For me, the Kailash Mansarovar journey was a personal one. It was a kind of purging of the past and relief from the memories of my father’s painful death. I took solace from the fact that my father’s killer has got a life sentence although our case is yet to start. The dip in the holy waters of the Mansarovar Lake further energised me. The Sufi whirling dance that we did during the loo breaks was also a great stress buster. I was amazed to see the spirit of the local Tibetans who rolled their way up to Kailash.
The docile yaks, log curly horned sheep, hairy ponies and wild dogs were our constant companions throughout our journey. With lots of meditation near Kailash, the trip calmed me down and I felt one with nature. The sudden rain showers, while we trekked up to Kailash, added another twist to the tale as I got a distinct feeling of accomplishment as I scaled up to Kailash and completed my trek on foot.
The energies at Kailash were very vibrant. The slow trek up to the mouth of the stream to collect the holy water was especially fulfilling. I prayed for my father’s soul and said a prayer for my mother and grandfather who recently departed. It was especially good to see how clean the path was. Even during the trek, there were some people who were picking up garbage and plastic bottles that littered the path. The slow trek gave us enough time to contemplate and chat with fellow travellers. A few people required a dose from the oxygen cans to keep them going. I was high on the energy and vibrancy of the place as mountains stood tall on either side with water gushing through the cracks and streams flowing in either direction.
I got a chance to know a bit about my fellow travellers as we chatted about our past and tit bits from our lives. One gentleman said “My wife passed away a few years back and all my sons are now settled. Seeing the calmness and serenity of this place, I feel like marrying a Tibetan Heer and settling down near the lake. Rest of my life will be so peaceful.” I couldn’t agree more. After all, Richard Gere had spent a lot of time in these valleys as the student of the Dalai Lama himself. Great movies like Seven Years in Tibet had Brad Pitt in it and he too was enchanted by the aura, energies, vastness and simplicity of the Tibetan people. The country is littered with monasteries, stupas and gombes with Chinese red flag hovering over the stone houses that are the very shelter for its nomadic people. Television is mostly in the local channels but the movie and history channels are in English. Although language is a major barrier, there is a steady flow of wifi and access to internet. I managed to, however, sneak a meal of chicken broth soup and rice at the local diner and even bribed my cooks to feed me some chicken for the evening dinner. I was getting sick of the vegetarian meal and vegetables. Even in breakfast, I just had cornflakes and milk. People were fascinated by my profession – a travel blogger. It was new for some and everyone was asking me how I made a living from it. Believe me, I found it hard to justify my hobby at least for now.
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The Abhaya Sutra, a thread that I had tied to my wrist that had been blessed by Satguru did the trick. The only hitch in our journey was the one day delay while we were flying back from Lhasa to Kathmandu as all flights were cancelled due to a military exercise. We, however, managed to leave the next day and as a surprise gift, he accompanied us back to Kathmandu and was with us throughout our ride back.