Tourism in Uttarakhand > Religious Places Of Uttarakhand - देव भूमि उत्तराखण्ड के प्रसिद्ध देव मन्दिर एवं धार्मिक कहानियां

Kailash Mansarovar - कैलाश मानसरोवर यात्रा:उत्तराखण्ड की प्रसिद्ध धार्मिक यात्रा

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पंकज सिंह महर:
Stretching majestically over an extensive cradle of the Tibetan plateau and hanging at a heavenly height of 4550 mts (14950 feet). above the sea-level, the vast expanse of the lake with a circumference of about 88 Kms. and a depth of nearly 90 mtrs covers an area of about 320 sq. kms. By far the most magnificent and thrilling of one's experience would be in winter when the whole lake freezes hard, and again in spring when the ice breaks and melts to clear blue waters. It is only the inspired poet or the divine artist with his magic colours that can, for instance, describe and represent adequately the beauty and grandeur of sunrise and sunset on the lake. The water of Mansarovar is as sweet as that of any river or of any glacial lake. The holy manas provides fine caves, camping ground and good sites to pilgrims. At certain places the site is rocky or sandy. On full moon nights, with the full moon overhead, the scene is simply indescribable.

At sunset the whole of the Kailas range on the north becomes a fiery region all of a sudden, throwing an observer into a trance, and by the time he returns to consciousness he sees only the Silvery Peak in front.

The weather is always uncertain. One moment you have scorching Sun, the next moment it begins to hail and snow and shortly after having a nap and coming out of your camp, you will see a clear blue sky and bright Sun above and a bed of pearl-like hail and white snow on the ground.

पंकज सिंह महर:
कैलाश मानसरोवर यात्रा

The world-famous and holy Mt. Kailash & Manas Lake have been, the source of inspiration for many religions and beliefs. Despite many difficulties and long distances, people are keen to go there at least once in their lives. Continued from centuries, this pilgrimage had been stopped from 1959 to 1980, and when it restarted in 1981 it was welcomed everywhere. Hundreds of Indians thus got the opportunity to go through this region. Situated on the other side of Himalayas of Uttarakhand, Kailash & Mansarovar are the most pious and most beautiful shrines.

Also, from religious point of view, these are highly regarded. Darshan and 'parikrama' of Kailash and Mansarovar is considered as uncommonly pious by the believers of four religions Bonpa, Hindu, Buddhist and Jain.

Bonpa, the ancient Tibetans, see a nine story 'swastik' in it and consider it an abode of Damchauk and Dorge Phangmo. Hindus worship it as the abode of Shiva and Parvati. Buddhists believe it to be the home of Buddha and Manipadam and Jains worship it as the place of "nirwan of First Tirthankar".

Near Mansarovar there is a beautiful lake called Rakash Tal - or Ravehahalad. In the north of these two lakes is Mt. Kailash and its series (22028 ft./6675 mts.) in the south Mount Gurala is situated. From this region four big rivers of north India originate' Karnalies, Satluj, Brahamputra and Sindh. 865 kms from Delhi, Mt. . Kailash and Mansarovar in Tibet, are always very near to the hearts of Indians. Due to Mansarovar, Uttarakhand is also termed as Manas-Khand.

पंकज सिंह महर:
.........It, is believed that Mansarovar is originated from the forehead of Brahma and was discovered by the king Gurlamandhata, after whom the highest Mt. Gurula (Mamonani) is named. Thus the unique mountain and lake are attached to our history, culture and mythology. In the parikrama of Kailash (Kongrigpoke) one has to walk 55 kms. and its highest point is Dolmapass at 19000 ft. Mansarovar is situated at the height of 14930 ft./4530 mt. with a circumference of 90 kin., depth of 90 mt. and total area of about 320 sq. km. Mansarovar is attached to Rakashtal with a natural canal at a height of 14900 ft./4515mt. Circumference of Rakashtal is 122 kms. River Satluj originates from the north west corner of Rakashtal.

In winter all mountains and river lakes are frozen and covered with snow, so the time of yatra is from May to September. Indian pilgrims visit from June to September in 16 batches. (30-40 in every batch). Foreign Ministry of Indian Govt. advertises this pilgrimage. Selected people go through medical tests and other formalities before they do yatra in their batches. The management of this yatra is done by Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd. in Indian region and Tibetan tourism agency in Tibet respectively. 

पंकज सिंह महर:
 यह यात्रा २८ दिन की होती है, जिसका विवरण निम्नवत है
The daywise schedule of yatra is given below:-

First Day - The pilgrims cover 320 Km from Delhi to Kathgodam via Moradabad, Rampur, Haldwani. They cross the rivers Yamuna, Ganga and Ramganga W. rivers on the way. Before starting the journey, pilgrims are briefed by the Under Secretary, Ministery of External Affairs, about the Yatra and their medical check-up is done at Indo-Tibetian Border Police Centre.

Second Day - After having Breakfast at Kathgodam, the journey to Bageshwar starts. At lunch, bus reaches to Almora and lunch is served in the KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam) guest house. Then there is drive uphill to Bageshwar which lies on the confluence of Gomti and Saryu.

Third Day - Before breakfast at Bageshwar, the Baijnath temple may be visited. From here the pilgrim reach Chaukori via Kanda - Vijaypur - Kotmunya. Everyone will be pleased by the impressive view of the mighty Himalaya form the tea estate of Chaukori. Then there is a drive downhill to Thal, uphill to Didihat where lunch is served, then downhill again to Ogla - Jauljibi and finally along the Gori river till they reach Dharchula, crossing the Gomti, Saryu, Ramganga E. and Gori on the way. One can now see the mountains of Nepal. The distance covered is 160 Km.

Fourth Day - 19 Km from Dharchula the Dhauli E. meets the Kali at Tawaghat. One can plan to reach out and touch the Chhiplakot peaks, lakes and glaciers via village Khela in a future trip. The pilgrims cross the bridge over the roaring Dhauli and see the confluence of the Kali and Dhauli, and then drive on to Mangti. If one is lucky one might find oneself in this region during the Kandali festival which is held once in twelve years. Travel along the Kali river through dense forest to climb up to the village of Gala (2440m). Here are KMVN's cottages. There is a PWD dak bungalow at Jipti (2378m) 2 Km further.

Fifth Day - Although Gala to Buddhi (2740 m) via Malpa (2018m) is 20 Km. To reach Malpa one has to climb down 4444 steps to reach the river Kali. This place is Lakhanpur. To the right of the Kali is the Chhata fall. On the left is also a fall in Nepal. Next is the beautiful Najang fall. The Kali seems almost like a violent storm in this region. Budi (2740m) is at a distance of 9 Km from Malpa and the group rests at Lamre before reaching Budi. There are numerous springs and waterfalls on either side of the river; also can seen the Api - Nampa range of Nepal.

Sixth Day - Gunji (3500m) is 17 Km from Budi. On reaching Chhialekh the group enters the region of Byans. The pasture of Chhialekh is strewn with grasses and flowers. Then comes Garbhiang village (3225m), deserted because of geopolitical and geological reasons. Here the Kali meets the Tinkar coming from Nepal. The Kali is no longer intimidating and becomes almost silent by the time Gunji (3500m) comes. The trek from Budhi to Gunji via Chhialekh and Garbhiang is 20-22 km long and most tiring of all. Buddhi to Chhialekh is a steep climb. On the way Api mountain range on the Nepal side is seen.

Seventh Day - One moves along the relatively quieter Kali to walk 10 Km to reach Kalapani (3600m). There are pine, bhojpatra and juniper forests in this region. Although the river has been coming all the way from Lipulekh pass, the small pool formed under a huge rock is considered to be the source of the Kali. There are snow - clad mountains all around and Vyas's cave is to be found on the mountain in front of Kalapani. It was because of the visit of Rishi Vyas that the region is known as Byans. There is also a hot water spring at Kalapani.

Eight Day - The group covers the 9 Km from Kalapani to Navidhang (3987m) surrounded by innumerable wild flowers. This is the region of Musk deer and Monal and the highest stage of Himalayan wilderness. The 'Om Parvat' smiles in front of the pilgrim.

Ninth Day - After walking 8 Km from Navidhang to the Lipulekh pass (5334m), the pilgrims enter Tibet, where the Tibetan/Chinese autorities welcome them. They walk down to Chang Lobochahela and from here by truck and bus they reach the old trading town of Taklakot (Purang), which is situated on the banks of the Karnali river.

Tenth and Eleventh Day - The pilgrims staying at Purang Guest House (4267m) can walk to town, Shimling monastery, Nepali market and Karnali river. 3-4 Km away is the damaged memorial of the Dogra General Jorawar Singh. The formalities of emigration and payment to the Chinese authorities are completed here. Yaks for the Kailash Parikarama and ponies for thr Manas Parkaramas are to be requisitioned here only.

Twelfth Day - The pilgrim group is divide into two subgroups, one for Kailas and another for Manas parikrama. The bus starts from Purang around midninght. Before sunrise the bus crosses the Gurla Pass (4910m). Then comes Rakastal (Long Tso, 4515m) on the left western slopes of Gurla Mountain (Memo Nani, 7683m) on the right and Mt. Kailas (Kang Rinpoche, 6675m) in front. Next is the first glimpse of Mansarovar (Tso Mapam, 4530m) at Zaidi. After crossing Parkha plains the bus reaches Tarchen, the base camp fro Kailas parikrama. Group 'A' stays at Tarchen and 'B' is taken to Hore by Bus.

Thirteenth Day - Group 'A' walks 20 Km along the Lha Chhu, constantly looking at Mt. Kailas and its changing faces. Before sunset one should reach Dirapuk Gompa (4909m) and enjoy the northern face of Kailas at sunset. Group 'B' walks along the southeastern shore of Manas. After crossing Samo and Tag rivers and visiting Seralung and Yerngo Gompa for night stay after walking or riding for 30 Km. Here in front of the pilgrim is the Manas and elevated Kailas and behind are the grand peaks of Gurla Mandhata.

Fourteenth Day - This is a slightly difficult day for group 'A'. Along Dolma La chhu the group reaches the Dolma pass (5636m), where the huge stone memorial of goddess Dolma (Tara Devi) is located. After resting and praying pilgrims walk down to Gaurikund (Tukji Chenpo Tso) and reach Zutulpuk Gompa along Lham Chu. Group 'B' walks for 40 Km along the south - western shore of Manas - the region is full of birds and flowers. Before the completion of parikrama of Manas at Zaidi, one can also visit Gossul Gompa.

Fifteenth Day - Group 'A' completes Kailas parikrama on this day by noon. Rest of the day can be used for visiting Gyengtak Gompa and Astpad, the southern face of Kailas from the ridge (6675m) above Gyengtak Gompa. This is the rest day for group 'B' but Chiu Gompa and Ganga Chnu, the natural channel which connects Manas with Rakastal, may be visited by walking 8*2 = 16 Km. From this point, grand view of Manas, Rakas, Kailas and Gurla can be seen.

Sixteenth to Twentieth Day - Group 'B' comes to Tarchen for Kailas Parikrama and group 'A' to hore for Manas parikrama. Form the 18th to the 20th days, both groups completes their respective parikramas. Form the 21st day, 'B' group comes to a waiting 'A' group of Zaidi. After prayers, bath and yajnya the pilgrims comes back to Purang enjoying the grand views of Kailas and Rakastal on the way.

Twenty first Day - Before lunch the pilgrim visit the Khojarnath Gompa, 25 Km away from Purang and situated at the bank of Karnali. In the evening, Purang market may be visited. It is now time for purchasing things from the market and government departmental stores. The pilgrims can visit Taklasar or Simling Gompa also.

Twenty Second to Twenty Eight - Day Back to Lipulekh (5122m) and finally down to Kalapani on 22nd day. 23rd Gunji, 24th Budi, 25th Gala, 26th Dharchula, 27th Bageshwar by bus. On the Twenty eight day the group reaches to N.Delhi - the National capital welcomes you.

पंकज सिंह महर:
मानसरोवर झील


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