Mount Kailash, a majestic landmark to experience profound spirituality and captivating natural wonder, stands tall on the Tibetan plateau at an elevation of 6,638 m (21,778 ft). It is not only famous for its glorious beauty but also holds tremendous significance for Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Bon religion. It is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva and a sacred dwelling place of several other great ancient saints and sages.
Some people visit the mountain to soak in its pristine beauty while others visit to find solace in the mysterious transcending energy of the holy Mount Kailash. For whatever reason you visit this epic destination in Tibet, its striking presence will guarantee you an experience like no other. It is one of the holiest pilgrimages in the world, but at the same time, it also remains unclimbed.
Besides the spiritual significance, Mount Kailash grabs the attention of thousands of travelers from around the world for its stunning landscape. There are several other breathtaking natural landmarks in the Kailash region, including the sacred lake Mansarovar. The path to the mountain passes through astounding terrain and picturesque villages and monasteries, allowing you to immerse in the rich heritage of the region.
- Facts about Mount Kailash
- History of Mount Kailash
- Mythological Stories and Legends of Kailash
- Elevation and Geographical Features of Mount Kailash
- Pilgrimage Route and Sacred Circumambulance
- Trekking and Hiking Routes in the Kailash Region
- How to Get to Mount Kailash?
- Permits and Regulations for Mount Kailash Trekking
- What is the Best Time to Visit Kailash?
- Mount Kailash nearby attractions
Facts about Mount Kailash
Some must-know facts about Mount Kailash in Tibet are:
- It is located in the western region of Tibet in the Gangdise Mountain Range, close to the border of Nepal.
- The mountain is of crucial spiritual significance for religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Bon, and is considered the abode of Lord Shiva.
- Kailash circumambulate or Kailash Kora is a religious ritual for pilgrims that symbolizes spiritual transformation.
- Kailash pilgrimage is also intertwined with Lake Mansarovar, a holy lake situated at the base of Kailash.
- The stunning natural vista and challenging trekking routes make the journey to Kailash exhilarating.
- There are several mythological tales and historical accounts related to Kailash which adds to its spiritual and religious significance.
History of Mount Kailash
The intriguing history of Kailash is strongly rooted in mythology, spirituality, and ancient traditions. Its history dates back thousands of years ago and is believed to be one of the oldest mountains in the world.
In Hinduism, it is considered the abode of Lord Shiva, one of the most revered deities. In Buddhism, the mountain is of great importance in Tibetan Buddhist cosmology. Likewise, Kailash’s historical importance comes from its spiritual significance for religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Bon, and Jainism. Therefore, pilgrims from worldwide pay their tribute to the holiness of the mountain by circumambulating, also known as Kailash Parikrama.
Besides the religious aspect, the history of this mystical mountain is also tied with various cultures and civilizations. Over centuries, the Kailash region has witnessed different empires, trading routes, and cultural exchange. In the past, the region was a crucial route for traders and travelers from various Asian countries, expanding the importance of Mount Kailash in a cultural context. It attracted various explorers who wished to conquer the mountain, but nobody succeeded in the attempt. The rugged terrain and bad weather conditions prevented every climber’s attempt to reach the peak. Hence, the mountain remains unclimbed.
In recent years, the responsible Chinese authority has taken measures to protect the mountain due to its historical and cultural significance. Furthermore, the region surrounding Mount Kailash has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mythological Stories and Legends of Kailash
There are several captivating myths and legends associated with the mountain passed down through generations. Among all the legends and myths of Mount Kailash the most popular one is its connection with the Lord Shiva. In Hinduism, its believed that the mountain is the abode of Lord Shiva, where he resides with his wife, Goddess Parvati. It’s said that he performed Tandav, a dance, on the peak of Kailash, which symbolizes the cycle of creation, preservation, and destruction.
As per the yogic sciences, Lord Shiva, the Adhiyogi, stored his energy in the mountain, making it a giant spiritual library. Some sages also claim that those who are receptive to the energy in Kailash will be touched by the source of this creation and the mysteries of life. This pursuit of spiritual knowledge or liberation attracted several seekers in the past. For centuries, this belief has inspired people to explore the region mainly for spiritual aspirations.
Likewise, as per Jain scriptures, the mountain is associated with the belief that the first Jain Tirthankara, Rishabhadeva, attained moksha or liberation there. According to the Buddhist scriptures, Milarepa, a highly accomplished Buddhist disciple, ascended to the peak of the mountain by riding on sunlight. The mountain is also considered the center of the universe and a gateway to heaven. These folklores add to their mystical significance and make Mount Kailash a sacred mountain, a destination for spiritual exploration.
Elevation and Geographical Features of Mount Kailash
Kailash, situated in the western part of Tibet, soars up to the elevation of 6,638 m (21,778 ft) above sea level. It is one of the remarkable peaks in the Tibetan plateau, known for its captivating beauty and distinct geographical feature. One of its outstanding features is its unique shape of a dome as seen from a distance.
Every four faces of the mountain are believed to represent various aspects of spirituality. Geographically, the northern face of Kailash comprises steep slopes and rugged cliffs and the southern face is comparatively more accessible. On the other hand, the eastern and western faces have mostly rocky terrain and snow-covered peaks.
Furthermore, the glacial formation of the mountain is the source of rivers, including the Indus, the Karnali, the Sutlej, and the Brahmaputra. The topography of the Kailash region is a mesmerizing blend of deep valleys, towering peaks, surrounding lakes, and remote rocky terrain. The challenging landscape, extreme weather conditions, and intriguing ecosystem allure thousands of travelers each year, promising a great adventure.
Pilgrimage Route and Sacred Circumambulance
The pilgrimage route to Kailash is essentially the same as the popularly taken trekking route to the sacred mountain. The Mount Kailash pilgrimage begins in Darchen, a town situated at the base of Kailash. Then comes the challenging trek that spans around the mountain base for around 52 km (32 miles). It takes you through diverse vistas with rocky routes, mountain passes, and plateaus.
Circling the base of the mountain, known as Kailash circumambulation or Kora, is a crucial part of the sacred trip. This generally takes around three days, while some devotees choose to spend a longer duration for the Kailash Parikrama out of devotion. This process signifies the journey of life, spiritual transcendence, and the pursuit of liberation. It also represents the purification of self and the blessing of the divine energy.
Trekking and Hiking Routes in the Kailash Region
The Kailash region provides travelers with plenty of opportunities for adventure with several trekking routes. The remote and picturesque terrain of the region is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The strenuous routes will challenge you physically and mentally, but the exploration of serene nature and the culture of the region will reward you with a lifetime memory. Some of the popular trekking and hiking routes in the region are:
- Kailash Circumambulance
- Kailash Circuit Trek
- Guge Kingdom Trek
- Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar Yatra
- Dira-Puk Trek
- Zutul-Puk Trek
- Inner Kora Trek
- Kailash Saga Dawa Trek
- Ashtapad Trek
- Tirthapuri Trek
- Nandi Inner Kora Trek
How to Get to Mount Kailash?
As Nepal is a stepping stone for the Kailash trip, you will have to visit Nepal first for your journey to the holy mountain. Based on the standard Mount Kailash itinerary, the trip takes to Kailash you via Kerung and requires around 15 days to complete. A short general itinerary of the Kailash Mansarovar route looks like this:
- Arrival in Kathmandu
- Kathmandu to Kerung
- Rest day in Kerung and drive to Saga
- Drive from Saga to Mansarovar
- Mansarovar parikrama via bus/jeep and then drive to Rakshas Lake
- Reach Dehara Puk and hike to Charansprash
- Traverse through Dolma La Pass
- Drive to Saga after the end of the parikrama
- Saga to Kerung
- Kerung to Kathmandu and fly back home
Permits and Regulations for Mount Kailash Trekking
Kailash is under the strict protection of the Chinese authorities. Therefore, entering Kailash requires an authorized permit. You must be aware of the required permits and regulations before traveling to Kailash. Go through the points below to get a basic insight.
- You will require permits such as Tibet Travel Permit, Alien’s Travel Permit, and Protected Area Permits for the trip.
- Follow all the permit requirements for Kailash Yatra to obtain the document.
- Your permit and visa documents can only be obtained through licensed tour operators.
- Solo trek is prohibited and you must travel in a group of at least two.
- You have to pay the Environment Protection Fee which is utilized for the preservation of the region.
- You must respect local customs and traditions and follow all the trekking regulations set by the responsible authorities during Kailash Yatra.
What is the Best Time to Visit Kailash?
The best time to visit the sacred mountain Mount Kailash is spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October). These seasons in the Kailash region are characterized by mild temperatures and steady weather conditions. The pleasantness in the environment makes trekking less strenuous. The landscape is vibrant with colorful flower blossoms and clear skies. Besides the enjoyable weather condition, the trekking experience is uplifted by the tranquil view of the landscape. Therefore, Kailash is best explored during spring and autumn.
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Mount Kailash nearby attractions
Tibet is a land of natural wonders with several captivating natural landmarks. Other several attractions nearby Kailash are worth visiting. Explore these destinations which are as tranquil and significant as Kailash:
- Lake Mansarovar: It is located close to the mystical mountain. As Mount Kailash, Lake Mansarovar also holds spiritual significance and is considered one of the holiest lakes in the world. Besides its spiritual importance, the lake’s alluring beauty does not fail to captivate travelers.
- Tirthapuri Hot Spring: It is situated in the southwest region of Kailash and is most known for its natural hot springs. Its believed that these hot springs have healing qualities. Pilgrims visit this hot spring for holy baths for purification and healing.
- Guge Kingdom Ruins: It is located in the remote region of western Tibet. The ruins give you a glimpse into the ancient civilization residing in the region centuries ago. The ruins also reflect the rich history, art, and architecture of the ancient kingdom.
- Saga Dawa Festival: If you can adjust your travel time, you will get to witness and experience the Saga Dawa Festival celebrated in Tibet. It is an important celebration of Tibetan Buddhism, which is a festival of honoring Buddha’s enlightenment.
- Rakshas Tal: This lake is situated near Lake Mansarovar. There are several mythological stories tied to this lake, which adds to its significance. The lake is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes with snow-covered mountains, making it a fascinating destination to visit.
Take this as your opportunity to plan your trip to Mount Kailash and explore the spiritual land of Tibet. Make us your companion in this adventure for a worry-free travel experience. Himalayan Glacier has organized hundreds of successful trips to Kailash and the positive client testimonials speak volumes about our quality service. You may contact our team of experts for further inquiries about the bookings and packages, or you can also contact us via WhatsApp (+1-410-307-0007). Let us make your Kailash Mansarovar Yatra dream come true!