Shiva's haven

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The snow-clad Adi Kailash presents a splendid sight

It is a dream come true when I accomplish an arduous journey to Adi Kailash. After all, I have crossed many valleys, traversing 160 km to reach the place. It is a replica of the holy Kailash and the Mansarovar in China. The trail to Adi Kailash branches off at Gunji following the course of River Kuti along the Tibetan border. Till the Gunji river, the Kali forms a natural border with Nepal. Up till Budi en-route Malpa, I encounter huge waterfalls and it is not possible to cross over without getting drenched. Intermittently, signboards warn us to watch out for falling stones.

Heaps of boulders

At Malpa, heaps of boulders are reminders of the 1998 devastation that razed an entire village. A statue of Lord Siva has been set up in the memory of the people who died. The trek to Chhiyalekh Pass (3320m) is steep for the next three km and is filled with rhododendrons and wild roses. As one reaches the top of the Pass, the enchanting view of the Annapurna Range in Nepal unfolds and meadows laden with multi-hued flowers take away the fatigue.After the ITBP verifies our permits, a prerequisite for entering inner line border areas, we travel down towards Garbyang village. By evening, we reached Gunji, situated at the confluence of rivers Kuti and Kali. The Kali begins its journey from Kailash Mansarovar in China while the Kuti from Adi Kailash.The mountains are devoid of vegetation and we cope with lack of oxygen. A pathway dotted with bricks painted in white and green and the signboard "Doorway to Adi Kailash" heralds the Kuti village, which is named after Kunti. The houses are made of huge stone blocks and are surrounded by a brightly textured landscape. Chill winds notwithstanding, we leave at 6 a.m. towards Jolingkong (4,572 metres). The first glimpse of Adi Kailash - it is at its best. The white snow-clad peak is soaked in crimson hues of a new-born sun. It takes an hour to do the three-kilometre parikrama around the lake. River Kuti is born from Parbati Sarovar. It seems that we had walked along a vein to reach the heart.





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