22 March, 2022

Inner Trek : A Reluctant Pilgrim in the Himalayas by Mohan Ranga Rao - [Book Review]

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Book Details:

Title: Inner Trek: A Reluctant Pilgrim in the Himalayas

Author: Mohan Ranga Rao

Genre: Non-Fiction, A travel Memoir

Publisher: Coriander Press (November 30, 2021)

Print Length: 248 pages

Source: A free review copy from Rachel's Random Resources


After being threatened by a Bangalore mob boss, a retired Indian businessman Mohan Ranga Rao makes a vow: if he somehow gets out of the situation, he will thank the gods by going on Kailash Mansarovar, a holy mountain pilgrimage in Tibet. What starts out as merely a challenging high-altitude trek soon becomes a life-changing adventure. With a blend of humor, honesty, and keen insight, Mohan journeys toward a deeper understanding of the world around him.

A memoir of a road less traveled and a true story of self-discovery at 18,000 feet.

“A modern Canterbury Tales, telling of a fascinating real-life adventure.“ Dr. C Naganna, University of Mysore

“A heartwarming read; a spiritual adventure.” Anuradha Goyal, The Mouse Charmers

Purchase Links:


My Review:

Inner Trek is a travel memoir of Mr. Mohan Ranga Rao, a businessman in Karnataka, India. The book is specifically about the Mt. Kailash Parikrama (Circumbulation) and the visit to Manasa Sarovar lake. This trip is considered holy and auspicious by many religions including Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.

This trip is not only sacred as Lord Shiva's adobe, considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience but also very dangerous due to the unpredictable weather at high altitudes.

The author mentions in the prelude itself that he is not a religious, but a spiritual person and he is taking this trip seeking an adventure. Eventually, he experiences a spiritual inclination at the end of the trip. He feels insignificant and small leaving all his ego before the majestic mountains in the treacherous trip.

The trek around Mt.Kailash covering 52 km in 3 days through the highest pass Dolma La reaching an elevation of 18000 ft above sea level is an impossible task for a normal person without fitness. Even for a fit person, the high elevation, and less oxygen might become dangerous if they are not acclimatized to the altitude.

What do I like?

I usually don't read non-fiction and I don't quite enjoy that genre unless it feels honest. I liked this book as I felt the author's experience was genuine. Unlike some biographies/memoirs that gravitate towards boasting about their good qualities, the author of this book focused more on the Mt Kailash trip and his experience keeping the unnecessary details to a minimum.

 Like many other Hindus, I also learned and read a lot about Mt.Kailash and this impossible trek. The mystery of the mountain attracts me to learn more. I am happy to have read this book and to know about the weather, sherpas helping the trekkers, treacherous conditions affecting the trip, the people visiting from places around the world, the beauty of nature and the experience of people who could complete circumambulation, etc.,

The photos printed in the book and the maps gave an idea of the trek and helped me to imagine the beauty of the place. By the end of the book, I was elated and had the great satisfaction of knowing about the myths, legends, and facts about Manasa Sarovar. The book is riveting throughout and I never felt bored reading it.

A few snippets that I liked from the book:

There is nothing that I didn't like about this book. It gave me immense satisfaction and I would recommend this book to many other readers who love to read about Mt Kailash and the experience of trekking the Manasa Sarovar. I would also recommend it to the readers who want to know about this life-changing adventure and the spiritual significance of this holy pilgrimage.

My Rating: 5/5

PS: I have received this print copy from Rachel's Random Resources in exchange for a review and this is my honest opinion on the book.

About the Author:

Mohan Rango Rao is an accomplished businessman, an avid traveler, and a generous philanthropist. He has visited over thirty different countries and is drawn to places of natural beauty and physically challenging trails. He plays tennis daily, takes frequent hikes, and reads anything from scotch labels to quantum physics to Vedanta.

Until next time,

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