Saturday, May 25, 2013

Wondering about Mt. Kailash

Pick a random place South Delhi and chances are that it is named after the 'abode of Shiva', Mt. Kailash. You have Kailash Colony, Greater Kailash-I, II, III, IV, East of Kailash and West of Kailash. Elsewhere in Delhi, you will find Kailash Apartments, Kailash Hospitals and...the list is endless.

This fondness for Kailash goes much beyond Delhi. The Buddhists say three of their main Buddhas -- Manjushree, Avalokiteshwara and Vajrapani -- all live there in the mountain. The Jains say Rishabh lives there and South Indian mysticism says their greatest yogi, Agasthiya Muni, who is the basis of South Indian mysticism and is one of the seven direct disciples of Shiva, lives in the southern face of Kailash.

How and when did this mountain located beyond the Himalayan ranges, in far-away Tibet, come to occupy such a prominent place in our imagination?

What makes Mt. Kailash truly exceptional is the fact that it lies well beyond the other popular places of worship in the Himalayas. Most of these are located along the tributaries and glaciers that feed the great rivers. But to reach Mt. Kailash, you need to travel along the Kali river valley that cuts through the breadth of the Himalayas. Then, once you are on the other side Lipulekh Pass, on the Tibetan plateau, another long trek takes you between the twin lakes Rakshas Tal and Manasarovar before you finally reach the Mt. Kailash area.

How on earth did the ancient pilgrims find their way to this mountain??

Pics from - and KMVN


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