Kailash Manasarovar Yatra

Toughest Hindu Plgrimage!

Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash - Mythical Abode of Lord Shiva. kmvn.gov.in

Every year, the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is organized by the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs starting end May/early June to September. The pilgrimage or 'Yatra' is open to all Indian citizens above 18 years of age who wish to proceed to Kailash and Manasarovar for religious purposes.

About Mount Kailash

The holy Mount Kailash is situated in the western Tibetan plateau in the northernmost region of the Himalayas.

Also referred to as Mount Meru and Kang Rinpoche, or snow jewel, Mount Kailash is a 22,028 ft high peak known for being the abode of Shiva. Hindus perform a 'parikrama' or walk around the 32-mile circumference of Mount Kailash, an act that is believed to wipe away all sins. Four holy rivers originate from Mount Kailash: the Indus, the Brahamputra, the Karnali and the Sutlej.

About Mansarovar Lake

Travel 18 miles southeast of Kailash, and you arrive at the placid blue circular Lake Mansarovar, also known as Tso Rinpoche or 'precious lake' in Tibetan. Bathing in the freezing cold water of the lake which is said to contain miraculous powers is considered to be of massive spiritual benefit.

About the Yatra

The duration of the Yatra is 26 days. In addition, Yatris need to spend 4 days in New Delhi to obtain visas, undergo a comprehensive medical examination and complete other formalities. Many batches each consisting of a maximum of 60 pilgrims take part in the Yatra.

The first batch usually departs from New Delhi in the last week of May/first week of June and continues till the end of September.

Cost of Travel

Applicants should ensure that they possess an Indian Passport. The cost of the Yatra is paid to Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) and Indo Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) for medical examination / tests at Delhi, and also some hundreds of US dollars to the Chinese side, besides additional expenditure on equipment, clothing, food, baggage, ponies, etc.

An Arduous Yatra

The Indian Mountaineering Foundation has recognized the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra as a trekking expedition with an element of life risk involved. The Yatra is extremely arduous - much more than Vaishnodevi or Amarnath Yatra, and involves trekking at altitudes as high as 19,500 feet, under hostile conditions, in extreme cold and on rugged terrain, and may prove hazardous for those who are not physically fit.

Fitness Test a Must

Applicants should be physically healthy, medically fit and are required to undergo a comprehensive medical examination in New Delhi. A second medical test to ascertain reactions to altitude trekking is done at Gunji, after 6 days of the Yatra, at a height of 3500 meters.

How to Apply

Complete applications in the prescribed format should be sent to Under Secretary (EA) Room No. 255-A, South Block, Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi-110011 in mid-March every year as stipulated by the Government of India. The selection of Yatris are done by India's Ministry of External Affairs through a computer-generated random gender-balanced selection process.

For further details on the Yatra, please visit the official website of Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam.

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Das, Subhamoy. "Kailash Manasarovar Yatra." ThoughtCo, Jan. 14, 2016, thoughtco.com/kailash-manasarovar-yatra-pilgrimage-1770626. Das, Subhamoy. (2016, January 14). Kailash Manasarovar Yatra. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/kailash-manasarovar-yatra-pilgrimage-1770626 Das, Subhamoy. "Kailash Manasarovar Yatra." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/kailash-manasarovar-yatra-pilgrimage-1770626 (accessed November 19, 2017).