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India - Mansarovar & Kailash Tour and Trek

 

 Mount Kailash

Lake Mansarovar

Briskwalking on the ridge of Mount Kailash

 

GENERAL DESCRIPTION AND ROUTING:

Both for Hindus and Buddhists, the area of Kailash-Mansarovar is sacred. For Hindus, Kailash is considered as abode of the most powerful of the Hindu Holy Trinity, Lord Mahadev. Buddhists associate Manasarovar with Anotatta Lake, where the Buddha was mystically conceived. Mythology aside, the peak of Kailash is one of the more spectacular of the Himalayan peaks. Kailash Peak has been center of devotion from ancient times . A lot of pilgrims visit Kailash-Mansarovar every year. While revered by Hindus, the area now belongs to China—it is in Tibet. Rajatgiri Kailash which is 22028ft. above sea level is difficult to access. Pilgrims have to cross many mountain ranges to reach there. There are various routes to reach kailash from India. ? One route goes from Ladakh region of Kashmir; ? Second route passes through Gangotri towards Nailang Ghat; ? Third route is from Badrinath via Man Ghat; ? Fourth route goes via Niti Ghat which is in North- East direction of Joshi Math; ? Fifth route goes via Almora, Dharchula, Gabyang, and Lipu Ghat; ? Sixth route goes from Nepal towards Kailash-Mansarovar. Man-Sarovar (Lake) A centerpiece of the region is the Mansarovar lake, about 828 miles north of Delhi. One of the Holy Trinity gods of Hinduism, Lord Brahma the Creator is said to have created the lake through his power of His mind, hence the name Mansarovar (Manas—mind: Sarovar—lake) . It’s circumference is about 86km and it is 90 mt. Deep in the (middle) central part. During winter, water freezes to solid ice. Tibetans people cross the lake without any fear by walking across or on yak.

SUGGESTED TRAVEL ITINERARY

Here is a typical month-long  itinerary, although 7 and 14 day trips are also available. Plenty of opportunities for briskwalking while you take in the pristine views of the lakes, waterfalls and mountains, not to mention coming up nose-to-nose with mountain residents like yaks, goats and . Wear comfortable footwear and outerwear and carry plenty of water--dehydration and loss of oxygen are two of the most frequent complaints at higher elevations. And some citrus fruits and energy bars.

First Day - The pilgrims cover 198 miles from Delhi to Kathgodam via Moradabad, Rampur, Haldwani. They cross the rivers Yamuna, Ganga and Ramganga W. rivers on the way. Before starting the journey, pilgrims are briefed by the Under Secretary, Ministery of External Affairs, about the Yatra and their medical check-up is done at Indo-Tibetian Border Police Centre.

Second Day - After having Breakfast at Kathgodam, the journey to Bageshwar starts. At lunch, bus reaches to Almora and lunch is served in the KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam) guest house. Then there is drive uphill to Bageshwar which lies on the confluence of Gomti and Saryu.

Third Day - Visit Baijnath temple constructed in the 13th century and have breakfast in the hilly town of Bageshwar. Then travel to Chaukori—about 40 miles. Here you can view the Himalayan range form the tea estate of Chaukori. Then there is a drive downhill to Thal, uphill to Didihat where lunch is served, then downhill again to Ogla - Jauljibi and finally along the Gori river till they reach Dharchula, crossing the Gomti, Saryu, Ramganga E. and Gori on the way. One can now see the mountains of Nepal. The distance covered is 99 miles.

Fourth Day – 12 miles from Dharchula you reach the confluence of the Kali and Dhauli, and then drive on to Mangti. The Kali river winds through dense forest up to the village of Gala (8000 feet). You can reserve one of the cottage through KMVN.. There is a PWD guest house at Jipti (7,800 feet) a mile down the road.

Fifth Day - Although Gala to Buddhi (9,000 feet) via Malpa is 12 miles. To reach Malpa, about 5 miles one has to climb down 4444 steps to reach the river Kali. This place is Lakhanpur. To the right of the Kali is the Chhata fall. On the left is also a fall in Nepal. Next is the beautiful Najang fall. The Kali seems almost like a violent storm in this region. There are numerous springs and waterfalls on either side of the river; also can seen the Api - Nampa range of Nepal.

Sixth Day - Gunji (11,500 feet) is 11 miles from Budi. On reaching Chhialekh the group enters the region of Byans. The pasture of Chhialekh is strewn with grasses and flowers.

Seventh Day – From the quieter Kali walk 6 miles to reach Kalapani (11,800 feet). There are pine, and juniper forests in this region. and snow - clad mountains all around . The region is famous for the cave of the sage Vyas (author of the Hindu scriptures, the Vedas) .

Eight Day - The group covers the 6 miles from Kalapani to Navidhang (13,000 feet) surrounded by innumerable wild flowers. This is the region of Musk deer and Monal and the highest stage of Himalayan wilderness. You sight the breath-taking “Om” mountain from here.

Ninth Day - After walking 5 miles from Navidhang to the Lipulekh pass (17,500 feet), you now enter Tibet. After a further brief walk down to Chang Lobochahela and from here by truck and bus you reach the old trading town of Taklakot (Purang), which is situated on the banks of the Karnali river.

Tenth and Eleventh Day – You stay at Purang Guest House (14,000 feet) can walk to town, Shimling monastery, Nepali market and Karnali river.Chinese customs formalities are completed here. Yaks for the Kailash Parikarama (rotation) and ponies for thr Manas Parkaramas (rotations) are to be requisitioned here.

Twelfth Day - The pilgrim group is divide into two subgroups, one for Kailas and another for Manas parikrama (rotation). The bus starts from Purang around midninght. Before sunrise the bus crosses the Gurla Pass (16,200 feet). Then comes Rakastal (Long Tso, 14,800 feet) on the left western slopes of Gurla Mountain (Memo Nani, 25,200 feet) on the right and Mt. Kailas (Kang Rinpoche, 21,900 feet) in front. Next is the first glimpse of Mansarovar (Tso Mapam, 14,900 feet) at Zaidi. After crossing Parkha plains the bus reaches Tarchen, the base camp fro Kailas parikrama. Group 'A' stays at Tarchen and 'B' is taken to Hore by Bus.

Thirteenth Day - Group 'A' walks 12 miles along the Lha Chhu, constantly looking at Mt. Kailas and its changing faces. Before sunset one should reach Dirapuk Gompa (4909m) and enjoy the northern face of Kailas at sunset. Group 'B' walks along the southeastern shore of Manas. After crossing Samo and Tag rivers and visiting Seralung and Yerngo Gompa for night stay after walking or riding for 30 Km. Here in front of the pilgrim is the Manas and elevated Kailas and behind are the grand peaks of Gurla Mandhata.

Fourteenth Day - This is a slightly difficult day for group 'A'. Along Dolma La chhu the group reaches the Dolma pass (18,500 feet), where the huge stone memorial of goddess Dolma (Tara Devi) is located. After resting and praying pilgrims walk down to Gaurikund (Tukji Chenpo Tso) and reach Zutulpuk Gompa along Lham Chu. Group 'B' walks for 25 miles along the south - western shore of Manas - the region is full of birds and flowers. Before the completion of parikrama (rotatioin) of Manas at Zaidi, one can also visit Gossul Gompa, the ancient Buddhist fortifications.

Fifteenth Day - Group 'A' completes Kailas parikrama on this day by noon. Rest of the day can be used for visiting Gyengtak Gompa and Astpad, the southern face of Kailas from the ridge (21,900 feet) above Gyengtak Gompa. This is the rest day for group 'B' but Chiu Gompa and Ganga Chnu, the natural channel which connects Manas with Rakastal, may be visited by walking 10 miles. From this point, grand view of Manas, Rakas, Kailas and Gurla can be seen.

Sixteenth to Twentieth Day - Group 'B' comes to Tarchen for Kailas Parikrama and group 'A' to hore for Manas parikrama (rotation). From the 18th to the 20th days, both groups completes their respective parikramas-rotations.

From the 21st day, 'B' group comes to a waiting 'A' group of Zaidi. After prayers, bath and yajnya the pilgrims comes back to Purang enjoying the grand views of Kailas and Rakastal on the way. Twenty first Day - Before lunch the pilgrim visit the Khojarnath Gompa, 15 miles away from Purang and situated at the bank of Karnali. In the evening, Purang market may be visited. It is now time for purchasing things from the market and government departmental stores. The pilgrims can visit Taklasar or Simling Gompa also. By the way, Gompa is a Buddhist temple or monastery.

Twenty Second to Twenty Eight - Day -- Back to Lipulekh (16,800 feet) and finally down to Kalapani on 22nd day. 23rd Gunji, 24th Budi, 25th Gala, 26th Dharchula, 27th Bageshwar by bus. On the Twenty eight day the group reaches to N.Delhi – AAAH! Back on level ground !

TYPICAL TREK ITINERARY TO LAKE MANSAROVAR

Pre-trekking Suggestion: It is recommended that you take a shuttle bus from Gonggar Airport to Shigatse, but please note that there is only one bus to Shigatse each day with a 9:00 a.m. departure. Upon arrival in Shigatse, you can rent a jeep to Agari Prefecture. There is also a shuttle bus departure at 1:00 p.m. every day. (It is suggested that you call the bus station in advance to confirm the departure time. Telephone: 0892-8822903). You can disembark at Bagar. Backpackers usually choose Chiu Gonpa as their base, 30km southeast of Darchen. If you don't charter a vehicle , the alternative is hitchhiking from Bagar Check Point or Darchen, ?30.00 to ?70.00, to Chiu Gonpa. There are two guesthouses in the village near the monastery, ?20.00 per bed. The southern one provides vegetables and plain rice.

On the first day, you will trek 19 miles, 6 to 8 hours, from Chiu Monastery to Hor; the admission fee is ?30.00. The admission fee for Holy Lake Mansarovar is ?80.00 per person. According to Buddhist tradition, you should head in a clockwise direction from Chiu, traveling eastwards along the north shore; this circular route is regarded as a consecrate pilgrimage. There are many Mani stones nearly 6 feet high. The trail soon leaves the waterline and ascends over the top of a red escarpment for a 2-hour walk.

The cliffs below are sprinkled with caves that have been used by religious practitioners for centuries. Some of these caves have been converted into permanent homes. From the grass-capped, rolling top of the escarpment, the route descends into a small vale where you can see the ruins of Cherkip Monastery; at this point you will be a little over two hours from Chiu Monastery.

 

USFUL LINIKS:

Email: diamondtours2003@yahoo.co.in

Email: info@kailashtour.com

Websites:

www.uttarakhandtourism.net

www.versatilemountaintreks.com.np

 

www.trekity.com

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