Mount Kailash is considered to be an abode of Lord Shiva and is among the popular pilgrimage sites. The Holy Mt. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra thus allows the “Shiv – Bhakts” and disciples of Lord Shiva to pay homage to the god. Apart from Hinduism, Mount Kailash holds religious and spiritual significance for other religions as well including Bon, Jain, and Sikhs. Considered as one of the most pious “Tirth Sthan ”, the place has several sacred spots.
Kailash Manasarovar Yatra allows you to have unique experiences and you can enjoy your time amidst nature’s own crest. Lake Mansarovar and Mount Kailash are situated at a distance of 865 km away from Delhi. It is a stunning summit emitting silver rays and dazzles with a spiritual aura of its own, standing tall at a majestic altitude of 6,690 meters up sea level.
Spiritual Journey to Kailash Mansarovar
This holy “yatra” would allow you to explore the beautiful Mansarovar Lake that has a holy significance to the Hindus. It is one of the finest lakes and has an ancient lineage as per the history of Indian civilization. The lake with its serene turquoise waters is calmly set in between gigantic mountain ranges, namely the Gurla Mandhata in the South and the Kailash range towards the North. In between, you have the sister lake named Ravan Harda or Rakshas Tal stationed on the western side.
The journey also takes you to Gauri Kund which is situated as you proceed downwards from Dolma. This is also known as the Lake of Compassion as is mentioned in the “Shiva Purana”. This apart there is the “Om Parvat” that stretches across a vast expanse of the Tibetan Plateau and is located at an altitude of 4,550 meters above sea level, having a depth of around 90 meters. The sight of the mountains and the quiet lake is mesmerizing during the winters. As you stroll around on your journey you would come across some places that are sandy or rocky. To add more charm to it, be there on a full moon night beside the Lake Mansarover and the scene is absolute “picture perfect” like that of a fairy-tale world.
Read more: 5 Kailash Yatras to Attain Salvation
History of Kailash Mansarovar
This sacred destination is a place of numerous faiths and people from different religions visit here every year. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra starts in June and lasts till September. A large number of devotees visit here from all over the world to pay homage to and witness the mesmerizing beauty of this wonderland.
According to Hinduism, the ‘Manasarovar’ means ‘Mind Borne Lake’. It is believed that this lake was created in the mind of Lord Brahma and later, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma appeared here in the form of swans. The lake is nestled in the foothills of Mount Kailash, which is an abode of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Mount Kailash is considered to be the center of the Universe. It is also believed that people can wash away their sins and attain salvation when they visit the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Among Buddhists, Mount Kailash is related to Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Buddhism in the region. Buddhists believe that Maya bathed in Mansarovar before giving birth to Siddhartha around the 7th and 8th centuries. There is numerous Buddhist literature found here which is among the holiest places in Buddhism.
The people with Bon belief consider Mount Kailash to be the center of the earth. As per the Bon mythology, Tonba Shenrab who was the founder of the Bon religion took a bath in Lake Mansarovar during his first visit to Tibet.
Rishabhnath is among the prominent peoples in Jainism and he was believed to have attained salvation here. Owing to this, it is also a revered place in Jainism.
In Sikhism, it is believed that the Kailash Mansarovar Lake is a place where Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus learned to meditate.
The Parikrama of Mount Kailash
The Parikrama of Mount Kailash or Kailash Inner Kora is among the most revered pilgrimage trips as well as the toughest circumambulation in the world. The Inner Parikrama of Mount Kailash involves around 34 km of hiking including Asthapath, Nandi Parvat, Atmalingam, Saptarishi cave, and Rakshas Lingam.
The terrain of the region is completely made up of rock, crevices, snow, and ice. Besides two small monasteries, no humans are living in the Inner Kailash region. Mount Kailash Parikrama starts and ends at Darchen, which is the base camp of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. During the Inner Kailash kora, you will visit Nandi Parvat by crossing a high-altitude mountain pass in between Mount Kailash and Nandi hill which is known as Nandi La and Khandosalgam La Pass.
During the circumambulation, Hindus and Buddhists go around Mount Kailash in a clockwise direction while Jains and Bons move around in a counterclockwise direction.
Mansarovar Lake: The land of Spiritual Beauty
Situated in Tibet in the lap of the mighty Mount Kailash, Mansarovar Lake is among the holiest lakes. It is also one of the highest lakes in the world accompanied by extreme divinity. Mansarovar Lake is a crystal clear and pristine water body, which acts as a beguiling mirror and reflects the breathtaking image of the surrounding mountains.
The circumambulation of Mansarovar Lake is considered the act of wish fulfillment and also getting rid of sins. Tucked at an altitude of 4,853 m above sea level amidst the mighty Himalayas, Lake Mansarovar spread across 412 sq. km. This invincible lake is known to be a source of four major rivers of South Asia including the Ghagra, Sutlej, Brahmaputra, and Indus Rivers. The pious aura of this lake adds charm to the serenity of this ethereal place.
How to reach Kailash Mansarovar
There are no major airports situated in the Kailash Mansarovar region. The nearest airport from Mount Kailash in Ngari Gunsa Airport, which is situated 209 km away and is only connected to Kashgar Airport in China. Other major airports situated near Kailash Mansarovar are Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow and Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu are situated at 437 km and 501 km away respectively. From these airports, you can travel to Kailash Mansarovar by road.
Also, there is no railway station located in the vicinity of Mount Kailash. The nearest train station is also situated in Lucknow. Other stations from where you can travel to Mount Kailash are Kathgodam, Rishikesh, Ramnagar, Kotdwar, and Haridwar.
You can travel to Mount Kailash by road and there are two routes for the Kailash Mansarovar yatra among which the first route is through Uttarakhand and the second route in Sikkim. If you travel from Uttarakhand, then you have to cross Lipulekh Pass. The second route will take you through Sikkim which you have to cross Nathula Pass. You can start your journey for Kailash Mansarovar from Nepal as well. The journey will start from Nepalgunj and it will take 9 days to complete the Kailash Yatra by helicopter.
Best time to visit Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
Kailash Mansarovar Yatra starts in May and ends in mid-September. For the rest of the year, it remains closed due to tough climatic conditions. These months are the best time to visit the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra as the weather is favorable for this tough trek. During these months, the climate remains balmy and comfortable for the tour to Kailash Mansarovar.
The circumambulation of this holy mountain is tough, which is not feasible in winters due to heavy snow. Saga Dawa Festival is a popular festival of the Mount Kailash region, which is attended by a large number of people. This festival offers a perfect opportunity to sneak peek into the local culture and heritage.
Information About Mount Kailash
Here are some of the interesting facts about Mount Kailash, which you must know.
- Trekking all the way up to Mount Kailash is a forbidden act. It is believed among Hindus that trespassing the divine sanctity will disturb the divine energies.
- According to Tibetan folklore, there was a monk named Milarepa who reached the top of Mount Kailash and when he returned back, he warned everyone that no one should try to climb the peak and disturb the god.
- There are two beautiful lakes situated at the bottom of Mount Kailash namely Mansarovar Lake and Rakshas Tal. Mansarovar Lake is situated at an altitude of 4,590 m above sea level, which is considered the highest freshwater lake in the world.
- Rakshas Tal is considered a demonic lake. It is a saltwater lake and is deprived of aquatic plant life and marine life.
- It has been discovered that nails and hairs grow faster near Mount Kailash. The air of Mount Kailash amp up the process of aging.
Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Packages