Q. How many kilometers is the parikrama of Mansarovar Lake and how do we do it?
Mansarovar is a holy lake that lies in Tibet. Earlier the Parikrama of Mansarovar Lake used to be 105 km but now due to global warming it has become roughly 90km. It takes about 3 hours to complete the Kailash Mansarovar Lake Parikrama which is done by Volvo category buses.
Mansarovar Lake is one of the purest places for Hindus because it is believed that Bhole Baba and Mata Parvati took baths here. This round-shaped lake is believed to be the symbol of brightness. During the parikrama of Mansarovar Lake, you get the first glimpse of the south face of Mount Kailash. Hence one must maintain cleanliness in the Mansarovar area to get the true blessings of Lord Shiva.
Q. Can we take a holy dip in Lake Mansarovar & Gauri Kund? Is swimming allowed there?
During the 90 to 105 km Parikrama of Lake Mansarovar by bus, we stop for a holy dip in Lake Mansarovar. Swimming is not prohibited but practically it is not possible in cold water because one needs to go deeper to swim. In the Kailash yatra starting month of 2018, Tibetan authorities strictly banned taking a dip in Mansarovar Lake because of the littering done by the Kailash pilgrims. If someone was found breaking the rules, the Chinese authority would charge a fine of about 5000 Yuan. Dip in Mansarovar jheel resumed in September of that year with strict warnings of no littering and assuring cleanliness.
We are able to see Gauri Kund ahead of Dol mala Pass on Day 2 of Mt. Kailash Parikrama. Taking a dip in GauriKund is not allowed as it is believed that this is a personal space of Mata Parvati. There is no track to reach Gauri Kund, so one can spot it only from a height. Most of the time Gauri Kund water is either too cold or partially frozen. Please make sure that you are physically fit and confident if going to take bath in Lake Mansarovar. If feeling sick and you are not confident, then avoid going for a dip in Mansarovar Lake. If you are taking bath in Lake Mansarovar then you can use the cloth changing tents put up by Trip To Temples. One must ensure to keep Shiva’s place clean and not become the cause of the ban on the dip in Lake Mansarovar.
Q. Can we stay at Mansarovar Lake at night or at Brahma Muhurt and take a bath? Is it safe?
It is allowed to stay near Lake Mansarovar at night and during Brahma Muhurt. However, the weather at this time is a bit cold compared to the daytime. Fast-blowing wind can be felt so it is advisable to wear thermals and cover your head and ears properly. It is at Lake Mansarovar that people begin to feel unwell, so take a dip in Mansarovar lake only if your health permits. Don’t go alone rather be in a group and be aware of dogs and other animals near Lake Mansarovar.
Q. How do we store water brought from Mansarovar and Gauri Kund? When to collect and how much water can we bring?
Before reaching Mansarovar Lake, we stay at Purang Town (by Heli route) or Dongba / Saga (by Overland route) which is the shopping centre of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. You can buy water gallons from the local market here to store the holy water of Mansarovar Lake which will cost you roughly 400-500 INR. In case you do not want to buy the gallon, you can buy 5 litres of mineral water bottle which will cost you roughly 350-450 INR, drink the water and use the empty bottle to take the water from the lake. The water gallon has issues of water leakage, one needs to carry a seal to cover the gallon, so it is better to buy a mineral water bottle as it is stronger and has no leakage. You can bring a maximum of 5 litres of water.
During the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, you will be doing the 105 km parikrama of Mansarovar lake by bus and taking a dip in the holy lake. Trip To Temples organizes Hawan puja at the Mansarovar lake for the pilgrims travelling with them. You will also be staying for one night near Mansarovar lake. You will be having plenty of time to collect water from Mansarovar lake.
On Day 2 of Mt. Kailash Parikrama, We are able to see Gauri Kund 6km ahead of Dhirapuk, right after Dol mala Pass. Since there is no track to reach Gauri Kund, so one can offer some tips to the Sherpa, and he will get the Gauri Kund water for you.
Q. What is the general temperature at Lake Mansarovar? How do we manage the cold?
Since the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra happens in summer (May to September), the weather is generally pleasant. Days are pleasant and nights are slightly cold. Generally, we do not find 0-degree or minus temperatures. Being a barren land, the Kailash Mansarovar region is not much impacted by rains. During the day, the temperature ranges between 14 to 16 plus degrees Celsius, and at night, the temperature ranges from 4 to 10 degrees Celsius. It is advisable to wear warm clothes and cover your head and ears properly to avoid the wind hitting you.
Q. How far is Lake Mansarovar from Purang/ Saga?
Purang, also known as Taklakot, is a small and very clean town with lots of shops on both sides of the road. It comes on the Kailash Yatra by Helicopter route. Mansarovar lake is located at a drive of about 95km (2 to 3 hours) from Purang.
Saga is a beautiful city on the Overland route of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. It is about 450km from Mansarovar lake and it takes about 6 to 7 hours to reach the holy lake from Saga.
Q. What is the infrastructure at Lake Mansarovar? Do we get hotel and toilet facilities?
Tourist rest houses on multiple sharing are available at Mansarovar Jheel, which is near the lake. However there are no toilets available in the Lake Mansarovar region, so Trip To Temples provides a portable toilet and toilet tent facility to the pilgrims travelling with us.
Q. How safe is the Lake Mansarovar area? Are there any Street lights? Can we go for a walk at night?
The Lake Mansarovar area is safe, just beware of the dogs in the area. If you are going out at night, remain in the group and do not go out alone. If going for a walk at night, cover your head and ear properly as a preventive measure from the cold waves. There are no streetlights in the area, so it is advised to carry flashlights/ torches with you.
Q. Do we organize any Hawan puja at Lake Mansarovar? Will I be able to perform any personal Rudra Abhishek at Lake Mansarovar?
Trip To Temples provides its pilgrims with Pujari Ji and Puja kit for a group Hawan Puja at Lake Mansarovar. If time permits you can perform personal puja at Lake Mansarovar. Being at high altitudes, pilgrims sometimes face health issues because of high Blood Pressure. So it is advisable to be calm before thinking of any ritual. Do not litter around Lake Mansarovar and try to keep the area clean.
Q. Can I extend my stay at Lake Mansarovar?
Since Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is a Group Tour with a specific itinerary by Tibetan Authority for which you get Group VISA and Group Permit. The entire group has to Enter and Exit Tibet at the same time. The validity of the Group VISA is 7 days, so you cannot extend your stay at Lake Mansarovar.
Q. Where to dump waste after puja and Yagya done at lake Mansarovar?
There are dustbins available around Lake Mansarovar to dumb waste after puja and Yagya. Be a responsible tourist and do not litter around the area of Mansarovar Lake.
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