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Old 13th September 2011, 11:39   #76
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Default Day15: Taklakot To Darchen

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Originally Posted by traveloholic View Post
Wow, Dheeraj. The last post put a smile on my face. It does show how emotionally bonded you guys were on the trip. I love your writing, it feels as if I am seeing it happen right before my very own eyes. Keep it up and keep the pics coming.
Thank you, it was a special day, and all the bonding made it even more special.

CONTD

DAY15: TAKLAKOT TO DARCHEN

Google map showing the tarred road from Taklakot to darchen (light yellow) and the International border with Nepal (bright yellow)
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-ataklakot-darchen.jpg

Taklakot: 3863 mtrs
Darchen: 4874mtrs
Distance: 100kms
Time Taken: 4hrs by bus (with stops)

My roommate and I had spent the whole night at the hospital taking care of Mr. A and when we returned to the hotel we were told we would be moving in 3 hrs to Darchen. Mr. A was out of danger now and he would have to wait for the next group to come and take him along to the Indian border with them.

With our bags packed and our breakfast done we were ready to board the bus to Darchen. Since we were coming back to the same hotel after both the parikramaís, here we could leave whatever luggage was not required for the next 7 days. With all this done we were on our way.

The road to Darchen is a proper tarred road. In fact I would say itís as good as a runway at an airport, super smooth!! Once we crossed Taklakot town we were on barren Tibetan plateau. There was a pass to be climbed and as we descended on the other side of the pass, we saw a deep blue water body ahead and that was Rakshas Tal. We reached Rakshas Tal in no time and everyone got busy taking photographs. Actually on a clear day one can see Mt. Kailash from here on the horizon but unfortunately today it was covered in clouds.

We moved ahead and next was Lake Mansarovar. Everyone was thrilled to see the Lake and different emotions rolled out as we approached it. After a brief stop at Lake Mansarovar, where some yatriís even managed to take a dip in that time we were on our way to Darchen.

Darchen is the base camp for starting the Kailash Parikrama. Itís a fairly big town and most of the people live here on taking care of the yatris. There are lots of souvenier shops available here and the town also provides ponies and porters for those who require them during the parikrama.

After lunch some of the yatris went out for souvenir shopping while I slept. Evening time the sky got clear and this is when we had our first Darshan of Mt. Kailash. It was indeed an amazing and a magical sight.

The clear weather was a good sign as tomorrow would start our parikrama around the Holy Mt. Kailash, and we required good weather for it!!

Pics from Day 15

The Tibetan Plateau
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc00407a.jpg

You could land a Mig 29 Here
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc00407b.jpg

Rakshas Tal
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07307.jpg

Rakshas Tal had a deep blue colour
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07308.jpg

Yatris Going towrds the Lake
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07311.jpg

A panoramic view of the lake
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07311a.jpg

We did notice a wild donkey, Like in Leh they are called Kiangs here too
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07322.jpg

Next was a brief stop at the Holy Lake Mansarovar
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07327.jpg
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07330.jpg
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07335.jpg
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07352.jpg

Yatris in different moods!!
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07342.jpg
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07344.jpg
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07350.jpg

A panormaic view of Mansarovar
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07352a.jpg

Passing the Barkha/ Parkha plains to reach Darchen.
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07355.jpg

Our hotel room at Darchen
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07355a.jpg

By dusk the clouds had disappeared and this is as my camera saw Gurla Mandhata
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07359.jpg

Finally we get a view of Mt. Kailash too
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07362.jpg


End of Day 15
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Old 13th September 2011, 11:45   #77
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Default Re: When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011

Wow! The vistas are pristine and simply breathtaking! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 13th September 2011, 12:06   #78
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Default Re: When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011

Deky,

I was waiting for the travelogue to get complete before posting my appreciation and convey my thanks. But after reading the Mr. A's episode, could not delay it further. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful travelogue. Mr. A's episode had all the moments for a thriller movie. nice to see that the group stood together and made sure he is recovered. What a moment of victory for humanity? Kudos to the entire group.

Thanks again for sharing which would be the reference point for anyone travelling to Kailash manasarovar trip ( Both The previous and this one).
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Old 13th September 2011, 13:35   #79
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Default Mt. Kailash and The Parikrama Route

About Mount Kailash

When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07760.jpg

Mount Kailash 6740mtrs, is situated to the North of Himalayan barrier, wholly within Tibet. It is the perfect mountain with awesome beauty and 4 great faces.

It is also believed that when the two continental plates met (the big bang theory) it was here that the plates met hence Kailash was born. So itís also considered to be the center of the universe or the navel of the world around which the world revolves.

Over the centuries pilgrims from various religions have faced in numerous hardships to reach Mount Kailash for enlightenment. Mt. Kailash is revered to Hindus, Jains, Buddhist and Bon religion alike.

Hindus
Hindus consider Mt Kailash to be the earthly manifestation of Mt. Meru, their spiritual centre of the universe. Kailash is decribed as a pillar whose roots are in deepest hell and its summit kissing the heaven above. On the top lives the most revered God, Shiva and his consort Parvati. Mt Kailash is isolated from other High mountain peaks in the area and is surrounded by small peaks. This exceptional isolation and its peculiar contours of black granite makes the Mountain to stand apart and give the appearance of Shivalinga. Also due to this isolation a parikrama is possible around the mountain.

Tibetans
For the Tibetans its also known as Kang Rinpoche or "the precious jewel of the snow" Itís said that from four faces of Kailash flows a river that finally flows in all 4 cardinal directions. Strangely enough 4 major rivers do originate around Kailash

1. North :- River Of Lion Mouth - Indus
2. East :- River Of Horse Mouth - Sutlej
3. South:- River Of Peacock Mouth - Karnali
4. West :- River Of Elephant Mouth - Brahmaputra or Yarlong Tsangpo

Jains
For the Jain's its the place where their first Prophet, Rishabhdeva achieved enlightenment.

Bon
For the Bon's (a part of Buddhism) it is considered that their founder, Shanrab, descended from heaven here. As opposed to the others, the followers of Bon religion do the parikrama around Kailash in an anti-clockwise direction

PARIKRAMA OR KORA OF MOUNT KAILASH

As mentioned earlier, due to its peculiar isolation, Parikrama or Kora as known in Tibetan, of the Holy Mountain is possible. Itís believed by the Tibetans that single Kora washes the sins of life time and after 108 Kora's one attains Nirvana. And after 21 Kora's one is eligible to do the inner Kora on the higher reaches of Kailash.

Usually piligrims take 3 days to complete the 52kms of the Parikrama by foot or Pony. Some devout Tibetans do this in a single day.

Itís very important to know whatís in store, during the parikrama and then decided whether you are upto it before hand or not. Mental conditioning is a must.

So here is a bit about the parikrama before we actually started it.

Google Map View Depicting the Parikrama Route
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-8complete-parikrama-routefinal.jpg

Parikrama Day 1: Darchen to Derapuk 20kms
The first 8 kms of the parikrama is done by jeeps. The jeep will drop you at Tarboche and from there you trek the rest 12 kms to Derapuk Gompa. The route is a gradual ascend with some ups and down along the Lham Chu River. It takes approximately 4-5 hrs to do this journey.

If for some reason, anyone not interested in doing the Kailash parikrama can do the parikrama around Yam Dwaar at Tarboche and then return back to Darchen and wait for the rest of the group to return.

Parikrama Day 2: Derapuk To Zutupuk, 18kms
This is the most arduous of the days as this involves crossing The Dolma La at 5621mtrs. Even if you have done a pony the steep ascend of about 4kms before the Dolma la and the steep descend after, will have to be done on foot. It gets a bit tricky doing this on loose stones and boulders, but here the poters are of a great help

Also just after Dolma la you cross the highest fresh water lake, Gauri Kund 5608mtrs. Gauri Kund or The Emerald lake or The Lake of Compassion is believed to be the place where Ganesha acquired his elephant head.

Completing this treacherous trek of 18 kms take 10-12 hrs and by evening you reach ZutulPuk camp

Parikrama Day3: ZutulPuk to Darchen 14kms
This is the simplest of the 3 days as is mostly done on plain lands. The total trek on foot or pony is of 10 kms and at the end there are the jeeps waiting for you and you cover the last of the 4 kms by road. This takes around 3-4 hrs

Next: Parikrama Day1
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Old 13th September 2011, 13:49   #80
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Default Re: Day15: Taklakot To Darchen

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The road to Darchen is a proper tarred road. In fact I would say itís as good as a runway at an airport, super smooth!!

We moved ahead and next was Lake Mansarovar. Everyone was thrilled to see the Lake and different emotions rolled out as we approached it.
Superb pics and what wonderful roads. Thanks. I guess these pics are the closest i would get to the lake.

Are you serious? People taking a dip?? It must be freezing cold.
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Old 13th September 2011, 14:02   #81
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Default Re: Day15: Taklakot To Darchen

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Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
Superb pics and what wonderful roads. Thanks. I guess these pics are the closest i would get to the lake.

Are you serious? People taking a dip?? It must be freezing cold.
Thanks, I am sure if you try you will get to see the lake for real. It feels much better to be there in person

Yes Sir, people did take a dip. Actually that day it was not that cold. After we returned from our Kailash parikrama we stayed at Mansarovar for 2 days. That time it must have been below 0 and people still had a dip.

You see taking a dip in Mansarovar is considered to be Holier than the kailash Parikrama!!!
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Old 13th September 2011, 14:10   #82
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Default Re: When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011

Hi deky, thanks again for putting up these lovely pictures and an equally good write up. Since you have done the yatra in two different ways, which one would be your favourite and why?
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Old 13th September 2011, 15:10   #83
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Default Re: When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011

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Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Hi deky, thanks again for putting up these lovely pictures and an equally good write up. Since you have done the yatra in two different ways, which one would be your favourite and why?
Addy, do we need an answer to this question?
But Obvious!

@Deky, Words cant do justice what you and the group felt and has seen.

As Amit mentioned, this might be the closest many of us here would get to see these divine waters and locales.
Looking up the whole route in Google earth and wikimpia almost transports me to these locations.

Last edited by ampere : 13th September 2011 at 15:13.
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Old 13th September 2011, 15:18   #84
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Default Re: When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011

Deky,
Thank you very much for this thread. Its been a real pleasure to read your experiences of this pilgrimage. We have a Kailash Manasarovar CD which shows Mt.Kailash and Manasarovar, and know only a few yatris can make this trip. But after reading your travelogue came to know of the real picture of this pilgrimage.
Do you have any pics when doing the parikrama?
Hats off to you. Wish you many more such unique pilgrimages.

Ramki

Last edited by ramki067 : 13th September 2011 at 15:29.
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Old 13th September 2011, 19:56   #85
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Default Re: When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011

This thread will act as a guiding star for years to come for all Kailas mansarovar tours. This is so detail and with full of photos.

All future queries regarding kailas mansarovar will find answer here.

Thanks for this since there was not too much info availabel till date.
You did a greate job by posting very detailed info.
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Old 14th September 2011, 10:58   #86
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Default Re: When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011

After going through both your threads and awesome narration with pictures, I will not regret if I never get to do this trip. Reading your posts is almost as if I am on the trip and experiencing it.
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Old 14th September 2011, 13:56   #87
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Default DAY 16: DARCHEN TO DERAPUK (Parikrama Day 1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Hi deky, thanks again for putting up these lovely pictures and an equally good write up. Since you have done the yatra in two different ways, which one would be your favourite and why?
The MEA route will be my favourite for quite a few reasons, which I will share in a different post later

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Addy, do we need an answer to this question?
But Obvious!

@Deky, Words cant do justice what you and the group felt and has seen.

As Amit mentioned, this might be the closest many of us here would get to see these divine waters and locales.
Looking up the whole route in Google earth and wikimpia almost transports me to these locations.
Thanks Ampere, I am glad you enjoying the journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramki067 View Post
Deky,
Thank you very much for this thread. Its been a real pleasure to read your experiences of this pilgrimage. We have a Kailash Manasarovar CD which shows Mt.Kailash and Manasarovar, and know only a few yatris can make this trip. But after reading your travelogue came to know of the real picture of this pilgrimage.
Do you have any pics when doing the parikrama?
Hats off to you. Wish you many more such unique pilgrimages.

Ramki
Sometimes the media makes an event so sensational, that people get scared of it. Its nothing like that. Everyone in decent health can do this, having said that every event has its risks involved, so does this also.

Parikrama pics coming up

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeep joshi View Post
This thread will act as a guiding star for years to come for all Kailas mansarovar tours. This is so detail and with full of photos.

All future queries regarding kailas mansarovar will find answer here.

Thanks for this since there was not too much info availabel till date.
You did a greate job by posting very detailed info.
Thank you too for reading

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalpeshc View Post
After going through both your threads and awesome narration with pictures, I will not regret if I never get to do this trip. Reading your posts is almost as if I am on the trip and experiencing it.
Thanks for the kind words

CONTD

DAY 16: DARCHEN TO DERAPUK (Parikrama Day 1)

I have divided the Parikrama Day 1 in two parts.
  1. Darchen to Derapuk
  2. Derapuk to Charan Sparsh (the Feet of Mt Kailash) and back to Derapuk
Darchen To Derapuk

Darchen: 4874 mtrs
Derapuk : 5056 mtrs
Distance : 20 kms ( 8 kms by bus, 12 kms by foot)
Time Taken: 5 hours

Today was a special day for all the Yatris, as today we would be starting our Parikrama around Kailash. The weather was almost clear and there was bit of sunshine around. Good weather definitely lifts everyone spirits.

Kailash was partly visible from our hotel compound and after paying respects to the all mighty we sat in our bus for the first 8 kms of our parikrama till tarboche.

Google map showing the bus route from Darchen to Tarboche
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-9darchenyamdwar.jpg

The parikrama route is divided in to 3 days and today we will be covering 20 kms of the total 50 kms of the Parikrama stretch. You cant carry all your luggage while doing the parikrama, so a small bag not more than 7-8kgs had to be organized for the next 3 days.

Those Yatris doing the Parikrama on foot can either carry this small bag themselves or hire a porter for carrying. Those yatris who do not wish to do it on foot can also hire a pony. But the pony would not carry you around 5kms stretch of Dolma (on parikrama Day2), where the ascent and descent is very steep, so this also has to be kept in mind.

Pony and porters have to be pre-ordered with the Tibetan Guide and will be made available at Tarboche, the place from where the foot parikrama starts. Kindly note that a pony man will not act as your porter.
The price for pony and porters in 2011 is as follows
  • Pony with pony men: - 750 RMB for 3 days
  • Porter:- 360RMB for 3 days
After 8 kms of bone shattering journey in the bus we reached Yam Dwar. Its believed that Parikrama around Yam Dwar is equivalent to a parikrama around Kailash i.e only if you not fit to do the Kailash Parikrama. Just after Yam dwar was Tarboche from where our 12kms trek by foot had to begin.

After waiting for some time at Tarboche till the porters and pony were allocated the group started towards Derapuk. The ascent was pretty gradual and the route was much easier than the last time. This was partly because the road was being leveled to make it a motor able road and also because I was much better acclimatized on this trip than the previous trip.

Route on foot from Tarboche to Derapuk
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-10yamdwarderapukh.jpg

Route elevation from Tarboche to derapuk
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-10yamdwarderapukhaltitude.jpg

Last time we had rain and snow on this stretch but today it not that bad. Kailash was visible most of the times and that was a big boost in itself. From Tarboche we could see the South face of Kailash, but as we continued our parikrama clockwise around Kailash, slowly the west face was visible and then the North face. Walking in the shadows of Mt. Kailash was truly a magical experience.

My trekking partner and I were walking pretty fast as we had plans to go till the feet of Mt. Kailash from Derapuk. So we covered the 12kms distance on foot in just less than 3 hours. From Derapuk on a clear day you can see the North face of Kailash, And the site which were greeted to was a sight to behold.

Charan Sparsh (feet of Kailash) looked hardly any distance from here (which was not the case as we found out later) and that made our resolve to touch the feet of Kailash even stronger. So after a 30 minutes rest my trekking partner and I set off to Charan Sparsh.

Pics from Darchen to Derapuk

Waiting to load in the bus at our hotel at darchen
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07364.jpg

Yatris seeking blessings from Mt. Kailash covered in clouds
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07367.jpg

Yam dwar
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07388.jpg

South face of Mt. Kailash is still under clouds
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07393.jpg

The pony and the pony men arrive
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07392.jpg

Clouds start to lift from Mt. Kailash
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07398.jpg

Yatris at Tarboche waiting for their porters/ ponies
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07401.jpg

Finally we start our 12 km Parikrama for the day
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07408.jpg

As we went around, the west face of Kailash was now visible
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07414.jpg

reaching our mid point for the day
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07419.jpg

As we continued the Parikrama we could see the west and the North face
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07423.jpg

Very soon this will be a motorable atretch
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07424.jpg

Our food and kitchen equipment on yaks
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07425.jpg

The weather cleared when we reached Derapuk and the North face was clearly visible now
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc07429.jpg

Day16: Part 2: Derapuk To CharanSparsh and back

Derapuk: 5056 mtrs
Charan Sparsh: 5475 mtrs
Distance: 3 kms
Time Taken 1 hr

We started our walk towards Kailash. As not many yatris go on this route hence there is no track here, you have to make your own route over boulders and loose stones. Being tired anyways after a 12 kms trek on above 16000ft altitude, this trek above 17000+ft was getting a bit heavy.

Google map view of the route
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-10aderapuk-charansparsh.jpg

Elevation of the route
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-10aderapuk-charansparshaltitude.jpg

Everytime we thought that the feet of Mt. kailash will be visible after this ascent, we realized that its still a bit far. But truly it was some magical power that kept pulling us towards the mountain. I canít express it in words; you need to be there to feel it.

After about 3 kms, we were above 18000 ft and we were blocked by a wall of ice covered with mud, loose stones and boulders. This had to be it; this had to be the feet of Mt. Kailash. Climbing the wall of ice mud and boulders with bare hands was close to impossible, and anyway I was very tired and feeling totally out of breath by now. So I just said my prayers and wanted to return.

But my trekking partner Honey Arora had different plans. An absolutely fit young man, 25 years of age started to climb that wall, with a few slips and a few rolls he managed to get up the wall.Infact he went 2 kms further towards Kailash but had to return as the route got very treacherous after a while.

I was pretty breathless by now and started my journey back towards Derapuk camp alone as Honey had disappeared out of sight by now. While I was descending, a few other yatris were making their way up to Charan Sparsh. As soon as I reached the camp I straight went to bed, I was having a bad headache and I did not want my journey again to end here, so I had to rest. Today had been an exhausting day.

I slept through the night without having my dinner, Hopefully I would feel better tomorrow for Parikrama day 2

Pics from Derapuk to Charan Sparsh

A panoramic view of the surroundings
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc00417.jpg

Honey Arora (my trekking partner) and I just before we start towards Mt. Kailash
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc00418.jpg

The path was over boulders and loose rocks
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc00419.jpg

The closer we went, the further Mt. Kailash got from us
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc00420.jpg

Another ascent
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc00422.jpg

Finally we could see a dead end
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc00422a.jpg

Wall of snow covered with rocks and mud, I could climb no more
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc00423.jpg
When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011-dsc00424.jpg

Honey Arora climbed over the wall and the following pics are from his camera. This is what he saw on the other side!!
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End Of Day16
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Old 14th September 2011, 14:23   #88
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@deky - Any reason for calling it the Yam dwar? Not a very auspicious beginning i should say. OR does this Yam have a different meaning?
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Old 14th September 2011, 14:30   #89
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Default Re: When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011

Goosebumps

The pics are awesome to say the least. Never thought any mountain to be this majestic.
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Old 14th September 2011, 18:16   #90
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Default Re: When I Went Walking To Tibet - Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2011

For all those of us who cannot take the journey, this thread is as close to being physically present with the group of Yatris.

Thanks, Deky. I am sure you this excellent thread of yours will only double the punya you have earned by completing this yatra.
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