decided not to go for Kailash parikroma(circumambulation) , our sherpa too decided to cancel the trekking program, after we had reached Darchen(base of Kailash trekking). But as I was bent on going for the parikroma(trek) , I was told by the sherpa that I would have to make all expenditure including fooding and lodging of myself as well as of the sherpa, who would be along with me, as guide. I had no other option but to agree to their conditions, as in no case ,I was willing to return home from Darchen, without completing Kailash Parikroma.      

To my surprise next morning I found five members of the group were ready to go for parikroma by hiring ponies. But as they decided to go for parikroma the very last moment, our sherpa refused to make arrangement for fooding and lodging during the course of parikroma. So everybody including me has to bear extra cost for the parikrama.    

In the morning of 15th Sept. we reached Yamduar from Darchen by car. Five ponies were hired for the group members and we started our parikroma towards dairaphuk at around 10 am. After trekking about a kilometer I got the first glimpse of Mt.Kailash crowned with white snow and clouds playing around it with a clear blue sky in the background. At around 5 PM we reached Dairaphuk. Strong breeze was blowing with a little bit of snowfall. I was really enjoying moving around the place. In the late afternoon I joined our sherpa and other local tourist guides in a restaurant (in a tent, opened temporarily for trekkers) and passed two hours there, talking with them and sipping delicious Tibetan tea                                                                             
Pilgrimage with baby on back
Dalma La Pass            
 Next morning (16th Sept), we started for Jhutulphuk very early in the               morning, as we were to cover as much distance as possible before the sunrise, because after sunrise , oxygen become less in that altitude.            The trekking was tough, as we had to go up stepping over small               boulders and route was all along steep. . At noon we reached Dalma La Pass (5600 m). Although I was very much tired and thirsty and almost           exhausted, the beauty of the Nature there made me spell bound and            forget my tiredness.                                                                              
Emerald view of Gaurikunda Lake
While descending down from Dalma la pass , the emerald view of Gaurikund lake, also called the Lake of compassion(as described in Shiv-puran) bemused me. Story goes that while bathing in the kund, Parvati made an image of Ganesh from the soap suds on her body and gave life into it and placed it at the entrance of her home to prevent others from entering there. Lord Shiva while trying to enter there was stopped by Ganesha. Out of anger, shiva cut off the boy's head. Pravati became restless and inconsolable and insisted Shiva to bring back her boy to life. Shiva then took the head of a wandering elephant and placed it on the body of Ganesha and Parvati had her son back.               
The trekking route was sleepy due to frozen snow. After trekking down five km, I stopped to take rest and had Tibetan tea. After a while I started my trekking again, trekking route here was along the side of the river Bhotakosi(originated from Mt Kailash),                                    
Bhotakosi river
and the same river when enters Nepal gets the name Sunkosi.                                             
I was damn tired and exhausted, when we reached Jhutulpuk in the evening and lied down.                                                                     
Next morning after a two hours’ trek, we reached Durchen , where our cars were waiting and from where we started our return journey to home with an experience of life time.

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