Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Tibet | Mount Kailash

Wandered by 21,778' Mount Kailash, the sacred mountain in Tibet worshipped by Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Bönpos (followers of the Bön religion), and shamans and also a favorite destination of adventure tourists. No one is allow to climb to the summit of Mount Kailash, but thousands of people a year circumambulate the mountain via a thirty-two mile-long path. A pilgrimage circuit of a sacred place like Kailash is known as a khora. Khoras are always done clockwise around the sacred place or object, unless of course you are a contrarian Bönpo, who do khoras counter-clockwise. The Kailash Khora, the high point of which is the 18,200' Drölma Pass, is quite a strenuous endeavor. The week I was in the Kailash area at least ten people died while circumambulating the mountain. Most, reportedly, were elderly Hindus from India who may have come here, consciously or unconsciously, to die at this sacred place. Hardy Tibetans, however, do the khora in one day. Most people take two or three days (I made it in two and a half days).
Mount Kailash (click on photos for enlargements)
Mount Kailash
Pilgrims at Mount Kailash
Pilgrims at 18,200' Drölma Pass. At this altitude the sun is intense; hence the headgear.
Tibetan monks doing their thing at Mount Kailash
Pilgrim at Mount Kailash

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