Kailash Yatra (August 2014)

The day of August 27th, 2014 brought with it a graced moment of eternal fulfilment. With the infinite grace and unconditional love of Lord Shiva 45 yatris from all over the globe embarked for the most arduous pilgrimage – the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra on the 27th August 2014 along with Pujya Swami Abhedananda, the resident Acharya of Chinmaya Mission, South Africa and revered Br. Abhijit Chaitanya , the resident Brahmachari of Chinmaya Mission, South Africa.

The yatra started from Kathmandu where all the delegates assembled at the 7 star hotel – Crown Plaza Soaltee. The tentative darshan of Pashupatinathji, the next day, was preponed to the 27th August itself as the festival ‘Hartalikateej’ (a celebrative ritual performed by the wives for the long lives of their husbands) fell the next day and the Nepalese women were supposed to crowd the temple premises. The evening arati at Pashupatinath ji was witnessed by all the delegates and they could all feel the blessings gushing down from the Margabandhu, the Lord Himself for the challenging yatra.

The 28th August had a misty and rainy morning and the delegates became quite apprehensive about going to fly to see the Mount Everest and other famous peaks. They were divided in 4 lots and as the small flights headed towards ‘sagarmattha’ (Everest in Nepalese) the clouds cleared the way to show the world’s highest peak – standing in its full glory!! The other mountain peaks like Lhotse, Gaurishankar were some of the other grand crests noticed as a bonus!!

The next day i.e. on 29th August 2014 all the delegates were ready with their duffel bags packed to leave on a campaign considered most difficult due to the thin air, the high altitudes and minimal facilities. The bridge to Kodari border had been washed away by intensive rains making a helicopter ride the need of the time. Hence all the delegates were transferred to Kodari border in choppers from where they crossed the friendship bridge to enter into China governed Tibet. The passports were stamped and the delegates seated themselves in their respective buses to head towards the next stop, Nyalam which was situated at 12300 ft above sea level.

At Nyalam the stay was planned so that the delegates could spend 2 nights to acclimatize with the sudden altitude difference. With the grace of Lord Shiva nobody met with a problem and the campers soulfully left for the next destination ‘Saga’ on the 31st of August which is at 4300 m above sea level. Here Brahmaputra river could be seen gushing with its natural calmness.
On the 1st September the campers reached the divine lake Mansarovar and had the first glimpse of the holy mountain, Lord’s abode – Kailash. It was a breathtaking sight as only a small portion of it was visible through the clouds that enveloped it all around. But Swamiji said that the campers should not lose their patience as the Lord is getting ready to meet all the delegates and will give darshan from the Mansarovarlake. And that was a fact! When everyone reached mansarovar lake to take a dip in its holy waters, the Lord in the form of Kailash gave beautiful darshan to His devotees. One whole day was dedicated at mansarovar wherein PujyaSwamiji performed Rudrabhishek of the Lord 11 times with 11 kinds of dravyas to thank the benevolent Lord for his grace and blessings. After a fulfilling day a sumptuous meal was awaiting and then the campers packed their bagpacks for the three days of ardousparikrama of mount Kailash!

On 2nd September they all left from Mansarovar to the base of the Kailash Mountain. It is called Yama-dwar. It is believed that one should cross the Yama dwar to take the blessings of Lord of death because the whole of Kailash region is beyond death. All the delegates got their ponies and porters here to be with them throughout the three days.

The parikrama started and the delegates reached Dirapuk(4860 m) in the evening when the sun still shown bright. After the hot soup and delicious pakodas the delegates were rejuvenated. Sumptuous meal was served and everyone slept off for getting up early the next day for the toughest portion of the whole yatra.

The next day 3rd September, the delegates left on their respective ponies for the Dolma pass (5200 m) which is the highest point of the Kailash trek. Throughout the trek Mount Kailash can be seen on the right with a long spur which joins the eastern ridge. This is the top of the edge of the glacial valley from which the Lhachu (Divine River) flows. The walk brings us to one of the highest point along the path Dolma pass. At the pass is a large boulder depicting Tara festooned with prayer flags. Here, Tibetans leave a memento of themselves, such as a tooth, lock of hair or personal photo. On descending the pathway, the valley below has the gaurikund finally taking the delegates to their destination Zuthulpuk.

The next day on 4th September, it was an easy walk of 10 km down to Chongdo from where the transports took the delegates to Dongpa. From Dongpa the delegates reached to Saga for an overnight stay and then back to Nyalam. The campers then reached Kodari Border from Nyalam to re-board the choppers to fly them across to Kathmandu.

The entire team of Kailash Treks with its team of Sherpas made their presence visible with their affectionate service and cheerfulness. A Valedictory Session was held on the 7th of September wherein certificates and mementos of the divine Yatra were distributed by Pujya Swamiji to the delegates. The very adored Br. Abhijit Chaitanya expressed his gratitude on behalf of the delegates of South Africa at the feet of the Lord and Shri Sadguru in his inspiring and humble speech for having such an opportunity to accomplish such a celestial spiritual journey. Mr. Shiv Iyer, devotee of Chinmaya Mission Singapore with whose industrious and dedicated efforts this yatra was organised and met success acknowledged the endeavour of every individual from the stone to the pillar through his beautiful and profound array of words.
Finally Swamiji adorned the entire experience with His divine words saying that there may have been many reasons when we might have felt low in our lives but the Lord through this Yatra had again given us one more reason to be grateful and happy for the rest of our lives.

On the 10th of August everybody left for their respective destinations with their individual lifetime achievement awards commemorated by the Lord of Lord Himself!

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