Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, a pilgrimage like no other. A spiritual quest, this eagerly awaited journey starts for the year 2016 from April 27 and will be on till September 17. The yatra can be done via overland buses (23-25 days journey).
Any Indian citizen aged between 18 to 70 years and holding a valid Indian passport can apply for the yatra at kmy.gov.in. A computerised draw is held to select participants, who are then required to report some 3-4 days before the yatra dates at the ITBP Base Hospital and Delhi Heart and Lung Institute in Delhi for all .
Approximate cost for the yatra for Indians comes to around INR 140,000 per person (including the cost of Chinese visa, fee for medical tests held in Delhi, amount payable to Chinese authorities for lodging, meals and transportation, entry tickets for Kailash, Manasarovar and Kelja Temple and hiring of pony, porter and horses in India and China).
Nathu La Pass, the new route
While a strenuous 15 days (approx) trek is a regular thing for the Uttarakhand route that goes through the Lipulekh Pass (Delhi-Jageshwar-Delhi), the Sikkim route is well-connected via roads with just 3 days of trekking. Moreover, the Sikkim route for Kailash Mansarovar is believed to be easier in terms of road and trekking conditions as compared to the rugged terrain of the Uttarakhand one. Pilgrims can easily undertake this journey via buses and overland vehicles.
Batches of around 30-50 pilgrims are allowed to leave for the yatra together. Expect stunning terrains, lofty mountains and a lot of camaraderie. Owing to an acute lack of staying facilities, accommodation is, usually, arranged on a sharing basis.
Mansarovar Lake – world’s highest freshwater lake
Stretching to the north of Mt Kailash is the very surreal Mansarovar lake. A freshwater lake at 14,950 ft above sea level, it is world’s highest freshwater lake. A sight so impressive that you wouldn’t forget it anytime soon.
While a dip in the lake is customary, the more vigilant circumambulate Mt Kailash (52 km trek) as well as the lake (100 km trek). This is by no means a small feat and you can pat yourself for having designs on such an experience. Other than Hinduism, both the mountain and the lake is highly revered in Buddhism, Jainism and Bon religion as well.