Sacred Places: Mount Kailash in Tibet
The gorgeous mountain that is also a temple to so many philosophies and religions.
Certain places around the world flaunt a particular relevance within the spiritual development of different cultures. Understandably so, many of these correspond to magnificent natural settings which beauty, by itself and beyond of its historical or mythological context, could have easily inspired a mystical communion between human groups in ancient times.
Such is the case of Mount Kailash, which is part of the Himalayan range, located in the Tibet’s region. ––It is considered an icon of the mythical Axis Mundi, the center of the universe. Curiously enough, and to clarify any doubt regarding its sacred nature, the mystical prominence of this peak is not exclusive to one religion, since the Kailash takes part in Buddhist, Hindu and Jainism spiritual traditions.
The first case is considered to be Buddha’s dwelling, which is also known as Demschog, and it is associated with maximum happiness. Also, it is said that this mountain is witness to Milarepa’s victory over Naro-Bonchung, an event that initiated the arrival of Buddhism to Tibetan territories. For Hindus, it is here where Shiva, one of their greatest deities, resides. For some Hindu movements, Mount Kailash is the dream come true of paradise in this world. For Jainism, in turn, it is believed that its summit was the place where the first Jain reached Nirvana.
Every year, Mount Kailash receives thousands of pilgrims, but in spite of its natural majesty and spiritual importance, few tourists dare to venture into the impassive giant of the Himalayas. In order to go there, one first needs to go to Lhasa, Tibet’s Capital City. Once there, one must take an average four-day trip to get to the last camp of pilgrims and then travel the last remaining fifty kilometers by horse or foot until reaching its base. By the way, there is no register of a human being ever reaching its summit, which complements Kailash’s virginal, mythical identity.
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