Kailash Manasarovar Yatra via Lipulekh Pass (PART 6) – Tribute to my Father

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This part of my travelogue is about the reason why I undertook this yatra. It is about relationship of a father, the Mountain Goat and his daughter, two kindred spirits…

Isn’t it unfair of God to bereft me of love and warmth of my dad…The brightest star of my constellation has faded away into oblivion..but yet I know little sparks will still fly as I yearn for him…that longing only increases with each passing day..pain hurts but it elevates also..opening horizons to intangible, unseen and indescribable. 

Why Kailash yatra...because I could not find closure, because tears would glide past my face and knowing the inevitable truth, I found myself abandoned and clueless because my father left us after fighting sickness and disease. I have always known him as a man of indomitable will and courage and when I saw life leaving his body, it made me numb. What made it more painful was that I was a Doctor and a Daughter. And when I would be overwhelmed as daughter, the doctor in me would tell me to hold on. Hospitals are not a great place to be in and when it’s your own father swinging between life and death and you’re witness to it, it makes you weak. Your colleagues, your friends…no one understands your pain. If you are vulnerable, you’re doomed. I was everything I was not supposed to be. And then on April 2, 2015, he left amidst chanting of mantras and recitation of his favorite poem, Invictus, which used to lift my morale whenever I used to feel low

Under the bludgeonings of chance 

My head is bloody, but unbowed. 

I am the master of my fate, 

I am the captain of my soul. 

Gadsar Lake, Kashmir
We both shared love for mountains, books, literature and traversing un-chartered paths. He gave me strength whenever I faltered and he was someone who taught me real meaning of life. Man who was free as a cloud, limitless as sky and who always taught us do what your heart tells you..


People will never understand your quest but as long as you do, nothing else matters. Mountains will have no meaning without you. Who shall guide me in my treks and be exalted as I finish them..
Way to Mani Mahesh Yatra


When he left, I could not continue to work in hospital and left it to find answers, some peace and closure. I knew mountains would be the only place where I could meet him, for he resided there. So, whenever I wish that he holds me and talks to me, I head to mountains. He wanted his ashes to be put in Gangbal lake in Kashmir where he used to trek often in his youth. But that wasn’t enough. Gnawing pain just wouldn’t go. I always wanted to do Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, but never had time. Now time had to wait as this yatra was my final journey to let my father free and allow him to soar in celestial realms and look at my life with renewed zeal and enthusiasm. And trudge on path, he envisioned for me and not care for what world may say and let not failures deter me. As he would say “one fall doesn’t make one a fiasco.”
Carefree Abandon
You weren’t just a father. You were a force, mountain goat, ardent book lover whose soul was passionate and who gave me strength to follow what I wanted. He lived his life as a wanderer who had mountains as his home, books as his friends, and dreams to behold. You live in both me and my sister, Dad..and mountains connect us in astral realms beyond the confines of human mind..we shall keep coming back to them to hug you or just hold your hand to guide us…life has become jaded, barren…but you are our eternal spring, the guiding force, our master our guide…
Kishansar Lake, Kashmir
Giving ice axe in my hand, you empowered me.You gave me confidence that I could be anything I wanted to be, you made me fall in love with mountains..


And when now I have more bones and years on me; I miss you holding my arm and egging me on, I miss you like elusive Yeti whose story you would tell us and how one day we would go in snow covered mountains to search for one..
You infused my childhood with nature and not gadgets and your absence makes me acutely aware of your everlasting presence.
Love galore..


Amarnath Cave
To be continued..

Click here to read previous part of Yatra

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  1. Reply

    Abhishek Srivastava

    January 15, 2021

    Beautifully written.

    My favourite line – “I miss you like elusive Yeti whose story you would tell us and how one day we would go in snow covered mountains to search for one”

  2. Reply

    avatar dpavatar

    February 27, 2018

    tribute to a father, how amazing.

  3. Reply


    August 23, 2017

    Hey Varuna after reading this post I thought for quite while, to try and pen down what I actually felt but you know what I really can't describe it in words. I am deeply touched, You are one amazing person, what you are doing is amazing and your father will be really proud of you . love your spirit. I have got a lot to learn from you

  4. Reply

    madhu saraf

    July 30, 2017

    Tribute to a father can't be better than what you doing.��

  5. Reply


    April 30, 2017

    Om Shanti! Shambhu…

  6. Reply

    Savita Patel

    April 21, 2017

    Very true Varunaji. Great memorable unexplained moment of life.Looking forward to read more….

  7. Reply

    Dr. Varuna Raina

    April 12, 2017


  8. Reply

    Dr. Varuna Raina

    April 12, 2017

    He is the reason for my being and eternal love for nature and mountains.Physically he may not be here but I feel him in my every breath.Thanks for being part of journey

  9. Reply

    Dr. Varuna Raina

    April 12, 2017

    thank you..

  10. Reply

    Dr. Varuna Raina

    April 12, 2017

    Savita JI, whatever I am is because of him.

  11. Reply

    Dr. Varuna Raina

    April 12, 2017

    thank you..

  12. Reply


    April 11, 2017


  13. Reply

    Shubham Mansingka

    April 7, 2017

    I cried. More power to you.


  14. Reply


    April 7, 2017

    Straight-from-the-heart narrative from a well-read person who articulates equally well 🙂 Liked it very much. Looking forward to read more from you, Varuna.

  15. Reply


    April 6, 2017

    Peace to you Varuna. Your father's legacy lives through you! Feel honoured to have met a deep soul like you!
    Conquering many more mountains, and soar above all

  16. Reply

    Savita Patel

    April 5, 2017

    Dr. Varunaji, thank you for sharing your special tribute to a special person in your life.

  17. Reply

    Himalayan Hermit

    April 5, 2017

    Inspiring tribute to the man and his adventures 🙂 Looking fwd to the next part.