To go on this sacred pilgrimage is to go on the journey of your lifetime!

As we arrived into Nepal we spent our first few days in Kathmandu. We had the opportunity to experience the intriguing beauty of Nepal, with its unique art forms and beautiful architecture.  It was fascinating to see how the Hindus and Buddhist peacefully  live together in this country.  As we started on our journey to Tibet the landscape went from dense thick valleys to barren land, pristine blue lakes and snow capped peaks glistening like gold in the sunlight.
As we climbed higher the topography started changing, no longer visible the abundant lush vegetation, trees started to fade to shrubs and now we could see the beautiful Himalayan mountains.

As I watched and captured the scenery outside from my luxury bus, I felt excitement but also the suspense was mounting as I did not know what to expect as we neared our destination.On our way to Mansarovar we stop at the Brahmaputra Ganga river, which flows through the Himalayas. I was amazed on how clean and clear the water was. I am glad I was able to bring some back home with me.

Finally there it is, Lake Mansarovar. Sitting at the foot of Mt Kailash, serene and quiet. Here in the morning we performed our puja and did some intense chanting at the waters edge, sitting around a fire, with Mt Kailash standing tall and visible for the first time. Here I was able to cleanse my soul in its natural waters.

Now the time was here for our Parikrama to start, the anticipation was over.  Whether I walked or traveled on horseback, it was not an easy trek. It was one of the hardest things I have done in my life. The high altitude of 21,000 feet and lack of oxygen was making it difficult to breathe. As simple as tying a shoelace was exhausting. However I cannot explain how during this very difficult hike I never felt any aches or pain. There was a higher power that was involved that made sure I finished what I had come to do.

My thanks goes out to Lina and her team. I will be forever grateful to her staff and always remember them for their charm and kindness.
For without them this would not be possible.

Returning back home, I hold close to my heart the new friends I made, but most of all the soul gratifying journey I took and memories of a lifetime.

– Jyotsna Patel

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