Mt. Kailash Manasa Sarovar Yatra

Way back in 2002, when we were staying in a rented house in Gurgaon, our landlord had a visitor and that lady, who was just back from her Mt. Kailash Parikrama, wanted some help in transferring images from her digital camera to her laptop. Till that moment I had not even heard of Mt. Kailash Parikrama or Manasa Sarovar.

When I saw those images for the first time, I was simply awe-struck and have been harboring a desire to visit this magnificent place myself and thus this yatra became one of the items on my bucket list.

My wish finally came true this year. I, along with my uncle / aunt and thirteen other members of my extended family, were blessed to experience this yatra first hand. We planned this trip during Jan 2014 and had made all necessary arrangements and were all set to travel from June 2nd to June 17th 2014. But none of these plans worked. Mt. Kailash and Manasa Sarovar are within Tibet and Tibet being controlled by China, we need Chinese permits in order to visit these places. By mid May we heard from our travel agent that China had issued a notification stating that it will not be issuing Mt. Kailash permits for any travel within from May 20th till June 15th. We were also told that the June 15th end date can get pushed out and in the worse case scenario, they may not issue permits for this entire year. After a week or so of uncertainty, we finally heard that China will be issuing permits for travel post June 15th. So all of us had to re-schedule all of plans and our lives around the new dates. We then decided to leave Bangalore on June 25th, to Kathmandu and then we would leave for Mt. Kailash Parikram from June 30th / June 31st.

Third week of June arrived and we heard from our travel agent that China is still not decided whether it will be issuing permits this year or not. I still remember sitting in our travel agents office on June 22nd, talking about the uncertainty and not knowing if we will even go on this trip or not. On June 23rd it was decided that we will hope for the best and start our journey and travel to Kathmandu on June 25th as planned and hope that China would grant permit for the Mt. Kailash Yatra. We spent five more uncertain days in Nepal and finally we heard that our group has been granted permit and we would now be traveling from Kathmandu on July 2nd, instead of the earlier planned date of June 30th.

Here is an account of those ten hard but wonderful days, from July 2nd to July 12th, that we spent traveling together, from Kathmandu to Mt. Kailash Manasa Sarovar and back. Here is a map that depicts the roads that we traveled on.


Following are ten posts, one for each day of the travel, containing a little bit of information about that day, along with some of the snaps taken. Hope you enjoy this photo yatra.