Mani Mahesh Kailash – The Crown Jewel of ‘Shiva’ Part II

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Dancho to Mani Mahesh Lake

Very next day, around 5 am, we left for our destination – Mani Mahesh Lake. We had to trek all our way to Mani Mahesh Lake via Gauri Kund and come back to Dancho before nightfall. The trek from Dancho to Gauri Kund was little more challenging than the earlier one, owing to the fact that it was a narrow and rough trek.

When we were closing in on Gauri Kund we encountered snow for the first time. My first time! And as I was betrothed before coming to the trek, the only thing came to my mind was to write my beloved’s name and impress her. So I did it…

My fiance's name on the first snow I saw
My fiance’s name on the first snow I saw

We reached Gauri Kund around 9 am. The kund (pond) was dry and we stopped to freeze those moments in photos.

Gauri Kund
Freezing the moments in the frame

Gauri Kund to Mani Mahesh Lake – The last Stretch

The last stretch of the trek, which was around 1 km, was a daunting one. The air was thin and oxygen was scarce. I felt tired and out of breath every 100 meters. We rested a lot all the way to the top. Our progress was slow, but the determination to reach atop was strong. I had finally found the challenge I had come seeking for.

Mani Mahesh Lake

It was no less than a victory reaching Mani Mahesh Lake after completing long trek. The lake was frozen, partially at some places. Nobody from our group dared to step into those waters to take a holy bath. We all feared freezing to death. The lake at the foot of Mani Mahesh Kailash Mountain was a marvel of nature. The local guide shared the local legend about a Gaddi (Local Tribe) trying to scale the Mani Mahesh Kailash Peak, and also tried to show us the frozen Gaddi and his sheep in the form of some rocks near the peak. The guide claimed that only a person with pure heart and intent could scale Mani Mahesh Kailash. In the pictures posted below you could spot some rocks that were difficult to distinguish from such distance that are claimed to be the frozen Gaddi and his sheep. Legends remain legends and the fact that nobody has ever been successful in scaling the peak lends strength to these legends.

The lake - Mani Mahesh
The frozen lake and the snow clad white mountains around.
‘Pradeep’ my colleague. He looks much better than I do – standing in front of the Mani Mahesh Kailash
Atop the Mani Mahesh Lake
The Crown Jewel of Shiva – Mani Mahesh Peak. If you pay attention you could see two little rock formation near the peak in the line of my head – the frozen Gaddi and his sheep as per the claims. Difficult to make it from such distance. And no luck testing this legend as nobody has ever scaled the peak and perhaps never will for the tourism ministry has forbidden it for religious reasons.

It was some trek for all of us. It filled us with a new energy and boosted our confidence. Leaving only two members of the group all others were able to reach the top and see the lake and the Mani Mahesh Kailash – the virgin peak – for nobody has ever been able to scale it.

Advice for those who are planning a trek

Hire a good trek organiser – especially if you planning to trek in winters, as the trek gets covered in snow only the local guides can help you through. There were stretches in our trek where it seemed difficult to go ahead but the advice of our guides came handy and we could succeed.

Also carry all the essentials with you as the you will not get those in Bharmour. The rain-sheets, torches, extra pairs of thermal inners etc. are mandatory. I wish to luck for your trek and guarantee you a time of your life.

Thanks for reading.

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Arun Yadav

A government servant by profession and avid traveller by nature. Love travelling, trekking, hiking. Also in love with computers, call me a nerd.

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