Kailash Manasarovar Yatra; Nepal and Tibet

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Peigutso Lake towards Saga

photos of Peigutso Lake in Tibet by Arun Shanbhag

Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, Day 6: Peigutso Lake (4,400 m; 14,436 ft) on the Tibetan Plateau (noticed this in my private posts; edited and posted in Dec 2014) After lunch and pics of local kids, we headed west along a ravine and climbed a pass. There before us was the serenely beautiful Peigutso Lake. Overcast skies […]

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Monks at Baudhanath Stupa, Nepal

Novice Monks at the Baudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal - Arun Shanbhag

At the Baudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal: In a world full of temptation, these novices maintain their inner peace and walk the path of dharma Next on the Kailash Manasarovar Travelogue: Kids at the Baudhanath Stupa To start at the beginning: Rendevous with Sagarmatha (Everest)

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Monks at the Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal

(click for larger versions on Arun Eyes) In an ancient stone portico (bhojan mandap) outside the Pashupatinath Temple (Kathmandu, Nepal), several sanyasinis (female monks) were resting and enjoying meals. Here donors arrange free meals for monks and the needy. Loved the colors.

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Girl in Saga

Enroute to Saga [Elevation: 4,600 m (15,091 ft)], a Chinese army outpost on the Tibetan Plateau After a long drive from Nyalam, past the Sishapangma Base Camp office, we had stopped literally in the middle of nowhere, for a lunch break. Our team of cooks had left a few hours earlier, so they could find […]

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Wave Back to the Kids in Kodari

During my travels to Nepal and Tibet, it was such a delight to photograph kids; even when they were simply waving at our passing bus. This is on my return trip through the border town of Kodari, Nepal. Eleven cute kids in these two households! … feel free to wave back at them!

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Waterfall In Nepal

Frothy and mesmerizing pool of water at the bottom of a roadside waterfall. Shot this from the top of a bridge. click image for larger version The waterfall itself. I took this pic during our return from Kailash Manasarovar. To start at the beginning of the Kaliash Manasarovar Travelogue, click the following link: Rendevous with […]

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Kailash Finally

Kailash Parikrama: Hiking Around Kailash, Day 11, 12 and 13 Approximate Elevation: Dira Phuk: 4,775 m (~ 15,666 ft); Dolma La (Pass): 5,650 m (~18,500 ft) Within an hour of starting our Parikrama, the rains stopped, the clouds dispersed and the sun broke through. By this time, our small group of hikers and porters were […]

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Kailash Parikrama: A Trek Around Kailash

Kailash Parikrama: Hiking Around Kailash, Day 11, 12 and 13 Approximate Elevation: 4,560 m (~ 15,000 ft) The arduous journey across the Tibetan plateau had taken its toll on most of us. While the fabulous vistas and the serene landscape of Manasarovar instantly lifted our spirits, our bodies looked forward to a few days of […]

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From Manasarovar, a Glimpse of Kailash

From Lake Manasarovar: A glimpse of Kailash, Day 11 and 12 Approximate Elevation: 4,560 m (~ 15,000 ft) Reaching Manasarovar was only the first stage of our tirth yatra (pilgrimage). The plan was to rest for a couple of days in Manasarovar, and then perform a parikrama (to go around) of Mount Kailash. Tibetans also […]

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Lake Manasarovar, Finally

An Accidental Pilgrim Reaches Manasarovar, Day 10 Approximate Elevation: 4,560 m (~ 15,000 ft) Over the six months I had planned this trip, I never gave much thought to the significance of going on a yatra (pilgrimage). I had signed up primarily as an adventure with my brothers and several of my cousins; to shoot […]

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Rest Area En route to Manasarovar

A Rest Area En route to Manasarovar, Day 8 Approximate Elevation: 4,550 m (14,925 ft) As we left Paryang, the energy level in our group was high: come what may, at the end of day we would arrive at Lake Manasarovar! This stretch was not any different from what I have described earlier. Desolate, barren, […]

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Kailash Manasarovar: Brahmaputra and Onwards to Paryang

Kailash Manasarovar Yatra: Brahmaputra, Day 6,7: Paryang Elevation: 4,540 m (14,895 ft) Considering the spectacular Peigutso Lake, the 185 km drive from Saga to Paryang was tedious. We made a bee-line to the western edge of the Tibetan Plateau, which remained featureless; the skies were overcast and in the distant south we discerned the grey-brown […]

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Across the Tibetan Plateau towards Sishapangma

photos of boy outside a Tibetan home Kailash Manasarovar by Arun Shanbhag

Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra: Across the Tibetan Plateau towards Sishapangma & Saga, Day 6 Lalung La (Pass): 4,850 m (15,900 ft) Sishapangma Base Camp: 5,036 m (16,522 ft) After the extra day in Nyalam (3,750 m; 12,303 ft) for acclimatization and a short hike, we packed our bags and headed North and East for the settlement of […]

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Cerulean Skies Over Nyalam

photos of mountains around Nyalama Tibet by Arun Shanbhag

Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra continues: Day 5, Blue Skies Over Nyalam Once we reached Kailash, the plan was to walk around the mountain parikrama. We’d hike 40 km over three days, at elevations starting at 15,000 ft and reaching over 19,000 ft. While this might appear trivial at sea level, reality is vastly different at 15,000 ft. […]

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Respite in Nyalam

Kailash Manasarovar Yatra to Tibet, Respite in Nyalama, written and pics by Arun Shanbhag

Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra continues: Respite in Nyalam, Day 4 Nyalam Elevation: 3,750 m (12,300 ft) After the terrifyingly bizarre events in Kodari, we eagerly continued on our yatra. After crossing the border outpost in Kodari, we got in pre-arranged land-cruisers and our convoy of about 17 land-cruisers, cut through the Himalayas, climbed the mountain range to […]

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Tension In Kodari

Pictures of the Tibetan side from Kodari Nepal by Arun Shanbhag

Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra continues: Tension in Kodari Kodari Elevation: 2250 meters; 7,382 feet. Our initial plan was to have a quick lunch in Kodari, perform exit visa procedures, and cross over the Friendship bridge into China-occupied Tibet. But instead, we found ourselves gobbling lunch to a backdrop of a frenzied stone-throwing mob and the staccato of […]

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Onwards to Kodari, Nepal

pics of Emerald green fields enroute Kathmandu to Kodari by Arun Shanbhag

See larger image here. The Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra continues: Onwards to Kodari We spent a day in Kathmandu flying along the Everest Mountain Range, taking darshan at Pashupatinath, and the Baudhanath Stupa, (Monks and Kids at the Baudhnath) and visiting the local markets. We left early the following morning for the border town of Kodari, where […]

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Kids at the Baudhanath Stupa

Pics of Kids at the Baudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu Nepal by Arun Shanbhag

One of the joys of traveling is taking spontaneous photographs of complete strangers. Our interaction is only for a few seconds, or at most a few minutes. But through their pics they leave a lasting impression. In the comfort of my home, those few moments get stretched, not unlike Einstein’s time. I recall every blink […]

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Baudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal

(revised and updated Aug 2011) When I noticed the Baudhanath Stupa on our itinerary, I was indifferent. But when I alighted from the bus there, I was awestruck at the size of this stupa and the vibrant atmosphere. The Stupa easily took a whole city block. It’s nearly 125 ft tall and the periphery was […]

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Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal

You need to be called to participate in a yatra (pilgrimage). Without the assent of the Gods, any number of obstacles, reasons, excuses will crop up and prevent you for going. Even in our family group, many dropped out for various reasons. But I am fortunate I could make this happen. The yatra was difficult […]

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Rendezvous with Sāgarmāthā (Everest)

Just returned from a 19-day Kailash-Manasarovar Tirth Yatra (pilgrimage). We flew to Kathmandu, Nepal, got pinned in the midst of a mob-military firefight at the Nepal-Tibet border, and darted across the Tibetan plateau. Here, land cruisers go off-road, over hills, down valleys, through swollen streams, and over crumbling embankments. Five days later when we reached […]