Kailash Mansarovar Yatra: A spiritual tour to the Himalayas

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Mount Kailash, situated at an altitude of 21,778 ft is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva. Mount Kailash forms a part of Transhimalaya in the Tibet Region of China. It is one of the most revered places in the world. The mountain is located near Mansarovar Lake, the highest freshwater lake in the world. Thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the world take part in the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra to seek blessings of Lord Shiva. The trek along the rugged Himalayan terrain comes with a magical mix of adventure, faith, belief, devotion and serenity.

The trek to Mount Kailash, one of the world’s most revered places, has more to offer than just adventure. The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is known for two things – a parikrama (circumambulation) of Mount Kailash and dips in the holy Mansarovar Lake. The journey to Kailash is fascinating and every step of the trip is filled with thrill.

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra starts from Nepal via Lhasa. It can either be done on foot or by helicopter. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra by helicopter is more comfortable, comparatively easy and definitely time-saving. The helicopter ride opens up to panoramic views of the Himalayas. However, you need to acclimatize yourself to the high altitude, thin air and the cold weather of the region. We would recommend you to drink lukewarm water at frequent intervals during the trip.

Before proceeding for the yatra, embark on a sightseeing tour of Kathmandu. One of the most spectacular attractions of Nepal is the Pashupatinath Temple. The temple is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Another religious place of worship that calls for a visit is the Shiva Mandir at Simikot.

The helicopter ride for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra starts from Simikot. You will come across a spectacular landscape dotted with tiny hamlets, rolling valleys, criss-cross roads and the soaring Himalayan ranges. You will land at Hilsa, a town on the north-western corner of Nepal bordering Tibet Autonomous Region (China). Located at an altitude of around 11,940 ft, Hilsa is the last destination for pilgrims in Nepal.

After de-boarding at Hilsa, get ready for a bumpy one hour drive to Purang. Purang, the administrative headquarters of Burang County, is tucked at an altitude of nearly 13,205 feet in the valley of Sarayu Karnali River. Lake Mansarovar and Mount Kailash lie to the north of Purang. You will need to complete your visa and immigration formalities in Purang before you start exploring the town.

Roam around Purang International Market in the evening and fill your bags with goodies like clothes and jewellery. The majestic Nepalese Mansion is another spectacular attraction in Purang. Once you wake up to the beautiful sunrise in Purang, prepare yourself for the next part of the trip, i.e., the drive to Mansarovar.

Mansarovar is around 3 hours drive from Purang. Lake Mansarovar, located at an altitude of nearly 15,060 ft above mean sea level, is one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world. According to Hinduism, Lake Mansarovar is a personification of purity and bathing here or drinking its water is believed to cleanse all sins. Soak in the divinity of Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar and experience an all-pervading peace of the spiritual land.

The spectacular sight of these natural wonders is definitely going to free you from tiredness. And with this, comes the most awaited moment of your spiritual journey – i.e. offering puja. Perform puja at the lake and take a holy dip in its water. Before returning back, enjoy a parikrama around the lake and immerse yourself in the sublime beauty of nature. The snow-clad Mt. Kailash stands tall and welcomes you to a world of surreal peace and spirituality. Seek blessings of Lord Shiva and have a memorable stay in Mansarovar. Another important highlight of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is the trek to Diraphuk. This is amongst the most difficult treks in the entire trip because it includes a steep climb up to Dolma La Pass. Located at an altitude of 5650m, Dolma La Pass opens up to panoramic views of the landscape.

You need to be physically prepared to take the trek to Dolma La Pass and also to Tungla before driving back to Hilsa. Board the helicopter from Hilsa for your way back to Simikot. Before bidding adieu to the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, enjoy a pleasant stay at Kathmandu. Roam like a local in Kathmandu, indulge in a culinary trail and sample some delicious Nepalese dishes like Daal Bhat, Momos, Yomari and Thukpa. Do not forget to pack souvenirs!

Bid adieu to the beautiful city of Kathmandu and bring back a heap of wonderful memories of your Kailash Mansarovar Yatra by helicopter.

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