Kailash Yatra

Mount Kailash known in Tibetan as Kang Rinpoche or Precious Jewel of Snow, is the most sacred peak in Tibet. It is located in the far western Tibet’s Ngari prefecture more than 12,000 kilometers from the Tibetan capital city of Lhasa. There is no other peak in Tibet that is as holy as Kailash. Each year thousands of followers of Buddhist, Hindus, Jainism and Bon do the 52 kilometer pilgrimage circuit around the mountain.

Stories across Asia refer to a sacred peak called Meru, considered to be the axis of the world, center of the universe or even the stairway to heaven. Over time, Meru became associated with Mount Kailash. Hindus believe that the sight of the peak will wash away the sins of a life time and give protection against evil spirit. Hindus also believe that Kailash is the home of Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in Hinduism. For Buddhists, Kailash is the home of Demchok (the Wheel of Bless) and his consort Dorje Phagmo. It is also regarded as the primary abode of Milarepa, Tibet’s most famous poet and yogi. On and along Mount Kailash, Milarepa battled Naro Bonchung the champion of the indigenous Bon religion in Tibet. Tibetans then say that Milarepa threw Naro Bonchung from the mountain and that Naro Bonchung fell from the south face of Kailash, leaving a huge slash in the peak that can be seen to this day. Buddhist believe that walking around kailash once will clear away the sins of a lifetime. Walking it 13 times will bring enlightenment, while most foreign travelers take 2 or 3 days to complete the 52 kilometer trek, Tibetans normally do it in one long 14 to 16 hour day.

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