Mount Kailash, is located in the far western Tibet, the driving distance from Lhasa to Mt. Kailash is about 1200km. For most travelers to far-west of Tibet, the prime objective of their journey is to visit the sacred peak of Mount Kailash. And, it is 6,658 meters above sea level. Most noteworthy, this extraordinary mountain is regarded as the “Heart of the World” the “Axis Mundi”, the center of Asia, by Buddhist, Hindus, Jains, and followers of other spiritual traditions.
Of all the special destinations, Mount Kailash is surely one of the most sublime and sacred peaks. Moreover, its geographical position as the watershed of south Asia in unique gives it a cosmic geomantic power. From its slopes flow four great rivers in the four cardinal directions such as the Indus north, the Brahmaputra east, the Karnali into the Ganges south and the Sutlej west.
Hindu Believe about Mt.Kailash
Hindus believe Mt.Kailash to be the abode of Lord Shiva. Like many of the Hindu gods, Shiva is a character of apparent contradictions. He at once the Lord of Yoga and therefore the ultimate ascetic renunciation. Yet, he is also the divine master of Tantra. While the esoteric science that regards sexual union as a perfect path to spiritual enlightenment.
According to legend, immortal Shiva lives atop Kailash. Where he spends his time practicing yogic austerities and making joyous love with his divine consort, Parvati. Furthermore, he smoking ganja, the sacred herb is known in the west as marijuana. Hindus do not interpret Shiva’s behaviors as contradictory. However, but rather see him as a deity who has wisely integrated the extremes of human nature. And, thus transcended attachment to any particular, and limited, the way of being. Moreover, for a Hindu, to make the arduous pilgrimage to Kailash and have the Darshan (divine view) of Shiva’s abode is to attain release from the clutches of ignorance and delusion.
Jains Believe about Mt.Kailash
Kailash is sacred to other religions as well. In addition, the Jains call the mountain Astapada. They believe it to be the place where Rishaba, the first of the twenty-four Tirthankaras attained liberation. Furthermore, followers of Bon, Tibet’s pre-Buddhist, shamanistic religion, call the mountain Tise and also believe it to be the seat of the Sky Goddess Sipaimen. Additionally, Bon myths regard Tise as the sight of a legendary 12th century battle of sorcery between the Buddhist sage Milarepa and the Bon shaman Naro Bon-chung.
Milarepa’s defeat of the shaman displaced Bon as the primary religion of Tibet, firmly establishing Buddhism in its place. While the Buddha is believed to have magically visited Kailash in the 5th century BC. The religion of Buddhism only entered Tibet, via Nepal and India, in the 7th century AD. Tibetan Buddhists call the mountain Kang Rimpoche, the ‘Precious One of Glacial Snow’. Furthermore, they regard it as the dwelling place of Demchog (also known as Chakrasamvara) and his consort, Dorje Phagmo. Three hills rising near Gang Rimpoche are believed to be the homes of the Bodhisattvas Manjushri, Vajrapani, and Avalokiteshvara.
Pilgrims to Kailash
Pilgrims to Kailash, are then confronted with the equally arduous task of circumambulation the sacred peak. This walking around the mountain is known as a Kora, or Parikrama, and normally takes three days. It is clockwise for the Buddhists and counter-clockwise for Bon adherents. In hopes of gaining extra merit or psychic powers, however, some pilgrims will vary the tempo of their movement.
A hardy few, practicing a secret breathing technique known as Lung-gom. Moreover, it will power themselves around the mountain in only one day. Others will take two to three weeks for the Kora by making full body prostrations the entire way. It is believed that a pilgrim who completes 108 journeys around the mountain is assured enlightenment.
The best season to visit Mt. Kailash and Manasarovar
The best season to visit Mt. Kailash and Manasarovar is from May to November. May to November offers cool and pleasant climate. In addition, it is the right period to spend meditation and also good for visiting temples in and around. December to April is snow bound and chilly. Tourists typically keep off chilly snow bound days in winters. A grand religious festival Saga Dawa Festival is usually held at Mt. Kailash around May and June each year.