What is Mount Kailash?
Mount kailash is a 6,638 m high peak in the kailash range, located near Lake Manasarovar and Lake Rakshastal in Western Tibet. Mt.Kailash is not a high mountain Tibet. But it’s been worshipped as a famous sacred site by countless people It is a mass of black rock, It has unique distinction of being the world’s most venerated holy place at the same time that i t is the least visited. It is mainly sacred to 4 religions. Which are Buddhism, Hinduism, jainism, and Bon religion.
In Hinduism, it is traditionally recognized as abode of Shiva, who resided there along with his consort goddess Parvati and their children, Ganesha and Kartikeya.
According to the Epic Mahabharata, it i said that the Pandava brothers, along with their wife Draupadi, trekked to the summit of mount kailash on their path to liberation. Because it is considered to be a gateway to Heaven, also known as Swarga Loka.
According to Jain scriptures, the site where the first Jain Tirthankara, Rishabhadeva attained moksha. It is believed that after Rishabhadeva attained nirvana, his son emperor Bharata Chakravartin had constructed three stupas and twenty-four shrines of the 24 Tirthankaras over there with their idols studded with precious stones.
Mount Kailash is known as Mount Meru in Buddhist texts. It is a major pilgrimage site for some Buddhist traditions. There are numerous sites in the region associated with Padmasambhava, whose tantric practices in holy sites around Tibet are credited with finally establishing Buddhism as the main religion of the country in the 7th-8th century AD.
Bon, is a religion native to Tibet, maintain that he entire mystical region an Kailash, which they call the “nine-story Swastika Mountain”, is the axis mundi, Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring.
The region around Mount Kailash is typified by wide-scale faulting of metamorphosed late cretaceous to mid Cenozoic sedimentary rocks which have been intruded by igneous Cenozoic granitic rocks.
Due to its religious significance, Kailash remains an unclimbed mountain.
In 1926, Hugh Ruttledge studied the north face, which he estimated was 6,000 feet (1,800 m) high and “utterly unclimbable” and thought about an ascent of the northeast ridge, but he ran out of time. Ruttledge had been exploring the area with Colonel R. C. Wilson, who was on the other side of the mountain with his Sherpa named Tseten. According to Wilson, Tseten told Wilson, “‘Sahib, we can climb that!’ … as he too saw that this [the SE ridge] represented a feasible route to the summit.” Further excerpts from Wilson’s article in the Alpine Journal (vol. 40, 1928) show that he was serious about climbing Kailash, but Colonel Wilson, “Just when I discovered an easy walk to the summit of the mountain, heavy snow began to fall, making the ascent impossible”.
Herbert Tichy was in the area in 1936, attempting to climb Gurla Mandhata. When he asked one of the Garpons of Ngari whether Kailash was climbable, the Garpon replied, “Only a man entirely free of sin could climb Kailash. And he wouldn’t have to actually scale the sheer walls of ice to do it – he’d just turn himself into a bird and fly to the summit.” Reinhold Messner was given the opportunity by the Chinese government to climb in the mid-1980s but he declined.
In 2001, reports emerged that the Chinese had given permission for a Spanish team to climb the peak, which caused an international backlash. Chinese authorities disputed the reports, and stated that any climbing activities on Mt Kailash were strictly prohibited. Reinhold Messner, who condemned the reported Spanish plans, said:
If we conquer this mountain, then we conquer something in people’s souls. I would suggest they go and climb something a little harder. Kailas is not so high and not so hard.
Thousands make pilgrimage to Kailash, following a tradition going back thousands of years. Pilgrims of several religions believe that circumambulating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. The peregrination is made in a clockwise direction by Hindus and Buddhists. While Jains and Bonpos circumambulate the mountain in a counterclockwise direction.
Mount Kailash path is 52 km 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 entire trek. Walking around the mountain a part of its official park has to be done on foot, pony or domestic yak. It takes some three days of trekking starting from a height of around 15,000 ft past the Tarboche to cross the Drolma pass 18,200 and encamping for two nights en route. First near meadow of Dirapuk Gompa. some 2 to 3 km (1.2 to 1.9 mi) before the pass and second, after crossing the pass and going downhill as far as possible (viewing Gauri Kund in the distance).
A team of scientists who intended to climb to the top of Mount Kailash finally gave up on the advice of a Tibetan Lama. Four of the climbers still died within a year or two. It is said climbing mount Kailash will offend the gods.