A Journey to Kailash
M K Ramachandran books on Himalaya will take your breath away. Reading his book itself is a spiritual journey. He will take your mind across the majestic mountain, home of God, Demons, Devas and other mystique creatures.
As a result, my curiosity was drawn to Kailash, the throne of Lord Shiva.
Hence, I started to research* and find out about Manimahesh Kailash and Kinnaur Kailash. After adding both Kailash to my list, I started with Manimahesh Kailash in Chamba region of Himachal Pradesh.
Khajjiar was the entry point to Manimahesh Kailash. It is a hill station near Dalhousie, HP. It sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds in summer and will get frozen in winter. It is surrounded by meadows and Forest.
Millions of huge Devdar trees purify the air with fragrance and rejuvenate the soul. That’s why it is called ‘Mini Switzerland of India’.
*There are 5 Kailash in total.
1. Adi Kailash
2. Kinnaur Kailash
3. Srikhand Kailash
4. Manimahesh Kailash
5. Mansarovar Kailash (Now in Tibet, China)
Riding to Khajjiar was wonderful as most part of the twisty hilly road goes through the pine forest. It was more enjoyable on a motorcycle where you bank into turns and don’t swing from side to side as in a car. Huge pine trees on both sides welcome me to Kalatop-Khajjiar wildlife Sanctuary.
The weather was good with the blue sky dotted with cotton clouds.
In the villages between the forest, kids leaving the school began to wave and even high-5 at me. It was great. I reached meadows of Khajjiar by evening and it was beautiful to see the golden rays of setting sun on this vast plain of green.
After keeping my stuff in my hotel nearby, I run to the meadow to catch the last glimpse of the setting sun.
Manimahesh Kailash has not been successfully summitted by mountaineers and is thus a virgin peak. Many groups have tried but failed. This failure is attributed to the divine prowess of the peak. It is still a mystery.
There are several mythical legends narrated on the sanctity of this peak. According to one legend, a local tribe, a Gaddi, tried to climb along with a herd of sheep and is believed to have been turned into stone along with his sheep. The series of minor peaks around the principal peak is believed to be the remnants of the shepherd and his sheep.
Manimahesh Kailash among the clouds
Pir Panjal Range is the largest range in lower Himalayas, starting from Pakistan in east-southeast to Himachal in west-northwest via Jammu Kashmir.
Pir Panjal contains many Passes (La) and Tunnels and considered as the sacred in Himachal.
It is a truly a magnificent giant to see.
Pir Panjal Mountain Range seen from the hotel balcony.
Khajjiar is famous for Paragliding. Cool wind and large meadows make it an ideal place for this adventure. It is cheap (Rs. 1000- 2000) compared to other places in the India and Nepal which charge double the price.