Travel Guide

Mt. Kailash

Mt. Kailash, holy mountain, west of Tibet, Nagri area, Lake manasarovar

Mt. Kailash is a peak in the Kailas Range (Gangdisê Mountains), which are part of the Transhimalaya in Tibet.It lies near the source of some of the longest rivers in Asia: the Indus River, the Sutlej River (a major tributary of the Indus River), the Brahmaputra River, and the Karnali River (a tributary of the River Ganga). 

The peak is very pointed and looks like a pyramid piercing the sky. Seen from the south the vertical ice trough and horizontal rock formation combine as the Buddhist symbol Swastika '卐', which represents the eternal power of Buddha. More often that not, clouds will gather above the peak, so clear days are thought to be a blessing because local residents can get an unimpeded view.
 
It is considered a sacred place in four religions: Bön, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. The mountain lies near Lake Manasarovar and Lake Rakshastal in Tibet.Their spiritual aura and paradisiacal scenery also entice ordinary tourists.
 
Kailash means 'Treasure or Saint of Snow Mountain' in Tibetan. The name originates from the year-round snow on its peak and its historical religious connections. The mountain is sometimes called 'Mother of Iceberg'. It appears to be gazing at another mountain, Namcha Barwa, or 'Father of Iceberg' in the far distance. 
 
Walking around the mountain is a popular ceremony despite the length and difficult terrain. According to the sayings of Buddhism, one circle around the mountain can atone for all the sins committed throughout one's lifetime. Completing ten circles around the mountain will prevent eternal damnation of hell tribulation in one's reincarnations of 500 years. Completing one hundred circles will make a person one with Buddha. While walking, Buddhists follow clockwise while Bonists proceed in a counter-clockwise direction. In the horse year when Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, is said to be born, worshippers get credit for thirteen circles for every one completed. Naturally, these years draw the largest number of tourists.