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By road to China

Esther Elias
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Chatline Three Coimbatoreans tell Esther Elias of their incredible journey to the ends of the earth and back

One August midnight, Gurmit Singh crawled out of a tiny blue tent beside the Manasarovar freshwater lake in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, 15,000 feet above sea level. Eyes half shut and body slightly damp from the drizzle seeping through the tent roof, he stretched his legs and surveyed their parked Indian-registered SUVs. That’s when he saw a straight line of unmoving light, joining the sky and the water, bang in the lake’s centre. Just to be sure he wasn’t hallucinating, he awoke fellow travellers — Coimbatoreans Jeeva Nantham and Damien Leo, and Delhiites Sanjay Madan and Purvesh Patel. Together, they witnessed the unexplained nightly natural phenomenon, one of Manasarovar’s well-kept secrets. Worth driving for 21 days from Coimbatore to China? A resounding yes!

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