Lake Mansarovar and Mount Kailash are among the most beautiful spots in the Himalayan range. Of course, these mountains also hold great religious value among people who worship Lord Shiva. Every year, between June and September a Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is organized by the Government of India. This yatra goes on for 22 days out of which 14 days are spent in India and the rest in Tibet, in the Chinese territory.
This yatra is not just significant for religious reasons but is also an adventure of a lifetime considering how arduous it is. You have to trek to altitudes of close to 19000 ft. above sea level and this trek involves various terrains and low temperatures. This trek is so physically challenging that the Indian Mountaineering Federation (IMF) counts it among high-risk expeditions in the Himalayas.
You can apply for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra online on kmy.gov.in. All you need to do is download the application form from the link provided. Then, if you are eligible, you will move into the selection process. Here are a few conditions for the application:
- Your passport should be valid till at least September 1st of the year you travel.
- All information including the spelling of your name and date of birth should be accurate. If you provide any wrong information, you can be disqualified from the yatra at any stage, even after you have started it. Your money will not be refunded.
- You need to select a route of your choice and the end of your journey. If you choose Route 1 via Lipulelk, the finish point could be Delhi or Dharchula. If you choose Route 2, the finish point could be Delhi or Gangtok.
- You can get a detailed breakup of the expenditure during your trip on kmy.gov.in/kmy/feeAndExpenditure.do
There are a few conditions of eligibility as far as the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra goes. The conditions are:
- The individual should have a BMI of fewer than 25.
- One should be a citizen of India who is above 18 years of age and under 70 years of age.
- One must have an Indian passport.
- One should provide a medical certificate that deems them physically and mentally fit for the journey.
The Selection Process
Only people who are physically fit may apply for this yatra. They are selected through a computerized test that is conducted by the Ministry of External affairs. You must not have asthma, epilepsy, heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes or any other medical condition that may aggravate with physical exertion. You will be informed whether you have been selected or not about three weeks prior to the date of departure. You need to join the rest of the members of the batch in New Delhi on a scheduled date about four days prior to the actual date of departure.
This is when you will have to pass two more medical tests to check how you react to high altitudes. These tests are carried out at Gunji which is at 3500 ft. above sea level. You will reach this place five days after the trek begins. If you do not pass this test, you will not be allowed to continue from Gunji.
There are a few formalities that you need to complete for the Yatra. An indemnity bond is signed to ensure that none of the organized authorities will be blamed for any untoward incident and that you are fully aware of the risk involved. You also need to sign an undertaking for an emergency helicopter evacuation. Lastly, you will have to give your consent to being cremated in the Chinese side in case of an unfortunate incident. You need a passport that is valid for six months after 1 September.
Tips To Successfully Complete The Yatra
- Pack your bags as specified by the guidelines of the MEA. Ideally, you will require waterproof rucksacks to carry your belongings. You need to pack raincoats, goggles, warm clothes, windcheaters, woolen socks, general medicines, and a camera. The weight of this bag must not exceed 25 kilos. You can even hire a rucksack from organizations like the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd.
- When you trek, be wary of the new terrain. Be confident, yet cautious. It is advised that you walk towards the hill always and never towards the drop side. The trek is usually from morning to noon. Therefore, it is advised that you start soon every morning.
- Never deviate from the route provided to you.
- Drink water from the campsites as much as possible to avoid any illness during the yatra.
- You need to drink a lot of water while climbing.
- The food that you consume should be light and high in carbohydrates for energy.
- Since you will be notified a month prior to the actual yatra date, try to walk for 6-10 kilometers each day and exercise regularly.
- Avoid consumption of alcohol in this period.
- During the climb take it slow and take breaks if necessary.
With these simple guidelines, you should be able to enjoy the Yatra and even complete it successfully. In case you fall ill during the trek or need to return for any given reason, you can do so. However, no refund will be provided on your expenses. In case of an emergency, helicopter evacuation may be arranged depending upon the availability