Travel Ideas

Mount Kailash Pilgrimage

The pilgrimage to Mount Kailash is one of the oldest and most important in the world, dating back thousands of years and considered sacred not only to Hindus but also to Jains, Tibetan Buddhists and followers of the Bon religion (who?) – so why not you too?

Making a circuit of the mountain is considered to bring great divine favour and fortune and some endeavour to do the 32 miles in a single day. Others consider walking only for the weak and instead prostrate themselves around the mountain, laying flat out on the ground and then beginning again from the mark left by their outstretched fingertips.

The only real problem is that pilgrimage to the holy site was interrupted by the Chinese invasion of Tibet and it was only in 1980 that they began allowing a limited number of Hindus to make the trip. Tibet is a very mountainous, porous country though and, with a decent guide and an intrepid sense of adventure, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to make it there. The other pilgrims would only be the more impressed by your determination.

Each of the religions has their own stories (the Hindus contend that the mountain is the lingum of Shiva and the lake below the yoni of his consort, Parvati. All religions are agreed that stepping on the actual slope of Kailash is sure to bring swift retribution, even death. So be warned.