Eleventh Day: – 30th June 1996
Our second stage of Yatra started from today. Today we had to cross Indian Boarder and enter theChineseTerritory. Today we had to cross “LipulekhPass” which is situated at the height of 16,750 feet. Here either rainfalls or snow falls. We experienced both on the same day. To reachLipulekhPasswe started 2.30 A.M. in the morning. To face cold we prepared ourselves by wearing woolens cloths as well as raincoat. Though we had started very early in the morning we had keep our torch handy. When we started it was raining and when we reached nearLipulekhPasssuddenly snowfall started. The road became slippery and it was difficult to climb up. Due to slippery road horses started to slip so we had to get down from horses. With the help of Jawans and horsemen we reached to top ofLipulekhPass.
Our destiny did not favour us. Though it was batch exchanging day 1st batch did not reach Lipulekh Pass on time and we had to stay in snowfall nearly 1.30 hours. Batch exchange means when 1st batch reaches on Lipulekh Pass and enters the Indian Boarder then only 3rd batch can enter Chinese Boarder. Though we reached to boarder at 7o’clock in the morning but 1st batch did not reach so we had to wait for them.
Two of our yatries named Shree Sudhir Kadakia and Shree Bachubhai Prajapati started helping other Yatries. They started rubbing Axe Oil on everybody’s face and started feeding “Sukha Adarakh Laddoo to everybody. And they also gave everybody 1cup of Brandy. The Jawans advised us not to sit but keep jumping to keep ourselves warm.
At last at the request of our Liaison Officer Mr. D. R. Kartikeyan to the Chinese Guide we were allowed. After passing nearly 1 K.M. we met 1st batch. The road was steep so with help of each other we could walk down. But we were lucky on this side of Lipulekh side, as there was no rain or snowfall. It is nearly 3 K.M. of descending. This time there were no porters or horsemen to carry our luggage so we had to carry our luggage. Indian Porters and Horsemen are not allow to cross the border but they promised us that they would come back to receive us when we would come back.
The horses were ready when we came down. There is only 1 horseman between 4 to 5 horses. We were afraid to ride on horses but these people did not listen to us because of language problem. We had reach to the bus waiting for us for “Taklakot” which is our base camp on Tibetan side. Continuous horse riding made us tired. On the way we had to cross the River Karnali. When we passed the river the bus was waiting for us to take “Taklakot” which is situated on the bank of River Karnali. Due to hilly area the roads are not developed. 20 K.M. away from where we started, we reached “Purang”, Guesthouse where we had stopped.
We had paid $ 500 p.p. as The Yatra Fees atDelhi. After 10 days we could stay in guesthouse but all in vain. There were no proper toilets and bathing place and also no proper food also. But in any yatra nobody should expect any luxurious facilities from govt. Here the Chinese Customs officials checked us in. After taking lunch and rest we visited Nepal Market in the evening. Those who had not brought plastic jars for Holy water of the Holy Lake Mansarover bought from this market.
Twelth Day: – 1st July 1996
Today it was rest day. It was necessary to take rest for everybody to immune to weather. On this day we were separated in subgroups ‘cause there is no facilities for a big group to stay together while in Parikrama. So 1 group can finish Holy Kailash Parikrama and in same time the other group can finish Holy Lake Mansarover Parikrama.
Our liaison officer Mr. D. R. Kartikeyan was leader of our “A” Group and Mr. Bachubhai Prajapati was leader of our “B” Group. I was in “B” Group so I was supposed to do Manas Parikrama first. Our fast food packets brought fromDelhiwere separated in 2 parts. Each group was supposed to make their own food during Parikrama.
On this day we to hire pony for Manas Parikrama and Yaks for Kailash Parikrama. We had to pay 150 Huans for both rides p.p. Huan is Chinese Currency and 1 Huan is equal to 4 Indian Rupees.
We bought 1 tin of “Coca-Cola” and “Jangli Bav [The mixture of honey and orange] each p.p. for each day of Parikrama.
Tibetis the only big plateau in the world, which is situated at such a height. Being a rain shadow region of The Great Himalayas it lacks rains. So farming is not possible in this region. Though it was holiday, the Bank exchanged the Indian Rupees into Huan.
Thirteenth Day: – 2nd July 1996
After taking one-day rest we started our Yatra towards “Holy Kailash Bhumi”. “Gurla Madhanta” Range starts after 61 K.M. away from “Taklakot”.
“Gurla Mandha range”
It is said that “Madhanta” was very brave king who challenged “ Lord Shiva” to fight with him but pride does not last for long and king “Madhanta was killed by “Lord Shiva” by ‘Pashupati’ and he bagged “Lord Shiva “ to let him settle near him. So this range of mountain is known as “Gurla Madhanta”.
This range of mountain is always covered by snow. Little further we found a huge blue coloured beautifulLakewhich is very clean and calm. It is known as “Rakshash Tal” or “Rakhas Tal”. It is situated to the West Side of Holy Lake Mansarovar.
It is said that Mighty King Ravana did deep meditation and “Tandava Nritya [The Dance of Lord Shiva]” to please Lord Shiva and created ‘Padas’ like ‘Jatakata hasmbram bhramnnilimp nirzari’ [in Sanskrit language]. He tiedHolyKailashMountainand tried to pull it. Still there are markings of rope on the mountain.
Due to clear weather we had 1st Darshan of Holy Mountain Kailash.
First Darshan ofHolyMountainKailash
On that day it was looking like “Nandi”, “Lord Shiva’s ‘Vahan’. It is said that one should have Darshan of “Mahadev” after having Darshan of his ‘Vahan’, ‘Nandi’. So we did the same. The Darshan made us so happy that we did not like move from that place but we had to proceed further. “Rakshash Tal” is linked with ‘MansarovarLake‘ by ‘Gangachu’ River. It freezes during winter.
We continued our Yatra towards the bank of Holy Lake Mansarovar. “Zaidi” is situated at bank ofHolyLake. We had to reach at Zaidi. From that point we were going to separate into subdivision. It is only 10 K.M. away from “Rakshash Tal”.
At last we reached at Zaidi and what a beautiful sight we came across which we can not forget. Pure, clean, blue coloured ‘Holy Lake Mansarovar is seen. With such beautiful sight we forgot the whole world and suddenly tears flowed from our eyes. This is the only lake, which is situated at the height of 16,200 feet. Its circumference is 105 K.M. and its depth is 100 mtrs. From Zaidi we had Holy Darshan of Holy Mountain Kailash.
As I was in 2nd batch, I was supposed to do my Manas Parikrama first. Separating from 1st group we left for “Hore” our first stay on the bank of Manas by bus. It is said that the water ofHolyLake never gets stale. It is pure ice water. It is also said thatBath taken inHolyLake washes all sins of life.
Kailash Darshan from “Hore” and “Holy Lake Mansarovar”When we reached to Hore it was nearly 6.30 p.m. Since it was summer, shines nearly up to 9.30 p.m. Due to sunshine we took our first bath inHolyLakeat Hore. The bank near Hore is muddy and dirty but water is pure, clear and transparent. We could see even pebbles deep in the water. Though the water was ice cold but Mantra “Om Namah Shivay” gave us strength to have bath. First bath inHolyLakemade us fresh and happy also. The massage of Mustard oil helps us to keep warm. Mr. Bachubhai Prajapati got silver coin while taking bath.
On this evening we cooked our dinner and enjoyed our evening. There were no electricity but we didn’t find any difficulties to do preparations for next day as there was lot of sunshine till 9.30 p.m. After the sun set, the cold breeze started and atmosphere became very cold.
Fourteenth Day: – 3rd July 1996
On this day we had to reach “Shrungu”, 42 K.M. away from “Hore”. 6 of our yatries decided to walk and the rest decided to take the horses.
Let us know few facts about these religious Tibetans.Tibetis the biggest plateau on this height. Being a rain shadow region and height, farming is not possible for them. This made them hunters and non-vegetarians. Due to surroundings they become rigid in their religion and very strong. Poverty is also there. The Mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” always plays on their tongue. Due to cold weather this tribal people always looks dirty. They have horses and yaks as their pets. They are shepherds. They speak Dumshera’ language.
On the west ofHolyLake‘Rakshash Tal’, on the south there is the range of Gurla Madhanta and on the north there is the range of Mountain Kailash. In olden days ‘Mansarovar’ was known as ‘Bindu Sagar’. The ‘Holy Lake Mansarovar’ and about swans are mentioned in the ‘Meghdoot’ the Great Poetry written by ‘Kalidas’.
When the sun shines on the water of this beautiful lake, the beautiful colours of the rainbow are formed and heavenly feelings fill up our hearts. We are unable to forget this beautiful sight of Holy Lake Mansarovar. The Blue Colour Lake Mansarovar is situated near foot of The Brown Colour Mountain Gurla Madhanta range whose peaks are always covered with silver snow. His Holiness Feelings automatic feels our mind.
With continuous chanting of ‘Om Namah Shivay’ our yatra on that day ended after 13 hours. During this Yatra we had to cross the River ‘Gangachu’. When it is full of water everybody has to sit on the horses and cross the river. The water of the river is very cold which may cause frostbites. Taking rest in between we reached “Shrungu” at 8.30 p.m. Due to the summer, the sunlight was still there. At this time nobody was able to take bath in The Holy Lake. Though we were tired we managed to make our so-called Dinner by ourselves and enjoyed. Though there was lack of electricity, water, and toilet we did preparation for next day and then we slept.
Fifteenth Day: – 4th July 1996
This was the second day of ‘Manas Parikrama. We had to reach “Zaidi” which is 35 K.M. away from “Shrungu”. The road was slippery, soft and there is little grass on the road. The sand of this bank is colourful. Some yatries took as ‘Prasad’ [Holy sand]. This sand is known as ‘Jilal’ the Holy Sand inTibet. In this route, between ‘Shrungu’ and ‘Zaidi’, the flock of mosquitoes comes and bites the yatries. To protect from the mosquitoes everybody should have the facemasks. We were lucky not to face the mosquitoes.
We were able to see brown swans swimming inLakeand the colorful fishes floating in the ice-cold water. Due to windy and cold weather we could not had bath in theHolyLake.
The dry fruits and the dry snacks were our lunch. Due to the height and the cold weather we were not able to eat much. And as such we were not able to make the lunch for us during the Parikrama but we were able to make our dinner at our camp. After the journey of 11 hours we reached our next camp ‘Zaidi’. Due to the cold weather we could not come out of the room. Next day it was the rest day.
Sixteenth Day: – 5th July 1996.
Today it was the rest day. We were not in hurry to get up early in the morning. It was sunny day for some hours, so were able to take bath in The Holy Lake Mansarovar.
We were able to collect the pebbles from the lake. The pebbles of thisHolyLakeare known as “Shivling” and the pebbles taken out of the river “Gandaki” flowing in “Nepal” are known as “Shaligram”. The ‘Shivling’ is the Idol of “Lord Shiva” and “Shaligram” is the idol of “Lord Vishnu”. We offered silver bail leaves [bili patra] by putting them in theHolyLake. We took the Holy Water in our cans. The weight of the Holy Water does not count in our weight of our luggage.
Seventeenth Day: – 6th July 1996.
Today it was the day of exchange of Subgroup i.e. ‘A’ group, which had completed the Parikrama of Holy Kailash, was coming for the Parikrama of the Holy Lake Mansarovar and ‘B’ group which had completed the Parikrama of the Holy Lake Mansarovar was going for The Parikrama of the Holy Kailash: We met our Subgroup at ‘Tarchen’. They greeted us very warmly and described us their experiences of their Parikrama.
The Base Camp of Tarchen was big and comfortable. There were few shops in the campus. Behind this campus there were few tents of tribal people. These people were selling Bids, bells and few handmade things. There was a Video Room and separate kitchen.
Though the Parikrama is difficult some of us decided to walk. Rest of the group decided to ride on ‘Yak’. From this camp we had beautiful ‘Darshan’ of Holy Kailash. The River named ‘Umachu’ passes near this camp. It is said that if yatri take bath in it then it will be easy to perform the Parikrama of Holy Kailash.
Let us know something about Yak.
‘Yak’ is the vehicle of “Lord Shiva” as “Nandi”. So the Tibetans do not sit on ‘Yak’. ‘Yak’ is a very strong Mountain buffalo with long hairs on its back. It always thinks of ‘Leadership’ and always tries to lead the other yaks. It always tries to feed itself by eating grass whenever the grass is seen. So we have to be very alert if we ride on it.
Though the language was the big problem for us to make the yak men to understand they were very good at heart. They always take care of us with smiles.
Let us know something about ‘HolyMountainKailash’
The Kailash range is situated from West to East inHimalayanRange. The Holy Mountain Kailash is situated between South West of Tibet. This range is situated from Kashmir toBhutan. The Holy Mountain Kailash is only one, which is made up of Granite stone. The Holy Kailash is 23,000 feet high and always cover with shining silvery snow. It has 4 corners and it shapes like Huge Shiva Lingam. It is also known as Abode of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati. This range is also the origin of 4 rivers known as Satlage, Sindhu,Brahmaputraand Karnali.
In ancient times, the Holy Mountain Kailash was known as Mountain Meru. Lord Ganesh, Lord Kartikeyan, Mata Parvati are the family members of Lord Shiva. Lord Hanuman is the second birth of Lord Shiva.
When the sun shines early in the morning the surroundings to shine very beautiful. We do not feel like moving from this sight. Very first rays of the sunshine on The Holy Mountain create the beautiful shining Diamond Crown on Lord Shiva’s head. Sometimes theHolyMountainshines like Gold or sometimes like Red Burning Fire or sometimes like Rishi in meditation. I am unable to describe any more as I do not have any more words.
Eighteenth Day: – 7th July 1996.
Today we had to reach “Direbu” from “Darchan”. This 20 k.m. distance is very difficult.
It is said that the Kailash should be on our right side and we have to go clockwise. We had Darshan of Holy Kailash for the whole day. From every angle we could see theHolyMountain.
We started our Parikrama at 7.30 am. in the morning. Though the road was straight but stony.
We reached our destination at 8.30 p.m. in the evening. This is the only camp from where we had full Darshan of theHolyMountain. We felt that we were standing near feet of theHolyMountain. River Karnali passes between our camp and theHolyMountain. It is said that Lord Shiva fulfils the wish when the wish is begged during this Darshan.
Though there was no proper facilities of electricity, toilets, and water, we had no complains about anything. After having Holy Darshan of the Holy Mountain Kailash we had no complain about anything
Nineteenth Day: 8th July 1996
The second day of Parikrama was very difficult among all days. On this day we had to pass through the one of highest Pass namedDolmaPass.It is 19,500 feet above sea level. From ‘Direbu’ we had to reach ‘Zengzerebu’ passing through theDolmaPassand ‘Gauri Kund’. These 20 km were very difficult, we had to climb up without the help of Yak. First 5 km. is assent and next 5 km. is decent. Due to the height, rocks, thin air and changing atmosphere there is breathing problem. In this situation Camphor here helps a lot. This area is known as ‘Yam Nivas’ i.e. Place of the God of Death. Here the Tibetans offer their hairs or clothes to the God of Death. Tibetans offer their Parikrama by sleeping and standing [Dandvat Parikrama]. This type of offering takes 27 days to complete. After ascending of 5 km. we reached the top ofDolmaPass.In Tibetan language Dolma word is used for Mother of Lord Shiva. On the top of theDolmaPassthere is a tent. People offer Puja to Goddess Dolma.
After offering Puja we started descending with the help of each other. The weather of the mountain stars changing after 2 p.m. So before the weather can get worse we started descending. It took nearly 4 hours. Then we came near ‘Gauri Kund’.
‘Gauri Kund’ is the Bathing place for Mata Parvati [wife of Lord Shiva]. It is said that inTibetif the water of this ‘Kund’ does not freeze then that year Tibetans face the worst situation. I think during such year Chinamust have attackedTibet.
Rest 10 km. we traveled on Yak. The Yak always tries to drop the yatri who travels on its back. This happened with my Husband Sudhir. We reached ‘Zengzerebu’ at 8.30 p.m. Our whole group was tired on that day. Some of us made soup for dinner but look at my fortune I had only 1 glass of soup for my dinner. Due to very cold during night we did not try to come out in the night to have a look at nature.
There are no temples near Holy Mountain Kailash but the Mountains form the Natural Walls and roof is the blue sky. Think of the huge temple is formed by nature so there is no need of temple made by human beings. The God is priest for that temple but we do not have eyes to look at it. What can one offer the God? The cool breeze sings the Prayers for the God. But the Prayers arise from our bottom of heart always touches God and Thy always fulfils it. These offerings to God are known as Manas Puja. Everybody had such type of experience of His Holiness on that day. Sudden Help always come from His Holiness for the Yatri. Isn’t it the Great Blessings from Lord Shiva? He always stays on mountain and takes exams of his followers whether they have faith in Him. Without keeping Faith one can not reach to the destination.
Twentieth Day:- 9th July 1996
On this day we had to reach ‘Tarchen’ from where we started for Parikrama for the Holy Mountain Kailash. Today it was a sunny day and the road was good for walking also. 3 to 4 yatries amongst us were walking and rest traveled on Yak.
With thy Blessings we finished our Parikrama without any difficulties and came to our Base Camp at 1.30 p.m.
We met our 4th Batch at ‘Tarchen’. We took rest on that day and also enjoyed and packed our luggage for next day journey toIndia.
Twenty First Day:- 10th July 1996
Today our Subgroup returned from “Zaidi’ finishing their Parikrama of the Holy Lake Mansarovar. We were so happy to meet them. Then we started our journey towards ‘Taklakot’, our Base Camp inTibet. We reached ‘Taklakot’ at 3.30 p.m. Though there was no hot water, we didn’t mind to take bath in cold water because we did not take bath since 5 days. We also washed our clothes.
Next 2 days were rest days for us. In these 2 days we visited shopping centers and visited 11,000 years oldBuddhistTemplenamed ‘Khojarnath’.
There are huge statues of ‘Lord Rama’, ‘Sita’, and ‘Laxman’. Lots of Ghee Diyas [lamps] were lightened up. The Tibetans believe that the God will fulfil their wishes if they offer the Yak’s hairs and tie them there. There are so many Lamas are still there in the mountain caves.
Those who did Parikrama by walking got certificates from our Government.
In these 2 days we also packed our Holy water of Holy Lake Mansarovar and other luggage.
Twenty Forth Day:- 13th July 1996
This was very important Day for us. We were going to return to our own land i.e.India. The Love of motherland made us exited and we left ‘Taklakot’ by 5 am. in the morning by bus. We reached the place from where we had to Cross River Karnali on horses. Thus we crossed the river on horses and reached to ‘LipulekhPass’.
OM NAMAH SHIVAY