Buddha Poornima happens to be the most celebrated day at Mt Kailash. Today is Buddha Poornima and I have decided to have my travel blog on this auspicious day sharing my journey to Kailash Mansarovar at an altitude of 18,000 ft plus.
At an elevation of 21,778 ft Mt Kailash is the eternal abode of Lord Shiva as described in Hindu mythology. As per Buddhist belief, Mt Kailash is the navel of the Universe.
Last year, on Buddha Poornima I was at Mt Kailash, in Tibet, and totally mesmerized by the magical aura of Golden Kailash also revered as Golden Shiva. First time in my life I felt being connected to my soul. This was the moment of supreme bliss for me.
The golden hue on Mt Kailash is visible only under perfect weather conditions. I was fortunate that day to experience this heavenly sight and was quick enough to capture that glory in my camera.
Journey to Kailash Mansarovar has different meaning to different travelers. For devout Hindus and Buddhists this journey is the ultimate pilgrimage of lifetime. For me, this was a spiritual journey.
I had a strong desire to be at Mt Kailash on Buddha Purnima. Initially, I explored to travel through Govt. of India organized trips for Kailash Mansarovar but these trips depart between June and September. So, I had only private tour options to explore and I finalized one agency named Kailash Journeys after considering their track record in organizing trips to Kailash Mansarovar.
My journey started from Delhi. I flew to Kathmandu and was received by agency representative at airport there. I was part of a big group. Same day there was a briefing on the journey. I got introduced to our guide, cook and other sherpas.
Next morning group departed from Kathmandu to Kodari, the Nepal China border, after visiting Pashupatinath temple as this is sort of a ritual there.
Kathmandu to Kodari road journey was very scenic. Greenery all around, terrace fields, and captivating waterfalls, every bit of this journey was very refreshing.
Next morning, it was now time to enter Chinese territory from Kodari. It took almost four hours to complete security checks and visa formalities. Not to forget the separate checks required for porters carrying ration cans, eatable cans, vegetable cans and water cans, too. Imagine, all this has to be carried along, for the entire duration of journey, in a separate truck. At every stay cooks and helpers would unload goods, cook delicious vegetarian food, serve tea, dinner, next morning serve breakfast, pack lunch and again load everything back in the truck.
After all clearances done, travelers were instructed towards AC coaches lined up outside. Even after all travelers boarded their buses no vehicle moved. Two hours gone just sitting there in stationary buses. My journalistic instinct got restless. When enquired, I was told that all the vehicles that included buses and trucks containing ration have to move at the same time and due to some delay in last group’s security clearances, everybody has to wait till they come out. Then I called on my Nepali guide Babu and asked him to arrange some snacks as everyone was hungry and he very quickly arranged biscuits and juice. At last at 4pm all vehicles moved towards Nyalam in Tibet.
My spiritual quest continues….