Kailash Manosarovar Yatra – Sushma Swaraj External Affairs Minister Flag off the 2016 Yatra

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Mount Kailash - Tibet (China)
Mount Kailash - Tibet (China)

Every year many people just wait for a call from Ministry of External Affairs of India that his / her application has been accepted for Kailash Manasarovar Yatra. This year is not different than that euphoria as well.

Honorable Minister Sushma Swaraj flag off the 2016 yatra today with full enthusiasm and respect for the pilgrims from India.

She wished every one a happy and safe journey.

 

*** MEA Advisory:The Yatra involves trekking at high altitudes of up to 19,500 feet, under inhospitable conditions, including extreme cold and rugged terrain, and may prove hazardous for those who are not physically and medically fit. The Government of India shall not be responsible in any manner for any loss of life or injury to a Yatri, or any loss or damage to property of a Yatri due to any natural calamity or due to any other reason. Pilgrims undertake the Yatra purely at their own volition, cost, risk and consequences. In case of death across the border, the Government shall not have any obligation to bring the mortal remains of any pilgrim for cremation to the Indian side. All Yatris are, therefore, required to sign a Consent Form for cremation of mortal remains on the Chinese side in case of death.***

 

Apart from Government route for travel there is also an option to went through Nepal with private operators.

Lake Manasarovar (also Manas Sarovar, Mapam Yumtso; Tibetan: མ་ཕམ་གཡུ་མཚོ།, Wylie: ma pham g.yu mtsho; Sanskrit: मानसरोवर ; Chinese: 玛旁雍错) is a freshwater lake in the Tibet Autonomous Region, 940 kilometres (580 mi) from Lhasa. To the west of it is Lake Rakshastal; to the north is Mount Kailash.
Lake Manasarovar lies at 4,590 metres (15,060 ft) above mean sea level, a relatively high elevation for a large freshwater lake on the mostly saline lake-studded Tibetan Plateau.

Lake Manasarovar is relatively round in shape with the circumference of 88 kilometres (55 mi). Its depth reaches a maximum depth of 90 m (300 ft)[citation needed] and its surface area is 320 square kilometres (120 sq mi). It is connected to nearby Lake Rakshastal by the natural Ganga Chhu channel. Lake Manasarovar is near the source of the Sutlej, which is the easternmost large tributary of the Sindhu. Nearby are the sources of the Brahmaputra River, the Indus River, and the Ghaghara, an important tributary of the Ganges.

Lake Manas Sarovar overflows in to lake Rakshastal which is a salt-water endorheic lake. These lakes used to be part of the Sutlej basin and were separated due to tectonic activity.
In Hinduism, Lake Manasarovar is a personification of purity, and one who drinks water from the lake will go to the abode of Shiva after death. He is believed to be cleansed of all his sins committed over even a hundred lifetimes.

Like Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar is a place of pilgrimage, attracting religious people from India, Nepal, Tibet and neighboring countries. Bathing in Manasarovar and drinking its water is believed by Hindus to cleanse all sins. Pilgrimage tours are organized regularly, especially from India, the most famous of which is the yearly “Kailash Manas Sarovar Yatra”. Pilgrims come to take ceremonial baths in the waters of the lake.

Lake Manasarovar has long been viewed by the pilgrims as being nearby to the sources of four great rivers of Asia, namely the Brahmaputra, Ghaghara, Sindhu and Sutlej, thus it is an axial point which has been thronged to by pilgrims for thousands of years. The region was closed to pilgrims from the outside following the Battle of Chamdo; no foreigners were allowed between 1951 and 1980. After the 1980s it has again become a part of the Indian pilgrim trail.

According to the Hinduism, the lake was first created in the mind of Brahma after which it manifested on Earth. Hence it is called “Manasa sarovaram”, which is a combination of the Sanskrit words for “mind” and “lake”. The lake is also supposed to be the summer abode of the hamsa. Considered to be sacred, the hamsa is an important element in the symbology of the subcontinent, representing wisdom and beauty.