Dear Dad, How are you? Hope things are going well there. I know you are a mentally strong person. I am also trying to be strong like you through various means like meditation and yoga. I know you would be surprised and get a doubt that "Why she is writing a letter through Whatsapp to me? She could have called me and talked. " Dad, I feel there is a difference between video call and writing a letter. At times, in video we feel that we show our expressions through face so think need not express the exact feelings through words. But in letter we pour our heart out as it is one side totally who has to express without waiting for other person's reply instantly. So, thoughts keep flowing into the writing. Dad , I know you are an outgoing person and love to enjoy by hanging out with people around. Now we are sailing on the same boat where we are feeling that our hands and legs are tied tightly in our own home due to Covid 19 situation. But dad see it on the other side we are being responsibile citizens of our country who are helping our super heroes social workers who are in turn helping our peers who got affected by this pandemic. I know dad you feel I became philosopher and preaching you but fact is that I learnt how to deal with this depression of not going out and staying indoors throughout the day and night. The answer is by seeing places online, hearing their reviews , visualising those places and noting down which places to travel post this pandemic completely leaves us and we financially grow stable. Try it dad, it helped me. I created a group on Whatsapp who share their travel experiences of their different journeys across the world. They express so well that I feel like I was there with them in that place at that moment. To lighten your mood, I will share one of my friend's travel experience which she travelled just before Covid 19 pandemic outburst. I will be describing in her words.. I had been to Manasa Sarovar lake. We prepared a route map and then planned according to the budget that we saved throughout the last year for this travel. We left from *××~*|+ to the trip during August last year as it was suitable time to visit it. We packed our travel bags with sufficient food stuff and emergency kits. Clothes were carried accordingly to the season. We were team of 18 members including travel guide and 3 experienced travellers who already visited the places. It is not only the journey of soul or mind but also it is a journey that requires you body to be moderately fit. We must have fitness to tolerate the climatic conditions over there which is mostly extreme cold weather and higher altitudes. We made all bookings like flight travels and hotel reservations. Then we took off to our destination. Before, I started off for the trip I researched about the place and read few experiences mentioned in trip advisor. This place is worshipped by religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Bon religion etc., Here , Lord Shiva , aadhyantha rahitha (no beginning, no end) is worshipped as deity as he is said to be performing penance on Mount Kailash close to Lake Manasa Sarovar. I was curious about this term "Manasa Sarovar" and searched for its meaning. Manasa Sarovar means Lake of Consciousness. It is created by Lord Brahma who had created this in his mind first and then manifested his imagination over here in this place. It is one of the five sacred lakes that is a symbol of purity and said to cleanse all our sins and helps us gain Lord Shiva's abode post death. It is said that yaksha, gandharva, kinnera, kimpurusha and many other spiritual forms meet at night in this place for worshipping Lord Shiva. So it is generally forbidden to visit lake at night. This is the highest freshwater lake in the world residing in Tibet province. So, we need international visa for it. Our group luckily cleared the visa process and we were entitled to go ahead with trip. Entire tour is operated with help of Tibetan travellers. It was 15 days travel. Our trip start point was from Kathmandu, Nepal with the holiday trip dealer. We took off to that place. Day 1: We stayed in Kathmandu. Before I began the trip wanted God Almighty blessings so I had been to Pashupathinath Temple located on outskirts of Kathmandu. Pashupathinath god is none other than Lord Shiva. This temple courtyard has 4 entrances in the cardinal directions. Then we had been to Guheshwari matha temple and Budhanilkantha temple (Lord Vishnu sleeping on Adhi sesha as Seshasayana) After this spiritual experience, we got a leisure time to take rest for the next day plan. We enjoyed the food at hotel they took us to. Day 2: We had taken off to Simikot early morning as the weather is ideal for journey and sky is clear. Simikot is at an altitude of 2910 metres. This is said to be an ideal place for acclimatization. So we stayed here to get acclimatized. Day 3: Our trekking started to Simikot airport post having breakfast in the early morning. A chopper took off from there to Hilsa. After all reached at the checkpoint Hilsa, we are allowed to cross the border together as it is a rule passed by chinese government that all group members have to enter and exit together only. We took a drive from Hilsa to Taklakot for about 50 minutes. Day 4: We stayed at Taklakot and explored the place. Floods that occurred has caused a great impact on infrastructures. The hotel facilities were ok ok. Don't expect super facilities including the food served. We tried to get acclimatized to the weather over there. It was giving chills and cool breeze was circulating everywhere. With the help of hotel staff we have arranged bonfire to share our stories that made our bond stronger. We celebrated and cherished those precious moments. Day 5: We started off to our ultimate destination i.e., Manasa Sarovar lake. But before this lake, we have to cross "Rakshas tal" lake, Saltwater lake which according to mythology was created by Ten headed Ravana, a famed Rakshas to please Lord Shiva and receive boons from him. I watched this story in a telugu movie "Bhookailas" where Raavana tries hard to please Shiva. I shared this story with other group members. We took many pics and videos to show our near and dear ones. Atlast, we reached The Manasa Sarovar Lake. It was a mind blowing experience. We checked into hotel nearby. After few hours, we took a walk to the lake and took a holy dip. The water was very pure and so transparent that you can see yourself clearly. Being a spiritual person, I performed pooja here. Later, we were taken for parikrama which took more than 2 hours. On the way, I had seen mules which took few pilgrims for a ride. After parikrama, we came back to hotel and rested there. I must say it is an eye capturing moment where you are close to the lake watching stars in the sky with a moon brightly shining from hotel window. We enjoyed even the pain that we took to reach there. I felt it was worth taking the pains physically. Day 6: We circambulated around Mount Kailash and I was hallucinating that I saw Lord Shiva Linga formed in the clouds. We did not plan for a trek as few of group members were feeling nausea as they were not able to take the climatic changes and body pains. Day 7: We stayed at a hotel at Darchen as few group members needed rest. Other group members cheered them and tried to make them restore their confidence back. Medication was already given. They started recovering. We entertained them by singing , dancing and playing dumb charads. Day 8: We started early morning after check-out at hotel with luggage and reached yama dwara near Kailash Mountain. Few members did circambulation(parikrama) around Mount kailash from yama dwara on feet without transportation. They proceeded to Deraphuk instantly. But the others had to take porters, horses or other means from yama dwara to reach Deraphuk. Day 9: It was too early in the morning that we left to zutulphuk. From the starting point we had to trek. Trekking became a challenging task as we need to reach higher altitude and descend down. Dolma-La was the target point till where we have to ascend. We prayed god to help us climb it as we were giving up at times. The tour guides encouraged us and pulled us together. Finally we reached the point. Then from here it is a rapid incline. One must be very very alert and cautious mainly while trekking down here as it is too risky here. While we were descending, we saw Gauri kund where shape is said to be perfectly round and water is blue colored with five small emerald coloured water lakes beside it. It is believed that Mata Parvathi made Lord Ganesha out of turmeric and made him guard while she took bath. After splashing water on our head as symbol of purity and spiritually holy, we proceeded further and reached Zutulphuk, check point. Day 10: "Trekking tiring !!Trekking crying!! Trekking paining!! Trekking still how much!! No more Trekking "was the rap song we composed as journey of trekking started making us develop fatigue. Then guides advised not to get carried away with the pains and lose focus. They made us hail Lord Shiva's names. Maybe that helped us regain the consciousness and focus.. Finally trek got ended as we reached our check point Darchen through drive after a walk of another 8 to 9 kms. Late in the evening, we reached Taklakot. Day 11: From Taklakot we were accompanied by an military person to escort us to Hilsa. After vigilance checking, we were allowed to cross the border as a group using a bridge of karnali river. Then we took the flight back to Simikot. Day 12 and Day 13: From Simikot there is no direct flight to Kathmandu. So we took flight to Nepalgunj. From there we got to Kathmandu. Finally after reaching here we took ample of rest and celebrated the final victorious journey. Day 14 and Day 15: We gathered the remaining strength and travelled back to home sweet home with few precious items purchased at the places visited. It was very very tiring journey but loved it and will be the most memorable one. Note: Please strictly follow the rules laid by the authorities to avoid any kind of hindrances to your travel. If you ask me , plan this at your own risk as it is risky journey. Trekking is the biggest challenge we faced. If you are physically and mentally fit, only then you opt this travel. Oxygen cylinders will be provided while trekking in case of emergency. Rest will depend on travel agencies you opt. Thanks to the @&#|-| tours agency who took care of us and provided us help and attention when needed. So friends please reconsider your decision and have a clear vision when you decide your travel to manasa sarovar lake. So, this is about her trip dad. Trip cost was 2 lakhs nearly exclusive of few charges like entry fees to temples. You may be wondering why I am saying about this trip in detail. I saw your wish list last time when I visited home, dad. You have written this place. I collected all details .You don't worry about the money and focus on becoming fit and healthy for trip. I already saved it. My duty is to arrange all required things and accompany you for the trip. Now your duty is to become fit and wait for pandemic to be curbed completely. Then we shall travel soon. Bye. Hoping to see you fit and fine again. Love you dad. Regards, Your Loving Daughter. The End Dear travellers, Live the current pandemic life in a optimistic way. Never ever lose hope!! Thank you for reading this💐💐😊
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