Explore Tibet introduces 17-day pilgrimage to holy Mt. Kailash

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Explore Tibet, a Tibetan-run travel agency based in Lhasa, calls Mt. Kailash “the holiest mountain in Asia. It’s considered sacred in the religious traditions of Buddhism, Bon, Hinduism and Jainism. It is also the primary adventure destination for travelers to western Tibet.”

Explore Tibet, a Tibetan-run travel agency based in Lhasa, calls Mt. Kailash “the holiest mountain in Asia. It’s considered sacred in the religious traditions of Buddhism, Bon, Hinduism and Jainism. It is also the primary adventure destination for travelers to western Tibet tour.”

Kailash’s 6,174-meter snow-capped peak stands prominent over the Barkha Plain, flanking the sacred lakes Manasarovar and Rakshas Tal. The distinctive shape of its four-sided summit stands stark against the Gangdise mountain range, also called the Trans-himalya. This area is a source of four of the longest rivers in Asia, the Indus, the Sutlej (a tributary of the Indus), the Karnali (a tributary of the Ganges), and the Brahmaputra. The remote, pristine location, along with these singular geographic features makes it easy to understand why Tibetan Buddhists believe Kailash to be the center of the world.

During the 17-day pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash travelers will have a chance to follow in the footsteps of pilgrims who make the Tibet trekking to this vast plain on the western edge of the Tibetan plateau. It is believed that pilgrims who walk kora (circumambulate) around the mountain achieve a high degree of karmic merit. This area of Tibet is also home to nomads, whose lifestyle has remained the same for centuries, living in tents and following herds of sheep, goat, and yaks across the summer pastures.

After the monsoon season of July and August treeless, southwestern Tibet abounds with herds of wild donkeys, gazelle, Hodgson’s antelope, marmots and various species of geese. In addition to the wildlife and scenic beauty of the plateau, there are also ruins of ancient cities and temples from the Guge Kingdom of the 9th century. Some temples from this time period are still intact, and contain artwork more than 1,000 years old.

This adventure of Mt. Kailash tour is a once-in-lifetime experience for those seeking a unique experience of Tibetan culture, religious practice and history.

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Sonam Jamphel