Journeys: Jewel in the Ice
A desire to see sublime beauty and an abiding faith compel thousands of devotees to undertake the sacred journey to Kailash-Mansarovar. Spread over 127 sq km, Mansarovar, located in Tibet at a height of 21,778 ft, is a gift of Kailash and other mountain ranges. The Hindus believe it is the abode of Lord Shiva. It is also revered by the Buddhists, the Jains and the Bonpas of Tibet.
Above: Drinking yak tea.
The Ministry of External Affairs conducts trips to Kailash-Mansarovar every year between May and September. A person has to be medically fit and healthy to undertake the journey, as it involves trekking at high altitudes of up to 19,500 ft under inhospitable conditions, including extreme cold and rugged terrain. The 27-day trek starts from New Delhi. The routes are Delhi-Almora-Chaukori-Dharchula-Sirkha-Gala-Budhi-Gunji-Nabhidhang-Takalakote. While in the Chinese territory the camping sites are at Taklakote, Darchin, Deraphu, Zongrebu Hore, Quju, Zaide and Kailash Mansarovar.
This area in the north of the Himalayas consists of the twin lakes of Mansarovar and Rakshastaal, and Mount Kailash. Four main rivers of north India—Sutlej, Brahmaputra, Karnali (a tributary of the Ganges) and Sindh—originate from this region.
Above: A woman of the region.
Source: India Perspectives, 26(5) August 2012.
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