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The Abode of God (Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar)

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The Abode of God (Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar)
Believed to be the centre of the Universe, and revered by people all over the world, Mt.Kailash and Mansarovar region in Tibet is truly pure bliss! They say that only those who have the purest of hearts can reach this near impossible terrain. The adverse weather conditions and treacherous routes also compound to make it a less visited place. It no wonder then that only a few thousand people are able to make this trip. We happened to be amongst those lucky ones!
About Mt. Kailash
Mt. Kailash towers with a dignified presence, at 22,000 ft. According to Hindu beliefs, it is the abode of Lord Shiva and his wife Goddess Parvati. It is part of the Trans himalaya in Tibet.

Resembling a cone of pure white snow, Mt. Kailash has the unique distinction of being one of the world’s most venerated holy places.

The Yatra

The ‘yatra’ or trip to this place of great worship is surely an experience of a lifetime. It is known for its religious values, adventurous nature, blended with sights of spell-bound natural beauty.  The sheer spiritual energy that flows through the mystic place actually stirs the innermost depths of people, whether religious minded or not, thereby cleansing their souls in some way or another- such is the charisma of this magnificent region.

Reaching there
We had been planning our trip since a long time and after going through a series of paper works and medical checkups, we were all ready to embark upon the journey to the place considered to be the home of Gods. Our tour operator gave us a list of instructions given ranging from harsh weather conditions, to appropriate packing of luggage, including ample food and medical supplies. After going through a series of road trips and short haul flights, we finally arrived near Mt. Kailash.

One can reach there by helicopter or by road. The journey commences at Kathmandu along Nepal and then moves to Tibet (China side), which requires immigration formalities to be fulfilled and planned beforehand. We met people who had trekked to the same location. They spoke of living the rough way the fun way. They got to stay in huts, and sleep on floor mattresses which was both humbling and exciting, refreshed that they felt every day, breathing in the crisp and clean air and marveling at the natural expanses of beauty all around.

Be prepared
The place is at a very high altitude and it takes some time to acclimatize to the surroundings. General recommendation is to drink plenty of water, remain calm and quiet, rest as much as possible and eat all meals properly. Usually tour operators and staff take good care of all the visitors and we were also very happy to be in company of knowledgeable, courteous and helpful staff. We were fore-warned that temperatures here fluctuate way too often; so we had to be prepared to face the sudden changes from sun shine to snowstorm within minutes. On the contrary, we were all very excited and hoped to see this dramatic change! However, we did not get a chance, as we were accompanied by beautiful weather throughout, which was a blessing actually!
Mesmerized beyond words
Having seen the place only in pictures till now, we were awestruck to behold the captivating beauty of the area with our naked eyes! The landscape around the mountain is rugged and dry but crossed by crystalline blue streams and other water bodies. The contrast so well blended, like an artist’s dream creation!
Behold Mother Nature’s own mirror
The blue and emerald hued Lake Mansarovar is the highest fresh water lake in the world at a height of almost 15000 feet. The beauty of the round lake with mirror reflections of the surrounding snow clad mountains, the sun and white clouds in the clear blue sky is entrancing! Around ninety kilometers in circumference, the lake is a personification of purity and tranquility. The calmness of the lake coupled with the majestic aura around it offers a serene atmosphere for meditation and soul searching.
A ‘parikrama’ of the lake is believed to draw out all evils from the inner soul. Our heads bowed down in respect and reverence as we touched the holy water. We drank the pure and sweet waters and took a dip in the lake in our humble attempt to clean all our sins. We were pleasantly sensitized to take utmost care neither to use any chemical (even soap) nor pollute the water in any way.
Heritage beliefs
Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar have various mythological stories associated with it. While Hindus believe that the lake is formed by Lord Brahma, the Creator, and manifested on earth for performing rituals, Buddhists believe that Lord Buddha was conceived at the very lake. They also believe that Buddha, representing supreme bliss, resides on Mt. Kailash. The first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath Rishabh deva is said to have attained Nirvana at Ashtapad Mountain near the lake.  The Bon (an old religion in Tibet) believe that the entire region is a bed of spiritual power.

So many faiths, yet one common factor runs through all these beliefs – that the purity and piousness of the region has spiritual and healing powers and thus must be respected in every way!

More interesting attractions
The lake is supposed to be the abode of summer bird ‘hansa’ representing wisdom and beauty. The lake has a few monasteries on its shores, the most notable of which is the ancient Chiu Monastery built on a steep hill, looking as if it has been carved right out of the rock. Seat of ancient learning, next to the placid beauty!

Lake Rakshastal, considered to be the place of severe penance by ‘Ravana’, is around two miles away from Mansarovar Lake.  It is quite ironical to witness the co-existence of two contrasting water bodies at the same place; one being held in high regard and worshipped while the other considered the lake of demons and denounced by the locals.

The unifying spirit

Irrespective of the varied religion beliefs, the noteworthy point is the dedication and humane spirit which unites people of different caste and ages while visiting the region. One is drawn to the simplicity of life and finds fulfillment in the harshest of terrain, trek and climate during the ‘yatra’. A common belief is to do the ‘yatra’ with patience; leave over-confidence and arrogance behind along with heavy physical baggage if any.

Pleasant absence of all forms of materialism

While many of the visitors would be expecting to find temples, saints, loud rituals such as ringing bells and performing elaborate ceremonies, along with the presence of donation boxes at the Mount Kailash, surprisingly there exist no such materialistic and superstitious omens. The majestic place engages the mind and soul to see the divine outside the temple. It is the perfect place to realize the ‘Nirguna’- formless aspect of the divine!  A welcome change indeed!

Feelings ignited forever

The Mount Kailash-Mansarovar journey bestowed on us blessings of God signified by the strength and majesty of the mountains, the calmness of waters, and the warmth of the simple human life which cannot be compared to anything else in the world.

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Author: A Lifeime Trip ...Creating colorful memories

We, A Lifetime Trip is a team of young minds. A no-frill company, providing the best of travel consultancy services across the industry at most reasonable prices. We deal in both Domestic and International tours. We specialize in bringing you inline with the real India – traditions, rituals, beauty, heritage, festivals, adventures, wild life, carnivals and many more different facets of our country. We work for you in a way that when you are back home, you cherish each moment of the trip making it A LIFETIME TRIP. Also Visit us at www.alifetimetrip.com

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