above 22,000 feet, the great Mount Kailash
holds the distinction of being the most
sacred, yet least visited mountain in the
world. Because of its remote location in
far western Tibet, this mountain is only
visited by a few pilgrims every year. There
are no modern conveyances to get to Kailash,
and even with rugged overland vehicles,
the journey takes a grueling three weeks.
of the Vedas believe that Kailash is the
abode of Shiva, one of the principle demigods
of the Vedic canon. There, he resides with
his consort, Parvati and practices austerities
on the peak of the mountain. Kailsasa is
sacred to other religions also. The Tibetan
Buddhists refer to Kailash as Kang
Rimpoche the Precious
Jewel of Glacial Ice and believe that
it is the home of the Buddhist deities Demchog
and Dorje Phagmo. The Tibetan shamanists
call the mountain Tise and believe
it is the seat of the sky-goddess Sipaimen.
The Jains call the mountain Astapada and
believe it to be the place where their founder,
Rishabhadeva, attained liberation.
this holy mountain is difficult in itself,
yet pilgrims voluntarily take on the additional
austerity of walking 32 miles to circumambulate
it, which generally takes three days. Climbing
Mount Kailash is strictly forbidden. In fact,
the only person said to have reached its
peak was the Tibetan Buddhist yogi Milarepa
in the 11th Century. Eighteen miles southeast
of Kailash is Lake Manasarovara, a 64-mile
circuit, which is rarely completed except
by the most devout.
to have been created from the mind of the
creator Brahma, bathing in this lake, or
even sprinkling its water on ones head,
is said to be of enormous spiritual benefit
to those who can brave the icy water which
many claim contain miraculous powers.
is a freshwater lake, three miles above sea
is a saltwater lake, separated by a narrow
peninsula, named Rakshasa Tal, or The
Demons lake. According to the
epic Ramayana, this lake was created from
the tears of the powerful demon Ravana after
he unsuccessfully tried to lift Mount Kailash.
Pilgrims consider this lake inauspicious
and dont bathe or circumambulate this
crescent moon-shaped body of water.
documentary traces the history and significance
of the arduous pilgrimage to the worlds holiest
mountain with rare footage, never before
seen by the western eye.
to Project List