Mt. Kailash, the striking peak standing in the remote south-west corner of Tibet in the Himalayan Mountains. Rising at an elevation of 6638 m (21778 ft) it is one of the highest parts of the Himalayas and serves as a source of some of the longest rivers in Asia. Known as Gang Tise or Gang Rinproche in Tibet [Mount Kailash Parvat] an it is a precious and prominent symmetrical peak. Made up of black rock Mt Kailash is a wonderful diamond like shaped mountain that is surrounded by beautiful landscape which is rugged and dry.
Mount Kailash is known as one of the most sacred mountains and has become an important pilgrim for four faiths : Buddhists, Jains, Hindus and Tibetan religion of Bon. Every year thousands of people from all over the world make pilgrimage to this place. Followers from various beliefs have been visiting Kailash from thousands of years and have been circumbulating this holy mountain on foot. It is believed that visiting Kailash and following this tradition would bring in good fortune and wash away sins of ones lifetime. However the journey of 52kms/32miles on foot in a single day is not easy and one needs to be strong both physically and mentally to complete it. Generally people take 3 days to finish this walk. The Hindus and Buddhists pilgrims walk around in a clockwise direction but the Jain and Bon followers walk around counterclockwise.
According to Hindu legends, Shiva, the god of devastation and rebirth, resides at the pinnacle of this famous mountain named Kailasa. Mount Kailasa is considered in many sects of Hinduism as heaven, the ultimate destination of souls and the holy center of the world. The narrative in the Puranas, Mount Kailash’s four faces are made of crystal, ruby, gold, and lapis lazuli. Refereed as the pillar of the world that rises 84,000 leagues high. From it flow four rivers, which stretch to the four quarters of the world and divide the world into four regions.
Tibetan Buddhists trust that Kailash is the home of the Buddha Demchok who symbolizes supreme harmony. They also state it was on this sacred mountain that Buddhism relocates Bön as the primary religion of Tibet. According to myth, Milarepa, winner of Tantric Buddhism, arrived in Tibet to challenge Naro-Bonchung, who was the spokesperson of Bön. The two magicians engaged in a great sorcerous battle, but neither was able to gain a crucial advantage. Buddhism in Tibet known as the religion “Bon” believes Mount Kailash as the abode of the sky goddess Sipaimen.
In Jainism, Kailash is known as Mount Ashtapada and is the place where the creator of their faith, Rishabhadeva, attained freedom from rebirth.