July 15, 2024

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pleasant trip on vacation

Kailash Manasarovar

Kailash Manasarovar

Mount Kailash, located in far west corner of Tibet is the most sacred peak in Asia. High at an altitude of 6700-meter, on the remote western Tibetan plateau in the northern most region of the Himalayas, sits Mount Kailash, the holy mountain. The beauty of Mount Kailash, that looks like a symmetrical cone shaped rock capped by pure crystalline ice all the time, is echoed in various mythological and literary works. Dominating the north of the Himalayan Barrier with its spectacular view, the Mount Kailash is equally venerated as the holiest pilgrimage site by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and the 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 believe it to be the abode of Lord Shiva; Buddhists as the abode of Samvara and the Jains venerate it as a sacred site where their prophet, Rishaba, attained spiritual enlightenment.

With its four sheer walls, and distinctive snow-capped peak, and valleys interspersed with brightly-clad Tibetan pilgrims, Mount Kailash or Kang Rimpoche (‘precious snow-peak’, as known by the Tibetans) is an awe-inspiring sight of phenomenal proportions. The four great rivers of Asia: the Karnali, the Indus, the Sutlej and the Brahmaputra (Tsangpo) originate from here. A three-day trek (Parikrama or Kora) around Mount Kailash over a 5630 meter Drolma La (pass), clockwise for Buddhists and Hindus, and anti-clockwise followers of the ancient Bon religion, is said to erase the sins of a lifetime. A spiritual atmosphere is maintained throughout this trip.

To complete the Kailash pilgrimage one should bathe in the sacred Lake Manasarovar, amazingly set on the Tibetan plateau bordered by the majestic Gurla Mandata. On the journey to Mt. Kailash across the windswept Tibetan plateau, you will see cliff-top monasteries, wild-looking but hardy and hospitable Tibetans, yak caravans journeying over snowy passes, and the great peaks of the Himalaya within a background of grazing herds, yak skin tents and a glittering turquoise lake.

LAKE MANASAROVAR

The circular, turquoise Lake Manasarovar or Tso Rinpoche (precious lake) is situated in the south-west corner of Tibet and in the north-west of Nepal. The lake is at a distance of 20 kms from Mt. Kailash and is one of the most beautiful and sacred lakes in Asia. The Kailash Pilgrimage tour is incomplete without a dip in the holy Manasarovar Lake. The lake is believed to contain miraculous powers and taking a bathe in the holy lake is said to be of enormous spiritual benefit.

PEOPLE AND CULTURE

The Tibetans are classified as belonging to the Mongoloid family of people. They are probably descendents of a variety of nomadic tribes who migrated from the north and settled along sedentary cultivation of Tibet’s river valleys.

The Tibetans living within the borders of present day Tibet are easily identified by their distinctive dialects, social customs and dress. The Topas live in the highland regions (Lato and Ngari), the Tsangpas in the West Tibet (Tsang), the Upas live in central Tibet, the Horpas comes from the north (Nagchu/Jangtang), the Kongpowas from the south, the Khampas live in the east, the Amdowa in the northeast, and the Gyarongwa in the extreme east.

Travelers to Tibet inevitably find Tibetans to be friendly and possessing a great sense of humor. It is appreciated when you try and use Tibetan language when communicating with Tibetans. The further from Lhasa you travel, the more often Tibetan is used.

Religion is extremely important to the majority of Tibetans, and travelers should endeavor to respect their customs and beliefs. Always circumambulate Buddhist religious sites or monastery in a clockwise direction, and when in a monastery do not wear a hat, smoke or touch frescoes. In addition, refrain from climbing onto statues, mani stones or other sacred objects They are warm and friendly people. Some speak a bit of English and are happy to have a chat with you. Don’t photograph people without permission, and be aware that some locations prohibit photography without a fee.