One afternoon in the year 2012, I got a call from my cousin brother saying he had planned a family trip to
Mt. Kailash in the month of June and enquired whether we could join. Immediately my answer was YES.
My only worry was if the school would permit me to take leave for about a fortnight, but then the Management and the Principal Mrs. Malathi Prabakar granted me leave . Also my parents were ready to look after my children.
Our journey started on the 16th of June to KATMANDU. On reaching there, we were first briefed about the trek and doing the Parikrama of Mt. Kailas by the Tibetan guide. We had the sightseeing of NEPAL on the first day. The next day we reached KODARI – the border of NEPAL and TIBET. We were informed by our guide that there was a delay in issuing of the CHINESE VISA. We had to cross the river KOSHY over the bridge from NEPAL to CHINA. After immigration we were allotted vehicle called LAND CRUISER. The journey starts from an altitude of 2300m to 4600 m, distance wise about 900 km. The entire journey was done by Land Cruiser which was thrilling. To get ACCLAMATIZE we had to stop over at places like NYALAM, LASA, and SAGA birthplace of river BRAHMHAPUTRA, DARCHEN. With respect to weather – it’s cold, it’s windy, it’s sunny, it’s snowy and what else it will be testing your endurance. We had to wear three layers of clothing.
After travelling for four days we reached MANASAROVARA LAKE Also called Tsho Mapham which is a fresh water lake near at the foot of Mt. Kailas. ‘I had Goosebumps and my Eyes were filled up when I had the first glimpse of the mountain.
Our PARIKRAMA of 52 km in three days with 16 members started on the 5th day by entering ‘YAMA DWARA’ at first -“the gate way of the God Of Death”. One who crosses the Yama Dwara becomes free from 8 hackles of life and death.
According to Tibetans people one who cross the Dwara need to tie a piece of cloth on the pole in front of the Dwara. Each Yatri was accompanied by a Sherpa who carried Oxygen cylinder, our belonging etc on yak and those who could not trek used pony to do the parikrama.
Day one trek which is 14 km begins from south face which is extremely beautiful with huge mountains in the shape of elephant, abhayahastha and the head of a cobra, streams flowing, but could not find any flora and fauna throughout our trek. It is believed that Sages and Devathas live inside the cave of these mountains. We had to take energy drink and eat dry fruits regularly. It became difficult for us to walk due to the extreme cold weather and we faced difficulty in breathing due to lack of oxygen, then had to inhale camphor.
At the end of the day we got some dormitory with no preference, just take what is given . We got a dormitory right at the foot hill of Mt. Kailas. We could see the sunset from the window of our room and later the Sherpa’s served us with hot Kichadi.
Watching a beautiful sunrise at 5.00 AM, the second day trek which is about 25 km and the toughest among the three days started off. The Sherpa’s explained to us the difficulties we could face during the trek. Out of the 16 members only 7 of us proceeded our journey, since other members faced some health issues like breathing problem, nausea, fatigue and had to return back to the base camp at DARCHENE. We had to climb the DOLMAPASS at 19000 ft. On our way we found GOWRIKUND, the place Parvathi used to bathe. It is on this day we had the darshan of three faces of Mt.Kailash. .People who took pony had the facility only to climb the pass, had to walk down the hill. We were given packed lunch which had bread, Cadbury chocolate in it. On our way we could see group of Tibetans doing DANDAVAT PRANAAM (full prostration). The day ended at 7.00 PM at a place called ZUTULPUK.
The last day of the trek of 13 km was successfully completed by afternoon. On this day we don’t get to see the glimpse of Mt. Kailas. All the members of the group were chanting SHLOKAAS and listening to RUDRA throughout the parikrama. We were felicitated at the base camp by the travel manager for successfully completing the parikrama.
On our way back, we had a dip at MANASAROVARA LAKE which is said to be sacred and we stayed overnight. I had read in mythological books about the mystery of the lake, but witnessing the Mysterious Light (TWINKLING LIGHT) at the BRAMI MUHURTHA (3AM) falling into the sarovara and going back was astonishing. – It is said that these light belong to self realised – SAPTHA RISHI, DEVI-DEVATHAS who come to take bath at the sarovara .
On our way back we visited MUKTHINATHA – Abode Of Vishnu. I thank my cousin brother who organised this exclusive family trip happen. THIS IS A JOURNEY OF LIFE TIME, which could not have happened without the encouragement of my husband, when I decided to step back after the first day parikrama ,but completed the 52km trek..With the grace of God, blessing from my parents and In-laws and wishes from my children, I could visit the ABODE OF SHIVA which I had not even dreamt of.