Maanasa Kailasa Yatra – 11

The date…. Hmmm… 28 June… 2013

We have weathered the test climb in Nyalam… That evening my Co-yatri-s, Shankar and Mrs, and Siva and Mrs, left for shopping in Nyalam… It is apparently one long road town. And they were away for a long while… The good thing about my Kailasa Co-yatri-s is that they all enjoy shopping. Now it is indeed a special blessing of the Lord, when a spouse and a spouse can become spice when it comes to shopping 🙂 … Now, here the Lord has blessed these couples adequately. At least, so it looked, on the face of it…I chose to observe my breath, back in the room… Ah yes… For the second day, the hotel gave us a room… So, we got a six person to a room, room… We were six…

BTW, Nyalam – being a planned stop for high altitude climbers – is well equipped with all items you may need for Kailasa Yatra. So if you have forgotten to pack some woolens or trekking pole or gloves or cap or if you want a better pair of shoes etc – you can pick it up at Nyalam… Prices are good too… You would have to bargain though…. So they say.,,,

The one highlight of that evening was that we managed to get a hot water bath… The hotel staff who had been more or less (more rather than less) shooing away any person with any request were somehow persuaded… One of our co-yatri-s was skilful in the art of endearing himself to especially difficult people, and we had requisitioned his services, which he, in all kindness, agreed… And so, for a per-person consideration of fee, a few bath rooms were magically opened up… Word spread, and there was a queue of sorts building up… By and by, one had one’s chance… Hot water bath! Surely, there is God! Anyways, me  being my usual forgetful self, left a few things, including my wrist watch in the bathroom, when I came out. It was due to the kindness of my co-yatri, Usha, that these items were restored to me… I told you… There is God!


Early morning, we are on our way out of Nyalam…. The destination is Zhongba, which is around 400 Kms away, and should take some ten hours or maybe more to reach…

Here is a google map of the route we take… “A” is Nyalam… “B” is Zhongba…




As you can see, we go north from Nyalam, turn westwards, go past Lake Paiku, and then cross the river Yarlung Tsangpo, reach the town of Saga… Move on, and finally arrive at Zhongba…

Let us traverse this long journey through pictures…

Here’s a quick brief of this photo journey… Start off from Nyalam… An hour into the drive, and you are in Tibet so proper, that it bears no resemblance at all to Nepal… Now, you are in the high plateau of vast nothingness…. Hundreds of miles of nothingness… Just undulating earth of fascinating shapes… You cross the Lung La pass, which is at 15000 feet….With magnificent views as far as the most distant of horizons…Spectacular view of the mighty Himalayan peaks… The Nepal side towards the Gaurishankar range of Himalaya… And the 8000 metre Tibetan range of Shishapangma… Brown dune like mountains with snow clad peaks in the distance…. You will see several pictures of Shishapangma … Which bears the Sanskrit name Gosainthan, or the land of Sages… “Awesome”, “Awesome”, “Oh so awesome” describes the views…. We then come to Paiku lake… Moving on, we come to Yarlung Tsangpo river… This comes from Kailas-Maanasarovar region, and goes on to become the mighty Brahmaputra in India… You will see a spectacular picture of the clouds reflecting in the river water… A terrific shot taken by my co-yatri, Shankar… We then come to the town of Saga… Which used to be a regular place of halt in earlier years, when there was no bridge over Yarlung Tsangpo… Now it is just a stop over for lunch… We are served lunch in an open courtyard of a hotel… Hygiene is far beyond the distant Himalaya… Some folks manage to buy some fruits… And that is a life saver… Shankar manages to bully a hotel staff to actually serve some food of his choice …

The roads have been magnificent… Except for an hour or two of mud roads… But then even the mud roads have been well rolled and are eminently motorable… You have to hand it to the Chinese…. They build great roads… They have an approach to infrastructure…. India has way to go… Way-way-way to go….

There are a couple of chota-mota saga-s that we experience in Saga… In a hotel foyer in Saga, we see familiar Indian figures in banners… There is Isha… His group comes every year to Kailasa, we are told… And outside, a shop with the familiar faces of Bollywood…. We could be in India for all that it seems… Perhaps to prove that point, one of our co-yatris, a fifty plus man, nonchalantly throws some litter on the road… Dash, the fifteen year old Steve Jobs of our group, an Indian kid who grew up in America, is justifiably outraged… And in true American style, he orders his fellow passenger, decades his senior – “Pick it up! Pick it up!”… And that man can’t believe his eyes and ears… How dare some kid ask him to pick up litter… This little scene will soon brew up a mighty storm in young Dash’s heart, which will take all of several hours before somewhat subsiding….. “What is it about India? Why can’t a man throw garbage in a garbage bin? Why can’t you tell your elders off when they misbehave?” These and such questions are battled out….

We move on from Saga… You will some greenlands, where yaks graze.. And finally we arrive at Zhongba monastery hotel… You will see our bus parked there… You will see the simple structure where we stay… More about the place in the next post…

Ok.. Here’s the photo gallery… Click on the first one… And use arrow keys to browse…

Happy Journey!


Finally you see a rainbow….

We will pick up the thread there in the next post….

**** To be continued ****


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3 Responses to “Maanasa Kailasa Yatra – 11”

  1. ravi anna Says:

    excellent mr kamesh . i think you should write a book ” my trip to kailash”

    the way i see the photos and your write up gives one a feeling that this sacred trip with the almighty`s blessings does not appear to be difficult at all.

  2. Jayakumar Says:

    Interesting and interest-inducing Kamesh! Even a glimpse of Himalayas used to give goose bumps…….living by the side , must have been awesome.

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