Winding through India, Nepal and China (Tibet), the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra is a gritty test of will and endurance, but its rewards are manifold and ethereal.Over the centuries pilgrims have constantly been braving their way to Mt. Kailash in order to attain spiritual enlightenment despite the harsh weather and often forbidding terrain. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is undertaken by thousands of Yatris every year and is best known for its religious value, cultural significance, and entrancing natural beauty.Here are 5 interesting facts on the holy Mt. Kailash – Mansarovar:
Mt Kailash, 6714m high, is also called Kang Rinpoche or ‘The precious Jewel of the Snow’ by the Tibetans. Four major religions revere this mountain. Hindus consider it as the abode of Lord Shiva. Buddhists consider it as the manifestation of Sakyamuni, the Buddha. For the Jains, this is the place of their first saint Adinath’s emancipation. For Bons, the followers of pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet, their founder saint Shenrad is said to have descended on its peak.
Mt. Kailash also known as Mt. Meru, is referred to as the navel of the earth. Four great rivers flow within a radius of 50 kilometers in four different directions. To the South is the sapphire face from where flows the Karnali, from the West flows the Sutlej, from the gold face on the North flows the Indus and eastwards flows the Brahmaputra, locally known as Yarlang Sangpo.
Sprawling below Mt. Kailash is the sacred lake Mansarovar (4560m). The name Mansarovar is derived from two words: ‘manas’ meaning mind or consciousness and sarovara meaning lake. Hence Mansarovar stands as ‘The Lake of Consciousness and Enlightenment’. According to Hindu mythology, one who takes a plunge in Mansarovar Lake reaches Brahmalok (heaven) where Lord Brahma resides whereas drinking its water relinquishes the sins of a hundred lifetimes.
The holy Kailash Circuit (parikrama or kora) is the three-day ritual circumbulation that takes you along a 52km kora. The circuit is considered to be the holiest of all Hindu as well as Buddhist pilgrimages and is believed that a single circuit erases the accumulated sins of a lifetime while 108 circumbulation will achieve salvation or nirvana.
2014-Year of the Horse
2014 is the Year of the Horse: Going around Mount Kailash (Kora) once during 2014 is karmically equivalent to 12 Kora hence making it the most holy year for the parikrama. Horse year comes once in every twelve years meaning thousands of pilgrims will embark on Mt.Kailash yatra and pay their homage.