Jotnu Pass & Manimahesh Kailash Parikrama

A Mountain of Faith

Overview

   A Pass seperating two of the faces  stands at a height of 4710 meters adjacent to Kailash peak and is also known as Dham Godi Pass. It is scenic and difficult trek too and the last leg of this trek requires superhuman effort. Only recommended for seasoned trekkers. Parikrama means circumambulation of the Manimahesh Kailash peak. This route is mostly preferred by Lahauli’s coming over the Kugti Pass. Of late, trekkers too have started venturing out here. The trek starts from Kugti Village, The local beliefs say that it is mandatory to visit the Kelang Wazir temple or Karthik Swamy located 4km off the track from the Kugti- Jotnu trail. And it is recommend that you do visit the temple because you get to see the Kailash Peak in its absolute glory. The first pit-stop comes at the Hanuman Mandir, where another trail coming from Bada Bhangal merges.

      Huge slippery boulders make the matters even worse. In case it is foggy, just cling to the feet of the Kailash Peak because that’s the safest way. After a long walk of a couple of kilometers you arrive at the Kamal Kund where from you can either go back to Dhancho or head towards the lake. There from you take a turn and move towards the Sukh Dali Pass.

     Manimahesh Lake is situated at 27 km from Bharmour at the foot of Manimahesh Kailash. Lord Shiva is believed to reside on this snow-covered mountain. The lake and peak are considered sacred and a fair called as Manimahesh fair (Manimahesh Yatra) is held at the lake each and every year in the month of August and September; the yatra held from Janamastmi to Radhastami each and every year. It is believed that on this occasion both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati gets the bath in the Lake. For this holy moment lacks of peoples comes from the country and abroad to take holy dip in the Manimahesh Lake. Providing a rare occasion to see and study the customs and rituals of the local people. And the glorious views of Manimahesh Kailash in the morning and at the time of sun rising touches the hearts of visitors.

      Regarding Manimahesh Kailash it is said that no one has been able to climb to the peak. Local legends clarifying that people point out rock projections, human-like in appearance, and say that one is of a hermit, the other is of a shepherd, frozen stiff during their futile effort to reach the top of Manimahesh Kailash. Many holy places come in the way to Manimahesh, at the distance of 6 km from Hadsar, a Dhancho famous for water fall and after 5km from Dhancho Gaurikund come. Gauri is another name of Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. A dip in this lake is considered sacred because it is believed that Parvati used to bath in this lake and only ladies are allowed to take dip in the kund. About one kilometer ahead is the Shiva Kalotri spring-said to have its source in Lord Shiva's feet. Two kilometer from Shiva  Kalotri Kamal kund is situated in the foot of Manimahesh Kailash. After a short run from Gauri kund reaches the Manimahesh Lake is shallow circular lake gives it an enchanting appearance. A roofless temple, conspicuous with many iron trinkets, is seen on the opposite side. For beginner trekkers Manimahesh trek is the best route for beginning as the gradient is good and also provide pilgrimage visit to Manimahesh Lake. Manimahesh Parikrama is a route which covers Manimahesh Kailash & Lake with round trip via Kugti village and back journey via Gaurikund and Dhancho.This route also covers the Famous Temple of ancient Chaurasi Temples & Goddess Brahmani Mata at Bharmour with Kartik temple and Mata Marali Temple at Kugti. The tentative route will like following and see the beautiful pictures of this trek.

Marka Valley & Kanga Yatze II Peak

 

Overview

     Kang Yatze situated at elevation 21,000 ft is a mountain located at the end of the Markha valley in the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of Himalayas. The mountain has two main summits, the lower western peak (Kang Yatze II) is easier (Alpine PD) and more frequently climbed, although lower at about 6200m. The higher eastern peak is the true summit (Kang Yatze I) although less frequently climbed as it is across a technically difficult knife-edge traverse. An alternative is to climb the North East ridge then directly up the steep snow face (Alpine AD+/D-).
Kang Yatze (6401m) is the highest peak in central Ladakh and centre of a range of interesting and accessible 5000m and 6000m summits. Ladakh is one of the premier trekking destinations in the Himalaya, a land of stark and stunning beauty. Its jagged peaks and richly coloured rocks are punctuated by valley oases filled with green willows and hilltop monasteries. The climate is generally dry and the mountains lie in the rain shadow of the greater Himalayan range, so are rarely affected by the monsoon.
On the mountain we offer two routes: Kang Yatze I (6401m) is a challenging alpine climb of AD (Scottish grade II/III) standard with slopes to 55deg and some pitched climbing, suitable for mountaineers with previous technical experience in the Alps. Kang Yatze II (6245m) is an easier trekking peak, physically demanding but suitable for trekkers and novice mountaineers. The trip is pitched to suit a wide range of experiences and interests, and is an ideal first Himalayan Climbing venture.


Shrikand Kailash

Pillar of  Faith

Overview

Hills and mountains have special significance in Himalayan region. Mountains have traditionally been regarded as abodes of gods. Mountains are also held sacred due to their association with deities, mythology and legends..
It is believed there are total seven Kailash mountains. The well known Mansarovar Kailash in Tibet, Adi Kailash in Pithoragarh district of Uttrakhand, Amarnath Kailash in J&K, Kinner Kailash in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Mani Mahesh Kailash in Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh,Sri Khand Kailash in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. Seventh is believed to be Boorha Kailash and is yet to be located. one
Sri Khand Mahadev is one such revered mountain peak in Himachal about which not much has been written and is a holy pilgrimage place for Hindus. It is believed that Shrikhand Mahadev is one of the abode of Lord Shiva. Shrikhand Mahadev is natural rock-made shivalingam on the great heights of the mountains in the Himalayas. The shivalingam is 70 feet high and stands at the mountain top around 18,500 ft altitude.

Kailash Inner Core Full

Circumbalating the  Abode of Lord

Overview

Mt. Kailash is the most Sacred of all mountains of the world and is considered as the centre of the universe. In inner Kora Kailash Pilgrimage you get an opportunity to move very close up with this holiest mountain and also do parikarma of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. In fact it is one of the most sacred and challenging tour among devotees. The journey involves climbing and camping . The route for inner kora is via Asthapad, visiting Sapta Rishi Cave and parikarma of Nandi you drive back to Kathmandu night halting at Darchen, Saga and Nyalam. The Nomenclature, Orthography and Entomology of Sacred Mountain.
It can be derived from the word 'kelasa' which means crystal. In Tibetan dictionary Chandra identifies the entry for kai la sha which is a loan word in Sanskrit 'kailasa'. The Tibetan name for the mountain is 'KANGS RIN-PO CHE'. Gangs or kangs is a Tibetan wordfor snow peak which means is an honourific meaning 'precious stone'. So the combined word may be translated as'precious jewels of snow'."Tibetan Buddhists call it Kangri Rinpoche; 'Precious Snow Mountain'. Bon texts have many names: Water's Flower, Mountain of Sea Water, Nine Stacked Swastika Mountain. For Hindus, it is the home of the mountain god Shiva and a symbol of his power symbol om; for Jains it is where their first leader was enlightened; for Buddhists, the navel of the universe; and for adherents of Bon, the abode of the sky goddess Sipaimen'' Another local name is Tise mountain which derives from ti tse meaning 'water peak' or 'river peak' in Zhang-Zhou language connoting the mountain status as the source of mythical lion, Horse. Peacock & elephant rivers. In fact, the Indus, Yarlug-Tsangpo/Dihang/Brahmaputra, Karnali & Satluj all begin at the Kailash- Mansarovar region.
RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE:-
In Hinduism : According to Hinduism, Lord Shiva- the destroyer of ignorance & illusion resides at the summit of the legendary mountain KAILASA, where he sits in perpetual meditation along with his wife Parvati. According to Charles Allen, one description in 'Vishnu Purana' states that its 4 faces are made up of ruby, crystal, gold & lapiz lazuli. It is the pillar of the world at the heart of 6 mountain ranges. The ancient 'Koneshwaram temple' is heralded as 'Dakshin Kaliasam'because it lies in the same longitude as Mount Kailash & due to its pre-eminence in Saivite belief. Koneshwaram early black granite cut architectural shared similarities between to the famous Kailashnathar temple.Many of the Kailasanathar temples sculptures and reliefs depict episodes relating to Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati, including Ravana's tale. (Ravana was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Ramayana does not document Ravana shaking the mountain.) Ravana's mother had fallen ill. As they were great Lord Shiva devotees, he had attempted to carry the temple on his back to bring it closer to his mother. Shiva, being stunned by his boldness, had blessed him with immortality as Ravana had passed Lord Shiva's test of devotion.
IN JAINISM : Kailash is also known as Meru Parvat or Sumeru. Ashtapada, the mountain next to Mt.Kailash is the site where the first Jain TIRTHANKARA, 'Rishabdeva' attained Nirvana (moksha).
IN BUDDHISM : Tantric Buddhists believes that Mount Kailash is the home Buddha Demchok also known as Demchog (or Chakrasamvara). There are numerous sites in this region depicting & associated with Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) whose tantric sites around Tibet are finally credited with establishing Buddhism as main religion of the country in 7th- 8th century CE.
IN BON : The Bon, a religion which predates Buddhism in Tibet, maintain that the entire mystical region & nine- story 'Swastika' mountain are the' SEAT OF ALL SPIRITUAL POWER'.
PILGRIMAGE
Every year thousands make a pilgrimage to Kailash, following a tradition going back thousands of years. Pilgrims of several regions believe that circumbalating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. The peregrination is made in a clockwise direction by Hindus & Buddhists. Followers of Jain & Bongpo religions circumbalate in anti-clockwise direction. The path around Mount Kailash is 52 km (32miles ) long. Some pilgrims believe that the entire walk around Kailash should be made in a single day, which is not considered an easy task. A person in good shape walking fast would take perhaps 15 hours to complete the 52 km trek. Some of the devout do accomplish this feat, little daunted by the uneven terrain, altitude sickness and harsh conditions faced in the process. Indeed, other pilgrims venture a much more demanding regimen, performing body-length prostrations over the entire length of the circumambulation: The pilgrim bends down, kneels, prostrates full-length, makes a mark with his fingers, rises to his knees, prays, and then crawls forward on hands and knees to the mark made by his/her fingers before repeating the process. It requires at least four weeks of physical endurance to perform the circumambulation while following this regimen.

Kailash Location: Western Tibet
Altitude: 23,080 Ft. above sea level.
Base Camp: Darchen 14950 Ft. above sea level
Climate: Unpredictable (Max 20 Degree Centigrade to Min –10 Degree Centigrade)
Beliefs: Hindu, Buddhist, Jains, BanPo (all AMU followers)

 

Kashmir Great lakes

Emerald  Ecstasies

Overview

Gar Firdaus rōy-e zamin ast, hamin ast-o hamin ast-o hamin ast
If there is ever paradise on earth, it's here, it's here, it's here! This famous Parsi Couplet of Aamir Khusrau quoted by Mughal Emperor Jahangir hundreds of years back, at the exotic beauty of Kashmir. Francois Bernier, the french physician during his visit to Kashmir fascinated by it called it paradise on earth, but indeed Kashmir outstands all the stunning places on earth even today. Srinagar, set around the infamous and magnificent Dal Lake, has house boats, Shikaras,surrounded by snow clad mountains, still stands Synonymous and truly , albeit the time and age. Kashmir Valley is the beautiful crown adorned on top of India of the tourist attractions in Kashmir. Hence, Kashmir makes the idlest place for trekking.
Trekking in Kashmir gives the trekkers a feeling of sheer joy and pure calmness. Kashmir has many astounding lakes which gives an additional beauty to the valley. Few of the lakes frequented by the trekkers are Dal, Nagin, Anchar, Ganbar, Wular, Manasbal Lake and the twin Lakes Vishansar and Krishnasar.Kashmir Great lakes is considered by far the best trekking one can experience. The trek is a walk in garden with Kaleisdioscope of colors.The season to enjoy the trek is from June to August since the places will be filled with lush greens and covered with beautiful flowers.

Kailash Inner Core

Circumbalating the  Abode of Lord

Overview

Mt. Kailash is the most Sacred of all mountains of the world and is considered as the centre of the universe. In inner Kora Kailash Pilgrimage you get an opportunity to move very close up with this holiest mountain and also do parikarma of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. In fact it is one of the most sacred and challenging tour among devotees. The journey involves climbing and camping . The route for inner kora is via Asthapad, visiting Sapta Rishi Cave and parikarma of Nandi you drive back to Kathmandu night halting at Darchen, Saga and Nyalam. The Nomenclature, Orthography and Entomology of Sacred Mountain.
It can be derived from the word 'kelasa' which means crystal. In Tibetan dictionary Chandra identifies the entry for kai la sha which is a loan word in Sanskrit 'kailasa'. The Tibetan name for the mountain is 'KANGS RIN-PO CHE'. Gangs or kangs is a Tibetan wordfor snow peak which means is an honourific meaning 'precious stone'. So the combined word may be translated as'precious jewels of snow'."Tibetan Buddhists call it Kangri Rinpoche; 'Precious Snow Mountain'. Bon texts have many names: Water's Flower, Mountain of Sea Water, Nine Stacked Swastika Mountain. For Hindus, it is the home of the mountain god Shiva and a symbol of his power symbol om; for Jains it is where their first leader was enlightened; for Buddhists, the navel of the universe; and for adherents of Bon, the abode of the sky goddess Sipaimen'' Another local name is Tise mountain which derives from ti tse meaning 'water peak' or 'river peak' in Zhang-Zhou language connoting the mountain status as the source of mythical lion, Horse. Peacock & elephant rivers. In fact, the Indus, Yarlug-Tsangpo/Dihang/Brahmaputra, Karnali & Satluj all begin at the Kailash- Mansarovar region.
RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE:- 
In Hinduism : According to Hinduism, Lord Shiva- the destroyer of ignorance & illusion resides at the summit of the legendary mountain KAILASA, where he sits in perpetual meditation along with his wife Parvati. According to Charles Allen, one description in 'Vishnu Purana' states that its 4 faces are made up of ruby, crystal, gold & lapiz lazuli. It is the pillar of the world at the heart of 6 mountain ranges. The ancient 'Koneshwaram temple' is heralded as 'Dakshin Kaliasam'because it lies in the same longitude as Mount Kailash & due to its pre-eminence in Saivite belief. Koneshwaram early black granite cut architectural shared similarities between to the famous Kailashnathar temple.Many of the Kailasanathar temples sculptures and reliefs depict episodes relating to Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati, including Ravana's tale. (Ravana was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Ramayana does not document Ravana shaking the mountain.) Ravana's mother had fallen ill. As they were great Lord Shiva devotees, he had attempted to carry the temple on his back to bring it closer to his mother. Shiva, being stunned by his boldness, had blessed him with immortality as Ravana had passed Lord Shiva's test of devotion.
IN JAINISM : Kailash is also known as Meru Parvat or Sumeru. Ashtapada, the mountain next to Mt.Kailash is the site where the first Jain TIRTHANKARA, 'Rishabdeva' attained Nirvana (moksha).
IN BUDDHISM : Tantric Buddhists believes that Mount Kailash is the home Buddha Demchok also known as Demchog (or Chakrasamvara). There are numerous sites in this region depicting & associated with Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) whose tantric sites around Tibet are finally credited with establishing Buddhism as main religion of the country in 7th- 8th century CE.
IN BON : The Bon, a religion which predates Buddhism in Tibet, maintain that the entire mystical region & nine- story 'Swastika' mountain are the' SEAT OF ALL SPIRITUAL POWER'.
PILGRIMAGE
Every year thousands make a pilgrimage to Kailash, following a tradition going back thousands of years. Pilgrims of several regions believe that circumbalating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. The peregrination is made in a clockwise direction by Hindus & Buddhists. Followers of Jain & Bongpo religions circumbalate in anti-clockwise direction. The path around Mount Kailash is 52 km (32miles ) long. Some pilgrims believe that the entire walk around Kailash should be made in a single day, which is not considered an easy task. A person in good shape walking fast would take perhaps 15 hours to complete the 52 km trek. Some of the devout do accomplish this feat, little daunted by the uneven terrain, altitude sickness and harsh conditions faced in the process. Indeed, other pilgrims venture a much more demanding regimen, performing body-length prostrations over the entire length of the circumambulation: The pilgrim bends down, kneels, prostrates full-length, makes a mark with his fingers, rises to his knees, prays, and then crawls forward on hands and knees to the mark made by his/her fingers before repeating the process. It requires at least four weeks of physical endurance to perform the circumambulation while following this regimen.

Holy Kailash – Mansarovar

A spiritual Journey within..!

Overview

Mt. Kailash the striking peak standing in the remote south-west corner of Tibet in the Himalayan Mountains. Rising to an elevation of 6638 m (21778 ft) it is one of the highest parts of the Himalayas and serves as a source of some of the longest rivers in Asia. Known as Gang Tise or Gang Rinproche in Tibetan it is a precious and prominent symmetrical peak. Made up of black rock Mt Kailash is a wonderful diamond like shaped mountain that is surrounded by beautiful landscape which is rugged and dry.
Mount Kailash is known as one of the most sacred mountains and has become an important pilgrim for four faiths : Buddhists, Jains, Hindus and Tibetan religion of Bon. Every year thousands of people from all over the world make pilgrimage to this place. Followers from various beliefs have been visiting Kailash from thousands of years and have been circumbulating this holy mountain on foot. It is believed that visiting Kailash and following this tradition would bring in good fortune and wash away sins of ones lifetime. However the journey of 52kms/32miles on foot in a single day is not easy and one needs to be strong both physically and mentally to complete it. Generally people take 3 days to finish this walk. The Hindus and Buddhists pilgrims walk around in a clockwise direction but the Jain and Bön followers walk around counterclockwise.

According to Hindu legends, Shiva, the god of devastation and rebirth, resides at the pinnacle of this famous mountain named Kailasa. Mount Kailasa is considered in many sects of Hinduism as heaven, the ultimate destination of souls and the holy center of the world. The narrative in the Puranas, Mount Kailash's four faces are made of crystal, ruby, gold, and lapis lazuli. Refereed as the pillar of the world that rises 84,000 leagues high. From it flow four rivers, which stretch to the four quarters of the world and divide the world into four regions.

Tibetan Buddhists trust that Kailash is the home of the Buddha Demchok who symbolizes supreme harmony. They also state it was on this sacred mountain that Buddhism relocates Bön as the primary religion of Tibet. According to myth, Milarepa, winner of Tantric Buddhism, arrived in Tibet to challenge Naro-Bonchung, who was the spokesperson of Bön. The two magicians engaged in a great sorcerous battle, but neither was able to gain a crucial advantage. Buddhism in Tibet known as the religion “Bon” believes Mount Kailash as the abode of the sky goddess Sipaimen.
In Jainism, Kailash is known as Mount Ashtapada and is the place where the creator of their faith, Rishabhadeva, attained freedom from rebirth.

Places of Interest during visit to Holy Kailash
Tirthapuri
Tirthapuri, positioned northwest of Mount Kailash in Western Tibet are intimately associated with Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche). It is one of the interesting places near Kailash, pilgrims particularly come here after completing their kailash pilgrimage. They bathe in the pools fed by the holy springs and also pay a visit to the cave and monastery which is connected with Guru Pinpoche and has his footprints. The barren landscape around the Tirthapuri hot spring is filled with steam and colorful prayer flags stretched across the river gorge makes this spot a scenic & magical view for all.
GauriKund
Gauri Kund, a water body that is also known as the Lake of Compassion, lies on the way while going on downwards from Drolma - La (Drolma la Pass). This steep descent from Dolma Pass is a wonderful lake which is at an altitude of 5608m. As per Hindu mythology, there is a fascinating tale about Gauri Kund and has been described in legend “Shiva Purana”. The lake is also famous as “Parvati Sarovar” as this was the place where goddess Parvati had acquired her son Ganesha (Elephant headed God). Goddess Parvati had formed an image of Ganesh from the soap lather on her body and breathed life into it. She placed Ganesha at the entrance of her home as her janitor to prevent anyone from entering while she was bathing. Now Lord Shiva happened to return at this point of time and was stopped by Ganesha. Offended by this disrespectful act from Ganesha, Lord Shiva cut off the boy's head. Pravati was grief-stricken by seeing it and insisted that the boy needs to be brought back to life. Lord Shiva took the head of a wandering elephant and placed it on the body and life was restored and Parvati had her son back.
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YamDwar
Yam Dwar is situated in Tarboche which is approximately 30 minutes drive from Darchen. The exact meaning of the Yam Dwar in Hindi lingo is “the gateway of the God of Death”. It is the initial point of circumambulation of Mount Kailash. Known as Chorten Kang Ngyi which means two legged Stupa in Tibet.
Asthapada
Located at a height of 17000 ft, Asthapad is the bottom of Mt. Kailash and one of the main holy places for the Hindus and Buddhists. It is also considered a major Jain Tirths as the first of the 24 Jain Tirthankara “Shri Adinath Bhagwan” had attained salvation (Nirvana) at this place. The literal meaning of Asthapad is “Eight Steps” as Astha means Eight and Pad means Steps in Sanskrit and that’s how the place derived its name.
Shiwasthal
Just around 2 hours walk from Deraphuk Gomba situated on the way to Dolma – La is Siwastal. Many pilgrims visit this place as it is known a duplication of the magical funeral ground at Bodh Gaya. Pilgrims here experience ritual death and enter into the dreadful presence of Yama, before being reborn on top of the Drolma La. One can easily notice the ground which is laid out with unbelievable collection of clothing, shoes, and bags along with terrible things like bones, hair and even blood. These things are mainly the offerings which are made by the people who pass from here. Above the burial ground is a red foot print of Milareppa (Tibetan yogi & poet) on the surface of a rock.
Tarboche
Tarboche flagpole, is one of the most important aspect of Tibetan spirituality. On “Saga Dawa” which is an impressive and capturing annual festival of Mt. Kailash this giant flagpole which has numerous prayer flags on it is brought down and replaced. This annual festival or one can also mention it as a carnival attracts Tibetans from all over along with other tourists and pilgrims. This ritual is performed every year on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, to celebrate Sakyamuni's enlightenment”. During the flagpole ceremony as the poles tip is raised and pointed east towards Gyangdrak Monastery, monks of that monastery carry out a special ritual. A cacophony of music from long trumpets, conch shells and other instruments welcomes the rising flagpole. It is like a magical event that captures one’s senses. People gathered there attach there prayer flags and help in making the pole rise again. The flagpole should be standing in a perfect upright position or it is believed that things will not be good for Tibet.
Holy Mansarovar Lake
Lake Mansarovar situated about 2000 kms from Lhasa is world’s highest freshwater lake. Known as Lake Manas Sarovar in Sanskrit and Mapham Yutso in Tibetan this huge lake with the mirror like image of snow capped mountains in its crystal clear waters is just fabulous. The lake is located at the southern foot of Mount Kailash, stretching up to 55miles (88kms) in perimeter it goes 330 feet deep and about 120 sq mi of total area. Lake Mansarovar has exceptional beauty that varies from crystal clear blue water near the shores and a deep emerald green colour at the center. There are a few monasteries on the shore of the lake and most striking of all is the ancient Chiu Gompa Monastery, which has been built right onto a steep hill.

This holy lake is one of the important pilgrimages for Hindus and Buddhists. It attracts thousands of tourists and religious people towards itself every year from various parts of the world, but mainly from India, Tibet and its neighboring countries. The best to visit the lake is during springs as it is during this time the lake melts and allows people to bathe in its holy water. As believed by bathing and drinking this water one becomes fortunate and clears all his sins. Many travel agencies have annual pilgrimage group tours to this place and are often known as “Mansarovar Yatra”.

As per the Hindu mythology it is believed, Lake Mansarovar was formed by Lord Brahma, who is the creator god. He found it to be an appropriate place for religious rituals. Hid 12 sons, who were also holy men performed rituals and austerities on the dry land at the site. And to give them a more appropriate place to earn value, Lord Brahma created a wonderful lake which today is known as - Lake Mansarovar. And as per Buddhist religion, they relate Mansarovar with Anotatta Lake. It is said that Lord Buddha was conceived at this very lake, as stated in the legends Lord Buddha's mother was brought on the lake by the gods and as she bathed in the sacred waters of Mansarovar her body was purified. Later she saw a white elephant running to her from Mount Kailash and Lord Buddha entered her womb

Valley of Flowers

Following Frank Smythe’s footsteps

 

Overview

     Valley of Flowers National Park is an Indian national park, located in the Western Himalaya. It is renowned for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora found there. It is located in Uttarakhand state. This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear and blue sheep. The gentle landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park complements the rugged mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi National Park to the east.The park stretches over an expanse of 87.50 km². Both parks are encompassed in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (223,674 ha) which is further surrounded by a buffer zone (5,148.57 km²).This Reserve is in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004.

     The Valley of Flowers is a high-altitude Himalayan valley that has been acknowledged by renowned mountaineers and botanists in literature for over a century and in Hindu religion for much longer.The Valley of Flowers has many colorful different flowers, taking on various shades of colours as time progressed. The valley was declared a national park in 1982. The valley is home to many flowers like the Brahmakamal, the Blue Poppy and the Cobra Lily. It is a much sought after haunt for flower-lovers, botanists and trekkers.


Stok Kangri Expedition

Overview

     Stok Kangri( 6,153 Meters/20,182 Feet) is situated in Ladakh. It is the highest peak in the Stok range and is also the highest trekkable peak in India and hence it holds its own glamour for Himalayan trekkers in India. From the Summit of Stok kangri one can see as far as the karakoram ranges and on a day of clear skies, you can even make out K2 and Nanga Parbat. Other notable peaks which can be seen from the summit of Stok Kangri is the NUN-KUN massif, Kang-Yatse range and Khardung-La in the Ladakh range. The Stok Kangri trek starts from Leh and takes 5 days of trek to get to the base camp. This trek is meant purely for acclimatization. From the base camp of Stok Kangri, the peak is climbed in the night so as to make maximum use of the snow conditions. The summit of Stok Kangri is usually reached in the morning and by afternoon; one can reach the base camp. Do note that this trek is not to be taken lightly on account of the extreme high altitude involved. We do not recommend this trek for beginners. It is expected that you have had some amount of high altitude trekking experience before you attempt this trek.

Summiters in Khabar Magazine

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