Located in Tibet, Mount Kailash of the Himalayan range has a lot of religious significance in the Hindu Mythology. It is considered as a holy place by Buddhists and Jains as well. Known as the abode of Lord Shiva, this mountain has a circumambulation path about 54 km in length. The peak is located near two large natural water lakes, Mansarovar (32 km approximately) and Rakshas Tal.
Mansarovar lake is calm and dignified like a huge bluish green emerald or a pure turquoise set between the two mighty snow clad mountains, Kailash on the north and Gurla Mandhata on the south. The sister lake Rakshas Tal or Ravan Hrada lies on the west. Many other hills also surround this area. It is an experience of a lifetime for any individual.
Every year thousands of people visit this religious complex as pilgrims. Although there are many package tour operators, the best is the one organized by Ministry of External Affairs. All Indian citizens between 18 and 70 years of age can embark on the Yatra (religious journey).
Sixteen (16) teams consisting of sixty (60) people would be taken here in batches from end of May/ early June to September 2011.
The trip would span over 27 days and an additional 3 days in New Delhi to obtain visas, undergo comprehensive medical examinations and complete financial formalities.
Yatra is extremely strenuous and challenging (more than Vaishno Devi / Amarnath routes which are popular pilgrimages), involves trekking at high altitudes about 19,500 feet, under inhospitable conditions including extreme cold and rugged terrain and may prove hazardous for those who are not physically or medically fit. The Indian Mountaineering Foundation has recognised the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra as a trekking expedition. There is a considerable element of risk to life and property.
You and I cannot join the teams at our will. There is a clearly defined set of rules and regulations, eligibility criteria and payment schedule defined. Firstly, an applicant must possess an ordinary Indian passport, which is valid for more than six months after a certain date (1st September, 2011).
One has to be physically healthy, medically fit and should not suffer from problems of high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, heart disease, epilepsy, etc. The maximum permissible body mass index (BMI) is 27, so you cannot be obese or overweight. All selected individuals are required to go through a comprehensive medical examination by Delhi Heart and Lung Institute (DHLI) and ITBP base hospital in New Delhi. If you are found medically unfit, the non refundable part of the fees and cost of medical examination paid by you would be forfeited. After 5 days of the Yatra, a second round of medical examination would be done at ITBP Gunjli, at a height of 3,500 metres to check your reaction to altitude trekking. Pilgrims found medically unfit at this stage would be barred from continuing the trek. The decision of ITBP officials at Delhi and Gunjli would be final and no certicate issued by any other institution would be considered.
Details of the Yatra can be found on the Ministry’s website, mea.gov.in . The application form may be downloaded from here, and submitted in hard copy at the office of the ministry, duly filled in and signed by the applicant, alongwith two recent pass port size photographs and a copy of personnel particulars page of the applicant’s passport. The last date for downloading forms in 2011 was 4th March and that of submitting the same was 11th March.
Don’t feel disheartened as you read the dates as it is more than half way through April now. We, at The Other Home, understand the level of planning and preparation that is required before you decide to take on the Mount Kailash Yatra. The weather is uncertain, and one has to prepare for the worst. Two of our team members (Mr. Manoj Aggarwal and Ms. Vaidehi Venkatadriagharam) have led groups in 2002 and 2004 and would be sharing their knowledge and providing valuable tips in the upcoming series. We shall answer all your queries and would be more than happy to organize your Yatra when you are ready. Till then, talk to your friends and family who you would want to take along with you and who would qualify the eligibility criteria.
There are a number of tour packages available in for one to choose from depending on the time he can spare and the cost he can bear. The most attractive of them is visiting the popular tourist locations such as Kathmandu along with Mount Kailash Mansarovar Yatra on a helicopter. The dates are pre-defined for such customized trips too. We shall help you choose the best package as per your needs.
Is the Mount Kailash- Mansarovar complex beckoning you? Start planning today. Contact us rightaway!