Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Holy Yatra to the Abode of Lord Shiva - 20

Second day's Parikrama   - 1

  Dolma and Gauri Kund Darshan 

Deraphuk after snowfall

This is how Deraphuk was at dawn because  of the earlier day's snowfall. The floor resembled as  if it  has been silver coated. The drama continued in the morning also but ultimately seven yatris decided to continue the parikrama and others opted out. The seven along with two porters and their horse left for the grueling dolma ascent and subsequent  descent and trek to Zuthulphuk.   

The Lord was still covered partly by clouds this time we could not get the full darshan of the North    face.   Already many locals were climbing the ascent in a single file like soldiers. As it was the  Chinese Horse year and one parikrama during this year is equivalent to 12 Normal Koras there was heavy rush this for performing the Kora.  Old, young, families with  tiny tots and even pregnant women were undertaking the parikrama. Tibetans believe that if the child is born in the vicinity of Kailash or during parikrama then that child would accrue merit so ladies in advanced stage of pregnancy also performing the Kora.  We also joined them. 

The mountains were covered with snow 

A majestic snow layered Mt. Phakna Ri    peak  above the pass of  Mt.Manjushri

East extension of Kailsh in between Manjushree and Vajrapani 

The steep ascent to Dolma La

Rest Inbetween

Shiva Sthal

From Deraphuk the path zigzags upto a pleatue( 5200m) and again the path gains altitude in a zigzag to the next pleatue called Shivsathal the Place of Death. It is believed that one takes rebirth here so Tibetans lie down here on the ground and they contemplate death. As a symbol of death they placing some piece of clothing here  as  a sacrifice for the time of one's own death 

Karma Testing stone 

After Shivasthal the trek route remains constantly at an altitude of about 5400m. Here two rocks forming a small tunnel are called Karma testing stones or Sin testing stones.  Pilgrims try to crawl through this tunnel, carefully watched by their fellow pilgrims. Those who can clear the tunnel is free of sin.  Then the path climbs the last ascent to Dolma La at 5060m. 

A testing the amount of his karma

Mrs Revathy Sekar, Kumarasamy along with porter 

A local women with oxygen cylinder

During the last two yatras we used to see the local Tibetans ( normally poor nomads who live in this part) performing the Kora in the opposite direction. But this year we saw many rich well dressed modern Tibetans performing the Kora like us as this was the Chinese year of Horse. This lady is carrying a portable oxygen cylinder whenever they feel breathing problem they administer themselves this oxygen for about 15 minutes and then continue the Kora without any problem.

The final ascent to Dolma pass

The approach to Dolma was festooned with thick layers of  prayer flags which resembled a canopy this time  and provided shade. Just before the pass is big rock called Dolma Rock representing Mother Parvati for Hindus and Tara for Tibetans. The pilgrims smear butter and stick money  and decorate their Goddess with prayer flags.  The pass is also covered with thick layer of prayer flags and is the place of rebirth. At this altitude  it is not only the physically highest point of  the whole yatra but is also  spiritual summit. 

The dog we saw the earlier day was spotted this day also. Sometimes it will run along with us for sometime and would disappear. It was seen at the highest point Ie. Dolma pass also. 

Mother Parvati decorated with thick layer of prayer flags

Dolma Pass

Darshan of Mother Parvati

Kumarasamy at Dolma

We encountered snow on the ground at Dolma pass and was slippery so we trudged very much carefully. After some rest  the descent into the windy pass started among teh boulders the path was also Zigzag. Soon we had the darshan of  Emarald Gauri  Kund ( Thugje Chenpo Tso)  the bathing ghat of Mother Parvati.  Then the descent coontinued steeply among teh boulders there was snow on the path this time and we continued our descent to Lham Chu valley. 

Closeup view of Gauri Kund

The panoramic  view of  Gauri kund   

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