Mythological significance of Mount Kailash: A Journey Through Mt. Kailash's Spiritual Meaning and Mystery
Mythological significance of Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash stands tall at almost 22,000 feet and doing a ‘parikrama’ of it is something most devout Hindus wish to do at least once in their lifetimes. The reason being that Mount Kailash is said to be the heavenly abode of Shiva: that great god revered by Shiv-bhakts and Hindus all over. Shiva is kind, powerful and an ascetic and he is said to be in a state of meditation on the top of the mountain. Anyone who can reach Mount Kailash is said to have washed off all unknowingly sins of previous births and is said to have a direct pass to heaven after death. Truly, the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is one that brings Hindu pilgrims of all sects together for its divine significance. Yam Dwar is a temple which is believed to be a magical one because once you go through the temple, all your unintentional sins will be forgiven.
How difficult is the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra via the Lipulekh pass?
If the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is something that you have wanted to do for a long time now, then perhaps doing your research about it will put you on the right path. There are several options in your way concerning the routes you can take to reach your destination and knowing about the pros and cons of the important ones is a good idea.
The route via Lipulekh pass is going to take around 22 days and the trekking distance is going to be more than 200 KMs, so it can be said that it is going to be long and arduous.
The Yatra done via the Lipulekh Pass
This is one of the oldest routes to go to Kailash Mansarovar from India. It is a route that has been used for centuries since ancient times by merchants, traders, mendicants and travelers to travel to and from Tibet. Here are a few things to know about the route:
- Done by foot and bus: This is a very difficult route to follow for an average person considering that it is done by foot and bus. Today, most people are not accustomed to traveling long distances on foot which makes it tough for them to opt for this route. It starts from Delhi, after which pilgrims are supposed to trek through the pretty rough terrains of Uttarakhand and Nepal. After that, they have to cross into Tibet by foot via the Lipulekh pass. The pass is at a height of 17,500 feet. After that, it is a journey that has to be done by bus and then again by foot to reach Mount Kailash. You can expect to trek at least 200 km on the Lipulekh pass route. For people traveling with children or with parents who are old and infirm, choosing this kind of physically demanding route is next to impossible.
- The mountainous terrain that is tough to navigate: It’s not just the distance that is a problem with the Lipulekh pass route to Kailash. The pass is actually wedged between China, India, and Nepal. It takes at least 22 days for the journey which can be tough to deal with for average people with limited physical ability. The actual trek can be treacherous and can be more than 200 km in today’s times.
- The river Kali: This river is known for its turbulent currents and can be quite dangerous in a few patches. The force of the water is high which means that if someone falls into the river, not only will he be unable to come out, his body would be ravaged.
- High speed winds: Another reason why the Lipulekh pass is not the favored route for Mount Kailash pilgrims from India is because of the winds which are common for areas which are so high above the sea level. In fact, the winds are so high-speed that one has to trek in the sitting or crouching position to prevent oneself from falling down.
- Age criteria: This route is something that only the people of a certain age can go on. The Ministry of External Affairs has certified that only people between the ages of 18 and 70 are eligible for traveling on this route.
- Cost: The cost for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra via the Lipulekh pass route is going to be about Rs 1,80,000.
- Selection procedure: The selection procedure is pretty tough if you choose the MEA-conducted trip for the Yatra. There are lucky draws held every year to choose from the huge number of people who apply for the trip. Only a few lucky applicants get selected but the selection process does not end there. There are physical and medical examinations done in New Delhi and only if an applicant is able to pass them are they allowed to go on the Yatra via this route. So even if you want to go, there is no guarantee that you will get to go in a particular year.
Alternative routes for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
The above information should not deter you from making the pilgrimage to Mount Kailash though. There are new routes available that make the Yatra a much more favorable one.
- By helicopter from Lucknow: This is by far the best and the easiest route you can take to reach Mount Kailash. This is because most part of the journey is done by helicopter so almost anyone can do it. The journey will take between 5 and 11 days depending on weather conditions prevailing at the time. It starts in Lucknow.
- The overland route from Kathmandu: This is also a very good route to take for people who want to enjoy the beautiful scenery during the journey. There is no doubt that the journey will be one of the most memorable ones considering the almost paradise-like quality of the scenery. The journey will be done in high-quality jeeps and it will take around 14 days to reach Mount Kailash. It starts from Kathmandu airport.
Both these routes can be enjoyed by anyone between the ages of 10 and 70.
When more comfortable routes are available, there is really no point in going by the treacherous mountainous terrain of the Lipulekh pass. Planning in advance, and getting the required Visa permits beforehand will ensure a safe and enjoyable Mount Kailash Yatra.
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