How to undertake the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra?: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide on How to Prepare for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
How does someone undertake the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra? All you need to know.
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is one pilgrimage most Hindus want to make at least once in their lifetimes. The sheer mystical quality, beauty and religious significance of Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar is such that it is considered as one of the most sacred places in the world. A person who is able to do the ‘parikrama’ of Mount Kailash considers himself to be truly blessed because all the sins of his past lifetimes are washed away. Mount Kailash is the heavenly abode of Lord Shiva, where he resides with his divine wife, Devi Parvati. Lord Shiva is the eternal yogi, the true ascetic, who denies himself all pleasures and instead chooses meditation. He is the protector of the Vedas, the ancient scripture of Hinduism. If going on the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is your heart’s desire, then you must go. Here are all the things you need to know about it.
Different travel options available
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is not for the faint-hearted, it is a challenging expedition to go on. There are basically two options available to those who want to go:
- By the route recommended by the Ministry of External Affairs of India.
- With private operators who will take you through Nepal.
Following are what you should know about both these options.
The Kailash Yatra as recommended by MEA
The best thing about going by the route suggested by MEA is that then you have the government’s seal of approval for the expedition. The route is set by a bi-lateral agreement between India and China. All pilgrims get required medical facilities, security and diplomatic protection if they go by this route. You will also get to enjoy the view of the Om Parvat, which may not be possible on other routes. Another advantage of going with the MEA recommendations is that it can be done at an inexpensive cost. In fact, you may even be able to get a subsidy from the government if you do so. However, there are some serious concerns about this Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route because of the long time taken to complete it and the relatively tough trekking that one has to do to reach Mount Kailash. Not all people may find the route a stress-free one. This brings up the Yatra conducted by private operators.
Kailash Yatra by private operators
There are several routes that Hindu pilgrims can use to reach Mount Kailash depending on their preference and budget. The Nepal route is highly recommended for many reasons for its relatively less risky nature.
- It is easy to do when compared to the route recommended by the Government of India. A major part of the journey is done using some form of transport, which reduces the physical stress on part of the pilgrim. There is little need to walk except if the pilgrim wants to do the ‘parikrama’ on foot. Of course, a pony can be availed in this route to do the ‘parikrama’, ensuring that anyone can do it no matter how aged or infirm.
- The time period taken for the expedition is visibly shortened in the Nepal route. If you choose the Helicopter option from Lucknow, the expedition will take between 5 and 11 days. If you choose the Overland option from Kathmandu, the expedition is going to take about 14 days.
- While the GOI route is for travelers between the ages of 18 and 70, anyone between the ages of 10 and 70 can avail of the Nepal route as long as they have a valid Visa and passport. This is because the Nepal route is much less arduous in nature and does not involve too much trekking. This makes it the route of choice for families traveling with young children.
- The modern amenities of life can also be enjoyed if you choose the Nepal route for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra including hot water in hotel rooms, phones and even internet.
Visa and passport requirements
Since Mount Kailash is located in Tibet, which is under the authority of China, Indian pilgrims are going to need their passport and Visa to go on the Yatra. It is best to do this as soon as you are sure you are going to make the expedition. If you go through the MEA route, it is important that you have the permission of the government and for that, it is best to go by the recommendations in the MEA website. If you choose a reliable private operator, then everything including your Visa will be taken care of by them so that you can relax.
Not many people can ultimately go on the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra even if that is what their hearts want so if you do get a chance to go, make sure that you don’t miss it.
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