THE YATRA JUNE 1996
First day was an Introduction Day. On the very first day pilgrims are introduced to each other. A Liaison Officer is also introduced to pilgrims.
Medical check up was done on the same day. Govt. Officer takes “ Yatries” for Medical repots once again. If Medical officer finds any yatri unfit then he can reject him.
Two honorary leaders are chosen. One for taking care of group’s luggage and other for shopping.
The PARIKRAMA means to move around in clockwise direction. During this Parikrama, Yatries have to make their own food. Govt. supplies only utensils and cooking gas.
2nd day in Delhi:
The Yatries get GROUP VISA of CHINA because HOLY KAILAS AND HOLY LAKE MANSAROVAR situated in TIBET, which is in CHINA.
U.S. $500 is to be paid as entry fees for CHINA.
On 3rd day any required shopping is done.
Completing all these formalities we were able to join 3rd batch.
Yatries of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
Our Yatra started on 20th June 1996.
FIRST PART OF YATRA
FIRST DAY: 20th June 1996.
With lot of excitement and shradhdha [faith in GOD] we started our YATRA very early in the morning from Ashoka Yatri Nivas, New Delhi. We started at 4:00 O’clock in the morning by bus. Passing through GAJAROLA, KATHGODAM AND BHUWALI, we reached ALMODA. It was our first stay of YATRA. At Almoda we visited TEMPLE of NANDADEVI.
SECOND DAY: 21st June 1996.
We had to start early in the morning, so finishing our morning routine we started our YATRA at 6.30 A.M by bus. Taking lunch at “CHAKORI” and passing through “D.D.HAT” we reached to “DHARCULA”.
This is the Base Camp of “Kumao Nigam of Kailash – Mansarovar Group”. Near this Base Camp River Kali Ganga is flowing. Her flow is very fast so River is very noisy but still it has RHYTHAMETIC BEAUTY. On one Bank of the River is INDIAN DHARCHULA and on opposite bank is NEPALI DARCHULA. These two Countries are connected with one bridge. The people of two countries can do their business without any passport or visa.
On this day we had decided to hire ‘The Horseman and the Porter’ throughout our journey on Indian side. We had to buy a stick. It is easy to climb on hilly area with the help of a stick. It is known as THIRD LEG of YATRI.
In this Base Camp we had to give our main luggage in Common Luggage which was going to reach our next Camp. We should carry our backpack, water bottles and other necessary things with us. All the common luggage should be kept in waterproof plastic sac and tied up with cotton rope and should be given up to KUMAO MANDAL NIGAM.
3rd Day: – 22nd June 1996
To reach ‘Tawaghat’ we had to start early in the morning. We reached ‘Tawa Ghat’ within ½ an hour. Tawaghat is just 17k.m.away from Dharchula.
Here two rivers meet each other, which is called “SANGAM”. There is Sangam of “KALI GANGA” and “DHAULIGANGA”.
Like their names Kali Ganga has black muddy water and Dhauli Ganga has clear white water. Though both rivers have clear water, river coming from upper area brings black mud it appears as black muddy. Due to this reason river is known as Kali Ganga. These two rivers are clearly distinguished by their colour of water.
This ended our bus journey and mountain tracking started. This tracking route is known as “THANEDAR KI CHADAI”. This 5-k. m. Chadai is difficult. But it is said, “When there is a will there is a way. It is also said that who can climb this track then it is not difficult for a person to do ‘PARIKRAMA of HOLY KAILASH.
Amongst us, few had decided to walk and rest had decided to ride on horses.
Every group of Kailash Yatra has 2 doctors, wireless men and 8 to 10 policemen and above all there is 1 govt. LIASION OFFICER. With help of these people we reached “PANGU”. It was our first day of tracking so we were tired but the beautiful sight of nature made us happy and cheerful. To reach Pangu we had to pass through FOG.
This was our daily evening routine. At 6 p.m. Bhajan [holy songs] & Prayers, by 7 p.m. soup and dinner. By 9 p.m. we had to go to bed because next morning by 5 o’clock we had to get up for further journey.
4th Day: – 23rd June 1996
At 5 o’clock in the morning we had Bed tea and finishing our daily routine we had Milk & Breakfast by 6 o’clock. We had to start our journey by 6.30 a.m. This was also our daily routine during our YATRA.
From “PANGU” we started further. Passing “HIMKHOLA” River we reached “ NARAYANA ASHRAM “.
There we met “Swami Tadrupanadaji” and “Gangotri Maa” who are running this Ashram. This old lady is from “Garbyang Village” and she is very learned lady. Swamiji explained us how to offer the puja of The Holy Mountain Kailash and The Holy Lake Mansarovar. He told us that it was our “PUNYA” that “LORD SHIVA” invited for this Yatra. We offered Bhajans and Puja. Taking Prasad we left Ashram for further journey.
Further we had to pass through “SIRKHA JUNGLE”.
Though it is Jungle it is very beautiful. There are so many beautiful flowers and plants that can not be seen in big cities. There are the plants called “BICHHU KATA”. They shape like Cobra and if we touch the plant, it bites like Scorpion. But the Nature has kept remedy also. The other plant also grows near The Bichhukata Plant. The leaves of that plant reduce the pain of Bichhukata’s bite.
We reached by 2.30 p.m. at our “SIRKHA CAMP”.
5th DAY: – 24 June 1996.
This day we had to reach at “GALA” camp situated at the height of 8050 feet. This camp is 13 k.m. away from “SIRKHA CAMP”. First 4 k.m. need straight walk leading towards “ RUNGLING TOP “. Then we had to come down. We had to cross “HIMKHOLA RIVER” by wooden bridge. The bridge was not proper, it was broken but we could manage to cross the bridge. Rains and horses’ dung made roads slippery. Everyone was using the stick to climb up and climb down.
We were received Rasna Drink from Kumao Mandal people. During these days Yatries adjust themselves with each other because Yatries had to be with each other for long time. With usual schedule we had passed our 5th day.
6th Day: – 25th June 1996
Today we had to reach “Malpa” which is situated at the height of 6750 feet. It is only 11 k.m. away from “GALA” camp.
Up to “JIPTI” the road is easy but up to “LAKHANPUR” it is a descending road. There are 4,444 staircases for coming down which reaches very close to River Kali Ganga.
Next few km, it is easy to walk and up to some distance there is a big wall of mountain on one side and on other side there is deep valley and River Kali Ganga flowing through the valley. The authorities of Kumao Mandal warned us not to look down and advised us to concentrate on walking instead. So according to their advice we did not dare to look at river but still we were enjoying our walk in the mountain.
Malpa Camp is situated very near to Kali Ganga River. Continuous roaring of river has “LAYA AND NADA” [musical terms]. Still I feel the Nada and Laya. There was continuous rainfall till midnight. We passed through a waterfall called CHHATA FALL. This waterfall is falling like umbrella so it is known as Chhata Fall.
7th Day: – 26 June 1996.
Compared to other five days, this day was somewhat easy going for us. From Malpa Camp, Budhhi Camp is 9 K.M. away, which is situated at the height of 8,845 feet. It was very cold and rainy. We had to wear Monkey Caps and Raincoats. We had to pass through small springs with assent. At last we reached Budhhi Camp. Budhhi Camp is the most beautiful Camp among all Camps. Nature is in full swing at this beautiful Camp. Roads were covered with coloured flowers. When we reached the Camp we saw Sunshine. Soft sunrays made us very happy. We enjoyed our day and were enjoying ourselves till night because it was FULL Monday. But our joy ended as it started raining suddenly. It is said that ‘FASHION OF MUMBAI AND WHEATHER OF MOUNTAINS’ can’t be predicted.
8th Day: – 27 June 1996
Today we had to reach at the Gunji Camp which is 17 K.M. away from Budhhi Camp. First 6 K.M. are very difficult. Then other 9 K.M. were simpler. River Kali Ganga separates Indian Boarder and Nepal Boarder. We had to pass through the Land of flowers called “SIYALEKH”. Generally these kinds of flowers are not seen in the city. From here the Land of “VYASKHSHETRA” starts. We passed through “GARBYANG” village, which was main center around other villages before earthquake in AD 1996. At last we reached “GUNJI” camp.
In Gunji there is a one last bank i.e. Bank of India and a Post Office. Today it was the last day to write letters to family members. There was no communication facility available after this. But now Govt. of India has started S.T.D. AND I.S.D. facilities through satellite on all these Camps.
Here River Kali Ganga is calmer probably because it is very near to its origin. In this camp we found that camp is made up of Doom Shaped Fiber Sheets.
Gunji is situated near Sangam [meeting of two rivers] of River Kali Ganga and River Kutti. From this region, The Annapurna Range is seen. There are two roads passing through Gunji. One leads to Lipulekh Pass and other goes to “AADI KAILASH or CHHOTA KAILASH”. This Aadi Kailash is also known as Mini Kailash. Those who can not go to Holy Kailash can go to Aadi Kailash.
AADI KAILASH IS ONE OF 5 KAILASH.
On way to Aadi Kailash there is a range of five mountains. Thus this area is known as ‘Pandava Tirth’ and the name of the village near by is known as ‘Kutti’ from name of ‘Kunti, mother of the great warriors Pandavas’.
Aadi Kailash or Chhota Kailash is 30 K.M. away from ‘Gunji’. There is also “Parvati Sarovar [lake]. They are known as Mini Kailash and Mini Gauri Kund, which are situated in Tibet. One can do Parikrama of Aadi Kailash and Parvati Kund instead of Holy Mountain Kailash and Holy Lake Mansarovar. Parvati Kund is situated at the height of 17,000 feet, which is always frozen. The Parikrama of Parvati Kund is done within 3 to 4 hours. The total Parikrama of Aadi Kailash and Parvati kund can be done within 3 days. Here there is no need of Passport and visa and it costs only 7 to 8 thousand Rupees.
In “Gunji” we had Medical Check up. If anybody found not fit to go ahead is sent back from this camp. From this camp doctors, wireless men and policemen who came with the yatries returns back to Dharchula. Only horsemen and porters can come ahead with the yatries. From Gunji “Indian Tibetan Border Police” i.e. ITBP policemen joins the yatries. Under their protection the yatries can move ahead to “Kala Pani” the next camp.
Day Ninth: -28th June 1996
“Kala Pani “ is 10 K.M. away from Gunji.
Every hour ITBP men check the number of the yatries. Our ITBP Jawans received us very warmly. This is the Root of River Kali Ganga. Our Jawans have built a beautiful Temple of Lord Shiva and Kali Mata. They offer puja every morning and evening.
It is said that “Ved Vyasaji” composed “Mahabharat, The Great Poetry “ in one of the caves in this area and our Indian Flag is always hoisted on this cave. Before “Kala Pani” camp there is a “Hot water stream”. Some of us took bath in it.
One most remarkable thing I have noticed that when we stared our Yatra from Dharchula there are tall big trees are there and when we reached the heights of mountains, we find very little grass growing there. The mountains also appear like Saints in Meditation.
Extra languages are deposited in the office and are only returned back while returning back from the Yatra. Here we had to pass through Customs and Immigration.
Tenth Day: – 29th June 1996
“Nya Vihang” is the original name of the Mountain “Nabi Dhang”. This is 6 K.M. away from Kala Pani. This is the last camp on Indian Border. It situated at the height of 13,800 feet. All these days we were not able to see the sun rise but on this day we were able to see one. “Om Parvart” is situated in this beautiful brown colored mountain range without any greenery. Om shaped ice is formed only on one of those mountains, so particular that mountain is known as “Om Parvart” is.
If there is no fog then only “Om” is seen on mountain. But we were unable to see Om Parvart.
We should salute our Jawans again and again being away from families and facilities they are protecting our country as well as us and we can live in our home safely and peacefully.
OM NAMAH SHIVAY
NEXT WILL BE SECOND PART OF YATRA