What is the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra?

The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is a tradition carried forth over thousands of years. This annual pilgrimage is considered as the means to attain the ultimate salvation on Earth not just for Hindus, but for Jains and Buddhists alike.

Pilgrims perform a seriously challenging walk around the base of Mount Kailash that involves trekking at high altitudes of up to 19,500 feet, under inhospitable weather conditions of extreme cold and a rugged terrain. In spite of these tough conditions, thousands undertake this yatra that takes place only during a few months of every year.

The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is not just an opportunity to view some of the most magical scenery on the entire planet but is also, a life changing experience.

What is the Mount Kailash Yatra?

The holy ritual of circumambulating the 52 km circuit of the mountain to attain salvation is made by Hindus and Buddhists in a clockwise direction. Jains and Bons (believers of the Bon religion of Tibet) make it in a counter-clockwise direction. This is known as a Kora, or Parikrama, and normally takes three days.

The most challenging moment of the Parikrama is crossing the Dolma-La (pass) at 18600 feet between two valleys. The Yamasthal at this point is crossed to reach the Shiva-sthal, a spot symbolic of death. Here pilgrims leave old clothes, strands of hair, even a drop of blood in the hope, that Yamraja (The master of death) will accept these and allow the Yatries (travellers) to be born in spirit and cross the Dolma- La pass. The pass is marked with numerous fluttering Tibetan flags hung by pilgrims.

Devotees go to unimaginable lengths to complete the sacred Kailash Parikrama. Some attempt the entire walk in a single day, while others do body-length prostrations to cover the entire distance.

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