A Journey of Faith and Adventure to Adi Kailash
India is a land of diverse religions and countless religious places. One such mystical and thrilling journey is to Mount Adi Kailash, also known as Chhota Kailash. Situated at a height of approximately 6000 meters in Uttarakhand, Adi Kailash offers breathtaking natural beauty similar to Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet. The journey to Adi Kailash begins from Dharchula, a border area of Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand. From Dharchula, you travel by road to Tawaghat and then start the trek to Adi Kailash.
As you embark on this adventure, you catch glimpses of the Api Mountain in Nepal, adding to the excitement. The real adventure begins when you reach Chhiyalekh peak, where the enchanting beauty of snow-covered mountains, bugyals (meadows), and colorful flowers captivate your senses. Continuing the journey, you pass through Garbiang, a village that showcases glimpses of history with its carved houses, despite being affected by a landslide in recent years. From Garbiang, travelers reach Gunji via Nabi, crossing the Kalapani River and witnessing the majestic Api mountain of Nepal. Finally, you reach Kunti Yankti, a village named after Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas from the Mahabharata. Legend has it that the Pandavas stayed here with their mother during their journey to heaven. Surrounded by snow-covered mountains, Kunti Yankti is a sight to behold.
After approximately four days of travel, you will reach Adi Kailash mountain, standing tall at an altitude of 6000 meters. At the base of Adi Kailash lies Dhoti Parvati Lake, offering a supernatural experience that adds to the spiritual journey.
How and When to Go?
To reach Adi Kailash, you can travel to Dehradun or Pantnagar by flight or train in Uttarakhand. From there, you need to cover the entire distance to Dharchula in Pithoragarh district by road. The trekking begins from Dharchula. However, please note that this journey is not possible during winter and rainy seasons. The best time to travel is during the summer season from June to September.
Adi Kailash: A Pilgrimage Site for the Rung Community
Adi Kailash holds immense significance for the Rung community, as it finds mention in the Skanda Purana and is considered the largest center of faith for Rung community members residing in the Dharma Valley and surrounding areas. According to Rung tradition, Adi Kailash was the original abode of Lord Shiva. It is believed that Shiva left the place due to disturbances caused by frequent visits from saints and other people. Later, the saints discovered Shiva on Mount Kailash. Mythological stories also mention that Lord Shiva stayed at Adi Kailash with Mother Parvati on their way to Mount Kailash after their marriage. The Parvati Sarovar was built for the goddess to take a bath, adding to the spiritual significance of the place.