🏆 2023 BIBA® Non-Fiction: Travel/Pilgrimage Winner!
Embroiled in difficult business dealings, author Rao is convinced by his devout Hindu wife, Mamatha, to vow to Lord Shiva that he will go to sacred sites at Lake Manasa Sarovar and Mount Kailash in Tibet. He gradually acquiesces, and she books the tour. Preparations are paramount: pilgrims of any age might die from the continual cold and extreme altitudes. Crossing into Tibet on a narrow, swaying suspension bridge is the first taste of challenge, followed by cramped sleeping quarters shared with fellow pilgrims and no toilets or hot water. The couple bathes ritually in the beautiful blue, icy Manasa, a prelude for deeper spiritual connectivity that will infuse Rao’s mind and heart as he and Mamatha hike the entire circumference of Kailash that rises out of the rocky landscape like a divinely formed pyramid. By the end of their adventure, Rao expresses that he has “surrendered to a higher intelligence.”