Walking around the sacred mountain of Mount Kailash at the Abode of Lord Shiva

Mount Kailash is a sacred mountain to the millions of people because it resides Lord Shiva in the state of Meditation. There are lot of religious texts which states that anyone who undertake the three days of Parikrama around this holy mountain during the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra and complete it successfully are free from all the sins and shall get a place in heaven after his/her death. There are lot of mysterious beliefs of people that are associated with Mount Kailash. One such belief says that every year there are monks who would come to Mount Kailash, take a shelter in a cave and keep meditating till the time they die. Basically, these people or monks leave everything behind and come to Mount Kailash in a hope to attain nirvana, at a place which believed to be an abode of Lord Shiva.

Overlooking at the Lord Shiva's Abode from Deraphuk which is the North Face of Mount Kailash. I took Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in Aug 2018
Mount Kailash is a sacred mountain to the millions of people because it resides Lord shiva in the state of Meditation

I have seen a lot of people changing just when they complete the Kailash Parikrama and come back home. I remember the moment I came back from the Parikrama around Mount Kailash; I was told that my body has got loaded with a new software and I am freed from my past sins. I am not making up but I did feel a change within myself which has remained with me till now. Hopefully, it will stay the same throughout my life

On the Day two of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, I came across this emerald coloured Lake believed to be the bathing space of Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva
On the Day two of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, I came across this emerald coloured Lake believed to be the bathing space of Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva

Therefore, my aim of writing this blog is to take you on a virtual tour of how I completed the Parikrama around Mount Kailash and why Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is termed as a life transformative journey 

The journey of walking around the sacred mountain of Mount Kailash, starts from Darchin where every pilgrim on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, shall take a halt to dump the excess baggage before proceeding towards the Kailash Parikrama. Our group took a taxi from Darchin which dropped us at Yam Dwar. Now, every pilgrim is required to pass through the Yam Dwar, which is door personally guarded by Yamraj, to keep his promise to Lord Shiva of not allowing any negative energy to enter around Mount Kailash.

You can go through my detailed post on significance of Yam Dwar on Mount Kailash Yatra here

I am standing at Yam Dwar, a door believed to be guarded by the God of death Yamraj at Mount Kailash
I am standing at Yam Dwar, a door believed to be guarded by the God of death Yamraj at Mount Kailash

After crossing Yam Dwar, we were told not to look back till the time the door is in sight. But I guess I was left mesmerized enough, just when I entered the surroundings of Mount Kailash that I wouldn’t want to look back. I was told that I am going to see a beauty that I have never seen before and true to its words it was picturesque. The changing shapes and colours of mountains, those farsighted waterfalls, the rivers streams and the enchanting landscape made me feel that I am walking in heaven

The mesmerising beauty of walking in the surroundings of Mount Kailash
The mesmerising beauty of walking in the surroundings of Mount Kailash

A walk of two and a half, we saw the first clear face of Mount Kailash and honestly, just by looking at it, I had goosebumps. I felt as if someone is looking at me when I looked up. We stood there for ten minutes, paid our homage and proceeded towards the Deraphuk, which is the first stop of stay on the three days of Kailash Parikrama. Deraphuk is also the north face of Mount Kailash and the point from where you would see the complete view of this sacred mountain. From Yam Dwar, it about five hours trek to reach Deraphuk

But, our journey towards reaching Deraphuk started getting difficult when it rained. The air became windy and extremely cold. Due to the altitude, the rains resulted in low oxygen levels as I started feeling breathless, making it difficult to carry the walk. Everyone in our group started feeling uneasy but they say that Kailash Parikrama isn’t about the physical strength only but mental strength as well which actually helped me. I decided to stop midway to relax, close my eyes and prepared my mind to complete it. I guess the magical powers of this place worked, as I was literally running at one point of time.

Mount Kailash Parikrama isn’t about the physical strength only but mental strength as well which actually helped me
Kailash Parikrama isn’t about the physical strength only but mental strength as well which actually helped me

We reached Deraphuk by the night but Mount Kailash was cloud laden but we hoped for a good view the next morning but the sacred mountain eluded us for almost half a day. I shall be honest that I lost all hopes of seeing the Kailash from close and wished for just one glance. The secret wishes are granted here as Kailash slowly revealed itself and I kept looking at Mount Kailash, without a blink of eye.

I sat there and kept looking without realising when I got lost in adorning it. I felt as if it is calling me closer but before I could react it started raining again and Mount Kailash was back in the clouds. Though, I saw my first double rainbow that day

Evenings as Deraphuk was about attending the Aarti by the group members of Isha Foundation.

There is no end to the mysteries around Mount Kailash,something which really intrigued me during Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
The surreal view of Mount Kailash

Next day it was difficult to say goodbye but we need to keep moving. Day two at Kailash Parikrama is the most challenging one as it involves all steep climbing. This is also the day when everyone walks and crosses the17000 feet Dolma pass which the highest pass on the entire Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route. This is where you will see the last view of Kailash Parvat. The journey wasn’t easy but with our strong mind we kept going.

It is also at Dolma pass that you will see the emerald coloured lake which is where the wife of Lord Shiva used to bath. Gauri Kund a pond of Parvati is also known as the lake of compassion. Generally, everyone stops here to pay their homage and collect the Holy Water. I stayed here for about 30 minutes because its picturesque.

Gauri Kund : The lake of compassion and bathing space of Lord Shiva's wife during Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
Gauri Kund : The lake of compassion and bathing space of Lord Shiva’s wife during Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

After crossing Dolma pass, the hike becomes slightly easy but it’s quite a long walk before you reach Zulthulphuk, the second stop on the Kailash Mansarovar route. You are sure to go energy less from Dolma pass to Zulthulphuk trekking for more than ten hours on this day. The next day is about trekking down to Darchin and that’s where the Kailash Parikrama ends

Now, a couple of things to take care on three days of Parikrama around Mount Kailash incase you are planning to take one in the near future:

  • Carry a small backpack during the Kailash Parikrama which contains only the essential things that you need including medicines. Don’t carry bundle of clothes because you wouldn’t be taking any bath here. There are no facilities to take a bath here plus its not recommended either because of altitude and cold. Carry an extra layering just incase you need it
  • All your luggage shall be left behind in Darchin in a hotel which will be collected after coming back from the Parikrama
  • Carry basic snacks as there are nothing much that you can get to eat on your way. Don’t presume it to be a pilgrimage site like in India
  • Give something to eat to the Tibetan pilgrims incase you see them doing Dandvat Pranam. It’s exhausting and they carry limited money. Don’t give CASH. Give them something to eat out of courtesy

Let me know in the comment section below incase you have completed Parikrama around Mount Kailash and have an experience to share. Would love to hear about Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

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