Circumbalating the Abode of Lord
Mt. Kailash is the most Sacred of all mountains of the world and is considered as the centre of the universe. In inner Kora Kailash Pilgrimage you get an opportunity to move very close up with this holiest mountain and also do parikarma of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. In fact it is one of the most sacred and challenging tour among devotees. The journey involves climbing and camping . The route for inner kora is via Asthapad, visiting Sapta Rishi Cave and parikarma of Nandi you drive back to Kathmandu night halting at Darchen, Saga and Nyalam. The Nomenclature, Orthography and Entomology of Sacred Mountain.
It can be derived from the word 'kelasa' which means crystal. In Tibetan dictionary Chandra identifies the entry for kai la sha which is a loan word in Sanskrit 'kailasa'. The Tibetan name for the mountain is 'KANGS RIN-PO CHE'. Gangs or kangs is a Tibetan wordfor snow peak which means is an honourific meaning 'precious stone'. So the combined word may be translated as'precious jewels of snow'."Tibetan Buddhists call it Kangri Rinpoche; 'Precious Snow Mountain'. Bon texts have many names: Water's Flower, Mountain of Sea Water, Nine Stacked Swastika Mountain. For Hindus, it is the home of the mountain god Shiva and a symbol of his power symbol om; for Jains it is where their first leader was enlightened; for Buddhists, the navel of the universe; and for adherents of Bon, the abode of the sky goddess Sipaimen'' Another local name is Tise mountain which derives from ti tse meaning 'water peak' or 'river peak' in Zhang-Zhou language connoting the mountain status as the source of mythical lion, Horse. Peacock & elephant rivers. In fact, the Indus, Yarlug-Tsangpo/Dihang/Brahmaputra, Karnali & Satluj all begin at the Kailash- Mansarovar region.
In Hinduism : According to Hinduism, Lord Shiva- the destroyer of ignorance & illusion resides at the summit of the legendary mountain KAILASA, where he sits in perpetual meditation along with his wife Parvati. According to Charles Allen, one description in 'Vishnu Purana' states that its 4 faces are made up of ruby, crystal, gold & lapiz lazuli. It is the pillar of the world at the heart of 6 mountain ranges. The ancient 'Koneshwaram temple' is heralded as 'Dakshin Kaliasam'because it lies in the same longitude as Mount Kailash & due to its pre-eminence in Saivite belief. Koneshwaram early black granite cut architectural shared similarities between to the famous Kailashnathar temple.Many of the Kailasanathar temples sculptures and reliefs depict episodes relating to Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati, including Ravana's tale. (Ravana was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Ramayana does not document Ravana shaking the mountain.) Ravana's mother had fallen ill. As they were great Lord Shiva devotees, he had attempted to carry the temple on his back to bring it closer to his mother. Shiva, being stunned by his boldness, had blessed him with immortality as Ravana had passed Lord Shiva's test of devotion.
IN JAINISM : Kailash is also known as Meru Parvat or Sumeru. Ashtapada, the mountain next to Mt.Kailash is the site where the first Jain TIRTHANKARA, 'Rishabdeva' attained Nirvana (moksha).
IN BUDDHISM : Tantric Buddhists believes that Mount Kailash is the home Buddha Demchok also known as Demchog (or Chakrasamvara). There are numerous sites in this region depicting & associated with Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) whose tantric sites around Tibet are finally credited with establishing Buddhism as main religion of the country in 7th- 8th century CE.
IN BON : The Bon, a religion which predates Buddhism in Tibet, maintain that the entire mystical region & nine- story 'Swastika' mountain are the' SEAT OF ALL SPIRITUAL POWER'.
Every year thousands make a pilgrimage to Kailash, following a tradition going back thousands of years. Pilgrims of several regions believe that circumbalating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. The peregrination is made in a clockwise direction by Hindus & Buddhists. Followers of Jain & Bongpo religions circumbalate in anti-clockwise direction. The path around Mount Kailash is 52 km (32miles ) long. Some pilgrims believe that the entire walk around Kailash should be made in a single day, which is not considered an easy task. A person in good shape walking fast would take perhaps 15 hours to complete the 52 km trek. Some of the devout do accomplish this feat, little daunted by the uneven terrain, altitude sickness and harsh conditions faced in the process. Indeed, other pilgrims venture a much more demanding regimen, performing body-length prostrations over the entire length of the circumambulation: The pilgrim bends down, kneels, prostrates full-length, makes a mark with his fingers, rises to his knees, prays, and then crawls forward on hands and knees to the mark made by his/her fingers before repeating the process. It requires at least four weeks of physical endurance to perform the circumambulation while following this regimen.
Kailash Location: Western Tibet
Altitude: 23,080 Ft. above sea level.
Base Camp: Darchen 14950 Ft. above sea level
Climate: Unpredictable (Max 20 Degree Centigrade to Min –10 Degree Centigrade)
Beliefs: Hindu, Buddhist, Jains, BanPo (all AMU followers)