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Mansarovar Yatra

Mansarovar, the fresh water lake situated in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China are considered as a scared place by more than one religion. According to Hinduism, this is the personification of purity and the person who drinks water from this lake will get all his sins eradicated, and he will reach the abode of Lord Shiva after death. According to Buddhism, this lake is sacred as the Goddess Maya conceived Buddha near this lake. Jains give prominence to this lake as it is connected with their first Thirthankar, Lord Rishabeswara.

Thus, this lake has importance as a pilgrim centre of three main religions of the region. Moreover, it is very close to the sources of four greatest rivers of the regions namely Brahmaputra, Kamali, Indus and Sutlej. Though, after the Chinese invasion of Tibet, the pilgrims from outside were not allowed to visit this lake, Mansarovar pilgrimage has restarted in 1980. According to Hinduism this lake is very much important, and the name came from the combination of two words in Sanskrit, Man means mind and Sarovar refers to a lake. This is the abode of swans during the summer, and this is another reason why it is treated as sacred by Hindus.

History

Though there are no records to prove when the Mansarovar yathra or pilgrimage to Mansarovar has started, it is believed to exist since time immemorial. It has been disturbed during the early periods of Chinese invasion of Tibet but later on restarted in 1980. Now it is being conducted as Kailash-Mansarovar Yathra.

Attractions

This pilgrimage includes different temples in India, Nepal and Tibet too. Normally the journey starts with visiting different temples in India and reaches Katmandu. The first one or two days will be spent in Katmandu visiting various temples, and the third day the pilgrims will reach the border of Tibet. After the necessary clearance and completion of other formalities, they start travelling towards Nyalam a small township on the Chinese side. This town has many hotels and inns to stay there for a night. From here the pilgrims will get Chinese guides and vehicles. Next day morning the journey to Saga starts through Lalungla Pass. You can have beautiful scenes of Brahmaputra River and huge lake, Paigu-Tso on the way. Saga is another small town where you can stay for a night, and the next day the journey will continue. A drive through Mayummu- La pass that is about 17,000feet above the sea level will reach you at Camp Horchu, where you can have a night stay again.

From there, the pilgrim will go to visit Mansarovar, Mount Kailash, Gourikunt etc.

Mansarovar, where the Gods believed to have their bath is a personification of purity. The cool and calm atmosphere around it will certainly invoke the positive energy in you. Or, in other words, you will be able to talk to the almighty there. A drop of water taken inside is enough to kill all the sins you have done in your past 7 births.

Then the Mount Kailash, that is the abode of Lord Shiva, the god of destruction and Ma Durga the Goddess of Power. Where the pilgrims believed they can kill all the evil instinct in them and can get succeed in all their endeavors with the power of Ma Durga.

At the same time, Buddhists frequent this place to take the blessings of Buddha as well as Goddess Maya. There are several Buddhist monasteries around Mansarovar, and the Chiu Gompa monastery that is built on a steep hill is believed to be the oldest one among them. Jains also throng to this place as it was here their first Theerthankara attained Nirvana along with thousands of disciples.

Best Time to Visit

Since the journey involves long stretches towards mountain roads of Himalaya, it is advisable to avoid the journey during the winter season. As it lies in the jurisdiction of China, many formalities have to be finished before starting the journey. It is always better visiting this place using tour packages as the travel agents will take care of all this paper work.

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