Posted by : Prajna LS March 27, 2014
Lake Manas Sarovar could be approached by more than two routes. It is located in the Tibet Autonomous Region that is generally considered an occupied territory of China. Geographically, the lake is situated on the rugged Tibetan plateau which is a territory of China now.
We had booked 13 days yatra starting from Kathmandu, Nepal. One can reach the lake by road. So, it would not be a problem to reach Lake Manas Sarovar. The lake is connected by a smooth tar road on the Chinese side. It is called the Araniko Highway.
We took flights to Delhi and from Delhi to Kathmandu. Kathmandu is the base destination. The route we took was this: from Kathmandu to Kodari (Border), Kodari to Nyalam, Nyalam to Dongba, Dongba to Manas Sarovar. We stayed in Kodari, Nyalam and Dongba on the way to the lake. We had to cross the border between Nepal and China occupied Tibet (Tibet Autonomous Region) at Kadori which is located at about 115 km from Kathmandu.
Once after reaching Kathmandu the pilgrims will have to travel in a bus provided by the travel agency. Till the Chinese border we traveled in a Nepali travel bus and after crossing the border the Chinese guides arranged our transportation. That means the bus which carried us till the border will go back to Kathmandu and will come again the day when we return from the yatra.
The next step to be achieved after arriving at Manas Sarovar is the three day Kailash Parikraman. This is a tough job to be accomplished on foot about which I will write later.
The destination is located in the Tibetan Plateau which is known for unpredictable climate conditions. On the way to Manas Sarovar and in the three day Kailash Parikrama period be prepared for unexpected rains, sudden variations in temperature and heavy wind. More than that, the location is situated at high altitude. One needs to get acclimatized in those extreme climatic conditions.
The main difficulty is to manage ‘altitude sicknesses. Acute head ache, loss of appetite, nausea and fever may trouble you any time. Do carry a medicine kit along with you.
Do carry enough cloths to keep yourself warm. Dress up in layers. Wear thermals first. Then, wear your normal dress; it could be either salvar or jeans. Over that, wear a winter jacket (either a woolen sweater or a jacket). The outer layer should be a down jacket. Depending on the climate, you would be asked to take off warm cloths if it is hot.
A pair of leather (or woolen) gloves, 6 pair socks, winter cap, muffler, raincoat, torch, dry fruits, flask, a walking stick, sunglass, lotions, sports shoes with good grip are necessary things. You may buy these things in Kathmandu or in Nyalam. Go through a medical check up to assure that you are fit to take up trekking at high altitudes. A medical certificate is a must.
You are required to get a Chinese Visa and for that you need to have a valid passport. If you go through a private travel agency, then, the group Visa will be done by the travels people. Carry Chinese currency as much as you require and remember notes of rupees 500 will not be accepted in Nepal.
Start doing physical exercise (brisk walking or yoga) at least a month prior to the yatra. Take care as not to catch cold during that period that would make you vulnerable to adverse climate. Successful completion of the Yatra solely depends upon your health and will power.
Hear the experience straight from the horse’s mouth! I will start the narrative in the next episode.
[To be continued…]