Kailash With Sadhguru – 2015
The journey to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar is an intensely spiritual and life-changing experience. This year, 630 participants are making the trip to this sacred space. Another 44 will be trekking with Sadhguru through Nepal and Tibet, and visiting many out of the way places of great spiritual significance.
Stay tuned on this page and follow in participants’ footsteps, as they travel through the unique Tibetan terrain to the abode of Shiva. Follow #KailashWithSadhguru on Twitter and Facebook to get live updates and glimpses of this beautiful experience.
Day 1 | Sadhguru Group
Kathmandu to Humde: The day started on a promising note as participants travelled from Kathmandu and took a short flight to Pokhara. But after a few of the participants flew to Humde in a helicopter, the rest were informed that the pilot would be unable to make any more flights that day due to the weather conditions. This however, hardly dampened their spirits. They played games, sang songs and danced so joyfully that no onlooker could have guessed that a flight had been cancelled!
The group visited Devi’s Falls also known as the Patale Chhango, on the course of the Seti river. The falls are also known as Devin, David and a host of other names, thanks to a legend about a trekker (the namesake Devin, David, etc.) who was washed away and mysteriously disappeared into an underground passage beneath the falls.
At the end of the day, the group checked into a hotel and slept in anticipation of the next day's journey where they would reunite with the rest of the group and Sadhguru. Meanwhile, the 10+ participants who made it to Humde on the first chopper ride, enjoyed camping with Sadhguru and an up-close view of the Annapurna Mountain range that would be the constant backdrop of their journey for the next six days.
Day 2 | Sadhguru Group
Humde to Manang: A morning drizzle delayed the flight to Humde, leaving everyone worried that they would miss out on their flight again. An hour later however, the incredible journey through the mountains began.
The landing at Humde was followed by the group’s first trek of the journey, from Humde towards Manang. The three-hour walk wasn’t too steep, and the journey ended at a campsite pitched on a local school's grounds. After lunch and a game of frisbee with Sadhguru, the now united group participated in the first sathsang later that night, in the school’s “English Room”.
Day 3 | Sadhguru Group
Manang: Taking the doctors' notes and his own assessments into consideration, Sadhguru decided it would be best for everyone to stay in Manang for a day to acclimatize. The day started early with guru pooja and a sathsang, where the group recieved a Shiva mantra from Sadhguru. Participants’ kept up the chant within themselves throughout a silent breakfast and time spent by the river. One of the participant’s relates, “The effect of this act was profound, as Sadhguru wished us to simply realise that Shiva is everything.” Later, the group made a short acclimatization trek to a nearby lake, leaving everyone in good spirits.
Day 4 | Sadhguru Group
Manang to Yak Kharka: The group started the day with a powerful Guru Pooja in the presence of Sadhguru, after which they travelled to the campsite in Yak Kharka or the “Yak fields”. The horses carrying the tents were running a little behind due to the weather conditions, so the group gathered at a nearby tea shop, where they sang and danced to music from drums and guitar. After the camp was all set up, an early, tasty dinner with Sadhguru followed, and by 7pm, the beautiful campsite was engulfed in clouds and fog.
Day 5 | Sadhguru Group
Yak Kharka to Thorung: Morning however brought a beautiful, clear sky, with the Annapurna mountain peak revealing itself fully for the first time! After a steady, two-hour ascent to Thorung base camp, the group ate lunch at the well-maintained lodge, whose Nepali owner – a guitar-playing man with dreadlocks – entertained them with a jamming session! Sadhguru danced for a bit too!
The group enjoyed a short game of volleyball, and then started the trek to the high camp. The steep, difficult climb took three long hours to complete, but was punctuated by stunning views of clear skies, soaring mountains and wild mountain goats.
After checking into the guest houses and another session of volleyball, a sathsang with Sadhguru began at 5 PM, where Sadhguru took the participants through a very intense process and initiation. The group went to bed early, to gear up for the next day, when they would cross Thorung La High Pass and head down to Muktinath.
Day 4 | Group S2
Lhasa: The charm and cultural beauty of Lhasa left the group spellbound as they visited the famed Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, and went on acclimatization walks through the narrow pathways of the Old Town. We The group was eager to head to Shigatse, the third largest city in Tibet, where the weather is said to be quite welcoming this year.
Day 5 | Group S2
Lhasa to Shigatse: Enroute to Shigatse, the group stopped for lunch by the road, where a short walk through a grove of trees greeted them with a spectacular view of the mountains and river. Participants were only too happy to hang around here for a while, taking their time to enjoy the scenic landscapes and fresh air.
Day 6 | Group S2
Shigatse to Saga: The journey continued as everyone set off from Shigatse to Saga. The night before, when asked if they wanted a late wake-up call, the whole Group shouted a big “No!”, with a few requesting that the group depart even earlier. Having listened to Sadhguru's talk on Manasarovar and Kailash, there was a deep longing in everyone to experience these sacred spaces... The fire is on!
As they journeyed towards Saga, the group stopped for short breaks as they climbed in the vehicles to nearly 4500 meters MSL, and performed the spinning exercises they had been taught, to help them acclimatize.
Day 7 | Group S2
Saga to Manasarovar: The group left Saga at 8.15 am, hoping to reach Manasarovar by 3 pm. Weather conditions were near-perfect when the group arrived, and they were even blessed with a stunning view of Mount Kailash.
Day 8 | Sadhguru group
Pokhara: The group were back at Pokhara, before they headed to Kathmandu, where they would begin the second leg of their trip to Kailash. The day started with free time to explore the city until later in the afternoon, when they headed to Devi Falls. Later in the night, the group enjoyed a late dinner table conversation with Sadhguru, discussing everything under the sun, and more. In these casual moments of connection with Sadhguru, many participants found themselves becoming more receptive and experiencing a sense of clarity that helped them during the yatra.
Day 9 | Sadhguru group
Pokhara to Kathmandu: Shortly after breakfast, the group left Pokhara in three chartered flights, heading to Kathmandu. An hour’s flight brought them to the Nepali capital, where they had a brief orientation meeting to gear up for the second leg of the trip. Sadhguru also welcomed a batch of participants, who had just arrived from India, to bless them on their yatra. Post a sathsang session, the group posed for a photograph with Sadhguru, with many of the participants in tears at having the opportunity to be with Sadhguru on the eve of their departure to Kailash.
Day 10 | Sadhguru group
Kathmandu to Lhasa: After a guru pooja at 8:30 am, the group head to the Kathmandu International Airport to catch the flight to Lhasa. Security was a breeze and they flew to Lhasa without a hitch. Upon arrival at the hotel in Lhasa, the group tucked into a late lunch of traditional Chinese food, giving them a taste of a whole new culture. The next day would be a long drive to Lhatse.
Day 11 | Sadhguru group
Lhasa to Lhatse: Guru pooja at 8:30 am was followed by the journey to Lhatse, in two 20-seater buses, with Sadhguru at the helm of the convoy, driving a Land Cruiser. Music was the first thought on everyone's minds as they had a 10-hour drive ahead of them!
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Music players, aux cables and battery-powered speakers were the most prized possessions on our long road ahead, with torturously slow speed limits. Our spirits were high and the atmosphere was charged up with chants, bhajans and sing-alongs. With frequent stops at police check points, for food breaks and acclimatization exercises, and frisbee games on the open plains, the group reached the hotel in Lhatse around 7 pm. Dinner followed at 8.30 pm and then everyone headed for a good night's rest.
Day 12 | Sadhguru group
Lhatse To Saga: The day started with a group Shambhavi practice, and a video of Sadhguru on Tibetan spirituality. Sadhguru then joined the group for an intense sathsang session. He gave everyone a simple practice to help become more receptive to the energy of “Shiva’s territory”, which they would be stepping into soon. After breakfast and guru pooja, the group boarded their buses to the unlikely sounding town of Saga.
Almost five hours of travel followed, but participants were too busy enjoying the beautiful terrain and otherworldly landscapes to notice it. The lunch break included a round of frisbee with Sadhguru, and a feast of tamarind rice, groundnut powder and delicious local watermelon. The group then gathered around Sadhguru's chair, and an engaging discussion on genetically modified foods and the long term effect it has on economics and the ecosystem followed!
The lunch break turned out to be a really long one though, because ongoing road work left the group stranded on the side of the highway for six whole hours! This was a huge setback in the schedule, but there was nothing they could do, so they enjoyed the landscape, played more frisbee, danced, and discovered some snacks that someone forgot they had with them!
Sadhguru asked the group to face the mountains and do the practice he had taught them in the morning. When they finally hit the road, it was already dark and there was still three hours of travel to go. The saga to Saga ended at 12.30 am, where after a dinner of delicious kichidi, everyone hit the bed.
Day 8 | Group S2
Shigatse to Lhasa: The group will soon be leaving Shigatse and heading towards Lhasa, where the yatra's closing session will be held, bringing an end to the participants' Kailash Manasarovar journey.
Day 13, Aug 16th | Sadhguru Group
Saga to Manasarovar: At around 8 am, Group S2 reached Saga from New Dong Pa and Sadhguru had a brief sathsang with them in the lobby of the hotel. Sadhguru told them that their Kailash Yatra was not yet over and they should still maintain a certain way of being, in order to benefit fully from the pilgrimage.
After Group S2 made their departure, the group travelling with Sadhguru assembled for Guru Pooja before starting off on the eight-hour drive to Manasarovar. Sadhguru instructed everyone to keep the Shivaya Parmeshwaraya chant going for at least two hours before reaching Manasarovar, so that the reverberation was on and everyone would be receptive to the energy at Manasarovar.
Manasarovar: Upon reaching the recently constructed entry gate to Manasarovar, Sadhguru was seen sitting and chanting on the side of the road. Everyone joined in and along with the chanting, they participated in a special sadhana that had been taught. Sadhguru spoke about a process that would be conducted at the lake the next day and that until then, no one should enter the water. The group pitched tents and witnessed a beautiful sunset, perhaps one of the most magical sunsets in the world, before settling in for the night.
Day 14 | Sadhguru Group
“Lake Manasarovar is beyond imagination. It’s a phenomenon that will break down all the walls of your logic and render you to another possibility.” – Sadhguru
Manasarovar: The group made their way to Manasarovar a little later than planned, due to rains and cold weather. Around 11.30 am, the sky cleared and they began the process with Sadhguru to receive and experience the phenomena of the lake. The chanting echoed across the water and everyone made their way into the lake. No one seemed to mind the ice-cold temperatures of the water as they stood in the lake with folded hands for up to 15-20 minutes. Coming out of the lake, many bowed down to Sadhguru with tears in their eyes. Later that day, after everyone had feasted on hot aloo bonda, there was an impromptu sathsang with Sadhguru outside the kitchen, lasting almost four hours! The group is now looking forward to the pinnacle of the yatra —the trek to Mount Kailash.
Day 15 | Sadhguru Group
Trek to Kailash: Up at 6.30 am, the group enjoyed the sight of a misty morning on the banks of Manasarovar. After the usual morning breakfast and guru pooja, the group boarded their buses to Kailash base camp. Porter allocation, pony bookings and yak loading made for a bustle at the starting point, but everything got arranged in time for Sadhguru to lead the group together. The beautiful feeling of isolation and remoteness on the trail to Kailash is truly majestic. Sadhguru was ahead the whole way, walking steadfast till Dirapuk lodge.
After the participants trickled in and everyone was allocated rooms, the group moved outside to behold Kailash with Sadhguru. As they were chanting “Shiva Shambo” with Sadhguru, in the presence of Kailash, one participant reports, “we felt like energies were exploding. As we continued chanting, the weather kept clearing up, until Kailash was almost fully visible. The power of the mountain, even at a mere glance, is undeniable, inescapable, and a blessing to behold.”
A late dinner was followed by a video about Kailash and a sathsang with Sadhguru. Sadhguru's presence in the sathsang was of a different nature and his energy was radiating. He spoke about the fundamentals of life, it's intricacies and how it all relates to Kailash. Tomorrow, the group would have a process in the morning, possibly the most significant part of this yatra.
Day 16 | Sadhguru Group
Kailash: A bitter cold and windy morning welcomed the sleepy participants. But this felt trivial compared to what they were going to experience – the final process with Sadghuru at a stream, in the presence of the magnificent snow-capped Kailash. Everyone experienced the process differently, but the universal experience was that the energy overcame all external feelings and thoughts.
Kailash to Saga: After the process at Kailash, the hike back to base camp began. The tired group slept all through the bus ride to Manasarovar. Although, a few from the group were ill, the six-hour ride back to Saga was joyous and also solemn, as everyone was still soaking in the effects of the process at Kailash.
Dinner was at a newly-formed town, where people hunted for ketchup and chilli sauce to spice up the bland dinner of Chinese vegetable noodles! The rest of the drive to Saga passed in slumber, and finally, the group arrived at their destination at 1:30 am, tired, but ready for the next two days of travel.
Day 17 | Sadhguru Group
Saga to Lhatse: The return journey was no less enthusiastic than the beginning of the yatra. Everyone was in high spirits during the bus ride from Saga to Lhatse. En route, we met up with another Sacred Walks group and we all participated in a lengthy sathsang under the clear skies, with a Tibetan mountain range in full view. After a delicious lunch, we resumed our trip and reached Lhatse earlier than expected. That evening, Sadhguru and several participants took a leisurely walk through the town and ended up at a luxurious Chinese restaurant for dinner, hosted by two of the Chinese participants in our group. The rest of us enjoyed a meal of biryani at the hotel. An early night's rest was welcomed by all before the last day of our journey which would take us to Lhasa.
Day 18 | Sadhguru Group
Lhatse to Lhasa: We left Lhatse at around 7 am and two hours into the drive, we cranked up the volume on our speakers and started singing along and dancing ecstatically. When we halted for a small snack an hour later, all the participants started dancing to pop English and Hindi songs, of which Gangnam style seemed to be the favorite! When we finally arrived at Lhasa, we were so exhausted that most of us went straight to bed until the closing ceremony later that night. The ceremony, where we reminisced about the yatra, was a bittersweet one as we knew this was the last night in each other's company. We all felt like one big family. The ceremony ended with another session of dancing, with Sadhguru himself joining in this time!
Everyone's thoughts were expressed when one participant joyfully exclaimed "I love my Guru!" We enjoyed a magnificent feast of Indian dishes, a welcome change from the bland Chinese noodles we had grown accustomed to! We chatted and laughed in Sadhguru's company well past midnight, before tearfully bidding goodbye to our Chinese companions, who were departing much before us the next morning. We went to bed with mixed feelings of sadness on the completion of this yatra and the joy of looking forward to going home.
Last Day | Sadhguru Group
Lhasa to Kathmandu: It was the last day of the yatra and everyone was in for a surprise! No one could guess that around 12 participants were up early, rehearsing for a skit that was to be performed after the guru pooja. For three days, these determined participants had been planning this skit, which would accurately depict key characteristics of the group members and actual situations that took place during our 21-day journey. Despite practising so little, when the skit was performed after the guru pooja, it was a riot of fun and laughter. Sadhguru was in splits throughout! The closing act was a heartfelt one and everyone experienced mixed emotions at the end of it all. We soon set off towards Kathmandu on our buses, our hearts heavy with a sense of reluctance to end this journey and anticipation to get home.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, everyone was caught up in a blur of re-packing, selfies, hugs, goodbyes, smiles and tears before we boarded different flights to different parts of the world. Until next time! May each pilgrim's heart always be aflame in the light of grace.