Things not to miss doing while on a rejuvenation trip to Kailash Manasarovar
Whether you are a strong devotee of Lord Shiva or not, there is a little chance that you have not heard about the famous Kailash Manasarovar. The popular pilgrimage destination is often referred to as one of the most difficult treks in Asia. As for its religious implication, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Bons regard the place in high esteem. But for Hindus, the place is the abode of Lord Shiva himself and thus, the immense respect and dedication for the region.
Despite the complicated nature of the trek, extreme temperatures, and diverse geographical conditions, several hundreds of pilgrims take up the yatra every year without enormous faith and dedication.
If you have booked your tour to the famous Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, it is essential that you research well about the location. Since the trek is a complicated one and for most people, it is once in a lifetime opportunity, it is crucial that one does not miss anything at all.
Here are a few major attractions of the trip that you cannot afford to let pass at all:
Lake Manasarovar is a freshwater lake that lies at an altitude of 4590 m above the sea level. It is formed by the waters from the Kailash glaciers that are present near Mount Kailash. The lake is religiously significant for the people of four different religions, namely, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Bon. It is about 300 feet deep and 88 kilometers in circumference.
As per a popular Hindu belief, the lake was first created in the mind of Lord Brahma and it was only later that it was manifested on earth. Taking a holy dip in the lake or sipping its pious water is believed to clear all the sins of the pilgrims. Pilgrims from around the world travel to the site to take a ceremonial bath in the lake.
The Buddhists identify the lake as Manasa Lake. It is one of the most spiritual sites for Buddhists as well.
Mount Kailash is among the two major attractions of the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, Lake Manasarovar being the other one. A part of the magnificent Himalayas in Tibet, the peak stands at a height of 6638 meters in the Kailash Range. The mountain is close to Lake Manasarovar as well as Lake Rakshastal. Just like Lake Manasarovar, the mountain is also significant to Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, and Bons.
Hindus believe the mountain to be the abode of Lord Shiva where he resides with this wife, goddess Parvati and children, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya. It is also believed that the lord meditates here together with his wife. A mention in the Vishnu Purana states that the four faces or the four sides of the mountain are made of ruby, gold, crystal and lapis lazuli. The mountain is regarded as a pillar of the world and symbolizes a Lotus.
Pilgrims have a strong belief that circumambulating around Mount Kailash on foot will not just bring them a good fortune but will also rinse away all their sins. The distance around the peak is 52 kilometers long. The Hindus and Buddhists cover this distance in a clockwise direction while the Jains and the Bonpos perform the ritual in an anti-clockwise direction.
Another must-visit location while on your Kailash Manasarovar Trip is the legendary Gauri Kund! It is a famous Hindu pilgrimage site that is located at an altitude of 6502 feet above the sea level in the Himalayan regions of Garhwal. The place is named after Lord Shiva’s wife who is also known as Gauri.
If the local traditions of the place are to be believed, it is here that Gauri lived while she was adhering to yogic practices to win over affection from Lord Shiva. And it is here only that Lord Shiva confessed his love for Gauri. There is another place nearby known as Triyugi Narayan, it is believed that their marriage was solemnized at this place. Gauri Kund is also the place where Lord Ganesha acquired the head of an elephant.
There are a few hot springs in Gauri Kund that have now been converted into bathing places for the pilgrims visiting this famous Hindu Pilgrimage site.
Lake Rakshas Tal.
Lake Rakshas Tal literally means ‘Lake of the demon’. It is located at an elevation of 4752 meters and is about 3.7 kilometers from Lake Manasarovar. However, the lake is not as religiously revered as Lake Manasarovar. River Sutlej originates from the northwestern tip of this lake.
As per Hindu beliefs, it is here that Ravana, the demon-like king of Lanka, indulged into severe penance and so, the lake is also known as ‘Ravan Tal’ after his name. There are four islands in the lake—Topserma, Dola, Lachato, and Dosharba. During winters, the localities use these islands as pastures for their Yaks.
As per Buddhism, Lake Manasarovar that is shaped like a circle is regarded as the sun and signifies brightness. On the other hand, Lake Rakshas Tal is shaped like a crescent and is thus associated with darkness.
Mount Kailash Saga Dawa Festival.
If you can be a little flexible about the dates for your Kailash Manasarovar Trip, you must try and accommodate the days of the Saga Dawa Festival in your itinerary. The Saga Dawa festival is an annual feature that falls on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar. The festival is very significant for Tibetan Buddhists who have been celebrating it for thousands of years now. It is celebrated to honor Sakyamuni Buddha and his enlightenment. Participating in the celebrations of the festival is a gratifying experience in itself. It etches a memory that lasts for a lifetime!
If you can manage to cover all the above-mentioned sites, your Kailash Manasarovar Yatra will be a great success in every aspect.
Prepare well and prepare well in advance for a great experience!