Journey to the abode of God involves high altitude trekking and embarking on an endeavor fraught with danger at every turn. For something as adventurous and eventful as Kailash Mansarovar Yatra you need to be prepared for all eventualities. Who knows, you may not even get a chance to undertake this pilgrimage otherwise! So, what kind of preparations do you need to take for this ultimate of the sacred tours in the life of a Hindu? Read on to find out………….
How fit do you need to be?
Medical and physical fitness is an extremely important criterion when it comes to this journey. You need to be in good health and shape with 27 Body Mass Index (BMI) or less during the selection process. Altitude sickness is a common experience of everybody who undertakes this trek and it varies according to the individual. Some may experience it only in moderation while others undergo strong symptoms. Naturally, physically fit people are better able to cope with altitude sickness. You need to undertake both walking and mountain climbing during the Yatra. So your preparation should include exercise regimes that combine these.
Preparing for the Pilgrimage
Naturally, when you have decided to undertake something as hard as this pilgrimage unique to begin with the preparations well in advance many months prior to when the actual journey starts. Daily jogging, 30 min walk, regular exercises, and stretching need to be the part of your regime. Even if most of the equipment that you will take with you will be with the porters, you still need to carry the necessities as drinking water, medicine, and additional clothing yourself. So an ideal preparation should be a combination of strength and cardiovascular endurance along with hiking-specific training.
- Strength conditioning: Build your overall strength with gym machines, bodyweight exercises, training with backpack, bands, and free weights. Strength development in shoulders and upper back through effective exercises will help you to carry backpacks or use your trekking poles with efficiency. You need to develop trekking specific strength and for this you have to train primarily with free weights.
- Cardiovascular conditioning: You need to practice walking on incline treadmill and running as a part of your preparations. Swimming, rowing, and biking are great cardiovascular options that you need to focus on exercises related to cardiovascular spinal loading. This includes downhill and inclined treadmill walks running, and jogging.
- Mountain conditioning: You need to condition your whole body for a long stay at high altitudes. So you need to do steep hikes at outdoor trails and increase backpack weights gradually. Practice by carrying bottles of water in your backpack.
Pack the Right Clothes
You need to be prepared for all kinds of weather poles apart from each other. So keep with you multiple sweaters, T-shirts, pants, scarves, thermal jackets, and several socks that you will need while doing your parikrama of Mansarovar Lake and Mt. Kailash. Also, keep a monkey and raincoat handy during the tour.
Besides, everything else, the yatris should also carry a box of First Aid with them along with general medicines.