coverImage

Kailash Mansarovar (China)

14.7/5(7 Ratings)

Kailash Mansarovar (China) Tourism

I am heading to Kailash Mansarovar (China)

Planning Kailash Mansarovar (China) trip?

Know cost before you go!

Reviews (7)

Girija Muralidharan

Girija Muralidharan5.0/5

47 reviews

An exhilarating Yatra to Mansarovar and Mount Kailash.

The main factor was I wanted to go on this Yatra during my father's lifetime since he is an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and bring back the sacred water from Mansarovar and give him . . Mails were exchanged between Kailash Journey's the tour organizer I had chosen. I went through the 14 Page guidelines given by them and tried to follow all the rules and regulations. The first hurdle was to get a Go signal from the Doctor. Stress test, Echo, BP and other health issues were taken into consideration and finally the Dr. Said I was fit to undertake this arduous and demanding journey. I was in the last batch of the 2015 tour. Next year the tour begins from the month of May. The big problem I faced was the uncertainty of the Tibet permit. Time was flying, the date for departure was nearing and there was no news of the permit. We waited with bated breath to book the tickets from Chennai to Kathmandu via Delhi. At last the news of the permit was conveyed to us on September 12th, 2 days before my departure. Now, the certainty of my long awaited journey was before me. The mad frenzy of going to the bank a few times to pay the cash in installments, getting insurance in that short time, making sure I had taken layers of woolen clothes, ticking off the list of medicines and other arrangements for the house, the flight tickets everything had to be taken care off. The head was reeling with do's and My single minded focus and the desire to reach the Abode of the Lord stood by me. Day 1 I took the flight to Delhi, then Kathmandu where I met a small group of people. We were put up at Shangri-La hotel in Kathmandu. We attended the orientation session in the evening and were mentally ready for this most awaited trip with devout fervor. The tour operator advised us to have around 3000 CNY. Money exchange was done and we were all set. We were told Indian Rupees 1000/- and 500/- denominations cannot be used in Nepal. Day 2) After breakfast we visited the famous Pashupati Nath Temple, we had a very good darshan of the 4 faced Lord. This beautiful temple bedecked with wooden carvings was built in 1697AD by the king of Nepal Bhupatindra Malla. Then we went to Boudnath temple dedicated to Lord Buddha a World Heritage Site. It is one of the most important places of pilgrimage for Buddhists. Here the devotees old and young do Parikrama around the massive Stupa 108 times and some devotees prostrate 108 times. It was amazing to see their devotion After lunch we repacked all our essentials in the big bag and backpack which were given to us as gifts along with a cap and a passport holder. Everyone had uniformed set of bags which was numbered. We were told to remember our bag numbers. Our color was blue. Every group has different colors. We left our empty suitcases at the hotel. We flew to Nepalgunj. This is a small dusty town. There were some more people who joined us. These people had arrived from Lucknow by road that morning. We spent the night there Day 3 We flew to Simikot the northern tip of Nepal in a 22 seater plane. After having our packed lunch at the small so called airport we were divided into groups of six to board the helicopter to reach Hilsa which is in Tibet. They weighed us with our backpack. The helicopter can carry only a certain amount of weight. We were surprised to learn that our Australian pilot was very well versed in a lot of hymns in Sanskrit. His pronunciation was superb. The helicopter bobs and weaves over the rugged mountains, crevasses, glacial lakes and ravines. If by mistake the propeller of the helicopter touched the mountains while maneuvering the steep curves and turns we would all be strewn deep down and scattered without any sign of our remains. These thoughts did send shivers down our spine and about our near and dear ones who are waiting for us at home. Each of the six passengers deep in his or her own thoughts kept chanting the Lords name for a safe touchdown. The helicopter landed in the middle of a mountainous area. There were Sherpa's who took charge of our belongings. We walked a little distance to reach our small brick building with small rooms. There were either 3 or 5 beds in each room. There was a courtyard where we could enjoy the sunlight. One room was divided into a cooking area and the other part was the dining area. We were served tea and snacks and were free to go around and explore this muddy area. We found to our dismay that this place had no toilets and running water. Streams running from the mountains were diverted and there was water through hose pipes in a few places. The cold wind and chilly weather was making us feel uneasy. One gentleman who was very keen to take this trip before he touched 70 years next month started feeling uneasy. He was asked to take certain medication. All of us were very well equipped with medicines. Neema, the leader of the 4 Sherpa's took charge and made sure we had half a tablet of Daimox after lunch every day. As we were only 11 people in our group The Chinese Government gives a paper visa for groups of 25 people or more not less, so we had to wait that day till another group joined us. In the evening we went around and found families living and working there. Local women were busy doing their chores while carrying their child on their back tied with a cloth. There was a short iron rope bridge over the river Karnali. Once you cross the bridge you are on the soils of China. Four main rivers flow from Mount Kailash, they are Karnali, Brahmaputra, Sind and Sutlej. We stood near the bridge and saw young girls and boys guiding the donkeys 'over the bridge carrying loads of rice bags and other essentials from China. The trucks bring the load and drop it near the bridge. The amount of times these youngsters carrying the load and crossing the bridge along with the loaded donkeys is amazing. Their strength and stamina has to be seen to be believed. After an early dinner of hot Rotis and potato subzi many of us curled into our beds with layers of blankets which were provided to us and we tried to sleep. I am a person who burns the midnight oil, so wrapped up in a few layers of woolens I walked up and down in the courtyard soaking in the sights and sounds of this strange spooky place. There were these two women who were washing all the plates and dishes after dinner. The water was freezing cold trickling down with force from the mountains. A mere touch of that cold water made my hands numb. But here these women were doing their chores nonchalantly. After the didn't of the vessels died down I was left all alone. The clear sky with numerous stars twinkling up and above made me gaze at the beauty of the nature. I felt the stars were very close by, the sight was so beautiful; it was like as though that area has been wrapped up in dark color soft velvet with tiny sequins all over. That night, I literally felt I could count the stars in the sky. How I wish we had that sort of time and inclination to just stop and look around us and appreciate the beauty of nature in the midst of our so called busy city life. My dreamy thoughts were suddenly disturbed by the barking dogs. These dogs are huge and most of them are black in color. The thought of the ferocious looking dogs entering through the rickety gate scared me. I too was soon curled up in the bed. Day 4) On this day we were told that we will know about the Chinese Visa only after 10 am. This small brick place which housed us had only two bathrooms with no water most of the time. Going out of the gate to answer the nature's call was scary as the dogs keep prowling around. We managed with whatever little water was available. A bucket of hot water was placed in the courtyard to brush our teeth and wash our face and be ready for breakfast. From day 4 it was becoming impossible to have a proper Bath. Hot fluffy puris and potatoes in a different gravy form was served along with piping hot tea. The smile and hospitality of each one of the Sherpa was very welcome. They are friendly and are always ready to help you. The chubby faced Neema became a very good friend. Each one of us was calling out to him for various reasons. Neema used to come and hand over the bed tea and wake us up, urging us to get ready; giving us details about the days programme and letting us know in advance if there was any changes in the itinerary. Suddenly there was a flurry of activities. The news trickled in about the visa approval. With a mixture of curiosity, excitement and oodles of energy we set out towards the bridge. We had to carry the backup and cross the bridge carefully letting the way for the donkeys which keep coming with loads on their back from opposite direction and behind us carrying our bags. Within a few minutes after crossing the bridge we were on the Chinese side. Our numbered bags were placed on the ground and we stood beside our bags and waited for security check up by Chinese officials. Once this formality was complete we boarded the bus and again after a 10 min drive we came to another check point. Once again all our belongings were checked. Now we were ready to reach our next destination Taklakot through winding roads up and up We entered a gated area where once again we stood in queues next to our numbered bags. Our names were called out and one by one we faced the stern looking immigration officials. When my turn came I was in front of a guy who had no smile and was very strict looking. I stood in front of him like a little school girl. He looked through my passport and was pleasantly surprised to see the Chinese visa stamped in one of the pages. He looked up and asked me when I had visited China. I told him that I visited their beautiful country two months back with my husband and named the places we went to and said that their country was so progressive and was rapidly changing according to modern times. I also told him that we loved the hospitality of the Chinese people, the vegetarian food and so on. Suddenly there was a big wide grin on his face and he insisted on looking at the pictures on my Ipad taken in China. He wished me all the best and let me go. The yatris behind me were getting restless and were wondering what I was talking and why I am taking so long to move. But, I just could not help it. By now, we were all weary, tired and of course hungry. I suddenly started feeling the high altitude and was having a splitting headache. Luckily our hotel was bang opposite the immigration office called the New Purang Hotel. We were given our room keys. I had to share a room with another lady from Lucknow. Our room was in the fourth floor. This was a real test for us. We had to carry our backpack, extra woolens and of course ourselves laden with layers of clothes all the way up. There was no lift. I think this was our acclimatization test. Pity the Sherpa carrying every one's heavy bags and depositing it in their rooms. The rooms needed cleaning and the hotel needed maintenance which was lacking. We were told that having a Bath in this cold weather is not good as we would catch cold; hence we just dry washed ourselves. Now the 4 sherpas had to prepare our lunch. Even before we could settle down in our rooms we were served hot tea with light snacks. We tried to take some rest but instead like excited young children we were appreciating the beautiful mountain ranges, the different colors and hues of the day from our window. We were now very near the Abode of the Almighty. We were called for lunch which was served in the hotel lobby. We met up with the new set of people in a more relaxed way and since it was mid afternoon with sun light soothing our cold nerves, we decided to walk along the streets with shops lined up. Many of us picked up foldable walking sticks and chewy peppermints for our trek. We walked further down and spotted a shop selling water cans in 2liter and 5 liter capacity. We bought the 5 liter cans to take back the Mansarovar water as Prasad. Satisfied with our shopping we came back to the hotel. Dinner was served and we dispersed looking forward to the next day's journey. Day 5 The thought that we were so near to the Abode of the Almighty was so intriguing that we were now waiting with bated breath to get closer to this silvery summit up and above and so far away from our homes. After breakfast we lugged our backpacks and waited to board the bus. The Sherpa's carried our big, heavy bags and loaded them onto the bus. During the last leg of the journey we realized we need not have brought so many clothes. We started the upward journey of 90 km with the chants of Jai Bhole Nath and songs praising the Lord. The roads were good and the pristine beauty of the nature was intact. No buildings, no shops no distractions on the way. The one and only chants of OM Namah Shivaye was on everyone's lips. Some of us dozed off while others were singing. After a 3 hours drive I broke the silence by shouting with excitement at the first glimpse of Mount Kailash and Mansarovar. We just could not take our eyes off from this most beautiful sight. Our emotions became so strong that soon we found ourselves crying with joy and the constant thought that "is it real, are we really so close standing face to face with the Mighty Lord thought kept running in my mind. Our bus stopped near a bend and all of us rushed out of the bus and fell on the ground prostrating and chanting and taking pictures, feeling relieved that at last we have made it this far by taking so many different forms of transport, through difficult and complex paths to reach our Holy destination. The first Glimpse of the Grandeur of the snow peaked Mount standing tall, distinguishing itself from the rest will always be fresh in my memory. I wanted to capture this mystic moment for ever in my heart. We were facing the South facing Mount with the distinct Third Eye Soon we were witnessing pearl like drops of snow all over our dark wind cheater. Our guide asked us to return to our seats and we continued our drive. We reached Rakshas Tal. This is a spectacular lake absolutely blue in color. There is a story behind its name. The legend goes great demon king Ravana was a true devotee of Lord Shiva. He did penance near Rakshas Tal for ages to invoke the blessings. Ravana kept sacrificing one by one his heads and finally when he was going to cut off his 10th head at that time the Lord appeared and granted him the boon of taking Him along with Mount Kailash to Lanka. The trap was the Mount should not be placed on the ground till the king reached his destination. While crossing the Himalayas king Ravana wanted to relieve himself. Seeing his predicament Lord Ganesh appeared and offered to help him. Due to strange reasons Ravana took a relatively long time to return. Lord Ganesha tired by now with the weight of the Kailash placed the Holy Mount down on the earth. Since then Mount Kailash is enthroned here in this beautiful, stunningly natural and serene location. There were few big rocks visible in the lake and these are supposed to be the sacrificed heads of Ravana. We were told that this is salt water lake hence no one stops here or has a Bath in this river. We just bypass this lake and reach Lake Mansarovar. Soon we arrived at a place where there were rooms in one straight line with 6 beds in each room. We were six ladies in each room. These rooms faced the famous Mansarovar Lake. Our bags were deposited in our rooms. I chose a bed near the window facing the Holy River. We walked towards the Lake and soon one lady in our group was excitedly shouting and pointing towards the lake. Some of us were baffled and confused and did not know what she was pointing at. We heard her say that we are witnessing a very rare sight of two absolutely Golden color swans who in reality were the Divine Couple wading in absolute bliss at this twilight hour of the day. It was a very rare sight. We learnt that it was Rishi Panchami day on September 18th and we were there to capture this most beautiful sight for life long. The night was very chilly and windy and the high altitude was making quite a few of us very uneasy. Cold and headache was bothering me. We were served hot meals in our rooms. We had to go out to wash our hands and go out in the open to answer our nature's call. Hilsa in Tibet and this Holy River side were very primitive. We could have curled up and gone to sleep after a long drive but that night turned out to be a Shivrathri for all of us. We were told that at the Brahma Muhurat time that is one and a half hours before sun-rise the Gods and Goddess and Devas come down as stars and have a dip in the Holy River and ascend the sky. All of us were so excited and wanted to see these phenomena with our own eyes. Throughout the night we took turns to wrap up in layers of woolens and go out in the dark chilly night to gaze at the clear cloud less skies. This routine kept happening and when we should have kept awake all of us dropped dead with exhaustion, cold and fatigue. There were two men in our group who woke up at the right time to capture this extraordinary scene in their smart phones. They showed us 4 stars in a row descending and dipping into the lake and slowly going up towards the sky. As it was difficult to get WiFi at this location we could not share this wonder struck sight in our phones. Day 6 Today we were going to do the Parikrama of the Holy Lake and have a dip and collect the Holy water. We packed our backpack with change of clothes and set out after breakfast. We waited for the mist to vanish and the sun to shine . When we stepped out of our rooms on the left side we could see the colossal Mount 22, 028 feet tall, standing all by itself in the midst of starkness, astoundingly grand, it becomes obvious and clear in our minds that this is unquestionably the throne of Lord Shiva. There are countless other mountains in the Himalayan range and a few taller than the Holy Mount. The spiritual vibrations pulling us towards divinity has to be felt at the sight of Mount Meru as it is called in Sanskrit. The area and the surrounding places for miles and miles together is untouched by humanity, hence this is the place chosen by the Lord to reside in peace. A single Parikrama of the Mount or circumambulation or Kora as the Tibetans call it is 52 km. It is believed that there are three Koras. The first Kora is meant for all and everyone can experience the joys and struggles of completing one Kora. The second one is the inner Kora which is extremely arduous and difficult and is meant for the most able bodied and fit people who are spiritual souls. The third Kora is inaccessible, meant only for the Gods. The reverence of this place becomes so powerful that one becomes one with the Lord. We were now in the bus and going towards the Parikrama path of the Holy Mansarovar River. This Lake is situated at the height of 5000m and is the most famous and highest fresh water lakes in the world. The Holy Lake is also known as Lake of Consciousness Tibetans. As we were encircling the dazzling lake, the color of the water was changing from deep blue to emerald green and then to turquoise blue. The beauty of the Divine Lake in all the possible hues of blue could be seen here. While going around the Parikrama path slowly, sitting in the bus we could see this Lake merging with the sky erasing the existence of the horizon. This scene was stunningly beautiful. One side of the lake we could see the Holy Mount Kailash with a big cave at the lower end and on the other side was the Gurla Mandhata range We were warned not to dip straight away into the water as it will be freezing cold. I stepped gently into the water, the pebbles and stones are very slippery, I slipped and luckily just sat down with a thud. I was happy that I did not hurt my wobbly knees and feet. Slowly I kept splashing water all over myself and started picking up as many pebbles as I could. It is believed these pebbles and stones are not ordinary ones and have impressions of several Gods imprinted on them. The true Prasad one can take home are these stones and the Holy water. I filled my 5 liter can and slowly stepped out of the water. Neema our leader had pitched a small tent for the ladies to go in and change. We took turns and changed quickly and come out. In fact, once I stepped out of the tent and walked a little distance I could feel the uneasiness in me set in. I had difficulty in breathing. The lady doctor in our group patted my back and gave me a sip of water to drink. Few min later I felt okay. The high altitude is the problem for all the uneasiness one feels. In the mean while some of the ladies in the group had come prepared with all the items needed for performing a Havan. The Havan Kund was set up placing stones and make shift items, the dry fruits which all of us had taken and other items were placed, fire was lit and everyone was busy chanting Om Namah Shivaya. I took this opportunity to chant the 108 names of Lord Shiva and the group followed me by offering ghee after each name of the Lord. Havan was performed two times. The second one was on the day we were leaving the sacred Abode of the Lord. It was an exhilarating experience. We drove slowly back to our camp. We were served our evening tea with hot bhajjiayas which was very welcome. We were now free to roam around the camp, dry our wet clothes and just soak in the atmosphere around us. We had dinner and then hit the bed. Day 7 This day we were supposed to drive till Yamdwar which is 10km away from our camp and from there start our15km trek to Dirapuk and witness the beauty of the North facing Kailash. We were a group of 24 people. Only 4 of us from this group decided to trek till Dirapuk. I was one of them. Mentally and physically I was set to walk up slowly with the help of the walking stick which I picked up at Taklakot. Rest of the group was planning to go back to the lake side camp and wait for us to return. I was planning to return back from Dirapuk while the other three wanted to do the full Parikrama. Neema our team leader was in a dilemma. He did not want to discourage any of us. We were allowed to hire a pony for three days and not for one day. The East side of the Mount we were told is the most difficult path with steep slopes up and down and very slippery in some parts. Here the pony ride is not advisable. We have to walk slowly along with the pony. On the Eastern side you are so far away from the Mount that it is not visible in many places while doing Parikrama. Before we left for Yamdwar our team leader Neema got a message that a group of 10 people from the previous batch were stranded on the way to Dirapuk. It was going to be difficult to bring them back. Neema suggested that we drive till Yamdwar and return back. The four of us were disappointed. The two people in our group who were sick were relieved to go back. We insisted that they come for a drive with us instead of being left alone in the camp. We drove to Tarboche. Our bus stopped and we walked a distance to reach the Yamdwar. This was a newly built white washed structure. The old one was destroyed during the earthquake. Yamdwar did not make much impression but the legend goes that one who passes through the Yamdwar becomes free from the shackles of being a mortal. The structure was adorned with rows of colorful flags and festoons fluttering in the wind. These flags are tied around the poles during the yearly Tibetan festival of The Parikrama trail around the massive Mount Kailash begins here. There were a lot of young Tibetans walking towards Dirapuk. We learnt that many youngsters go on trekking around the Mount effortlessly. The scene from this spot near the Yamdwar and the muddy path leading the trail towards the snow laden mountains beyond, the resplendent beauty of the blue sky and heavenly white clouds leaves one gaping in silence, no words can describe the incredible beauty one witnesses. The longing to go and explore this path was very much there, but the thought of becoming breathless while going up the high altitude and slipping while stepping on the steep rocks by mistake made us hold back our urge to go further. After clicking pictures to our hearts content we drove back to our camp via Darchen. This again is a small town. Here we stopped for some time going around the small shops picking up lovely pictures of the Holy Mount; we were tempted to buy the various colored beads being sold by the local women. We then came back to our camp. Decision was taken that since the group did not do the Parikrama there was no use staying here in this cold climate. Therefore after lunch we packed our bags and got ready to drive back from the brick house near Lake Mansarovar. It was now time to go back home. My heart and soul were refusing to leave this sacred land and enter back into the materialist world of ours. I was confused with what exactly I felt at that moment. Happy to have got a chance to come on this once in a life time Yatra or sad for leaving this blissful and divine soil where the Lord resides. Well we have to move on in. As there are no temples or priests or Hundi to deposit money here, an old man in the group said let us all contribute and give a lump sum to Sherpa Neema and his team. They are like the Shiva Ganas who are serving the devotees and making our journey pleasant. Shiva Ganas are attendants who reside with Lord Shiva in Mount Kailash. We reached Takalakot, again we went through a checking point. I was wondering what is it that we are taking back home, just the pure waters of Mansarovar and a few pebbles and of course the enlightening of our soul and the remarkable experience of this journey which I will cherish all my life. We followed the same route we took---back to, we had to wait for a long period at Nepalgunj to board our plane to Kathmandu because there are only two flights from this place. Neema made sure we reached Kathmandu ahead of schedule. In Kathmandu we had darshan of Pashupati Nath once again and then we bade good bye to our fellow travelers and met the organizers and profusely thanked them for making our Yatra a success. All of us advanced our return tickets by two days Clutching the 5 liter holy water can I entered the airport where the can was sealed and checked in. I landed in Chennai safely; felt elated seeing the beautiful huge statue of Lord Nataraja waiting to welcome me back home at the new arrival hall of the Chennai International Airport. I stood with bowed head and folded hands and thanked the Lord for giving me an opportunity to complete this memorable Yatra where I prayed for the entire dear and near relatives and friends. This hymn was the most appropriate one which I kept chanting. Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukinah, Sarve Santur Niramayah, Sarve Bhadrani Pasyantu. Ma-Kaschid Dukha Bhag Bhavet, Om Shanti, Shanti Om, May all be happy, May all be healthy, May all see auspiciousness and May none suffer. Om Namah Shivaye, Jai Bhole Nath. Muralidharan.

Read More

  • An exhilarating Yatra to Mansarovar and Mount Kailash.
  • An exhilarating Yatra to Mansarovar and Mount Kailash.
  • An exhilarating Yatra to Mansarovar and Mount Kailash.
  • An exhilarating Yatra to Mansarovar and Mount Kailash.
    +4

Girija Muralidharan

Girija Muralidharan4.6/5

47 reviews

An exhilarating Yatra to Mansarovar and Mount Kailash

The main factor was I wanted to go on this Yatra during my 90 year old father's lifetime who is an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and bring back the sacred water from Mansarovar and give him . . Mails were exchanged between Kailash Journey's the tour organizer I had chosen. I went through the 14 Page guidelines given by them and tried to follow all the rules and regulations. The first hurdle was to get a Go signal from the Doctor. Stress test, Echo, BP and other health issues were taken into consideration and finally the Dr. Said I was fit to undertake this arduous and demanding journey. I was in the last batch of the 2015 tour. Next year the tour begins from the month of May. The big problem I faced was the uncertainty of the Tibet permit. Time was flying, the date for departure was nearing and there was no news of the permit. We waited with bated breath to book the tickets from Chennai to Kathmandu via Delhi. At last the news of the permit was conveyed to us on September 12th, 2 days before my departure. Now, the certainty of my long awaited journey was before me. The mad frenzy of going to the bank a few times to pay the cash in installments, getting insurance in that short time, making sure I had taken layers of woolen clothes, ticking off the list of medicines and other arrangements for the house, the flight tickets everything had to be taken care off. The head was reeling with do's and My single minded focus and the desire to reach the Abode of the Lord stood by me. Day 1 I took the flight to Delhi, then Kathmandu where I met a small group of people. We were put up at Shangri-La hotel in Kathmandu. We attended the orientation session in the evening and were mentally ready for this most awaited trip with devout fervor. The tour operator advised us to have around 3000 CNY. Money exchange was done and we were all set. We were told Indian Rupees 1000/- and 500/- denominations cannot be used in Nepal. Day 2) After breakfast we visited the famous Pashupati Nath Temple, we had a very good darshan of the 4 faced Lord. This beautiful temple bedecked with wooden carvings was built in 1697AD by the king of Nepal Bhupatindra Malla. Then we went to Boudnath temple dedicated to Lord Buddha a World Heritage Site. It is one of the most important places of pilgrimage for Buddhists. Here the devotees old and young do Parikrama around the massive Stupa 108 times and some devotees prostrate 108 times. It was amazing to see their devotion After lunch we repacked all our essentials in the big bag and backpack which were given to us as gifts along with a cap and a passport holder. Everyone had uniformed set of bags which was numbered. We were told to remember our bag numbers. Our color was blue. Every group has different colors. We left our empty suitcases at the hotel. We flew to Nepalgunj. This is a small dusty town. There were some more people who joined us. These people had arrived from Lucknow by road that morning. We spent the night there Day 3 We flew to Simikot the northern tip of Nepal in a 22 seater plane. After having our packed lunch at the small so called airport we were divided into groups of six to board the helicopter to reach Hilsa which is in Tibet. They weighed us with our backpack. The helicopter can carry only a certain amount of weight. We were surprised to learn that our Australian pilot was very well versed in a lot of hymns in Sanskrit. His pronunciation was superb. The helicopter bobs and weaves over the rugged mountains, crevasses, glacial lakes and ravines. If by mistake the propeller of the helicopter touched the mountains while maneuvering the steep curves and turns we would all be strewn deep down and scattered without any sign of our remains. These thoughts did send shivers down our spine and about our near and dear ones who are waiting for us at home. Each of the six passengers deep in his or her own thoughts kept chanting the Lords name for a safe touchdown. The helicopter landed in the middle of a mountainous area. There were Sherpa's who took charge of our belongings. We walked a little distance to reach our small brick building with small rooms. There were either 3 or 5 beds in each room. There was a courtyard where we could enjoy the sunlight. One room was divided into a cooking area and the other part was the dining area. We were served tea and snacks and were free to go around and explore this muddy area. We found to our dismay that this place had no toilets and running water. Streams running from the mountains were diverted and there was water through hose pipes in a few places. The cold wind and chilly weather was making us feel uneasy. One gentleman who was very keen to take this trip before he touched 70 years next month started feeling uneasy. He was asked to take certain medication. All of us were very well equipped with medicines. Neema, the leader of the 4 Sherpa's took charge and made sure we had half a tablet of Daimox after lunch every day. As we were only 11 people in our group The Chinese Government gives a paper visa for groups of 25 people or more not less, so we had to wait that day till another group joined us. In the evening we went around and found families living and working there. Local women were busy doing their chores while carrying their child on their back tied with a cloth. There was a short iron rope bridge over the river Karnali. Once you cross the bridge you are on the soils of China. Four main rivers flow from Mount Kailash, they are Karnali, Brahmaputra, Sind and Sutlej. We stood near the bridge and saw young girls and boys guiding the donkeys 'over the bridge carrying loads of rice bags and other essentials from China. The trucks bring the load and drop it near the bridge. The amount of times these youngsters carrying the load and crossing the bridge along with the loaded donkeys is amazing. Their strength and stamina has to be seen to be believed. After an early dinner of hot Rotis and potato subzi many of us curled into our beds with layers of blankets which were provided to us and we tried to sleep. I am a person who burns the midnight oil, so wrapped up in a few layers of woolens I walked up and down in the courtyard soaking in the sights and sounds of this strange spooky place. There were these two women who were washing all the plates and dishes after dinner. The water was freezing cold trickling down with force from the mountains. A mere touch of that cold water made my hands numb. But here these women were doing their chores nonchalantly. After the didn't of the vessels died down I was left all alone. The clear sky with numerous stars twinkling up and above made me gaze at the beauty of the nature. I felt the stars were very close by, the sight was so beautiful; it was like as though that area has been wrapped up in dark color soft velvet with tiny sequins all over. That night, I literally felt I could count the stars in the sky. How I wish we had that sort of time and inclination to just stop and look around us and appreciate the beauty of nature in the midst of our so called busy city life. My dreamy thoughts were suddenly disturbed by the barking dogs. These dogs are huge and most of them are black in color. The thought of the ferocious looking dogs entering through the rickety gate scared me. I too was soon curled up in the bed. Day 4) On this day we were told that we will know about the Chinese Visa only after 10 am. This small brick place which housed us had only two bathrooms with no water most of the time. Going out of the gate to answer the nature's call was scary as the dogs keep prowling around. We managed with whatever little water was available. A bucket of hot water was placed in the courtyard to brush our teeth and wash our face and be ready for breakfast. From day 4 it was becoming impossible to have a proper Bath. Hot fluffy puris and potatoes in a different gravy form was served along with piping hot tea. The smile and hospitality of each one of the Sherpa was very welcome. They are friendly and are always ready to help you. The chubby faced Neema became a very good friend. Each one of us was calling out to him for various reasons. Neema used to come and hand over the bed tea and wake us up, urging us to get ready; giving us details about the days programme and letting us know in advance if there was any changes in the itinerary. Suddenly there was a flurry of activities. The news trickled in about the visa approval. With a mixture of curiosity, excitement and oodles of energy we set out towards the bridge. We had to carry the backup and cross the bridge carefully letting the way for the donkeys which keep coming with loads on their back from opposite direction and behind us carrying our bags. Within a few minutes after crossing the bridge we were on the Chinese side. Our numbered bags were placed on the ground and we stood beside our bags and waited for security check up by Chinese officials. Once this formality was complete we boarded the bus and again after a 10 min drive we came to another check point. Once again all our belongings were checked. Now we were ready to reach our next destination Taklakot through winding roads up and up We entered a gated area where once again we stood in queues next to our numbered bags. Our names were called out and one by one we faced the stern looking immigration officials. When my turn came I was in front of a guy who had no smile and was very strict looking. I stood in front of him like a little school girl. He looked through my passport and was pleasantly surprised to see the Chinese visa stamped in one of the pages. He looked up and asked me when I had visited China. I told him that I visited their beautiful country two months back with my husband and named the places we went to and said that their country was so progressive and was rapidly changing according to modern times. I also told him that we loved the hospitality of the Chinese people, the vegetarian food and so on. Suddenly there was a big wide grin on his face and he insisted on looking at the pictures on my Ipad taken in China. He wished me all the best and let me go. The yatris behind me were getting restless and were wondering what I was talking and why I am taking so long to move. But, I just could not help it. By now, we were all weary, tired and of course hungry. I suddenly started feeling the high altitude and was having a splitting headache. Luckily our hotel was bang opposite the immigration office called the New Purang Hotel. We were given our room keys. I had to share a room with another lady from Lucknow. Our room was in the fourth floor. This was a real test for us. We had to carry our backpack, extra woolens and of course ourselves laden with layers of clothes all the way up. There was no lift. I think this was our acclimatization test. Pity the Sherpa carrying every one's heavy bags and depositing it in their rooms. The rooms needed cleaning and the hotel needed maintenance which was lacking. We were told that having a Bath in this cold weather is not good as we would catch cold; hence we just dry washed ourselves. Now the 4 sherpas had to prepare our lunch. Even before we could settle down in our rooms we were served hot tea with light snacks. We tried to take some rest but instead like excited young children we were appreciating the beautiful mountain ranges, the different colors and hues of the day from our window. We were now very near the Abode of the Almighty. We were called for lunch which was served in the hotel lobby. We met up with the new set of people in a more relaxed way and since it was mid afternoon with sun light soothing our cold nerves, we decided to walk along the streets with shops lined up. Many of us picked up foldable walking sticks and chewy peppermints for our trek. We walked further down and spotted a shop selling water cans in 2liter and 5 liter capacity. We bought the 5 liter cans to take back the Mansarovar water as Prasad. Satisfied with our shopping we came back to the hotel. Dinner was served and we dispersed looking forward to the next day's journey. Day 5 The thought that we were so near to the Abode of the Almighty was so intriguing that we were now waiting with bated breath to get closer to this silvery summit up and above and so far away from our homes. After breakfast we lugged our backpacks and waited to board the bus. The Sherpa's carried our big, heavy bags and loaded them onto the bus. During the last leg of the journey we realized we need not have brought so many clothes. We started the upward journey of 90 km with the chants of Jai Bhole Nath and songs praising the Lord. The roads were good and the pristine beauty of the nature was intact. No buildings, no shops no distractions on the way. The one and only chants of OM Namah Shivaye was on everyone's lips. Some of us dozed off while others were singing. After a 3 hours drive I broke the silence by shouting with excitement at the first glimpse of Mount Kailash and Mansarovar. We just could not take our eyes off from this most beautiful sight. Our emotions became so strong that soon we found ourselves crying with joy and the constant thought that "is it real, are we really so close standing face to face with the Mighty Lord thought kept running in my mind. Our bus stopped near a bend and all of us rushed out of the bus and fell on the ground prostrating and chanting and taking pictures, feeling relieved that at last we have made it this far by taking so many different forms of transport, through difficult and complex paths to reach our Holy destination. The first Glimpse of the Grandeur of the snow peaked Mount standing tall, distinguishing itself from the rest will always be fresh in my memory. I wanted to capture this mystic moment for ever in my heart. We were facing the South facing Mount with the distinct Third Eye Soon we were witnessing pearl like drops of snow all over our dark wind cheater. Our guide asked us to return to our seats and we continued our drive. We reached Rakshas Tal. This is a spectacular lake absolutely blue in color. There is a story behind its name. The legend goes great demon king Ravana was a true devotee of Lord Shiva. He did penance near Rakshas Tal for ages to invoke the blessings. Ravana kept sacrificing one by one his heads and finally when he was going to cut off his 10th head at that time the Lord appeared and granted him the boon of taking Him along with Mount Kailash to Lanka. The trap was the Mount should not be placed on the ground till the king reached his destination. While crossing the Himalayas king Ravana wanted to relieve himself. Seeing his predicament Lord Ganesh appeared and offered to help him. Due to strange reasons Ravana took a relatively long time to return. Lord Ganesha tired by now with the weight of the Kailash placed the Holy Mount down on the earth. Since then Mount Kailash is enthroned here in this beautiful, stunningly natural and serene location. There were few big rocks visible in the lake and these are supposed to be the sacrificed heads of Ravana. We were told that this is salt water lake hence no one stops here or has a Bath in this river. We just bypass this lake and reach Lake Mansarovar. Soon we arrived at a place where there were rooms in one straight line with 6 beds in each room. We were six ladies in each room. These rooms faced the famous Mansarovar Lake. Our bags were deposited in our rooms. I chose a bed near the window facing the Holy River. We walked towards the Lake and soon one lady in our group was excitedly shouting and pointing towards the lake. Some of us were baffled and confused and did not know what she was pointing at. We heard her say that we are witnessing a very rare sight of two absolutely Golden color swans who in reality were the Divine Couple wading in absolute bliss at this twilight hour of the day. It was a very rare sight. We learnt that it was Rishi Panchami day on September 18th and we were there to capture this most beautiful sight for life long. The night was very chilly and windy and the high altitude was making quite a few of us very uneasy. Cold and headache was bothering me. We were served hot meals in our rooms. We had to go out to wash our hands and go out in the open to answer our nature's call. Hilsa in Tibet and this Holy River side were very primitive. We could have curled up and gone to sleep after a long drive but that night turned out to be a Shivrathri for all of us. We were told that at the Brahma Muhurat time that is one and a half hours before sun-rise the Gods and Goddess and Devas come down as stars and have a dip in the Holy River and ascend the sky. All of us were so excited and wanted to see these phenomena with our own eyes. Throughout the night we took turns to wrap up in layers of woolens and go out in the dark chilly night to gaze at the clear cloud less skies. This routine kept happening and when we should have kept awake all of us dropped dead with exhaustion, cold and fatigue. There were two men in our group who woke up at the right time to capture this extraordinary scene in their smart phones. They showed us 4 stars in a row descending and dipping into the lake and slowly going up towards the sky. As it was difficult to get WiFi at this location we could not share this wonder struck sight in our phones. Day 6 Today we were going to do the Parikrama of the Holy Lake and have a dip and collect the Holy water. We packed our backpack with change of clothes and set out after breakfast. We waited for the mist to vanish and the sun to shine . When we stepped out of our rooms on the left side we could see the colossal Mount 22, 028 feet tall, standing all by itself in the midst of starkness, astoundingly grand, it becomes obvious and clear in our minds that this is unquestionably the throne of Lord Shiva. There are countless other mountains in the Himalayan range and a few taller than the Holy Mount. The spiritual vibrations pulling us towards divinity has to be felt at the sight of Mount Meru as it is called in Sanskrit. The area and the surrounding places for miles and miles together is untouched by humanity, hence this is the place chosen by the Lord to reside in peace. A single Parikrama of the Mount or circumambulation or Kora as the Tibetans call it is 52 km. It is believed that there are three Koras. The first Kora is meant for all and everyone can experience the joys and struggles of completing one Kora. The second one is the inner Kora which is extremely arduous and difficult and is meant for the most able bodied and fit people who are spiritual souls. The third Kora is inaccessible, meant only for the Gods. The reverence of this place becomes so powerful that one becomes one with the Lord. We were now in the bus and going towards the Parikrama path of the Holy Mansarovar River. This Lake is situated at the height of 5000m and is the most famous and highest fresh water lakes in the world. The Holy Lake is also known as Lake of Consciousness Tibetans. As we were encircling the dazzling lake, the color of the water was changing from deep blue to emerald green and then to turquoise blue. The beauty of the Divine Lake in all the possible hues of blue could be seen here. While going around the Parikrama path slowly, sitting in the bus we could see this Lake merging with the sky erasing the existence of the horizon. This scene was stunningly beautiful. One side of the lake we could see the Holy Mount Kailash with a big cave at the lower end and on the other side was the Gurla Mandhata range We were warned not to dip straight away into the water as it will be freezing cold. I stepped gently into the water, the pebbles and stones are very slippery, I slipped and luckily just sat down with a thud. I was happy that I did not hurt my wobbly knees and feet. Slowly I kept splashing water all over myself and started picking up as many pebbles as I could. It is believed these pebbles and stones are not ordinary ones and have impressions of several Gods imprinted on them. The true Prasad one can take home are these stones and the Holy water. I filled my 5 liter can and slowly stepped out of the water. Neema our leader had pitched a small tent for the ladies to go in and change. We took turns and changed quickly and come out. In fact, once I stepped out of the tent and walked a little distance I could feel the uneasiness in me set in. I had difficulty in breathing. The lady doctor in our group patted my back and gave me a sip of water to drink. Few min later I felt okay. The high altitude is the problem for all the uneasiness one feels. In the mean while some of the ladies in the group had come prepared with all the items needed for performing a Havan. The Havan Kund was set up placing stones and make shift items, the dry fruits which all of us had taken and other items were placed, fire was lit and everyone was busy chanting Om Namah Shivaya. I took this opportunity to chant the 108 names of Lord Shiva and the group followed me by offering ghee after each name of the Lord. Havan was performed two times. The second one was on the day we were leaving the sacred Abode of the Lord. It was an exhilarating experience. We drove slowly back to our camp. We were served our evening tea with hot bhajjiayas which was very welcome. We were now free to roam around the camp, dry our wet clothes and just soak in the atmosphere around us. We had dinner and then hit the bed. Day 7 This day we were supposed to drive till Yamdwar which is 10km away from our camp and from there start our15km trek to Dirapuk and witness the beauty of the North facing Kailash. We were a group of 24 people. Only 4 of us from this group decided to trek till Dirapuk. I was one of them. Mentally and physically I was set to walk up slowly with the help of the walking stick which I picked up at Taklakot. Rest of the group was planning to go back to the lake side camp and wait for us to return. I was planning to return back from Dirapuk while the other three wanted to do the full Parikrama. Neema our team leader was in a dilemma. He did not want to discourage any of us. We were allowed to hire a pony for three days and not for one day. The East side of the Mount we were told is the most difficult path with steep slopes up and down and very slippery in some parts. Here the pony ride is not advisable. We have to walk slowly along with the pony. On the Eastern side you are so far away from the Mount that it is not visible in many places while doing Parikrama. Before we left for Yamdwar our team leader Neema got a message that a group of 10 people from the previous batch were stranded on the way to Dirapuk. It was going to be difficult to bring them back. Neema suggested that we drive till Yamdwar and return back. The four of us were disappointed. The two people in our group who were sick were relieved to go back. We insisted that they come for a drive with us instead of being left alone in the camp. We drove to Tarboche. Our bus stopped and we walked a distance to reach the Yamdwar. This was a newly built white washed structure. The old one was destroyed during the earthquake. Yamdwar did not make much impression but the legend goes that one who passes through the Yamdwar becomes free from the shackles of being a mortal. The structure was adorned with rows of colorful flags and festoons fluttering in the wind. These flags are tied around the poles during the yearly Tibetan festival of The Parikrama trail around the massive Mount Kailash begins here. There were a lot of young Tibetans walking towards Dirapuk. We learnt that many youngsters go on trekking around the Mount effortlessly. The scene from this spot near the Yamdwar and the muddy path leading the trail towards the snow laden mountains beyond, the resplendent beauty of the blue sky and heavenly white clouds leaves one gaping in silence, no words can describe the incredible beauty one witnesses. The longing to go and explore this path was very much there, but the thought of becoming breathless while going up the high altitude and slipping while stepping on the steep rocks by mistake made us hold back our urge to go further. After clicking pictures to our hearts content we drove back to our camp via Darchen. This again is a small town. Here we stopped for some time going around the small shops picking up lovely pictures of the Holy Mount; we were tempted to buy the various colored beads being sold by the local women. We then came back to our camp. Decision was taken that since the group did not do the Parikrama there was no use staying here in this cold climate. Therefore after lunch we packed our bags and got ready to drive back from the brick house near Lake Mansarovar. It was now time to go back home. My heart and soul were refusing to leave this sacred land and enter back into the materialist world of ours. I was confused with what exactly I felt at that moment. Happy to have got a chance to come on this once in a life time Yatra or sad for leaving this blissful and divine soil where the Lord resides. Well we have to move on in. As there are no temples or priests or Hundi to deposit money here, an old man in the group said let us all contribute and give a lump sum to Sherpa Neema and his team. They are like the Shiva Ganas who are serving the devotees and making our journey pleasant. Shiva Ganas are attendants who reside with Lord Shiva in Mount Kailash. We reached Takalakot, again we went through a checking point. I was wondering what is it that we are taking back home, just the pure waters of Mansarovar and a few pebbles and of course the enlightening of our soul and the remarkable experience of this journey which I will cherish all my life. We followed the same route we took---back to, we had to wait for a long period at Nepalgunj to board our plane to Kathmandu because there are only two flights from this place. Neema made sure we reached Kathmandu ahead of schedule. In Kathmandu we had darshan of Pashupati Nath once again and then we bade good bye to our fellow travelers and met the organizers and profusely thanked them for making our Yatra a success. All of us advanced our return tickets by two days Clutching the 5 liter holy water can I entered the airport where the can was sealed and checked in. I landed in Chennai safely; felt elated seeing the beautiful huge statue of Lord Nataraja waiting to welcome me back home at the new arrival hall of the Chennai International Airport. I stood with bowed head and folded hands and thanked the Lord for giving me an opportunity to complete this memorable Yatra where I prayed for the entire dear and near relatives and friends. This hymn was the most appropriate one which I kept chanting. Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukinah, Sarve Santur Niramayah, Sarve Bhadrani Pasyantu. Ma-Kaschid Dukha Bhag Bhavet, Om Shanti, Shanti Om, May all be happy, May all be healthy, May all see auspiciousness and May none suffer. Om Namah Shivaye, Jai Bhole Nath. Muralidharan.

Read More

  • An exhilarating Yatra to Mansarovar and Mount Kailash
  • An exhilarating Yatra to Mansarovar and Mount Kailash
  • An exhilarating Yatra to Mansarovar and Mount Kailash

Photos of Kailash Mansarovar (China)

Kailash Mansarovar (China),

Photo by

Girija Muralidharan

Kailash Mansarovar (China),
Kailash Mansarovar (China),

Photo by

Girija Muralidharan

Kailash Mansarovar (China),
Kailash Mansarovar (China),

Photo by

Girija Muralidharan

Kailash Mansarovar (China),
Kailash Mansarovar (China),

Photo by

Girija Muralidharan

Kailash Mansarovar (China),

Getting to Kailash Mansarovar (China)

visa

Visa: Prior application

View Visa requirement
Transit

Transit time: 3 hrs from major cities

Cost ₹ 4,000 per person

There is so much to see in Kailash Mansarovar (China).

Plan your holiday now with our travel experts!

Are you a travel agent?

Become a part of our growing Travel Partner Platform. You can get high quality Kailash Mansarovar (China) travel leads and help our travellers book Kailash Mansarovar (China) holiday packages. Join now!