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Viva Holidays Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
When Kailashapati is calling, how could one brush aside the Grace ?!The pilgrimage to the holiest of the holy abodes of Lord shiva, the mount kailash, through Nepal in year 2001, had created the desire to go on pilgrimage to the abode by walking through the Indian side. Another reverend devotee from the same city had the plans of taking up this holy yatra. The company of those who cede their heart to be completely occupied by the Begging Lord, Who is capable of providing the whole universe for those who pray, is certainly something to yearn for.
Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
The pilgrimage to kailash - manasasarovar through the Indian side is organized by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) along with other agencies like the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN). All those who would like to go on pilgrimage to kailash have to apply subsequent to the call for applications published in leading dailies in the month of February. The pre-requisites is a valid Indian passport. (Money - about Rs. 55,000 and health of course). If the passport is not ready, still "applied for" also may get considered. But it is mandatory to have one before the start of the yatra. From the applicants on random lottery type of selection the yatris are chosen for the pilgrimage. The yatra is conducted in 16 batches, each batch having a maximum of 36 yatris. The yatra season starts in early June and the last batch starts the pilgrimage as late as end of August. The chosen applicants for each of the batch are informed in advance.

(Sometimes yatris should be ready to start just in a week's time after getting the notification.) On receipt of the selection notification, the applicant must confirm the yatra by telegram to the ministry and follow it up by sending a Demand Draft for Rs 2,000 favoring KMVN. If an applicant declines to take the offer or fails to pay the amount in time, the applicants on the waiting list would be considered for the yatra. Though some more devotees applied along with us for the yatra, finally it was only two who undertook the pilgrimage. (While there is a good possibility that one could get selected for the yatra, the devotees should not loose heart if they are not selected. At times it may take time. Even if not got selected, should be prepared to apply for the yatra the next year.) Before starting the yatra it is required that the medical fitness tests suggested in the information booklet sent by the Ministry of External Affairs need to be completed.

These reports are pre-requisites for the medical clearance for the yatri at indraprasta (delhi). One should take enough of warm clothing and other materials as detailed in the booklet sent by the MEA. The yatra will be an enjoyable and memorable one, if there is fair medical fitness and due care is taken as suggested in the information brochure. Of course Grace of the Supreme is the most essential for a great experience during the yatra. So apart from all these physical preparations one should mentally prepare for the greatest yatra. Praying God is the known way to get Its Grace. From the application filling time one could start doing prayer everyday till the completion of the yatra. This is a vrata for the most sacred yatra. It would be required for the yatri to be present in indraprasta three days before the actual yatra commences so that the medical tests and the visa formalities can be completed.

The Yatra begins
It was the month of August. We had been selected for the fifteenth batch as yatris. All the yatris assembled at the specified hotel in indraprasta where the arrangements were made for the yatris to stay.

There was one more devotee from the neighboring state who had accompanied from our town for the yatra. There were many pilgrims from the length and breadth of India who had already arrived. The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra Samiti and the other service organizations had made food arrangements for the yatris during the days of stay in indraprasta. It was a nice monday, auspicious day to worship the Lord(1), Who took the decimating moon to Its head and blessed it to survive. Got blessed to salute the Benevolent Lord at malai mandhir along with the fellow devotee.

Towards the Great Himalayas
The fourth day was the departure from indraprasta towards the ultimate destination to go to which place people had come ready to sacrifice all the comforts they are used to and take the strains and risks on the way as a reminiscable experience. The bus departed early in the morning with the hailings, "kAvAi kanagath thiraLE pORRI - kayilai malaiyAnE pORRi pORRi", "bam bam - bhole" and "hara namaH pArvatI pataye - hara hara mahAdeva". The first halt was at Almora in uttaranchal. The first day travel itself in the bus on the grand himalayas was very interesting and so interesting was also the thirumuRai discussions with the two devotees who closely accompanied throughout the yatra. When we reached Almora - the town off Nainital - it was already evening. It was a pleasant weather out there - like the cool shade of our Lord's Feet.

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