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Adi Kailash Yatra Begins: Historical and Mythological Significance

The Adi Kailash Yatra has officially commenced, with the first batch of 49 pilgrims arriving at the Dharchula base camp en route to Jolingkong, which offers a breathtaking view of the sacred peak.

“The initial group of 49 pilgrims, comprising 32 men and 17 women from various parts of the country, reached the yatra’s base camp at Dharchula,” reported Vijay Nath Shukla, the general manager of Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN). These pilgrims are journeying towards the Shiv-Parvati temple, situated alongside a lake at an elevation of 18,500 ft in Jolingkong, from where the sacred Adi Kailash peak is visible. “On the occasion of the temple’s opening for the year, over 200 devotees were present,” stated Gopal Singh Kutiyal, the chief priest of the temple.

Jolingkong gained prominence in October last year when Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage at the lakeside temple and had a darshan of the Adi Kailash peak from there. The Adi Kailash pilgrimage will take seven days for each batch to complete, during which the devotees will stay at camps in Pithoragarh, Dharchula, Gunji, Bundi, Chaukori, and Bhimtal, according to Dhan Singh Bisht, in-charge of the KMVN base camp. The pilgrims will depart for New Delhi on the eighth day. So far, over 500 pilgrims from across the country have booked for the yatra this year, added Bisht.

“The current phase of the Adi Kailash yatra will continue through May and June. It will remain closed during the monsoon months of July and August and will resume from September to November,” he elaborated. As reported earlier, the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) launched India’s inaugural helicopter yatra for Adi Kailash and Om Parvat. This pioneering initiative breaks through the limitations posed by season and terrain, enabling a broader range of devotees to access these revered pilgrimage sites for a greater number of days throughout the year.

Adi Kailash Yatra Begins: Historical and Mythological Significance

Why is this Yatra Significant?

Devotees of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, as well as seekers of peace and adventure, all revere Mount Kailash. This diamond-shaped mountain rises to a height of 19,500 ft and nestles in the remote Himalayan ranges of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, standing as one of the world’s most spiritually significant peaks. People regard it as the Axis Mundi, the center of the Earth, and believe it to be the stairway to Heaven and the dwelling place of numerous deities.

According to Hindu tradition, Mount Kailash is the abode of the supreme God Shiva and Goddess Parvati. In Jainism, people revere Ashtapad as the birthplace of Jainism, where Lord Adinath, the first Tirthankara, attained enlightenment.. People believe that the circumambulation, also known as parikrama or kora, of Mount Kailash cleanses sins and purifies the soul. Devotees, including Hindus, Jains, and trekkers alike, undertake the ritual in a clockwise direction, covering a total distance of 52 km around the sacred mountain.

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