Lake Manasarovar or Mansarovar, situated in Tibet (China), stretching to the north of Mount Kailash, is the very surreal and mesmerizing Manasarovar Lake. This lake is associated with the divinity and religiosity of many pilgrims. Mount Kailash, popularly known as the heavenly abode of Lord Shiva, enhances the significance and spiritual beauty of the Mansarovar Lake. It is considered holy for the Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists. The pristine holy water of the Lake attracts lakhs of pilgrims and tourists every year.
Peek Into the Manasarovar Lake History
The history of Kailash Manasarovar lies in the Hindu and Buddhist script. Accordingly, to their scripture, many ancient monasteries and caves exist, where the holy sages reside around Mount Kailash. It is assumed in history that the Lake Manasarovar was formed by Lord Brahma, who built it to make an ideal area for his sons, who could bathe there after their return from the whole trek of the sacred land. On the other hand, the Buddhists believe that the mother of the legendary Buddha took a bath in this lake until the holy water purified her body.
Best Time to Visit Mansarovar Lake
The best time to visit Manasarovar Lake is Summer till the end of the rainy season, which is from May to September. This is the peak time for most pilgrims and tourists to visit the place. The weather during this time exudes a spiritual charm. As the snow remains absent during this time make navigating around most of the trails becomes easier.
How to Reach Manasarovar Lake
You can travel to Lake Mansarovar by flight flying from the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow, situated 437 km away from Kailash Mansarovar. On Arrival at Lucknow, you will travel to Nepalgunj, a small town in Nepal. From here, you will again take another flight to the hill town of Simikot. From Simikot, you can either trek or take a helicopter ride up to reach the village Hilsa, located at the border of Tibet. Hilsa lies at a distance of 60 km from Mansarovar. After your immigration at the border, you will be free to enter Tibet to reach Lake Manasarovar.
You can also reach Manasarovar via Uttarakhand after crossing Lipulekh Pass. Lake Manasarovar sits near the border of the Pithoragarh district. However, as a tourist, you cannot cross any Indian border entry to Tibet unless you are part of The Indian Government organized Kailash Manasarovar Tour. You can also enter Tibet via Sikkim, but the journey is long due to the distance. Again, you need to be part of the Government India Tour to cross this border as well.
Traveling from Kathmandu is another popular and easiest way to reach Lake Manasarovar. You can enter Tibet via Land borders like Timure. You can also fly to Lhasa from Kathmandu to start your journey.
Location of Manasarovar Lake
Mansarovar Lake is situated approximately 100 km north of India’s border with China. Clipped at the southern foot of Mount Kailash, the Kailash Manasarovar Lake is about 50 kilometers to the northwest of Nepal, and 100 kilometers east of the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The Lake is situated in Burang County, the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, and stretches up to 88 kilometers with a depth of 330 feet. It lies approximately 4, 590 meters / 15, 060 ft above sea level.
Other Places to Visit Around Manasarovar Lake
Though traveling to the Manasarovar Lake itself can be a rejuvenating experience with its spirituality and pristine water, there are other places and religious hubs that you can explore when visiting the lake.
Gauri Kund: among the many tourists attractions here is Gauri Kund, also known as Parvati Sarovar. The place is infused with mythological stories and religious significance. This lake is also called the Lake of Compassion.
Rakshas Tal: Also known as the Ravan Taal, the name Rakshas comes from the name “Lake of Demons.” This lake was said to be the thriving place of Rakshas, the demon. This lake is also famous for being the largest saltwater lake in Tibet. Exploring the Rakshas Tal is a must for all tourists and travelers.
Kailash Parikrama: Mount Kailash holds an extraordinary spiritual significance for Hindus. It is known to be the residing place of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. According to scriptures, circumambulating around the mountain can expiate you from all sins. It takes 3 days to complete the parikrama.
Yam Dwar: The Yam Dwar or Yama Dwar, the starting point of Kailash Parikrama, is known as the gateway to heaven. It is said that once you cross through this gate you will be in the abode of God.
Kuber Kund: Another holy lake near Mansarovar Lake, the Kuber Kund is a part of the Inner Kora Parikrama.
Best Places to Eat Around Manasarovar Lake
with only a few guest houses available nearby, Lake Mansarovar does not offer any other eateries nearby. Food options can only be gotten from your tour operator’s kitchen or these guest houses. During the peak season, few locals put basic food stalls that offer some local foods or snacks.
Nearby Places like Dharchen and Taklakot have many restaurants to eat at. You will have coffee shops, bakeries, and many local restaurants in these places.
Important Places to Shop Near Lake Manasarovar
A trip is incomplete without bringing a few souvenirs back home. However, there are no established shops near Mansarovar Lake. But a few can be found in nearby places like Darchen and Taklakot. Street shopping is possible at these places, where you can buy handicrafts, prayer flags, local fragrance herbs, Incense sticks, and many more. There are a few proper shopping malls as well.
Where to Stay Near Mansarovar Lake
As a good trip is incomplete without a comfortable stay, you must choose a hotel near Mansarovar Lake. You will find a few basic guests house accommodations available near Manasarovar that will give you the ultimate comfort and a great experience. among them, there are around 10 to 12 multi-share basis guest houses near the lake.
However, you can find better hotels in Darchen and Taklakot like the ones below mentioned
- Taklakot Hotel.
- Jinyan’an Hotel.
- Dianxin Hotel.
- Pulan North Sichuan Hotel.
- Hotel Himalaya.
- Mansarovar Guest House.
- Darchen Hotel.
You can find good restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries in these hotels.
Even though pilgrims are enthusiastic about traveling to Mansarovar Lake, you should follow the COVID-19 protocols. You must get vaccinated first and observe social distance as much as you can. Wear your mask at all times and keep sanitizing your hands.
Things to Keep in Mind When Traveling to Lake Manasarovar
When you are traveling to Mansarovar Lake, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- You cannot cross the India Tibet border if you are not a part of the India Kailash Manasarovar Tour by the India Government.
- You can cross the border of Nepal and Tibet only if you have proper permits.
- The route to Lake Manasarovar via Nepal is easy and affordable as compared to India Government organized tour. It does not have many restrictions as well.
- There’s no age restriction if you want to visit Lake Manasarovar via Nepal.
- Make sure to carry your safety kit during the tour, even if the organizers provide aid.
- Pack suitable and specific clothes as per guidelines.
- Keep yourself hydrated while mountain climbing.
- Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol during mountain climbing.
- Eat light foods that are rich in carbohydrates.
- If you plan on going shopping, do not miss the opportunity to go street shopping. You will be delighted to see the local and unique stuff they offer.
FAQs for Travelling to Lake Manasarovar
1. What is unique about Mansarovar Lake?
The Mansarovar Lake, situated at an altitude of 15, 060 ft, is famous for being the highest freshwater body in the world. Apart from that, it is known for its spiritual significance that attracts visitors all around the year.
2. Can you swim in the lake?
Many pilgrims and tourists are known to swim in the lake and drink its water, considering it holy. Tibetans, however, do not swim nor drink its water. However, there is a ban on swimming in the lake since 2018.
3. What is the fact about Mansarovar Lake?
One exciting fact about Mansarovar Lake is that it was first created by Lord Brahma and then built on earth.
4. Is Kailash Mansarovar the center of the earth?
The two beautiful lakes in Mount Kailash, the Mansarovar Lake and the Rakshas Lake, lie at the bottom of Kailash. This mountain is considered the Axis Mundi, also known as the cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, or the world tree. Therefore, many believe it to be the center of the world.
5. What is Mansarovar Lake called in China?
The lake is called “Mapam Yumtso” in the local Tibetan language. The name means Invincible or undefeatable lake.
6. What rivers originate from Lake Manasarovar?
4 major rivers Karnali, Sutlej, Indus, and Brahmaputra originate from this holy lake.
7. Is Lake Manasarovar parikrama possible?
Yes, the Mansarovar parikrama is possible, but, due to the presence of mountains, the full parikrama cannot be completed. Generally, most people do the parikrama in a vehicle.