My second trip to Kailash, I was thrilled to be invited again! The Mountain had called me!
2010, I was discovering myself, 2019 I knew myself better or so I thought.
There were many lessons I had to learn. The main one - I was cut down to size and shown how minscule I really am!
Payments, travel dates, flight bookings, helicopter rides, hotels, passports, visas nothing went as per ‘plan’ and yet It all went as per plan just not my plan!
My ‘miniscule organised’ self was whacked about till I surrendered! I carried the wrong phone charger, I couldn’t find the Yuans I have kept so safely, and to top it all I left my hiking boots on the bus so no shoes to walk in on the parikrama.
At Manasarovar, had a good cry feeling sorry for myself, playing the victim! Emotionally drained I lay by the shores and went into a deep sleep. I woke up with a sense of calm and just knew all would be well.
My shoes ‘arrived’, my phone got charged, I was overjoyed! I was paranoid about having a pony and porter and felt relaxed and confident when I got both. Another divine whack was in store day 2 - the most arduous trek, the pony falls sick and I walk around 20 kms to our night stop. So much for my back up plan!
My journey within was remarkable, the lessons I learned are indelibly printed in every cell in my being. The majestic Kailash truly humbled me and has transformed me into a mellower version of myself!!
Modes of transport bus, propeller plane, helicopter, pony.
33 people. Accommodation - mud huts, 3 to 6 in a room. Electricity none after Taklakot Solar generated lights limited to 3 hours
Temperatures night time Simikot -2C going down to -14C at Deraphuk and -16C on day 2 of parikrama.
Toilets basic to open spaces - pick your spot. Bathing facilities - none for 5 days.
Most valuable and important things - Wet wipes, Diamox, Lomotil, Water.
Our ascent was gradual and so most acclimatised, however, the descent was rapid as many needed to get down to better medical care. We descended 5,000 feet in 24 hours, 1-day rest, 13,000 feet in the next 24 hours by helicopter and plane. The result- intensified ‘sickness’ congestion, infection, high fever etc. My BP fell to 90/70 and I just slept most of the time no matter where I was. We were all on Diamox (The medication is effective in preventing acute mountain sickness, high altitude pulmonary edema and high altitude cerebral edema. I was asked to stop the medication immediately. My BP stabilised at 120/80!
4 yatris were doctors who monitored and recorded our BP, pulse rate, oxygen levels! They came equipped with all kinds of medications. Some yatris developed headaches, fever, congestions and some vomited. Others BP shot up while some got diarrhoea.18 had to stay back while 15 completed the Parikrama.
Daily meditation hour of yoga certainly not enough
Physical fitness a must. Strength and body balance not overstaining any part. Build core strength.
My preparation - alternating workouts for 2 months
Cardio - 1-hour walking maximum incline slow speed no stopping.
Short bursts of rowing 5 - 1 km, immediately followed by step machine, level 11, 250 steps in 5 minutes.
Weight training - Legs and abs. Upper body - alternating push and pull. Increased weights every week
Mount Kailash is a pilgrimage and not a trek, the Parikrama is meaningless if you do not connect with the energies of Kailash. This journey is for your “self”, the Atma connection happens when you go there as a pilgrim and not as a trekker. The Kailash pilgrimage connects you with the higher spiritual energies, awakens you to a more a blissful you.
This reflection deliberation takes place in the deep of your core, your soul not your minuscule mind. The answers, the awakening come from within. Be aware, your answers will manifest in different ways, your life will be truly awesome!
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)