Chamba Kailash as seen from outside Bharmaur.

Manimahesh Kailash Yatra 2017 | A Photo Journey

As I looked outside from our room, the downpour looked scary. A month ago we tried to start our summers from Beas Kund but bureaucratic formalities proved a little too much for us and we had to ‘unwillingly’ drop our plan. Those memories were still afresh and another unsuccessful attempt looked imminent.

“At least I’ll learn to play pool table,”  was my constant line of thinking while it rained incessantly outside.

The tiny droplets of rain kept striking the window pane all night long. This year, Bharmaur weather is still stuck in mild winters and the valley hasn’t really seen the light of summers.

“If  we turn back this time, I am not going anywhere this year”, was my last thought before sleep. It did stop raining the next morning. And it didn’t rain for the next 24 hours at all. Now that I am back and writing this post, it has been raining cats and dogs as if the rain gods are compensating for the 24 hour window that was granted for our safe passage.

Manimahesh Kailash Yatra is a popular pilgrimage and everything you want to know is easily available on this blog or elsewhere. Just hop along on this virtual tour.

Chamba Kailash as seen from outside Bharmaur. I never really liked staying overnight at Bharmaur and that’s why I never knew that the Kailash looked so close from Bharmaur. One can actually see the peak from three different points between Bharmaur-Chamba-Chuwari Jot.

The Snow Cone aka Bada Kanda. One of the many wonders of Pir Panjal Himalaya. Visible from the start of the trek at Hadsar. The tip of the peak, which is hidden in this photograph can be clearly seen from the ridge above the Manimahesh Lake.

The Snow Cone stands tall at 5800m/19250feet. The tip of the peak remained hidden for a major part of our trek.

This year June felt like early April. The valley was cold and devoid of any human activity on the trail which was a blessing in disguise for us as we had the entire trail for ourselves.

The first glimpse of the mighty Kailash. The peak comes into sight only after you’ve reached Gauri Kund and rightly so because there’s no Shiva without Shakti.

The evenings at the lake are always like this. The show of light and fog is mesmerizing. Here you can see the Kailash having a little handshake with the setting sun.

The light and shadow show continues. Down below you can see the little settlements at Gauri Kund.

Manimahesh Kailash on a starry night. To the right of the peak one can see the Jotnu Pass covered in snow.

Semi frozen Manimahesh Lake

Climbing History of Manimahesh Kailash

The popular belief is that Chamba Kailash can’t be climbed. Contrary to the popular belief, the mountain has been climbed. Twice. First time in 67-68 by a group ladies from Japan accompanied by an Indian group. Second time by an Indian expedition led by the armed forces. This interesting correspondence between Harish Kapadia Ji, the then editor of Himalayan Journal, and Shuya Sekiguchi clearly establishes that the mountain has indeed been climbed.

This time I tracked my walk from Hadsar to Manimahesh Lake. Here is the animated video that I have made using GPX file. Hope you’ll enjoy watching it. How to create this videos will be explained in the next blog post which may be written next week or next month or next year.

Relive ‘Chamba Kailas Yatra, 2017’

View my run Chamba Kailas Yatra, 2017


  1. Total distance from Hadsar to Lake is approximately 15km.
  2. One can find tent accommodation at Dhancho bridge (4km), Dhancho (5km), Sundrasi (8km), Gauri Kund (10km) and at the lake.
  3. It has been decided to restrict the number of tents until the Yatra commences (25 July) so you’ll find only 5-6 tents on the trail. Each tent can accommodate 10-15 people easily.
  4. Carry your own sleeping bag if you are allergic to cheap blankets.
  5. One can stay at Bharmaur View at Bharmaur. Bharmaur Hadsar is 13km. Chamba Bharmaur is 65km.

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