About Kailash Mansarovar

Facts on Kailash

Kailash Location:
Western Tibet

Altitude:
Kailash peak (6714m) above the Sea level

Base Camp:
Darchen (4700m) above Sea level

Climate:
Unpredictable (Max 20 degree Celsius to Min. -10 degree Celsius)

Belifes:
Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Ban-Po (all AUM followers)

Visiting Time:
Late April to September

Parikrama (Kora) Kailash:
52 Km. (three days).By walk

Altitude of Manas:
(4580m) above Sea level Parikrama (Kora) Manas: 102 Km. (one day by Land Cruiser)

Distance from Kathmandu:
817 Km. (one way) including 52 Km. round of Kailash Parbat on foot

Total Journey:
From Nepal to Nepal is 13 nights to 14 days normally and changes as per program itineraries

Clothing:
Heavy woolen and clothing meant for mountaineering

Standard Time:
Tibet is 2:00 hours ahead than Nepal’s time

Currency:
The unit of currency is the Renimbi or Yuan. A dollar equivalent 6.00 Renimbi / Yuan approximately

LEGENDS, MYTHOLOGY AND HISTORY


Kailash predates almost all religious pilgrimages in India. While Lord Shiva visits Varanasi, his eternal abode is always Kailash, where he dwells with his consort Parvati. For Hindus, Kailash is the physical manifestation of the revered Mount Meru, the centre of the world. In the Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna says, "Among the mountains, I am Meru." As the merudanda, it is the spinal cord, the axis mundi that holds the world together. The Vishnu Purana (approx 200 BCE) describes how the world is made up of seven continents ringed by seven oceans - 'The central continent has Meru at its core, bounded by three mountain ranges to the north and three to the south. One of these ranges is the Himalayan barrier, interposed between Meru and 'Bharatha', the Indian subcontinent. Meru itself stands eighty-four thousand leagues high, with four faces of crystal, ruby, gold and lapis lazuli. Ganga falls from the heavens on Meru's summit, circles the mountain and then divides into four mighty rivers which flow to the four quarters of the earth.'' Today we know that the Kailash Mansarovar region indeed gives rise to four great rivers: Brahmaputra, Indus, Sutlej and Karnali.


HOLY MOUNT KAILASH:

Stands at (6714m / 22,027 ft) above Sea level. The four faces of the holy mountain are distinctive. An aerial photograph of Kailash bears an uncanny resemblance to the Shivalinga in Shiva's Temple. Deep clefts on either side isolate it from the rest of the Kailash Range, making it one of the few mountains on earth where a Parikrama (kora in Tibetan) is possible. It is said that after its Parikrama, one is freed from the vises cycle of birth, death and rebirth. After 21 Parikramas of the traditional route, one becomes eligible to undertake the inner Parikrama or the middle circuit, which runs high across the four faces of the Kailash Parvat.

For Jains, Kailash is the Ashtapada, where Rkishabhanatha, the first Tirthankara, achieved enlightenment. Buddhists believe that the legendary Lord Demchog (complete with trident and damaru) dwells on Kang Rimpoche (Kailash) with his scarlet consort Dorje Phangmo. Milarepa, the Buddhist spiritual leader, visited Kailash in 1093; he was credited with creating the supreme Tibetan mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum". The ancient Tibetan shamanistic faith, Bon-Po, holds the mountain holy and says their God moved Tise, the 'nine-storey swastika mountain' from north-east Tibet to its present location. The Bon-Po does the kora counter-clockwise, whereas others do clockwise. Thus, four religious belief systems: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Bon-Po - hold the mountain holy.

This voyage is continuing since the immemorial period. Both holy Mount Kailash and sacred Lake Mansarovar are mentioned in Skanda Purana, Vishnu Purana, Ramayana and Mahabharata. The Vedic and factual references affirm that the origin of the human civilization, "Indus valley civilization" was initiated from this sacred place which has made the importance of this place prominent.

Om devotees have established this voyage as the journey to the heaven as it used to be accomplished only either by a few people or by the powerful personalities in the Vedic period. Perhaps, because of this reason, the belief that one couldn't go to the heaven with the physical presence, has been continued.

The Aryans have agreed Lord Shiva as the Rudra, the powerful form of the God. As the Brahma, the creator, the Bishnu, the preserver, and the Maheshwora, the destroyer, accepted the Rudra within them when he was performing the Tandava dance in the Himalayas, since than the Vedic Aryans have taken the Rudra as the demolisher. Because the Vedic philosophy states that the destruction of the universe is the creation of the new one; the Aryans have often considered lord Shiva as the destructive force as well.

This mountain was said to be the navel of the earth and the axis of the universe and from its summit flowed a mighty river that fell into a lake, and then divided to form four of the great rivers of Asia. It is the holiest of all mountains, revered by millions of Hindus, Buddhists and Jains as the home of their God. In metaphysical it was called Meru; in its earthly manifestation it was Kailas, or Kang Rimpoche (Precious Jewel of Snow), an isolated snow-peak on the Tibetan plateau. For more than 2,000 years, it has been the lodestone — the all but unattainable goal — that draws towards itself all the devotional cults that seek the attainment of bliss through self-sacrifice, austerity and penance.

The mountains in Tibet are chiefly composed of conglomerates - large quanti ties of rounded water-worn shingle cemented together with clay through age and pressure. All the way from Taklakot to Mana sarovar, the country is flat stony desert. In geological terms, Kailash stands alone, the world's largest deposit of tertiary conglomerate.


Sacred Lake Mansarovar; is believed to be created by Brahma. According to the Puranas, 12 pre-Vedic Rishis, sons of Brahma, performed austerities for 12 years near Kailash and had Darshan of Shiva and Parvati. They supplicated Brahma for water for bathing, upon which he created the huge lake. Pilgrims believe that at the end of the night, divine beings descend from the heavens to have a holy dip in the Mansarovar. It is believed that a single dip can washe away the sins of lifetimes and achieve the Brahma’s paradise.

There is a belief that while going to the heaven with the physical attendance through Uttaranchal of India in the later stage of their life, the Panch Pandavas had taken the bath in this lake and got vanished in the womb of Mt. Kailash. The religious belief of Hinduism states that the God of heaven, Indra had the meditation here in order to get the Bazra, thundering weapon, in order to kill the devils. While at the time of Mahabharata the brave warrior, Arjuna, contemplated at this place to the Lord Shiva as to acquire the Gandiva Dhanu, a powerful bow.

Situated at the height of 4550m above sea level, this unadorned and sober lake is also called So-mafang by the Tibetan people and regard as powerful cosmic source in the earth.


Rakshas Tal; considered inauspicious by Hindus and Buddhists. There are no monas teries around its 125-km perimeter, as opposed to several along the 88-km circumference of Mansarovar. Paradoxically, Rakshas Tal receives the waters flowing down from Kailash, while Mansarovar is fed by the streams coming down Gurla Mandhata. Rakshas Tal is associated with Ravana; the belief is that he was trying to carry up Mt Kailash to Lanka. Perturbed, the gods pleaded to Ganesh. Divine intervention led to Ravana asking Ganesh to hold the mountain while the former relieved himself. This task took much longer than expected, and Rakshas Tal was born. Dark in colour, salty in test and without creatures this lake is only 3 to 5 Km west from Mansarovar Lake. According to the Vedic perception, this is the place where the evil like trend was developed at the beginning of the human civilization. This lake is known as Langa Tso in Tibetan People.


Situated in the hight of 5366m above Sea level Gauri Kunda is just next to Dolmala (5640m). It is believed that Gauri kunda is the highest freshwater lake in the world. Small but beautiful "Gauri Kunda" considered as abode of Mata Parvati and believes that Mata Parvati use to take bath in this Lake. Frozen for over half the year, Gauri Kund's waters are credited with great powers of fertility for women. Gauri Kunda also considered as NAVEL of the Earth.


The flagpole at Tarboche is covered with prayer flags and stands some 80 feet high. At this location, the most important annual festival is held. This festival is called Saga Dawa and it takes place on the full moon of the fourth lunar month. Pilgrims from all over Tibet gather at this sacred place to ritually take down the flag pole to replace the old prayer flags with new ones. Then they raise the Tarboche flag pole back up and circumambulate it in a clockwise direction while conches, horns, and other instruments are played to welcome the rising flagpole. The flagpole is also carefully scrutinized by the Tibetans to look for omens. If it is directly straight up, then the year will be prosperous with no diseases, healthy livestock, and good crop harvests. If the flagpole is leaning towards Kailash, it is an omen for suffering from famines, diseases, and untimely deaths. When the flagpole tilts away from Kailash, alarm is generated in the people as well.


Situated at 5636 m above Sea level, decorated by colourful Pray-flags Dolma -La is considered as Tara Pith (the abode of stars). This is the high pass on the Kailash Parikrama (Kora) that represents the most challenging and rewarding point of the circuit of Mt. Kailash. The crossing over this pass represents a transition from the former life to a new one with all of the previous sins forgiven by the compassionate Goddess of Mercy, Drolma. Every stone around the pass is considered to be permeated with the three qualities of the Buddha: mind, speech, and body. They also represent the Three Jewels: Buddha, dharma, and sangha. In the middle of the pass is a large, cubic rock called Phawang Mebar, upon which are a pyramid of stones to support a flagpole. The flagpole has many strands of prayer flags going to other surrounding flagpoles, and around the rock are placed all kinds of things by the passing pilgrims, like clothing, horns, animal skulls, hair and butter stuck to the rock, and other such mementos. The pass is a place for fervent prayer, mantra recitations, and readings from sacred texts by the pilgrims passing over, and is also a place to look for omens.



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Kailash Mansarovar Overland
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