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Mt. Kailash

Listed under Sacred Spaces in Tibet, China.

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Soaring to 22,027 feet, Mt. Kailash is one of the world’s most venerated holy places and also one of the least visited. A sacred site of four religions and billions of people, Kailash is visited by only a few thousand pilgrims each year. This curious fact is explained by the mountain’s remote location in far western Tibet. Hindus believe Kailash to be the abode of Shiva, the Lord of Yoga and the divine master of Tantra. According to legend, immortal Shiva lives atop Kailash practicing yoga, making love with his consort, Parvati, and smoking ganja, the sacred herb marijuana. Kailash is sacred to other religions as well. The Jains call the mountain Astapada and believe it to be the place where Rishaba, the first of the twenty-four Tirthankaras attained liberation. Followers of Bon, Tibet's pre-Buddhist, shamanistic religion, call the mountain Tise and believe it to be home of the Sky Goddess Sipaimen. Tibetan Buddhists call the mountain Kang Rimpoche, the 'Precious One of Glacial Snow', and regard it as the dwelling place of Demchog and his consort, Dorje Phagmo.

Pilgrims to Kailash, after the difficult journey getting there, have the arduous task of circumambulating the sacred peak. Known as a Kora, or Parikrama, this normally takes three days. Others will take two to three weeks for the Kora by making full body prostrations the entire way. Most pilgrims to Kailash will also take a short plunge in nearby lake Manosaravar, the ‘Lake of Consciousness and Enlightenment’. How long have people been coming to this sacred mountain? The answers are lost in antiquity, before the dawn of Hinduism, Jainism or Buddhism. The origin myths of each of these religions speak of Kailash as the mythical Mt. Meru, the Axis Mundi, the center and birth place of the entire world. Indeed, Kailash is so deeply embedded in the myths of archaic Asia that it was perhaps a sacred place of another era, another civilization, now long gone and forgotten.

More about Mt. Kailash from Sacred Sites.

Written by  Martin Gray.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Hello !

How is everything in Nepal. I hope well.

I write because I'm excited to make the journey of pilgrimage to Mount Kailas. I have several questions for you:

Is there a time (days) of celebration of pilgrimage? I think there is a time of year that is going all Budis around the Kailas. Do you know if it's true? Do you know the date?

What others in the party date, what date is good to go?

What about going in July or August?

What is the itinerary that is? I will guide with two friends who want to make a pilgrimage walk week. How long believe that it requires the trek?

We would leave from Kathmandu?

What would be the Full itinerary?

What price could decks for three people? I thank you as much information

possible. Receive a greeting. Diego

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