A trip to Kailash-Manasarovar is packed with a number of attractions of high religious significance. Among other religious sites that you can view in this region, Yam Dwar is an important one. Meaning 'Gateway of the God of Death', Yam Dwar attracts a large number of pilgrims every year.
If you are planning a trip to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar, don't forget to include a visit to Yam Dwar.
Yam Dwar is located in Tarboche, which is only a few kilometres from Darchen in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. If you are in Darchen, you can reach Yam Dwar in just a couple of minutes.
The entire Mount Kailash region is so sacred that anything that's associated with it becomes sacred too. Every stone in and around Mount Kailash is treated with utmost respect. Remember, this is where you can feel the divine presence in the truest sense of the word. And Yam Dwar too is of extreme religious significance because it is considered to be the gateway of Yam, the God of Death.
Yam Dwar is the place from where you'll enter the abode of Lord Shiva. Tarboche, where Yam Dwar is located, is the starting point for the parikrama around Mount Kailash, which is the home of Lord Shiva.
If you plan to visit Mount Kailash, you must pass through Yam Dwar. Such is the religious significance of this place.
According to Hindu mythology, Yama is the lord of death. It is Yama who is responsible for bringing mortal souls in his home. First, Yama takes account of all your good and bad deeds. And then he releases you for the ultimate cosmic journey onward. It is believed that the actual entrance through this gate is possible only when you have detached your soul from the mortal world.
Tibetans hold Taborche in high regard because this is from where you start for Mount Kailash. That's why a new flagpole is erected at Taborche annually. Every year, Tibetans replace the old flagpole with a new, decorated one. All of this happens in the form of a ceremony on the full moon day. During this ceremony, Tibetans walk in circles around the flagpole in a clockwise direction. The entire celebration is a feast for the eyes as it includes ritual play of music of different kinds. Tibetans use horns, conches and drums to add joy and mirth to this celebration.
The flagpole ceremony is a must-watch for everyone – tourists, Tibetans and pilgrims from outside. During the ceremony, the flagpole has to be erected perfectly upright. If it isn't, it will not bring good for Tibetans.
If you keep moving while in the Kailash region, you'll come across multiple sites of religious importance – one after another.
Since Darchen is located closeby, you can always make a visit to Ashtapad, a holy site for pilgrims. If you wish to take a closer look at Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva, you should definitely visit Ashtapad. From here, you can view the south face of Mount Kailash from a very close distance.
A visit to the tiny, remote village of Darchen is also a rich experience. In this village, you can not only meet with locals but also see how Tibetans live in the mountains. There are a lot of sights and sounds to amaze you. The road to the village passes through mountains, boulders, valleys and streams. If you love photography, you'll certainly enjoy a photo shoot here.
The area in which Yam Dwar is located remains pleasant during the summer months. That's why, it's recommended that you plan your trip between the months of May and August. Always keep in mind that winter in this region is chilly, from December until April. You can also visit this pilgrimage site during the monsoons as there is only little amount of rainfall during this period.
First, you need to get to the town of Shiquanhe or (Ali) and from there you can catch a bus or hire a taxi service to reach Darchen. From Darchen, Yam Dwar in Taborche is only 30 minutes away. Ngari Gunsa is the nearest airport from Tarboche or Darchen.
Plan your stay in the village of Darchen which has a couple of guesthouses with basic facilities. If you are an adventure lover, you can also choose to camp in and around Darchen. A lot of camping ground is available.
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