"On a journey to a great destination, the body and soul should not be concerned with the considerable challenges of the trip."

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."

Rao, an Indian industrialist, philanthropist, and world trekker, writes about this remarkable inner (and outer) journey with special verve and notable detail. He invites readers to envision such hardships as using the great outdoors as one's personal privy and eating the often-tiny meals offered while anticipating the rigors of heading upward on foot in air that can freeze one's lungs. Sadly, their tour group lost one member to these conditions, and Rao and Mamatha also felt the pangs of commemorating the day some years before when their beloved daughter passed away. Contrasted with these trials are the moments of jolly camaraderie with fellow travelers and the clear devotion for one another the couple shares despite their little marital spats, amusingly depicted along the way. Rao's book may inspire readers to make the Manasa/Kailash trek or to seek the sense of spiritual revelation that he imbibed and so generously imparts.

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