The holy Mount Kailash is located in the western Tibet. This scared mountain looks like a pyramid in the middle of the wild landscape of the Tibetan Plateau and attract numerous pilgrims. Mount Kailash has been a lode to pilgrims and travelers for centuries. Locals call it “Kang Rinpoche”. There are five monasteries around the sacred mountain, each one looks like a site only emerges in fairy stories. Lake Manasarovar, another important site for pilgrims to wash away their past sins via taking a bath in the lake, is just 15 miles away from Mount Kailash. The exceptional natural beauty of this wonderful region makes the Mount Kailash tour one of the most wanted journeys of Tibet.
Considered as a holy mountain, Mount Kailash is one of the most beautiful mountains of China. Its four sheer walls match the cardinal points of the compass, and its southern face is famously marked by a long vertical cleft punctuated halfway down by a horizontal line of rock strata.
Influenced by religious and spiritual thoughts of several religions, Mount Kailash trek is considered to be one the most scared pilgrimage. Thousands of pilgrims with ever more enthusiasm for the eccentric virtue of belief, decide to go to this consecrated land and hope they can be saved from their sins.
epending on its location and historical significance, and standing 6638 meters above the sea level, Mount Kailash is in regarded as the center of the world by the four major religions: Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bons. What they learned from their religions is Mount Kailash can renounce their spirits and gives them a chance to become a Buddha.
The Bons believe that Mount Kailash is their ancient spiritual seat of power. And in Jainism, Mount Kailash is referred as Mount Ashtapada, the place where the creator Rishabhadeva, attained freedom from the cycle of life and rebirth.
Pilgrims are happy to take the tough trek, because they know what they can achieve from the trek
For most time, this scared mountain is hidden in clouds. Locals believe that the people who can see this mountain clearly would be lucky. For centuries, pilgrims considered Mount Kailash as an alluring site, and many explorers have investigated this holy site.
Four of the great rivers of the Indian subcontinent originate here: the Karbali, Indus, Sutlej and Brahmaputra. The headstream of these river is within 100 kilometers of Mount Kailash, where is the habitat of many local species of birds, wildlife, and plants.
Lake Manasarovar, the most holy lake of Tibet, is located in the west Tibet, near the holy Mt.Kailash. Lake Manasarover, also called Mapham Yum Tso in Tibetan, means “Invincible emerald Lake”.
Lake Manasarover is not only the most holy lake of Tibet, but also the highest freshwater lake of the world. It is considered as one of the most beautiful lake of China. The southern of the lake is surrounded by Himalayas, including Gurla Mandhata. Lake Manasarover is revered as a sacred place in Buddhism, Hinduism and Bon. A Mount Kailash trek without visiting the Lake Manasarovar is not complete.
Buddhists associate the lake with the legendary lake Anavatapta, where Maya (the mother of Buddha) is believed to have conceived the Buhhda. The lake has a few monasteries on its shores, the most distinguished of which is the ancient Chiu Monastery built on a steep hill, looking as if it has been carved right out of the rock. The lake is very popular in Buddhist literature and associated with many teachings and stories. Whatever the legend is, Lake Manasarover is the most holy lake for Tibetans.
Lake Manasarovar is another place of pilgrimage, attracting religious people from worldwide. Especially for Hinduism, according to their legends, the lake was first created in the mind of Brahma after which it manifested on Earth. Hence it is called "Manasa sarovaram", which is a combination of the Sanskrit words for "mind" and "lake". The lake is also supposed to be the summer abode of the hamsa, who is an important element in the symbology of the subcontinent, representing wisdom and beauty. In the 4th century, the well-known Sanskrit poet Kalidasa wrote that the water from the lake was “like pearls and that to drink them erases the sins of a hundred lifetimes”. In Hinduism, Lake Manasarovar is a personification of purity, and one who drinks water from the lake or bath in the lake could be cleansed of all their sins committed over even a hundred lifetimes. Lake Manasarovar is famous for its extraordinary magnificence, and I can believe, Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar a noteworthy piece of numerous religions for many centuries.
The most important part of this tour is Mount Kailash trek, thousands of tourists and pilgrims would trek during their tour. Pilgrims believe that circumambulating Mount Kailash is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. Perhaps you have heard one circumambulating trip can erase all sins of a lifetime, ten can save the pilgrim from the hell in reincarnation; and hundred journeys around the mountain can cultivate into Buddha.
In Tibet, the most famous pilgrimage is the Mount Kailash trek, which attract countless pilgrims every year. Mount Kailash is full of challenges for most pilgrims, however, some pilgrims will treat themselves even harder, they will kowtow (Kneel and hit the ground with one’s forehead. It is a way to show respect to the Mount and the Buddha) during the trek. Mount Kailash is the destination of every pilgrim to some extent. There are endless wilderness, lush valley, snowy peak and rural blue lake on the way. This must be an unforgettable experience during your lifetime.
Devout pilgrims are kowtowing
The trekking is made in a clockwise direction by Hindus and Buddist, while Jains and Bons circumambulate the mountain in a counterclockwise direction. This belief stems from the legend of the battle between Milarepa and Naro Bonchung, who fought for control of the sacred site. After defeating Bonchung, Milarepa wisely allowed the Bon pilgrims to continued trek, but they need walk the kora in the opposite way, and this way has continued until today. The tourists have to overcome the altitude sickness and are in good shape. The accommodation of remote area cannot compare with Lhasa, you had better mentally prepared well, too.
The path around Mount Kailash is 52 km long, and the average altitude is around 5000m. All pilgrims must do accomplish it by feet. Accommodations are very basic especially in the remote area, some guesthouse and hostels only provide dorm bed. Depend on the harsh geographic situation, there always lack of water and electricity. The fresh vegetables and meats are also insufficient and expensive, so bring some foods by yourself would be a good choice, such as dry food, instant noodles and fruits. Although Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is a long and challenging journey, but I believe all efforts are worthy. Tibet, the place full of Mysterious and sacred, will never short of surprise for you.
As the Kailash and Manasarovar tour goes north to the Tibetan plateau, you need to understand that the weather conditions could be very harsh. So, choosing the right time to go is a necessity for the pilgrims. Winter is not a good time to trek，because the passes from India into Tibet are often blocked, Besides, many Hindus come from the Indian sub-continent to pray and perform the “parikrama” at the mountain and lake.
The ideal situation is to do your Mount Kailash tour between mid-May to October. During this time, the climate situation would make your trek much easier, while the weather is nice, you can experience the amazing scenery of Tibet. This is the golden time for pilgrims to plan their peregrination. Sn most of pilgrims organized their tour regularly. However, if you are planning your Mount Kailash tour, please remember temperatures can vary widely and it could be cold at night.
Besides Lake Manasarover and Mount Kailash, pilgrims might go to some other beautiful and unique places, like Tirthapuri, where pilgrims take a bath in spring pools after their trek completed. Gauri Kund, known as the lake of compassion, is another famous sight on the route; And Yam Dwar, the starting point of the trek; Asthapad, the base of Mount Kailash; and Tarboche, the flagpole where numerous prayer flags are flying in the breeze. Moreover, there still have many unknown places as beautiful as that, especially for the tourist first come to this amazing land.