Monday, October 12, 2009

Parikrama - Zulthulphuk and Back to Base

All of us reached our tent camp by about 4 pm. As is normal at this hour, the sun was blazing down but it was comfortable sitting out as there was a cool and comforting breeze blowing. It was a relaxing hot chai that went down my throat. There was a quiet sense of achievement and relief. We were thankful that the toughest part of the parikrama was behind us and we had all completed it without any injury or ill-health.

Tough yes, but certainly not impossible.

This spot was a picturesque meadow with a river flowing nearby. After a while we got into our tents and checked out our sleeping bags. I was sharing this tent with my Mumbai co-yatris. It was hot inside the tents and we dozed off for a while. About half an hour or so later, I got up grabbed my camera and went for a short walk around. Our Tibetan porters and support staff had pitched their own tents and they were playing a dice game. Another group was playing Mahjong.

Further ahead was the river and many yak grazing on the other side. There was not a sound except the excited shouts from the tents where games were on. I walked to the other side and sat silent on a rock doing nothing and thinking nothing. Soon the weather began to change. There was a perceptible change in the temperature and from nowhere dark clouds gathered. There was a rumble and it began to drizzle. I rushed to my tent waiting for the rain to end. It was not to be. The drizzle gave way to a heavy downpour that seemed to last forever and accompanied by thunder and lightning. This seemed like a tropical storm that normally lashes Mumbai.

Suddenly someone shouted "rainbow" and here it was a perfect rainbow on the hills opposite us. It seemed like the Gods were celebrating the completion of the main part of our parikrama.

After the rain halted, we went to the river and had a face wash. Dipped our tired feet in the icy cold waters and generally did nothing till it was time for dinner. It was our last dinner in the wild open so to say and we all crashed out soon after.

The next day we began the last leg of the parikrama. About 12 -13 kms walk on almost level ground by the river was the task and it did not stretch us. Infact, some from the pony team decided to walk till the end.

Nearing the end of the parikrama, we came across a Tibetan couple which had undertaken to span this entire journey by prostrating on the ground - one body length at a time. This gruelling journey takes about fifteen days and surely is an act of extreme faith.

We were soon back at the spot where our jeeps waited for us and as ususal I brought up the rear. Well, through sheer will power, I had finished the parikrama and in fine shape. I actually felt lighter and fitter.

We had a round of congratulatory hugs and shaking of hands and expressing our delight at having achieved our dreams. This was followed by a short puja and prayer to the Gods that be expressing our gratefullness.

It was time to return and it is said that you do not get darshan of Kailash while returning. We did'nt get it till the last turn after which we could not see both Kailash and Mansarovar.

Reality was now replaced by memory, a vivid one though.

Our jeeps and the supplies truck hit the dusty track to get back to Paryang. We could not believe that it was all over.


Vinod_Sharma said...


Now get a coffee table book out, Mavin. You have tow customers already. Many more will follow.

BK Chowla said...

You must be a very brave man to have taken on this adventure tour.My compliments.

Anonymous said...

Reality was now replaced by memory, a vivid one though.

And what vivid memories!!!

And how do they say these things and how are they so true... like not getting darshan of kailash while returning?

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