…As he reached Yam Dwar (the gateway of the god of death) he felt all his energy has been drained away! He has spent months walking from Southern India, bare foot, and no proper winter clothings, fought with deadly animals on the way and dacoits who attacked. Still another 16 Kms to walk before he can reach Kailash! …
Trrrrr..innnggg…The alarm rang and it was time for us to wake for Morning Yoga practices at ManSarovar! We start our journey to the Kailash base camp at Darchen in a couple of hours and from there to Tarboche (Yam Dwar) where we start our 7 hour trek to Mount Kailash! I couldnt stop thinking about that dream, how could someone travel from remote villages in India 8000 years ago, walking without the basic amenities, sometimes on their own to this unknown land, just to see Kailash!
We reached Darchen around 8 am and then moved towards Yam Dwar. This is the starting point for the Kailash trek and people who are aged and prefer not to walk can get a pony and also can hire porters for carrying bags. When we reached Yam Dwar we saw the porters arriving one after the other riding horses. They have a lottery system to distribute bags for carrying. As I was carrying my own luggage, the group leader asked me to start my journey along with a few and a lead Sherpa! Yes, at last I was walking on the land of Shiva, soaking in the energy around !
The high snow clad mountains, the numerous waterfalls and the rivers flowing on the way kept reminding me how insignificant I am and we as a human race, in front of mother nature!
The river that flows through the valley, as you can see in some of the pictures are fed by glaciers in the Burang county. These rivers are the sources of Brahmaputra, Indus, Sutlej and Ghaghar, Karnali (Ghaghara), some of the major rivers of Bharat (India) ! Karnali (Ghaghara) goes onto meet Ganges in the Gangotri and flow into Bharat’s heartland. One couldn’t stop but be awestruck with the splendid of mother nature.
After about 3-4 hours walk we reached a midpoint where we stopped for a break. We could see the West face of Kailash just before reaching there!
We met several Tibetans on the way and this couple stood out as they were wishing everyone. As I said “Tashi Delek” (Hello in Tibetan) the lady was all smiles as you can see in the picture. Yes, simple things make people of this land very happy; isn’t it how life should be?
The Kailash range is more than 30 million years old. Ancient India seems to have known about the significance of this area since thousands of years. Mount Kailash finds mention in the Skanda Puranas. There are numerous other Budhhists and Hinduism texts from ancient times that mention the mountain and its significance amongst people of that era!
As we approached Diraphuk, Kailash was becoming more and more visible. As soon as we reached Diraphuk we were awestruck with the presence of this sheer mountain!
The mountain took almost different forms in different times of the day as can be seen in the pictures below.
We spent a couple of days in Kailash and then trekked our way back to Yam Dwar. It took us another few days to come back to Kathmandu. The journey had etched some lifelong memories and the places and people made a permanent place in our hearts. Wishing that the whole planet emulates the philosophy of peaceful co-existence, thus finished the journey of a lifetime!
“You can never conquer the Himalayas,
The Himalayas conquer you”
Until next time, Live well, Stay well 🙌
First published in Tumblr