Maanasa Kailasa Yatra – 13

Date of this Post: 02/October/2013… Gandhi Jayanti

Let us begin by paying our respects to the the great Mahatma, the father of the Indian nation, Gandhiji, and proceed on our blog journey to Lake Manasarovar,  a place that has a very special connection with the Mahatma… That connection, we shall see later in this post…

Date of Yatra: 30-June-2013…

This day, we shall go from Zhongpa, driving some 550 Kms – to reach the most Holy teertha – Maanasarovar!

Dash has boarded the bus… We take off…

Shall we view the journey through the eyes of different cameras…

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The familiar open vastness of earth and sky – the changing patterns of mesmerizing landscapes…

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Some of my co-yatri-s are not keeping well… Siva’s wife has been bravely battling altitude sickness. However, the going is getting tougher every day, and she is not in a good way. Not in a good way at all. So she and Siva are off the bus, and are accommodated in one of the tour SUV-s that is accompanying us. A couple of others too have taken the same route… These folks are the ones who are more affected… It is not that the rest of us are skipping about in our dancing shoes… The morgue like cold and travel fatigue takes a vise grip of one and all… It grabs you by your skull, gently starts increasing pressure on your chest, tingles your fingers and toes, dries up your lips, parches your tongue, starts stealing appetite from your stomach… You keep sipping water, and squeeze your life stuff up into your eyes and peer at the world as if through a distant periscope….

A while into the journey we halt at one of the police checkpoints. While our tour guide goes to show the papers and stuff, the Yatri-s step out for some stretch. Sky is darkening… There are some shops… I remember we bought some eats but remember not what… And there is a loo of sorts…

Here’s the halt…

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Moving on….

Time and space are now virtual. But they always are, you say? Maybe, but do we see them that way in our daily life? No, surely. But when we drive on through Tibet, the “roof of the world”, you do…

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Somewhere along the way we stop near a water body…. A vast sea of sand, rising here and there in dune like waves, peppered with slight spots of green, nestles on one side of the water body….

Picture this…..

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Sometime, somewhere, we stop at an open camp… For lunch….

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Food. welcome as it is, is experienced like drips being administered in a dank. musty. cold, hospital ward… Ok, not drips… But that special diet that they serve to you in hospitals… Which the nurse brings in with a big smile, and dumps upon you, for you to battle with in the loneliness of your bare existence….

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Paper plates… Plastic spoons… Rubbery food that you chew and chew and somehow push down your gullet…

But among us mortals, there are some who have superior powers… For example, there is this retired school teacher from Bengal…. His upper body dress is appropriate to the climate we find ourselves in. But in the lower body, he refuses to compromise… His daily dress is the traditional Indian Dhoti, tied in the Bengali style, which is quite similar to the south indian panchakacham… Here he is in the picture below..

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His legs are open to the cold… But he is not concerned. That is his traditional dress and he finds no reason to wear any other…. His secret? He draws power from a spiritual source that he is systematically logged on to all the time… What is that source? Hold your horses… We shall discover that in some subsequent post…

The open camp is  manned by a Tibetan family…. They do not seem to have any other company… The grounds around are littered with plastic water bottles and such other garbage that countless Yatri-s have thoughtfully left behind as souvenirs to nature. India Shining, Bharat Nirman, of whatever is spilling over in all it’s glory into the open spaces of the whole wide world… The hosts do not seem to care. So there. Why are you bothered?

Our hosts are so kind….For us visiting Indians, they have put up a board to make us feel at home….

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We get back to our bus and our journey…

The road is spectacular…. As is the view….. Here is a picture ( courtesy my co-yatri Dr Sanjeev. a healer and a mystic…. )

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Let’s pause a second and look at the map again.

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We have started from “A” (Zhongpa) on the bottom right… Manasarovar is at “B”…

Here is  a satellite picture…

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And on Manasarovar’s right, you see a water body, marked as Kunggyu…. Sometime in the afternoon, we come across this lake, which spreads for miles and miles on our left….

We stop at some point and enjoy the scene…

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We come to know that this lake (Kunggyu) is also known as Hanuman Tal (Hanuman lake)… The reason is not far to seek… On one side of the lake is a dune-hill, shaped like the face of Hanuman looking up at the sky…

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Here is a short video clip of that place….

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We stand around chatting about Hanuman…. May he give us the strength for one final burst….

And he does…

We shall come to the final lap to Manasarovar in the next post…. But right now, how about a preview…

Just one picture… Of Manasarovar… Here goes…. Close your eyes… Take a deep breath…

Have a look…. Click on the picture for a larger view…

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Welcome to Manasarovar, the Teertha most holy…..

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More about the arrival and thereon, in the next post…

Let us come back to the Mahatma… He has a special connection to this lake…  A quote from the book “Kailas – Manasarovar” by the great Indian Sanyasasi – explorer – geographer, Swami Pranavananda…

The last consignment of the last mortal remains (ashes) of the Father of the Indian Nation – Mahatma Gandhi – was immersed in the sacred deep blues of the Celestial Lake Manasarovar, on August 8, 1948, by a party of his intimate associates headed by Shree Surendra. May peace be unto the departed soul!

It is a coincidence that on the same date, six years earlier, the Mahatma had launched the “Quit India” movement , the civil disobedience ‘satyagraha’ against the British occupiers. Also a coincidence, that the date happened to be the anniversary of the atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki in Japan… In complete contrast to the mayhem of 1945, the peace of heavens in Manasarovar, in 1948, where the last remains of the greatest apostle of peace finally merged with the elements…. The most peaceful place in the world… Lake Manasarovar….

Glory to the Mahatma! Glory to Manasarovara! Glory to mankind! Glory to Siva!

Signing off this post with a photo gallery… Click and browse…

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        *** To be continued ***

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8 Responses to “Maanasa Kailasa Yatra – 13”

  1. bala Says:

    Awesome pictures and wonderful narration. The barren landscape and the spectacular views are fascinating. Reminds me of Death Valley, CA that I visited some years back (except there was no water) and my visit was in the summer

    • gkamesh Says:

      Would love to visit some of these places… Death Valley… Grand Canyon for sure… Some of the National Parks…

      So many lovely places in the world to see…

      • Krishnan Mrk Says:

        Kamesh you may yet have to Wait another day for it, all national parks in the US are now shut down as of today Gandhi ‘a b’ day :MRK

  2. ravi anna Says:

    never seen such adventurous pictures from regular folks … kudos. pl write a book

  3. Rana Says:

    as you come closer to your destiny your blogs are becoming more and more philosophical! Wonderful – I took the time to read all the blogs one after the other in one sitting and I am really struck by the change in tone of the narrative – almost in tune with your journey! from the mundane to the sublime as you go from the lowly plains to the higher abodes of Shiva! Jai ho!

  4. highiqmoron Says:

    Lovely pictures Kamesh!

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