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Shankara: The Mansarovar Odyssey by Anuj Tikku | Book Review

There are lots of perks of being a professional travel blogger. The main, however, as per my understanding is getting opportunities to explore the real world by following one’s own passion. Anuj Tikku is a professional travel blogger from India, who follows his passion by exploring various places not only in India but around the world.

One needs to understand that there are always two sides of a coin. And, travel blogging is not an exception. On one hand, you get a chance to follow your passion but on the other, you need to work hard, remain physically fit and has to be a light traveler. You need to develop a habit of surviving on the available resources.

Most of the travel bloggers love to roam solo. However, there are some trips (like that of Antarctica, Himalaya, Kailash and others) where you need to be a part of a group. Anuj got a chance to visit Kailash-Mansarovar in a group tour arranged by Isha Foundation run by famous “Sadhguru” Jaggi Vasudev. After finishing this tour he has decided to group the blogging articles he wrote during the tour together with a few more relavent ones and publish them in the form of a book.

And that is how the book Shankara: The Mansarovar Odyssey was born.

Book Title : Shankara: The Mansarovar Odyssey
Author :
Publisher : Self Publied (15 January 2012 / 27 June 2017)
# of Pages : (5513 KB) 51 (Kindle EBook)
Purchase Link(s) :

Being responsible for making the first impression of the book, it’s cover page has a very important role to play in overall life of a book. For EBooks, it need not protect the inner pages from the outside effect(s) and keep them bound together, though.

Book Cover:

The cover page is expected to have the photograph or illustration of a gigantic lake filled with blue water surrounded by snow clad mountain peaks which are reflected in the water. And an illustration of Lord Shiva, the Aadi Yogi, the supreme being who is beyond the birth and thus death; is also expected.

Shankara: The Mansarovar Odyssey by Anuj Tikku | Book Cover

Shankara: The Mansarovar Odyssey by Anuj Tikku | Book Cover

As you can see above, the cover page tries fulfilling the imagination of a curious reader and is attractive too.

Takeaways from the book:

The book starts with a preface where the author tries conveying his thoughts about Lord Shiva, his Kailash-Mansarovar journey, how he got an opportunity to join Isha Foundation’s “spiritual walks” program and got a chance to visit these serene places.

There are some parts of the book which are nicely written. At places, the author provides brief history of the place or a mythological legend associated with the place and even references to some literary works also. I found it amazing to read mention of Rudyard Kipling’s thoughts about Spiti in this book!

Rudyard Kipling called Spiti “A World Within a World”.

The real and first hand experienced shared by the author are the real takeaways from the book. He clearly mentions the figure of the trip cost. I cannot reveal the figure and it will anyway change with time, but, one should expect around 2.5 to 3 Lakh INR per person to take a visit to Kailash Mansarovar through this program. The author shares many important tips for this tour. For example, he mentions that as there is a full-fledged market in Lhasa, Tibet, you should carry very less luggage from here. You can buy it at the last possible point. This way you will be traveling light in the initial program. The advice of gradually conquering altitudes is also worth paying attention towards. The author also share the probable time you need to spend in Delhi to get all the paperwork and medical stuff completed. It will surely help you planning tour and budget both.

You will enjoy viewing some fantastically taken photographs embedded in this book. Be it the ethereal look of the Mansarovar lake, or some of the mountain peaks, or a girl lost in her world of joy expressing it while jumping,… Well, there are many such moments which will make you feel delightful.

I like the way the author has beautifully summarized Mount Kailash in a chapter title “Mount Kailash – A Storehouse of Shiva’s Energy”.

Many of the readers will be able to connect with the author’s experience where he mentions that upon known about his visit to Kailash-Mansarovar, many of his relatives asked him to bring the holy water :).

The book also tries to show the other side of the spiritual organizations where they are doing other activities than holding sermons and in-house health related seminars.

Letdowns:

The book is moderately good but some serious proofreading issues are there which will annoy the reader. You can find some examples in the quotes below, where I have mentioned them as written in the book. On one hand, some of them try to convey a really good message and on the other, poorly formed sentences and autocorrect effects prove to be a hurdle.

In addition to proofreading, the author also needs to take care of chapter arrangements. One entire chapter is repeated! Also, the first chapter comes somewhere in between! This looks unprofessional. It seems that the author has taken the articles from his blog and put them here. In the blog, however, the posts are arranged in the descending order, as your journey moves forward each day, the book must have them in ascending order.

He also refers to Jaggi Vasudev as Satguru throughout the book instead of “Sadhguru”.

Quotes from the book:

Here are some quotable lines from the book which doesn’t include much of the spoilers yet gives you a chance to witness the quality of the content (both pros and cons) within:

Shankara the almighty with his trident and tandem the ultimate yogi. This book is my tribute to him the God’s of all God’ no one knowns where he came from and how long he loved , all that we know is that he is the most ancient of man and the most perfect to .
— — — — — — — — —
Come with me to explore the spirt of wonder and the ripples on the Mansarovar Lake as young ducks flat on water trying to catch fish, and doves fly away in the sky at times covering the sun and the clouds.
— — — — — — — — —
Walking on the meadows staring at the view and the vastness of the place, one became meditative instinctively. Being with nature is like coming back to your mother, one forgets all worries.
— — — — — — — — —
The vibrancy and energies of this spiritual saga were present throughout Odessa and so was the flavour of Satguru’s baba giri.
— — — — — — — — —
Man in Bhutan wear a robe called gho which is tied to the waist by belt call the kera. Chicken, beef and fish are part of the staple diet.

Please note that all the errors, spaces etc, are mentioned as is in the book.

Summary:

A really nice travelogue which need serious work on chapter ordering and proof reading.

ThinkerViews Rating:

Around 6.5 out of 10.

Quick Purchase Links:
Over To You:

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