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Mt. Kailash

Mt. Kailash

The Mt. Kailash is located in Purang County, about 200 km from Senge Ts-angpo Town and 100 km from Purang town. It is at the border between China, Nepal and India with an altitude of 6,656m. It is the major peak of the Gangdise range. It has more than 250 glaciers and aboundant water resources. The Mt. Kailash is the most famous holy mountain as well as the source of many large rivers such as the Ganges, the Indus, and the Yarlung Tsangpu River. The Mt. Kailash is in olive shape piercing up to the sky. Its summit looks just like the colored round crown surrounded by lotus flower with eight leaves. The body of the mountain seems to be piled up with crystal stones. The Wenbao Peak to its east is said to have treaded by Sakyamuni. There are also the Тага Peak in the west and the Wisdom Goddess Peak in the south as well as the Dharma Protecting God Peak in the north.

Mt. Kailash

Every year pilgrims from inland of China, India and Nepal come to pay their homage and circumambulate the holy mountain. The Mt. Kailash is the pilgrimage center of Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism and Bon Religion, thus it has the nickname of king of holy mountains. How long have people been coming to this sacred mountain? The answers are lost in antiquity, before the dawn of Hinduism, Jainism or Buddhism. The cosmologies and origin myths of each of these religions speak of Kailash as the mythical Mt. Meru, the Axis Mundi, the center and birth place of the entire world. The mountain was already legendary before the great Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, were written. Indeed, Kailash is so deeply embedded in the myths of ancient Asia that it was perhaps a sacred place of another era, another civilization, now long gone and forgotten.

Hindus believe Mt.Kailash to be the abode of Lord Shiva. Like many of the Hindu gods, Shiva is a character of apparent contradictions. He at once the Lord of Yoga and therefore the ultimate renunciate ascetic, yet he is also the divine master of Tantra, the esoteric science that regards sexual union as the most perfect path to spiritual enlightenment. According to legend, immortal Shiva lives atop Kailash where he spends his time practicing yogic austerities, making joyous love with his divine consort, Parvati, and smoking ganja, the sacred herb known in the west as marijuana, Hindus do not interpret Shiva's behaviors as contradictory however, but rather see in him a deity who has wisely integrated the extremes of human nature and thus transcended attachment to any particular, and limited, way of being. For a Hindu, to make the arduous pilgrimage to Kailash and have the darshan (divine view) of Shiva's abode is to attain release from the clutches of ignorance and delusion.

Kailash is sacred to other religions as well. The Jains call the mountain Astapada and believe it to be the place where Rishaba, the first of the twenty-four Tirthankaras attained liberation. Followers of Bon, Tibet's pre-Buddhist, shamanistic religion call the mountain Tise and believe it to be the seat of the Sky Goddess Sipaimen.

It would be a very auspicious event if pilgrims can visit the holy mountain in the year of the horse.

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