The First Sight of Mt Kailash
Very few minutes it would have been as the car just came up from the lake, heard an ecstatic cry from the organizer, "Kailashapati is seen". God, how to express that moment ? The Great Sweat Splendid Magnificent Peerless Glorious All Merciful Gracious Supreme Kailashapati was showing the Gigantic and Majestic Seat of His amidst ranges of small mountains like the deva, muni, asura, nara and various other categories of lives bowing down in front of that One, the God of all. Blessed, the life is blessed, there is certainly something to be proud of, oh dear mind pull this glorious sight in for the rest of the life, there is nothing to thank the God as no words can express the gratitude for the Immense Grace the Lord has shown, it is all because of Its Grace, the only possibility is to salute ! Fell down in that holy land, may the Lord bless one in the last of the last. It was the day and time of pradhosham . Glorious it is for the Lord to bless in that time, when the devas, who forgot Its Grace came to beg Its pardon, worshiped the bholenAth.
There onwards till reaching the Tarchen for about an hour the Wonderful sight of the Lord is filling the heart with delight. Stopped at many places on the way to rejoice the breath taking sight of the South Facing Lord, the Supreme Guide for all pashus. For the next three days the God gave unforgettable marvelous dharshan without the hindrance of the clouds. Again no thanks to the Lord, only salutations to the Immeasurable blessings. The Lord of all divines here is in a royal posture. One could see the mountains very much like a fort in front of the Holy seat of God; There are aShTa parvats around; One could see the mount right in front of Kailash resembling the nandi. It is a majestic posture, gifted are the eyes to see ! From the Tarchen base camp the Lord can be seen. So every now and then one can come out to see the White smeared Mount of the Lord, glittering away the two-fold deeds.
Tarchen Camp at the Feet of Mt Kailash
The following day was also spent in the camp. At the Feet of the God the devotees gave opportunities to discuss the shaivite philosophies and chant the vedas and thirumuRai. The next day was beautiful trek to aShTaparvat(many Nepali tours and the Indian govt one do not take to this place), a place that can take one very near to the southern face of Kailash. It was a not so difficult trek for about three hours by the side of the stream that comes from the Mt. Kailash. At about half the way the group performed the vedic rites in praise of the Lord, Who is at the bossom of the vedas. Then a few devotees continued to trek forward towards the Magnet on the Mount that was pulling. By taking the way to the left of the stream one could reach the Feet of Kailash, apparently. But crossing the stream one group went towards the nandi hill right in front of the Mount Kailash and with another old and virtuous devotee trekked on the hill just behind nandi that resembled the balipITha (sacrificial altar). It was quite steep and tough trek. Instead of climbing the summit went a bit behind and prostrated to the Supreme with the feeling that this is the altar of Its temple. Offering the dry fruits and the love, though coming from the body of shortcomings, asked for Its Grace. (Great deal, giving the foul things get the Flawless Supreme thing in return !!) Very difficult to return back from this place as the Magnet is capturing the mind. With lots of turning back walked back. As we approached Tarchen the clouds again surrounded and spread the wide sky.
Lord, Nandi, Balipith (bit obscured) at Ashtaparvat
The next day was the start of the parikrama (pradaxaNa - circumambulation) of the Great Supreme, Who appear simple to us. This takes three days normally and the experienced devotees and the tibetens complete it in just one day. "This is the outer most kora ( circumambulating path) and there are five inner koras", one sanyasi who has completed more than a hundred parikramas claimed. The inner ones are more difficult. The car dropped us in a place Tar Po Che (valley of god). From here got a good dharshan of Holy Mount appearing as the Three-eyed Lord. The tibetens major worship point is here and there was a prayer flag mast representing that. (Mt Kailash is quite holy for Hindus, Buddists and Jains). Now it was Yak ride, a cattle appearing as something between bull and buffalo. Though many had threatened about this animal, when one holds tightly the holding point on it like holding tight the Holy Five Letters of Lord shiva and sit comfortably, it is quite convenient. The first day parikrama is most look forward one, because only on this day the Kailash mount can be seen. But the clouds were quite thick that day. As we approached the Western face, It was completely covered with cloud and only the Feet was visible. Salutations to that Glorious Feet that ever blesses the devotee ! North western Face would appear like the roof of the Chitambaram sanctum. We couldn't see It.
The Northern Face of Holy Mt Kailash
After about three hours of journey reached Diraphuk camp. This is right in front of the North Face. In between two smaller hills, the Gigantic Hill of the Lord stands assuring the devotee. Though It was quite covered with clouds, as the vedic rites started blessing the worship, though could be with many flaws, the Lord showed the complete Glorious form for a few moments. If there are no clouds the Mount can be seen glittering as gold at the rise of sun. Pilgrims who cannot take up the full parikrama could at least try to come to this point to have all these dharshan. The second day is the cross of Dolma La, the devi worshipped by Tibeten Buddhists and Hindus. There is a climb of 4000 feet up and then 4000 down that day taking to a maximum of 19000 feet, the highest point during parikrama. If there is no snow the crossing could be easier. Started at about 9 am and by noon the Dolma La peak was reached. After this point for the downhill Yaks do not carry pilgrims. So one must trek down. The snow brimming glaciers were quite enchanting. As it was windy and cloudy the tour operators advised not to stay long at the top. So immediately started climbing down.
Just a few steps off saw gaurikunD, the pond associated with Goddess shakti. This was a few hundred meters down from the footpath. The surface was almost frozen except the brims, where there was a nice green ring visible. The Holy Five Letters that synergized the mind, body and soul, helped during this phase also. After a couple of hours of walking reached at a tent shop in the valley to have a hot soup, quite warming. The devotee approaches to the warmth of Its Holy Feet, when the cold worldly issues cloud ! There was 3 more hours of yak ride before we reached the second day camping site at Zutul Phuk. Third day is an easy walk back (or yak back) to Tarchen. The stream that flows next is quite eye-catching. During the second and third day the view of the Holy Mount gets obscured by the other mountains. Arrived at Tarchen camp by noon. Soon the Lord, out of no words to express, Mercy came out of the clouds once in a while and gave the glimpse.
Wanted to stay for at least some more days at that place. The next day was a Monday. Couldn't get the dharshan of the Lord the morning. Our group started off to thIrththapuri, where there are hot mineral springs on the bank of river Satlej. On the way back from thirththapuri to Manasarovar as we were crossing Tarchen, the Lord thrusted in the ocean of delight as He gave the monday dharshan skimming off the cloud, till we could see from the car moving towards manasarovar Horche camp. Collecting the thIrththam and mUrththam from the lake the journey continued the next four days to reach in Kathmandu. Went to the abode of the Lord of all creatures, the Heart of the Nepali kingdom to pray, "Oh God, By the peerless Grace of Thee got to salute Thee at the great Kailash, not easy even for divines, May Thy Grace be that the Kailashapati ever reigns in the mind blissfully."