This extraordinary mountain is regarded as the 'heart of the world', the 'axis mound', the center of Asia, by Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, and followers of other spiritual traditions. Of all the special destinations for travelers to reach, Mountain Kailash is sure of the most subline and sacred. Its geographical position as the watershed of South Asia is unique and it is this which gives it a cosmic geomantic power. From the slopes flow four great rivers in the four cardinal directions.
1.The Indus north
2.The Brahmaputra east
3.The Karnali south in the Ganges
4.The Sutlej west
Before Mountain Kailashi lie the twin lakes of Manasarovar (4,600m/མ་ཕམ་གཡུ་མཚོ) and Ruksha Tal (4,584m/ལང་ཀ་མཚོ), shaped like sun and moon, and which are said to have association respectively with the forces of the lights and dark. Further south, just on the edge of the Tibetan plateau and near the Himalayas is another snow-capped peak, Mountain Nemo Nanyi (Gurlamandhata;7,728m), which is one of the highest peaks and four ridges form a swastika, an ancient symbol of the infinity of the universe.
Hindus regard Mountain Kailash (Silver Mountain) as the early manifestation of Mount Meru, their spiritual center of the universe, described in ancient texts as a fantastic “world pillar” 84,000 miles high, around which all else revolves, its roots in the lowest hell and its summit kissing the heavens. On top is the abode of their god Shiva, Lord of the Mountains, who shares this lofty peak with his consort, Parvati
Tibetan Buddhists, like Hindus, recognize Kailash as the manifestation of Mountain Meru the “navel of the world” rising “like the handle of a millstone” into the heaven. Kailash is also regarded as the residence of Demchok, a multi-armed wrathful deity worshipped in the Chakrasamvara Tantric cycle of Tibetan Buddhism, and his consort, Dorjee Phakmo. Mountain Kailash itself is known in the Tibetan language as Gang Rinpoche (Precious Snow Mountain). Though only 6,714m high, it stands quite along like a great white sentinel guarding the main routes into Tibet from India and Nepal in the south and west.
Mountain Kailash is sacred to the Bön religion (indigenes religion of Tibet) as well, as it is the site where its founder, Tönpa Shenrab, is said to have descended from heaven, and formerly it was the spiritual center of Zhangzhung, the ancient Bönpo empire that once extended from Persia cross through Western Tibet. The Bönpo kora the mountain in their traditional counterclockwise manner, in the opposite direction of Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims.
Traditionally a pilgrimage
Traditionally a pilgrimage undertakes the 52-km trekking circuit or Kora
around the mountain commencing at Darchen (4,550m) and crossing the 5,630m Dolma La pass on the second day of a three-day trek. On the third day, you will complete your 3-day trek with rest and camp at the hot spring near Tirthapuri. Optionally of course you can also stay at one of the local guest houses in the nearest town.
On route to Mountain Kailash.
Although mountain Kailash and its environments are of exceptional natural beauty, it could only be reached via lengthy and often arduous travel along with one of several motorable routes into the region. The airport at Senge Khabab opened in 2010. The flight takes 2 hours from Lhasa. Despite the bureaucratic restrictions imposed on visitors, facilities for the foreign travelers are sparse and the way itself, from whichever direction, is rugged and often tiring. Furthermore, the sacred mountain Kailash has never easily allowed visitors into its sanctum, but with fortitude, patience, and a pure, constant intention to reach and kora its snow-capped peak. One will succeed. For all these reasons, the journey to and through Far-West Tibet requires the appropriate preparation, both logistically and mentally.
Possible for individual travelers to go to these regions?
Since March 2008, the Chinese government set new regulations on individual foreign travelers that you are no longer permitted to travel on your own to Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). New regulations require all foreigners to have Alien Travel Permits (ATPs), all the travel destinations must be prearranged and listed on the ATP, they must be accompanied by a licensed tour company. The permits must be shown at the border to check into a hotel.
There are many travel companies you can choose to travel with, but make sure you are traveling with the right team and who are not only familiar with the culture, and history. Since you are stepping into one of the world's highest lands. Choose one well-experienced company who can provide you and all the necessary logistics the most importantly first-aid. Therefore, not only someone can provide you, but make sure your team is professionally knowledgeable on using in the right way.
What do you need to prepare for this journey?
Start your physical fitness program for several months or at least a couple of weeks before arriving in Tibet. Walking, hiking and backpacking over rugged terrain are the best ways to prepare for a trek. Any regular aerobic exercise is also beneficial, especially running, swimming, and bicycling. Be creative. Regular sessions of running up and down multiple flights of stairs in an office or apartment building can improve fitness, and people who frequently practice more passive types of exercises such as yoga are often in excellent shape for trekking. When you climb toward a high pass on your second or third day of trekking, you will be a lot happier if you exercised regularly before arriving in Tibet.
Equipment and Clothing(TC is able to provide you with all the camping equipment including sleeping bags)
If you trek in Tibet with a travel company, they will supply all the necessary camping equipment. Some companies even can provide you sleeping bags. So that you can save a lot of space in your bags and save you hundreds of dollars. (Make sure the equipment your company provides you are in a good shape and good in the windy and harsh weather conditions). When planning your clothing needs for the trek, think in terms of layers. Layers of clothing will keep you warm but can be removed gradually to prevent overheating. During spring and autumn, the night temperatures in the mountains often drop below freezing, making warm gear essential. In summer, the days can be hot, requiring light cotton or polyester-blend clothing. Good wet-weather gear is recommended during the rainy summer months. Many of the regions in Tibet can receive snow any month of the year; be prepared for cold weather if you plan to trek at the altitude of 4,000m/12,000f.
Here we have some suggested equipment and clothing, and accessories for the Tibetan world.
Hiking boots should have thick soles and be high enough to provide adequate ankle support. Consider Gore-Tex-Lined boots for treks during the rainy summer months. Optional: a pair of sandals or sneakers for crossing rivers and wearing in camping.
If you plan to backpack, use a pack with a wild, cushioned waist belt and thin shoulder straps that will comfortably support the weight. On commercial treks, you only need a day pack to carry your daily essentials. 20-25L (Rest of your stuff is carried by yaks or horses during the day).
Raincoat should be roomy, preferably mid-thigh in length, and have a waterproof hood. Rain pants can double as wind pants. Gore-Tex or high-quality coasted nylon materials are best.
One or two pairs of long-sleeved tops and bottoms made from wool, polypropylene, or similar synthetic fiber. Short-sleeved thermal tops are good on cool days while trekking.
Two or three pairs (enough for a week trek)
At least 1 good pair of wool socks. 2-3 pairs of cotton socks.
At least 2 pairs of light trekking pants and not highly recommend wearing short pants in general during the trek in Tibet.
Wool or wool mix with high neck for extra warmth in the evening and mornings.
A fiber pile jacket is ideal for trekking and evening in camp and an outdoor water-proof jacket for harsh weather.
Cap for during the day trek to protect your face and neck from the strong sun. wool hat for the evenings and mornings.
two (at least one long-sleeve for protection from Sun).
Prepare at least 2 pairs.
Prepare a pair of foldable walking sticks.
Bring 1 or 2 bottles/ 1,5L or 2L.
Sunblock and Lip balm.
Sunblock rated 50 SPE or higher is best. Use zinc oxide for a total blackout. Lip balms prevent burning and chapping; toothpaste can be replaced if you run out.
For Tibet’s bright, high-altitude sunlight. Dark glacier glasses with side hoods are necessary for the mountains and after fresh snowfalls.
A headlamp is ideal for camping. Bring batteries with you. (TC will provide tent lights during camping). Bring used batteries back home for recycling.
Extra batteries for the camera (no electricity during the trek).
For your cell phone charges.
Choose full-length, self-inflating, or standard closed-cell foam pads.