Kailash Manasarovar Yatra holds immense religious values for the Hindus. Believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Mt. Kailash is claimed to be the apex of the Hindu religious axis. Lord Shiva or Bhola Baba is the most beloved among the thousands of Hindu deities. Hence, there are uncountable devotees who take on this tour to receive the blessings of Lord Shiva and attain spiritual contentment.
Completing a Kora (Parikrama) around Mt. Kailash is believed to erase the sins of a lifetime. To complete the Kailash pilgrimage, one should bathe in the sacred Lake Manasarovar, which lies only 30km from Mt Kailash. According to Hindu Mythology, it was formed in the mind of Brahma, and the Goddess Parvati is believed to have taken the form of the lake Manasarovar. Even drinking the waters of the lake frees a human being from sins of all kind as well as illness. Myth has it that the Gods come to bathe every morning in this lake between 3 to 5 am and this time is called ‘Brahmamuhurta’. Another legend has it that Parashuram’s ashram is situated on a hill, on the banks of Manasarovar.
Kailash Yatra begins with an hour flight from Kathmandu, Nepalgunj and Simikot, followed by an exciting helicopter ride to the Tibet-Nepal Border. A 4WD landcruiser or tourist coach transfers you to Lake Manasarovar, where your spiritual journey begins.
Efforts on to conserve the fragile Mt. Kailash region
China, India, and Nepal have agreed to work together to conserve the fragile environment around the Mt.Kailash region. International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD),Wildlife Institute of India, the Forest Department of Uttarakhand, the Nepalese Ministry of Forests, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, and the United Nations Environment Program will jointly work on a project to preserve the fragile Mt. Kailash environment.
Dominating the north of the Himalayan Barrier, Mt. Kailash is equally venerated as the holiest pilgrimage site by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bön-Po. Tibetans regard this mountain as the manifestation of Mount Meru, “the navel of the earth” where founder of Bon religion, Tonpa Shenrab, is believed to have descended from heaven, Hindus as the abode of Lord Shiva, Buddhists as the abode of Samvara and Jains as a scared site where their prophet, Rishaba attained spiritual enlightenment. Considered to be the abode of the Gods, the summit of Mt.Kailash has been declared off limits for climbers.A three-day trek (Parikrama or Kora) around Mt. Kailash over a 5630 meter Drolma La (pass), clockwise for Buddhists and Hindus, and anti-clockwise for followers of the ancient Bon religion, is said to erase the sins of a lifetime.