My passport has just arrived. I had sent it for visa purposes for my Yatra to Mansarovar and up to Mount Kailash. I am taking this epic journey along with Satguru Jaggi Vasudev of the Isha Foundation who are into Isha Yoga and Kriya. Along with meditation, they also have inner engineering programs. The main ashram is in Coimbatore and the foundation has a huge residential complex for sanyasis and followers from around the world. This ashram is run and blessed by Satguru who is a great devotee of Lord Shiva. I have already written about my days in this ashram a few months back in my blog.
The Isha Yoga has a module called Sacred Walks where they take followers on a spiritual journey to the various auspicious religious places in and around India. The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is one of them. Groups will travel to Kathmandu from Delhi and then move to Lhasa by air from Kathmandu. From Lhasa, it will be a drive and then a three-day trek to Mansarovar Lake. Near the lake will also be the Rakshas Lake where Raavan meditated to please Shiva. People bathe in this sacred lake which is in front of Mount Kailash, the abode of Shiva, an icy jagged rock that has never been scaled except for a Bodh Bhikshu. No one has climbed to the top of this peak.
Mount Kailash is the source of the biggest rivers of Asia namely Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra and Karnali river which are tributaries of the Ganges. The mount peak is where the ultimate aesthetic Shiva sits and meditates with Parvati which is the myth of Hinduism. It is the seat of the first Jain Trithankara and is called Mount Sumeru. It is also known as the mystical mount in Bon religion which is a specific religion of the Tibetan people. This is the seat of mystical spiritual powers. In Tantric Buddhism, the Kailash is the home of Demchok Buddha and is a divine place that is most revered. All these religions see the Kailash Mansarovar as a divine place with vibrant spiritual energy.
The flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu is followed by a journey through the Tibetan Plateau. The journey takes four days finally arriving in Dar Chin at 15100 feet. Despite being a modest place with less developed infrastructure, the place is full of foreign pilgrims. Then it is a three-day trek to Tarpoche. Then we cross the Dromla pass at 18000 feet.
The entire cost of this 14-day expedition is Rs. 2.85 lakhs and bookings started in May through the Internet. I took 22 medical tests to prove my fitness and then sent in the required travel documents which included passport and id proofs. The entire process was led by technology with proper receipt and acknowledgement system. I was guided by the representatives of Isha at all times. We have now got group visa through the Chinese embassy in Delhi and also gained the permit from Tibet. There has been huge demand from relatives to get the pure water from the Mansarovar Lake and so, I am taking two empty water bottles with me along with my camera equipment. Luckily, there will be porter facility when we are on the three-day trekking leg of the journey.
Before departing we have to take a two hour mandatory Isha Yoga course on Inner Engineering streamed by video on the laptop where Satguru talks to us, helps us meditate and go inwards. Satguru will also be there during the trip to speak as well as to participate in activities during the expedition. Man, I am looking forward to this trip!