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Home Holy Mt. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Holy Mt. Kailash

Holy Mt. Kailash - Mansarovar Yatra

Holy Mt. Kailash

Kailash, MansarovarKailash is considered the holiest mountain on earth by a number of faiths and religions. Through millennia, monks, yogis and pilgrims from all over the world have braved unimaginable hardships to reach this abode of gods. Its exceptional isolation and the peculiar contours of black granite that give it the appearance of a Shivalinga, have caused Kailash to be venerated as a place that is both representative and emblematic of Shiva. For Hindus, a journey to Kailash is considered the ultimate yatra due to both the difficulty of reaching it and the level of sanctity attached to it.

At a height of 6714 m, Mt. Kailash is locally called Kang rinpoche or "The Precious Jewel of the Snow". It is striking with its snow - capped peak against the clear blue sky which justifies its name Jewel of the Snow.

Kailash in Sanskrit means that which gleams in water. The water that covers the peak in the form of snow is symbolic of flawless purity. Mt. Kailash also known as Mt. Meru, is referred to as the navel of the earth. The word Meru is drawn from the root words mi and ru literally means that which measures. The measure of the universe must be greater than the universe and also run through it like a measuring rod. The word ru stands for a great reverberating sound, a centrifugal vibration that spreads outward to congeal into perceptible (audible) matter leading to the appearance of the sensate universe.

Mountains, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Holiday VacationsLike Shiva whose legendary abode it supports, western Tibet is also a tangle of sublime paradoxes. A vast desert, it is also source of four mighty rivers. Four legendary rivers flow from within a radius of 50 kms in four different directions. To the south is the sapphire face from where flows the Karnali from the ruby face on the west flows the Sutlej from the gold face on the north flows the Indus and eastwards from the crystal face flows the Brahmaputra also referred to a Yarlang Sangpo.

Each of Mt. Kailash's face highlights different moods. The southern face reflects majesty or splendor, it is fully covered with snow. The west face is enveloped in an aura of compassion and benevolence. The north face is stark, forbidding and daunting while the east, only visible from a distance is mysterious and distant.

The southern face of Kailash displays the marking of the celestial steps a long vertical cleft punctuated by a horizontal line of rock strata. The design resembles a swastika indicating the rays of the sun in Hinduism, since the Vedic age. It is the Buddhist symbol of spiritual strength.

Though cut off from the rest of the world by high mountain ranges, the desert plateau has attracted the attention of Hindus, Buddhists and Jains from all over the world. All their myths associate Kailash with important events in the lives of their most revered figures. For the Bons, followers of the pre -Buddhist shamanic religion of Tibet, it is the 'Nine - storey Swastika Mountain' which contains the mystic soul of the region. The Buddhists believe that the Buddha stepped on the mountain to keep it from being moved away by Ravana, a king of the netherworld (not to be confused with the king of Lanka in the Ramayana). For the Jains, Kailash remains a place where their first Tirthankara gained spiritual enlightenment.

Mansarovar, KailashMilarepa, a Tibetan ascetic, (Whose great - grand guru was Naropa, a learned pundit from Kashmir) is also said to have done penance near Kailash. Milarepa went to Kailash in the year 1093 and had many theological debated and magical contests with the Bon shamanistic priest Naro Bonchung, defeating him each time. To establish the unchallenged supremacy of Buddhism in Tibet, it was necessary to appropriate the most sacred mountain and its environs. Milarepa was a follower of the Kargyu sect, of the 'black hat' lamas. This is why Kailash is specially visited by the followers of this sect.

For the Hindus, Kailash is both the abode and the emblem of Shiva. Despite differences in climate, geographical contours and ethnic background, India and Tibet developed an important link because of the sacred mountain. A number of Tibetan myths about the region incorporate Indian myths. The Tibetan language, which was unconnected to Sanskrit, developed a script drawn from Devanagari. The modes of worship, too, became a blend of Indian and Tibetan.

For Indian pilgrims, a journey to Kailash becomes a special experience that cannot but leave a lasting impact on their beings, shaping and altering their vision, perspective and consciousness. It is not for nothing that those who complete the journey are honored and often given a special welcome on their return.

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