An exhilarating, eye-opening, and enlightening experience.
A trip to Kailash Manasarovar can be an exciting experience even for a seasoned traveller. Although primarily a religious destination, Manasarovar also provides visitors with a refreshing and exhilarating experience that is equal parts fascination and spiritual enlightenment.
Manasarovar yatra, as the trip is commonly termed, is a splendid travel experience that is a magical combination of tourist and mystical spots that transcend most imaginations and expectations. A major portion of the visit, however, involves trekking in high altitude, which makes it ideal for those who are fit and fond of such journeys.
[Quote: Manasarovar yatra is a splendid travel experience that is a magical combination of tourist and mystical spots that transcend most imaginations and expectations.]
Spectacular views: Snowcapped Mountains and Crystal Clear Waters
Important places to see in Manasarovar
Kailash Manasarovar trip covers high altitudes, rough terrains and very harsh climates, but it remains as one of the most popular places to visit, especially in the South East Asian region. Here are the important attractions that you can enjoy during the trip:
Gaurikund: This place is also called Parvati Sarovar, as it is where Goddess Parvati birthed Lord Ganesha, her son. There is a lake nearby, which is often labeled as the Lake of Compassion, near by the Dolma Pass at an altitude of about 5,608 m.
Yam Dwar: In Hindi language Yam Dwar denotes the God of Death’s entryway. This place, which is located in Tarboche, is the starting point for Mount Kailash circumambulation, and Tibetans refer to shi as Chorten Kang Ngyi (Two-legged Stupa).
Ashtapad: Ashtapad (Eight Steps) is situated 17,000 ft. above sea level. This spot is right at the lower end of Kailash Mountain and is most visited by Buddhists and Hindus.
Shivasthal: After walking for two hours from the Deraphuk Gomba near Dolma pass, one arrives at the doorstep of Shivasthal. This place mimics Bodh Gaya’s burial ground and above it is Milareppa’s (Famous Tibetan poet and yogi) footprint on a rock surface.
Snow clad Mount Kailash
Tarboche flagpole: This is regarded as a chief Tibetan spiritual place and the annual festival here is a great attraction for pilgrims and tourists.
Dirapuk Gompa: This peak completes the magnificent spectacle of Mt. Kailash’s northern face and the Buddhist Stupas here are fantastic to look at.
Zutulphuk Monestary: The shrine and temples near Milarepa’s cave makes this a must visit.
Kailash Parikrama: The circumambulation of Mount Kailash includes trekking through rough terrains, steep trials, streams crossing and picking your way over boulders at altitude of nearly 19,200 ft. This walk takes 3 days to complete and mountainside camping is done.
Manasarovar Lake and Mount Kailash
With an altitude of 4,500 meters, the Manasarovar Lake is the highest lake with freshwater in the world. The lake is emerald green in the center and clear blue near its shores; truly, it is a sight to behold at night. More importantly, it is one of the holiest in all of Asia, as it is said to have immense healing powers.
Mount Kailash is considered as a sacred destination in religions including Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Bon. It is in the vicinity of Lake Rakshastal and Lake Manasarovar. Trekking in this region is a peaceful and liberating experience for young and old alike.
Tough but exhilarating trek
How to get to Manasarovar from Hong Kong
For travellers from Hong Kong it is best to take a flight, as there is no direct route by train to Lhasa, which is the main connecting point between Hong Kong and Manasarovar. For air travel, the following routes are most advisable:
- Fly to Chengdu and reach Xining via a connecting flight and reach Lhasa by train, which takes 24 hours.
- Take a train from Chengdu to Lhasa, which takes about 44 hours.
- Fly to Chengu from Hong Kong, then take another flight to reach Lhasa. This is expensive but the fastest route. Howvever, unlike the above two options, which give you time to get used to the altitude change, you are most prone to altitude sickness on this route.
- Take a train to Guangzhou from Hong Kong which takes 2 hours and reach Lhasa by another train, which takes about 54 hours
Travel tips: Best time, age restrictions and other tips
The best time of the year to visit Manasarovar is from April to end of June and between September and October. Winter months are dangerous and too harsh to travel here.
In case a trip is planned during the months of June and July, it is advisable to book a trip a minimum of 3 months ahead.
People over the age of 70 years are generally not recommended to undertake the trip, as it is difficult to acclimatize and deal with stress of the travel.
High altitude problems may affect people aged 19 to 30 years more than older people. For first time travellers, it is best to get a medical examination and approval before traveling.
Lastly, explorers are recommended to carry the necessary supplies of food, water and medicines to make the trip more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Manasarovar yatra is a highly rewarding trip for those seeking an incredible, humbling and life transforming journey like no other. The scenic beauty, snowcapped peaks, lush locales and peaceful surroundings far supersedes the hassles of high altitude, rough terrain and stark conditions prevailing in this remote region. Travelers are sure to return from the trip with a wealth of experience that will have changed your perception for the better.
Bharat Bhushan is a freelance writer with a passion for creating unique and interesting anecdotes on real life places and personalities. His portfolio repertoire includes writing web articles on a diverse range of topics including fitness, social media, photography, finance, current news, and more. He loves traveling to unexplored places that have not yet made it on the travel map.